Jens Mahlstedt

A pioneering force on the European dance scene since the late '80s, Jens Mahlstedt has done wonders for the status of German music abroad. He was, in fact, one of the very first house DJs and producers from the continent to make a name for himself across the channel in London, the city with Europe's most competitive dance music market. Sporting a shiny bald head as his trademark, Mahlstedt first appeared behind the decks in Berlin clubs, where he mostly played hip-hop, funk, and garage. Eventually, however, he shifted to the more progressive house and trance sounds favored by crowds in northern Germany. His reputation as a talented producer took off in 1994 with the release of a popular 12", titled "Loops 'n Tings." Mahlstedt then moved to London and applied his studio skills to the works of others; mixing the popular Trance Nation compilations and remixing works by such artists as Tokyo Ghetto Pussy and Team Deep. In 1997, he hooked up with another top German producer, Thomas Schumacher, to record a couple of singles -- "Pressure" and "The Boost" -- and the soundtrack to a fresh take on Shakespeare's Hamlet, which was staged in Bonn. The following year proved a big one for the shiny scalped Teuton, mainly thanks to two widely celebrated releases -- the compilation mix Mindcontrol, Vol. 1, and the album Monkey Island. Throughout the '90s, Mahlstedt also notched up performances at such high-profile dance music events as Mayday and Love Parade. During 2000, he wrote soundtracks for the art-house film Detour and a new version of the play My Fair Lady, which was shown in Hamburg. ~ David Peter Wesolowski

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