Cxemcast 032 – John Object
Who is John Object?
This is one of my nicknames, 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 on sound and concept.
Apparently, you get inspiration from post-internet music wave, don't you?
I can’t agree. I have quite blurry definition of post-internet artistic space and not sure if I’m acquainted good enough with it to answer the question. Perhaps it can better be seen from the side. For me, conventional sources of inspiration lay in rather individual elements that make up the work: sounds 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. On the stage of selecting pieces for work I almost don’t 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 am close to many elements of such conditional construct as post-internet, but according to my personal associations with certain sounds and visual techniques. I don’t think that I operate them with the same objectives.
It turns out that when you start working on a track, you can’t predict the final result?
Yes, I can’t predict its emotional content. I start with attempts to combine multiple timbres that, I think, can sound fresh together, without thinking about melodies. Recently, I’ve even started to write down ideas for combinations of sounds in notebook and on random pieces of paper. I’ve already gathered enough material for an album. Or two.
Which musicians do inspire you?
Frankly speaking, I'm a big fan of 80-90s synthetic r'n'b and soul, especially of not much famous artists. I love obvious synth presets of those times. I’m amused with the idea of Milli Vanilli - 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 are those musicians and producers, who planned all this and preferred to stay in the shadows, making impressive product for that time. So far, I have no idea who they are and I’m very amused with the contrast between emotional content of the songs and musicians’ anonymity. I imagine them as a group of pale guys with long hair in thin glasses and gray shirts. And the guys on the cover, though, are handsome. I like to get Milli Vanilli’s record from shelves and look them in the eyes while there is vicarious, but somehow their, music playing.
What do you use for writing tracks?
From axe, I have Oberheim OB-12, Moog Rogue, Korg microKORG XL, Electronics EM-25. As for software, I use Ableton Live and Max. Most songs start with a sketch on synthesizer – it is so much easier to work with a melody or create appropriate tone in this way. However, the initial parts are replaced by plugins, become unnecessary or are overwritten during the work process. I have no prejudices in comparing the sound from software or synthesizer, but I get pleasure from the process of playing and synthesis. For me, the work on music turned into a kind of job long time ago and playing synthesizers still remains just playing, so I rarely mix them on purpose.
How long have you been doing 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 the dubious quality opportunity to release five albums in a row with month’ intervals. I'll try, of course, not to commit 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’s going to be three times so far – I’ve been to Lviv as a part of an art cluster R + N + D and somehow found myself there again 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 are you preparing for the New Year's Схема?
35 minutes. I can’t say any more, seriously.
Interviewed by Bohdan Konakov