Introducing a new editorial series between us and the artists we love.
Step into summer with this sprightly, jazzy, one-of-a-kind expedition from exciting new talent voljum.
Jazz in soul, dance in spirit, experimental in every shape and size, four incredible tracks cover all bases imaginable.
- Tell us everything there is to know about your new EP “dayscapes”
My vision for this EP was to turn the weather and scenery (and the feelings I connect with different types of weather and times of the day) into sounds and music. The music on the EP is meant to develop over time, as the weather becomes increasingly dark, turbulent and intense.
In the first song, I tried to encapsulate the exciting and energetic feeling of waking up early in the morning, going to a place called "café mañana" and enjoying the outdoors along with a cup of coffee. The cool, fresh air, chirping birds and the sun peeking over the horizon — these are all elements which I tried to capture in this sonic environment.
The second track, "components", is somewhat of a flashback to the scenes of my debut EP, "cyberglobe". Here, we take an excursion to virtual landscapes and let ourselves be immersed in the technological side of things with terrain simulations, procedural landscape generation and views from weather satellites, mainly expressed through robotic sound design.
"anemoi" is a tune about the greek gods of wind. Wind obviously plays an essential part in the weather, so this song can be considered the centerpiece of this EP. It was inspired by images and paintings of peculiar cloud formations with all sorts of strange shapes and colours. I wanted to capture the feeling of wind coursing through your hair, caressing your body, having affectionate, almost human-like qualities.
The final track, "half-overcast", is the darkest tune on the EP. The main source of inspiration was a really interesting split in the sky I happened to witness back in January 2020 when I was walking home from university. Half of the sky was covered in dark storm clouds, while the other was practically unscathed and completely clear. This "split" is represented in various aspects of the music, such as the harmonic progression and the structure of the song itself.
Aaron’s wonderful artwork represents each of these tracks with unique elements: the cup of coffee for the first track, the phone showing wireframe landscapes and the giant robot representing the second tune, the sailboat and light clouds for Anemoi and the contrast in the sky illustrating the final song.
- What’s the most useful piece of equipment or software in your musical toolkit?
My trusty SL88 Grand MIDI Keyboard. Its hammer action keys approximate the feel of a grand piano, which makes it great for improvising, gathering new ideas and even taking it with me to practice when I’m not at home. It also has X-Y sticks, which are great for recording automations or adding movement to a sound in real-time. Without this keyboard, writing organic and believable instrumental parts becomes a chore.
- Where does the name voljum come from?
About three years ago, I was trying to come up with a memorable name for this project, shortly after finishing my track called "basics". I was looking around my room, trying to find something that I could connect myself and my music to, and, at some point, I kept staring at my audio interface, which had a massive knob on it — and that’s when it clicked — volume. Because "volume" is a very common word as well as a taken username, I took the pronunciation of the word and "europified" the spelling of it, turning it into "voljum". It’s still pronounced like "volume" though!
Shortly after that, I decided to keep the letters lowercase, just because I think it looks pleasant if the only protruding letters are "l" and "j".
- What’s your most played song this year?
It’s difficult to pick just one, since I haven’t really kept track of that. However, there are a few contenders: Alexander Scriabin’s Third Sonata (Op. 23) is the one I probably listened to the most, followed by Sleepnet — "Love No More" and "In Rixa" by Spor.
- What obsessions do you explore in your spare time?
Normally, I’d count music production as a spare-time hobby, but admittedly, I’ve been occupied with it more than with anything else recently. Currently, I’m studying piano pedagogy to hopefully become a piano teacher in a few years, so I can have a "financial safety net" while still pursuing my dream of becoming successful enough to earn money through music production.
It might sound like I’m not into it, but it’s very gratifying to be able to teach people skills, especially when it’s music. It has so many facets and it benefits your everyday life, not just through the emotional affection of music itself, but the ability to establish a routine, develop self-management and self-discipline, the increased brain activity when playing an instrument, which in turn helps form new connections and associations, as well as improving your general ability to concentrate, extending your attention span, and so on. I could go on for days, but essentially, performing music is generally very good for your health. It’s an essential part of the human experience and I can’t wait to pass it on to other people.
As an actual spare-time activity, I like dabbling with graphics design from time to time, occasionally playing around with 3D animation or creating artworks for releases. Other than that, if I’m in a lazy mood, I usually resort to playing PS2-era video games.
Oh, also, I love observing the sky and staring into the distance.
- What is something that you believe that other people think is insane?
Pineapple on pizza is delicious.
- If you could merge 2-3 musicians/artists into one super musician/artist, who would you choose?
Herbie Hancock, Thijs de Vlieger and Alexander Scriabin.