joushikijin

psychologists | linguists

Ongoing projects

Pandemic chronicles | #001

In one way or another, the coronavirus pandemic has put an extraordinary strain on all of us. For more than a year, most of us have been restricted in the way we live our lives. Celebrating techno culture live seems like a distant memory. Considering the circumstances, it could be perceived as trivial to feel the urge to party. However, embracing these nights is precisely what makes us human. We connect with hundreds or thousands of strangers through a collective goal, getting lost in the music. Being unable to socialise in this way has affected all of our mental health.

As a result, we have decided to collaborate with several artists to bring you a series of techno sets on our SoundCloud page. Each set is accompanied by an interview, which will be published below. The questions are focused on the way the pandemic has affected the artists professionally and personally. We hope these podcasts and interviews will allow people some much-needed distraction from the current madness until the day we can go out and make new memories again.

We start our pandemic chronicles podcast with Bertman. He holds a unique place in our hearts since he was one of the last persons we got to hear perform live. He is the resident DJ of the magnificent Spazio 900, one of the most epic and memorable nightclubs in Roma’s Eur district. He also played during Cosmo’s 2019 Capodanno (New Years) and Cosmo’s 2020 Fuori orario (after party). The latter is one of Rome’s biggest raves, hosting the best lineup of the techno scene. This event alone is worth visiting the city. People from all over the country meet in the capital to spend two nights celebrating the best Italian techno culture has to offer. We thank Luis for taking the time to answer our questions and providing us with a solid set, characterised by its typical Italian flow and smoothness. Listening to it makes us feel melancholic. However, it also allows us to look forward to the near future, celebrating a weekend in Spazio 900, listening to Bertman live again.


joushikijin: How is your mood today?

Bertman: I feel sad. It has been more than one year that I can no longer work to perform in front of my clubbers.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Bertman: Mentally, I’m tired of staying at home on weekends, but I’m very charged as soon as we can get back to normal.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

Bertman: Creating music gives me happiness and the desire to improve and see my productions on Saturday evening appreciated by clubbers.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

Bertman: Boredom, but I took the opportunity to create new music and experiment with new electronic sounds.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Bertman: That family and friends are very important.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

Bertman: Richie Hawtin, a great artist, and music innovator.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

Bertman: Go out for walks. I look forward to the day I can do that without a mask.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

Bertman: Go back to the clubs and have fun all together. 

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

Bertman: Music will never abandon us, especially in difficult moments. I LOVE MUSIC, I LOVE TECHNO!


Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

We thank KØZLØV for taking the time out of his busy schedule and responding to our questions. Unfortunately, he did not have the time to spoil us with a set, which doesn’t affect our love for his work. 🥰 We get much energy from his few available sets and love to indulge in the hard-hitting madness of his tracks. Keep an eye out for his upcoming releases and podcasts.

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

KØZLØV: Generally, I’m fine, even with this pandemic. However, it’s not easy to maintain a good mood every day. I find some different activities to do and still have a social life. Nowadays, I think it’s vital.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

KØZLØV: During the first lockdown, it was not so bad because it was something new. After a few weeks and months, you do the same things at home, so you need to be creative and find something else to do. Basically, ‘creativity’ helped a lot. I’m always trying to do something to give myself purpose. We don’t know when the pandemic will stop, so we need to adapt our lives and adopt a new perspective until we return to normal life.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

KØZLØV: What I love about creating music is the surprise you can have when you make it.  For example, with a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), you would create something in one way. However, in the end, you go in another way, and this feeling is something exciting for me. Sometimes you merely add one instrument, and you can continue your song differently.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

KØZLØV: Definitely not having a social life during the first lockdown. It meant not seeing my friends and family as I normally would.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

KØZLØV: I’ve found that my creativity has no limit. No matter how I feel, I can create music or find something different altogether. For example, going to the gym, learning about electronics or languages … I’m a curious person, and I think I’m thirsty to learn. Ha-ha. 😂

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

KØZLØV: I don’t think an artist inspired me, but I’ve found out about TY, and I really like his music.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

KØZLØV: My second passion after music, the gym. I’ve been doing that for years, and I never get bored with that.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

KØZLØV: To travel like a normal person without PCR test everywhere, basically to live as before and not think about how can I go there, or which rules I need to know …

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

KØZLØV: Yes, many people are surprised when I tell them that I’m not only a DJ. I’m also working during the week and will continue to do so because I love my job. I like to find a healthy balance between the week and the weekend. It allows me to maintain sound mental health.

 

Listen to KØZLØV on SoundCloud or Bandcamp.

