Josh Tonnissen is gearing up for a new musical adventure under his moniker Konjecture. He shares with us the most important details about his brand new EP ‘Catching Butterflies’, recorded in California. He simply loves electronic music as much as we do. Get to know him better through this exclusive interview!
1 – We know you have released previous tracks under different aliases such as Praxis and Josh Tonnissen. What makes Konjecture’s music different?
Throughout the 2000’s I had been releasing and performing under the name Praxis, where the focus on the sound was a heavy London Acid Techno drive skewed a bit on the psy tip. The music was much faster, very heavy and much more of a wall of sound or maximal production. Over the years I have been shifting my sound down BPM a bit (124-128) and focusing on more subtle modulations and timbre development. The Konjecture sound is certainly more minimal than my previous works, but hardly minimal in the genre definition. A major theme in my current sound it to decorate the stereo field with evolving polyrhythmic drum hits that have a continuous and non-repeating shift in timbre, almost developing in a music concrete random sort of fashion. Still rooted in driving Techno, the new sound is a bit more mature, refined, and is a snapshot of future technology and the human interface.
2 – Why did you name your debut album ‘Catching Butterflies’?
The album is a gesture toward capturing the burst of creative energy that swells upon you while in the state of flow. While some days in the studio deliver no results, others are a rush of ideas and concepts that often arrive at such a rate that there is simply no way catch them all. The Monarch butterfly migrates through Santa Cruz where I live, and when you watch the way they interact with each other and the moments of instant flight they have, it reminds me of these instances in the studio. One moment they are calm, and the next there are millions of butterflies in flight, and to catch them is to harness creativity at its core.
3 – Which track was the most difficult to create? Why?
Probably “Ballad Of The Tarantula Hawk”. This track had a series of challenges to keep the modular in check as there were lots of parameters that were being modulated by a host of various LFOs and sequencers. The main lead synth line that has a psy feel to it, was running through a 3/16th delay module that I had the feedback path patched through a Wasp filter, and both the cutoff and resonance of the filter were being modulated by different LFOs that were not synced to a clock. Since this filter module is a bit unstable, and the feedback from the delay unit could get out of hand times, keeping the system from pretty much exploding was testing, to say the least. Attenuating attenuators is the name of the game in modular synthesis, so this sort of treatment is pretty much standard operating procedure.
4 – What type of listeners do you believe would be interested in this project?
This album has the opportunity for a large audience of Techno/House fans to take note. People who are looking to keep a solid groove while still exploring sounds that have never existed before on any other project will take the most away for sure. There is a very subtle melodic theme throughout the album, so people that are not quite ready to peel away the various layers for deep sonic exploration will still have motifs to hold on to. The album is truly experiential, so sitting back and getting lost in the subtle movements is the goal…
I am inspired by so many folks from so many different types of music, but a few folks that I always find a home base with would be Joel Mull, Cari Lekebusch, John Tejada, Dominik Eulberg, Richie Hawtin, Richard Devine, Gui Boratto, and Gaiser.
6 – Will there be a change of style or any variation in your upcoming works?
While developing this uncharted sub-genre through my experimentations, I think there is still a great deal to explore that could fit nicely into the style. So that said, while the style of my music is in constant flux and development, I do see this style staying around for a while. There is some room of course for some more bangin’ jams as well, so well see what happens!
7 – How do you actually perceive the electronic music scene in Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz doesn’t have much of a dance music scene here, unfortunately, but being a short drive from the San Francisco Bay area there is a rich assortment of underground sound to be heard. SF is known for House and Psy-Trance, but there is actually a good deal of Techno to be found if you look in the right places. Both Oakland and SF have been cracking down on the renegade warehouse events, but the music can always be found. The best part of the scene here is the number of promoters doing renegade 3-day campout events up in the mountains. These events really capture what the local scene is about and is a great place to explore the style of music found on Catching Butterflies.
8 – What are your favorite tools in the studio? Are there any plugins or synths that you cannot do without?
I am pretty sure I can’t live without my modular synth or vintage Roland gear. Computer stuff comes and goes, and all I really use is Ableton and its various native devices. I have one or two plug-ins that I may use (mostly Expert Sleepers Silent Way), but pretty much everything I do is outside the box. Once I record into Ableton, I will often pipe the computer processed sound back out and through various hardware, pieces to add a bit of edge.
