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Interview: Monojoke

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Sea and sand, the vibrant spirit on Earth and a sign of faith, it is nothing but what you breathe. Like a jewel it has to be cared for. Pearls it will be named. From Poland, the talented and well known DJ producer Monojoke debuts with a solid EP on Nature Rec. for the label’s seventh delivery. Long a favourite of progressive music tastemakers Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren, Monojoke has embarked on a deeper, more organic approach to his production of late. We had a chance to talk to him about his new musical inspirations, his new EP for Nature Rec and so much more in an exclusive interview below. Enjoy!

Hi Jacek, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hello, I’m good, thanks. The last piece of music I listened was Lee Burridge set from Omnia Bali in Indonesia, amazing music in amazing place.

What are your plans for the coming week?

I’ve got simple plans, work, maybe making some new music and visiting my family at the weekend.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

Here are my top 5 tracks in random order, these tracks have shaped my taste in music and are very important to me:

  1. Sasha – Wavy Gravy (U&K Remix)
  2. PQM – You Are Sleeping (PQM Meets Luke Chable Vocal Pass)
  3. Matthew Dekay & Proluctors – Behind Secret Borders
  4. Monkz ‎– Goggles
  5. Bart Van Wissen – Unforeseen

How did growing up in Poland influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

In Poland, the progressive scene when I started to be interested in it was not too big. I had to rely on foreign artists. I must admit that artists such as Nick Warren, Sasha, John Digweed and Hernan Cattaneo had a huge impact on me and my interests.

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a new deeper sound in your productions, how do you see your sound evolving in the coming years?

I think I’m just getting older and my musical taste calms down 🙂 I will still be making house music, definitely progressive and organic, maybe something else, time will show.

Which style do you enjoy making more right now? Organic House or Progressive? And why?

Organic house hit me like a breath of fresh air and gave me the opportunity to try something different in music production but progressive will always be in my heart. I am currently considering releasing organic house under a different alias and leave “Monojoke” just for the progressive sounds. I will decide soon.

You have a new EP ‘Pearls’ out this week on Nature Rec, tell us a bit about how these three tracks came together for the release.

All these tracks were written at different times. Initially, I didn’t assume that these three tracks would be an EP. I had a few tracks prepared, chose the best ones and sent them to a label.

Where does your inspiration come from and was there anything that inspired the three tracks which make up your ‘Pearls’ EP?

As previously mentioned, each track was created separately. Pearls was the result of playing with midi sequences. Fearless was created for a different EP in organic house style, but ultimately did not fit with the atmosphere for other tracks. Sacred leafs was also planned for another EP, but I didn’t finished any more tracks for it yet. Ultimately, these three songs fit together and made a solid EP.

The title track is one of your most emotive tracks this year I would say, walk us through the production process on that one.

The title track was made through my experiments with midi sequences. Initially it was just a sketch and one of many attempts, but after some modifications I found it sounding interesting and built a whole track on this basis in deep progressive atmosphere.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of these tracks?

I do not use hardware too much due to lack of time. I mainly focus on virtual instruments. The best software for me is NI Komplete, which I use in every track I also use Spectrasonics Omnisphere very often. The entire EP was created with the use of these instruments. I can also recommend free vst Synth1.

This is your first release on Nature Rec, what made the label a good home for your original material right off the bat?

I think they release good music, they release quite rarely which is also important. They have great covers and good promotion.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

Usually, the first people besides myself and my family who hear my music are the people I send the demo to. Of course, before sending a demo, I first listen, analyze and correct the track many times.

What is the current state of your Fluente project?

Fluente project is active. We recently released an EP on Serendeep and one track on Freegrant compilation Fantastic Four Vol. 7. We are working on new material, but the work is complicated by everyday life and the distance between Paweł (Tuxedo) and me. I live in Cracow, Paweł lives in Gdansk, it is about 600 kilometers.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

For me, not much has changed during the pandemic. Life was difficult but I was working normally so I didn’t have extra time for music.

What is the situation with the pandemic in Poland at the moment? Are there parties or events happening yet?

It’s safe right now. About 200 positive test results daily. We still wear masks in public places, but we live quite normally. The events and parties take place under certain small conditions and restrictions, almost normal.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Besides music, my hobby is watching good movies. The most recently watched movie that made a big impression on me was the Australian crime story “The Dry” with Eric Bana as main character. Nice story, nice filming and great views.

What is your favourite food?

Italian and Asian cuisine.

Iphone or Android?

Android.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My family, friends, good meal, good movies, good videogames.

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I’m finally getting married in September. 🙂

‘Pearls’ is available now via Nature Rec: https://bit.ly/3giwweF

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