In the liner notes of your EP "120_1" recently released on -N there is an interesting relation about "that static can function as paint as well as thinner". Could please tell us more about this relation?
“How I understand that phrase is that static can not only play a supporting role but also take a leading role and become the main character in the compositions. What I feel about this is that now the technology is mature enough that we don't have to be stuck with old methods or theories in terms of sounds. Any sounds can be musical instruments now. I wanted to create dance music with this EP, or with this moniker rather, and used the kick-sounding sounds just because I thought more people would get the idea of what I wanted to do with this release if I had them in the tracks. It's just that I'm tired of regular 'dance music' sounds like hat-like sounds or snare-like sounds or whatever that are imitating physical instruments or old synthesizers (or certain sounds that are generated by particular software even) when they are the only sounds in the tracks. We got tools. We can cut up field recordings or chance music and edit them to create new sounds or new musical instruments if we want to. There are no limitations now.”
Since early you have been involved in music as you studied it later, became a recording engineer, run a pirate radio station in New York, organizing parties in Tokyo and producing music. So for sure you knew quite well the underground electronic scene those days. Do you think there is difference nowadays in the same underground level?
“When I was in NY, there were distinct differences between 'underground' and 'mainstream,' but I don't know what 'underground' means anymore now. There's one thing I can say is that people have started to realize that they don't have to be fooled by record companies or labels anymore now that they can judge music by themselves by listening to it first on the internet. There're many choices now, and those two 'underground' and 'mainstream' genres are just not enough for us to categorize the choices we have.”
Could you please tell us about your Acowo project?
“Acowo is a project to simply propagate the netlabel culture. There's just music of some netlabels on the site. I've decided not to make a comment on each release so that people can listen to the music first and digest it in their own unique ways. Words just get in the way sometimes when it comes down to music or any form of art except literature or word-oriented art. Also, the site is pretty much label or artist-oriented. I've archived them so that the visitors can easily search music of their favorite labels or artists. With the site, I want to show the world that we now have more choices rather than the music in the old-fashioned market. I would be very happy if people will start running their own labels - either commercial or non-commercial - with some innovative music that are not around in the market yet after visiting my site or simply start making some music of their own.”
In your -N netlabel there are electronic experimental artists in the likes of Andrey Kiritchenko, Coeval, and new producers. In consideration that there are many netlabels of electronic music, what's purpose behind the selection of the artists in order to be release on -N?
“It's the sounds that the artists produce. We want unique and 'soulful' sounds. As you can tell, our artists take their sounds very seriously and try to do something creative with them. I'm not saying that all the electronic musicians must take their sounds seriously. You can just forget about all that and have fun with making music with sounds that are commonly used and pleasant for majority of people or whatever, but as you say, there're enough labels that do electronic music already, and there's no point for us to do the same. We want to do something innovative and possibly suggest what comes next. Actually, we know what we want, but we also know that things never go as you expect, so let's just say we'll go with the flow with the fantastic artists who make great soul music that's in an electronic way and see what's going to happen.”
What's coming next on -N?
“We'll keep on releasing music with what I've previously said in mind until we feel we have done enough to contribute to the netlabel society or music culture. That moment might never come, but there'll be a moment when we find no reason for us to exist... Anyway, we're thinking about doing another compilation soon and also organizing netlabel parties here in Japan which will be a little challenge for us since the idea of netlabels is still new and not recognized much here yet. We're also planning on few other things, so please look forward to what comes next on -N.”
Text Guillermo Escudero