….Picks gives the chance to an artist/collective to showcase sounds which have inspired a certain moment.
jjjacob picks: Influences for Nondestructive Examination [ANBA]
“Hey Zenevloed! I’m jjjacob, a 24-year old electronic composer from Copenhagen, who wants to explore the possibilities of music on a personal and societal level!”
Music as part of personality
If you ask me, music is an overwhelming part of my personality. I grew up playing piano since the age of 10 and have been involved with musical activities every day since then. I’ve almost played in more bands than I can count on my fingers, and played various genres from hip-hop to reggae to prog-rock and so on. I also breakdanced for about 10 years, where the music of course played a huge role. I even started my (current) psychology degree, because I discovered the field of music psychology which is still a big interest of mine. In my opinion, music is an artform that we can use as a tool in society to a much larger extent than we do today.
Healing and communicating
For personal influences on my new music, I’ll have to say that my health issues have been the biggest influencing factor – last summer, when walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain with my girlfriend, I was suddenly “hit” by a stroke, that temporarily paralyzed the right side of my body and decreased my cognitive capabilities. I was hospitalized at a rehabilitation center far away from my home for a long period of time, and while being there I made my debut EP “Intracerebral Hemorrhage”, which was released on the Canadian label “& Options” in the autumn. I rehabilitated better than anyone had imagined – I regained control over my paralyzed body after some months, though I do still have some detriments, both mental and physical. But one of the things that really helped me through the process was definitely the ability to make music and project my visions, feelings and moods through my soundscapes. And even though the most of my new EP is not made while minding my rehabilitation or thinking that much about the stroke, it is still a big theme in my head and is definitely something that influences all music I make.
So sounds and ambiances from hospitals are something you will find underneath the layers of instruments and vocals on a couple of tracks. But also field recordings of natural environments and sounds of animals, especially insects, is something that is present in a lot of my music. I like to think about the difference between human and animal communication, the fact that we distinguish music and language, and how we think about fx sounds of birds like being music. I remember this (maybe partly fake) clip by a guy called Jim Wilson, where he supposedly slowed down audio of cricket chirps which turned into choir-like sounds. The idea that every kind of audio communication has musical roots fascinates me a lot.
Sci-fi worlds and computer games
Another thing that inspired my music is movies, especially sci-fi flicks. While being at the rehabilitation center I had a lot of spare time, and when I didn’t make music I watched as many sci-fi movies I could. I almost watched the whole filmography of Stanley Kubrick, who is the master of films in my opinion. Dystopian movies like A Clockwork Orange or A Space Odyssey: 2001 have had a great influence on me. The contrast between the epic plots and characters on one side and the tragic prophecies of society on the other is the perfect starting point for a story. Other sci-fi classics like Blade Runner, and animes that were influenced by it, like Ghost in the Shell and Akira, have also contributed to my musical vision.
Also sounds from computer games is a thing that you can find underneath my music. Inspired by Burial, who sampled Metal Gear Solid among other games, I have been digging through the sounds and ambiances in Halo, Half-life, Diablo and others alike. Generally, the production techniques of Burial have been an inspiration to my work, as you can probably hear on the pitched female R&B vocals – Resident Advisor made a brilliant video about his making of the album Untrue:
Harmony and melody
Of other artists that influenced my music, I have to mention Oneohtrix Point Never. His eclectic style and aesthetic always seem to surprise me in the best possible way. The harmonic and melodic aspects of his compositions is something that I envy a lot as well.
And generally, a lot of the other artists signed on Warp Records like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Lorenzo Senni and Rustie have a huge impact on me and my music. Another artist that really inspired this new EP of mine is Dedekind Cut – actually, the track On My Feet, Both Eyes Closed from the EP is an idea that popped up in my head while attending his concert in Copenhagen in November. The concert gave me a special feeling of being in a meditative state in my own world, while still being connected to the real world through my feet on the ground, which is the feeling I tried to recreate in the track.
Close partners in the journey
Of course my girlfriend, family, and friends who have been supporting me to the fullest have been a huge drive, both for my rehabilitation after the stroke and for my musical journey. My big partner in crime when it comes to music, Jesper Flinker, has been my go-to sparring partner, which has been crucial for the process of making the EP. The idea of the EP came about when I sent an early sketch of the first track “Cestoda” to Amr/1127, one of the curators of the ANBA label. He replied that he had just played it out at a Boiler Room event in Cairo (!), which I was really stoked about! I really liked the 3 releases they had on their label, which were all compilations of various artists, and the style of the sounds and aesthetics on these were really something I admired! But when I asked him if he wanted to feature “Cestoda” in a compilation of theirs, he told me he wanted this to have its own separate release! So from there, I started building an idea of sound and aesthetic that matched the style they had.
Around the beginning of the project, I found this strange wall in my basement, that looked like it was it was transforming into something living, and that became the original idea for the artwork, which Jesper made. Though we ended up doing something different, I still feel the picture of the wall visualizes the feeling of the album in a great way.