Podcast 26 - Kuba Sojka

02 Jun 2011 16:44

Tags: kuba sojka psi-acoustic podcast munopodcast Podcast 26 - Kuba Sojka

Kuba Sojka made a name for himself after he won a remix competition for Laurent Garnier's 'Gnanmankoudji'. And he also happens to be one hell of a performer when caught live, so be sure not to miss his recorded live set as part of our podcast series.

Since Kuba Sojka won a remix competition for Laurent Garnier's 'Gnanmankoudji', he has gone on to produce and release a string of well received EPs, as well as his debut LP on Mathematics Records. Well know for his love of all things Detroit, he is without a doubt the most American Polish producer. And he also happens to be one hell of a performer when caught live, so be sure not to miss his recorded live set as part of our podcast series. Podcast 26 mixed by Kuba Sojka!


INTERVIEW: KUBA SOJKA (MYSLOWICE/POLAND) You started out by producing ambient, downtemp, dub and minimal as Psi-Acoustic. When did you decide to explore the more dance floor oriented side of electronic music using your real name?

Well, to tell you the truth, before I started doing the more experimental stuff as Psi-Acoustic, I had already dabbled in more dance floor oriented stuff. The reason most people don't know about this is because none of the tracks ever saw the light of day, despite the fact that they were almost released on a renowned label. Anyway, genres like house and Detroit techno give me more possibilities in the sphere of melodies and breaking sounds via numerous harmonic procedures. I very often look for inspiration in jazz music and in technique guidebooks, and now I feel very confident when I use the trumpet or piano on one of my tracks, thanks to which I have heard on numerous occasions that my music is listened to just as well at home, as it is on the dance floor.

One of your first major releases was 'Message From Earth' on Matrix Records. After that, you released an EP for Mathematics Records. How did these releases on American labels come about?

One day, I set a goal to issue my music on a label that has its roots in Detroit. And that's how the Matrix Records release happened. And it was thanks to this record that people not only started recognizing my name, but also started booking me to perform live. And the rest just sort of went from there – my older tracks started to get props, and then I was signed to Mathematics Recordings...

You added a trumpet to your remix of Laurent Garnier's 'Gnanmankoudji'. You can also play the piano. Do you at any time in the future plan to produce more instrumental music?

Of course, i do. Besides, you can already hear a large amount of acoustic music in my productions, so, in few years time, I wouldn't at all be surprised if someone decided to pigeonhole my music as jazz or soul. But even if this happens, my music will always have electronic elements. I would very much like to collaborate with jazz musicians to try to combine these two seemingly distant musical worlds in a live setting at some point in the future.

Mathematics Recordings will release you debut album at the beginning of the summer. What should we expect?

Well, I think what you should expect first and foremost is quality music filled with improvisation, instruments, lots of ideas as far as arrangements are concerned, and jazz influences. I'm very happy that the release date is fast approaching, because many of my friends and fans have been waiting to hear the album for quite some time now.  And I'm also confident that people who have not heard of me before will start recognizing my name thanks to this LP. I'm also happy that the album is slated to be released on Mathematics, because seeing as how it is a techno label, they allowed me to do whatever I wanted. I'm very lucky that our paths crossed, and, so far, everybody is happy.

What's your creative process like? Do you consult other musicians when you record something, or are you more a solitary type of artist?

I don't consult anybody, I love making music on my own in peace and quite, because it is only then that I can open up, so to speak, to the fullest and make the best of my ideas. But this does not in any way mean that I completely isolate myself from the outside world and don't take part in things like jam sessions, which is something I always seem to be up for. In music school, I was trained to play in quartets and bands (even big bands), so from time to time I like to spice things up a bit and jam with someone else for a change.

Would you classify your music as being American?

Yes, I think so. I love the highly characteristic American groove, and you can hear it in all of my productions as well.

There are quite a few prolific producers coming out of Detroit at the moment. Omar S and Kyle Hall, for example. Do you check up on the younger generation, or do you only focus on the older stuff?

Well, it just so happens that I have no idea what is happening in electronic music at the moment, because I haven't been keeping up with it at all. I only know the stuff that came out 15-20 years ago. For me, music from that era was much more distinct and creative, despite the fact that producers in the 80s didn't have the present day technology we have these days. I also believe that it was more complete musically speaking, because 15 years ago most of the artists just wanted to make music, and were in no way concerned with stuff like record sales. My main philosophy as an artist is that sometimes it is better to take the tougher path, at the same time forgetting about shortcuts (like computers)  and utilizing everything you know about music and harmonies. Additionally, I believe that it is very important to understand that learning how to make good music isn't a skill that can be learned over night, and that becoming a good producer is hard work to say the very least. Anyway,as a final note, I'm sure that all the young guys out there making music that do so because that is what they love to do will be the ones who are remembered in the future.

None of your music has thus far been released on a Polish label. Nevertheless, you are thinking of starting your own label in the future. What is your opinion about Polish labels?

I don't know, because, as I said earlier, I'm not up to speed with what is happening in contemporary electronic music. As far as me starting a label is concerned, yes, I have thought about it. But will it actually happen? That I don't know. For now, me starting a label is little more than an idea.

Any special plans for the near future?

Besides the album, I should be releasing an EP made up of space disco style tracks on my friends label, so keep you eyes open. Other than that, I have no special plans.

What can you tell is about the mix you recorded?

Well, it consists of my new tracks. There is also quite a bit of improvisation, due mostly to the fact that my live setup has evolved quite a bit recently. I also wanted it to be very energetic, and I think that i managed to do my best in this aspect. You can expect lots of Detroit house, house and tech house.

Text: Magda Nowicka Chomsk
Foto: Magdalena Jendyk

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