As a member of the Hivern Discs crew, JMII’s appealing mixture of house and techno infected music that is both; pumping, cosmic and emotional, have led him to releasing on Hivern Discs, Correspondant and NVH Records. With his Olde Gods project he continues to expand the reach of these compelling formulas even further.

Surrounded by the exuberant oases of liveliness that is Barcelona, JMII developed himself into quite the studio wizard over the years. As a member of several projects, the versatile capabilities of Jami Bassols’ studio output is one that has demanded our full attention. These compelling formulas, containing a well-balanced mixture of lively synth lines, colourful melodies and cosmic house ambiences, come forward out of an extensive hardware set-up and have been kindly rewarded with multiple releases on Hivern Discs, Correspondant and MM Discos.

Although Bassols’ main focus is concentrated at his JMII project nowadays, it was under the Aster moniker with which he initially entered the musical playing field. As the brainchild from JMII and Pettre, the now defunct collaboration project featured a personal mix of experimental house music. Starting the account in 2010, the duo’s work quickly attracted the attention from Hivern Discs’ head honcho John Talabot, signifying the start of a close relationship between JMII and the imprint.

Things started moving rather fast after that point, securing the release of several Aster productions on Hivern Discs, followed by EPs on Mathematics Recordings and Struments Records. In their collective record output over the years, you can distinctly hear the duo’s search for new methods and sounds. A search that pays off when listening to their “Cielo” EP. Released via Hivern Discs, the EP’s title track delivers a cosmic house adventure with a combination of lively synths and old school drum pads. In the meantime, JMII made his first solo appearance in 2012 with a 12″ on Los Angeles’ 100% Silk.

After a couple of years of incubation in Berlin – further developing his studio skills and working as a resident DJ and promoter at Geradehaus – JMII’s solo output got revamped in 2015 with the release of his “Noche / Templo” EP. The package, featuring finely crafted edits of a late-‘80s darkwave track and an early-‘90s rave classic, showcase a more powerful and focused sound from Bassols and land on the enigmatic, Barcalona-based label NVH Records.

It are these edits, together with his highly praised live performance at Boiler Room x Generator Barcelona – which broadcasted around the same time as the release – that give JMII his first real taste of global prominence. The appealing mixture of house and techno infected music that is both; pumping, cosmic and emotional, finds its way into the sets and hearts of multiple high-ranking tastemakers and electronic music enthusiasts around the globe.

This prominent development in sound is further heard in his following releases on Modern Obscure and Minºr Plªnets, but is showcased in full extend when JMII returns to the Hivern Discs mother ship with his “Thrills” EP. The acclaimed package contains three original cuts, which have served as the core of his hardware-heavy live show, and features additional reworks by John Talabot and Christian S. In Thrills, the Barcelonian producer displays a sound that’s equally raw and lively, with a very personal sense of quirkiness.

In the aftermath of Thrills, JMII continues to expand his already impressive repertoire. His latest releases come in the form of several remixes and edits for esteemed record labels such as Correspondant, MM Discos, TheBasementDiscos and Global Warming Records, next to the release of his latest original work on Amsterdam-based imprint XXX.

Besides his solo endeavor as JMII, the Barcelonian producer joined forces with producer-singer-songwriter Guillamino. Operating under the Olde Gods moniker, the duo gathers influences from Chicago House, classic Soul and contemporary Pop music and transform it into their signature blend of analog indebted House jams, reverb-soaked vocals and dense ambiences. Having released music on Atomnation and Minºr Plªnets thus far, the project’s next outing is scheduled for April and features a compilation of weird edits. Word has it that they’ll be returning to Amsterdam-based imprint Atomnation later this year.

So… More than enough reasons to invite the Barcelonian phenomenon for our Straight Forward series. We’ve had a little chat with him about his – relationship with Hivern Discs, move to Berlin and “Thrills” EP. You can listen to his blistering contribution to our podcast series above.

©Oriol Rovira

Hey Jami, glad to have you on-board for our Straight Forward series. How are you doing and what have you been up to recently?

Hey guys, glad to be part of the series. Everything’s fine here in Barcelona. Last year I quitted my full time job on a car manufacturer and I’m currently enjoying my life as a full time musician. Not that I earn a lot now, but it’s nearly enough to survive. On the music side I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio, finishing a couple of remixes, editing some music for playing out there and looking for some new places for releasing some of the music I’ve been finishing.

