Gerd Janson is a highly respected, well-connected DJ and producer who runs the lauded house label Running Back, which he co-founded in 2002.
His eclectic DJ sets, which encompass several shades of techno, house, and disco, seamlessly blend classics and forgotten obscurities with fresh tracks, often months or even years before they catch on with other DJs. A longtime resident at Frankfurt club Robert Johnson and Berlin's Panorama Bar, Janson typically plays over 100 gigs per year at clubs and festivals across the globe. He's also released acclaimed mix CDs as part of the Live at Robert Johnson and Fabric series, as well as compilations on Sonar Kollektiv and Rush Hour. As a producer, he is best known for his remixes and edits, both solo and as part of Tuff City Kids, his duo with Phillip Lauer, who have been active since 2009.
Janson grew up close to Frankfurt, Germany, and began listening to dance music as a youth during the early '90s. As soon as he was old enough to go clubbing, he traveled around the country in order to see as many DJs as he could, regardless of genre. Along with DJ partner Thomas Hammann, he became a resident at Robert Johnson in 2000, and brought DJs such as Theo Parrish and Maurice Fulton to the club. Along with Thorsten Scheu, Janson launched Running Back in 2002. The label gradually racked up a busy release schedule, with records by Todd Osborn, Move D, Radio Slave, Tensnake, and others appearing by the end of the decade. In 2008, Janson compiled Computer Incarnations for World Peace II, an album of "topical disco and new age boogie," for the Sonar Kollektiv label. Janson and Lauer began Tuff City Kids as a remix project in 2009, primarily using hardware to reconstruct tracks by artists like Azari & III and Roland Appel; the duo began issuing original material a few years later.
In 2010, Janson and Hammann released their acclaimed Live at Robert Johnson mix CD, which fluidly blended house tracks from the previous two decades. The success of the mix, as well as the Running Back label, led to a busier gig schedule, a residency at Berlin's Panorama Bar, and high rankings on several DJ polls. He curated Musik for Autobahns, a compilation of downtempo and ambient tracks, for Rush Hour in 2012; Vol. 2 followed in 2015. The mix-CD Fabric 89 appeared in 2016, and Tuff City Kids' debut album, Adoldesscent, was released by Permanent Vacation the same year. Janson and Lauer also collaborated with Mark Barrott as Talamanca System, releasing an Ibiza-inspired self-titled full-length on International Feel Recordings in 2017. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi