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alias_j: “All I’ve ever wanted was for people to play and hear my music!”

Inspired by many electronic greats, alias_j comes to the fore with an invigorating sonic palate – spanning the realms of melodic house & techno and breaks. Building on over two decades of label operation, Jon has already delivered eye-catching releases, like his debut EP on Pig&Dan’s revered ELEVATE imprint, hitting top positions (#4 in melodic house & techno and #5 in techno) in the Beatport Top 10 Charts. Now, alias_j is back on the scene with the drop of his ‘Recovery Loss’ EP for Chrom Recordings.

EG caught up with alias_j to learn more about the release of his ‘Recovery Loss’ EP, the evolution of his sound, views on the state of the scene, and more.

EG: Hi Jonathan! Welcome back to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?

alias_j: Hey thanks for having me back! In still in the San Francisco Bay Area…great tempered weather, minutes from the mounts and coast, only a few hours from the snow. Why leave? Things are great!

EG: Congratulations on the release of your ’Recovery Loss’ EP on Chrom Recordings! You must be very excited to share this one. What has the initial reception been like?

alias_j: I’m really excited about it. It’s a labor of love and the feedback has been great. It’s been fun to watch it pop up at festivals in DJ clips. All I’ve ever wanted was for people to play and hear my music!

EG: So, what can fans of alias_j expect to find on these tracks? Is there an inspirational trigger to these?

alias_j: Absolutely. They were written during lockdown and expressed my energy at the time. The title track, ‘Recovery Loss’, really pushed me in the studio. I learned a lot about frequency relationships and harmony. The third track, ‘The Fight feat. McFiendish’, is the first song I ever wrote lyrics for or had the courage to sing on. I also collaborated on the vocal lines with my friend Nic McFiendish, which was also a first. Lots of firsts with this EP.

EG: How has the sound of alias_j evolved since we last spoke? Any new soft or hardware additions to the studio you’d recommend to others?

alias_j: Production-wise, I’m much happier with where I am at. I think this EP helped me grow. The tracks I’ve written since sound much more defined and organized. For some of my older works, I can hear a disconnect, but I’m really happy with what I’m achieving now. With regards to gear…I have WAY too much for my small studio. I have to rotate gear out a lot, which can break the creative process, so I’ve landed on a few core pieces of kit that work really well for my sound: My Dominion I and Sub 37 are my big bass synths and percussive stabs and effects, my PolySix I use a lot for pads and arps, and my Prophet 6 for…well…a lot of things…lol.

“Production-wise, I’m much happier with where I am at. I think this EP helped me grow. The tracks I’ve written since sound much more defined and organized. For some of my older works, I can hear a disconnect, but I’m really happy with what I’m achieving now”

EG: How’s the surfing coming along these days? Do you still call it ‘standing and falling’?

alias_j: Haha!…still standing and falling, but really, more chillin’ and cocktailing now.

EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you come across any good movies, books, or albums lately?

alias_j: I’ve been recommending ‘The Offer’ on Paramount +. It’s a mini-series based on the true story of the making of ‘The Godfather’. Highly recommend it! Otherwise, I’m a big cross-fit guy 3-4 days a week if I can manage it. Honestly, though, I’m in the studio…a LOT.

 

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EG: By the way, what are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?

alias_j: I wish socials weren’t so important to the success of an artist. I do love funny animal videos though…☺ As far as what I love, it would be festivals, although I wish we had a festival session in the states. We have some at different times of the year, but not a mental sessional round of them like overseas. Maybe someday…

EG: What’s next for alias_j? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?

alias_j: Well, I used to be wrapped up in status and the expectation of becoming successful. Now though, I try to spend my time enjoying what’s around me as much as I can. That seems to be my studio and my family. I think I’ve struck the right balance too. That’s not to say I’m not focused or pushing myself to be better, because I always am. I have a number of EPs I’m shopping for, a monthly mix show called ‘Lock & Key’, and just generally trying to stay on top of it all. I’m just more of the mindset “slow and steady wins the race” now.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Jon! We wish you all the best for the future.

alias_j: Cheers! I’m grateful for the opportunity to chat.

alias_j’s new ’Recovery Loss’ EP is out on Chrom Recordings. Purchase your copy here.

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