Genres are constantly evolving, and I would imagine that while I don’t think I can accurately forecast a future change in style, I do believe that the interface of human and production technology will evolve quickly. AI is going to play a major role in how people create sounds and music, so certainly, lots to be explored! For music, I think folks will want to infuse a complete listening experience over time, and reducing the full-blown melodic components and infusing more hypnotic flavors could do just that.
10 – Are you planning to perform live anytime soon?
Currently trying to find a balance between work, music, bike riding, and family is the goal at the moment, but indeed bringing out the hardware Live PA is certainly in the future.
Contact / Booking info: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notaker’s Insights On His Debut Independent Album, ‘Echoes In Eternity’
In a candid interview, Notaker talks about the most important details behind his debut independent album, ‘Echoes In Eternity.‘ He offers his fans a glimpse into the inspiration and emotions that fueled its creation. Happy reading!
1 — In your words, how would you describe the sonic atmosphere of this new album, ‘Echoes In Eternity’?
I would describe it as otherworldly, outrun retro, or dimensional. Those are the kinds of ideas I really aimed at for this project.
2 — ‘Echoes In Eternity’ is an interesting album title. Can you share the story or concept behind choosing this name?
I’ve always liked the famous quote from Marcus Aurelius “What we do now echoes in eternity”. It parallels what I wanted to do with this album which was to make something timeless that I could look back on many years from now and feel proud to have created.
3 — How do you think this album engages listeners on an emotional level?
As it hasn’t been released yet I’m not quite sure. It certainly holds a lot of myself in the music and hopefully, those emotions that I felt creating the music will shine through to listeners when they hear the album.
4 — What steps did you take to connect and work with Danyka Nadeau and Eric Lumiere?
I knew Eric from a collaboration we created previously so it was very easy to reach back out to him and work again. Danyka and I met through her manager Daniel who thought we could create something awesome together, and he was very right. It was a true treat to work with both, they are amazing artists.
It’s much less confined to any parameter a label might impose upon my work. This is truly a raw and unfiltered look at my music. The most “me” thing I feel I’ve ever created.
6 — Is there any particular track in the album that holds a special meaning to you?
In a way they all are, it’s tough to choose. I think the “Illusion of Time” is very special as I got to make that with one of my friends Kyu who played the hand pan which I sampled for that song. Always great to create things with friends.
7 — How would you describe the evolution of your artistic style and sound as reflected in this album?
In a way it’s cyclical. Finding new things that sound nostalgic to me and then creating them in a new and interesting way. Hopefully, people can hear that in my sound, something new but also familiar.
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Öwnboss & Selva Dish On The Creation Of “RIOT” — Interview
Closing out the festival season with a bang, Brazilian talents Öwnboss and Selva team up on anthemic dance hit “RIOT” for their debut on the respected label Monstercat. Not only a mainstage monster, “RIOT” gears up to take on the virtual world as the official anthem in the latest Brazilian-themed season of the sports-based video game Rocket League.
We caught up with Öwnboss and Selva to go behind the scenes on the making of “RIOT.”
1 — First of all, how do you maintain a balance between staying true to your own unique style while collaborating and complementing each other’s musical style?
Selva: I think the fun part about collaborating is to mix things up and see what happens. That being said, presenting ideas with context, staying true to yourself, and respecting the collaborator’s input is the formula to create something interesting that you wouldn’t come up with yourself. For example, Öwnboss has his famous lead synth, but we never forced it in. The progression choices and the energy that builds up until the drop made that synth not only essential but also brought the power we needed for the drop!
Öwnboss: I would say that I don’t have much of that balance because I’d say I don’t follow only a single style, you know? My sound is what I like to play, what makes sense at the moment, and what makes me happy. Of course, “Move Your Body” is a track that defines me in a way and I’m very proud of it, but I always try to evolve and improve my productions, as happened here with Selva. “RIOT” had more than 10 versions that went through various musical styles, which speaks a lot to my trajectory as a producer as well. The final version was our favourite, and it brings a lot of who we are as musicians.
