Jon ‘Teknik’ Russell is an electronic programmer, producer, writer and re-mixer with a back story that sounds a little like it belongs to a surreal alternative universe, as witnessed by Jon from a distance.

“Here’s what you could have been doing Jon”…only he actually was. First there’s the music he contributed to CD’s and tapes blessed by Melody Maker and Future Music, and then in what becomes an eye-brow raising sequence of endearing off-hand reminiscence “I did the percussive programming for a track with Martin Gore…” followed by “Karl Bartos emailed me to say how much he liked that project…” that leads into “so, I got involved with remixing the new OMD track Metroland…”

Being influenced by, having involvement with, and subsequent creative output are inextricably linked. Kraftwerkian and Orchestral landscapes are readily formatted into Teknik models -‘King of the Mountains’ heading the peloton into the Turbine Hall, ‘People at an Exhibition’ the rhythmic Manoeuvres of automated synthpop.

We’re delighted to say that as part of our Free Writing August feature, Jon agreed to cast some light on the creative forces behind the forthcoming ‘The Satellites of Substance‘ album:

“Recently I have found a new fascination, that of communications and satellite technology. It went as far as spurring me on to produce an album inspired by the subject. Here is an introduction to just a few examples which I stumbled upon…

Launched by NASA in 1962, Relay 1 was one of several satellites placed in orbit in the decade after Sputnik to test the possibilities of communications from space. Relay 1 received telephone and television signals from ground stations and then transmitted them to other locations on the Earth’s surface. The satellite relayed signals between North America and Europe and between North and South America, and it also monitored the effects of radiation on its electronics. In conjunction with the Syncom 3 communications satellite, Relay 1 transmitted television coverage of the 1964 Olympics in Japan. Relay 2 was launched on January 21, 1964, atop a Delta B rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Prospero satellite was launched by the United Kingdom in 1971. It was designed to undertake a series of experiments to study the effects of space environment on communications satellites and remained operational until 1973, after which it was contacted annually for over twenty-five years. Prospero was the first and only British satellite to have been launched successfully by a British rocket.

Landsat 7 was launched on April 15, 1999, with a primary goal to refresh the global archive of satellite photos, providing up-to-date and cloud-free images. The Landsat Program is managed and operated by the USGS and data from Landsat 7 is collected and distributed by them too. It has the capacity to collect and transmit up to 532 images per day. It is in a polar, sun-synchronous orbit, meaning it scans across the entire earth’s surface, it does this from an altitude of about 705 kilometers.”

The new Jonteknik album ‘The Satellites of Substance’ is due for release on factory pressed CD on 16th September 2013.


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