Jaelos – Unobtrusive Techno Heritage

Vitraž interviewed the founder of the prominent YouTube techno channel Jaelos.

Techno went viral, years ago, and that fact ain’t break the news. Some of the recognized artists nurtured it for a while, before they abandoned it, going progressive, like it was just a flirt. Some stayed loyal, true, got even more industrial and row, to avoid any identification with the mainstream.

Some went innovative, adding some layers to it, ambiently and instrumentally vise (Varg, PVNV, Isorinne, etc). The vast majority is just generic, on a safe wave of techno as an electronic current pop tool, not punk, like it was way back in time – honest and rebellious.

In all of its randomness, popular demand, where techno lost some of its value and mystique, the real artists became more valuable. There are a few music reserves for creative techno endangered species.

One of them came naturally, unpretentiously, unobtrusive like Jaelos YouTube channel. In places where you can find everything, you seldom find anything. Sayin less is more couldn’t be more fitting.

Lets try to set this right
for the curious.
Jaelos, who, when, how?

Jaelos is a project I started 3y ago. I am 22 years old, living next to Amsterdam, which played a big factor for me when getting into techno. I study commercial economics at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. I am writing my thesis for Het Bimhuis, a jazz theater in Amsterdam. 

I grasped techno when I was 18, by going to venues like Verknipt and Awakenings. In that I was introduced to Len Faki, which at that time didn’t mean a lot honestly. I decided to look for artists myself, that’s when I found artists like Ansome, Keepsakes, and Plukkk. I immediately fell for their sound and got hooked. Parties like Reaktor and Intercell helped me develop my taste even more.

Channel came from passion,
then the artists emerged,
paving the road for the record label.
Give us a timeline glimpse.

When I started my channel I honestly didn’t have the intention to take it as far as I do now. I started uploading tracks I collected from Soundcloud and Bandcamp to YouTube, mainly because these tracks weren’t uploaded. The first 6 months nothing really happened; I barely had subscribers.

All of a sudden It clicked somehow, and I decided to upload more frequently. In the beginning, I started working with the guys from Molekul and Tim Tama, now they have developed into widely acknowledged artists that play all around the world. 

The core of my channel from day one is introducing people to unknown artists and new perspectives. There is a lot of talent out there that people aren’t aware of. Working together with so many artists helped me to build a foundation for my label Jaelos. Now I can reflect my own vision of techno and help artists grow and develop. 

Where is techno at the moment?
Is it still a powerful subculture,
or just a sonic element
in electronic milieu.

Techno has become a genre which appeals to a broader public now. I see it in Amsterdam; new organizations popping up, with the same artistic concept.

I think the commercialization of techno isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the hype comes in waves, and it will eventually die out, but the core of the genre will always remain. It happened to rock as well. For example jumpstyle in the Netherlands was a complete hype for 2 years and then it completely disappeared.

I think techno is becoming way more accepted. Look at the major festivals around the world, more and more techno artists are being featured. Coachella; one of the biggest festivals in the world booked artists like Amelie Lens, Aphex Twin, Charlotte de Witte, and Nina Kravitz. In an EDM oriented country like the US this really shows techno as a genre is more and more accepted by a broader audience. 

Netherlands and rave.
Is there any rave pilgrimage
for which we haven’t heard yet?

The main cities to look for parties in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. I personally think that Amsterdam is the core. When you compare Amsterdam with Paris there are a lot of restrictions here; in the Netherlands, an illegal rave is very unlikely due to legal issues. That’s why Paris sounds so compelling.
Best of 5 current techno artists?

Restive Plaggona, Kas:st, Phase Fatale, Luigi Tozzi, Boston 168. I enjoy all types of techno; deep ambient, acid, industrial and rave. It makes no sense to limit to only one sub-genre. With techno, you can do endlessly dig, finding something good. 

Other music influences? Eclectic as we both are,
we chatted about jazz and hip-hop.
Oxymoron only for those who prefer boxes.
Hip-hop had its transition from an old school beginnings
(NWA, Biggie, 2pac, Nas, Mase)
to the millennium era that brought Kanye West,
Jay Z, 50 Cent, The Game.
Today it is mostly autotuned era,
fashion incorporated street style rap.

Music has always been important to me ever since I got my first iPod at 12. My playlist was always up to date. In high school, I would usually listen to Mac Miller, Curren$y, Kendrick Lamar and Odd Future. Funny enough these artists are still relevant to me and I still enjoy listening to their stuff. 

Hip-hop has evolved into multiple sub-genres. In Hip-hop you have the so-called lyrical rap and “mumble rap” (trap). I love that variety, also seeing lyrical rappers merging into trap style, like Freddie Gibbs. I think when people call the heavily auto-tuned rappers “mumble rap” they do the genre short, artists like Young Thug were really innovative and helped hip-hop to the point where it’s at.

Some people might call it uncreative but I personally love the sound – JID, Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs. It is also fun to see how hip-hop even involved in a more punk style; Zillakami is a perfect example of a punk trap. Really shows how genres go through the phases, both techno and rock have had a punk phase. 

Jazz. Founding and constituent
part of other genres as well.
Any "fresh" recommendations?

Some artists that are worth checking when it comes to jazz/soul are Alfa Mist, Saib, Leon Bridges, Thundercat, Nujabes. Polish beatmaker  Emapea connects jazz, reggae and old school hip-hop beats.

It’s crazy how frequent and consisted he is when it comes to his beat tapes. He drops a lot of music, in different styles and so far there has not been one project of him I didn’t like. I found his music through one of my favorite music channels on YouTube, ElfamosoDemon.

My venue would be Warehouse Elementenstraat. I went to almost every venue in Amsterdam and this has to be my favorite. Openers would depend on what kind of set I would be playing (haha). For a more acidic/ambiance kind of set I would open with this one:

First EP?

For the first EP, I picked 4 artists that in its variety still have a close affinity to the main theme; Acid. I personally love the sound of a 303 so the theme came naturally. 

I wanted the first release to have a close relationship with my channel; not only style wise but also artistically. The artists individually are very talented and with the label, I want to broadcast their talent. Personally, I am very proud of the first release and I think it’s a great kick off.  The second EP is on its way. 

Vitraž is a magazine from Serbia,
where people follow your work.
What do u think about vibrant techno
scene located in eastern Europe, ex-soviet union?

I discovered the techno scene is in Georgia because of the civil protests. Since then I have been following the Georgian scene closely and I have to say I am impressed with the artistic concept behind venues like Bassiani and Khidi.

Those developments also inspired people to make music; Tkivilsaari, Dread and SHNGL showed some talent. After you introduced me to the Serbian scene, I found it ammuzing in the similar way. Club Drugstore has that archaic techno sentiment.