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Jay Haze: “Making live music has helped me through the tough times”

Fuckpony AKA Jay Haze has cemented himself as a leading artist in electronic music over a career that has spanned decades. Working under a variety of aliases since the early noughties, including Sub Version, Fuckpony and The Architect, he continues to run an array of labels in the form of Contexterrior, TuningSpork, Futuredub and Junion. Regularly collaborating with seminal minimal techno figure Ricardo Villalobos, the US-native’s releases have landed on the likes of BPitch Control, Cocoon and Get Physical Music over the years, a testament to his inherent skill for production.

We caught up with Jay Haze to chat about his new single ‘Crystal Lake’ and other musical projects.

Electronic Groove: A warm welcome to you Jay, it’s great to have you with us. To start things off, how are you doing and where are you based at the moment?

Jay Haze: Things are very lovely, happy to report that! So much has happened over the years, which gave full steam to ideas that I had been pondering on creatively. In the last two years, I have been able to fulfill that pondering into reality (manifestation).

Just two days ago I moved from Lower East Side Manhattan to Miami, and I’m ready for it! I love the Latin culture.

EG: We’re speaking with you ahead of Contexterrior’s first release of the year, ‘Crystal Lake’, coming from your Fuckpony alias and featuring the vocal talents of Tanya Nikich. Tanya’s vocals on this record are stunning. When and how did you first cross paths with Tanya?

Jay Haze: She was always visiting my studio with a friend, I knew of her talents, but I just never found the moment to make something happen. She and I have many experiences with each other before making this song, which was a poem she wrote. Tanya works in arts and media, she has a good sense of music and art. She has been a host for a cultural show in Moscow from what I understand is a long time. Now she is an art dealer and seller, which I think adds to her creativity.

EG: When and where was ‘Crystal Lake’ made?

Jay Haze:Crystal Lake’ was made in space-time, rather than earth time. So I would honestly say this song was written (in earth time) about 933,000 years ago. In light years it was made 7816 trillion light years ago.

EG: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the record and the story that the vocals tell?

Jay Haze: The story is of an imaginary crystal lake, where a story almost childlike happens. This came from the mind of Tanya, and she revealed it in the studio to a song I was making on the spot with the Sh-101 from Roland, a very experimental moment.

“‘Crystal Lake’ was made in space-time, rather than earth time. So I would honestly say this song was written (in earth time)
about 933,000 years ago”

EG: As an artist you have journeyed through a continually evolving range of sounds, speaking openly about how your music is a form of expression for you. Have the current global circumstances had any effect on the music that you have been inspired to create in recent times?

Jay Haze: Not really, I have reserved myself to a nature connection over political global circumstances for quite some time. No phone, no social media, etc.

Now on the connection, I experience, of course, there are still global circumstances, but they influence me more in a natural way than let’s say psychological. I am trying my best to let the word of love become more present in my sounds than the noise and chatter of that which I have no power over.

EG: Has there been any new music that has stood out to you in recent times?

Jay Haze: There surely has, but it’s hard to state them. I think you will hear it in the music I continue to make. Anything that stands out will surely have an influence on me. I promise you. Lots of interesting music amazes me even now. The way in which I receive it is different. This is what motivates me.

EG: 2020 was most likely the toughest year the scene has faced. Were there any records that helped you through some of the tougher times?

Jay Haze: Making live music has helped me through the tough times, sharing that intimacy with my friends and music being born in this challenging time is what did it. Thanks to my friends, we stayed vigilant in making music and creating in this hard time.

EG: We are excited to hear that there are a number of releases lined up from Contexterrior for the coming year. How much can you tell us at the moment? Can we expect any more of the Fuckpony & Tanya Nikich combination?

Jay Haze: At the moment, we have already so much music scheduled, I hope there will be a future collaboration, but rest assured if not we have enough interesting projects to share.

EG: Thank you very much for your time today Jay. Great chatting with you. We wish all the best to you for the year ahead.

Jay Haze: Thank you for the interest in our music. I wish you and your platform well, here’s to an interesting 2021 full of more love and psychedelic gospel!

Jay Haze’s ‘Crystal lake’ is now available via Contexterrior. Grab your copy here

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