This week we’re very excited to have jewel tones return to our guest series. His first appearance came in the form of a beautiful long-form piece entitled ‘mediocracy’. This mixtape reveals the artist’s amazing musical acumen and aptitude in the form of wonderfully eclectic listening mixtape.
Here’s what he had to say about it:
“i’ve found a lot of inspiration in many different types of music; old and new. all my life i’ve only sought to spread beautiful music to the world and part of my way of accomplishing that is by sharing mixes like these.
there’s something special about a recorded mix. it’s different than a live performance and it’s different than a mix that is DJ’d. it’s intentional, irreverent at times, and more often than not – a pleasant surprise.
i hope this one catches you like it caught me. i had so much fun putting it together for you and only hope you share in that enjoyment while you listen.
big thanks to the LAMP crew for always being open to whatever crazy left-field shit i throw at them. you guys are blood”
MR PUZL: Your first appearance on our mix series was very unique and came in the form of a 25 minute audio and visual essay called “mediocracy”. This latest mixtape is quite different and a welcome departure from the majority of mixes we usually present. What was the inspiration behind it? How did you go about selecting your tracks?
jewel tones: It’s almost a proof of concept for me. When I listen back I hear a representation of the live set I’ve been imagining for jewel tones. I spent a lot of time looking for music that carried similar energy to the records I’ve been writing recently.
MP: Mediocracy was subsequently released on our parent label PUZL Records and accompanied by two wonderful single cuts ‘terra’ and ‘stolen’ as part of an EP of the same name. Since then you’ve been very busy in the studio. I noticed a few new unreleased tracks woven into the mix. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re currently working on?
jt: Yeah those are two new ones I made in the past month. The vocals are from my dude Goose the Guru, who I’ve worked with on and off for the past 3 years on various projects. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the records yet, and I won’t go into too much detail right now, but my time in the studio is spent on two bodies of work. One is a cluster of more club-focused records, like the two in this mix. The other is a collection of material centered around the live show I’ve envisioned.
MP: In your mix description you mentioned that you find a lot of inspiration in many types of music from the past and present. What were some early musical influences that sparked your passion for music? How do you feel those tastes evolved over time?
jt: When I was a kid there was no chance I was going anywhere without my cassette player and eventually walkman. Outside of artists I would listen to, my mother and granny were both huge musical influences for me. Both were classically trained, and both consistently pushed me to be involved with music in some way. I’ve just tried to expose myself to as many styles of music as possible.
MP: You also mentioned that recorded mixes can be unexpected and I certainly felt that way when you mixed in an awesome M.RUX mashup of Missy Elliot and Nicolas Jaar . What about this mix was surprising to you in particular as you were making it?
jt: What I meant by that was more of how things fit together stylistically. There are all kinds of genres and songs at different tempos but to me there is synergy.
MP: The name jewel tones is quite a juxtaposition of words. How did you come up with the name, and does it have more contextual meaning?
jt: I’d rather let people decide what it means to them personally, if anything at all.
MP: I like many others echo your sentiment of sharing music with others whether it’s via a mixtape, performance or DJ set. However, sometimes the best experiences come from being on the other side, in the mix of an engaged crowd. Can you remember the first show you went to where you truly connected with the performance? Have there been other shows or concerts where that feeling has been emulated?
jt: That’s a tough one. Nicolas Jaar at the Fonda last November or December is definitely my most recent answer for that question.
MP: ‘The Road Not Taken’ is a poem by Robert Frost that at first seems to reflect on free thinking. Upon further inspection it is also construed as a reflection on those whose are indecisive and who find ‘meaning in consequential decisions’. Creating music or any style of art for that matter can be demandingly introspective and challenging, but also liberating and rewarding. As someone with such clear passion for music how do you approach your canvas and when do you say I’m done with this piece it’s time to move on?
jt: I start by taking the first step forward and end by taking the first step away. Both are a process.
1. Wire – Forward Position
2. La Boum Fatale – Iris (Masaki Uchida Ascendion Remix)
3. Fred & Steve Stash – Bazille
4. Scraper – :acima )Kamo R Re,ox_
5. elemunt – 02/06/2016
6. OthaSoul ft. Subzy – Crip Walkin’ On THe Nightinegale Floor
7. Missy Elliot vs Nicolas Jaar 0 Work It (M. Rux Edit)
8. Gabe Gurnsey – Falling Phase
9. Cardopusher – War Dance
10. jewel tones – ID
11. Gerwin – Need For Immediacy
12. Venetian Snares – Your Face When I Finally
13. Dark Soul Project – Night Pleasure
14. Betoko, John Monkman – Booyah vs TEN FÉ – In The Air
15. jewel tones – ID
16. mossy – (sit still)
17. su na & DUVV – all over you (falls remix)
18. The Album Lead – New Soul
19. Perils From the Sea – What Happened to My Brother
20. Ryat – Pando
21. Stereo MC’s, Adam Port – Changes (Jimpster Remxi)