12 Questions Episode 99: Jonah Hakanson

The 99th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Jonah Hakanson.

Jonah Hakanson

1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?

My friend, who had been a DJ in Seattle, back in 1999 played me Sasha’s remix of Chemical Brothers “Out of Control”, it blew me away. The breakdown gave me the chills. It was the perfect balance of that tech-y sound with trance atmosphere.

2. What was your first and last DJ gig?

My first “gig” was actually at a sweaty loft space in 2005 in my hometown, but in 2006 I got booked to play a little basement club in Portland, Oregon, called Pi-Rem. It was a busy night for the small place, and it went off really well despite my nerves. My last gig was at Esthetic Evolution in 2010, which just had its last event this year after 10 years. Instead of a few dozen people, there were a few hundred right from the start. That was quite a change from the little basement clubs or small side-stages at other festivals. My friend (Sinesolder) and I opened the event’s main stage. It was nice to be the first music eager people could dance to. Unlike some opening situations, all eyes and ears were on us. It was intense, but very positive.

3. What was the first and last record you purchased?

The first music I purchased was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” when I was 12. The last physical record I purchased was Sasha’s “Who Killed Sparky” vinyl, mostly as a gesture of support. Now, recently, I acquired Lindstrom’s “Smalhans” album. I really like Lindstrom, always have.

4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?

Having Kassey Voorn and Ingo Vogelmann do remixes for my track “Why You Can’t Trust Yourself,” and getting to chat with Charlie May about the track back then in 2010. Although, it’s hard to pick a highlight, since right now a lot of new positive situations are emerging. After a few year hiatus, I’m only just now getting back into things.

5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

There isn’t much, really, that I think is surprising about me. I spent a lot of time “hoping” to go somewhere with my interest in music and DJing, but I haven’t ever really committed myself to it. I realized I would have to stop “hoping” and start “doing” it. I had to learn that I wanted it. That surprises me, probably, more than other people.

6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?

Some people that I know who deserve more appreciation than they get for their latent ability as electronic music producers/composers are two people I know: Alfred Beattie, and Megan McNeary. I have worked on some experiments with them. They’re both natural musicians, where as I have to try a lot harder. As dance music types and consistently inventive DJs, I would mention a couple of Portland, Oregon guys I know: Brook See (xx, or whatever he goes by now), and Damian Staffon (Sinesolder).

7. Which producers consistently inspire you?

Sasha goes without saying. Lindstrom, as I mentioned, and Dan Snaith (Caribou).

8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?

I would love to get the bits of some of my friend Laura Ivancie’s work to remix, as she is one of the “discovered” talents I know. I would be thrilled by all kinds of people remixing anything I did. To pick two different situations I would say Radioslave and Charlie May would be welcome remixers.

9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?

I’m really not trying to state the obvious here, but labels I know are the ones I go to first, and I usually find something good on Microcastle, Get Physical, Looq, and Frisky. They all have great catalogs.

10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?

I would say Sasha’s Fundacion NYC mix is supremely ideal.

11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)

Food:  Chicken Tuscany, and smoked salmon in anything.
Drink: Dark and/or very hoppy beers. I’m from the Northwest of the U.S., so it’s like water around here.
Drug: Not really, not anymore.
Animal: Dogs are great.
TV Show: I can’t think of a single thing I like on TV these days besides South Park. It’s the only show that makes sense to me anymore.
Movie: The Rum Diary was good, if underrated.
Video Game: Battlefield.
Album: “Turn Blue” (The Black Keys)
Track / Song: “Weight of Love”
Producer / Band:  Hunter Game is proving interesting
Record Label: Frisky and L2MSC
Nightclub: Whiskey Bar (Portland)
DJ: Damian Staffon (Sinesolder)

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

Banco De Gaia – Acquiescence (Feat. Zhenia Mahdi-Nau)

‘You Run Away’ is out now on Ingo Vogelmann’s L2MSC, you can purchase the release: here

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