Upon befriending John Johr, I was welcomed by the waters of reality of life after the party ends. Although he has participated in the surrealism that the electronic music lifestyle evokes, this has never steered him away from working hard. For years, he has worked in Detroit for Paxahau, making his way by spinning for both techno and deep house events. After his move to Chicago, you can still find him working at Spybar. Amidst all that, he still pours his time and love into the magic of making music.
There are the Aviciis and An21s of the electronic dance music world that seem to show all the fun and debauchery to be had. Essentially we see what the glamorous life of a DJ is believed to bring—the bottle service, the fan girls and the exclusivity. Even in the underground house and techno world, it still seems a whirlwind of parties and amazing venues that sum up a DJ or producer's life.
Perhaps what I enjoy most about John is that dose of reality. After getting to know him quite well, it is refreshing to know his work is based off of and around, well, real life. Something we can all relate to. It is not just parties and free reign all the time for everyone. A lot of time and effort goes into a decision most DJs or producers face at some point in their lives: how much am I willing to sacrifice for the music? Whether it be leaving your “real” job or not always being able to play what you would like to play, listeners and partygoers tend to lose sight of the realism that actually occurs—and is usually the inspiring force behind the music.
When I sat down with John Johr, he takes a moment to leave reality for a little and slip into his European adventures filled with stories of beautiful German clubs, monkeys and spinning with Visionquest. After all this, he is still able to step back and compare the US club scene to the European and so far, he has given me the best answer. It seems like every ocean of reality still needs a splash of magic.