2 — “RIOT” is set to debut in Rocket League’s battle arenas. Is this the first time you have produced music for video games?
Öwnboss: That’s a good question because we didn’t really produce the song thinking about having it in a video game, but that’s exactly what happened in the end. I had the pleasure of having “Move Your Body” on the Formula 1 2022 soundtrack, I believe for the size the track has taken by playing on the stages worldwide. With “RIOT,” I think we were able to produce such an exciting, rebellious song…. almost like a generational anthem, that seeing it as a soundtrack for such an important and young game like Rocket League turns out to be a perfect fit. “RIOT” really has a feel of action and adrenaline.
Selva: Yes, for me it’s the first time. I still am getting used to hearing my kids across the house turning on Rocket League and hearing my song!
3 — What qualities do you like the most about the vocals on ‘RIOT’?
Selva: I think the vocals are the soul of this song. We built the song around it, and we worked really hard for the production to play the role of enhancing the power of those lyrics.
Öwnboss: I agree. I really like the contrast between the vocals of the children singing in a very high-pitched tone and Brian’s voice, more serious. I think it’s a very good balance since the sonorities complement each other. Another thing that catches me is this “battle anthem” vibe of hers, it feels half revolutionary, like… Pink Floyd. It had been a while since I’d received a vocal with this strength, and I believe that’s why this track became so important to us.
4 — Imagine you could incite a riot for change. What goal would you inspire people to stand up for?
Öwnboss: That’s a tough question to answer because the world needs a lot of change, so how do you choose the most important one? Or the most urgent. What comes first in my mind is a riot for people to be themselves, without being ashamed and without worrying about what others will think. Be yourself. I think it is a path of no return to freedom and happiness. Probably the world would be better and lighter if everyone could follow that.
Selva: Interesting question! I think once you create a song and put it out into the world, the meaning of it is no longer yours to choose. Everyone has a different life experience and people digest ideas and messages in a very singular way. At first, this song didn’t have a political angle, but it can absolutely have. I’d say: start a riot in your heart, soul, and mind.
5 — Öwnboss, your busy 2023 World Tour is currently underway. How does the release of “RIOT” fit into your tour’s momentum?
Öwnboss: The release of “RIOT” in the middle of my tour was very important because I was able to play the track on various stages around the world without it being released. People don’t know it, but the music captivates almost instantly, which makes it an important reinforcement for my sets. I see the audience eager to learn the lyrics. I can say “RIOT” certainly arrived at a good time.
Selva: I think of myself as a songwriter above anything, and I’m blessed enough to work with so many different accomplished and talented artists, including Öwnboss whom I have written a number of songs. “RIOT” is a special one for me, and it just felt right to represent this one by his side. I personally learned to trust my gut more than ever.
Öwnboss: RIOT is energetic, revolutionary, and catchy.
Selva: All revolutions start in the soul.
8 — Were there any specific elements that made the creation of this track particularly challenging?
Selva: The chorus. We knew the chorus was potent and strong, but it was challenging to “dose” it through the song. We did a bunch of versions in order to land one that we felt delivered the chorus without being repetitive and enhanced it.
Öwnboss: Yeah, the vocals, for sure. And the collaboration with a children’s choir, which is the “extra touch” and makes it different from anything that I’ve ever produced before.
9 — What specific role did you play while working on “RIOT”?
Öwnboss: The lyrics were written by Brian, so my main role was to help set the musicality of the track, creating a climax on the chorus and the revolutionary footprint we wanted for it. Then, another challenge of ours was to integrate the high-pitched voice of the children’s choir with the other elements of the track, so that it would be dense, dynamic and keep the rebellious tone.
Selva: As mentioned I was on the songwriting. I dove in on the production as well later on, but I’d say I mainly focused on melody and lyrics and let my main man Öwnboss do his thing and create the whole context and drop.
10 — If a future collaboration opportunity arises, what new things would you be interested in exploring?
Selva: I’d like to have another go at exploring a RIOT-like anthemic chorus again, maybe in a higher BPM.
Öwnboss: Each collaboration is the reflection of the moment that I’m living. After that everything changes, so I think it’s hard to answer this question. I will always explore what is true and meaningful to me in that moment, so my music can speak to others.
Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.