Exclusive: parjo01 – emerging out of the wreckage


Here’s an exclusive interview with parjo01 (Jon Parish) who does bass-heavy electronica, plus a free download (provided I’ve got the widgets to work right) from his Shadows EP, which is out on Monday.

Before the music, the interview:

1. How the devil are you?

Very well thank you. though I’d be better for a bit of sunshine.

2. You’ve worked as a solo artist and in bands. How do you find the differences?

Well, I’m a bit of a control freak, so obviously the thing I liked best about working on my own was having total control of the music and being able to do what the fuck I liked. and when I started producing on my own that was absolute heaven for me, after years of shared songwriting. But then it’s easy to forget that most great music comes out of collaboration and while doing it your own way may be appealing, you need other people’s input to develop as an artist. The best thing about being a solo artist is not having to arrange rehearsals. But the worst thing is having to plough that lonely furrow. It’s nice to have people to share the frustrations with.

3. How does someone who started in a “disco-punk-ska” outfit (the Articles) end up doing electronica?

Well, in the Articles I was always drawn to the reggae and disco side of things we were doing, the bass heavy, rhythmic stuff, rather than the more melodic rock vibe that some of the others were into. I’ve always been a massive reggae-head so I was drawn to dubstep, particularly the early stuff which really did just sound like an electronic version of dub music. but dubstep quickly became a parody of itself and by that stage, like many, I was getting into the more interesting sounds that were emerging out of the wreckage, on labels like Keysound and producers like Martyn, Sully, Roska etc. where the links to house, techno, jungle and all that was clear. Plus, I was a 90s raver so it’s never been too far from my radar, even when I was gigging in rock bands.

4. You have a band – Jon Parish & the Picts – which is an 8-piece. How do you coordinate that many people?

Ha! good question and, sadly, the reason why said band is no more. I had a lot of fun doing it, but yep, the coordination was too hard. and specially cos it had to have brass; and horn players are f***ing impossible to pin down unless you’re paying them good money, cos they’ve all been to music college and played in orchestras and expect a fee. Which is fair enough but not usually possible when you’re playing the back room of a pub in Kingston to a handful of people on a Tuesday night. Maybe I’ll resurrect it some day, who knows.


5. Club Soda Records describes itself as “Alternative electronica for hungry souls.” How do you describe the sound of parjo01?

God, hard to do so without resorting to cliche. I guess I’d just call it bass music, which isn’t very original but probably sums up the one constant that runs through it all.

6. What were you aiming for with the Shadows EP and what are your future plans?

I just really wanted to get something out on vinyl, that’s always what I wanted more than anything, cos I’m a vinyl obsessive and no matter what anyone says you’ll never get the same satisfaction releasing a download, even if it sells a thousand more copies than the record. I was stoked to have Mella Dee and DFRNT doing remixes as well, cos they’re both artists that I hugely admire. DFRNT for the depth of the sounds and Mella Dee just cos he absolutely smashes it every single time. I’m currently working on a reggae project with a very talented guy who goes by the name of the Bedroom Junkie and I’m looking forward to getting that out there. otherwise I’ll just keep doing what i do til I’m old enough to know better, although that day probably should have come some time ago.

Shadows EP follows a couple of parjo01 tracks we’ve had here previously – Longhorn No.9 and Sirens. But I guess this is the first proper solo release.  It comprises the original track, a dub and two remixes, from Mella Dee and DFRNT. I like the fact that it’s being released on vinyl as well as digital.

The original track starts not on a drum beat but a low twisting bass line. There are abstract female vocals but the bass line drives the whole thing forward. There’s a hazy dub overtone to the whole track that ends up quite psychedelic IDM. London’s Mella Dee takes the track into a garage bass direction. All very contemporary but not really my thing. parjo01 returns for his own dub mix. This is a fatter blooping bass mix, with everything set to bowel-shaking and a bit of ragga toasting on top. Skanking.

The free download comes from DFRNT, which is nice because, along with the original, this is the best thing here. It blends the ragga bass  of the dub version with a smooth deep house sensibility to leave a dreamy concoction that gently takes you on an unexpected trip.

Free download: Shadows Dub (DFRNT Remix)

Clips of the whole EP here:

Blurb: London based ‘Club Soda Records’ deliver a colourful dose of dub infused bass grooves courtesy of label favourite parjo01. Due for release on 17th Febuary, ‘Shadows’ paves a promising path and comes complete with remixes from Mella Dee and DFRNT.

‘Shadows’ is a brooding concoction of eerie samples and driving rhythms. Rich and technical percussion pushes progress forwards as panned and mangled vocal cuts bleed to all corners of the mix. The Dub introduces a toughened saw-tooth working alongside skanks and vocal chops while Mella Dee’s revision pins things under a rugged 4/4 thump.

DFRNT’s remix steadily unfolds through capacious pads and melodic variation. Reverberated vocals ring out alongside swelling synth tones and swinging hat sequences.



~ by acidted on February 13, 2014.

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