May 12th, 2008
Yet another blast from the past live set, this time accompanied by an in depth (and up-to-date) interview…
Slow Children: What was the sky like when you were young?
Lokua: The sky was a visual soundtrack for imagination. Even now i still go to the park and lay down and pretend that Iâ€™m hanging from the universe’s ceiling looking down on the sky, something like reverse gravity, the sky is a bottomless pit. Before I had thought about things like an ever-expanding universe or infinity it was all right there in front of me. I didn’t need to think to experience wonder, just had to look.
SC: Bubble helmet ah? …And what about colors?
L: Yellow is me. As a child i had a yellow cup, a yellow blanket, only wanted to eat yellow foods like queso fundido, oatmeal, mac-n-cheese. Maybe it has something to do w/ being born on LSD w/ jaundice. Iâ€™m pretty good at yielding the right of way. Yellow is me. Red is my grandma. She looooves red. Cardinals, strawberries. Used to can tomatoes every year. Unfortunately she’s received more red sweaters for Christmas than she could ever wear but hey, that’s what you get for having a thing for red. Red and yellow make orange, so for me orange is symbolic of our love for each other, a child and an elder, able to exchange so much w/ so little effort. The rest of my color associations are a little strange so Iâ€™ll just stop here.
SC: Very interesting answer. Lets now talk about music a little bit. Lets start with it’s connection to colors. What’s the value of color in your music?
L: I could go on for days taking about musicolor and the history of the world as it relates to the 808 cowbell but more importantly, if a rhubarb wasn’t a rhubarb, would it still be a rhubarb?
SC: I think that rhubarb means something just as long as you think it means something… talking about meaning….what in your music comes first: meaning that you put into the song or the song which you fill with meaning later? How do you control the ground of your music? Consciously or more automatically/unconsciously? Do you have a concept first and then execution or you go straight into unknown and let it happen the way it will happen? I think all of these questions are kind of variations of one so you can answer them all together or separately starting with the last or with the first…I mean that you can answer them however you want.
L: I often approach song writing w/ what mood I’m in. When a good friend of mine passed I thought of honoring his memory w/ a soulful beat, something w/ a lot of swing and bump like 90′s DJ Premier or the Molemen from Chicago because that’s what HE loved. The song ended up being highly energetic because hey, I’m not all that into mourning. He loved to hear me freestyle so I made something I could free to. At the opposite end I approach music as an experimentalist, a student, learning from experience. In that case I am reactionary. I start w/ a sound and proceed from there according to my liking (“Oooh, this windchime sample sounds CRAZY w/ this wacked out filter LFO!” dorky stuff). At other times I start from a programmer’s stance and create according to mathematics and derive motivic equations from a root idea, thought becomes like a calculator. The experimental and mathematical approaches are always at hand, yet the emotional has to be dealt w/ from sincerity, an embracing of now. If I’m happy it’s a little harder to write a gut-wrenching tear-jerking opus, something just sounds fake to me, meditation is useful in the case that I just HAVE to convey a certain mood. Interpretation is a lot of fun as well. A simple word is all that’s needed, say CAT. Literally a “prrrr” sound is a good start and creating that “prrr” is where the fun comes in. The qualities of a cat can be expressed w/ musical and technical metaphors as well. Cats are sharp (like a snare drum), mysterious (like wind chimes), independent and precise (arrhythmic vs structured), able to chill then jump up in a moment (abrupt change in harmony or melody or tempo etc.). The hardest thing for me is balancing these approaches, which I believe yields the most effective music, though I do love just diving into one w/ all of my might.
SC: I like that “embracing of now”. Do you think you have a particular sound, stuff that you can group when you hear your tracks? For me it was a problem to define your sound at first. By sound I mean for example Rhythm & Sound, they make tracks in a very similar way, rather then let’s say…. its actually pretty hard to come up with the name that does not have its own sound… well anyway, thatâ€™s what I at first thought about your music…. and still think sometimes… i guess you know how to surprise and experiment haha… so do you think you have and know Lokua sound? (let me know if i was not clear with this one).
L: Hip Hop.
SC: That was I guess super straight to the point…..and what is hip-hop? Tell me — an uneducated white man from Moscow.
L: â€œHealthy Independent People Helping Other Peopleâ€. I’m a child of the 80s, they say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, for me Hip Hop was that village. I honestly don’t think I would have ever ended up making music if it wasn’t for hip hop. And no matter how out there I can get in my musical journey, hip hop as a sound, culture, feeling, will always be the foundation from which i started. I didn’t need to study music theory to kick a beat-box. Not sure if that answers your question. In the words of KRS-1 “rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live”. Put an 808-Apache hybrid over that.
SC: I never knew what it stands for…. now i know it + know what it means to you… great…. I know that we already left all due dates behind so i will maybe ask one or two more questions and then we send it before Slava castrated us or fed us to the wolves….what will be a good question to ask?
L: What would be a good question to ask?
Um…well damn, thats like asking myself a question! hmmm. i don’t know, guess i’m not that creative;) shit…you’re the interviewer! i mean interviewing myself? i’d rather fill out a myspace survey. who’s the last person you called? deaf child.