Oddball house from an international man of melody.
Up until late 2014, Jonny Nash was best known for his excellent work as a collaborator, regularly teaming up with talented friends like Kyle Martin as part of Land Of Light, Tako Reyenga as part of the festively named Sombrero Galaxy, or as a member of the Discossession collective, under which he made and played music during his time living in Japan. Perhaps his finest collaborative effort however was the role he played as part of the Gaussian Curve trio alongside the legendary ambient musician Gigi Masin and Dutch producer and close friend Young Marco. Thanks to a couple of fully improvised recording sessions, the resulting Clouds LP became an instant classic for the Music From Memory label and for the seemingly unlikely trio of musicians. Since then, Nash’s ability to create timeless melodic music of his own have been celebrated regularly, with the birth of his Melody As Truth label providing a fitting home for the first two 12″s under the Jonny Nash name; the equally stunning ambient works of Phantom Actors and Exit Strategies. Currently based in Bali, we caught up with the seasoned traveler to see where things are at with the label and some of the aforementioned collabs, and he’s turned in a lovely hour of dreamy oddball house and techno.
You’ve been based over in Bali for a short while now… tell us about how this came about and what your day-to-day is like over there? Is it easier to be productive in the studio without all the distractions of a major city?
It has been good.. I am kind of back-and-forth between there and Europe. I came out for some work last year but am now working totally on music, which is great. Am only starting to get into a proper routine now but its looking good. A daily beach walk and a swim, followed by a good stint in the studio. Can’t complain!
You and Tako released the long awaited Sombrero Galaxy follow up EP last year on the Music From Memory sub label Second Circle, tell us a bit about how you make music together, and why do you think it took you guys five years to collaborate again?
Well actually, it didn’t take us five years, we made those Second Circle tracks in 2012, but I lost the files shortly after completion.. oops. Fortunately they resurfaced three years on and we managed to make the release happen! Sombrero Galaxy is a great project, an excuse for Tako and I to meet up, listen to the music that has been inspiring us and then attempt to channel that into our own music somehow. It has been a pretty natural process and one that I really enjoy.
Your Phantom Actors EP – one of our absolute favourite records of last year – marked the beginning of the Melody As Truth journey, a new label and a new chapter for you as an artist. A year or so on, what have you enjoyed the most about curating the label, and what do you have planned for 2016?
It has been great to have full control on the aesthetic both visually and sonically, plus have a say in the manner in which the records are distributed. Although I initially set it up for my own stuff, the third release was by Suzanne Kraft and I found the process of releasing another artists’s music that I believe in to be a really enjoyable one. 2016 will be a new chapter for the label, I am working on new stuff right now that is a definite development, I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone and challenge myself with new techniques.
Jonny Nash, Gigi Masin and Marco Sterk working together as Gaussian Curve.
You’ve spoken a bit about the fascinating Gaussian Curve story, of how you and Young Marco were able to jam with the legendary Italian musician Gigi Masin for a weekend, resulting in the incredible Clouds LP. Now some time has passed, has there been any discussion about further collaboration, or even some kind of live performance perhaps? I could imagine that being pretty special.
We talk about it pretty regularly! We are hoping to work on a live performance, there is actually talk of taking place in Australia later this year, nothing confirmed yet but watch this space.. As for recording some new music that would be amazing, its a bit of a challenge as we are all located in different parts of the world, but we all really want to make it happen so fingers crossed it will.
You’ve spoken before about being quite fond of the 30-40 minute mini LP format for home listening… Could you name a couple of those records that you have been particularly enjoying of late, old or new?
I dug out Yoshio Suzuki’s Morning Picture LP again recently and really enjoyed giving it a full listen. As for new stuff, the forthcoming Trace Realm EP by Holovr on Firecracker is absolutely brilliant.
What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us? Where was it recorded and who are some of the artists in the mix?
The mix was recorded in the UK a few weeks ago.. It’s a selection of new stuff that I have been enjoying.. If my memory serves me correctly there are tracks from Alter Ego, Suzanne Kraft, Maizena and the Regelbau crew.. oh yeah, and also a Tambien remix of my “Land of Light” project that has just come out on ESP Institute.
What is coming up next for you on the production front? And where will you be playing in the next little while?
Currently deep in the studio working on the next Melody As Truth release, aiming to have it done in the next few months. Focussing on studio work so taking a bit of time out from gigs but there is talk of potentially coming to Australia in April/May time for DJ and Live stuff.