Let's Talk: Joyhauser

Multiple releases on Monika Kruse’s Terminal M and an outing with Adam Beyer’s Drumcode have put Belgian techno duo Joyhauser in strong standing for the future.

Most recently the pair debuted on Pan-Pot’s Second State with their new 3-track Think People EP, which alongside two originals also includes a great remix from emerging talent Michael Klein.

We spoke to Joyhauser about how the originals came together, what they think of Klein’s edit, whether they plan to launch their own label and more. Get the full discussion below.

You just released your Think People EP on Pan-Pot’s Second State, tell us about the original tracks in your own words?

Normally we incorporate a lot of melodic elements into our tracks, but for Second State we wanted to show the more straight forward techno side of Joyhauser. Think People is all about the drive and energy. The kick drum hits you right in the gut, the main synth sounds like the horn of an oncoming train (it’s actually a pitched down rave stab) and the huge bass growl surprises you just when things are starting to sound a bit too repetitive.

Molly is more about hypnotising the listener. The main chord stab (with loads of delay) really gets you in this trance like state. We sampled some random vocals from a drug prevention video and thought that sounded quite cool with the main vibe of the track. A 303 hook keeps things interesting while we build up to the final break. Then finally, everything breaks loose.

And it also includes a great remix from Michael Klein, did that one live up to your expectations?

We’ve known Michael for quite a while now and we’ve always wanted to do something together. This seemed like the perfect opportunity and we’re really happy with the end result. His remix is the perfect addition to our EP. We’re big fans of Michael’s productions, so we didn’t hesitate one bit when he proposed to do a remix.

We have also seen you release on Terminal M and Drumcode, what do you consider when looking for a label to release with?

Finding the middle ground between the labels sound and your own sound can be a challenging job but the most important thing is to always stay true to your own identity. You need to bring something recognizable in your work. At the same time it’s also an artist’s job to keep innovating and reinventing yourself. Challenging yourself to do this keeps this line of work fun and exciting.

Will you ever launch your own label?

Maybe there will be a Joyhauser label in the future but for now: no. Nowadays it’s easy to start up a label. Maintaining a steady label with quality music: is not. Label bosses choose quantity over quality way too often. There is so much stuff coming out every single day but the percentage of good tracks is just too low unfortunately.

Our main focus right now is producing our own music and; if this Covid mess ever ends; playing DJ sets. Since a few months ago we also have our own radio show on Studio Brussels (national radio) so our time schedule will be pretty full by the time we get back to touring. If we ever start a label, we want to be able to do it right.

As a duo, how do you handle studio sessions and DJ sets?

We’re almost a perfectly complementary duo. Joris is mostly the provider of new music for our DJ sets while Stijn is the one that gets the ideas going in the studio. We’re pretty dynamic however, we always try to be involved in each others’ tasks as much as possible. The end product is always something we both worked hard for. We take account of each others’ opinions and appreciate that. All of this combined is what makes us a really powerful duo.

And on the topic of DJing, it’s been a while since any of us have been able to set foot in a club, what are you looking forward to most about playing to crowds again?

We really miss the energy. The positivity and appreciation of the crowd is something that drives us in the things we do. We can’t wait to be face to face again with our fans and have a good time together. It’s the most beautiful thing about this job and not being able to play right now is really frustrating. We’re trying to stay positive however, when all of this blows over there will be beautiful times and moments waiting for all of us.

What’s one of the biggest lessons that 2020 has taught you?

To be grateful about the things you have, to ban negativity and to see the good and positive in everything. This year has made us realize how much we love this job. Even when things looked really bad, we never gave up and always tried to keep our head up.

And your favourite non-techno track of last year?

Good News by the late Mac Miller. The entire Circles album actually. Great stuff!

Joyhauser’s Think People EP is out now on Second State.