Monday, February 13, 2012

Music Monday: JA Mixter, the man behind the sound

JA Mixter
You hit power, and turn up the volume. You rock out, dance, whatever you please when you listen to your favorite song. It fills you with this feeling, elevating you to another level...trying to find that ultimate release. Music can fill a space in our lives, or help us recollect times of old. Whatever it is, music causes something inside of us to happen that alters our mental state and way of being.

But do you ever stop and wonder, what exactly was the creator/composer of that song you love thinking? What was there past influences that brought this sound into being? I had the privilege to probe the mind of an electronic musician (someone's work whom I also currently have been obsessing about) and find out what exactly makes him tick.

Meet JA Mixter, electronic composer, and your new obsession.

Boymeetsboyblog: Tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you originally from? Or, did you grow up in San Francisco?

JA: I'm originally from Michigan where my first appreciation of music came when I played trumpet in band. Later I joined a drum & bugle corps and started to travel around the country. This led me to want to move to California and I've been here since I was 19.

BMBB: As a kid, what style of music did you listen to? Who was your favorite band?

JA: As a kid there was Motown because I lived near Detroit and that was the sound we listened to.  When I moved to San Francisco I started listening to The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, the Cure, and that whole British invasion.

BMBB: What got you into electronic music?

JA: I first came upon electronic music in Amsterdam. I was traveling and started to hear these compilations from Cafe del Mare and then I started to follow the musicians on these CDs. When I had gotten a new iMac it had this program, "Garageband" on it and I started to play with it. I hadn't touched on playing with music in years and here was this program that let me mix loops, create tracks and explore a side of me that I hadn't thought of doing without a studio. Brian Eno's ambient albums like "Music For Airports" is probably my earliest influence in electronic music.

BMBB: How long have you been creating electronic music? Has your past musical likings influenced the way you create music today?

JA: I've been creating electronic music for about 8 years now. I can see some of my past understanding of music structure influence me on how I approach a new track. I've been into "house" music since the 90's and that has had an influence. I like downtempo, lounge, drum & bass, deep house, ambient, and chill soundz.

BMBB: The music scene is always changing, new genres popping up, or old genres recreated and becoming popular. It has only been a few years, that electronic and dance became popular/mainstream. What are your feelings about this?

JA: There are too many genres happening, I can't keep up with them but I understand musicians want to distinguish themselves and so a new genre is born. It's not really important what it's called to me. I'm surprised it's taken so long for electronic/dance to become more mainstream and I don't think it's really become something top 40 yet. At least not the music I listen to.

BMBB: Who is your favorite electronic musician?

JA: Early on it has to be Brian Eno. Lately some of my favorite musicians have been Gold Panda, Washed Out, Lone, Darius, Morgan Packard, Paul Kalkbrenner, Teams, and Scuba.

BMBB: What influences you to write and make music?

JA: It can start with a single loop. After that I just build on it. I never have a plan when I put together a track. It just starts to direct me and I become the editor. I look back some times on my tracks and I ask myself "where did that come from?" It just happens.

BMBB: What is your one piece of advice to the budding musician out there?

JA: I'm not one to give advice on the business of music. I make music because I love it and it's something I do without any expectations of financial gain. It's an art form that's mine and I love to share it with anyone who wants to listen.

Feel free to share and dowload JA Mixter's work over at Soundcloud.

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