- Minimal House
- Minimal Techno
Janina is a Berlin mainstay. She is one of those rare artists who became a household name by the power of her sheer will and talent. An intuitive house and techno DJ who’s clocked up two decades behind the decks, Berlin-born and based Janina brims with as much enthusiasm today as she did when she got her start at Club Der Visionäre in 2004. That start became a residency, and it would be the first of several notable club postings that Janina has intermixed with a stacked, city-vaulting gig schedule. In 2023 she continues her long-standing Tresor residency, and she’s set for an exhilarating new chapter with the launch of a record label, the release of her debut productions, and the revival of her techno alias JSR.
Berlin’s enigmatic scene of the early noughties was Janina’s entry point to clubbing. A teenager at the turn of the Millenium, formal education became background noise when she discovered Tresor, and more importantly, those infamous BeatStreet parties. At the core of these daytime sessions were Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Cassy, and Magda, and they swiftly stepped in with the teachings that would feed Janina’s eventual vocation. “This time was one of the most beautiful things to happen in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am now without these parties. It was all about the music and nothing else. You completely lost your sense of time and I became addicted to this way of living - people coming together for the same purpose and creating this unique energy.”
What’s immediately apparent with Janina is her deep connection to her records. Collecting vinyl since she was 15, with an illuminative, taste-broadening stretch at DNS Records accelerating her passion for it, she now sits on a stack of over 10,000. We’re long into the click-keen digital age, but Janina still favours and prioritises in store digging, spending hours flipping through records and weaving through the decades.
Avid record digging has certainly benefited Janina when it comes to having ample ammo for her many residencies. From holding a spot at Club Der Visionäre for the best part of a decade, she moved to Moscow in 2013 and became part of the fabric of its thriving techno scene with a weekly slot at Monasterio, playing alongside Ben Klock, Robert Hood, Chris Liebing, DVS1, Marcel Dettmann, and Kenny Larkin, among others. “The Moscow move is easily one of the best decisions that I’ve made for personal growth and progress as a DJ. It was the first time I’d lived away from home. It reminded me of Berlin in the early 2000s.”
A move to Ibiza brought a residency at Sankeys for the Unusual Suspects crew which she’d hold down for three fulfilling seasons. Tresor was next to tap her, with Janina being billed alongside Joey Beltram, James Ruskin, The Advent, and Robert Hood, as well as being offered to host her own nights on the Globus floor which had her embrace house, inviting DJs like Fumiya Tanaka, Cassy, Thomas Melchior, Troy Pierce and Sammy Dee. London then came calling, with a savvy move to the city quickly landing her a residency at E1 which she’d run alongside Tresor. E1 would be another outlet for her techno kicks, with line-ups also featuring Juan Atkins, Scuba, Ellen Allien, and Function.
It’s an addiction to the emotional effects of music and the togetherness within club culture that spur Janina. A gifted selector, her trajectory is and always has been ego-free, putting the music way above anything else. From within the walls of Berghain, Panorama Bar, Space Ibiza, Tresor, Club Der Visionäre, Ibiza Underground, DC10, REX, Culture Box, Hoppetosse, and any other hallowed clubs that she’s played, she simply seeks to create what was seen at the parties that soundtracked her youth.
In 2023, Janina enters a new phase. Willing to improve the electronic landscape, she’ll launch her record label Future of Six and she’ll do it with her debut productions. Busy mastering her sound, the process has involved an intensive production and live performance course at Mathew Johnson’s production school Freedom Engine Academy. The label will also be a home for new talent, with her being especially keen to throw her years of experience into nurturing emerging artists.
JSR, Janina’s techno alias, has also been reinstated this year. Originally launched while living in Moscow, she brought it into play as a dividing line between her house and techno leanings, with Janina being solely used for the former. While she plays across both genres, within any set she proficiently sticks to just one, depending on the booking. “I’ve always loved to play house and techno and keep them separate. For me, playing under my name and JSR better establishes this and gives me the freedom to fully engage with one or the other. When I play house, I like to stay in that flow, that feeling, the tempo…and the same applies for techno.”