Little White Earbuds Podcast 79: Jacob Korn
Here is a podcast and an interview for „Little White Earbuds“
Ever since Jacob Korn’s scorching debut on Running Back, where his “I Like The Sun (But Not On LCD’s)” burned his name into minds like the aforementioned celestial sphere into retinas, he’s steadily been adding to his impressive discography, notching up releases for Permanent Vacation, Dolly and Uncanny Valley to name just a few. Although his presence was immediately felt with his first release, he had in fact been around under alternate nom de plumes for several years. His Granufunk alias under which he first started producing seems worlds away from his current material, the electronica cum-hip hop beginnings were experimental and decidedly less polished than his more recent releases. Under his own name, he has impressed with a stream of disco, house, and techno that straddles all of those sounds, landing him in the crates of disc jocks across the board. Keeping active within the Dresden scene where is based, he not only extends a philanthropic branch of knowledge to kids through music workshops but also helps run the Uncanny Valley label. For LWE’s 79th podcast, Korn put together ten of tracks from his decade of productions, which charts some of his big tracks next to some of his lesser known audible nuggets.
LWE Podcast 79: Jacob Korn (52:59)
A lot of producers we interview come from either a DJing or musician background. I understand that you have a media background. Were you already interested in music and DJing before this?
Jacob Korn: Sure, I tried out different things since the mid ’90s like playing the guitar and mixing records, but together with my school friend Robert I got deeper in to the whole tracker stuff and music technology which caught my attention back then.
Your first releases were quite different sounding to what you are producing now. Under the Granufunk alias you were making downbeat and IDM based music. Tell us about these early releases and what led you to more of a house and techno direction.?
That’s true, even though I took my first musical steps with strong, fast, tracker-techno-beats. The Granufunk phase was born out of interest in newly discovered genres like hip-hop, jungle, D’n’B, nu-jazz, broken beat, IDM, glitch… you name it. So many things to explore and quite a lot of time back in the days of my studies. [laughs] But around 2007 I got fascinated again in my first love, techno and house, which led to today’s sound and my own name for the releases.
You have also had a couple of side projects under different names with other people, Faust and Sket. Are they still active?
I still enjoy collaborating and learning from such projects, but Faust took place at RBMA with Ilari from Finland and Sket was a collaboration with Sebastian Gaiser, who I have seen barely since the studies. So at the moment it’s mainly side projects with people around from the Uncanny Valley camp, like Cuthead for example.
You attended the Red Bull Music Academy in 2007 in Toronto. I know this is typically a very inspiring place. How was your experience there and how did it help you negotiate what you wanted to do with music?
Indeed, I met a lot of interesting people there, listened to musical heroes, was involved in nice collaborations and got to know that sharing knowledge is essential for everything. With this chance I started thinking of taking making music seriously.
Where did the name Sket come from? It’s not a particularly nice word in some cultures.
Schwermaschinenbau-Kombinat Ernst Thälmann, which was the brand of Basti’s gas stove we used to cook between our home studio sessions. I can imagine the meaning you are talking about. [laughs]
Can you tell us about the work you do for the Trans-Media-Lab and how that bleeds into your music?
This work is mainly interactive music production and some programming for multimedia installations and performances. But also as tutor for interactive performance workshops for dancers and school kids lately. For my music I benefit from keeping the ball rolling in Max/MSP and such mainly in terms of live-performance which is sometimes audio-visual and interactive too.
What can you tell us about the Uncanny Valley label?
Uncanny Valley is our label project, for which house music serves as a basic template, but which will also reach out towards techno, disco, and dubstep. It is further intended to serve as a platform for exchanging ideas between young talents and the old hands in town. At first we intend to present four different tracks by four different artists with each release, but this will change towards traditional artist EPs and albums. We are organizing workshops as well as parties, which incorporate visual and interactive art. We also hope to change the way Dresden in perceived from the outside, and I think we’re well on the way.
You’ve been releasing under your own name for nearly two years. How do you think your sound has evolved and what sort of things are you currently focusing on when you make your music?
Less focus on technology, more soul?! [laughs]
Are there other genres that interest you in terms of what you want to make?
I am still listening to different music and jazz a lot and want to work more with instrumentalists from this background. Let’s see what happens.
What can we expect from Jacob Korn over the next year?
More live sets, for instance the showcase at Panorama Bar in May. Some remixes and EPs for Mild Pitch and Uncanny Valley, and an album for the latter.
What can you tell us about the mix you have put together for us?
The title is “Ten Years – Ten Tracks.” It features productions and remixes I did in the period from 2000 till 2011, which were released or is unreleased still. Genre-wise it ranges from IDM-inspired hip hop to electro, disco, house and indie-tronica. Kind of a “best of.” [laughs] Hope you like it.
- Labels to Watch 2011: Uncanny Valley (Beatportal/Beatport) (jacobkorn.de)
- uncanny-valley-002 review on „littlewhiteearbuds.com“ (jacobkorn.de)
- Deep in Dresden – Interview on Zero“ (jacobkorn.de)