Steve Jansen

Steve Jansen

Steve Jansen (born Stephen Batt, 1 December 1959, in Beckenham, Kent, England) is an English drummer, percussionist, musician and composer.

He was educated at Catford Boys’ School, Catford, South East London, leaving at 16. He is self-taught.

He is a founding member of the group Japan, along with his brother David Sylvian (vocals, guitars and keyboards), Mick Karn (bass guitar), Richard Barbieri (keyboards), and Rob Dean (guitar).
After Japan broke up in 1982, Jansen recorded with bandmate Richard Barbieri under the name Jansen/Barbieri and released an album (Catch The Fall) as The Dolphin Brothers, with Jansen handling lead vocals as well as drums and percussion.

In 1991, Jansen, Barbieri, and Karn formed Medium Productions as a venue for releasing their own music, as well as releases by other artists.

Jansen has worked extensively as a session musician and in collaboration with a wide range of international artists, such as Yukihiro Takahashi and Italian singer-songwriter Alice. He collaborated with David Sylvian and Burnt Friedman on the Nine Horses project, which has given birth to one album and one extended play CD released through Sylvian’s record label Samadhi Sound. Jansen has consistently toured with David Sylvian, playing drums and percussion.

He released his solo album, entitled Slope in 2007; Jansen “approached composition attempting to avoid chord and song structures and the usual familiar building blocks. Instead I wanted to piece together unrelated sounds, music samples, rhythms and ‘events’ in an attempt to deviate from my own trappings as a musician.” The album was released on Samadhi Sound, and features Sylvian in a “bluesy” duet with Joan Wasser, and contributions by Anja Garbarek, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Thomas Feiner and Nina Kinert.

Jansen has continued to work on new compositions, some of which he has released as stand-alone tracks, and has indicated that he is currently working on his second solo album. He is in demand as a producer and collaborator, working with musicians across a range of genres. A recent re-release of the 1995 Jansen/Barbieri album Stone To Flesh includes a new track ‘Map of Falling’, composed by the 2 musicians in 2015.

During his time with Japan, Jansen dabbled in photography, documenting the band and their transient lifestyle. He held small-scale photographic exhibitions in Tokyo (1982) and London (1983) A selection of these images are available on his website In October 2015 Steve released a book of his photography Through A Quiet Window which is available to purchase from artes publishing

External links

Artist information provided by WikiMedia

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