Published Jun 12, 2013While stress, drama and the chaos of everyday life can be the lifeblood of some artists, Canadian-born techno producer Mathew Jonson, whose new album Her Blurry Pictures is out now on Crosstown Rebels, has recently found that being more introspective, emotionally balanced and present in the moment can be just as creatively satisfying.
"I think the new album had to do with making some conscious decisions a few years back to take some time for myself," the now-Berlin-based producer tells Exclaim. "I was very wrapped up in the music industry and I didn't really have that balance for a long time, and it was really sucking a lot of energy out of me. It became something that was being really detrimental in my life. I chose to take some time out and start going to India and start being more conscious and present with my life, with the things that I do, my actions and the people I surround myself with."
The outcome, he says, was one of positivity. "Things just came together to the point where I was much happier and not necessarily drawing creativity out of things that were full of drama or negativity. It just became where I was a lot more healthy and more positive of a person. The music is reflected in the transformation of my personal life; [it] feels a lot brighter and lighter to me than a lot of my stuff from the past eight years or so."
Her Blurry Pictures, Jonson's first solo album in three years, isn't that far removed from the analogue-driven techno he is known for, but it does feel like his focus has been recalibrated.
"I have always just written what feels right at the time. Music, for me, is such a reflection on my life that when I am writing good music that really feels genuine, I can really hear it and I think other people can, too," suggests Jonson. "When I first moved to Berlin, I wasn't in the best headspace and I found it really difficult to work. I think it was because my life was completely out of balance. Over the last couple years, that has changed. Don't get me wrong, I still have my ups and downs, but I have been able to find a better balance."
Although his work as a solo artist has given him room to be introspective, his contribution and collaborations in Cobblestone Jazz, Modern Deep Left Quartet and Midnight Operator, along with his upcoming live pairing with Guy Gerber this summer at the Israeli producer's Wisdom of the Glove weekly at Pacha in Ibiza, all play an important role in feeding his creative urges.
So although Her Blurry Pictures just came out, the formerly Vancouver-based producer already has new tracks from a couple of his other projects on deck.
"We are getting ready to release the new single from the Modern Deep Left Quartet [MDLQ], which, if people don't know what that is, it the same group as Cobblestone Jazz, just adding the Mole to the mix. We have been writing music together for a long time, 15 years or something like that. We are going to start to put out a bunch of new records on Wagon Repair. It's really nice stuff, so I am happy about that. I am doing another record with my brother as Midnight Operator. Also, the Typerope EP on Itiswhatitis is at the mastering house and will be re-released this summer."
For now, stream all of Her Blurry Pictures below.