We thank Vendex for emerging from the underworld, unmasking himself, and giving unconditional support for our project. 🤘🏽 He was on our playlist for the past year, and we were thrilled when we got the opportunity to collaborate. The result is an epic set, which we love to bits, plus our two-hour-long video interview, which is below as an abridged transcription. There is so much to love about his relentless music but what stands out the most to us is his blend of genres and love for dissonance. We are inspired by his energy in producing so much content consistently and taken by his humble personality, ability to share emotional warmth, and willingness to part with his expertise. We are excited about opportunities to collaborate in the future and confident that our shared passion for Italian culture and literature will allow us to introduce Italian techno lovers to one of the best underground artists. 😈🔥

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

Vendex: My mood today. I am super happy about being in this interview. I am happy most of the time, but sometimes I feel depressed concerning the overall situation, like being unable to anything. Spain is super restrictive right now, with the curfew at 22:00, bars are only open from lunch to 16:00. These kinds of things are a reminder that you can’t do anything. I can’t work doing the thing I love. One month ago I had to work in a gas company because I need to survive. I earned good money, and now I keep continuing with my work producing podcasts. However, the situation is really crazy, but at the same time, I am happy. I try to stay focused and creative, and that’s what I want to show to people. I want to share happiness with the world since I can see much depression in the world right now. Right now, I am happy.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Vendex: We didn’t expect all that. In the beginning, I was like, what is going on. Ok, we stay at home to ensure we safe lives and not contribute to the spread. During the first lockdown, I was ok, since I was working. It became worse later when I realised that I can leave the house, but there is nothing to do. You can only go to work, and that’s about it. Politicians also came up with contradictory rules concerning what you can do and what you can’t do. It is ok that the Metro is full of people going to work, but you can’t go to a nightclub. All these things destroyed my mental health. It felt like the government is taking the piss at all the people working in the nightlife, like in bars, restaurants, and hotels. Like, are you serious? Anyhow, it’s complicated, but I always have hope. I mean, sometimes, I feel low because I want to work or party, but I keep my hopes up and think that it will be very soon. Until then, I keep working from home. I am patient.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

Vendex: It allows me to express my ideas, what I want to represent, what I like to combine. For example, I want to merge metal and techno. I always was a metalhead and previously a singer of a deathcore band. This kind of creativity is possible with music but in other areas as well. My aim is to combine literature, history, occultism, necromancy with my music and stage persona Vendex. Vendex is filled with tropes from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia. It is what I love. I went to university, am a historian. It is my passion, art, literature, and techno. I can combine all of these things. It’s what I want to do most and what I want to create.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

Vendex: The inability for us as an industry, as artists, not working is the harshest for me. My biggest fear was that I will run out of creativity since I cannot expose myself to new stimuli. I need to watch a lot of my favourite series and read books I like or video play games. I was worried this could be the end of Vendex because of not having new inspiration, being subjected to lockdown rules, and only stay at home or work. Anyhow, now, I can outside a little bit more, but before, I was desperate.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Vendex: I was surprised about my resilience. That I turned into a super creative person despite the lockdown. I noticed many artists stopped working. They are not producing, feel depressed, and stopped altogether. I can survive mentally until we are allowed to go outside again. I didn’t expect that my mental health remains mostly unaffected in this situation. I do have periods in which I feel down, but I never crashed completely. Another variable is that I started this project when I was fourteen, and it was always my focus. I think it might be the motivation for my future and the projects that keep me going. I don’t care, one year, two years, I don’t care, I keep working in lockdown. There is no point in looking back. I just keep looking forward. Having said all that, the situation is challenging.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

Vendex: I love Dax J. In the past, I got much inspiration from him, and I Hate Models, but now, not as much as I used to but sometimes. However, nowadays, it is rare that I get inspired by others. Before, I was focused on him and some others, but now, I get inspired by various metal bands. I listen more to metal now than I do to techno. Also, I work with and collaborate with people and get inspiration from them, either directly or indirectly.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

Vendex: I am a freak, and I like playing videogames. I was super excited for Cyberpunk 2077 but was disappointed when it came out. I was thinking, what the fuck did they sell me? It felt like a scam. The game was not only buggy but also did not come with the gameplay mechanics they promised. They said that they would include plenty of features but ended up putting in only twenty per cent or so. Other publishers have similar issues, releasing games too early and fucking up. Anyhow, I love role-playing games like the Witcher, Skyrim, Cyberpunk, Fallout.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

Vendex: I want to play in every country, in every nightclub, festival. I want to rave non-stop. I will enjoy the little things in life, like going to work without a fucking mask. Go to restaurants, bars, whatever I want. I am going to enjoy everything.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

Vendex: First, I want to address the artists. It’s going to be hard, but we are looking at the end of the pandemic. Keep working and stay active because if you procrastinate, you’re gone from the market. Keep working. It’s the only thing we can do right now. Second, I like to appeal to the ravers. Stay strong and do small sensible parties. If the system fucks you, fuck the system, really, fuck them. Now we are starting to have vaccines. The elderly are vaccinated. Go to raves, do illegal raves, enjoy the true techno spirit. I don’t care if I die raving. At least I die happy. I am sure this will trigger a lot of people, but I don’t care. People! Go to houses and organise small raves, small events responsibly. I reckon soon we will be back to normal. Third, this applies to everyone. Myself, I take no drugs apart from techno, and I am going to rave like crazy. But I like people who like to indulge in drugs like alcohol, MDMA, and others to take it easy. Please, guys, rave as fuck but be careful. Take your drugs, but do them responsibly. I don’t want to lose decent people to shitty decisions.

