Under the monikers Burger Industries, the Bionaut, and the Modernist, Cologne, Germany's Jörg Burger has proven himself one of the city's most prominent and influential techno producers and composers. Burger's collaborations with fellow Cologne native Wolfgang Voigt (a.k.a. Mike Ink) shaped their individual careers as well. Initially inspired by the pop scene in London, where both Burger and Voigt resided in the early '80s, the pair became acid techno converts when they returned to Germany.
By 1988, they were recording electronic music influenced by both pop and acid techno, though Voigt's music had a minimal, rhythmic bent while Burger's was warmer and more melodic. Two of Burger's early tracks appeared on the 1989 compilation Teutonic Beats, which was produced by Thomas Fehlmann. Two years later, Burger and Voigt formed their first label, Trance Atlantic, on which Burger released Burger Industries: Vol. 1. In 1993, after a move to Frankfurt to work with Air Liquide's Jammin' Unit and Dr. Walker and the creation of two other labels, Structure (which released Burger's first Bionaut album, 1992's Everybody's Kissing Everyone) and Blue, Voigt and Burger put their collaboration on a temporary hiatus. Burger returned to Cologne and, along with recording artists like Cristian Vogel and Thomas Heckmann, he put his creative energies into Bionaut and one-off single projects, a new label, Eat Raw, a dance magazine called House Attack and a record store, Delirium.
He also contributed to the relaunch of the EMI Harvest label, which released Bionaut's 1995 longplayer Lush Life Electronica as well as the 1996 Burger/Ink album Las Vegas and the Modernist's debut, 1997's Opportunity Knox, which were both received warmly by publications like Spex, Muzik, Jockey Slutand Mixmag. Around this time Burger also founded Granit, a graphics and illustration studio responsible for the artwork on all of his projects' covers.
By 1999, Burger moved from EMI/Harvest to Sony, where he created the Popular Organisation, which featured a triumverate of labels: the dancefloor-oriented Popular Tools, the experimentally-based Popular Sound and Popular Music, which released electronically-inclined pop. Popular Tools released the Modernist's second album Explosion in Europe in late 1999; the album was released in the US by Matador Records -- who also released the domestic version of Las Vegas -- in early 2000 with new artwork and extra tracks. [See Also: Burger/Ink] ~ Heather Phares