Electronic Directory teams up with Sect Records for label partnership series. In celebration of the release of Sect 6 – "The Jolka Experience", the first installment comes from Jolka aka Luka Baumann.
Over the last 5 years Luka Baumann has been making a name for himself with releases on Emergence Records, his own label PSNZ and most recently Sect Records. Collaborating with his partner in crime Grovskopa and as a duo, they produce their own original productions with a darker and harder edge. While producing hard-hitting, industrial techno, he’s also got the deeper side of things under his Jolka guise.
Electronic Directory caught up with Luka Baumann for a chat.
Interview with Luka Baumann by Kazuumi Ishii
What have you been up to lately ?
Watching a lot of Star Trek: Enterprise. Had a lot of catching up to do, kinda didn’t like them the first time, thought it wasn’t true to the original. Don’t know what I was thinking, they are great actually. So unfair they stopped airing it after 4th season. On a more serious note, just finished setting up a broadcast studio facility with a friend, which was a very big project. Been out of the loop with everything and everyone for quite a while.
Where and how was the mix made ?
Friday night with a few friends, some wine spritzers and a record button.
Can you tell us a little about the mix ?
I wanted to mix here music that is regularly in my player. Some of the tracks are older and some are new. I start with my remix for Davor O on Matrix Detroit and a bit more melodic stuff further down the road. It gets a bit hypnotic in the middle, but towards the end things get pretty deep, especially with Petar Dundov’s remix for Homeboy. The last few tracks make the mix a bit groovier again, samey feeling as those at the beginning. Last one by Grovskopa is pretty addictive, don’t you think ? Stunning vocals and melodies, really loving it.
How is electronic music in Croatia these days ?
There are quite a few artists that have emerged on the scene in the last few years and are making pretty good music. Nothing different than in any other European country I guess.
A new club has opened doors not even a year ago, ‘Sirup’, dedicated to electronic music, which is the first such specialized club opened in Zagreb, maybe even Croatia, I believe. Good sound system, nice people, steady amount of good music, week in, week out.
So, let’s go back in time. Who were the first DJs that caught your ear when you were growing up with electronic music ?
I remember when I first started making electronic music, the concept of a DJ was something I wasn’t quite familiar with. Quite strange, when i think about it now. I had these recorded radio shows tapes I would listen to, didn’t have a clue there were clubs that were playing this kind of music, internet was something I heard it existed and none of my friends were into what I was into musically at that time. I started clubbing and connecting with people, discovering new music. I hooked up on house music and drum’n'bass at first, a bit later I discovered Techno – Oscar Mulero, Surgeon, Jeff Mills, Autechre etc. It was really exciting discovering new music like that, step by step. Great times.
Your music is definitely louder, more industrial, and very abstract… How has Birmingham stuff influenced your sound ?
It’s been a great influence for me, most definitely. Mick Harris, Surgeon, Regis, Makaton and the rest of the gang. Very honest and real music. It shared the aesthetics of Futurism, that I was really into at the time. Besides that, I early started consuming extreme and a bit more obscure music. NON, Haus Arafna, Current 93, Nurse With Wound, Coil…that sort of thing. The whole ethos of that kind of music made me feel at home and it was only natural to go down that path with my own work.
You’ve been working a lot with Mika Hallbaeck [Grovskopa], has he been a particular influence ?
We run Emergence Records together and have been collaborating on few different projects. We think alike, not only in musical terms, but also on a more general level. He has always been a great source of inspiration for me.
How do you produce together ?
We did a project or two together in studio, but most of our work was made remotely, since we actually reside on different sides of Europe. Either him or me start something, an idea and send it to the other side. Project gets bounced back and forth few times, tracks change shape throughout the whole process. We talk about it, suggest to each other what should be changed or what sounds good. Usually the one who started the song, gets to arrange it.
What was it like working together in the studio ? Do you have any stories you can share ?
No funny stories, sorry. We are dead fucking serious guys.
So how did your Jolka project come about ? That first single "The Jolka Experience" for Sect Records was much more deeper stuff, not as industrial as you would maybe do under your own name.