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

We thank HeizÖL for making the time to record this podcast and take our call for the interview. His sets have been part of our work playlist since the beginning of 2021, and we couldn’t do without them. We fell as much in love with his sound as we did with his attitude to the culture he is part of creating. He represents a new generation of artists revitalising the German underground techno scene with hard-hitting, driving, dark sounds. Behind his music stands the idea that techno provides an inclusive, non-judgmental, non-commercial, and safe space for everyone. ✊🏽 He is also part of Dopaminmangel/0815 Techno, which promotes artist from all over Germany. We hope you enjoy this set as much as we do. ♥️


joushikijin: How is your mood today?

HeizÖL: My mood today is like on most days, great. I don’t let anything get me down. I am a person that is generally in a positive mindset. It’s not easy to get me down, and that’s why I tend to be in a good mood.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

HeizÖL: To be honest, everyday life has changed little for me. I was able to work as before. My hours weren’t cut, and there were no restrictions. Not being able to meet with friends is one issue. However, apart from that, I was able to live my life relatively unaffected.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

HeizÖL: I can live out my fantasies, the things I imagine musically. I feel connected with everything when I stand behind the equipment. I feel every beat. The music flows through my body, and I have tunnel vision. It fulfils me.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

HeizÖL: Social distancing, that’s not my thing. I like being close to people. Having to wear a mask and things, I don’t fancy that at all.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

HeizÖL: Sharing time with the person you love most is vital. It’s something that needs to be appreciated since we’re working full-time and seeing each other little. Since the lockdown, we spent many weekends together and spending time together is something we must not lose track of.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

HeizÖL: Most inspired? Not really, if I am honest. I motivate myself. I have this urge to create musically new things, and I already made some tracks. It is something I can realise myself with. Always something new, going further and further.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

HeizÖL: Do-it-yourself work around the house – bringing everything up to date. Well, suddenly, there was more time and disposable income for it – the most beautiful side project.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

HeizÖL: The thing I look forward to most is being able to mingle with others. Like visiting a beer garden for a beer, enjoying the sun and talking to people without a mask or social distancing measures. That is something I miss a lot. In general, us finding a way back to normality. I would also like to meet on the street with three of my friends without being looked at like we’re dangerous criminals.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

HeizÖL: Techno has become somewhat commercial again. I wish this is not the case. Many clubs had to close. After all, they can’t afford the headliners anymore because they are that expensive. It’s an issue that not only affects the techno community but electronic music in general. People like David Guetta make a fortune each gig. It’s obscene. Even worse, he doesn’t play properly. He merely lets some tracks run on autoplay. That’s it. It would be nice if we can return to techno for the love of music and not money or to make a mark for ourselves, that’s something I would appreciate.

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

WNDRLST has dominated our playlist for the past two years. Few people get us going as he does. His dark, all-encompassing, and rich sound give our headphone amps and headphones the workout they deserve. 🎧 He will be part of the first event in a series that we have planned. We thank him for recording the set and taking the time to respond to our questions, sharing with us what moved him over the past few weeks.

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

WNDRLST: I am doing great. The weather is slowly getting better and warmer, and me being a summer person is affecting me positively. Also, now that there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel regarding the pandemic, I slowly gain back more motivation and inspiration for music.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

WNDRLST: At the very beginning, it honestly did not affect me all that much. Of course, there was a short period where everything seemed more dramatic than it actually is, which was worrisome somehow. However, as time went by, that disappeared quickly. The actual effects for me happened somewhere around November/December 2020. My inspiration dropped significantly, and I struggled a lot more to finish new music. On the upside, I think it mostly had a positive effect on me in general. I spent more time with my friends, which was necessary for me as I moved to Hungary around June this year. Aside from that, I also believe it made me value the everyday things that we can do in our regular daily life a lot more now that we see how easily the things we are most used to can be taken away from us.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

WNDRLST: The way I work with producing is basically with a completely blank mind, messing around until I find something that triggers something in me which is totally dependent on the mood I happen to be in – which is one of the main reasons why my spectrum of releases is quite extensive ranging from more emotional tracks to industrial (which by the way I would not describe as aggressive but powerful). Once the project is starting to take shape, I can usually finish the track within hours. That feeling of having such a smooth and easy workflow is, for me, one of the things I love most about producing music. This, however, also goes totally paired with then releasing it, receiving feedback and being able to play it out live in front of a crowd – it’s an almost indescribable feeling to see a crowd love the music I made and that for me never gets old.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

WNDRLST: Not being able to visit my family and friends back in the Netherlands. I haven’t seen them for nearly a year now, which is definitely taking its toll. Also, as previously mentioned, my inspiration and motivation have dropped quite significantly. However, I am doing my best to find new ways to help me put out new music.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

WNDRLST: To be more appreciative of the freedom and amount of options we have in our daily lives. I think it’s quite easy to take that for granted but going through a time like this where we have limitations definitely is eye-opening.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

WNDRLST: Honestly, and this is not meant in any negative way, but no one, really. To be in my most creative mindset, I have to focus on what I do and try not to let myself get influenced by other artists, even when there isn’t a pandemic. However, I am still listening to other artists who are sending me their tracks for promotional purposes!

