Driven by the common DIY-attitude, James Dean Brown founded Hypnobeat with Pietro Insipido in 1983. Making noise with a Boss DR-55 rhythm machine, 2nd hand gear and household utensils, it was not before JDB’s encounter with Victor Sol and Tobias Freund a year later that Hypnobeat became a proper, fully electronic outfit.
The main goal was to follow a "neo-tribal" approach by reducing electronics to the hypnotic rhythm core. Affected by the emotional impact of polyrhythmic energy, the collective's live sets were often based on machine improvisations. In the studio, machine expert Victor Sol was the one who shifted the Hypnobeat sound to the desired level of technological sophistication.
Apart from a TB-303, the wide range of analog studio/live gear included up to six synchronized rhythm machines – always with a focus on the inimitable sound of the Roland TR-808. Accordingly, Hypnobeat conceived an early form of contemporary club music, somewhere within the scope of classical Electro Funk and prototype Techno, and with a proto-Acid flavour – on "the front-line of sonic innovation before Techno was even a thing."
In 1996, evolving from Hypnobeat, James Dean Brown formed Narcotic Syntax, a band he boosted together with Yapacc in 2003, with releases on Perlon, WIR and Prospector.
And after all, Hypnobeat retransformed from Narcotic Syntax. What was supposed to be a one-off solo live appearance by James Dean Brown at Serendip Festival, Paris in 2012 became the exciting new evolution of Hypnobeat with Helena Hauff joining the project a year later.
The duo's live performances are completely based on improvisation, exhausting the power of an untamed Roland horde which is unique on stage: 1 x TR-707 + 3 x TR-808 + 2x TB-303 + a formidable array of effects = provocative percussion, voodoo passion, tribal ecstasy, hypnodelic temptation, psycho-exotic magic, universal resonance, and a quantum of danger under a crypto-bohemian approach.
"The funny thing is people still consider what Hypnobeat does now as experimental," says Hauff. "It's 30 years after it started, and we're basically doing exactly the same thing as what Hypnobeat did 30 years ago, and it's still experimental."
Hypnobeat interview for Techno Cadeau (08/2017)
Hypnobeat feature on Resident Advisor: English / Japanese
Hypnobeat 1984 vs. 2014
James Dean Brown
Producing and DJing for more than 20 years and crossing a wide field of genres, James Dean Brown is an experienced story-teller. Living/working in Berlin, Frankfurt/Main and Paris, he's deeply rooted in the adventuresome Perlon family and a DJ regular in the line-up of their monthly, celebrated "Get Perlonized" parties at Panorama Bar since 2001. His versatile, musical roller coaster rides are passionate, vinyl-based, of timeless quality and designed for gaining "The Emotional Maximum". They follow an approach of serious deepness, psychedelic vibration and voodoo magic, driven by a cordial punch. Filling and killing a floor, JDB's trips welcome the crowd back to the adventurous aspect of partying.
Interview for Fabric, London (03/2013)
Interview for MEOKO (12/2012)
JDB on SoundCloud
Helena Hauff is a DJ and producer from Hamburg, Germany, where she runs the club night "Birds and Other Instruments" at the notorious Golden Pudel Club. Her sound as a DJ can't be nailed down as she cuts between genres with ease, mixing Dirty Acid, Chicago, classical Electro and Wave in an obsessive way. As a producer this nature comes across in the intensity of her music. HH's breathtaking debut EP "Actio Reactio" on Actress's Werkdiscs and a collaboration with F#X as Black Sites has been followed by several 12"EPs of raw energy. In 2015 she started her own label Return to Disorder, combining Psych Rock and Techno stuff.
Interview for Juno Plus (06/2013)
HH on SoundCloud
Hypnobeat promo package download (zip)