Dialing Into the Future: A Chat with Jonas Saalbach

Apr 6, 2024

Photo of Michela Iosipov

Michela Iosipov

6 min read

Dive into the beat with Jonas Saalbach, the maestro behind the decks and the brains behind Radikon, where melodic techno meets house music with a fresh twist. Jonas goes beyond just playing tracks; he creates a unique and bold sound that energizes dance floors and dominates streaming charts. Radikon isn't just a label; it's Jonas's baby, a playground where the underground gets a spotlight, and new sounds get to bloom.

In a candid chat, Jonas spills on what makes Radikon tick, his green heart in a not-so-green industry, his adventures into uncharted musical territories, and many more exciting projects. Amidst the whirlwind of beats and basslines, Jonas stays rooted, fueled by the electric energy of the crowd, the camaraderie with fellow artists, and those quiet moments that spark creativity. Let's dive in!

With your label Radikon, what new directions or innovations are you hoping to explore in the electronic music scene?

Our mission with the label is to release contemporary and a bit edgy melodic techno and house music that we like to play ourselves. We don't have to reinvent the wheel with every release, but we make sure that the songs we sign are not like 100 others on the market. We put a lot of thought into the releases. Radikon is an absolute heart project and I think we have found our sound over the years.

Are there any emerging artists on Radikon that you're particularly excited about? Can you share why?

Arude is one of our artists who has been with us for a long time and makes extremely good and innovative music. A mix of bouncy tech house and melodic techno. And always very groovy. Every track tears up the dancefloor. An underrated artist and I hope that more people will take notice of him. Another talent is Eze Ramirez from Buenos Aires. To be honest, I am often jealous of the ideas he brings to his songs :)

Environmental consciousness seems important to you. How do you incorporate sustainability into your music production or tours?

Yes, I love nature and I think it's important to respect it. However, as a touring DJ, I'm not a role model when it comes to this topic. Nevertheless, I try to be mindful in my everyday life. Little things like always taking the train when I can or minimizing animal products are important to me.

Have you considered exploring other genres or musical styles in your future work? If so, which ones?

Yes, absolutely. During the pandemic, I had a bit more time and released a Lofi EP under a different name. As for my main project, I'd like to explore other areas as well. My next six-track release, Acceleration, will have the sound people know me for, but I'm currently working on a slightly different sound. Since this is still a work in progress, I think it's too early to talk about it. In any case, it will be dance floor-oriented.

What role do you see virtual reality or new technologies playing in the future of electronic music performances?

I think they play a big role. We can already see that large visual productions are very successful and the DJs themselves are playing a smaller role. Artificial intelligence will also have an impact on the market. It is already possible to produce really good-sounding music with AI. As a producer, this can certainly cause some concern, because the question of whether you can be replaced by technology in the future is certainly justified. Nevertheless, I take things as they come. I'm always optimistic about the future and think that a producer's unique musical signature can't be replaced so easily. Perhaps innovations will come onto the market that I find helpful and inspiring. It's an exciting topic in any case!

How do you stay inspired and motivated in the fast-paced world of electronic music?

just love the essence of electronic music. I love to dance to it, produce it, enjoy the vibe at parties, tour, and meet new like-minded people. That motivates me to keep going at a time when, as a producer and DJ, you have to devote at least as much time to marketing via social media. Making music is also really my space where I can slow down and escape the relentless pace. Actually, I'm about to release a mini album called Acceleration in May, which addresses this topic. When I was writing the songs, I thought a lot about my personal little cosmos and how I deal with the increasing acceleration in my daily life.

I’m about to release a mini album called "Acceleration" on May ’24th, which deals with the topic. It's not about evaluating infinite growth. When I was writing the songs I just thought a lot about my little cosmos and how I deal with the increasing acceleration in my daily life.

Can you share one piece of advice you've received that has significantly impacted your approach to music?

My Radikon partner, David Guzy, once commented on some new demos I had just produced: 'It sounds like you're pretending to sound like someone else.' He was right. So, I decided to make the next tracks absolutely authentic. In my mini album Acceleration, I tried not to be influenced by current trends, but to write the pure Jonas Saalbach sound—melodic, melancholic, uplifting, and a bit happy.

If you could perform a back-to-back set with any artist, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

I would like to play a B2B with Julya Karma from New York. I like her very much as a person and as an artist. I think this could be a pretty good set ☺

If your music could be the soundtrack to any movie or TV show, which would you choose and why?

I would ideally like to make music for a film that has an atmosphere like Interstellar. Or something completely different. A film to which I could create old-school hip-hop beats. An old passion of mine.

Imagine you're stranded on a deserted island but have all the equipment needed to create music; what's the first song you'd produce?

In that case, it wouldn't matter whether the song was released and would be a 10 or 20-minute jam with a big, dreamy soundscape.

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