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

WNDRLST: I had met some great new friends when I moved to Budapest, and have been able to spend quality time with them has been amazing. Also, having been able to explore the city, settling in properly was really nice and chilled. Besides that, I am probably spending way too much time watching series and films on Netflix.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

WNDRLST: First of all, I will travel back to the Netherlands to see my family and friends. I miss them a lot. Secondly, of course, getting back on the road again and catching up on all the gigs that we all missed so much. Things have still moved forward throughout the pandemic, luckily, and there are some amazing things on the horizon, which I am really eager to announce, but it has to wait for now.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

WNDRLST: Hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will see each other very soon. ♥️

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

JAPAU has found his way into our playlist in early 2021 by leaving a cheeky comment on a WNDRLST set. Since then, he has dominated our playlist, and his mad sets have given structure to our long workdays. He was the first artist we heard that managed 150 bpm or more without sounding like a lunatic at the peak of his amphetamine binge. His label PA•RA•DO•XON, was one of the first we reached out to, and we are thrilled that he has agreed to contribute to our project. He will be part of the first event in a series that we have planned. We would also like to thank him for always being there for us when we have technical questions, treating us with kindness, and embracing our madness. We hope you enjoy his set as much as we do. 🔥😈♥️⛓

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

JAPAU: I’m stressed out today because of my work, and every Thursday, I also go to evening school.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

JAPAU: Truly, I would say I’m getting steadily more unhappy, and it’s not getting better.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

JAPAU: The feeling that I can do whatever I want and let my feelings run free.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

JAPAU: That I couldn’t visit my family during Christmas time, every year I visit my parents, but last year I couldn’t, this was shit. Also, my friends and I couldn’t meet each other in bigger groups.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

JAPAU: I don’t have something in mind when you are asking me this.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

JAPAU: I don’t have a special artist in mind, but I would say producer’s and DJ’s from France inspired me the most.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

JAPAU: Graphic design.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

JAPAU: When the pandemic is over, I take my crew and rush to the next club to have a good time.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

JAPAU: I appreciate my little community very much. I can’t stop to thank you all for your comments and direct messages.

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

We have been sitting on this release for several weeks and are incredibly excited to share this set with everyone. Åsger is a young talent from Greece who has our attention for quite some while and has released several high-energy sets and tracks since. He will also be one of the artists we will collaborate with on our live events planned once the pandemic is under control. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this collaboration, a big hug and kiss from Italy, and massive thanks for bringing us some raw Thessaloniki underground techno. 🤗😘🔥😈

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

åsger: I’m feeling great today, full of energy and good vibes.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

åsger: Since the start of the pandemic in Europe, I have stayed focused on producing music and recording podcast for several projects, so my mental health is excellent. I don’t let anything from the outside affect me.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

åsger: I love the ability to express my feelings through my music, from anger to other emotions – I like to tell a story.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

åsger: Nothing in particular.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

åsger: Due to pandemic-related restrictions, I have started to value people close to me,  family, and good friends more than before.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

åsger: I have many producers on my mind. However, in the last months, my good friends Kosmâss and Endlec inspired me with their non-stop exploration of music and production skills to do the same.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

åsger: To be able to go kickboxing, but also to cut wood and construct new things again.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

åsger: When pandemic is over? There is only one thing in my mind, get back in the clubs and get wasted as fuck.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

åsger: Music has no boundaries. Stay safe and sound.

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

This week, we present you a unique gem from Paris. 💎 We got to know Substencia and her incredibly dark, spacious, and mature sound through a close friend of ours. The two collaborated recently, Substencia creating the eery track and Dothy Moroders creating a mind-boggling visual experience. Sestra Records released Ice Foxes, and HATE published the video on YouTube. We started listening to her music and were in love with her sound immediately. We are thrilled that she made the time for the interview and creating this playful and well-curated set, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 🪐♥️💫

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

Substencia: Great!

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Substencia: I’ve got a non-music related full-time job, so I have this chance to not be entirely affected by this pandemic. But I must tell that I’ve been through some challenging moments since the beginning of this shit. Taking our freedom, thinking that the governments are deciding what we do when we go out, who we meet … It’s kind of freaky. This kind of thought makes me feel bad (like most people) and sometimes takes my motivation out for anything.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

Substencia: Discover how to undress my feelings, explore my old techno/classical roots and try to express all of this through homemade sounds.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

Substencia: To be honest, not so many things compare to others. I’ve found a new apartment; I released a lot of music … The only thing was maybe not to be able to see friends whenever I wanted.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Substencia: Nothing specific comes to mind …

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

Substencia: I think I would say Speedy J. Although he is one of my favourite ever for the past 20 years. However, during the pandemic, he launched several concepts with his Stoor project, particularly his show ‘Knob Twiddlers Hangout’. They feature inspiring artists who really talk about music. Then there are the broadcasted live sets, thanks to the Discord technology, which allows broadcasting two streams synchronised at the same time. The last sessions were with Orphx and Surgeon. Both influenced me significant influence for a long time.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

Substencia: Mostly video games, books, and watching series.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

Substencia: Immersing myself in a giant wall of sound and celebrate.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

Substencia: I hope that the techno scene will be more focused on talent, passion, and celebration than business.

