Jürgen De Blonde (Born in Eeklo, 1975) is a self-taught musician and composer. He’s been an active musician since the age of 12 when he started playing around with a small casio keyboard. From that time onward he’s been fascinated by electronic music and creating his own sounds and music. Not having an academic background, De Blonde’s interest in music has always been eclectic, allowing influences from a wide range of styles and sounds. Early influences were Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and mainstream pop music. Around the age of 16 De Blonde changed schools and became a pupil at SASK in Brugge where he was exposed to the world and practices of art and got to know a wide range of alternative music through fellow students and the music show 120 Minutes on MTV. There he got exposed to many new influences like Sonic Youth, Robert Wyatt, Spaceman 3, the whole wave of Shoegazing bands (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Boo Radleys ...) and all in all more guitar music, but also Aphex Twin, Autechre ... Meanwhile De Blonde played in a number of bands ranging from jazz to noise rock.
De Blonde expanded his instrumentarium with electric and acoustic guitars, samplers, beat boxes, four track recorder and whatever he got his hands on that could produce sound. He started making songs and sound experiments which he compiled onto tapes. Eventually this resulted in a number of modest releases on small tape labels.
By the mid-nineties he rediscovered the love for electronic music through experimental acts such as Oval, Germ, Microstoria and post-rock acts like Tortoise and Trans Am. He started making his own electronic compositions and this resulted in his first cd album in 1998 on KRAAK under the name “Köhn”. A second album followed in 1999, with a growing number of live shows across Europe and also in being asked by Sonic Youth to open their show at the Ancienne Belgique as a result. Meanwhile De Blonde had also joined de portables releasing a number of albums with that band and playing numerous live shows.
His music has since then been used for shortfilms, compilation albums and installations. He has also frequently been asked to compose new music for film projects.
In 2001 he released his eponymous double album “Koen” on Kraak, regarded by many as a masterpiece in independent electronic music. It was this album that also introduced him to André Gingras for whom he became a regular collaborator, making scores for a.o. The Lindenmeyer System, Hypertopia, Anatomica 1, Idoru,... and thus becoming a regular composer for contemporary dance. Other choreographers he has worked for are Sylain Emard and Arno Schuitemaker.
Currently, De Blonde is working part-time for an educational arts organisation, called Aifoon. Their work focuses on the world of sound, exploring the communicative and poetic possibilities of everyday sounds. Through workshops, events, collaborations and installations they research the many aspects of sound and how these can be used in educational and pedagogical contexts. Besides that, he’s maintaining his musical activities as a musician, composer and sound designer. In 2009 KRAAK released his Köhn comeback lp “We need more space in the cosmos”, on which he grasped back to his early synthesizer heroes.