John LaMonica is a man fixated with mixes, beats and Boston Terriers. Sometimes, these disparate worlds collide. And interact. Occasionally, John’s Boston appears to be in control. John will explain further in his ‘6 tips’ below, as we engage John in the first of our series of ‘Leftfield Interviews’, a series we are already enjoying far too much. But before we discuss the finer points of Terrier etiquette, let’s tune into the music. A feast awaits.
John has been composing since 1998 – he has spent more than a decade writing, recording and performing and has chalked up ten official releases, including the 2010 ‘Volunteers’ EP on the much respected Moodgadget label, run by Tycho/ISO50 collaborator and electronic curator Jakub Alexander. Need we go on? Name dropping is all very well and good, but John doesn’t need to rely on this impressive background as a musical prop. Quality speaks for itself. You need only listen to the grandeur of ‘Ghost’, taken from the four track EP ‘Machines’ to understand that John is a master craftsman.
Should further evidence be required, then we ask you to spend a most worthwhile 5 minutes and 12 seconds living, breathing and absorbing the wonderful ‘It’s Everywhere’, featuring Project:Mooncircle artist Rumpistol aka Jens B. Christiansen. We can’t recommend John’s work highly enough. The ‘Machines’ EP will be available to download on 15th October* on Bandcamp, ‘Volunteers’ is available now on iTunes and Amazon.
And so, with John’s creations tickling the spirals of our respective cochlea’s, our attention moves to the eagerly anticipated low down on Boston Terrier ownership by our seasoned electronic melody creator. John, the stage is yours…
Six tips for electronic musicians with Boston Terriers. (Learned and tested during the making of ‘Machines’ EP)
1. It is not uncommon for your Boston to decide that you have worked long enough on that dope track and he/she will alert you to rest your ears by jumping up on your chair and clawing your arms while making eye contact which expresses the fear that you forgot he/she existed. You should listen to your dog and take a break, your ears and dog will thank you.
2. The more time you spend isolating the frequency around 80hz that is causing peaks in your mix, the more likely your Boston will poop in your shower. (Good luck Dyno-Rod VE)
3. Never underestimate the creative encouragement your Boston will provide wrapped in a blanket like a little snoring tortilla, nestled cozily in your lap while you work. (I have also heard that Bostons make excellent foot warmers in the winter as they enjoy the cave-like attributes under your mixing desk).
4. It can be difficult to negotiate the correct working relationship with your Boston as they are recognized worldwide for their ability to silently manufacture and distribute some very unpleasant smells. It is up to you to decide on the appropriate accommodations for your Boston in your studio environment.
5. If you fancy yourself an innovative artist, be sure to play your final mixes for your Boston as they have impeccable taste in the avant-garde. Don’t get offended if they turn their nose up, are easily distracted or walk away dismissively. Rather, you should take this as encouragement to spice up your mix with more exciting sound design concepts. Suggestions I have tried include whistling, thunderstorms, pitch-shifted vocals and dogs barking.
6. It might be wise to do all live takes in another room which your Boston does not have access to. This is because your Boston will inevitable snort, vomit or cough in the middle of your best take. If you have no other choice than to record in the same space as your Boston, be prepared to find creative ways to incorporate their ‘performance’ in your work.
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