MICHAEL BANEL, Founder of Iboga Records & Sofa Beats...
DJ Michael Banel, also writing as Behind blue eyes, is known for his many amazing progressive trance sets around the globe during more than 10 years and before that he was a well known DJ in his home country Denmark and in Sweden, playing sets since the early days of the techno/house scene in scandinavia. Michael Banel has altogether more than 20 years of DJ experience (since 1988). These days Michael Banel DJ..s an OUTSTANDING & energetic mixture of Techno, prog. house & prog. trance.
Michael Banel / Behind Blue Eyes has played in some of the worlds biggest events, such as Boom 2006 + 2008, Voov 2005 + 2006, Roskilde 2008 and also played some big festivals and other events in Denmark, Germany, Israel, India, Mexico, Thailand, Croatia, Italy, Turkey, Austria, Australia, Brasil, France, Greece, USA, Canada, Spain and many more places.
Banel is a creative and administrative resource, a strong representive for the Iboga label and the artists around it. As one of the founders and owners of the label, Banel has been there since the beginning, being part of compiling and releasing more than 100 CDs and vinyls while working on the establishment of Iboga Records, as being one of the leading labels/team of artists in the world, in a broad range of progressive electronic dance and chillout music, during the last years also being established as one of the top selling labels online.
Michael Banel got interested in electronic music in the eighties where a friend introduced him to acid house. He also took him to his first house parties in 1988, it was the Coma Club in Copenhagen, where he had to cheat to get a member ship because he only was 15 years old at that time. After these first encounters he started buying acid house records and tried to play them in his sets in a youth club. Later in the early nineties he began playing at underground parties in the Copenhagen area, and the "House/Techno" styles exploded in many directions. It became obvious for him that he was interested in alot of these new directions.
Between 1994-97 Banel was part of an event organisation called "Rotundum", who organised alot of events in the Copenhagen area, and played DJ sets at many of those events. Michael started buying equipment for music production, in the beginning with Rene from Beat Bizarre, and started the Iboga studio together with Amon, Emok and Jeppe. Around 1996-97 the ideas and planning of a Copenhagen label was taking shape and it was named Iboga Records...It was in those days that a "new" Copenhagen sound was developing. As the term "scandinavian progressive trance" appeared, the Iboga team played a strong role in the development those early days. Nowadays Iboga Records has a strong focus on crossover Progressive House & Techno, And is still getting an ever growing stronger attention & following, with support from a long list of todays biggest names.
RELEASES And Compilations: Banel, Emok & Amon compiles the first Iboga CD compilations "Tabernanthe", "Ethno Botany", "Tryptamin" & "Amina". Banel & Emok compiles "Set:1". Banel, Emok, Alhad & Sommer compiles "Ectoplasma" & "Set:2". As part of the Fabel project in the late nineties up to 2003, Banel & Alhad released tracks on Iboga, Tatsu and Transient records. Fabel was a project between some of the Iboga artists; Jeppe, Oliver, Alhad, Banel & Emok. There was talks of an Album but it was never released.
Banel released a mixed cd compilation on Iboga early in 2003 (Dj Banel in the mix). Banel & Emok compiled the CD..s "Puzzled" & "Set:3" released on Iboga Records.
In the last part of 2004, Rene (from Beat Bizarre) and Banel started a new project together called "Behind Blue Eyes". The first release came on the Iboga compilation "Playground" Compiled by Banel & Emok, released in December 2004.
In February 2005 Banel released His second mix CD (Iboga in the mix). It was released as a free CD which was included with an issue of the Greek Magazine "Freeze". Iboga Releases the compilation "Set:5 Summer Collection" compiled by Banel & Emok.
Behind Blue Eyes released It..s first album on Iboga Records in November 2005.
A Behind Blue Eyes - Perfect Stranger collaboration took place in Spring 2006, which resulted in the track "Diamond in the Rough". The track has two versions and got released on Iboga (Summer Collection Vol. II compiled by Banel & Emok) and on Flow Records. Iboga releases the compilation "Nuance", compiled by Banel & Emok.
