Finn Johannsen began collecting records in Kiel, Germany, during the late '60s and early '70s. Focus then was on anything danceable from disco, soul, post-punk, and synth pop, and he was quick to find his way into nightlife, spending his formative years dancing in some legendary clubs in Hamburg before beginning his DJ career in the '80s on the Rare Soul circuit. He began honing in on more conventional house after hearing Klaus Stockhausen at a club called Front, but his style, one that prioritizes versatility and fluidity, clearly references his earlier tastes. Johannsen today tours all over Europe, a much loved but under acknowledged artist; meanwhile, he's relocated to Berlin (and once worked in Hard Wax) and now co-runs Macro Recordings alongside Stefan Goldmann, and also writes for numerous print and web-media publications.
Johannsen's XLR8R podcast is exactly what you'd expect: groovy, feel-good tunes seamlessly mixed together. It begins light and easy-going before Johannsen introduces Jitwam's "Stronger," picking up the pace, adding some smooth vocal cuts, before winding it down with some with likes of Glance, Pacific Coliseum, and Larry Heard. "..this time I felt I should do a mix of records I bought this year, and play them like I would do it in a club context," Johannsen explains.
What have you been up to recently?
Spending as much time as possible without music with my wife, daughter, and friends, booking the music for the Berlin club Paloma, buying and playing music there and in other local, national and international clubs, writing about music, and plotting music releases with Stefan Goldmann for our label Macro.
When and where was this mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in one take on the morning of October 11 with some records, two SL-1200MK2s, and an Ecler Smac First mixer, at my flat in Berlin. I am quite busy, so I have to use the time slots as they come.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
I usually use mix requests to record mixes with a certain musical topic, but this time I felt I should do a mix of records I bought this year, and play them like I would do it in a club context. This does not read as particularly exceptional, but for me it is.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
I was not in a peak time mood, so this is either like I would play early in the night, or early in the morning. I selected some record store finds of 2018 and tried to mix them in a sequence that hopefully does not only makes sense to me. I own a lot of records and I am constantly running out of space, so I usually do not purchase any new ones if they do not offer something fresh and original. I try to avoid variations or references of music that I already have. And I am not the kind of DJ who plays tracks of a certain style for too long within a set. This mix should reflect all of that, and I hope it does.
What’s next on the horizon?
If 2019 brings more of what I have been up to recently as mentioned earlier, I am a happy man. And at the moment it already looks very promising. But I am also looking forward to anything wonderful I am not yet expecting.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Hanna "Fading Into"
02. Dam-Funk "In The City"
03. Benedek "Earlyman Dance" (Canyon Version)
04. SW. & SVN "LA-400x"
05. Jitwam "Stronger"
06. Big Zen "Buddons"
07. The Maghreban "Broken"
08. Pépé Bradock "Grandgousier"
09. K15 "Communion"
10. Paris Cesvette "Need You In My Life" feat. Darryl Walker
11. Amp Fiddler "So Sweet" (Louie Vega Remix Only Amp Mix)
12. Floppy Life "Dat Thang"
13. Isoul8 "On My Heart" (KZR Blazed Vocal) ft. Paul Randolph
14. Shinichi Atobe "Heat 1"
15. Ajukaja "Stranger"
16. Hamatsuki "You As Ronnie"
17. Glance "Great White"
18. Pacific Coliseum "Ocean City"
19. Larry Heard "Spy"
20. Joan Biblioni Band "The Boogie" (DJ Sotofett‘s Ultra Vibes Dubtour)
Finn Johannsen recently played at Hunee's 'Postcards from Hunee' residency at London's XOYO.