[Interview] JPLS exclusive for mnml.nl

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mnml maxi
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[Interview] JPLS exclusive for mnml.nl

Post by Zinthek » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:07 pm

JPLS’ analog attitude is stripped down amongst the ever-growing digital landscape of expanding sound fields. Recording as JPLS with recent net releases on Clever and Redevice he made his first Minus appearance on 2006’s ‘min2MAX’ compilation also performing live in Detroit in May for the ‘min2MAX’ launch showcase. Jacobs’ sound falls into a range of dub-punched techno while under the minimal aesthetic from the top down. His mode of procedure emphasizes the cerebral effects of “less is more” and works with precision versus surrounding his sound with clutter.
(Taken from www.m-nus.com)


So I understand you’re on a little European tour right now, how’s it been so far and what were some of the highlights?
It’s been really good. Especially playing in Rome and having the entire label with. I think there were like 8 000 - 10 000 people in front of me while I played. Not only that but being able to play across midnight so kind of being the one to bring minus into the new year. That was a pretty good highlight.

How different is playing in Europe as opposed to playing in the states?
Completely different, even though I haven’t played much in the U.S. But people in Europe party way harder.
In the U.S. it’s more laid back. Everything closes a lot earlier, a lot of bars have to close at like 2 or 3am, whereas over here it’s when everything’s going. So, a lot better I guess.

Any plans of moving to Berlin to join the rest of the Minus crew?
Not yet. It’s funny, that’s a question I get all the time. Berlin’s cool and I like Europe but I do such good work in the U.S. because I don’t have anything to do there. I like feeling really isolated from everything else. It’s like everything’s happening in Berlin and fucking everyone’s there and if I’m somewhere really far away then I can kinda shelter myself and just get completely into what I’m doing. So as far as right now I’ll still be in the U.S.
I think I’ll be one out of two minus artists that aren’t in Berlin.

You’re from Indiana, how is the techno scene there? If there is a scene at all.
There is no techno scene there. There might be some people who might argue slightly in Indianapolis but where I live there is no techno. I’m really close to Chicago though and I grew up even closer to the city. There’s a scene there that’s decent but nothing like over here (Europe). I mean I don’t live there for the techno scene, it’s just because it’s what I’m used to. It’s really, really quiet, nothing going on but I like it.

How did you get into techno then?
I started listening to industrial music when I was really young. I’d never really listened to music before that.
It was a couple of good friends of mine who got me into it and it was all like Chicago's wax trax and that had kinda like a techno edge to it and it was cool but I wasn’t really huge into it. But then one of my friends had a mix tape, I don’t even know who it was, I was like 13 at that time, and it had this fucking classic Josh Wink track on it that blew me away completely and it was ever since then that was it for me. But still, there’s no real defining moment where like my life is techno, but it was right there in the background I guess.

Who are some of the people that you would say that have influenced your current sound the most?
I think conceptually, Rich (Hawtin) has, off course. I’m not trying to emulate his sound but I guess I’m inspired by how everything he does has a really deep concept to it and I think that’s where I want to go as well. But besides Rich a lot of my inspiration comes from not really normal techno artists like Autechre or Aphex Twin. They’re huge influences for me. Even going outside of the techno realm, a lot of Tricky’s older work or Massive Attack because their stuff is really deep. I’ll listen to my stuff and I think it almost sounds shallow compared to the rhythms and the sounds they use.

Who are some of the current artists that you like?
Onur Özer’s one that has been really killing me, Paco Osuna who has a new Plus 8 record out...fucking so good, Pär Grindvik, and anything Wagon Repair puts out I always love immediately as well. Skoozbot is always driving me crazy...he has a sick track coming out with some insane remixes.
Gaiser’s new work has been fantastic..well, at least what I have heard of it. I usually have to get him pretty drunk before I can snag copies ;)

How did you hook up with Richie Hawtin and get signed on Minus?
I stalked him for five years, seriously. I followed him around Chicago and Detroit. I think I started in 2000 and I just gave him music every time and never really talked to him. I did that straight for five years. I never really wanted to say anything to him, if he liked my music and thought it fit then that was cool, that’s what I wanted. And if he didn’t then I’d just keep going or whatever. That’s pretty much the basic story on that one.

How do you respond to things like all the recent talk about this issue of Minus hype?

