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Jung Latch: “I wanted to capture that feeling of going to a nightclub or a rave on your own”

Jung Latch is the alias of East London-based composer and sound designer Rupert Galea. Using an array of modular gear, vintage 8-bit samplers, world instruments, and his own written algorithms for randomized generative melodies and rhythms, he makes his own distinctive style of avant-garde rave music, playing with intricate sonic collages and underpinning them with hard-hitting breakbeats. Channeling the freewheeling, frenetic energy, and exploratory spirit of electronic artists like Batu, Throwing Snow, and early Max Cooper, his debut EP ‘Esoteric’ combines elements of breakbeat, glitch, and electro across four memorable tracks.

EG caught up with the rising producer to learn more about the drop of ‘Esoteric’, the inspiration behind the record, how he first got involved in electronic music, coding, and much more.

EG: Hi Rupert! Welcome. Thank you for being here with us today. Where are you based right now? How have you been? How’s your year going so far?

Jung Latch: Hi! Great to be here. I’m based in East London right now but I’ll be moving further South soon to follow the scene. The year’s been going pretty well for getting this project off the ground, I’m holding my breath for how this EP is gonna be received because it’s the first time I’ve tried shilling my work on a scale like this!

EG: Congratulations on the drop of your debut EP, ‘Esoteric’! What has the initial reception been like so far?

Jung Latch: The people I’ve specifically shown it to for feedback and such have had really kind words to say about it so I’m happy with that! Remains to be seen whether it’ll be enough to cut through the noise cause there’s a lot of really good new music from some brilliant emerging artists being put out right now. I’m confident in it though!

EG: What’s the inspiration behind ‘Esoteric’? Do you tell stories through your sonic works?

Jung Latch: I was trying to capture that feeling of going to a nightclub or a rave or party or whatever on your own. ‘Death Cube K’ is designed to recreate that nervous feeling of being on the bus there not sure how it’s going to go, while ‘Able Archer’ aims to soundtrack the lonely walk back when you realize there’s nothing for you at the motive. It’s not necessarily stories but I wanted the sound to capture the introverted and anxious feelings that come with trying to blend in with a scene in a city as unforgiving as London.

EG: And musically, what can listeners expect on ‘Esoteric’?

Jung Latch: A lot of weird sound design and a lot of quasi-random turns thrown in for good measure. For the most part, the tracks build up a brooding tension, but then ‘Sual’ is just a straight-up panic attack in audio format.

“It’s not necessarily stories but I wanted the sound to capture the introverted and anxious feelings that come with trying to blend in with a scene in a city as unforgiving as London”

EG: You actually write your own algorithms for randomized generative melodies and rhythms, which sounds really interesting. Could you tell us more about what that means?

Jung Latch: Yeah so it’s essentially just a random number generator to start with. I could have just used a web-based one for that, but I wanted to actually try making my own, so I used the script editor in Max For Live. I kept writing different variations of the Mersenne Twister algorithm in Python until I found one that doesn’t converge to 0 after running for 5 minutes. After that, I assign each integer to a midi note value and set a sensible numeric range (so 1 = C1, 2=C#1, etc). This will give you a constant spray of notes along the chromatic scale, so to get a listenable melody you have to manually instruct the program to ignore all numbers that don’t correspond to the notes in a certain scale. They have plugins that do exactly this in M4L and Reaktor but I kind of wanted to learn how it’s made from the ground up so I can make my own modifications further down the line.

EG: You have been diagnosed with autism at an early age. Has music helped navigate in any way?

Jung Latch: In a sense. I wasn’t big on talking to people at school and music definitely gave me something to occupy myself with.

EG: How did you get into the algorithm writing, 8-bit samplers, and rewiring analog gear?

Jung Latch: The coding part comes from my dad really, he’s pretty shit-hot with that kind of thing, so I learned a lot from that. With the hardware stuff, I liked taking apart household electronics as a kid and seeing if they could have other functions. I got a tiny Casio keyboard for my birthday one year and I found it really intriguing how you could distort the sound of it by holding magnets near certain parts of the circuit board. That was the gateway drug for me really.

Electronic Groove: What would you say is your big dream? What would you like to achieve in electronic dance music?

Jung Latch: To be honest I wouldn’t really say I have one. I’m pretty happy where I am now and just want to keep contributing to the scene. I’d love to delve into different genres and more visual forms of art down the line, but overall I’m good to keep doing what I’m doing until I get bored and want to scale it up again.

“I got a tiny Casio keyboard for my birthday one year and I found it really intriguing how you could distort the sound of it by holding magnets near certain parts of the circuit board. That was the gateway drug for me really”

Electronic Groove: What else can we expect from Jung Latch in the near future? What new milestones are you looking out for in the coming months?

Jung Latch: I’m actually working with a mate of mine on putting together a live audiovisual set with these abstract graphics that react to the audio in real-time. We want to blur the line between a concert and an art installation so at the moment we’re just looking for the right venue to accommodate it.

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

Jung Latch: Thank you so much! Great talking to you ☺

Jung Latch’s new self-released EP ‘Esoteric’ is out now. Grab your copy here.

Follow Jung Latch: SoundCloud | Instagram | Spotify

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