As a techno lover, I find myself navigating from the old to the new and back again. Both interpretations of the genre seem to have their own sound, the older being more gritty and organic while the newer is more themed and technical. Today I would like to share with you the old – an artist named Speedy J, a veteran techno pioneer from the early 90’s, who recently grabbed my attention in big way. Jochem Paap, considered one of the first techno producers from the Rotterdam area, helped raise the genre along with people like Laurent Garnier, Aphex Twin and Richie Hawtin. He received his nickname “Speedy J” by his DJ skills. Resident Advisor describes him as a “sound wizard who exchanges flowing, harmonious techno with a much more complex sound, filled with colliding samples, crackling rhythms, and tremendous thrilling turns.” This I think is a perfect description of his sound. Take a listen to my favorite track of his so far!
Speedy J has not sat back in the 20+ years he’s been producing and performing. Starting in 1994, he was one of the headliners of the FIRST Time Warp in Ludwigshafen, Germany, developing a platform for techno to be a dominating force of the worldwide dance floor. After releasing on labels Plus 8, Warp and Novamute, Jochem took his creative side towards audio-visual projects. He collaborated with many filmmakers and advertisers and released a pioneering FREE DVD, Umfeld, an audio-visual electronic trip that set standards for the audio-visual production involved with electronic music. Here’s a taste of what it looks like!
Speedy J wanted to push the boundaries even further when him and his partner Chris Liebing starting experimenting with Traktor and software like it, performing with four laptops and other hardware, creating a fully integrated set where the abilities of a DJ are truly put to the test. This again set standards to “live” performances by making the mixer into a complex instrument. Here’s what that looks like! Really cool stuff!
It’s truly remarkable to see what Speedy J and artists like him have done for techno and electronic music. They have given the world a broad platform to experiment freely with technology and it’s going to be wonderful to see what the next bright minds will do with it!
Finally, get lost in the last track by Speedy J, “Red Shift”