Talking about his new beat tape Synchronicity Is The Norm, Jorge sat down with Vandals On The Wall to reveal everything that we’re curious about: music that inspired him, future music projects, and work ethic.
Q: It seems like you’re working at the height of your creative bandwidth now. At the rate of how things are going, you already have 13 releases all in all—ranging from interesting to something sweeping and exemplary. How do you maintain such discipline and musicianship?
I wouldn’t know if I’m at the height of my creative bandwidth but I know for sure that nowadays, for some reason, I feel more "supercharged”—if that makes any sense. Well, I do agree that it takes discipline to actually sit down and create something and stick it through ‘til the end of that idea. it never always was like that for me.
But nowadays, that's all I really do. I rarely leave my bedroom. Most of the time, I'm locked up in my room listening to records, chopping up samples, exploring different methods of creating and manipulating sound. If not that then I’m prolly just reading a book or meditating. Meditation helps me keep myself grounded, helps me tame my mind and concentrate on my ideas and manifesting them into reality. I think the musicianship part of it just follows.
Q: “2: Bonsai Kids” was featured in Pitchfork exactly two years ago. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the first Filipino-made track that scored a feature from the popular music site. How do you feel about getting recognized internationally by music blogs and the like?
I was told by a number of people that I indeed was the "First Filipino on Pitchfork" but it never really blew me away or anything. Some people ask me why I never mention it or talk about it, i just think it’s not that big of a deal. I appreciate the fact that my music was out there and a site so credible as pitchfork stumbled on it and gave it a chance, but back then, I was just concerned with making music and letting out what it was in my mind. I remember checking Pitchfork that day and seeing myself there though and that for me was a little bit surreal since I used to frequent that site.
I like hearing out people's opinions on music and I think blogs are a perfect platform for that because it’s not influenced by any external organizations trying to maintain some sort of control and all that political crap going on with other forms of publications. These sites are run by people who love and listen to music, so I appreciate the fact that these are genuine aficionados writing about music and sharing their opinions for the love of it and nothing else. It means a lot to me that tons of blogs from across the globe are taking interest in my music though it still comes quite of a shock to me that my music has made that sort of connection. I am more than thankful to be where i am now.
Q: I hear a lot of Flying Lotus, Madlib, Burial, Aphex Twins and J Dilla in your music. Are you directly inspired by these people? I mean these guys are responsible for pushing the boundaries of electronic and hiphop music to a black hole of possibilities.
Hmmm? I wouldn’t actually say that I’m directly influenced by anyone. These are all just part of a huge list of things that have paved the way for how I deal with things. Not just musically though. But these cats definitely played a huge role for me at one point of my life. These dudes made me realize that there was a world of music inside of me waiting to be revealed. And it wasn't impossible to work on these things alone.
Q: Finding Astral Lovers is a personal favorite of mine because there’s a slight cuff of ethnic music to it and has that organic, home-bound appeal that emits the “Filipino flavor” missing in most electronic music project these days. How about you? What’s your favorite SO record?
FAL is definitely still one of my favorites. Making that was truly a journey for me, and I can still remember how I felt as I was creating that, every time I hear it. Each song in that record really meant a lot to me so it really holds its place as one of the most meaningful to me. I still enjoy listening to it when I do get to listen. I personally like the ethnic flavor; it reminds me of where I’m from.
Q: Are you planning to drop a vocal-heavy record sometime in the future? I mean you’ve worked with RH Xanders and June Marieezy before, and judging from some of your more traditional pop materials such as “Booth Bitch” and the How To Dress Well-ish “Mimimomomumu,” I know you’d be able to pull off a crossover.
Hahaha! About that I don’t see it as impossible. And honestly I've been thinking about it a lot more often than before. I used to sing a lot and I think it's just a matter of time before I actually muster up enough courage and confidence to do it. I still enjoy singing a lot. Not sure if I'm ready to put in record yet though. We’ll see. I just go where the creative energy takes me.
Q: Any local artists you want to collaborate with?
Too many. Haha! Sometimes, I wish I was more than one person so I could get on that collab with everyone already. I'm looking to collab with a bunch of singers, instrumentalists and emcees. I won’t mention ‘em for now. I'd love to keep it a surprise. Also looking to collaborate with a bunch of fellow beatmakers!
Q: You have a new beat tape out called Synchronicity is the Norm. How is it any different from the materials you’ve released so far?
SITN is a collection of beats I’ve made out of chopping records, screwing them up and adding some synths and basslines. It’s made mostly on just the SP404. All my past songs were crafted on a laptop while this record was made all on just one sampler. It’s a different experience for me working on a sampler. It’s more intimate. You sorta build a deeper connection with the records. I listen to a whole record on a turntable; hook it up to the SP, then chop away. It’s fun. Each chop and sample comes to me differently depending on how I hear it; hence, synchronicity. I don’t believe in coincidences. These records don't just pop out of nowhere, I feel like they make their way to me somehow.
Q: I hear a lot of nu-soul pastiches in Synchronicity is the Norm. It’s more laid-back and urban, with a tinge of Zen philosophy incorporated in it. Is there a conscious effort to sound different from one release to another?
I honestly don’t really think about it. I never wake up and declare a change in sound. It just happens. Well, it’s also a matter of how I feel. I think we’re all ever changing and I’m just embracing the feeling of evolution. It also depends on what’s going on around me during the time. A lot my music reflects what I’m going through as well, internally and externally.
Q: Five years from now, do you still see yourself as an electronic music producer making music for yourself or for other people?
I've always seen myself as a creator even when in the beginning of all this, people would tell me otherwise. Music has been with me as long as I've lived and I don't think i can ever imagine myself not making music. So I'm definitely still gonna be making music as long as I’m able to, I'm taking it with me to the grave and beyond.
Similar Objects’ Synchronicity Is The Norm is now available online. Cop a free copy here.