Banel has also compiled a CD together with DJ Vedant from Mexico, released June 2006, holding the title "Tabernanthe 2 - Back to the Roots. Marking the opening of the new Mexican label "Iboga Mexico". A label working closely with the iboga HQ in Copenhagen.
Behind Blue Eyes released another album in May 2007. This time a double CD (Remix album) with a live recording and a big collection of remixes from a great line up of international artists.
Through the time Banel also collected and got deeply inspired by chillout / ambient and downbeat music, and has been playing sets of this at some events from time to time. In 2005 Banel & Emok decided to open a sub label to Iboga called "SOFA BEATS", concentrating on a broad spectrum of electronic music in the chilled / downbeat end. It is on Sofa Beats that we find the successful "Floating Point Series" and artists like Seahorse transform, Oliver Jones, Digital mystery tour, Koan and Krusseldorf. Michael Banel & Emok compiled Floating point 1+2 (released on Iboga Records), while Michael Banel compiled Floating Point Part 3 (Sofa Beats).
About Behind Blue Eyes - after the Sonica gig in Italy, August 2007, Rene nielsen (formerly Beat Bizarre) is stopping his involvement in the project and music production in general, leaving it up to Michael Banel to continue the story.. In 2007 Banel (and Emok) compiled 3 CDs for millennium, Goa Vol. 23 (CD1), Progressive Trance vol. 5, Progressive Trance vol. 6.
In 2008 Behind Blue Eyes & Krusseldorf embarks on a collaboration project, first release is "The world is our Oyster" on Iboga compilation "Set:8 Electronic Ballroom". On "Set:9 Desert Selections" Behind Blue Eyes is present with a remix of the C-Jay tune "Miko". Behind Blue Eyes releases a remix for C-Jay "Commencement" on C-jay..s album Magnanimity" on Sessions Recordings in 2008. A Behind Blue Eyes remix of the Koan Tune "Watermarks" got released as digital download (Watermarks remixes EP) on Iboga Records in the autumn of 2008. Banel & Emok compiled Progresive Trance vol. 7 for Millennium Records, while Michael Banel compiled Goa Beach Vol. 9 for Milennium Records.
July 2009 Iboga releases a double CD compilation "Set:10 CPH-IBZ" including the Behind Blue Eyes & Sun Control Species track "Portrait of a Heartbeat". Furthermore a new krusseldorf EP "Thermo Nuclear" was released (at Iboga Records) on July 21st incl. a Michael Banel down tempo remix of the Krusseldorf tune "Bottomless Pit". In September (8th) 2009, a new EP with Yotopia released on Iboga, incl. a Behind Blue Eyes remix of the track "Domination". In December 2009 came the 18 track long double album "Kisses from the clouds" (IbogaCD68, Iboga compact stick 68), by Behind Blue Eyes and Krusseldorf with guest appearences by many great artists. Currently Michael is working on a compilation project (Cross Link 2) between Slater from Tribal Vision & Banel from Iboga Records (March 2010)
Krusseldorf aka Simon Heath was born in Stockholm, Sweden 1977. Piano school at an early age led to frustration of having to play other peoples' works instead of creating his own, so with an Amiga and a microphone he started learning the ropes of production early on, and started climbing them with great care. Simon has released 18 full length albums in many genres over the years, among them: Atrium Carceri, a black ambient / noise /industrial project that released 5 albums; Za Frûmi, his classical music project, which to this date spans 8 albums and have gotten tracks featured and played by the famous 100+ man Swedish Radio Symphonic Orchestra at the once a year classical music event on national TV.
He was also involved or release under the names: Abnocto, Couchlock, Alembic, Sojobo, Dorf Unit, Preponderance and Knaprika.
Krusseldorf makes diverse music, that ranges from glitchy dreamy atmospheric pieces to happy dubby tunes. A term often used to describe his sound, is that it is highly cinematic.
As Krusseldorf he released two albums and few EPs in Sofa Beats/Iboga, and an album and EP on Beats & Pieces. Simon is now finalizing the next Krusseldorf album for Aleph Zero. Another double album release is planned for Beats & Pieces.
Download available on www.psyjukebox.com