Named by many as a source of inspiration, Jeroen Search embodies a clear and honest interpretation of techno. His tracks, while audibly open to new and exciting musical influences, always remain true to that typical, inimitable 'Search'-sound. He has seen little to no need to completely reinvent himself at any stage as most, if not all, of his work communicates itself with great ease due to its truly timeless nature.
Starting out in 1993 under the DJ Groovehead alias with one of the first releases on X-Trax Records, Jeroen has so far put out his music on many respected labels such as Figure SPC, M_Rec LTD, Traut, Coincidence Records and A&S, the latter he co-owns with friend and colleague Dimi Angélis. One of his personal highlights has been the ability to do two releases on Jeff Mills’ Axis/6277 label, one solo (New Reality EP) and one as Counterpart (The Martian Mystique).
Jeroen’s approach to music production is an unorthodox one; he records all his tracks in a single take and does all his editing live. Constantly pushing his creativity by trying to get the most out of a minimal setup Jeroen remains active in the studio and he now has new releases lined up on Sect, Affin and Gynoid Audio.
Jeroen Search live, which he debuted at Berghain in 2009, is more than just an excellent showcase of his work. It’s a journey through the vast landscape of techno, with an expert storyteller at the helm. When booked for a DJ-set, Jeroen always aims to show a unique and alternate side of himself as an artist; bringing along some gems that other DJ’s may have overlooked or under appreciated, a Search DJ-set is bound to be something special.
Hi Jeroen. What have you been up to recently?
Hey! I have been up to a lot of things recently, finished 2 solo releases (one for Figure SPC and one for Decoy), did some remixes, playing some nice gigs last months, working on an album (with Dimi), so it has been busy, but good!
How did you witness the evolution of techno music in the UK during the mid-90’s? Do you get nostalgic looking back at the unstoppable energy of this era?
I witnessed the evolution of techno music in general (so also UK) during the mid-90's, and yeah those days were fantastic.. indeed an unstoppable energy that time, lots and lots of things were “new and fresh”... it was just wild.. I don't want to sound too nostalgic but for some reason I don't think it will ever “feel” the same like it did back then. Remembering the Friday afternoons hanging out in the record store waiting for fresh vinyl coming in was just great..
What have been some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed putting out records since you first did in 93 under the DJ Groovehead on X-Trax Records?
The biggest change I think is that it's going faster now, way too many releases each week. Also technology has improved so it's easier to make tracks. I don't want to say this is something bad, it's just different than in the “early days”.I really like the fact that there is more and more released on vinyl again. As an artist I want to have a physical copy of the releases I do, so it's great to see increase in vinyl releases.
Where do you think the techno scene stands in the UK today?
I think the techno scene is still healthy in UK, good music is coming from your side.
Can you tell us some more about your approach to music production? We heard you record all your tracks in a single take with all your own live editing.
Yes, that's true, I record all track live in a single take. It's just the way I learned myself to do it this way, it's all about capturing the certain emotion of a track at the time I record it. It feels like freedom doing it this way, no endless staring at a monitor screen and just feeling it instead of programming an entire track in the computer. Tweaking the machines I work with is the most important I gues, and if there are mistakes in it, just let them be. Sometimes I do little editing afterwards to make it fit for a release (cutting off the beginning or end of track), but that's all I do.
How much time do you spend in the studio? How do you amp yourself up for creating one off pieces of music? What gets your creative juices flowing?
I spend just enough time in the studio to make it work out, but I wish I could have more studio time. Just balancing between family, work and music. When I just started producing it was all I could think of, spending days and days in the studio, but at some point I found out it was not good for creativity. So now it's less studio time but more (way more) quality time when I'm working on music.
Do you ever feel like you want to try a different method to your production to keep challenging yourself?
Sometimes I feel like chaning my way of production but for some reason I always stick to the same, just because it feels better. And to be honest I really don't know how to produce a track completely with a computer.
Tell us about your label Search and A&S which you co-own with friend and colleague Dimi Angélis? How do you manage your time between the two staples and what is the ethos behind them?
Well my own label Search I had from 1996-2000 and really I enjoyed that period, discovering the production techniques in the studio and trying to do only music I really liked regardless of popularity. But unfortunately it came to an end. Since last year Dimi and I started A&S which has basicly the same idea behind it, just music we like and we got a bit tired of sending out demo's and stuff. Again vinyl only, so no digital releases.
We read one of your personal highlights has been the ability to do two releases on Jeff Mills’ Axis/6277 label, one solo (New Reality EP) and one as Counterpart (The Martian Mystique). Tell us about that and what other career highlights you can share with us?
Doing the two releases on Axis/6277 was a personal highlight for sure, I still remember the moment when I got this email from Jeff in which he approved our first Counterpart release, goosebumps all over.. We worked really hard for it so it's great if you can release on a label of someone who you admire so much. Ofcourse there are other highlights as well, I am just happy about all things (releases, gigs) I achieved with my music. I feel blessed all the time for this.
What other techno artists do you feel claim a timeless sound all of their own?
Difficult question, hard to answer. There are just so many good techno artists around.
How are you looking forward to playing live in Room Three for the Bigger Deer Recordings crew on 1st June? What can we expect to hear in your live show? Any teasers of new material?
Really, really looking forward coming over to Fabric and playing live in Room Three, you can expect some serious techno action that night, my set will be a combination of new material. A lot of the music in my liveset hasn't been recorded properly in the studio, all loops and things I made just for my liveset. In between also some track of my upcoming release on Figure SPC, and some already released material but it won't sound the same as the original recordings for sure.
What’s your connection to the BDR crew?
I got connected to Lewis of Bigger Deer by doing a remix for him. Big shout out to him for having me over at the 5 years anniversary party., I'm honoured!
What are you most looking forward to about the rest of this year?
At the moment Dimi and I are working on an album, and it will be different than all other things we did before. Really great working on it, we try to think “out of the box” when we are in my studio working on it, and looking forward to having it released hopefully this year. Futhermore I really look forward to every gig, it's a different experience each time and I am really inspired by that.
Finally for fun, what’s your favourite summer destination and why?
Ha, this year it will be the South of France with my family.
So now I just want to thank you for this interview and hope you enjoy the podcast I did!