Steve Jansen Biography

Born 1959 into a family of five and grew up in South East London. Acquiring guitars in '71 along with brother David (Sylvian) they began to create their own music inspired by early Bolan/Finn recordings. Steve switched to drums in '74 as being left handed was too limiting for guitar. School friends Mick Karn (bass) and Richard Barbieri (keyboards) joined to form JAPAN. Signed to German label HANSA in 1977. Success in Japan sustained the band until signing with VIRGIN RECORDS in 1980. The rest of JAPAN's history is well documented. Due to the band's success and sudden disbanding many compilations have since emerged. Original members reformed for a one-off recording as RAIN TREE CROW in 1990.

A consistent partnership developed between Steve and Richard Barbieri and together they produced a series of 5 studio albums between 1985 and 1996 for VIRGIN RECORDS, VENTURE RECORDS, and their own independent label MEDIUM PRODUCTIONS which Steve formed in 1991 together with with KARN and BARBIERI. These were primarily instrumental works with occasional vocal compositions. Steve has sustained a long term co-writing / recording / touring relationship with YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI (YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA). He has also teamed up with various artists for other Medium Productions releases. Aside from these collaborations, work has been diverse. Steve has contributed as a musician, composer, producer, mixing engineer and live performer to alternative and occasional mainstream artists. Post 2000 Steve worked in collaboration with David Sylvian on various recordings as a member of a thee piece Nine Horses for Samadhi Sound. Steve released his debut solo album 'Slope' in 2007 followed by various other releases and reissues which can be found on the discography page.