Hi Jörgen! How are you doing?
JK: I'm well, thanks! The sun is out, and I have some time to chill and do a bit of reading. I kind of overdid it with my pre-vacation book shopping this year, and now I'm struggling to keep up :)
You live in Sweden, how is life over there at the moment? Did your summer change because of the Covid-19 situation?
JK: We had plans to go to Portugal this summer, originally. But when Covid-19 hit, we quickly decided to stay in Sweden. Which, as it turned out, was what the government decided we should do also. I've had a great summer with my family, staying close to the ocean and just kicking back.
Speaking of summer, congrats on the new album' Invincible Summer'! It's a powerful name if we consider these strange and difficult times around the world. In the album description you shared that it came from a quote by Albert Camus, please tell us more about that!
JK: Thanks! The quote from Camus is, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." I've carried it round in my head for a few years. To me, it describes what happened inside of me when I met my wife, and we later turned our two small families into a more regular sized one. Like, there was a thawing happening. In the context of Covid-19, I think the quote speaks of hope and perseverance. Things can seem very bleak, and there's so much heartbreak, loss, and fear. But even this is not forever.
What was your process and influences for writing this album?
JK: The album is made up of tracks I've collected over maybe six months or so. They are meant to capture memories or remembered emotions and moods from time spent with my family traveling in the summer. The track titles are places we've been to, mostly. In a way, the album is a love letter to my family, as cheesy as that may sound. Gear wise, it's mostly my OP-1 and a few guitar pedals. I've been making stuff on the fly, on trains, in summer cabins, wherever. Then I've resampled things through pedals, slowed them down, things like that.
There's so much music I listen to all the time. I don't think I had any specific artists that I tried to emulate on this album. But I've been listening to a lot of H. Takahashi, Federico Durand, Green-House, Laraaji, Josh Mason, Senoy, Julia Bloop, Lungfulls, and xJK. lately. Currently, I'm on a bit of a lofi tangent. We'll see how that affects upcoming projects.
This album feels deeply meditative. How do you approach making this type of music?
JK: First of all, that's a great compliment to me. Thanks! I don't know that it's something I do on purpose, that meditative thing. I do try to "do less" when I work on a track and just let it happen. I guess you could say I try to discover tracks rather than make them if that makes any sense. Also, the whole meditative thing could just be a reflection of my inner tempo.
What would you say are the ideal listening conditions for this album?
JK: Probably when you're moving. Train rides should be good, but also walks along water or in the forest. And maybe early in the morning?
Do you have a personal favorite track on the record? Which one would it be and why?
JK: Evening Lul, I think. Such a banger!
You have a track on the PITP comp "Healing Sounds II", how do you see music and charity work fitting together? What are your thoughts on helping people in need through art?
JK: I was very honored to be asked to contribute a track on that comp. As an artist, I think there are a few good things about projects like that. You get to help to raise money and help people in need, and at the same time, your music may offer some solace to the listener. In times like these, when the world seems filled to the brim with worry, I hope ambient music can have a function beyond your average "work focus" playlist scenario.
You are part of a music duo called Little Boxes. How do you approach working in a pop duo compared to your solo ambient project?
JK: Little Boxes is the band I have with my wife, and it's completely different than my ambient stuff. We do a more electronic pop kind of a thing, where I get to sing harmony and play guitar and stuff in a more structured setting. My wife is a great singer and producer and writes great lyrics. The original idea was to see how much of a ruckus we could make between the two of us. Quite a bit, it turns out. It is also an awesome way to spend time with someone you love. You just open a bottle of red, fire up the gear, and make an evening out of it. Then there's the collaborative aspect, where the end result is something that we'd never had come up with on our own.
What are you listening to lately? Do you have any recommendations for us?
JK: I've been going back to what got me into electronic music in the first place. So Teebs and Evenings have been getting some airtime this summer. Also, the new Duelling Ants release is great. Then there's Meitei, Khotin, Ulla Straus, Golden Retriever, Josh Mason again...
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Congrats again on the wonderful album. Any last words for people out there?
JK: My pleasure! I hope people enjoy the album, and I also hope people try to find a moment every day to just let go of whatever is going on currently (I know there's a lot) and enjoy a little peace.