Jerome Isma-Ae

Associated with three of our favorite labels – Armada, Anjunabeats, and Toolroom – German DJ/producer Jerome Isma-Ae has been a favorite for quite a while. His progressive sounds and notable basslines are attention-holding, and we could listen to his podcasts on loop for days. Check our interview for Jerome’s advice on layering basses, his unofficial speed record, and the deal on his next collab with Ilan Bluestone.

Describe your sound with three words.
Techy progressive grooves.

Do you remember the point in time you realized this would be your career?
Yes, when I was 14 and I programmed my first beats with the Yamaha RY 30 drum machine. Nothing else mattered than making beats.

From your experience playing in the US, how does the crowd here compare to that back home?
It’s hard to say because I almost never play at home, but the US crowd is very passionate and energetic. It’s always great to play in the USA.


Who has been your favorite artist to work with? Who do you want to work with in the future?
I like to work with Ilan Bluestone a lot. Our sounds fit great together. I don’t think much about the future, but we will see who i will work with.

Your work with Ilan Bluestone has full, clean bass layering. Any pointers on layering basses for producers?
Learning by doing. There are no rules; everything that sounds good is good.

Any details on a new Ilan Bluestone collab coming out?
Yes, our follow-up of “Under My Skin,” which is called “Tension,“ will be released in August on Anjunabeats. I already played it around the globe, and Above & Beyond played it as  their intro at Ultra Miami. The reaction is intense.

We just saw some photos on your Facebook page riding a camel. What has been the most wild thing you’ve done while traveling?
I love to drive very fast, so I’m holding the unofficial speed record from Munich downtown to the airport. I did it once at 5 a.m. with no traffic in 12.5 minutes. The distance is around 40 kilometers (25 miles), top speed was 325 km/h (202 mph). That’s pure fun that became very rare, because even on the German autobahn there’s usually a lot of traffic.

From when you started to now, how would you say you’ve changed and what has helped you along the way?
The only thing that really helps is to improve your production skills over and over. It’s a never-ending learning process.

What would you do with a week off?
Spend time with my son.

Catch us playing with Jerome Isma-Ae at RISE After-Hours (Boston) on May 16 as part of the Together FestivalEvent info: