As one of Europe’s most in-demand mixing engineers Hannes Bieger spent a decade cultivating an untouchable reputation, with an exhaustive client list that includes some of the biggest names in contemporary house and techno. In 2017 Hannes decided to step back into the foreground and return to making his own music again, emboldened by years of studio experience, a renewed zest for production and a lifelong romance with electronic music. Since then he has made quite an impact; picking up a series of releases with highly influential labels, and traveling across Europe and South America to perform live. One of his most recent cuts, ‘Stars’, which dropped on John Digweed’s Bedrock label, hit the No.1 spot in Beatport’s Progressive House chart. An impressive list of achievements in a very short space of time, and it’s just the beginning…
In 2017, after 11 years ago in the world of mixing and mastering, Hannes was at the top of his game, his magic touch making him a popular choice for a variety of world-famous producers. In recent times he has shifted his focused, dedicating his energy to solo productions and crafting an unforgettable live show. Hannes returned to making his own music with his debut EP on Poker Flat in 2017 inspired by the purchase of a coveted Moog modular synth, which reinvigorated his passion for production and inspired him to start performing live.
With an endless stream of case studies passing through his operating table as a mixing engineer, Hannes came to learn exactly what works when it comes to premier dance floor material. Learning key lessons from some of the most talented producers in the game, he has accumulated a huge store of knowledge and skills resulting in a deeply intuitive, ‘less is more’ approach. Placing great importance on this reductive method for his own productions, the results have been impressive, with several key labels signing his music for release. They include his “first” release on Steve Bug’s Poker Flat, the ‘Strato’ EP, which picked up positive feedback across the board, including an ‘8 out of 10’ review in Mixmag. This was followed by ‘La Selva’ on Audiofly’s Flying Circus, an EP which the duo continue to support up until today, plus a follow up to ‘Strato’ on Poker Flat called ‘Tephra’ in June 2018.
Hannes has also remixed Monkey Safari for Hommage Records, dropped a beautiful ambient composition called ‘Birth Of An Island’ on Aeon and has an exclusive track, ‘Mauna Loa’, featured on Bedrock’s huge ‘XX’ compilation celebrating the 20th anniversary of John Digweed’s label. This was followed by his first full release on Bedrock, the ‘Stars’ EP featuring four brand new productions.
In March 2019 Hannes returns to Poker Flat with three dynamite tracks entitled the ‘Chemistry’ EP. The title track typifies Hannes’ approach to production with a simmering build up, ultra fine detail across all the various elements and stirring atmospherics that provoke an emotional response in the listener. Teaming up with Sailor & I, who provides soulful vocals, Hannes delivers another exemplary dance floor bomb. ‘Chemistry’ has a brooding atmosphere, with wistful vocals and crisp percussion. There is also a ‘Dub’ version of the track, with the vocals stripped out and, on the flip, there’s ‘El Fuego’, which is a hard-edged, minimal cut aimed at taking the dance floor into the darkside. A modulated synth forms the main riff of this cut, wriggling and writhing around as the tension fluctuates and Hannes uses his expertise to cultivate a rousing, sensual atmosphere. Hushed vocals whisper ‘soy el fuego’, and this is certainly a very hot piece of music…
Parallel to his production exploits, Hannes has been investing his time and energy into developing his own live show. Over the years he has poured his earnings into collecting a mouthwatering selection of synths. Forming a symbiotic relationship with these machines means the production process always takes place outside the box, with a spirited, physical approach to making music. This technique allows Hannes to have fun while making music, to embrace the physicality of his sounds and immerse himself in the production process, resulting in music that comes straight from his heart and soul.
This same process is applied to his live show, bringing the studio on the road with him, making zero sacrifice in terms of quality to present audiences with a live performance on high quality equipment. His set up includes a Moog Sub 37, DSI Prophet-6 and a UA Apollo 8 all played through an SSL board, reinforcing Hannes’ belief that there should be no cutting corners when it comes to live shows. His debut at IPSE, on 11th August 2018 in Berlin, went down a storm, and the hour-long performance gave Hannes a huge confidence boost. Since then he’s traveled across Europe and South America with his remarkable collection of machines, promising to deliver a scintillating set at every show. So far, amongst others, he has appeared at Watergate (Berlin), D.Edge (Sao Paulo), The Bow (Buenos Aires), Baum (Bogotá) and Bassick (Quito) plus a spectacular show at the stunning church Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo. Things have come full circle for Hannes, going back to performing live, which is where his musical journey began back when he was a teenager playing in bands.
Proof that dedication to one’s craft and an uncompromising focus on quality over quantity can provide the perfect foundation to a lifetime of success, Hannes Bieger continues on his quest to keep the levels high and the energy consistent – promoting joy and good vibes every step of the way…
1. Hannes Bieger feat. Francesca Lombardo – A Million Souls
2. Hannes Bieger – Echelon
Release: 29 July 2019
Since his debut EP (‘Stars’) for Bedrock was met with huge critical acclaim at the tail end of last year, the clamour and anticipation for another instalment from Hannes Bieger has reached fever pitch and, at last, the wait is over. The masterful Berlin-based producer returns with an absolute treasure, titled ‘A Million Souls’, featuring the stunning vocals of Francesca Lombardo, and yet another example of his spine-tingling electronic wizardry in the form of ‘Echelon’.
