Finn Johannsen: The Ransom Note Mix

5 Minute Read

Those in the know, know that Finn remains one of the most impressive DJ’s around – with unsurpassable knowledge and technique to match.

Finn Johannsen is a bit of an unsung hero – not one to seek the limelight or stardom he has given more to the wlectronic music community than most having worked in numerous capacities over many years. Finn has worn many hats – a journalist, a promoter, a label boss, a DJ and beyond. His taste is ridiculously good and you’d be hard pushed to find someone who knows as much about the lineage and roots of dance music as he does.

At present he works behind the scenes at the infamous Paloma in Berlin.


It is also here that he has become a figurehead behind the stellar club night Power House which has helped breathe life into the fundamentals and roots of House music in the city at its core.

Few DJ’s are as technically able as Finn, who regularly plays mammoth extended vinyl sets which span hours at a time.

This mix is honestly long overdue, we thought we’d asked him before but we hadn’t. Thankfully it’s better than even we could have imagined.

Listen and read the interview below:

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?

My name is Finn Johannsen. I live in Berlin. I am a DJ, writer, co- run the label Macro Recordings and I am a booker for the Berlin clubs Paloma and Monarch.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

I get bored quite easily, so I have no defined sound as such. But imagine an image of happy, nocturnal chaos. Take this example from a gig in Paris some years ago:

Where was the mix recorded?

In my studio/home office.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Late at night, heading somewhere. Or early in the morning, returning from somewhere.

What should we be wearing?

Whatever makes you feel good.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

I love any setting that leads to a recorded set in which you can hear the people scream on the floor. But I also like to record a mix at home. In any case my way of playing records differs quite a lot between a live or studio context.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

All of them.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Klaus Stockhausen live at Front Club, Hamburg, March 11th 1987.


If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

It would be some great club in the 70s, where new ideas and great people fell into place. I am so old that I was out clubbing in all the following decades, but I was too young for that.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

2x Technics SL-1200 MKII and an Ecler Smac first mixer. Mixer finally died last year and I replaced it with an Ecler Nuo. No, I am not an audiophile.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Both are equally important.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First: Blondie – Heart Of Glass. Last: Al Kent – Loving You

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Fish & Chips at North Sea, Bloomsbury, London. Eaten in good company.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A night owl.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

None. All you have to do is to find another record that fits.

Upcoming in the world of…

Spending some beautiful time with my loved ones and good friends. And spending some beautiful nights wherever my professional activities will lead me.

Anything else we need to discuss?

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

Photograph courtesy of Marie Staggat.