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

Another artist, interview, and set that is dear to our heart – over the past few weeks, HLUNKE has become a stable of our daily playlist. What makes this one unique is that we had much time to exchange apart from working towards the actual goals of the collaboration and get to know one another. There are many shared interests but also other things that connect. We are thrilled that we can share this banger of a set. After the pandemic, we really look forward to party with one of the finest German underground techno community. HLUNKE is also part of Dopaminmangel/0815 Techno, which has also grown close to our hearts. Thanks again for all the love and support from the Rhur area, in particular, for the thoughtful interview.

 

 

HLUNKE: First, dear Lea and Dénis, I like to thank you for the collaboration. I am delighted with every project I can contribute to.

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

HLUNKE: Thank you for asking. Considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I first like to mention that I am physically healthy, and I have nothing to complain about. The good weather has a positive effect on my mood. It’s 24 °C in the shade, which makes it challenging to taint my mood. However, unfortunately, it can’t be ruled out totally. In general, I don’t feel as fit as I would on other days. There were some moments where I wasn’t quite there. I can’t say what’s the cause – I think these days just exist. Good ones and bad ones, most people will be familiar with this. 😂

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

HLUNKE: I can’t say how everyone defines ‘mental health’, but if we’re talking about non-physical one, I am on the right track answering this question adequately. I would say that the pandemic has not really a massive effect on me. Yes, of course, wearing masks, for example, affects my mood. However, up until now, it’s ok since it’s only mandatory when visiting shops and since I tend to spend little time there, I can somewhat live with it. However, I can’t say for how much longer I will cope with this nonsense – with all due respect to other people’s health. That plays directly in the non-stop exposure to pandemic related topics, the continuous noise of figures or new easing or tightening measures. Radio, newspaper, social media, there is no place free of pandemic related news unless one ventures into the forest. It really is annoying. Plus, people force actions on you and throw out any moral values doing so. I think fear is a significant factor, and I can say that, fortunately, I am mostly not affected, at least from physical health-related worry. However, what the future holds for us is more questionable than ever. I can’t say if there are existential fears, but I am thinking about if there is more to come for us in the future. In summary, the pandemic affects my mood only subtly and to a small extent only. For now, I can deal with the coronavirus related measures and make the best out of them.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

HLUNKE: I can’t really say what I love most when making music. Instead, I think it’s an interplay of many things I love. I can leave everyday stress behind me and create something new, which I love. One of the most remarkable experiences is getting real-time feedback when mixing, which shows me if what I’m doing is good or not. I really enjoy getting feedback from a live audience when mixing to hear how they perceive my music. I love venturing to the unknown to combine things that weren’t connected in this way before. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the mixing or track selection contributed to the overall result. Right now, I am trying myself combining melodies. I am a friend of the exceptional – that is a variable that I enjoy very much and integrate into the music creation process. The community is also crucial. The crowd is one of the most vital parts when making music! What would music without the listener and words without ears? The community creates a unique dynamic that permeates the music of many artists. I am delighted whenever I see how music connects people with one another. They are willing to take certain risks, potentially commit crimes to organise a non-commercial party for the community, solely to improve this day for everyone involved. Techno is and remains a sub-culture that was created from the societies filth and rubbish. The lower class itself has birthed and raised this culture. I feel extreme gratitude for being a part of this culture.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

HLUNKE: The most hurtful thing to witness since the beginning of the pandemic was how people attack and be vicious with one another. One side is scared of and has enormous respect for the virus, trying to protect themselves and their peers from getting infected by preventing people from gathering in large crowds. The other side has little respect and is even less scared and stopped paying attention with whom or how they interact with others. That is where I see the conflict. The fear-driven side demands considerate interactions with other people but has zero tolerance if crowds suddenly arise. Presumably, people who feel their liberty are suddenly constrained, but, maybe, these people in groups want to be respected in the same way as those afraid for their health. However, what does reality really look like? Some people feel so threatened about their health that they become offensive and aggressive. I respect the fear of every person and deal with this consciously. However, I don’t understand how people think it is ok to demand to be treated in a specific way but at the same time believe it is legit to treat others without respect. On the other side, the one that is not scared of the virus and is not necessarily in favour of curfews or social distancing, but still meets with others, they are not even asked about their health. However, these people are affected most by the entire situation, and I think their number is increasing. These people are massively restricted and have to face measures for several months, even a year nearly, but there is zero respect for wearing masks in the city or shopping centre, even if they are not affected by the topic. Instead, the government is reprimanded and fining them. People sacrifice so much and not even get the least amount of attention for their desires and perspectives. That is what the fight versus the pandemic symbolises to me! People have been divided.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

HLUNKE: Ufff, I can’t answer this question precisely. We’re struggling with the pandemic for approximately fifteen months now. I probably have learned more during this period than in my entire life before. I am 28 years now and think we learn so much each year. In theory, we are a totally new person every second year. Well, the pandemic goes on for fifteen to twenty-four months. It could be that people see one another after we’re through and don’t recognise each other anymore. 😜 The most striking I learned about myself was presumably ego related. I was fortunate enough to make two happy and one sad ego-related realisation, which provided me with more clarity. I can do much with these newly learned realisations. I work with and try to include them actively in my development. Furthermore, by reading some books, I learned that my childhood influences my adult life. I am aware of these influences now and can do much with this information to learn more about myself and share with others. I like sharing what I learned with my peers and feel happy if they find it useful. It’s predominantly about interpersonal interactions – the exchange of experiences.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

