Interview: Joss Ifan

The latest in our series of interviews is a chat with up and coming techno name from London, Joss Ifan.

His music style is based around the raw energy of Berlin techno with the groove of London nightlife. His sounds presented in his debut solo record – EP ‘Idio’ which you can grab on Spotify, Apple Music, Beatport & SoundCloud.

Hello! Thanks for your time! How would you introduce yourself to our audience?

I’m Joss Ifan, a Londoner based in Berlin. My day job is being a Music Supervisor for TV and commercials. Before that I was a session musician. I’ve written pop songs, produced hip-hop records, and this is my first techno project.


How does your creative process start?

For this project I wanted to work completely in the box, using no external instruments or hardware, and not using any samples. Everything you hear on the record is digital synthesis. I wanted to employ these technological restraints to force myself to push the boundaries of how many sounds I could create from scratch using only Ableton and various effects plugins. Pretty much all of the synth sounds were made with Operator.


The reason for this interview is your Idio EP. What can you tell us the idea behind it?

The idea was to write my first techno record. I’ve always been a huge techno fan, but been busy playing in bands and producing other people’s music. I wanted to write a techno record that I myself would want to listen to.


How would you describe the current situation on the global electronic scene?

It’s really sad that the clubbing scene has been mostly shut down. I worry that a lot of the smaller clubs won’t survive the lockdown. Things here in Berlin have started to open up, there are a lot of open air parties happening now fortunately for DJs and event organizers to make some income. I don’t think Berghain will be open for at least another year! I guess a positive outcome of the situation is that a lot more music will have been made.


What is most appealing about Berlin?

Berlin as a city allows people to have more time and energy to be creative. Coming from London, where there is lots of opportunity but you have to work so much to have a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle due to the stresses and high cost of living, it’s refreshing to be in a place that facilitates artists with the time and space to work on their creative endeavors, and be supported by the state even during extraordinary times like these.


How would you describe your sound?

My sound is definitely influenced by music from London. It’s hard and heavy but not necessarily dark and sinister like a lot of Berlin techno. This was a purely unintentional result of my musical upbringing seeping into the production style. I’ve always listened to lots of garage, grime, and hip hop. It’s also not euphoric and doesn’t sound huge and spacious. It’s quite concentrated.

What’s your opinion on the current live streaming trend among DJs?

I fully appreciate that this is a way for DJs and promoters to support the currently non-existent club scene, and it’s great that people enjoy listening/watching them at home, but personally for me DJs need to be experienced in a club on the best sounding system possible.


What is underground for you?

I would consider ‘underground’ to be any movement on the fringes of the mainstream, any ideology or counter culture that is a contrast to the conventional way of doing thing. Whether that refers to music, art, cinema, or simply opinion is up to anyone.


Do you believe that an artist has to be both producer and a DJ?

Definitely not! I know lots of amazing DJs who only want to focus on playing to crowds, and lots of really talented producers who have no interest in DJing.


What are your top 5 techno tracks at the moment?

This is the new stuff I’ve been playing recently:

Alarm – Against All Logic

Stepping Stone – Nathan Fake

My Only Love (Modeselektor Remix) – Moby

Acid Was My School (Takaaki Itoh Remix) – Robert S (PT)

Bite – Michael Klein

Grab his release HERE.