Johannes Heil

It was meditativeness, fantasy and individuality which have always been part of Johannes Heil´s productions. It is not only the music which stands in the foreground for Johannes Heil, but also the integration of strong words and images - always different and mystical, against the current and diverse in terms of style. Whether in the vocals or the title techno can by all means have a message as long as it is not forced upon the listener. The kick-off for his career as a producer was the correlation with DJ Heiko Laux, who played techno music far from the big cities in the Kanzleramt bistro in Bad-Nauheim. The small project rapidly expanded and aside the big trends - the Kanzleramt label with its sublabels U-Turn and K2O evolved. Johannes Heil quickly became one of the Kanzleramt headliners with his first solo releases on U-Turn (Der Tod, Die Offenbarung, Per Disciplinum Mea Lux Videbis) and Kanzleramt (P.A.X., Feiern), or together with Heiko Laux as Item One. In any case Johannes Heil was considered to be the hottest newcomer in Germany with his first album Reality To MIDI, which was released in 1998 and made a great impact with its unique sound. The track Paranoid Dancer became a club hit and remains a classic although it was only on the album and was not released as a single until 2002. Hard, brute and hypnotic techno with whirring bass lines, distorted sounds and unobtrusively placed vocal fragments became his trademark. But this was a trademark he was labelled with much too early, because with his second album Illuminate The Planet, which was released in the following year, Johannes Heil broke new ground which no one had expected in this manner. Next to the classical techno tracks such as on Reality to MIDI, break beats, ambient sequences and strong string sounds found their way into the music, carried by the dark, baleful atmosphere of the album title. With its allusion to the conspiracy of the Illuminati striving for world domination, the album title Illuminate The Planet is given a deeper meaning - which the club-orientated Reality to MIDI lacks totally - but which connects with the mystical EPS like Per Disciplinum Mea Lux Videbis (through my tenet you shall see the light) on U-Turn. In all the tracks of the album small parts of a puzzle are found, which can be treated as independent bits of information or assembled to provide various possibilities of interpretation and make the album more than diverse. In the period between Reality to Midi and Illuminate the Planet Johannes Heil releases miscellaneous EPs on labels like Fieber, Parcotic, Kobayashi or Propaganda. A phase in which he plays with different kinds of musical appendages, which can be described as self-discovery process, because his following artistic work on Kanzleramt is more cohesive and presents a previously unreached stage of maturity. The third album Future Primitive, released in 2000, finally closes the circle between the club-orientated Reality to Midi and the meaningful Illuminate the Planet. The indication of a dark future we are heading for, if we continue following our present path, can be sensed in an oppressive way in every single track. Lashing Basses mixed with pulsing grooves, twisted sounds, threatening strings and melodies let the listener sense the visions of the future in every track. However, there is always a slight hope resonating in the music. With Future Primitive Johannes Heil takes the listener on his most emotional journey down to the present day and proves once again, that techno doesnt necessarily have to be dance music. After Future Primitive Johannes Heil begins to set up his own label JH-Records, to publish his future vinyl releases. His first limited single-sided pressing was Die eigene Achse which was later published as a regular release with a remix from Heiko Laux - today a classic in modern techno. After a successful start, three more EPs were released: Isis & Osiris, Die Zahl des Tieres and Die Formel der Liebe. They emphazise Johannes Heil´s fantasy and reflect the creative unity which could be foreseen in previous Kanzleramt releases. The titles of the EPs, as well as the cover-artwork and the music form a whole and altogether represent a unified work of art, which - despite its role as club music - has many more diverted ways of creating perception. In March 2002, the fourth album with an unexpected change and the short title Heilstyle is released on Kanzleramt and JH. Heilstyle goes back to the roots of a true club-album, which is reflected in the minimalism of the cover art work. Raw techno at the pulse of time and also a refurbishment of Johannes Heil´s musical development in the past. In April Paranoid Dancer is published as an EP and CD-single for the first time. Next to the remastered original, several remixes from Aleksander Kowalski, Heiko Laux and DJ Hell (assisted by Johannes Heil) can be found there. Yet another thankyou to all the DJs and Club visitors, who played his Records and danced to them. The Hitmachine the following EP - released by the end of the year on JH obviously follows the same goal of being absolutely club orientated. The Hitmachine is in some respect the logical consequence of the nearly simultaneously released collaboration-album Across The Nation (Ladomat 2000) and the Single Fire together with the singer-songwriter Simon Wotton under the project name State Of Chaos. Across The Nation is the release with the clearest message so far. It mainly develops upon punk-inspired vocals mixed with electro sounds. A clearly verbalized retaliation with our times, characterised by rebellion and resistance. An open appeal to do the small things in life, which may lead us to a more hopeful future. The things that Johannes Heil always expressed in a subtle way during former releases are now developed into a musical storm together with Simon Wotton in which all their anger, fears and hopes are unleashed. Although it sounds totally different compared to his previous productions, the album is still a typical work of Johannes Heil, which doesnt loose eye contact with clubs and dance floors. The less rebellious side of Johannes Heil is reflected in his album 20.000 Leagues Under The Skin and the single released under the same name in March 2003, once again on Kanzleramt. The album reaches a new emotional level full of love and warmth, but also thoughtful moments, which allow a deep insight into ones own world of emotions - smooth and deep like no other production before. Rich string-sounds, ensembles and dubs are the main elements and through this Johannes Heil brings his personal definition of techno to a new level - far away from the functionality of music as a DJ tool listening and experiencing the music is the essential intention. 20.000 Leagues Under The Skin is also a clear statement

Read more