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Joel Mull: Sound Architect

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Now I also saw that you categorize some tracks as Tech House and the BPM was under 130, Danny Tenaglia says that Techno under 130 can be more bouncy and soulful, now what are your thoughts on this?

I definitely agree and that is the nice thing – the BPM has gone down and you can mix things differently. Just because you say Techno doesn’t mean it has to be 140 BPM or 135 BPM or 126 – it just does not matter. It is the character of the sounds, the fullness, the deepness or whatever. That is what makes Techno for me personally. The BPM is not really so important – obviously it depends where you play – sometimes you go over 130 or you go up to 132 sometimes which is fast. When I began DJing and doing Techno – we were DJing tracks that went 145 or 150 or more. I guess it is just as Danny says – you get the grooves and you get more space between the sounds when the BPM goes slower from 126 to 128 – you have more space between it and you can feel a different rhythm – a tribal rhythm of things. It is funkier in that sense but a fast track can also be funky but you use less sounds to make it the same grooviness. It depends on the flavor and it depends on the night and the energy and the club. It is nice if you can start slow and you go up fast and you go up on the peak and you take it down again.

Personally I don’t like to define genres .

Genres are just for people that don’t really understand. They want to know what it is so a journalist came up with a name of a genre. When I started up it was Techno and it was Rock Music and it was House and that is about it and maybe Breakbeat. Everything is categorized into different genres because people need to have a label on things. Sometimes it is just nice to not have a label – so what if you call it EDM or Techno or House – it doesn’t really matter!

Now you’re playing tonight with Alan Fitzpatrick. Do you have any plans in the future to work more with Alan?

He remixed a track of me and Dustin Zahn. I think we’re probably going to come up with an idea at some point. We haven’t spoken about it but I think it would be fun. Alan is doing his own label as well, ESD I think it is called – it is vinyl only label. There are no plans as of yet but it is a nice idea.

Now I see Output lists Drumcode’s sub-label Truesoul under your name but I don’t see where you’ve released on Truesoul since 2012, do you have any plans on releasing on Truesoul anytime in the future?

Not at the moment. I’m going to focus soon on doing a Drumcode release which is a little bit more Techno than Truesoul. The thing with Truesoul is that it is more open field to release stuff that doesn’t have to be really hard or pumping. So that is the idea behind Truesoul – it could be a bit deeper. At the moment I don’t have any plans for Truesoul but who knows…Adam moves swiftly, when he really likes something and he wants it, he does it. That is the nice thing with Truesoul – if we find something that could fit on the label then we come up with something and then we release it as fast as possible.

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What would you say is the next big step for Joel Mull and Techno music?

My girlfriend Linda is starting her own business called Parabel and we’re working on tracks in the studio together with a really talented Techno producer and DJ named Patrick Siech from South Sweden. He comes up in my studio and we have jam sessions and we’re trying to find a sound that is a little bit deeper but still very electronic – trying to work with synthesizers. The arrangement is a little bit more open and are arranged to play live a little bit more. We played many times together as well and I think we did the 4th gig this summer in August in 2 years. He is a guy to keep an eye on because he has his own flavor and sound. He is a really talented producer. The label is a start-up but nothing is ready yet.

I’m playing at Stereo in Montreal and doing an open to close set and also closing Berghain for the Drumcode party. I’ve done it a bunch of times and it is such a nice thing to do. There is no really limitation on how long you can play.

It is amazing how Berghain has become such an internationally known venue. There is so much publicity regarding the place now. Quite selfishly I’m not sure how I feel about that.

That is once again journalists trying to put a label on what it is. I’ve been playing for them since they were an old school club back in ‘98 called OSTGUT and it was already a very selective door policy. It was a gay club and that is how it started. They wanted to have the right crowds so they didn’t get too mixed up. There is always a certain amount of jealousy when people get a lot of success. There’s always going to be people going “ohh blah blah blah.” But at the end of the day, the people who are behind the clubs like Berghain work every single day.

I played once to 9:45 Monday morning and the owner Michael comes down in the DJ booth and he says, “Oh please Joel, can you just maybe build it down now so we can close the floor? We are starting to work up in the office now.” Then these guys have been working all weekend – so there is this core of people who are working damn hard to create this place that doesn’t really exist anywhere else on the planet. To be honest I’ve been around all over this planet and I’ve played at many many clubs and this place is just a place where – it’s kind of a gate to something else. It’s hard to put a finger on it but it’s an open space where there is no judgment and people really listen to what you are doing there. You can build it longer and you don’t have to reach the peak at the same point where you would in another club for example. The sound in there is also very very well-tuned and there is the mix of the crowd – the people that you don’t see in clubs and people that are in there that love to be there. 

Words: Saxe Coulson

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