It’s a different mindset. Human being is capable of so many different emotions and Jolka is me embracing this notion. I have learned how to deal with life in a way that is much more beneficial for my psyche and this whole new persona started to grow in me. Music that started to come out of me felt different and sounded different. It was not intentional, it just sort of happened. That was always very important to me – to not force anything I do. If I can’t write music for 6 months, that is perfectly fine with me. It certainly doesn’t feel nice to have a creative block, but when I start writing again, I need that feeling of freedom, with nothing imposing it. I’ve been struggling for a while, there was a lot of different projects I wanted to do, but that just made my focus dissipate and in the end it felt like hitting a brick wall, but Jolka made me feel free again and I am really, really enjoying myself making music after a great while.
Do you have any guilty musical pleasures ?
You know it. Just the other night, neighbors were having a party with some loud MTV music, I was this close to get up on my feet, crash the party and show them some secret dance moves of mine. Stayed in bed, tapping the foot in rhythm though.
What/who do you think about when you’re making music ?
Best music happens when you are induced in this trance-like state of the mind. No thoughts whatsoever. This is when I know I am doing it right. So, no there isn’t any thought process involved, except when dealing with the engineering side of the things, which is actually right there from the start. A bit of a paradox. Creative and technical parts are so interleaved in Techno music, you cannot simply close your eyes, push few buttons and get carried away, which is actually all there should be to making music.
First you have to learn everything there is to know about technology, that you are so comfortable with it and able to use it intuitively. It is the same as with learning how to play any traditional instrument, but once you learn how to play that electric guitar good enough, I bet there is no greater rush other than getting on stage and playing that solo (except maybe dropping that 808 kick on top of warmest bass line evar :-) ).
How did your Jolka release end up on Sect Records ?
Thomas approached Mika and me when he was setting up the label. After the first release we did together as Brethren, we started talking about each doing his own, since Thomas handled things so professionally and we developed a good relationship with him. I showed Thomas Jolka stuff and he was hooked immediately.
What is it about the Sect ethos that you’re into ?
It’s about mutual respect and communication between an artist and a label.
Finally, after the release of The Jolka Experience, what projects are you looking forward to in the future ?
Definitely working on more Jolka music. Few friends suggested we do some sort of collaboration too. That is something I look forward to. Preparing a new EP on Sect, followed by remixes. More on that when the time comes. At the moment, I am working on a remix for Inigo Kennedy on Rodz Konez label.
Jolka to release The Jolka Experience
Jolka – The Jolka Experience [Sect]
Croatian techno producer Luka Baumann has been serving up experimental beats since 2004 and here he shows his deeper side with this lovely effort on Sect Records. Inception takes its strength from a solid bassline and steady beats and lush chords while Arcus does the business courtesy of dubbed out chords. Covection is a brilliant chord driven workout and Dreamful produces an all over warm feeling, courtesy of sweet synths and a pulsing bassline.
Sect Records will release The Jolka Experience on December 6th 2009.
Download Electronic Directory 22 Jolka aka Luka Baumann Podcast
- 01. Davor O. – Transitional Objects (Jolka remix) [Matrix]
- 02. Shed – Shot Selection 2 [Soloaction]
- 03. Quince – Space Time [Delsin]
- 04. G-Man – Tinge [Defrag]
- 05. A Guy Called Gerald – First Try [K7!]
- 06. Quince – Wires [Music Man]
- 07. Redshape – 2010 [Delsin]
- 08. Marcel Dettmann – Plain [Beatstreet]
- 09. Jolka – Convection [Sect]
- 10. Sterac – Rond [Delsin]
- 11. Homeboy – Sunrise (Petar Dundov remix) [Home Made Electronica]
- 12. Subotic – Fushicho [NightVision]
- 13. Paul Mac – Influenced 2 [Stimulus]
- 14. Grovskopa – Even If You Try (Version) [unreleased]
Download older podcasts below
- EDP21 Dimitri Pike
- EDP20 Mick Welch
- EDP19 Jamie Behan
- EDP18 The Florian Muller Project
- EDP17 Edge of Infinity
- EDP16 Klaina
- EDP15 Solab
- EDP14 Trish van Eynde
- EDP12 Erell Ranson
- EDP11 Chuck Bleu
- EDP10 Esteban Adame
- EDP09 Chymera
- EDP08 Alan Smith
- EDP07 Arne Weinberg
- EDP06 DJ Bone
- EDP05 Trench
- EDP04 Rubsilent
- EDP03 Nomadico aka DJ Dex
- EDP02 Kuri Kondrak
- EDP01 Lee Holman