This July, one of the UK’s most beloved and respected festivals is back after what’s felt like the longest ever 3 year hiatus. Between 21-22 July, Junction 2 will return to its rightful home, under the bridge and amongst the trees of the truly unique setting offered at Boston Manor Park.
Back with a bang, the show-stopping lineup is brimming with talent, covering every corner of electronic music from gut-busting techno, to spine-tingling breaks and hair-raising house. Among the headline acts are techno front runners FJAAK.
Arguably the coolest duo in electronic music, the pair have been making waves for over a decade since their debut release in 2012. Comprising of Felix Wagner and Aaron Röbig, the Berlin-based artists are now widely known for their energetic live performances and raw, analogue sound.
Drawing inspiration from their home city’s rich techno heritage infused with a unique style has led to their extensive fanbase and ever-growing acclaimed discography. It’s safe to say the duo has firmly established themselves as a leading force in the contemporary techno landscape and we speak for everyone attending J2 when saying we cannot wait for their performance.
Ahead of the day, we caught up with FJAAK to talk what they’re most excited about playing J2 this year, pre-set rituals, their Spandau20 imprint and what the future holds for the duo.
Hi FJAAK, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First of all, how has 2023 been for you so far?
Hello, thank you for having us! So far, 2023 has been an exciting year for us. We’ve been working on a lot of new music, our liveshow, planning upcoming shows releases and even a new label which will start soon this year.
Ravers are itching to get back to the magical Junction 2 setting at Boston Manor Park, there’s truly nothing quite like it in the UK. What excites you most about playing at the festival this year?
Playing at Junction 2 is gonna be a special experience for us. The energy of the crowd and the atmosphere of the festival supposed to be unparalleled and we’re really looking forward to share our music with everyone and to be part of such an amazing event.
J2 is known for curating forward-thinking and eclectic lineups, ushering in the brightest talents from every corner of electronic music. Who are you most looking forward to sharing the stage with this year?
We’re excited to see all the artists on the lineup, but we’re particularly looking forward to sharing the stage with Jeff Mills and Helena Hauff. They’re both incredible artists and we have a lot of respect for them.
How do you find playing to crowds in the UK vs other parts of the world? Do you approach your sets any differently depending on the location?
Playing to crowds in the UK is always a unique experience. It’s a very special crowd who is very receptive and energetic, and we always try to cater our sets to their special energy. It’s a lot of fun and very memorable to us for sure.
You often dip into a range of genres in your sets, with the odd curve ball here and there to keep the crowd on their toes. Talk us through how you came to playing this way.
We’ve always been interested in a wide range of genres, and we like to incorporate that into our sets. We believe that keeping the crowd on their toes and surprising them with different sounds and styles is what makes a set special. It’s the energy that changes what we’re looking for to surprise the crowd and keep the power rising up & up.
Your performances are known for being littered with IDs which everyone wants. What forthcoming or unreleased weapons have you been teasing in your sets recently?
We’ve been teasing some unreleased tracks from ourselves and some of our favorite artists from our new upcoming label in our sets lately. We can’t give away too much, but we’re definitely excited for our fans to hear the new music 😉
Do you have any pre-set rituals before you play?
Before we play, we always take a few minutes to center ourselves and get in the right mood. We also like to have a smoke and drink and hang out with the people from the club or the festival to get hyped up before the show or simply just talk about it & what’s going on.
Can you tell us what’s on your rider?
Our rider is small and pretty simple – some snacks, bubblegum, and maybe some good tequila or whiskey to celebrate after the show.
Your very own imprint Spandau20 has just released a heavy-hitting 3-tracker, including the much anticipated high-energy stomper from yourselves “Madlock”. What else do you have planned for the label this year?
We have a lot planned for Spandau20 this year. A lot of tracks from us and our Spandau20 family will come, so stay tuned for some exciting releases!
Shining the spotlight on young talent in Berlin and further afield is important to yourselves and Spandau20. We love that you’re helping to nurture the next wave of artists. During your career, how would you say the industry has changed for new artists looking to breakthrough?
The industry has changed a lot since we first started, but we believe that there are still opportunities for new artists to break through. With the rise of social media and streaming platforms, it’s easier than ever for artists to get their music out there. However, it’s also important for artists to focus on developing their own unique sound and techniques and not only their brand.
You recently held a label showcase at the world-renowned Fabric London with a hefty lineup including yourselves, Elli Acula, Nikk, Dajusch & more. Was club shows always part of the plan for Spandau20?
Club shows have always been a big part of our plan for Spandau20. We started very young also as promoters mostly throwing illegal raves in the woods until we got our first clubs to host. Organizing our label showcases was and is a very special part for us still.
Aside from on your own label, are there more releases for yourselves in the pipeline in 2023?
Yes, we have A LOT of releases in the pipeline for 2023. As we mentioned before we gonna start a new label series very soon and we have a pretty special upcoming collectors box for our FJAAK010 double EP.
Finally, throughout your time as DJs you’ve no doubt had some memorable moments, but what’s been a particular highlight from touring and whilst on the road?
There have been so many memorable moments from touring, but one that stands out was playing on New Year’s Eve at an illegal underground station, where no one has been inside for almost 60 years, it’s deep below ground close to Ostbahnhof Berlin.
It was such an iconic venue and properly organised by the right people and the energy in that thing was just incredible – almost scary haha. Over 5000 people came over so the police was just not able to stop it anymore – it seemed to be out of control but it was not, it was pure.
It was unique and for sure just for one night possible to do a party in there. We felt so connected to our lovely Berlin crowd and it was a really special experience for us!
Catch FJAAK among many others at this year’s Junction 2 festival. Seal your place here.