Janet Jackson



What feels like the work of a decade for Jan Lankisch (Tomlab, Edition Fieber, Weekend-Festival), finally drops: with “Dear Janet” Lankisch delivers a 17 song (and even more rest silently in the archive) declaration of love to Janet Jackson. And the planets are aligned for “Dear Janet” arrives, somehow perfectly scheduled to complement Jackson’s own comeback, “Unbreakable”.

For Kaput, Lankisch tells the stories behind the cover versions.






Deradoorian “The Pleasure Principle”
“I was with Dirty Projectors in late 2008 when I had the idea to start this compilation project. So Angel Deradoorian’s song had to be the opening track for this release. I love how she mellowed out the repetitive groove of the original song and turned it to a sparse, haunted beauty.”

Karl Blau “Rock With U”
“I always had Karl Blau in mind to ask him to do a track for this compilation. A lot of my favorite work of his reminds me partly of early experimental-era Beck. I wanted some white soul and I got it. It’s pretty funny as I think he is one of the only artists on this compilation who had never really been much connected with Janet’s work. So I was astonished to hear the wonderful result. The crazy sax on this one is amazing.”

Dreaming and Delicious “All for you”
“My friend Nicholas Krgovich virtually introduced me to the two Melbourne based artists Martha and Hazel Brown who he had worked with before. I knew they were obsessed with R’n’B and I immediately got a thumbs up when I asked them to join the project. This one’s a total jam! Martha has just started a solo project called „Banofee“.”

Nicholas Krgovich “He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive”
“Nick is an old, very good buddy of mine and one of the first artists that I told about this project. He usually sings very high on his R’n’B inspired songs so I was super surprised by this great low-toned, homoerotic declaration of love. What a great version. I’m seeing Chris Rea and Leonard Cohen meeting on the beat of Bruce Springsteen’s „Streets of Philadelphia“.”

Naytronix (w/ Tune-Yards) “What Have You Done For Me Lately”
“I had a Tune-Yards show with Nate and Merrill over here in Cologne when I asked them. When they returned to Oakland they made the song within a week. It’s incredible to hear what they made out of that song. So much love in the detail. Also one of my favourites.”

Albert McCould (w/ Sean Wood) “Black Cat”
“I met Elizabeth Wood (aka Albert McCloud) through a common friend of a friend of Angel Deradoorian. Her voice is so incredible. She also managed to make something totally different out of the original song which is just brilliant. She still has a couple of amazing unreleased songs on the shelf. Please ask her to play them for you!”

Lake “Escapade”
“At one point I had very few „band“-songs in this repertoire so I thought that K-Records band LAKE who I did a show with could suit well. Their result speaks for itself. Escapade always was (and still is) my favorite song on “Rhythm Nation 1814“, the first Janet Jackson I discovered.”

Batsch “Together Again”
“I met Batsch who were playing with Nick K on his last European tour. I think their contribution is also a great cover and in addition with LAKE I am happy to have another wonderful guitar-bass-drums-version of her music. It reminds me of New Order in parts.”

Scout Niblett “Nasty”
“I am a long time fan of Emma’s work and I was more than happy when she committed to be part of this project. She definitely wanted to “Nasty“ when she learned that nobody had picked it yet (which was crazy given the project’s advanced progress). I was soooo impressed by this cool rave-y thing she delivered. Stunning! (Since the late release of this record Scout decided to add the track to a 2013 single she put out with Drag City – the song is only on the vinyl version of this release – digital from DC).”

The Harpoons “Let’s Wait A While”
“Funny to see right now how this all came together within this network of different people being involved. I never met the Harpoons in person but Martha and Hazel of Dreaming and Delicious recommend them to me and I am very pleased by their cover.”

Dream Tiger “Control”
“Liz is married to Josiah Wolf of WHY? so we met at a show of theirs. She also was immediatley into doing a song! I think even Yoni Wolf is involved in the production of this version. Super deep, I love this one!”

Woom “Rhythm Nation”
“I think it was right next day after the idea of this compilation was born with Dirty Projectors that I was it WOOM’s house in Brooklyn, cooking indian with them. After the dinner they were on board for this one.”

The Rests (w/ Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs) “Someone To Call My Lover”
“Aaron Olson was playing several times with different bands at the King Georg bar in Cologne. He told me that he would love to do a Burt Bacharach style song where his version would concentrate on the chorus. I love it. Also please check out his new great project „L.A. Takedown“.”

The Present “If”
“My friend Rusty Santos was also very early on board for this one. He and his partner Mina, together as The Present originally did a version of „Miss You Much“. After two years not talking when this project was on hold he said „Oh I did a better one, here is our version of „If“ “ – Amazing :)”

High Places “That’s The Way Love Goes”
“The original song is my absolute favorite track of Janet’s. It came out by a time I was already listening to Nirvana and Sonic Youth but it still had a deep impact on me. At first I could not make complete peace with this version. They took everything out of this song that I loved. The 3 years waiting before this project finally was completed definitely helped a lot to grow with this track and learn to love it. And now I do very much.
They did everything right that they only could. Working on a cover and completely giving it a new shape. I thank them for that!”

Katie Eastburn “When I Think Of You”
“Also this track was at first one of the very few I could’t dig right away. I found it too weird and I was a bit irritated. But like with the High Places Song Katie really managed to come up with something truly original to make this interpretation special and great. I also love the Lo-Fi-charme of this recording a lot. It’s a great contrast to a lot of the other songs on this compilation.”

Marker Starling “Young Love”
“This is such great closing track. My friend Chris Cummings track came in just 2 weeks before this was released. I love that he picked a song of Janet’s debut album that none had picked anything from until then. Young Love was Janet’s first single from 1982 and it’s great to end this with a similar sparse and close track as how this compilation started. A beautiful white soul version of this beautiful teenage love song. Well done, Chris!”


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