The man behind the Joker mask and creator of the “High Tech Minimal”
Germany is characterized for being a hotbed of outstanding artists in the electronic scene. However, not all of them gain as much notoriety as the character of this article. Creator of the “High Tech Minimal” and main figure of the biggest electronic music events, the producer we will talk about today can even boast of filling more stages than record labels or entire festivals. In this article, learn more about Boris Brejcha’s biography.
For some people, the difficult situations they experience at some point can end up being their greatest blessing. Born in Ludwigshafen in 1981, Boris had a difficult childhood. At the age of six, he suffered an accident that left him with some scars, one of them on his face. He was teased at school. This led him to take refuge in music. On a certain day of a certain year in high school, he was given the techno CD “Thunderdome”. From there, it all began. Who one day was an object of ridicule, today is a superstar. And the money he earns, let’s not even talk about it.
Influences and first steps into music
Like so many other producers, his inspirations come from the titans of trance music. In this case, it was Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk. At the age of twelve, the German tried his hand at creating a song through the PS1 video game Music. Soon after, he began to master the drums and piano. With some synthesizers that were given to him along with his computer, Boris began to produce his first tracks. Although these were very different from the ones we know today.
2006 was the beginning of his professional career. And boy, did a lot happen. Autist Records, a Berlin label, became the artist’s first musical home. There, he released the tracks ‘Monster’ and ‘Yellow Kitchen’. It was also the year he made his first performance at an event. His producer at the time told him that his music was being heard in Brazil, which is why he traveled to the South American country and performed at the Universo Paralelo Festival.
Where did the idea of using the famous Venetian mask come from?
Let’s go back to the first festival where Boris played. The festival was taking place right around the time of Brazil’s famous carnivals. Seeking to connect with the local audience but at the same time, to present himself in a different way, the German wore a mask typical of the festivities in Venice, one that would eventually become part of his musical and visual identity and would have several changes to date. You can watch the video above and observe how Boris wears a mask with feathers. Something that today would be strange for many if we would see him wearing.
By 2007, he would release his first album, “Die Maschinen Sind Gestrandet” which was mastered earlier this year. The release at that time was through the Harthouse label, one of the labels of the legend, Sven Väth. That same year, the electronic music magazine Raveline named him “Outstanding Talent 2007”. For 2008, he would continue on Harthouse where the EP “White Snake” and one of his singles that would push him further and that by the way, is one of our favorites: ‘Lost Memory’.
Behind the creation of “High Tech Minimal”
If there is one thing that stands out in Boris Brejcha’s music, it is the style of his music. To this day, the producer creates all the parts of his songs from scratch, he does not use loops or pre-established samples. After several years of not feeling comfortable with the labels they put on his singles, in 2012 he creates the “High Tech Minimal” or as he also calls “the intelligent music of tomorrow”. A style that connects minimal, minimal techno and trance. Although they are also not all at the same time.
It is surprising to this day how many pieces the German has composed. Other songs that stand out from Boris within Harthouse are ‘Picolomini’, ‘James Bond’, ‘Wir Machen Heute’, ‘Schaltzentrale’ and ‘Wolcke 7’. By 2015 and after working for Sven’s label for a long time, Boris decides to found Fckng Serious. And yes, since that year the German would take another big step in his career and apparently release the best materials he had been creating for a long time.
Takeoff from Fckng Serious
The first track on his own label was ‘R U FCKIN SERIOUS’ with his friend Deniz Bul. In addition, it was remixed by who is now part of all his tours, the outstanding Ann Clue. In 2016, would come the anthem ‘Sad But True’ and his renowned album “22”. Some of the singles that resonate from here are ‘Turn Over’ and ‘Moondancer’. Also in 2016, the German would create his own show: Boris Brejcha In Concert, and presented it first in the country that made him take off, Brazil.
For 2017, he would perform another feat. His label would be the first on the scene to do a Europe Bus Tour for 10 shows in 12 days. A year later, Boris’ name would resonate globally with his set at Tomorrowland 2018. And is that his presentation was recorded on YouTube, where to date accumulates more than nearly 80 million plays and daily you can see comments that people everywhere, between new and addicted, praise his music. It is the most viewed set on YT of any performance in the history of Tomorrowland.
Boris’ sets on Cercle have more than 83 million views on YouTube
In large part, Cercle owes part of its popularity to the German. The renowned producer of electronic music sets around the world brought Boris to the Château de Fontainebleau in France in 2017 to play for nearly two hours. The favorite, he repeated the same feat for the label in 2019 now from the Grand Palais in Paris and this year, he did it at the Arènes de Nîmes. If there was one thing that stood out about this last presentation, it was his connection with the audience. He threw and received gifts with his fans. These three sets add to date more than 83 million reproductions on YT.
TimeWarp, Creamfields, Ultra, Tomorrowland, are just some of the many festivals that each year seek to tighten the agenda of the producer and join their respective lineups. And of course, it would be impossible to think of the electronic scene without him. By 2020 the pandemic would arrive, but it would be no obstacle for the creator of dark and addictive melodies. That year he would release his long-awaited album “Space Driver” and sign a contract with Ultra Music, home of the scene’s greatest hits.
The future of music in Boris’ words
2021 and 2022 were years where Boris decided to evolve further, but as a brand. His squeaky duckling wearing the Joker mask became an insignia of his events. He offers them at most of his shows. Other times, he hides them in big cities where some fans can spot them.
In an interview to Electronic Groove, Boris comments the following regarding the future of music:
“I’m curious! I mean, in the past, music was also made only with instruments. It was also unimaginable that music would be created electronically at some point. Through the computer, which at that time nobody knew about (laughs). And that is also possible now. I’m sure that the development of technology will also have an impact on music. I just don’t know how yet. But I don’t know if I’ll live to see it – pity really!”
The NFT world is driving everyone crazy. The producer recently announced his own collection together with ArtAtak. The goal, is nothing but humane, and further highlights the artist in every aspect. The proceeds from each sale will go to victims of war around the world. The sale will start this August 9th.
What other feats will the German repeat in the coming months? Surely many. He recently came for the first time to Peru and Ecuador and had his own set at Tomorrowland’s Mainstage. And while things are increasingly uncertain for everyone, for Boris, “the future is going to be fucking serious.” Thanks for making it this far. You can scroll down and check out the bios of other electronic music producers. Because yes, that’s all we talk about here, electronic music.