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I was born in Bochum, Germany, in 1966. My intense interest in music started when I was 12 years old. In 1978, I first recorded my own musical pieces. Those pieces were multiple track recordings – I just played single tracks from several tapedecks and re-recorded them with microphones placed directly in front of the speakers while playing new tracks at the same time. In doing so, I sampled pieces from the TV, or whatever there was to hear around me, and I sang, played guitar or produced other kinds of sounds. Moreover, I also created my first loop-based tracks by recording infinite loops from standard commercial audiotapes. Eventually, I became interested in electronically produced sounds, and in the early 80ies I began to incorporate syntheziser of the Korg MS-series and of Roland’s TB-303 and TR-606 into my music. Unfortunately, there are only four pieces left of this era. You can listen to them here on my website.

Thee Balancer - Dub Musician from Berlin - Presskit Photos

Photos: Hubertus Leischner – leischner-art.net – 2013

In those days my sister, who’s four years my elder, founded a collective of musicians which performed together with different members for a variety of projects under different names. I was part of this group for several recordings and performances.

Apart from several punk bands, I was most strongly influenced by the group Throbbing Gristle at that time. As to this day, I am still very enthusiastic about this band and what their members produced after their breakup and since their reunion in 2005.

20 Jazz Funk Greats' - 'Throbbing Gristle', 1979

Photo of the front cover of ’20 Jazz Funk Greats‘ – ‚Throbbing Gristle‘, 1979

During the first half of the 80ies, I discovered my passion for reggae music. Until today, I am still moved by Jamaican music from basically all epochs, ranging from Mento, Ska and Rocksteady to Roots und Dancehall. I am hardly interested, however, in what has come out of Jamaica since the end of the 80ies. First of all, the music is not exactly innovative anymore, and I also resent the lyrics which have become more and more aggressive in their glorification of violence and their homophobic tendencies. By contrast, the developments of Dub outside of Jamaica have become more and more interesting and have a much deeper impact on me.

My friends in a jamdong, 1988

Left side, my friend Rider and me – right side, Maas Herman – Jamaica 1988

In order to learn more about my favorite music, I decided to spend one year in Jamaica. I went there in 1988 for the first time and lived in a secluded little village in the hills at the coast of Westmoreland. During this time, I learned a lot about the country, its people and their music. After I returned to Germany, I spent some time as a mediocre drummer of a mediocre Roots-Reggae band.

Rambo on Drums, Rainer on Bass, Reggae Band 'Firstlight'

My friend Rainer on Bass, me on drums, taken from a newspaper article, 1989. By this time Rainer is the bass player of the ‚Yard Vibes Crew‘ – among others the backing band of ‚Jahcoustix‘.

Around the same time, I became interested in film making and invested all my modest savings into various short film projects. In the fall of 1992, I finally enrolled in the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne with the focus on directing for film and TV. A wonderful time ensued during which I could work freely on my own projects. The latest technology was always available, and I was able to develop my skills in the areas of script writing, camera, direction, editing and postproduction without any distractions. In the later phases of my studies, I almost exclusively focused on sound design and film score. Given the fact that it is always difficult to finance film projects without compromises, I have refrained from realizing films since the end of my studies.

Lomo Cam App Selfportrait 'Thee Balancer'

Selfportrait taken witch ‚Quad Cam‘ App, 2009

After I graduated in 1996 I moved to Berlin where I spent a large chunk of my time partying and dancing in the city’s techno clubs. It wasn’t until 2004 that I began to write and produce my own music again. Since I don’t really have much time to spend on musical projects, my output is not exactly huge. As a matter of fact, I only work alone at the moment. I could well imagine to cooperate with others for certain projects. In case someone is interested, please contact me.

Rambo aka Thee Balancer, September 2010