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United States Trance Movement

Interview With Bissen

Interview With Bissen

From producing some of the biggest dancefloor smashers in the trance scene in recent years, designing presets for software synthesizers such as Ableton Live’s Instrument Devices, writing music for adverts for some of the world’s biggest brands, doing sound design for major TV networks, to running his own music licensing and production business, and somehow still finding time on weekends to go away to distant places to DJ, one could very likely come to the conclusion that German-born Georg Bissen never sleeps. Which would be an appropriate assumption, since he has called New York, the city that never sleeps, his home for the past 9 years.


USTM: First of all let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview for the United States Trance Movement. Tell me what’s new and exciting in the life of Bissen?

Bissen: You’re welcome.  Thanks for having me.  Gearing up for the summer–barbeques, beach, vacation.

USTM: Having been born in Germany, what made you move to New York? It seems like the EDM scene is much larger in Europe.

Bissen: That may be true.  But, the music industry in general is way bigger in the US, and New York in particular.  In the end it doesn’t matter too much anymore where you’re located.  However, for my other music projects that I’m involved in, such as advertising and TV music, pop productions, etc, New York is probably one of the best places to be.  These considerations, though, mattered little, when, being 13 and visiting New York for the first time, I decided that when I grow up, I would make New York my home.  And I did.

USTM: When did you begin producing Trance and what inspired you to do so?

Bissen: Like so many, I have that one moment I can pinpoint that made me a true trance convert, and from which point I never looked back.  For me, it was visiting a record store, and the store playing a track from the “Behind the Eye Vol. 2” compilation on Eye-Q records.  I said to myself, this is the music I’ve been looking to listen to for all my life. Of course, just having entered high school, and it being the mid-nineties, it was much more difficult to produce good-sounding tracks, but it was around then, when I started to build up my studio with my first synthesizer, and started producing dance and trance music.  Once hooked on the music, I went to many raves in Germany.  In the late-nineties, it was still trance that ruled over there.  From those experiences I learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in regards to djaying and producing records.

USTM: One of your latest originals, “Skylands” made the Beatport Top 100. Have you been getting a lot of support from big named DJs?

Bissen: With that track, yes, I received support from Above and Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, and many others.  The track actually meant to be the follow-up to “Washout” until it landed at Kill the Lights instead.  Hence, there was, as seems to often be the case, a rather large gap between the big name DJs playing the track and it actually coming out.

USTM: I really loved your release last year, “Victor Dinaire, Bissen & Finley feat. David Berkeley – Take Me To Space”. Now I understand you have another new release that just came out with Victor?

Bissen: Actually, only the Anthony Ross Terrace Mix of that song was ever released (on Stereo Productions).  That mix was one of 3 winners of the Club Space Miami 10th anniversary original song competition.  I am really glad you like that song though, and you’re bringing a bit of attention to it.  We’ve been getting great feedback on it when playing it out–the track feels a bit nostalgic, like the good old days of trance.  And to top it off, it features “Firesign’s” David Berkeley.  Even so, we’re still looking for the right label to release it.  Anyhow, aside from that, Victor and I just did a remix for Gemini’s Edge “Save You” which has been very well received and was released last week.  We’ve also been redoing a few classics (one being from that Eye-Q compilation I was mentioning earlier called “Symmetry C”), and will release a classics rework EP soon.

USTM: What other new releases do you have in store for us?

Bissen: First off, I’m very excited about the track I did with Jeza called “Without Warning” that’s coming out on Enhanced including a Myon and Shane 54 remix.  I have also done a vast amount of remixes lately, too many to list here probably, but I will point out just a couple, as they have had massive reactions in my live sets.  One such remix is the one I did for Cowboy Mike’s “No Way Back”, which will come out on Christopher Lawrence’s Pharmacy Records.  The other one is for Senadee’s “Life Support Machine” which is featured on Paul Oakenfold’s new mix CD.  I have another track called “Riptide” that will most likely see the light of day on Discover soon, and there’s a follow-up to “Washout.”  There are others (I’m still sitting on roughly a dozen tracks that are currently unreleased)–so stay tuned.

USTM: I understand you’ve also created some presets for producing software. Tell me about that.

Bissen: I went to college for electrical engineering, where I learned all about signal processing, which has helped me tremendously in sound design.  I’ve always been interested in, and have created my own sounds.  Even if I use presets, I usually alter them in such a way that they become unique.  When Ableton knocked on my door to make preset sounds for their internal sound devices, I knew I was up for the job.  So basically, for the last 5 years, I have been providing Ableton Live with hundreds of sounds that they sell as presets along with their software.  A lot of my productions feature these sounds actually.

USTM: What equipment or software do you use to make your productions?

Bissen: I used to be on Cubase, then Logic and now Ableton. I mix everything on a 32-channel analog mixing board, so I don’t have to worry about digital summing issues.  I also still use a ton of outboard gear (a bunch of tube compressors, like the HHB Radius 50 or the Bellari RP583), as I believe it makes my mixes that much warmer and organic, and also more effective in a club.  All software runs on a Duo-core Mac G5.

USTM: I’ve heard you have done some work with some TV Networks. Can you tell us about the work you have done?

Bissen: To get a complete client and project list of what I’ve done, go to this link: http://www.metatechnik.com/_site/clientlist.php , or simply go to my company’s website, http://www.metatechnik.com .  I’ve done music (and sometimes sound design and audio production) for over a hundred national and international commercials, as well as composed music for 4 TV shows.  Some of the best-known clients include McDonald’s, AT&T, GE, Pepsi, etc.

USTM: Is there one place on this planet you would love to play at someday?

Bissen: There are a few.  I would say, Ibiza would be pretty cool.  I’d also like to partake in the European summer festival circuit at some point.

USTM: On a personal note, do you have anyone special in your life?

Bissen: Yes.  I have a wife and a 1 year-old son!  2 very special people–they mean everything to me.

USTM: Is there anything else you want to add for the readers of United States Trance Movement?

Bissen: Thank you for reading.  And thanks to all the fans for being so dedicated.  Your positive feedback is always inspiring and humbling.

Interviewed By Juliet Star(USTM/San Diego Trance Movement )




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