JOEL MULL (SWE)
Before there was EDM and its multiplying sub-genres, there was TECHNO. And at it´s forefront, is Joel Mull. Fueled by a passion that
has become increasingly more defned and tangible over two decades, the Swedish DJ/producer has been an avid pursuer of the
sound from when he was a teenager. In the process, he has become established in techno’s vanguard.
Mull’s introduction to techno came when, as a 16-year-old, he made the pilgrimage to Manchester, UK’s storied Hacienda nightclub,
propelled by his interested in that city’s early ‘90s indie dance scene. He was refused entry to the club for being underage and
ended up in a basement with garbage bag-covered walls, lit by a stroboscope, flled with smoke, and techno blasting. This was
Mull’s frst encounter with the sound. “I had heard acid house, Balearic stuf, but I had a mental thing with techno,” he says. “The
disharmony, the weird sounds, it was so intense. I got really hooked.”
Upon his return to his hometown of Stockholm, Mull’s pursuit of techno led him to dance record shops, techno parties, and the
rave scene, where he immersed himself in the sound. At the same time, he started at an arts high school as a continuation of his
musical upbringing: singing in a boy’s choir from when he was seven years of age where he practiced eight hours a day and
performed every weekend. This was another factor that drew Mull to techno.
“I was very tired of the square way of seeing music and it´s rules,” he says. “What techno did was break rules. You didn’t have to
be a musician in order to create techno. It was another way of making music: sampling, ftering, efects, generating diferent colors.
It made me explore music more, gave me courage to search for diferent methods to combine music. It was, in a certain way,
chaos, and that was attractive to me.”
Befriending likeminded peers, Mull’s brotherly association with another techno stalwart, Adam Beyer, began in high school.
Spending days listening to Beyer’s record collection, it was from him that Mull learned how to DJ. His frst public performance as a
DJ was during the afternoon break at school using the school’s sound system and his own turntables to entertain his classmates.
From here, Mull moved to the second rooms at parties, DJing ambient and chill-out sounds, a good training ground for him when
he was still learning how to beat-match.
Mull’s real education as a DJ came when he moved to Germany in 1994. For the frst six month he was resident at club called
Labor, in the north then becoming the resident at Unit in Hamburg from 1995 to 1998. Here, he played marathon sets lasting 10
hours. He was also the opening and closing DJ for marquee international guest DJs at the club. Playing the gamut from hard techno
to acid, trance, and ambient styles, Mull learned the art of being a DJ. His crafted sets were, and are, mesmerizing; taking their time
to grow, reaching a delayed crescendo that is much more powerful than the instant builds and drops of today’s predictable EDM.
“The way I see DJing is telling a story,” says Mull—who despite the multitude of stamps in his passport makes a point of playing in his
hometown at least six times a year to stay connected to the scene from which he came. “Your identity as a DJ is your way of
telling the story. You have so much power behind the mixer, controlling these frequencies, you can make people forget
everything and just be there in the moment. It’s not about bringing the noise and hands in the air, that instant reaction. For me, it’s
about taking your time to build something, taking the crowd—and yourself—to a diferent place. Techno is about that hypnotizing,
long-spanning journey. It’s where I come from; it’s what I strive toward.”
Mull’s production know-how started and moves at the same pace as his DJing. His initial forays into making techno happened in
Beyer’s fateful bedroom where the two of them and their friends pooled their resources to obtain classic pieces of outboard
gear: a synthesizer and a sampler, which they plugged into Beyer’s mixer and started experimenting. Their trial-and-error eforts
gained them enough recognition to start releasing music on a multitude of labels.
Mull released his frst full-length artist album, Imagination in 2000 on his own label, the defunct Inside. A representation of himself
at the time, Imagination is a personal piece of work whose creation played double duty for Mull by serving as therapy of sorts. He
followed Imagination with The Observer in 2007. The Observer was released on the re-launched Harthouse label, which once
belonged to techno godfather Sven Vath, a major infuence on Mull.
The Observer was developed as a live project and put together like a DJ set with gradual builds and movements similar to what
Mull would perform at a club. His next album, Sensory in 2011, was released on Beyer’s Truesoul label. This musical home gave Mull
the comfort and confdence to really be himself, designing an album geared toward the dancefoor.
More lately he released on labels like Parabel, which he is also part of the label team, Nicole Moudaber’s respected MOOD
imprint, the Dutch Mary go Wild, Leipzig based Distillery records and Sasha’s standard-bearing Last Night On Earth—a particular
badge of honor for Mull who considers Sasha a major inspiration. Not to forget under the alias Gotzkowsky, Mull released the
track Shoulder of Orion, on the Berlin-based label, Dystopian.
“Techno is not as rebellious as when it started,” observes Mull. “People used to not understand music being made with computers
and synthesizers and not ‘real’ instruments. They didn’t consider it music. The kids that went to techno clubs only drank water and
danced their asses of. The clubs couldn’t make money of of them.
He continues, “But techno was always the music of tomorrow. I knew that way back then. The formula of techno is so basic
everyone catches it. At a time when you’re getting bombarded with media and diferent frequencies, techno streamlines
everything, gathering people into one frequency that feels harmonic and united, a feeling of being together.”
PATRICK SIECH (SWE)
Patrick Siech’s process as an electronic music creator could be described with two words: Focus and release. Patrick has built an
entire Eurorack modular system around the philosophy of letting go of the controls and let the randomness of his machines lead
the way. He lets his vast array of music equipment take him on a journey – as much machine soul as possible with just enough
Instead of acting the part of the bold explorer Patrick Siech takes on the roll of the creative travel reporter, carefully listening,
selecting and editing the exceedingly long live takes this approach yields.
The result is a musical body full of life, quirks and unpredictability cleverly organized by Patrick in such a way as to function as a
hypnotic and mind-altering force on any dance foor.
“I believe the entire purpose of the techno genre is to explore and create sounds, beats and settings that take peoples minds
away from reality”, Patrick says. “Combining this with dance and the club setting, you get a very powerful form of escapism”.
To be sure, this is what Patrick Siech has being aiming for from the very start. He begun spinning records in southern Sweden in
the late ‘90s, making a name for himself as a club promoter and skilled DJ.
Almost twenty years later, this close connection and avid respect for the dance foor and its multitude of inhabitants is still at the
very core of Patrick’s enterprise both as a DJ and a producer. To connect with the crowd at an almost primal tribal level, to
create a vibe of togetherness and exclusiveness, to hypnotize and unite all the individuals in the dance foor into one single
collective mind. These are the goals of Patrick Siech.
Patrick released his frst record in 2010 on the classic Drumcode label, which he has returned to several times since. Four years
and three releases later he and Sebastian Mullaert of Minilogue joined forces, releasing Genome I on the even more legendary
M_nus label. While Patrick Siech’s sound certainly has evolved even further since, the combination of minimalistic M_nus and
hardhitting Drumcode states something profound about his music:
It’s aimed at the body and the mind at the same time. Focus and release.
After re-joining Sebastian Mullaert on a very special Drumcode Limited release in 2016, Patrick Siech dropped his second record
on Parabel in 2017, the label and crew to which he’s now primarily connected. 2017 also saw him return once more to the main
foor at Berghain as well as completing an Australian tour.