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Johannes Brecht’s single “A New Day” exudes a feeling of optimism and new beginnings. Afrobeat-influenced acoustic percussions form the upbeat basis of the track, but it’s the subtle synth chords and wistful strings that give it narrative and an emotional core. Brecht weaves elegance into easygoingness to create a single that’s moving and filled with depth while remaining cool and careless.

In an age dominated by brands and products, Johannes Brecht continues to show us that it still pays off to simply be yourself and do your thing. In his decade-long career as an electronic music producer working alongside heavyweights such as Henrik Schwarz and Solomun, he earned his stripes by cultivating freedom above any style, structure or strategy. Elegant and masterfully executed — undoubtedly, Brecht’s music has above all been praised for bringing a breath of fresh air to a scene so often guided by trends.

It’s only right that a musician who has his roots in jazz music, as Brecht does, is especially zealous of spontaneity. Born into a family of musicians in Stuttgart, he started playing the piano and double bass at a very early age, and he discovered himself as a musician through jazz, a genre that continues to inform his creativity to this day. “I’m still involved in jazz bands. I enjoy the freedom and improvisation, feeling the moment,” he says. It was through a collaboration with German deep house veteran, Henrik Schwarz that he had his first foray into the world of electronic music, releasing his first EP in Schwarz’s label in 2013. Since then, Brecht’s evolution has been consistent. He joined the Diynamic family in 2015 and every release he has put out has been met with surprise and excitement by musicians and listeners alike.

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Ten years since that first release, Johannes Brecht continues on his path of independence, culminating this year with the launch of his own label, 0b16a9. Running counter to the typical function of an imprint, to provide a framework, 0b16a9 is a platform to encourage fluidity. With a new EP launched every month, Brecht wants to maximise momentum by releasing music on the fly, as soon as it’s ready. “The world is changing so fast that I wanted to be able to release my music while I’m still in the moment. Do it quickly when the time feels right, without a big plan or discussions about marketing and all that. It should really be all about the music,” he says.

At the heart 0b16a9 is Johannes Brecht’s uncompromising desire to bring authenticity and community to the heart of not only his own music but also the wider industry. The label’s prerogative for freedom means the music can go wherever Brecht’s interests take him, anything from dance music to afrobeats and avant-garde jazz explorations are on the table. From the first three EPs however, it’s already possible to see how his imagination translates into a certain lightness and hopefulness shared amongst all tracks, a quality that makes them easy and delightful to connect to. “I try to live an optimistic life, to enjoy the moment. With my music I try to have this positive standpoint too”.