Interview: Hannes Bieger

German born DJ and producer Hannes Bieger has released his music on record labels like Pokerflat Recordings, Bedrock, Flying Circus, and now Davide Squillace’s This And That Lab.

The latter mentioned outing brings his new Tharsis / Elysium EP, a four track record that combines the two original titles with excellent remix work from both Rodriguez Jr. and Alfa Romero.

We spoke with Bieger about the release, what other labels he might be releasing on, his forthcoming tour schedule and more. Grab the full discussion below.

Hello Hannes, how are things right now? Enjoying the colder nights now that summer is over?

Well, living in Berlin, the summers can never last long enough for me. At least now you don’t feel as guilty anymore spending long hours at the studio because it’s cold and rainy outside. They say there’s so much music coming out of Berlin because people just barricade themselves in their studios during the long cold winter months.

But I can’t complain, I’ve been super busy this year so far, even over the summer. I have produced a full album and several EPs, so I guess I should try and ride this wave as long as it will carry me.

You’re about to release your Tharsis / Elysium EP with David Squillace’s This And That Lab, how was the production process on this one?

Elysium was the last track I made in 2018, and the first one I produced after I got my vintage ARP 2600 synth. That’s why it relies heavily on the big, bold, pulsating bassline – it’s the three ARP oscillators in all their glory. Being the last one I made last year it was also the only one I could carry over to this year.

Tharsis on the other hand was the first track I made this year – directly after I returned from a 6 week tour all across South America in January. I think you can hear some of those rhythmic influences in the track. In a way it nods towards Strato, my first release on Poker Flat, but it takes things a bit further, with a heavier, more pumping groove. But the latin rhythms, which you can find in pretty much all of my tracks, are more prominent here than in some of my other work.

These two tracks also mark a paradigm shift in the way I approach the arrangement of a track. Before them, I was starting with a short initial loop that I was refining a lot before laying down the full track. With these two tracks I started working with the full length arrangement from the beginning, and this technique allows me to achieve better, more organic results much faster. So, in a way, production wise, this EP really is a turning point for me.

And it includes remixes from Alfa Romero and Rodriguez Jr., what did you think of the remixes when they first came back?

You can’t imagine the anticipation, the excitement I felt before finally getting to hear them! I think the whole package is very strong, while offering different directions. Rodriguez Jr. also lately got an ARP 2600, and he used it a lot on his remix, which explains the big bold synth sounds on this version as well. I like his remix just as much as my original, and I love his approach to it – not using so many of my original recordings, but using the melodies, the composition, and playing them through his synths. Alfa Romero finally rounds out the EP with a beautiful, deeper, more trippy cut with all these drum fills, which I’m sure will work really well in the club, too.

Other labels you have released with include Poker Flat, Aeon and Bedrock, can you share any plans for new labels that might be coming to the list?

There are a few things I can’t talk about just yet. But my probably biggest release next year I have already finished, and I have already talked about it here and there: I will release my first full length album as Hannes Bieger on Awesome Soundwave, a fairly new label founded and run by Carl Cox and Christopher Coe. They’ve had an amazing run this year with incredible releases, and I am very happy that I am now becoming a part of this family as well. The album is a bit different from my current releases, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.

And is there a label that you would love to release on that hasn’t quite came to be yet?

Oh, there’s always something new and exciting around the corner. I am looking forward to finding out where this journey will take me, and if all goes well there might even be a few surprises, time will tell!

What about gigs, what coming dates have you most excited?

I am now heading to Amsterdam for ADE, and this is a major excitement for me, as I will play three shows. First the Bedrock showcase alongside John Digweed, Booka Shade and Quivver, then I am playing my Awakenings debut with Carl Cox and our Awesome Soundwave tribe taking over Warehouse Elementenstraat, and finally Beatfreak have invited me to play their label showcase as well.

The cherry on the cake will be a panel Stephan Bodzin and I will be doing together with Moog, where we will speak about the way we are creating live techno with our synthesizers. It’s going to the an intense and busy week for sure!

Before we wrap things up, is there anything you would like mention?

It feels like time is running fast these days, with so many exciting new things and new developments on the horizon. But I think it’s important to pause as well, to enjoy the present, the moment – and in this moment I have an amazing EP out on This And That. I would like to thank everyone involved, Davide Squillace, the label, the remixers for the love and the work they have put into this project. It means a lot!

Hannes Bieger’s Tharsis / Elysium EP is out now on This And That Lab.