Johannes Debese aka Johnny D
Ibiza Voice Classic Podcast :: Johnny D
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For a couple of years, Johnny D was one of the hottest names in the world. In 2008/09 he shot from nowhere to become a key part of the deep house revival, and helped friend Nick Curly establish the so-called Mannheim sound around the world. Like his peers from the German city—and labels such as Oslo, Cécille, 8bit and Deep Vibes—Johnny was obsessed with groove; with perfecting the slick boom-tick house beat that can get you, and keep you, dancing for days.
Along with friends Ray Okpara, Nick Curly, Federico Molinari and Nekes, he ran parties in the city that further solidified their new micro-genre. The apartment that some of them shared became known for hosting never ending afterparties and, in turn, further influenced the laid back, subtle but seductive sound they were crafting in the studio.
That refined sound was focused on loops that sent you loopy: it was deceptively simple but hugely effective music that, for a short time, made everything else seem unnecessary. His defining glory was 2008’s ’Orbitalife’, a track that got caned by everyone and was still being played by Luciano on his Boiler Room in 2016. The next couple of years saw Johnny turn out a raft of tracks on labels like Cécille and Love Letters From Oslo, with a remix of 2020 Soundsystem’s ‘Sliding Away’ coming close to the heights of his original breakout tune.
Soon after that he disappeared as quickly as he arrived, with only two releases in the last eight years. As a DJ he has continued to play around Germany and Switzerland, but most of his time has been spent raising his young daughter. Nick Curly has often promised a Johnny D revival in interviews, but as of yet he remains in the shadows.
This podcast is a snapshot of those halcyon days of house’s revival, when the dry and monochrome clatter of minimal was being replaced by warmer, more human emotions. It’s an hour of super smooth and loopy grooves that fizz with spine-tingling synth lines and soft drums. Thoroughly hypnotic and absorbing, it’s fleshed out with fluttering toms, hits and muted keys and coloured with deft vocals that add the little sparks necessary to elevate the tracks above mere functional fodder.
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