HLUNKE: I have several names to give. Lenzeis, TDOC, Neagles, Thor Adam, N997, Melissa D’Lima, Diazepin, Karl Schwarz, A.B.T. (Anti Bio Tikka), RAbbeAT, Chistiano Michaely, Rorganic, TY, Japau, Mandy Ray, Arsen, Parapher, Brutalismus3000, Nuitsible, Hector … and many more. In my case, there are quite a few. I get inspired by many artists. There is always something from an artist that I can adopt. Each one is unique when it comes to mixing or producing music. There were at least 79 situations where I was listening to something like a crazy transition or techno track pattern that got me going and impressed me. Every artist is creative in another way. I think people just need to engage with the matter long enough to create something unique to them. You don’t recognise these things in yourself until late. Still, as an observer, one can identify inspiring hand movements, ideas, or realisations. It only takes sufficient interest and the ability to listen closely. Once these two requirements are met, it surely doesn’t take long, even as laypeople, to get inspired by every artist.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

HLUNKE: I was lucky enough that mother nature gave me an aptitude for being creative and realising my talent. Ok, it’s not given one-hundred per cent. There is some work involved as well. I was made aware of my creativity on several occasions. People around me know me for it, and, sometimes, my reputation precedes me. I learned to utilise this creativity for art projects. In addition to graffiti, I also focus on tattooing. Graffiti and drawing are both something that I do longer than music. Since the pandemic, my focus is on spraying pictures or drawing templates. In many respects, I compare painting/drawing/spraying with music since there are many overlapping areas. Sometimes I apply the painting approach to the process of making music. Since the pandemic, painting is my favourite activity apart from music. If there were no pandemic, tattooing would also be on the list.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

HLUNKE: For the past fifteen months, the only thing one hears is incidence figures, infection, mask violations, vaccinations. The term pandemic is the primary focus of reporting and the conversation coronavirus. Genuinely, the thing I am looking forward to the most is not talking about this topic anymore. It is the topic that seems to trigger me the most. You can’t go anywhere without having to talk about this topic first. It doesn’t matter if it is at my customer service work, news outlets, social media, parents, close relatives – nowhere is safe anymore. 🤣 In any case, I look forward to meeting new people, make contacts, attend events, and go fucking wild. I am sure this question often gets a similar response 😂 since everyone longs for normality. Many people, in particular, the rave community, wants to meet and dance in an ecstatic state. I miss this unimaginably, as organiser, artist, and guest. 😊

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

HLUNKE: I thank every listener and follower of our and my projects and feel grateful for the support. It is crucial to stick together – support one another. Times can be even more challenging. Love goes to everyone out there. I also like to thank Lea and Dénis for this collaboration opportunity and be part of this project. That’s it. I wish you only the best. With kind regards from the heart of the Ruhr area. HLUNKE79 aka Niklas

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

We have to say, ten out of ten, no question, the funniest interview we had. Jason and Tim got our attention at the very start of our project, and we love their dark and room-filling sound. The interview gave us a detailed and honest insight into what makes up TRUXX, and we love it. They are two incredibly witty, hard-working, and talented artists with big hearts. The interview also made us reminiscent of our university time in Maastricht. Thus, we look forward to the post-pandemic days where the two will spoil us to some of the wildest Amsterdam house parties. We hope you will enjoy the set, and please make sure to check out the interview to brighten up your day.

 

joushikijin: How is your mood today?

Jason: Eight out of ten, I am pretty satisfied. I think primarily because I was outside today. I am working all day from home at the same spot we have this interview right now. I think I spent around eighty per cent of my time during the week I am here, so being outside felt great. I went to Amsterdam centre by train, and I went to an island by boat, which felt really lovely, so a solid eight out of ten from me. 😄

Tim: My whole day was a four out of ten. I didn’t like my work today, I was annoyed at everything, but now it is a solid ten out of ten because now I am doing the music thing, and that is what I like. Working in a shop, Nah, that’s not it. I need to earn some money, but I don’t do it because I want it. During the day I was bored, but now I feel happy.

Jason: I would like to change my score to a ten because I am doing an interview with an Irish guy who lives in Italy. That’s awesome.

Tim: It’s eleven. Let’s call it eleven out of ten for this moment.

joushikijin: How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Jason: I think in the first month or two, like March 2020, I was super excited. ‘Yes, I am going to work from home, the best thing ever. In April, I had a few rough days, just sitting here and doing my work. At some stages, I was just staring out of the window and thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing. I was asking myself if I don’t do this job, would anything change? I did not really see the purpose of my work, what I was doing. I had some down days after that, but since the summer, I got used to working from home, just doing my thing, getting into a flow. I also had to learn how to allocate time for work and personal shit, so I just stopped working at 17:00. I just stopped, even if there was still something left to do. I can do this tomorrow. A few months back, I thought my work doesn’t matter, and now, it still doesn’t matter. 😂 So, the first few months were hard, but after that, I got my vibe going, and it wasn’t that bad. We still had plenty of time to see one another and other friends. It wasn’t that bad.

