It all started with an urge to play with sound and a desire to know more. After several years buried in books, manuals, patch cables and messing with a DIY synth, JakoJako (real name Sibel Koçer) was playing her first live sets in Berlin, spending every spare cent on Eurorack modules. The passion soon became all-consuming, and in 2017 she left her nursing career to work at Berlin’s synth shop institution SchneidersLaden. Here she’s been sharing her grasp of tools and techniques with the city’s music maker community.
Technique is no use without ideas to apply it to – fortunately JakoJako has a natural curiosity. “When you hear a sound in an environment, say a car passing by, you don’t appreciate the complexity until you think how you might synthesise it,” JakoJako explains. “Then it becomes something abstract; a collection of modulated pitches and timbres. I love to listen to the world like this.”
Her approach may seem studious, but JakoJako uses this fluency in the language of sound to convey emotion. Each track is an experiment, with success based on the intensity of feeling it creates. Her EPs Aequilibration and Lux showcased this explorative mindset, with very different stylistic ideas tied together through emotive sound design, sharp production, and a strong sense of melody.
With regular events disappearing in 2020, live music migrated to URL, finding a global audience in shared experience of isolation. After streaming a live set with HÖR she was invited to join ARTE, Innervisions and United We Stream alongside Âme and Frank Wiedermann. This led to a filmed live performance in her studio for FACT Magazine’s Patch Notes series and an in-depth studio feature for Electronic Beats, which together amassed over a million views (and counting). More recently, she’s followed up with live performances with Annalise van Even aka Nana at Superbooth and Kraftwerk Berlin.
IRL JakoJako has made good use of studio time: she’s contributed tracks to compilations on BPitch Control, Tresor and Figure as well as remixing crouds, New Order and Martin Gore. More new music by Berghain’s resident is imminent in 2022, with new albums on Bigamo Musik and WSNWG plus a novamute EP. JakoJako’s future, it seems, is akin to modular synthesis: sonically endless, full of opportunity, with boundaries yet to be pushed.