Today we sat down with US-based techno artist Juheun, to chat about his roots, music, and more.
Hailing from the stark and unyielding deserts of the southwestern United States, Arizona-based techno artist, Juheun, has emerged from the dust as one of the most exciting talents to break onto the American techno circuit over the past few years. Following a slew of impressive career releases on the likes of Octopus Recordings, Set About and Kuukou to name a few, the iconic American-Korean techno producer now announces his newest release — a collaboration with Drunken Kong titled ‘Open Door’ on Christian Smith’s esteemed Tronic imprint. Due for release on December 30 as part of the label’s ‘Rockets’ VA compilation, we caught up with Juheun to find out more.
Hi Juheun! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now?
Hey guys! I’m currently based in Phoenix, Arizona in the southwestern part of the United States.
I believe a belated happy birthday is in order! Did you do anything cool to celebrate over the weekend?
Oh, thank you so much! I actually did, I’m lucky to be able to celebrate and play on my birthday every year at one of my friends venues in downtown Phoenix. My crew, Circuit hosts a weekly Saturday night along with Solstice on the rooftop at Bar Smith. It was one hell of a night, the party gets bigger and bigger each year and it’s so nice to see so many familiar faces from the local scene that helped me get where I am today. It’s kinda like a homecoming party for me every year.
Reflecting back on 2022, what has your year been like? Any particular highlights?
Things have been pretty great overall this year, I had the chance to play in Philadelphia, Vancouver, and my hometown of Albuquerque. I think those were my biggest highlights as far as events I played. Locally in Arizona, there’s been more of a focus on developing our event brand, Circuit with my partner Michelle Sparks. I’ve also spent the year doing a lot of networking for some big plans coming in 2023 like our new plans for a label. Most recently I got back from a crazy week at ADE in Amsterdam where I was able to finally meet a lot of people I’d gotten to know for the first time since the pandemic. All this while trying to find time to squeeze into the studio to work on some new tracks & a couple of collabs that I can’t wait to share with everyone.
Your Instant Communication EP has been one of our favourite releases of the year over here at House Nest. What has the reception been like from your side?
Glad to hear you guys are enjoying the release. The response has been great and I’ve been gaining a lot of support and traction on it since it came out. It’s funny because the track itself just kinda came together by accident and the original vocal sample “Push a few buttons instant communication”, wasn’t added till the very end, the track originally was meant to be an instrumental. Recently I’ve been putting a lot more focus in the studio to let more of my other influences flow into my music production. Instant Communication was perfect in the sense that you get those galactic, interstellar space vibes that I love so much.
Will you be releasing more music on Kuukou soon?
That’s the game plan! I love working with Simina, she’s one of the nicest people I’ve met. I love the sound of her label and I feel my music will always have a home at Kuukou.
We understand you might be looking to launch your own label next year. Is there anything you can anticipate on that front?
Launching a label has never been something I really wanted to do. However, as I get deeper into this industry and further in my career I’m beginning to realize it might not be a bad idea to start one. If all goes as planned we will be launching early next year.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the electronic music scene? What would you like to see more of?
I think the scene currently is the biggest it’s ever been and I feel like there are more and more people listening and going to dance music events every week. Whether that’s techno, house, EDM, etc. I think right now it’s important for everyone that’s involved to realize we are reaching a peak and to not lose sight of why we started doing this. The industry itself right now is at a critical time, especially after the pandemic where I’m noticing this trend of playing it safe. Because of this, you’re seeing things get more and more redundant and less focused on the music itself. Before the pandemic people were more open-minded to putting on music that they believed in rather than what is a sure bet. I’d like to see more focus and effort put into the fundamentals and bring things back to the basics.
And less of?
Let’s strip back all the fluff.. the VIP bottle service, the confetti, the pyro, etc, and just give us a great sound system, a proper DJ & good vibe. What else do you need?
What is your definition of art and why do we need it?
Well, that’s a pretty deep question, but without spending hours, I think the quickest and easiest explanation is that art is food for the soul. I think music is a form of art just like a painting is, and as humans, we need something that can help us escape the realities of life, whether that’s through the eyes of a painter or the vibrations of a song.
What’s next for Juheun? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now? Where can your fans catch you next?
Currently, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my new live set since I took a large break from it the past couple of years playing DJ sets. I’m also currently in the process of planning to launch the label & working on everything that comes along with that. I’m really excited to share this next chapter of my career and hope that everyone can see the vision that we are all working hard to create.
Thank you so much for your time, Steven! We wish you all the best for the future.
Purchase Juheun & Drunken Kong – Open Door via Beatport