Blank & Jones

Piet Blank, who recognized the great desire in him for music after purchasing his first record “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde, had his first experience in spinning a record on a turntable at age 16. René Runge, on the other hand, who resides in Düsseldorf and who is better known as Jaspa Jones had his first experience as a DJ at age 19.[1] Together with help from Andy Kaufhold they formed the trance production team Piet Blank & Jaspa Jones (which would later become simply Blank & Jones) after meeting at the Popkomm music conference.[2]

Even though they had been together for a few years, they did not release their first single, “Sunrise”, until 1997. Their first album, In the Mix, was a studio production that came out in 1999. As of 2008, thirteen of their singles have made it into the German Top 50, and three into the Top 20. Each album made the Top 50, including two which reached the Top Ten.

Blank & Jones have teamed up with Robert Smith from The Cure, Anne Clark, Sarah McLachlan, Claudia Brücken from (Propaganda), Pet Shop Boys, and Delerium. They have also contributed to the Café del Mar compilation series and produced their own chill-out albums, Relax, Relax (Edition 2), Relax (Edition 3), Relax (Edition 4), Relax (Edition 5), Relax (Edition 6) and Relax (Edition 7).
The Singles

In 2006 Blank & Jones and their long-standing production colleague Andy Kaufhold collated their finest material on one release, The Singles, which also included two new tracks:
“     We felt the time had come to put all our singles together on one CD, we preferred to see it as one step along the way, rather than a mere retrospective. A little breather before we moved onto new pastures … Our aim was to retain the flair of each original track. We wanted them to sound just as they did when we made them, but clearer, in the same way as one restores a painting. You don’t paint it from scratch, you just bring out the colours again.[3]     ”

The album was also released in Limited Edition format, in which The Singles are complemented by a DVD, bringing together all Blank & Jones videos on one disc for the first time. The videos feature people such as Estella Warren and Til Schweiger in “Beyond Time”, the latter having also directed the clip. The DVD was produced and designed by Thomas Jahn, scriptwriter and director of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and also responsible for “The Hardest Heart”, “Mind of the Wonderful”, “Perfect Silence” and “Desire”. The video for the single “Catch” was directed by Conchita Soares and Toni Froschhammer which features TV actress Nadine.
Current activities

The chart success of Blank & Jones is partially based on their club-gigs, radio shows and other live-performances including events such as Love-Parade, StreetParade and Mayday. The success is further boosted by their activeness as moderators on Eins Live-TV and by being the Co-host on Viva-Clubrotation.[1]

When asked about the key to their success, their response is:
“     We do everything digitally, on the basis of Final Scratch, which allows us to use our own edits and mixes, nothing comes straight from tape. Every set we play is unique, not only sound-wise but also in terms of what we play and how we play it. Roughly 60% of our set consists of our own repertoire, as where better to present our own material than via the DJ decks.[3]     ”

Blank & Jones perform at major festivals and raves in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia. They also travel further afield on a regular basis, to Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia.

Piet Blank is also the host of the Club Mix that is aired on international flights by Lufthansa, where he hosts a two hour radio show that shows different artists such as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Fritz Kalkbrenner. The show is hosted in German as well as in English.

They released their latest single entitled “Miracle Cure” on May 30, 2008, off their new studio album The Logic of Pleasure which is a collaboration with New Order’s frontman Bernard Sumner. This collaboration was realised with the help of renowned Berlin based record producer Mark Reeder who is a long term friend of Sumner’s. Blank & Jones invited Reeder to remix “Miracle Cure” and this in turn, brought about their collaboration with him and a new project was conceived. This resulted in Reeder completely reworking most of the Blank & Jones vocal tracks for the successful and highly acclaimed 2009 album “Reordered”.[4]