Tim: When the pandemic started, I worked at the airport, at a car rental. However, flights soon stopped, and I lost my job, it was hard, and I was afraid I wouldn’t get another job, but after one month, I found a new one. After that, it was fine. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was still able to play field hockey, go to the gym, but now I feel bored a little. I don’t really like my job, it’s okay, but I don’t get a lot of energy. Now, it’s beginning to get a little bit more open, so I can play hockey again, but the last three month’s I didn’t play hockey, I didn’t go to the gym. Going to the Radio, where we have a weekly show, was the highlight of the week. The rest of the days, we’re boring, work, home, work, home, work home. Every day was just the same, tedious, repetitive.

Jason: The pandemic was also a wake-up call to focus on our studies as sound engineers next year. I am not sure if I would have gone for it if life would have been normal.

Tim: Yes, exactly. During the pandemic, we got our own radio show. As mentioned, when the pandemic started, I was employed at the airport, which required me to work shifts at different times of the day. Still, now my work is during regular office hours, which allows me to do the radio show. Because I am bored, I have time to contemplate and think, ‘Is this the job I want to do the rest of my life?’, and it is a big no. It opened my eyes to do something else. I look forward to doing something I really like, and that’s making music.

Jason: I think it’s a solid ten out of ten again.

Tim: Life itself during the pandemic is boring, but I look forward to the future.

joushikijin: What do you love most about creating music?

Jason: Getting my vibe out, getting my creative mind to do something out of my head. Since I can’t really draw and really love techno, it was easy to use music to express my creativity. Right now, I love most about techno when I can use a sequencer and create strange alien-like sounds, pressing randomly on the sequencer, again and again, until something pops out. I just love it. Getting a trance vibe, a kick, 136 bpm, just go for it, and when I sit there, bumping with my head, that’s the moment when I know it’s good. The most important thing for me is not knowing what I make when I start until I get something and start bumping my head. That’s when I am happy with my life.

Tim: I think the same applies to me. I also like the freedom. I am not limited by someone telling me what I can or cannot do. Instead, I can do whatever I want, 160 bpm, I can do that, if I want strange sounds, I can do that. I am making my own music.

Jason: Yes, doing what you want to do is also a good part of making music.

Tim: As long as it sounds good and people like it, even if it is just a single person who likes your sound, it’s good enough for me. It’s also grand if you’re the only person happy with it. In the end, you make the music for yourself, and if people like the music you like yourself, then everything is good.

joushikijin: What have you been struggling with the most during the pandemic?

Jason: The future, as mentioned before, during the second month of the pandemic, I felt down, not really knowing what to do with my work. I still don’t know what to do workwise, but less now since I decided to study becoming a sound engineer next year. Coincidently, this morning I talked to my boss, requesting to work fewer hours. They agreed and were supportive of it. What was the question again? 😂

Tim: 😂🤣

Jason: It’s all ten out of ten, a solid ten. 😂 I was worried that I would not have a decent future ahead of me since I don’t want to continue with the work I’m currently doing. Some days, everything is okay. You work with colleagues, you work with people, you see them on the screen. However, sometimes they’re many appointments, and I’m just sitting here, watching the screen, and I don’t feel anything about it. There is no passion for the work being done. Working in the music industry, it doesn’t really matter what I’m working at. There is a motivation, doing something you love, something close to you, that also helps other people. I think I struggled most with having a job that does not mean much to me. That doesn’t seem to pursue a goal.

Tim: It’s similar for me. I like electronics, that’s why I choose to work in an electronics store. I just don’t care about other people’s opinion, like when they complain after having bought a television, and delivery takes two days longer. What the hell, it’s about television, they can wait two days. You can’t tell them and must be nice to them that everything will be fine. 😵‍💫 I don’t like people complaining about useless stuff. I can deal with one person complaining, but yeah, that’s just a bit much when five do it in a row. It’s just a waste of time. Anyhow, that’s the biggest struggle I must deal with in my job.

Jason: In everyday life, there are so many distractions. You get distracted by the thought that you don’t want to do this for the rest of your life.

Tim: Exactly.

Jason: There are many things I like to do besides my job.

Tim: Before the pandemic, you just worked, went home, meet with a friend to eat out, go to a bar, club, or the beach, but now, it’s just staying home, watching television, drink some beer, and thinking about how bored I am. I don’t want to live another 80 boring years like this.

joushikijin: What new thing have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Jason: (Pauses) Yes, the epiphany of wanting to something different with my life. I think that’s it. I had time to think about life and make a decision that makes you happy instead of merely trying to make you happy.

Tim: It’s the same for me. (Talking Dutch) It’s about political choices. It’s about life, what is life for people. People are struggling with the consequences of the pandemic all around the world, and most countries are lacking any fucking sense. They are much poorer off, like countries in South America or the African continent. It’s strange since, to me, everybody is the same, but that’s not how the world is treating one another. Things are incredibly unfair around the globe. Nature and our environment are treated poorly. The pandemic has opened my eyes to the current state of the world and how things need to change. I had more time to think about things instead of doing stuff, and we need to change. It’s just the way things are currently organised.

joushikijin: Can you name us the artist that has inspired you the most during the pandemic?

