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Interview: Catching Up With New York’s Own Bissen

Interview: Catching Up With New York’s Own Bissen

Hot off his second mix compilation album, a continuous US tour, remixes for Depeche Mode, M83 and Major Lazer, two Beatport Top 10 hits over the last year with his project Exostate, and a slew of upcoming releases in the pipelines, German-born, New York residing Georg Bissen has never been busier making his mark in the world of EDM.

Storming the scene just over 5 years ago with the now classics “Exhale” and “Quicksand,” Bissen has, as a dance music artist and producer, had upwards of 60 original and remix releases since. These records have been released on some of the biggest, most desired and well-respected labels in the industry, including A State of Trance, Enhanced, Euphonic, Discover, Perfecto and Boxer. Always in pursuit of a fist-pumping, “all systems go” attitude, Bissen’s sound exhibits an effective blend of tough, energetic beats and grooves, coupled with extremely memorable, big melodic riffs and hooks-proper huge tunes for dance floors, not armchairs, that have lasting impacts on clubbers and DJs alike.

Hi Georg, How are you, How has 2013 been going for you?

Bissen: I’m great thanks. 2013 has been a great year–a year of transition for sure, but amazing nonetheless. First and foremost, I started doing major label remixes (oftentimes alongside long-time collaborator Victor Dinaire). This has been very rewarding in many ways, as I’ve seen tracks climb up the Billboard Club Charts (highest peaking so far was for Bex “What You Are”, which peaked at #6) and our music being exposed to a completely different audience than if I was only involved in the trance scene. To be sure, these remixes are trance/”EDM” crossover, but by no means are they cheesy or not credible, as we really like to keep our artistic integrity. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve been receiving from these remixes shows that we are truly filling a niche and that people really are demanding music that is original and not generic. Second, I’ve been delving deeply into pop and pop-dance music production. This is not under my own name, but for other artists. A lot of these projects are still under wraps, but suffice it to say, that exciting things are happening with each one of these acts. Lastly, and possibly most importantly for readers of USTM, I have been doing a lot of trance music lately again, so there will be a stacked fall line-up of releases. I’m actually very happy about this, as my first and foremost passion is and always will be trance, where I can express myself most deeply.

You just recently played a gig in New York to celebrate your birthday. How was it?

Bissen: It was awesome. A lot of people came out to party, and a lot of faces I hadn’t seen in a bit. New York is such a tough market to play in–there’s so much event competition, so many DJs vying for attention, and so many other other nightlife distractions for party-goers. So, I was very pleased with the way the event turned out. A special thanks goes to both Monoverse and Mir Omar, who lay down absolutely amazing sets, and made the night complete.

Late last year you released “Global Trance USA” will there be a part two anytime soon?

Bissen:There won’t be a Global Trance USA 2, but there will be another Global Trance album, which, however, I won’t be mixing, as it will be in another part of the world (the whole idea of the album series is that a DJ in a specific geographic region will be mixing an album with tracks exclusively from that region). I am not sure if I will be doing a mix album or a full artist album anytime soon. It is a lot of work, and my workflow is much more geared towards doing individual singles rather than full albums.

What are you currently working?

Bissen:As I alluded to above, there are a slew of Bissen releases coming in the fall. Still off of the Global Trance USA album, we have full singles releases of “Clockwise” with an absolutely stunning remix by Rich Smith, there will be a full release of “The Dungeon”, which is Chris Hampshire’s and my follow-up to 2009’s “The Vault”, as well as the release of “Don’t Walk Away”, which I did with Tiff Lacey. That will be released with a Peter Hulsman Remix. Also, I have a release coming out on Solarstone’s Touchstone label, though details of that I can’t reveal yet. I am also putting the finishing touches on Madelin Zero’s and my “Alone With You” follow-up called “Don’t Cry” which is an absolute smasher. Lastly, Jeza sent me vocals for the third Exostate single, so that will hopefully be done in the next month or so.

Trance has made a huge dent this year, some amazing productions and producers have emerged. Who has come across your radar?
Bissen: Hmmm. I certainly like Photographer’s work. I also really like Future Disciple. Though he’s been around for a while, Tempo Giusto has taken things to a whole other level this year. Everything he does turns to gold. I don’t think there has been one set this year where I haven’t played one of his tracks. Other than that, Lee Osborne and Hazem Beltagui have really impressed me.

What are your current favorites you are playing now in your radio show, and gigs?

Bissen: Like I said above, Tempo Giusto really stands out for me at the moment.

You recently reworked a favorite of mine. Plastic Boy’s –“Live another Life” Tell us more will you?

Bissen: I do tons of reworks of old tracks that I love, simply because I want a playable, contemporary sounding version for my sets. “Live Another Life” is one of those “true trance” tracks, that, if you were lucky to be going clubbing then, it always left chills down your spine. The track was made by M.I.K.E. in 2003, so it is right on the cusp of being playable in clubs today (anything after 2005, 2006 is usually qualitatively good enough to hold up to modern production techniques and can be played without having to be reworked). I’ve always really loved the main melody of that track, so I simply wanted to create a version that I could play at every one of my gigs, and really focus on that main melody. Overall, the club reaction is great, but I don’t think that many people really recognize the track, so I’m very happy you pointed it out and are featuring it in this interview.

We have seen you play a few times over the past three years. You are an amazing DJ, as your productions. You keep it natural and underground. Where can we see you next?

Bissen: Thanks. I definitely try to keep the cheese at home (I love cheese, but not with my music). My whole philosophy is that dance music is made for people to dance, so a certain aggressiveness needs to be present when playing live. Fluffy tracks just don’t work, and neither do tracks that are generic and too predictable.

I’m currently planning a Southern California tour. Confirmed dates are September 12 at Sutra, Orange County, September 13 at Hard Rock, San Diego, and September 14 at AVEC in Orange County. I’m also currently planning the live broadcast and party of the 150th installment of my radioshow “TranceAtlantic” here in New York.

Anything you can tell us something exclusive?

Bissen: Haha. I’m an incredible chef (or so others have told me). I cook out on the grill almost every night in the summer., everything from the usual steaks, burgers, to fish, eggplant and zucchini. Lamb skewers with a Greek Tzatziki Sauce is one of my summer favorites. I also keep a garden where I grow fresh veggies and herbs all summer long. Cooking to me is a lot like producing–putting in different elements until everything is just right.

Any last words for your fans, and our readers?

Bissen: Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your support over the last 6 years. It means the world to me. I still get excited at every fan comment/mail, and I do read every one of them. If I’ve been able to make anyone happier, even for just one track, lifted them up, made them forget something painful, or simply made their life better through music, then that is more than I could have ever hoped for, and I am blessed to be able to do this for a living.


Beatport: http://www.beatport.com/artist/bissen/20409/tracks
Website: http://djbissen.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/djbissen
Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bissen-tranceatlantic-podcast/id298996039?mt=2
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bissen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJBissen/
Bookings: Press Contact: Zaneta Ortiz (euphoriaxnyc@gmail.com) +1.917.428.0680
Booking Agent Wilf Libgott (wilf@hammarica.com) +1.657.333.5297



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