DJ Tronika is the professional name of veteran electronic music producer, Jeff Koehler. Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s he released a string of popular singles, including the club hit “Cowboy Outfit Designer.” During that time he also had the opportunity to compose music for video games.
An eclectic and versatile producer, DJ Tronika has worked in house, techno, acid house, hardstyle, gabber and more. He cites cutting edge EDM artists like techno icons Underworld and the late DJ Tron as primary inspirations for his sound. Jeff recently returned to the studio after a long hiatus.
Blast Works (2023 Remaster) is the new album from DJ Tronika, released worldwide via all major streaming services on April 14, 2023. On the record, Koehler takes a fresh look at the ‘unofficial soundtrack’ he recorded for the Wii game Blast Works in 2008. The 12-song collection is a cinematic multi-genre EDM mash-up, and it’s a lot of fun.
From the hypnotic deep house grooves of “Dream With Me” to the 8-bit arcade vibes of “Happy Song”, Blast Works (2023 Remaster) takes listeners on an epic instrumental ride through decades of electronic music. Ambient synths meet progressive house beats (“Tranquility”) and trance moods (“The Only Constant is Change”) ride alongside synthwave and electro-pop dreams (“Blast Works”).
The record is just one of four full-length LPs that DJ Tronika has remastered and re-released for 2023. With the new releases the producer has reignited his music career after taking a few years off to start a family. Now he is back behind the board and working on brand new music.
Check out Blast Works (2023 Remaster) in its entirety below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the songs “Dream with Me” and “Origami 2023” on the Deep Indie Chill playlist, and “Attack of the Rave Monster” on Deep Indie Dance. We had the chance to chat with DJ Tronika about the record. Read his answers to our 8 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist.
8 Questions with DJ Tronika
Where are you from?
Chicagoland area, IL, USA
How long have you been making music?
I started making music around 1997 with drag and drop electronic music making software. I made about 20 or so songs including my #1 hit “Cowboy Outfit Designer”. In 1999 I got pretty heavy into hardstyle and gabber and messed around with more analog stuff. In 2002 I got back into making more trancy edm and light electronica music.
A few years later my DeVry buddies hit me up and asked if I’d like my music on their videogame “Blast Works” for the Nintendo Wii. I stopped producing soon after and took a break to get married and release spawns into this world of ours. For some weird reason now felt like a good time to remaster all of my tracks and release this awful, unique, amateur, different music to the world. I pride myself on having a pretty specific taste in electronic music so I just started to make music that I enjoy and could listen to.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Just me, the one and only Jeff Koehler, known as DJ Tronika, who happens to also be a cowboy outfit designer.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Underworld for sure. My beautiful freckled wife and I walked out to Born Slippy by Underworld. DJ Tron for sure also – way ahead of his time and died way too early in life. I listen to A*S*Y*S now and love me some acid techno.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
I’d say the movie Demolition Man.
What inspired you to create this project?
Everyone needs a hobby. For me making music, regardless of what people think about it, is super relaxing and makes me feel alive.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I constantly try to evolve the music I produce for better or worse. I am now working on a rap/industrial/psytrance album. There’s not really a genre for it yet so I’ll call it “Tronika” as a genre for now.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Take It easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
I made this album for the 2008 Nintendo Wii game, “Blast Works”. I ended up doing a bit more songs for it and just released the Remastered 2023 edition. I am a complete amateur that does this for me and me only. But hey, I like to share the good vibes – so dance on!