20 years of techno
Beginning with the debut Drumcode 1 released on Planet Rhythm’s record label, Beyer’s production highlights including releases for Plus 8, NovaMute, Cocoon and Soma; remixes of Underworld ‘Push Upstairs’, Morgan ‘Flowerchild’ and Matthew Jonson ‘Marionette’ and a wealth of material on his own Drumcode, Truesoul and MadEye imprints. Something of an obsessive when it comes to creating his own productions the key to understanding the Swede’s studio method can be traced back his formative years. The beating percussive pulse of his music has been at the heart of his musical taste since adopting the role of drummer in a band while at school. By the time he was a young adult he was fully immersed in electronic music. DJing at friends parties, working in the record shop, playing around with samplers and an Atari computer, investing what money he could in better and more equipment; everything was focused on music. This self-drive and dedication has been central to the development of his sound. Self-taught and instinctively creative; the result is an individual style founded on a patient and natural technique that neatly balances impact and innovation.
The development of his own sound can be seen in the maturity of the three record labels Beyer positions at the heart of his operation. A passionate A&R, Beyer has bucked recent trends as Drumcode, Truesoul and Mad Eye go from strength to strength. Established in 1996, Drumcode was and still is about a very clear musical vision. Honest, forward thinking and functional; the label has stayed on its one true course from the outset; providing a consistent home to core artists such as Cari Lekebusch, Pär Grindvik, Jesper Dählback and Joel Mull while creating a platform for the leaders of the techno new-wave; Paul Ritch, Joseph Capriati and Alan Fitzpatrick. Truesoul pushes the boundaries of the accepted norm with forward-thinking music from artists such as; Heiko Laux, Steve Rachmad, Dustin Zahn and Nihad Tule while Mad Eye is where Beyer showcases his more personal and inventive productions.
Beyer’s progressive approach to his craft transcends into the live arena. A natural and accomplished DJ capable of playing across the range of his genre, his sets are characterized by a mesmerizing fluidity that enhances the power and impact of the music he plays; as witnessed on compilations for Fabric, Music Man and Timewarp. Greeted with the knowing expectation reserved for headline acts wherever he plays, Beyer prefers to share the limelight with the acts he supports on his labels. Nowhere is this attitude more evident than at the expanding network of Drumcode parties that are now a regular event across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
Starting 2010 with his remixes of Adam Beyer’s seminal ‘Remainings III’, fans have been spoilt with a steady flow of landmark productions including the release of his debut album ‘Save My Soul’ on home town label Analytic Trail; his chart topping remix of Joey Beltram’s ‘Slice’ reissue; the marathon seven-track ‘Gashouder’ EP for
Drumcode; and a debut on Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 label via Joseph’s ‘Wope’ collaboration with Paco Osuna. It is then no wonder Joseph is content and ready for more success in 2011. Born and raised in the southern Italian city of Caserta, less than 30km from Naples, it was natural for a young, music-loving Capriati to be drawn to the big city to fulfill his musical curiosity. Having grown up on a diet of early hip hop and classic house from the likes of Masters At Work and Todd Terry, Capriati bought his first DJ console at the tender age of 11; cutting his teeth playing to his friends in garages after school. It was not until he was old enough to attend his first techno party that his passion for techno over-shadowed his early musical influences and set in motion the journey that has taken him to the position he is in today. As Joseph himself remembers, “the first time I heard techno was at Old River Park in Naples in 2003. It was a 12 hours party with Dave Clarke, Billy Nasty and Rino Cerrone. I was totally impressed by that sound and something in my mind changed.”
Inspired and energized, Joseph made the leap into production; slaving away on a home PC and hi-fi speakers, honing his skills for three years and eventually creating his first important records like C’est La Vie and Microbiotik which found their way on two of the most influential Neapolitan techno labels; Analytic Trail and Globox Records. From this moment on Joseph was made. What followed was an explosion in Joseph’s profile at home and abroad. Following his first high profile gig at Naples’s infamous 5000 capacity Golden Gate venue in October 2007, Joseph has not looked back; spreading his wings and travelling all over the globe. A highly attractive draw in Holland, Germany, Spain, Eastern Europe has meant regular appearances at Awakenings (Amsterdam), Berghain (Berlin), Row 14 (Barcelona), Cassette (Madrid), Forsage (Kiev), Escape Club (Sofia), Studio Martin (Bucharest) and many more. However, Joseph’s reach goes far beyond Europe. Already established in South America, Joseph has built a strong connection with the crowds at Crobar and Inferno in Argentina and Carnival, Forum and Der Zoo in Columbia. He has played the exclusive WIRE Festival in Tokyo and made guest appearances at Bar 13 and Dos Torres in New York. Not afraid to reach out to the frontiers of electronic music, Joseph has travelled to the less well know techno hotspots like South Africa, Mauritius and Honduras where he has enjoyed some of his most memorable gigs; proud to be part of the development of these emerging scenes.
This clear and decisive change of approach is key to Capriati’s success. Quick to understand the professionalism and determination required in order to carve out a career for himself; Joseph’s passion and conviction is plain to see in the way he has gone about making and playing music. Whether it be having the confidence to release a debut album containing ambient tracks and Drum & Bass; or the discipline and creative freedom displayed to convinced Adam Beyer to release two multiple-track EP’s on his Drumcode label; or the versatility and insightfulness that characterizes Josephs DJ sets and enables him to connect with crowds across Europe, South America, Asia, North America and South Africa. 2010 gig highlights have ranged from warming up Cocoon in Frankfurt with a pitch perfect mix of tech house through to upstaging the entire Drumcode Total event at Berghain in Berlin with an impromptu four-hour back-2-back set with Adam Beyer.
With his path laid out before him and the force of momentum behind him, Joseph Capriati welcomes 2011 with excited anticipation. “I just want to make music or play gigs everyday. It is the most important thing in my life. When I am in the studio or on stage I feel disconnected from the world and I enter another dimension where there is just the music, the people and myself. I could be sick, or be feeling sad about something, but when I’m playing I totally forget everything and this makes me happier. Looking at the people dancing and following my musical trip is an amazing thing. There is nothing better than this for me.” And so the future for Joseph Capriati is simple. Keep on doing what you love and do it with the passion and commitment that has proved so potent a driving force to this point. Confirmed future projects include a remix EP from Joseph’s Save My Soul album as well as more original productions on Drumcode; collaboration projects with exciting acts from the world of techno and a remix for Slam as part of the Soma 20th Anniversary project.