I think it’s a lot of people who have an issue with general minus fans...anyone complaining about it, I think that’s the actual hype around the label.
For whatever reason Rich is such a center of attention for everything he does, whether it’s the label, my record or his haircut, there’s always this focus on him and the label. And I can understand how some people could be turned off by that because there’s always this focus on the same group of people.
But there’s always people talking about the label, whether it’s good or bad, and I think that’s the whole grounding of this hype that we have. And if it’s bad publicity or not it’s still publicity for the label and it’s still putting the name out there.
I think it’s funny it’s like this recursive social structure where people bitch about how they’re sick of Rich getting all the attention and then more people see that and more people bitch about it.

What do you think about the recent (over)use of the word ‘minimal’?
I don’t think the word minimal counts as a genre. Techno or house, that’s a genre and within it you have a certain approach and whereas that approach and the result is something that is minimal or stripped down. Especially with what I do, I will start with rhythms and then I’ll start breaking them down, kind of deconstructing them. I think with a lot of my stuff it isn’t necessarily simple but the overall rhythm and structure is completely simple. It’s very reduced and it’s only what is needed to get the point across. And that’s what I think minimal techno is. I’ll never call it just ‘minimal’ because I think minimal is an adjective for techno being the subject of what we’re talking about. That’s my stance on that.

You released on the netlabels Redevice and Clever Music, will you be releasing anymore stuff on netlabels in the future?
No. I’m exclusive to Minus now. As far as the netlabels go I still really like the idea of releasing as digital only for free. I think I still have that option with Minus and there might be some things in the future where it's free digital only.

What future releases have you got coming up?
Well there’s the Twilite album, which should be out some time around May. That will be six of my own tracks, one track will be remixed by Skoozbot, and then there’ll be another highly sought after track remixed by skoozbot as well included. I guess that’s kinda all I’ll say right now about those. After Twilite there should be a very strange release in the late fall and then next year followed by something that I guess you’ll get more information on later.

Skoozbot remixed some of your tracks. Are you planning on returning the favor or doing any remixes for someone else?
Right now I’m not accepting remixes for anyone just because I don’t have enough time to work on my own sh!t. But that’s excluding Brians’ (Skoozbot) tracks though. There are a few that I have been working on and I’m sure those’ll show up somewhere. So I guess he kind of has the exclusive remixes right now.

Do you mainly use software to produce or some hardware as well?
I use software to sequence and record everything. I do have some old, strange hardware on the side that I work with as well. But right now it’s primarily Ableton and Pro Tools. Sampler has been a really great tool for me lately.

What’s your setup when you play live?

A laptop with Ableton, a controller and a lot of plug ins.

Do you rather play live or work on tracks in the studio?
I think it’s kind of two very different things. I really like just being comfortable with my headphones or speakers and just producing late at night on my own time, but it’s such a good time partying and having a huge crowd in front of you and have that recursive interface of crowd reaction to what you’re playing back and forth.
But if I had to choose I’d probably be producing. That’s where I can really get every idea out of my head.

Any ambitions as a dj?
Not especially. I’ve thought about it and it’s been in the background, but for right now I’m more interested in seeing what I can do live then in spinning records. But it’s definitely possible in the future.

Where do you hope to be 10 years from now?

I have no idea. I hope I’m still making techno and I hope it sounds far different from what I’m doing now.

Last edited by Zinthek on Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lostinmusiq » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:45 pm

very nice interview ...
i like the point of view of j+

i met him at the m_nus party in berlin ... a very nice guy ...

and I am glad to see & meet him at the Harpune Club with Gaiser & Matt John next week ...


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Post by betzy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:00 pm

thx 4 interview with j
i really agree in some points

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Post by brianc » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:51 pm

great questions z! nice to see an interview where you come away knowing more about the person, their music, and their motivations. jpls is among the few einsteins in the techno world of crackheads.

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Post by Red Kite » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:00 am

Unfortunately that M_nus exclusive deal keeps him from releasing a lot more music. I know some old demo tracks from him which probably won't be released and it's a pity because they're just amazing. The best mnml has to offer! But I totally understand that he's happy with being part of M_nus. It's just bad for the people who love his music.

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Post by Techelon » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:57 pm

zinthek respect, nice intervieuw. The party @ Fuse was really the bomb.
up to magda and math john, 14 april @fuse. I'm going to love it when i meet magda! great women grtz

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mnml maxi
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Post by Zinthek » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:39 pm

Red Kite: Couldn't agree more man. There are some really awesome tracks that aren't gonna be released. Too bad.

Techelon: Thanks. I'm probably gonna be there too the 14th. Looking forward to seeing Matt John (first time).

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mnml maxi
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Post by gillsans » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:49 pm

Congrats JPLS ~ You deserve every bit.

Keep up the hard work! :)
Keepin' the beats deep in the groove bunker

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