121 - Josua Karlson
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, Josua Karlson
Currently in Leipzig, Germany, his love of nature and his classical-then-metal background allows him to create multiple worlds in his music. One to watch 🎶
Interview & Studio Tour
Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
Hi, I am Josua from Leipzig, Germany.
Growing up in a somewhat musical family I always have been in contact with making music from my early childhood on. My parents gave me the opportunity to get trained in classical violin from age 6 on. I quit as a teenager since I just wanted to get out of the conventional music schooling system which is quite stiff in my opinion. I started teaching myself guitar and bass and played in some metal bands, tinkered around with lot's of weird acoustic instruments, like mouth-harp, gongs, a variety of flutes and string instruments.
During that phase I got a loopstation and my first pedals which kind of took me on that journey of exploring more unconventional sounds. Pretty soon my first synth, which has been a volca bass, came into my life and that new sonic potential blew my mind. I got completely obsessed with music machines and from there on I had a pretty long phase of buying and reselling gear. Now I feel quite comfortable with what I have and maybe get a new piece every year.
My main income comes from being a freelance gardener/landscaper. It's a really nice change from the technology and it keeps me healthy and happy to get outside half of the week. If I could live just from making music, soundpacks etc. I think I would still do the gardening on the side. I just love the fresh air.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
My Wavestate is absolutely essential and the Elektron Octatrack and Digitone, since they are my current live setup.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
I actually made a lot of music with a crappy Electribe Sampler MK2. Sold it a few years ago though to afford my trusty Octatrack.
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
I never really go into the studio with an idea beforehand. Just playing around enjoying the process of experimentation leads me to a starting point of a song.
Very often it is sound design which inspires me to go further.
From there I sequence, record, layer and mix everything. No soft synths in my production process. It's all audio, sometimes even in a one take recording.
The PC mouse makes me nervous, I don't even like it outside the music production, so I am trying to do as much as possible with buttons and key shortcuts.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
For Ambient, l really love to do one take recordings, sometimes adding a field recording inside a DAW after.
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How would you describe your style?
That’s tough. I am having a few different projects. Something between Ambient, IDM, Berlin School and Dungeon Synth.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
The biggest challenge is not trying to do to many different things.
I don't like staying in one genre and I think that is confusing a lot of people. Gear falling apart is also a big one.
Especially before a show. It happened a few times and it really sucks. Shout out to Elektron to do better quality control before selling the stuff. I feel like I never run out of ideas, that’s never a problem. If I had a bit more cashflow I would put more into promotion, thats for shure.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
I never really took the laptop/software route at any point, so I can't really say how it changed my perspective in the musical way.
From the life point of view... I got a lot better at saving money and not spending it on useless partying or so, to be able to afford my next dream :-)
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Just create a habit of making music regularly.
Creativity is a muscle that can be trained like any other one in my opinion.
The more music I make the more ideas I get.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
LOTR, Dune, and many other Scifi Fantasy stories!
Steve Roache’s Spiral Revelation got me into electronic music.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
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