Interview: Juheun speaks about new single “Open Door” & much more

Hailing from the stark and unyielding deserts of the southwestern United States, Juheun emerges from the dust with mind warping, and forward thinking techno. Developing his sound from dramatic minimal techno with curious and intriguing basslines to the pulsing and hypnotic techno that he’s making today.

Many years after beginning his journey in the electronic music industry, Juheun continues to push boundaries with his performances as well as his productions. Ever evolving with the times, he brings his performances to life by integrating the newest technology and hardware into his sets, creating a dynamic and engaging experience set to his futuristic soundtrack. With Juheun commanding dance floors, his audience continues to grow, enticed by his distinct sound, magnetic performances and darkly energetic productions.

Juheun is most content spending hours in the studio, constantly searching for that perfect balance between his love for classic analog gear and his desire to embrace the newest technology. Spending years honing his skills in the studio and cultivating his unmistakable sound, Juheun has become a master of his machines, both digital and analog, exploring their darkest corners to extract those inorganic and spaced out sounds his audience has come to crave.

We had an opportunity to chat with Juheun and ask him about his new release “Open Door,” his inspiration, and plans for 2023!

Hey Juheun! Welcome to CelebMix! For those from our audience who are not familiar with you, could you introduce yourself?

Hello, thank you for having me today! I am an American-Korean techno artist currently based out of Phoenix Arizona. Outside of DJing and producing, I also like to perform live playing all my original music using midi controllers and a laptop. I have releases on Octopus Recordings, Set About Music, Kuukou Records, and my latest collaboration with Tokyo based Drunken Kong called ‘Open Door’ just debuted at #5 on Tronic Records.

On Spotify, we can read that you develop your sound from dramatic minimal techno with curious and intriguing basslines to pulsing and hypnotic techno. If you could sum up your style in 3 words, what would that be? 

Driving, Cinematic and Sci-Fi.

Where do you take your inspiration from? What does your creative process look like? 

A lot of my inspiration comes from all things that are art related in general, whether that be fashion, movies, paintings etc. I love futurism, science fiction, architecture, design…these are all things that inspire me on the daily.  When it comes to my creative process, I try not to force it. Music has always been one of many different creative outlets for me. I love to create in general… draw, paint, film, photo/video, design, build, edit.. and all of this takes inspiration. I learned early on that creativity just comes… sometimes in waves… sometimes in spurts. When it does hit, you gotta ride the wave but also know when to stop so you don’t burn yourself out.

You recently released a brand new single “Open Door,” can you share more about this project? What inspired you to record it? 

Open Door was very unexpected. I originally met Drunken Kong while on tour with Octopus in Japan a few years back and always dreamed of collaborating with them. Ever since the pandemic, myself and partner Michelle Sparks have been really focused on the local scene here in Phoenix. We’ve been hosting events/parties under our brand ‘Circuit’ and had the opportunity to bring Drunken Kong out to Phoenix for one of our ‘Micro’ warehouse parties. During his stay here, we ended up spending a few extra days between shows, and some of that time was spent hanging out in the studio. During one of the sessions, we were playing around with some synthesizers, and we happened to stumble on some ideas that we eventually started passing back and forth when they returned back to Japan. This eventually led to ‘Open Door.’

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Oh man, this is always such a tough question to answer as I have so many artists I’d love to work with. If I had to pick off the top of my head, I would love to get the opportunity to collab with the likes of some of my favorite live artists like Stephan Bodzin, Carl Cox, and one of my all time favorites Egbert who I’ve been a longtime fan of. Outside of the collaboration, just spending time in the studio and watching their process and learning new techniques and sharing ideas would be amazing.

You are not only a musician, but also a visual artist. How do these two arts blend when you perform? Do you find similarities between the ways you design and produce music? 

Growing up one of my biggest passions was cinema and I spent a lot of time trying to work towards that career. So much so that my very first job was working in a movie theater just so I can watch as many movies for free so I could study and analyze them. It wasn’t until the DJ bug bit me and I had to put that on the back burner as things shifted focus. I feel very lucky in the sense that social media and content creation has become such a big thing, I am finally able to bring that side of my passion and merge the two. I think they both go hand-in-hand because they both utilize the right side of the brain. This is what compels me so much to go down the live performance avenue because it gives me full control over every aspect of the show, not just the music.

Please tell us about any exciting news or plans you have for 2023?

Currently I am still buzzing off of my high with the success of ‘Open Door’ and I’m working on some monster follow ups to that release. I have also been spending a lot of time revamping my live set and currently working on putting together a tour in the summer/fall of this year. Aside from that, my focus continues with Circuit and continuing to push the more underground and techno sound in the Phoenix scene.

Written by Magdalena

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