Jacob Stoy

Uncanny Valley · UV Podcast 103 - Jacob Stoy

Our latest podcast ist an adventurous inhouse-production from our very own Jacob Stoy. The experimental collage is related to his recently released tape DAS UNENDLICHE KONSTRUKT. Jacob tells us in the interview not only how the mix, but also how the tape came about. A super interesting insight into a mysterious mind 🙂

Hey Jacob, thanks for the mix. What were you trying to say with it and how does it relate to the new tape?

Hello hello, the mix is a collage of music, field recordings and spoken word, material that orbits and inspires my daily life. Thematically, the collage is about the question of how a human individual identifies himself or what he wants to be identified as. This question has occupied me among other things also with the tape. Because I am musically active in different areas, whether as a solo performer, with other performers, in the club or on theater stages, my musical output is quite diverse. Many different influences that I wanted to bring into the mix.

Honestly, the mix is much more overly intellectual than the tape. With the mix, I wanted to achieve something very explicit. With the tape, I wanted to break away from my conventional production constructs, away from the computer and devote myself more to the short spontaneous moments. I wanted to really savor the moment, have fun for a short time and create a construct of felt infinite moments that surround me or wait in myself.

How was the music created? Which instruments did you use?

I packed a suitcase with a looper and various effects. In three sessions I created about 25 tracks – in my bed and on the floor of my workroom. I tried to get by with only a few sound generators. So depending on the session I sent two or three sound generators into the case, looped them and recorded them directly to a field recorder. There are only two pieces that I cut a bit, the rest came about as they are heard on the tape.

Here’s the full list of things used: Akai MPC 1000, iPad (Garageband, Moog Model 15, Borderlands, YouTube), Moog Mother 32, Korg PolySix, microphone, Sans Amp Bass Driver, Boss Digital Delay, TC Electronik Juno-60, Electro Harmonix 45000 and Tascam DR-40.

You’re using field recorders too. In what situations do you use it? Are there concise and audible traces on the album from the everyday life of Jacob Stoy?

I often use field recorders, but currently more my phone, because that is so nice inconspicuous and the quality is usually sufficient. I always press record when I’m in places that either sound totally overloaded or a single sound particularly fascinates me. However, I process the sounds further and further until they are no longer identifiable. This can be, for example, the basis for a synth sound or a basic mood that underlies a track. Often I also convert the sounds into midi rhythms or midi melodies and send them to certain sound generators.

On the album, there is actually nothing like that. There I rather held the microphone out of the window or made some sounds with my mouth and alienated them with my effects case.

Why is a tape the ideal format for the album?

I somehow have a very deep connection to the format, whether it was the recorded tapes of my parents and friends or my own experiments with the format. The sound aesthetics fit the tracks perfectly and straighten out some things. Tapes are also quite cheap and easy to produce. They also bring a great creative freedom and can become a very personal object, if not even an art object.

What was the idea behind the artwork? Can you explain the production process?

The artwork has been in my cabinet for a while and comes from a series of studies done in different graphic techniques. For a few years I am looking for a very specific moment in faces, faces that transmit an absolute “nakedness”, nakedness in the sense of being at the mercy or caught. In it, somehow, is the absolute truth of the moment.

Explicitly for the artwork, I had collected a number of such faces and wanted to create a similar facial expression with just a few lines. At first it was just three lines and then in the end there were no concrete lines, just wax crayon structures forming an image of a face. In the end, this has also been a point in the musical process of the album. Every single sound should more or less lose its concreteness, be washed out, merge with other sounds and form a whole. Many layers that shift and overlap, as with the tape (visual), where through the foil as an inlay layers overlap and shift during use.

Are there any albums or even other concepts that inspired your new album?

No not really, there are certainly many similar approaches to an album, but there is nothing concrete. It’s more my older approaches to making music without computers. Around 2013 I started recording my jam sessions, but also sessions with friends, directly on tape. Over the years, a lot of material has accumulated. Sometimes I managed to digitize single tapes and upload them to Bandcamp. But that was always quite a lot of work, because I sometimes jammed for 30 minutes. At the beginning of the jam 30 seconds was interesting, in the middle 90 seconds and at the end another 60 seconds. It was a horrible amount of editing work. That’s why I’ve disciplined myself over the years to record only short takes. The “flow” is also better there.

How does the pandemic affect the making of the album?

I think the pandemic has called up in me, as in all other people on this planet, the question of the essential. What am I, what do I want, how am I, what do I need and does it always need this higher, faster, further?

It is rather these questions that have influenced the album through the pandemic. They were of course there before, but through the pandemic much more clearly and from a different light illuminated. Musically, I was not particularly influenced. Although I was thinking with a friend the other day about sound aesthetics in pandemic times. He said that his tracks are more full and cluttered than usual. That’s kind of how it is with me too, but it was like that before. But yeah, current tracks I’m working on are even fuller, deeper, muddier and more unstructured.

Right at the beginning of pandemic, I had made a more concrete mini-album about the pandemic. This was subconsciously about “getting along” in such a situation. For this I needed about 4 days from making music, to a video, to a release website. In this short section I could see very well what the pandemic has triggered in me and how my work has sought a new form depending on the situation.

Tracklist

  • 01 David Borden – Part Twelve C

  • 02 Anne Waldman: Musical Garden

  • 03 Pamela_ & her sons – dancing in the blue Llght

  • 04 Olaf Stoy – Blutblumen (gelesen von Anne Konstanze Lahr)

  • 05 Elysia Crampton – Grove (ft. Embaci)

  • 06 Wu-Lu – Tetsuo
    07 Lily Greenham – Do You Wonder About This Society
    08 vtgnike – Nervnii RnB
    09 Thoom – Re-Trace
    10 Steph Kretowicz and Ben Babbitt – BSAD (buy shit and die)
    11 7038634357 – No Hate Is A Cold Star
    12 Lee Gamble – A tergo Real
    13 Kelly Mark – I Really Should
    14 Objekt – Silica
    15 Marina Abramovic & Ulay – Vision #4 – Word Of Mouth
    16 J.S. – Stars (Skit)
    17 Smerz – Have fun
    18 Ssiege – Swan
    19 Lydia Lunch – The-Cancer
    20 J.S. – Zug (Skit)
    21 Urban Tribe – Nebula
    22 Joan La Barbara – 06 (Texts by Kenneth Goldsmith )
    23 J.S. – Open World Mics
    24 Mica Levi – Om Om Om Om (feat. Brother May)
    25 Clemens Pitschke & Jacob Stoy – Habitat
    26 June11 – Who Is Still Dreaming
    27 Four Horsemen – Monotony
    28 Snoopy – The Whale’s Tail
    29 Performance Anxiety – Wonderland Bounce
    30 Silvia Tarozzi – … e non volevi le ali
    31 Creme Diffuse – Totenstille
    32 Kali Malone – Litanic Cloth Wrung
    33 John-Cage – Vision #4 – Word Of Mouth
    34 Johanna Strauß-Lemke & Jacob Stoy – Erste Übersetzung