Tell us about the mix you’ve done for us. We haven’t heard this particular sound selection from you in past mixes.

I try to work on a concept every time I record a mix. The last one I did was a more club-oriented thing, so for this mix I wanted to do something different. While searching for tracks for inspiration, I got this idea of making a mix with no straight 4 to the floor rhythms, but I didn’t want to make an ambient mix neither, so I just went for the in between. I used a bunch of tracks that work well at techno tempos but are also quite mental or melodic. This one is something you could listen while studying or reading quietly at home. At least that was my intention.

You moved to Berlin a couple of years ago – although being back in hometown Barcelona now. How was your time there, and what have you taken away from the experience?

The Berlin experience was great. Berlin is a city where you can live with little financial pressure and has a lot to offer on the cultural side. We threw a fair amount of parties there with our Geradehaus partnership. It was a modest thing, but we still managed to bring some names, like Hunee, Palms Trax, Fort Romeau or Lena Willikens, that are getting pretty big nowadays. I have a lot of good memories from my times there, but maybe the best thing about it is that it made me miss Barcelona a lot. Now that I’m settled back here, I like to focus on the best things my city has to offer.

What where the things you missed most about Barcelona, besides the amazing tapas you guys have?

Well I’m all about good food, so tapas, restaurants and being able of buying fresh fish at the local market was a big part of it. Besides that, I missed the good weather and family and friends of course. Obviously on the cultural side Barcelona has less to offer than big European capitals as Berlin or London, but for the size of the city, I thing we still have a very high rate of interesting producers, some great festivals and a handful of spots with consistently good bookings.

Next to that, it’s home to one of Europa’s most prestigious record labels Hivern Discs. An imprint you’ve been a long-time member of and released on multiple times. Tell us a little bit about your relationship with the Hivern Discs family.

I’ve known the Hivern Discs crew for a while now. Barcelona isn’t a big city, so if you have similar tastes, you end up hanging on the same spots, going to the same records shops and finally getting to now each other. That’s what happened with them, so when we got the first Aster demos and decided to send music to some labels, Hivern Discs was there as our top priority. It’s a really nice experience to work with a label from your town that releases music that you really love and takes the time to support projects like mine. Their quality level standard is always very high and sending new tracks to them can be frustrating sometimes, but at the end it’s a good thing for me, because they force you to make more interesting music every time.

Your “Thrills” EP landed on Hivern Discs last year, which is without doubt one of your most celebrated outings till date, featuring three original cuts next to remixes by John Talabot and Christian S. Talk us true the creative process of making the EP.

The Thrills EP is a little bit like a diary of my moving from Berlin to Barcelona. I remember the Thrills track was one of the latest songs I finished in my studio in Berlin. It came together really quickly, as some of the good tracks I’ve done. I played this really silly repetitive bass on the Juno and the main melody and drums got there fast. Later on I spent months adjusting parts and getting the mix right, but the main idea came from that first session.

Tightbrass and Bailar were the first two songs I finished when I arrived back to Barcelona. Bailar was intended to be an edit at the beginning. I was messing around with a song from a well known Latin singer and I kept adding layers of drums and synths until there was practically no elements from the original track I was trying to use. Tightbrass instead is just me getting weird on a cheap Yamaha synth on top of a heavy bass from the Tetra. These two tracks and the two edits on the NVH were made on a couple of months on my actual studio in Barcelona. Getting a new workplace right and feeling good in there is a critical thing for me, I think those feelings were critical for the music I made during that period of my life.

Talking about those edits. You’ve done quit a lot of them over the years, next to your acclaimed “Noche / Templo” EP. Is this something you particularly like doing and what inspires you to edit a certain track?

When I go record shopping I spend half my budget on second hand records I won’t play out as they are. I like to rip those records and work some parts on the studio making them more playable. Sometimes I’ll just add some drums and other times I’ll remake the whole song, it really depends of the material you have.

Next to your solo project as JMII, you’re part of Olde Gods together with Guillamino, which whom you run the Minor Planets imprint. What can you tell us about the project?

We began working together three years ago when I asked Pau (Guillamino) for some vocals for a couple of unfinished tracks I had. He’s as good producing as singing, so he added enough ideas and melodies to call those tracks a joint effort, so we just decided to go from there and started a project together. After three EPs (the fourth one is a cassette full of edits to be released this month) we sort of established an Olde Gods sound, which has evolved from more mellow and pop on the begging, to this sort of weird homage to classic house that we do now.

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