Jason Fine

Last Drexciyan Jason Fine
Only a few producers around the world does music from the heart. Michigan native Jason Fine is one of these.

Jason Fine's debut from Malmö's Kontra-Musik, named "Our Music Is A Secret Order" was one of the best and most inspiring releases in 2008. His sound is neat, atmospheric and purely Detroit.

Born and raised in the Motor city and listening to all those vibes has a big role in his sound. He is one of the few Drexciyans living with us. His music is so special. Listen to his new LP "Future Thoughts". Tracks like "Nutella", or "Many To Many" frankly registers his remarkable talent. "Cream" or "Broken Home" is the proof for his Drexciyan blood. Here is all about the very talented Jason Fine and his "Future Thougts", one of the best albums of this year.

I want to start with how did you first get in touch with electronic music and how you ended up being a producer?
In my mid teens I started listening to a lot of hip hop. A few friends and me started DJing and really getting into scratching, turntablism. I'd say when I was about 18 or 19 I came across a CD mixtape from Juan Atkins. "The Wax Trax Mastermix Volume 1". This shit blew my mind for good. Not only did it really awaken me to the world of good techno and house, but really changed something inside me. It's like cosmic psychedelic funk humanity coming out of the speakers and really taking me to a different place, mentally.

What will you say about your Detroit experience?
I'm not trying to front like "I'm from Detroit". I was born there and in my early childhood my parents moved us to traverse city (about 4 hours north). I'm from Michigan. I feel a strong connection to the region as a whole vs. just Detroit. Much of my family still lives there. By far the majority of my musical inspiration comes from Detroit. Soul, funk, hip hop, house, techno, jazz, etc. An amazing amount of music has and still is coming out of that city.

What or who were your main inspiration channels or role models at that time? Do you still have any?
In the early days, the obvious; Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Jeff Mills Blake Baxter, etc. The list goes on. I think it's important to state that my inspiration for music comes from many different genres and eras. While I make what I make, the music I'm listening to on a daily basis is often quite different. 80's RnB, hip hop, dub, jazz, funk, whatever.

You are dealing with design at day time if I am not wrong. Can you talk about your life without music?
Not design, programming. I'll do design freelance, but my day job is web programming. Life without music is fine, it's actually necessary, for me. My creativity with music comes in waves. If I were to sit around all day everyday trying to make tracks there would be a lot of frustration and throw-aways. One draw back to my day job is that it's interfacing with a computer all day, so making music, considering I'm using computer based DAW's, means more face time in front of the screen.

How did you get in touch with Omar-S and than Ulf?
My wife came across "Just ask the lonely" shortly after it came out and I was blown away by the things Omar was doing. His flow, the feel of his tracks really felt different to the "mnml" crap coming out these days. His music is minimal, but funky and emotional and wacky and weird, you can tell he is making music as an artistic expression for himself, rather than a producer that is striving to create crowd pleasing dancefloor tracks, with the typical catchy riffs. I noticed FXHE didn't have a web site so I thought f**k it and reached out to him with the idea of putting something up. He was totally receptive and that's that. I still maintain the FXHE website. You know I'm pretty sure Ulf tracked me down through myspace. Talked about doing a release, he was super cool from the get go and I was excited to get some more of my music overseas.

How long did it take you to finish this second LP?
As I said before, my creativity comes in waves, the more tech tracks on future thought we done in about a week, as well as the house tracks. But as bodies of work they were done months apart from each other. I'll get the inspiration/creativity and usually bang out 3-5 tracks then take a break, wait for more inspiration.

Why “Future Thoughts”?
What the early Detroit electronic music experience did was show me that this music is about a lot more than just getting your ass out on the dancefloor. I often times find myself listening to some good house/techno and I'm deep in thought. For me this music inspires thought, often times since I'm so technology focused, these thoughts are on the future, what's to come.

Do you have a favorite track in the LP?
Yeah "Many to many" and "Nutella".

Your sound in this LP seems to have more freedom. As it has done without any market pressure and that’s why sounds pretty well. Did you have any line or border that you have been foreseeing sound wise?
No, it is what it is. The music comes out of me. I enjoy making deep electronic music, whatever particular "feel" it happens to have, that's it. Electro/techno/house/funk whatever the mood happens to be I suppose. I don't strive to sound like something else that i'm not making.

Is your music really 'a secret order'? Why?
Ha, around here it is. Electronic dance music for many people in the States is still something foreign and just associated with raves, drugs, etc. The title of the first Kontra release I did was actually Ulf's idea. I was down for it. I agreed with the concept.

Can you be the next generation Drexciyan? Ever thought of a misson like this?
Honestly? No, never thought of anything like that. It's flattering to hear that kind of stuff, but I'm way to humble to compare myself to Drexciya. That music was/is pure genius. It's timeless. When I was told Mueller was going to do a revision of a track of mine, I was pretty much star-struck.

What other labels and producers do you like?
Right now by far my favorite producer is Dam Funk. That guy is f**king amazing. Everyone of his tracks is pure analog cosmic funk boogie genius. He's the first artist in a long time whose music really takes me away when I listen to it. It really is some cosmic dreamy shit. Oddisee, J Dilla, Kev Brown, Harmonic 313, Decompose, Black Milk, these guys are all hip hop producers. -Again- I listen to a lot of other music than electronic dance music. Hip hop has a very special place in my heart, even though I don't produce it, I draw an immense amount of inspiration from good underground hip hop. Hopefully you aren't disappointed to find out that my current favorite producers don't even make house/techno music, but that's just how I roll. I like to bring things I hear from other genres into what I make, when possible. I don't really "DJ" much anymore so I'm not an audiophile jumping on the latest releases, by any means.

What would you like to say about techno music’s current position?
That it seems kind of blown out. It's pretty easy these days for someone to grab Ableton, some mediocre loops, and viola; they are a producer. Vinyl really is starting to die, I think. Record sales, shit, even digital sales are at an all time low because people pirate so much music these days, it's simply becoming the norm. Vinyl DJs are becoming a minority and vinyl itself is more of a niche medium than ever before. Everybody is using Serato, or some other kind of digital DJ set up. Shit, even I am guilty of that, because if i'm doing a show and want total freedom to play and remix all of my unreleased shit, then i'm going to use Ableton before I grab a grip of records.

Things are changing. getting a vinyl record used to be a special thing, it is a tangible object with artwork and music on it that really feels special when you hold it in your hand. You care about it, you keep it in good condition because it holds the sounds you crave. Now everything is just digital vapor. You really have to love to do this music for yourself as an artistic release, because chances are this will not be your living. A lot of people are in it for the image these days. Fortunately in the fringes of the underground you will find an endless amount of real from the heart music. That is where I strive to be.

What do you know about İstanbul? Would you like to play here some day?
That it's the fifth largest city in the world, probably has a great music scene, and I would love to play there anytime.

Interview: Christopher Çolak
28 October 2009


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