Beatseeking Missives

I tend to ramble on about Berlin producer Jan Jelinek. I'm sorry. I'm addicted to his music like you're addicted to lousy reality-TV programs. We all have our vices.


Anyway, I scored an interview with Jelinek in anticipation of his rare appearance at Neumo's on Thursday, September 21, which is a Decibel Festival appreciation party featuring Nordic Soul and DJ Eddie.

Jelinek is one of the most versatile producers working today. Whether he's creating understatedly euphoric techno (Farben), melodic IDM (Gramm), glitch-hop (the Exposures), or spy-jazzy downtempo and dilated dronescaping (under his own name), Jelinek brings an acute minimalist's talent for spotlighting the most spellbinding loops, chord progressions, and rhythms. Below are key excerpts from our interview.

Your catalog is marked by diversity and restless exploration of styles. Do you see yourself ever settling into one mode or will you always be delving into new/different ones?

I try to find an arrangement between both ways. In 2001, after Loop-finding-jazz-records, I realized that my vocabulary of working with samples came to an end. The result was a certain kind of automatism, a work template, which came through to all other production. So from that point, I recognized that a musical diversity could be fruitful, more interesting for myself as well—with the hope of not losing [my] own signature. I know that this kind of "chameleonism" can be dangerous, as well.

What spurred your interest in psychedelic and drone-based music? Also, what led you to pursue the surprising direction of Kosmischer Pitch?

I guess it was by accident. The beginning was the production of "Universal Band Silhouette." There was no idea behind this track; it just happened. After finishing it, I realized that the result is different to my work before. And the idea of the album was growing while specifying the difference.

In addition to that, I was getting a bit tired of "club-oriented" music in general.

Kosmishcer Pitch was one of the most hallucinogen-friendly albums of recent times. Do you partake and does the idea of people tripping to your music appeal to you?

Yes, why not?! I discovered electronic music while using drugs. Hallucinogens are helpful for a concentrated listening of music. I'm fine with the idea of taking drugs as a "tool" for a better cognition, but I don't like the idea of taking drugs just for the celebration of being loaded.

Will you be playing anything off the new Tierbeobachtunger, which sounds like an amazing refinement/reduction of Kosmischer's hypnotic drone mantras?

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Yes, Tierbeobachtung is something like a live result of playing Kosmischer Pitch-related loops. Everything is more basic, repetitive. It comes closer to idea of pure drone music. recommended