Jason: Maybe not inspired, but it is the artists I was listening to the most and enjoying his fantastic tutorials – Yan Cook. 😂

Tim: Yan Cook, I would have guessed that. 😂

Jason: He is a Ukrainian guy. I think he only does live sets. It’s dark and fast pounding techno and bleak. When I listen to it, I imagine I should be in a Berlin basement six stories underground.

Tim: I don’t think I have one artist that inspired me the most. I think it’s more like a vibe. A similar vibe to the podcast we created for you guys. It’s not fast and heavy techno, but dark, bleak, and strange baselines that change a little, but more minimal dark techno. Not one artist but a sound style.

Jason: I think there are also one or two Yan Cook tracks in the mix. They are coming at a later stage, during the faster part.

joushikijin: Since the pandemic, what has been your most favourite non-music-related thing to do?

Jason: (Silence) I think, being together with friends, just socialising with people. I mean, we see each other often, sometimes it’s just the gang together on a Sunday, having dinner together at someone’s home, and I look around and think to myself ‘This is nice’. It’s just happy with each other. I just sit right here (pointing on the chair he sits on) and work. 😂

Tim: 😂

Jason: I think it’s nice because my girlfriend is also living here, and it’s nice to have someone around. Just going out with your friends, being together, having a laugh. I think that is the thing I enjoyed the most, besides music.

Tim: It’s the same for me. Apart from music, I like gaming, but I enjoyed gaming before the pandemic, which hasn’t changed. Before the pandemic, going out with friend was part of everyday life, but now, I realised, going out is not something that we can take for granted. Now we must follow the curfew, and going out with friends are the highlights of the pandemic.

Jason: We started to appreciate it more.

Tim: Exactly, we much more appreciate the time we have outside. That’s the good part.

joushikijin: Once the pandemic is over, what are you looking forward to the most?

Jason: The first thing that comes to mind. Last year, we bought tickets for Awakenings.

Tim: 😁

Jason: I just want to be there, on a fucking massive festival. I don’t care if it is commercial or whatever. I just want to be there and go fucking mental, listen to whatever artists are playing.

Tim: I also want to go out and do the thing I like to do without being restricted like we are now. Suppose I came home from work and decided to go to a restaurant. In that case, I will be delighted to do that without thinking of the pandemic related restrictions.

Jason: The simple things in life. 😄

Tim: Yes, the simple things in life. 😄 Basic things, like just being able to go to the gym without thinking about if I can or not, without having to check the schedule if they are full or not, having to wait for two days. Nah. 😣 I don’t like having things complicated. I just want to be able to go straight to the gym if I feel like it.

joushikijin: Is there something else on your mind you would like to share with the techno community?

Jason: 😂 Follow us on SoundCloud.

Tim: 🤣

Jason: Oh yes, buy our demo, €20, special price just for you. Ten out of ten. 🙌🏽 Rated by two people. 😂

Tim: Listen to our radio show (Dutch only). 😁

Jason: Once we can come together again, appreciate each other more. I think most people on festivals are doing so, being on MDMA or whatever. Besides that, I don’t really have an emotional message for everyone now. 😂

Tim: Just enjoy the music. Look beyond the top ten techno artists. Go to festivals and listen to artists you don’t know and see if you like it. Most music that people are remarkable in one way or another, but not many people are aware of them. If you can listen to unknown people, do so, sometimes it can be mind-blowing. Maybe you don’t like it, but at least you tried. Going to see the same artist all the time is boring as hell, it’s always the same, and they all play each other’s music, so every set will be the same. Go the experimental way and check out people you haven’t seen before. This way, you might enjoy partying even more.

 

Visit our SoundCloud page to enjoy his set.

Write us ♥️

techno@joushikijin.net

Upcoming projects

Resident series | #002

Exciting news coming Q2 2021.

Underground techno – Made in Germany | #003

Exciting news coming Q1 2022.

Upcoming events

Q4 2021

Safety is our priority! We are currently organising an event towards the end of this year. Right now, most of Europe is struggling with coronavirus restrictions, and there are many unanswered questions. However, we hope to have specific information by the end of this summer.

In the meantime, please support your favourite artists by buying their releases from sites like Bandcamp. Alternatively, see if they sell merchandise on their official websites.

Below is the lineup for the night. Stay safe! 😷

“Mi manchi come un concerto.”

Our approach

We are two psychologists who collaborate with others to work towards a sounder techno culture. We use TEC₁₁H₁₅NO₂ to promote equality, address mental health issues, and educate on safe drug use.

We set boundaries

We ensure that everyone’s boundaries are established and respected. Our priority is to provide a secure and comfortable work environment. Each person has a clearly defined role, and we assure that everyone knows what it is.

We are inclusive

We have zero-fucking-tolerance for intolerance and don’t accept sexism, racism, or any other form of discrimination at our events. This policy applies to the people we collaborate with, as well as our guests. We want everyone to enjoy a safe evening with us, regardless of physique, orientation, or preferences. We celebrate diversity and provide a judgement-free environment.

We share the loot

We don’t organise events to become wealthy. That is why, after each event, we split the profits with all workers equally, regardless of their function. We see it as our social responsibility to disrupt the traditional capitalist approach to event management, introducing a more responsible, sustainable, and anarchist way.

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