Studio Mastery with Hannes Bieger

German engineering has a global reputation rooted in reliability. It’s no surprise that Steve Bug’s latest pick has a long history on the quality side of electronic production. Hannes Bieger is a creator in many ways, record producer is just the start. His passion for mixing and mastering was quickly recognized by movers and shakers across dance music. After over a decade focused on others’ sounds, he’s back in the studio for himself and you won’t want to miss it.

Originally introduced to electronic production by Portishead’s debut album, gritty compression was an introduction to something other than raw rock guitar. After relocating to Berlin from his hometown of Hamburg in the late nineties, 4/4 bassdrums were king. This is where Bieger truly immersed himself in the intricacies of dance music, there would be no turning back.

when I listened to the first bars of this heavily compressed Trip Hop groove I immediately knew that the era of long guitar solos was over for me once and for all… a bit later I got an Atari ST and an AKAI S3000i sampler, a Moog Rogue and a Roland Juno-60 and started producing music with that setup.

A unique fascination for ‘technical aspects of making music’, down the rabbit hole he went. While making his own sounds, Bieger began building a studio packed with hardware that went much deeper than that standard synth. Unintentionally using his own records as a resume, the phone began to ring asking for mix and mastering work. Before he knew it, there was a steady flow of clients looking for his quality-focused, post-production work.

Building a transparent setup is comparable to a pendulum that is swinging from one side to the other. You change one piece of the signal path, and suddenly the pendulum is swinging to the other side. The goal is to have it moving as little as possible and as close to the center as it gets. This can be costly and painful and time consuming. People tend so focus on the shiny rack fronts with all the lights, knobs and VU meters, but the true work lies under and behind the racks. How you connect everything, what kind of mains power you feed to the gear, these things.

I still love my client work, but it’s great to balance that out with working on my own music again. I’ve been a musician, composer, arranger at heart almost since I’m able to think, and I’m just glad to be back at that!

After an eleven year hiatus from his own sounds, Bieger was back at it in 2017. After working with many of the top names in the global scene, it seemed like the natural time to get back on his own record. An active performer, his new tracks were first tested on the dancefloor.

The decade working with other artists refining their final sound made a slew of good friends. Swedish vocalist Sailor & I had already made his own mark on the scene with Hannes asked him for a verse. The resulting track would eventually become the sing ‘Chemistry’. After seeing Steve Bug’s positive response to the tune during one of his Play showcases, it made sense to chat release.

Now a regular on Bug’s Poker Flat Recordings, Hannes kicks off the year with an EP led by the unique vocal tune. Gritty bass leads are a prime pair with Sailor & I’s ominous vocal ballad. Adding a similarly punchy B-side and a dub mix of the original, the record is an evolution of cross-genre dance floor sounds.

The label has always had a visionary and uncompromising attitude, and Steve has gathered a group of great artists and genuinely nice people around him… I have been mixing Steve’s music for many years now, and I am proud and happy to call him one of my best friends. 

As Bieger develops a captivating live set, he’s proving that electronic music isn’t just dance genres. Knowing that performance is a forum to connect, experiment, and evolve, Bieger has many mediums under his belt. As a studio expert, he’s quickly able to integrate unique sounds with masterful artistry.

As an artist, I don’t want to be put in a small box and repeat myself over and over… First and foremost I am making my music for myself, and if there are people out there enjoying it too – even better! Music is supposed to build bridges – not walls! – and I feel great being a part of a scene that is so international and generally very inclusive as well.

Buy ‘Chemistry’ from Poker Flat