Interview: Jon Kronick
Music can be defined as a combination of different pitches and rhythms within time and space, but what is music beyond this? Why does it make us feel the way it does and how does this relate to our memories and subconscious? These are questions Berlin-based, Guatemalan producer, DJ and sound manipulator Jon Kronick ponders with his music. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of styles such as EBM, Jungle, Electro, Ambient and more, Kronick aims to create music that not only works the dancefloor but that also creates textural settings that trigger the listeners imagination and memory so they can impart their own story to the sounds around them.
Melding together sounds and techniques from across the rave sound spectrum, Jon Kronick brings forth a four track EP to be released on Belgium’s long standing Coincidence Records.
TF: How did it all start for you and where are you headed?
JK: For me, it all really started as a teenager when a friend introduced me to Ableton Live. I used to be really into computer games but I had also started DJing and digging for tracks during that time and when I discovered I could make music using my computer it became a sort of addiction.
TF: What is your goal and purpose as an artist and musician?
JK: I feel as an artist there is usually one clear goal we all have and that is portraying emotion, whether its a techno banger or a baroque painting, art is about emotion. As a musician my personal goal is sonic exploration, I have an endless fascination for sound design, whether it is creating a sound I've never heard before or recreating a sound I heard elsewhere and mould it to my own taste. Making music for me is a combination of these two goals creating sounds and rhythms that will trigger a certain emotion in myself and the listener.
TF: Can you tell us about your influences ? What do you try to produce during a studio session?
JK: My influences are very broad, I absorb ideas from all sorts of music. I'm a huge fan of 80's music both the darker industrial rock and the more cheesy pop music but at the same time, I'm also influenced by cinematic scores and ambient music and obviously also techno, electro etc. but most importantly beyond music itself, my influences come from reading and researching about history and mythology and my music usually has thematics from these fields. When I'm in the studio though for me it is all about spontaneity and creating ideas in the moment, I very rarely go into the studio with a fixed idea in mind.
TF: Can you describe from beginning to end how your 'Totem' EP – is made?
JK: "Totem" came together one day I picked up a piece of gear I hadn't used in a long time, that being the Korg Volca Keys. This is not a crazy piece of kit by any means but I used it to make the detuned ravey sound in the track and that set it all in motion. To this, I then added one of my favourite Eurorack modules the Noise Engineering Manis Iteritas which is the main sound that evolves throughout the track from a subtle bass to a distorted acid-like sound and beyond. "I Know Dragons Are Real" was born through a jam with another Eurorack module the IME Piston Honda which provides the main lead in the track. After the tracks were done, I asked Cool Tiger and Niclas Erlandsson to remix one of the tracks each and they both came with completely different takes on the originals and I'm very happy with their takes.
TF: How do you perceive the techno? What are its strengths and weaknesses for you?
JK: Techno for me is a very flexible term, I believe techno has adapted and subdivided itself to a point where it is not necessarily a genre but more of an approach to production and that is both its main strength and weakness, depending on how it is undertaken. If it is used to push the envelope forwards, it is a strength but if it is used for formulaic reproduction it can be a weakness.
TF: What is to be expected from Jon in years to come?
JK: That's a hard question, for now, I'm trying to push my sound forwards and evolve it as I evolve myself because I feel as an artist you create snapshots of your life through your art, snapshots of who you were in that particular moment and what you felt. I will most of all continue to explore this in my music, not necessarily stick to one style or one sound but grow and develop as my thoughts and emotions do too. If I had a crystal ball maybe I could be more clear but for now, this is all I know.