Cxemcast 032 – John Object

Who is John Object?

This is one of my aliased names, actually the main one at the moment. I didn’t invent characters or personalities for aliases, but most of them have their own sound standards. John Object is the most free from restrictions in sound and concept.

Probably you get inspiration from the post-internet music wave, don't you?

I can’t agree. My definition of post-internet artistic space is quite blurry, and I’m not sure if I’m familiar enough with it to answer the question. Perhaps it can better be seen from the side. My provisional sources of inspiration rather lay in the individual elements that make up the work: the sound of synthesizers, combinations of instruments (usually their synthetic copies), colors, fonts, geometric compositions and so on. While working on sound, image or video, I think and operate with these components. At the stage when I select pieces for work I barely think about the overall aesthetics of the final product. The interaction of certain instruments and sounds often causes unpredictable emotional response, which is different for me and for the audience. I feel closeness to many elements of such a provisional construction as ‘post-internet’, but only through my personal associations with certain sounds and visual techniques. I don’t think that my objectives are the same when operating them.

So when you start working on a track you cannot predict the final result?

Exactly, I can’t predict its emotional content. I start with attempts to combine multiple timbres that can sound fresh together, as I imagine, but without thinking about melodies. Lately I even started to write down ideas for combinations of sounds in a notebook and on random pieces of paper. I’ve already gathered enough material for an album or two.

What are your inspirations among musicians?

Frankly speaking, I'm a big fan of 80-90s synthetic r'n'b and soul, especially by artists that are not very famous. I love the obvious synth presets of those times. I’m amused with the idea of Milli Vanilli, when the guys from the album cover had absolutely nothing to do with music: they didn’t sing, play or write songs on 'their' record. Of course, my source of inspiration in Milli Vanilli is those musicians and producers, who planned all this and preferred to stay in the shadow, while making an impressive product for that time. So far, I have no idea who they are and I’m very amused with the contrast between the emotional content of the songs and the musicians’ anonymity. I imagine them as a group of pale faced guys with long hair, wearing thin glasses and gray shirts. And the guys on the cover are very handsome indeed. I like to get Milli Vanilli’s record from the shelf and look them in the eyes while someone else’s music is playing, but somehow also theirs.

What do you use for writing tracks?

I use Oberheim OB-12, Moog Rogue, Korg microKORG XL, Electronics EM-25 as axe. As for the software, it’s Ableton Live and Max. Most of the songs start with a sketch on the synthesizer – it is so much easier to work with a melody or create the appropriate tone in this way. However, the initial parts are either replaced by plugins, or they become unnecessary or get overwritten. I have no prejudice in terms of comparing the sound on software or synthesizer, but I get pleasure from the process of playing and synthesising. Creating music turned into a kind of job for me a long time ago, and playing synthesizers still remains just playing, so I rarely mix them on purpose.

For how long have you been making music?

I started only in 2010, therefore I have no releases yet. For the last few years, due to the inability to focus on one thing, I am simultaneously working on five albums in different styles, so the process is moving slowly. However, the most difficult phase is over, and I think that they will be finished soon. Perhaps I will have an opportunity of dubious quality to release five albums in a row with one month intervals. Of course, I'll try not to do such nonsense, however it could be fun.

I usually play twice a year with different material: when it’s hot and when it’s cold. This year it was three times so far – I’ve been to Lviv taking part in the art cluster R + N + D, and somehow found myself there again just a few months later. It was a grueling year, I think I need to take a break from concerts and spend the next few years in the studio.

What kind of live performance are you preparing for the New Year's Схема?

35 minutes. I can’t say any more, seriously.

Interviewed by Bohdan Konakov.