‘A Million Souls’ floats on an utterly hypnotising, pulsating groove as it spawns irresistible acidic hooks before dropping down to unveil and carry the heart-melting voice of Francesca Lombardo. Italian-born and classically trained, Francesca has carved her own defiantly unique path in electronic music, one that represents her multi-disciplinary musical background and transcends the dance floor via an inimitable emotional narrative that she injects into every project she touches as a renowned DJ, live artist, producer, remixer, musician, vocalist and label boss.
Since stepping into the spotlight as an artist in his own right in 2017, having built a career and gained an untouchable reputation as one of Europe’s most in-demand mixing engineers, Hannes Bieger has focused his bounteous energy on producing his own music and creating an unforgettable live show. He has an exceptional talent that cannot be ignored, and his ‘A Million Souls’ collaboration with Francesca Lombardo raises an already high creative bar ever higher.
Completing the package, ‘Echelon’ reverts to an instrumental blueprint, brimming with Hannes Bieger’s contagious energy and highlighting his deft creative skills as it tweaks and remoulds a multitude of acidic motifs into a gloriously spiralling edgy ride – a perfect finale to yet another exceptionally inspired EP.
Q & A’s with Hannes Bieger
What do you want to be known for?
One thing I heard often about my latest release on Bedrock, „A Million Souls“, is that people really seemed to connect emotionally with the song. Although I am mostly producing music for the dance floor these days, I don’t „just“ strive to make beats. I think producing DJ tools is an art form in itself, and I really respect Djs who juggle around 3-4 vinyls simultaneously, blending them to create something completely new on the spot, I mostly aim for something different. I like emotions and musical drama, and I enjoy making tracks that take you on a journey through sound and space, with dynamic twists and turns and a powerful build and release of the tension. Most of my tracks are „more“ than DJ tools in the sense that they are conceived as little musical worlds on their own. They come from the heart, and so many listeners and dancers told me that they reached their hearts as well. This is something very important to me!
Are you working on any new music right now?
I always am! I am only two years into my revived career as a producer and artist, after having focused on client mixing and production at the studio for over ten years. Now it seems I really got into gear again, I have finished something like 15 new tracks this year alone, and there is more stuff pouring out at the moment. I have just finished an album which will be released on Carl Cox’ new label Awesome Soundwave in early 2020, and on top of that I am working on several EPs which will see the light of the day over the next months. These are exciting times and it seems I have never been so creative in my life so far. It seems my current setup of analog synthesizers has really grown on me, especially the modular synths are helping me to channel a lot of creative energy…
Describe the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
With a backgound as a guitarist and band musician Techno did not come naturally to me. I have been working in various genres in the field of electronic music since the 90s, but in the beginning I was more focused on Trip Hop and the likes. The straight bassdrum only came into my life towards the end of the decade, when I moved to Berlin. I used to DJ a lot in my early 20s, but I never played House or Techno, I always focused on Soul, Jazz, Bossa Nova etc. – so one thing I really had to learn is how to build a club track that works well on the dance floor. As a musician with my background you tend to get bored easily when listening to a track at the studio, but time is flying in the club, and you don’t want to confuse people with cluttered arrangements without any focus and directions. This was the toughest thing for me to master, and I am still learning. Now I am recognized for my minimalistic style. I am kind of allergic to unnecessary elements in my arrangements, and I always aim to balance just the right portions of information and open space.
How do you navigate the music industry?
These are interesting times, because social media shifts so much power and momentum away from major label structures and into the hands of the artists. Of course there is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of social media and what it has done to underground music, and I can see both sides. But I like to be independent – of course in a team of like minded partners – and these are good times in that sense. Other than that I think it’s really important to always be yourself, be true to yourself. Better to take the slow and hard way and really grow as an artist, other than pretending to be someone you’re not for fast gains. Integrity shows, and I think it’s the real value out there.
Sometimes you sit in the studio and you have time to work on something and you are not inspired at all. My ideas come to me typically in moments when I don’t have time to work on them, but I like to think I have become quite good at capturing the essence and come back to it at a later time. Inspiration is rare and precious and it’s important to recognize a good musical idea when you are having it. This morning I suddenly had an arpeggio and a bassline in my head when I headed to the studio, but I had to work on a client project. So I quickly captured it with a Rhodes piano sound upon arrival, before focusing on my daily work. Now I can come back to it at any time and I have a starting point for what I believe will be a really good track. „A Million Souls“ I have been dreaming! This has never happened to me before, bit I woke up one Monday morning with the groove, the general feel and the lead synth melody of the track in my head! I sent myself an email from my bed with a couple notes, and luckily I have been able to recover the composition from these notes. I can only hope this will happen again at some point, it really feels like a gift from the universe…
Mixing Engineer, Music Producer and Electronic Music Live Act
Bedrock // Poker Flat // Flying Circus
Love the blog? Try our app!
Vocalstar is the #1 talent platform to discover new artists, and grow audiences on iPhone and iPad. Available on the App Store Learn more