Hypnobeat – Provocative Percussion
James Dean Brown + Helena Hauff
1x TR-707 + 3x TR-808 (+ 2x TB-303) + an array of effects
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.
→ Pietro Insipido https://www.discogs.com/artist/168416-Pietro-Insipido
→ Victor Sol https://www.discogs.com/artist/32614-Victor-Sol
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 project 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.
→ [email protected] Festival 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvVH2I3XkUU
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 1984 https://soundcloud.com/james-dean-brown/hypnobeat-arumbaya
→ Hypnobeat 2014 https://soundcloud.com/james-dean-brown/hypnobeat-solace
Festival Serendip, Paris
CTM, Berghain, Berlin
Grundlos Glücklich, ://about blank, Berlin
Les Siestes Électroniques, Toulouse
Écoutes au Vert, Motel Campo, Geneva
Insomnia, Tromsø, Norway
Bleak Future, Petit Bain, Paris
Intonal, Malmö, Sweden
Rural, Mountain Park Tsunan, Niigata, Japan
Krake, Urban Spree, Berlin
Arma Labelnight, OHM, Berlin
Atonal, Kraftwerk, Berlin
Prototech (Dark Entries DE-179/Serendip Lab SERLP007), 2x12"EP, 09/2017
Les Siestes Électroniques (Pluie/Noir Experimental Media PNEM03), 10"EP, 04/2017
Shinoby vs. Hypnobeat – All Things Pass into the Night (istheway ITW004), s/sided 12"EP, 11/2016
Ritual Fire Dance (Arma ARMA 014), 12"EP + C60 Cassette, 09/2016
V.A. – MDM B (MMODEMM), 5xC10 Cassette, 2015
V.A. – Dark Matters Too (Light Sounds Dark LSD010), LP, 2013
Specials/Spatials (Monochrome Tapes HYP 0310), C60 Cassette 1986
Huggables (Monochrome Tapes HYP 0105/0206), 2xC90 Cassette, 1995