Steve Jansen

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Steve Jansen
Birth name Stephen Batt
Born (1959-12-01) 1 December 1959 (age 55)
Origin Beckenham, Kent, England
Genres New wave, pop, post-punk, art rock, experimental rock
Instruments Drums, electronic percussion, keyboards, sampler
Years active 1974–present
Labels Medium Productions
Samadhi Sound
Associated acts Japan
The Dolphin Brothers
Rain Tree Crow
David Sylvian
Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK)
Nine Horses
Website Steve

Steve Jansen (born Stephen Batt, 1 December 1959, in Beckenham, Kent, England) is an English drummer, percussionist, singer 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). Jansen is also a working photographer; he documented the band largely in black and white providing detail about their professional and private lives. He dabbled in surrealism with Karn with one of his sculptures as his subject.

After Japan broke up in 1982, Jansen recorded with bandmate Richard Barbieri under the name 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. His most recent project is Nine Horses with David Sylvian and Burnt Friedman, which has given birth to one album and one extended play CD released through Sylvian's record label Samadhi Sound.

Jansen played drums and percussion on tour with Sylvian through the latter half of 2007. On his first solo album, entitled Slope, 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."[1] The album was released in 2008 on Samadhi Sound, and features his brother in a "bluesy" duet with Joan Wasser, and contributions by Anja Garbarek, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Thomas Feiner and Nina Kinert.

Jansen has recently indicated that he is currently working on new compositions, which may result in either his second solo release or possibly a future Nine Horses product. There is also a possible remix of 'Polaroids' and 'Tin Drum' with Richard Barbieri in the pipeline.

Jansen's photographs can be ordered from his website He can be approached through his Tumblr page Sleepyard where he answers most posted questions. He writes free verse, most notably the composition to go with a Stygian shot of Karn marking his passing.


with Japan[edit]

with Rain Tree Crow[edit]

with Jansen/Barbieri[edit]

  • 1985 – Worlds In A Small Room (Pan East (UK) / JVC Victor (Japan))
  • 1991 – Stories Across Borders (Venture / Virgin)
  • 1995 – Stone To Flesh (Medium Productions)
  • 1996 – Other Worlds In A Small Room (Medium Productions)

with Jansen/Barbieri/Karn[edit]

  • 1994 – Beginning to Melt (Medium Productions)
  • 1994 – Seed (Medium Productions)
  • 1999 – ISM (Polydor / Medium)
  • 2001 – Playing in a Room with People (Medium Productions)

with The Dolphin Brothers[edit]

  • 1987 – Catch the Fall (Virgin Records)
  • 1987 – Face To Face (Japanese T.V.C.M. 7” Single) (Virgin Records)

(Also included on Virgin Japan CD release of Catch The Fall)

with Jansen/Barbieri/Takemura[edit]

  • 1997 – Changing Hands (Medium Productions)

with D'Agostino/Foxx/Jansen[edit]

  • 2009 - A Secret Live (Metamatic)

with Vault of Blossomed Ropes[edit]

  • 2014 – Vault of Blossomed Ropes (Triple Bath[2])


External links[edit]