The first listen to Miwon’s third and newest album, Jigsawtooth, will have you lulled into a soothing velvety panorama of electronic majesty. You will thank us for giving you the heads up on this timeless release! From the slow burner opening track Fuzzy Words, straight into the Boards of Canadesque Caharezza, right through to the final song; the minimal and mesmerising Centrifuge (bonus track), Jigsawtooth boasts a pristine and delicate delivery of soul-filled electronic music.
Certainly one for the head phones, or pumped loudly on the car stereo, Miwon’s offering demonstrates a diverse taste in electronic music and extensive appreciation of music spanning the past four to five decades. In saying this, Jigsawtooth is an album that will cross the generational divide when it comes to appreciation of fine electronic music. I got to pick Miwon’s (aka Hendrik Kröz) brain to understand the German musician/producer himself.
Is there a song that changed your life (or creative direction)?
“Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles. I didn’t know much about mind- expanding substances when I first listened to that tune in the 1970s, but it made a huge impression on me – a monotonous drum loop, reversed guitar licks and flanged vocals, it sounded like from another planet. At the same time I found it really spooky.
The Beatles were ahead of their time in many respects, e.g. regarding the studio as an instrument.
What’s the first element that attracts you in a song?
The vocals, obviously – it’s up to them if I like a song or not. In other words: The band’s attitude is key factor. Instrumental music is more discreet or “democratic” – my attention can therefore be caught by the initial sounds, the first break or how the whole structure will unfold.
There are shades of Boards of Canada, Books Shade, even Bonobo vibes. Who are your key influences?
Warp Records of the 1990s, Synth Pop of the 1980s, visionary minimalists such as Wolfgang Voigt, Mika Vainio and Basic Channel, and a lot of bands – Stereolab, Prefab Sprout, Feelies, Smiths, Cure, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine to name but a few. And where would I be without the BoC inspiration?
What bit of gear could you not live without?
Nord Modular G1 – my first hardware synth. It’s the bit of gear that took my music to another level and showed me new possibilities: No more mouse- clicked melodies. That instrument invited me to experiment with (virtual) patch cables and offered me silky pads and leads, which you can hear in many tracks of mine. Even in times of cupboard-sized modular systems and powerful software – NI’s Reaktor – the Nord Modular is a delightful companion with loads of character.
This is intelligent electronic music, what do you strive for when making music?
Not to sound intelligent, but to follow my instincts when I work on the arrangements of my tracks. In most cases it takes a while until I sense their direction, so there’s a lot of experimentation involved. Sometimes I screw elements together that have emerged in completely different contexts, hoping that I’ll be surprised by the result.
So being enchanted by what I hear is what I strive for when making music, and giving that sudden harmony a shape.
Is there anything else that you would to share with the readers?
Musicians who take a nine year break regarding releases come along only rarely – some things take time. Lots of time. The next one will be shorter. I’d like to thank all my longtime listeners for staying tuned and waiting on this album. Special thanks to Mike Cadoo of n5MD for taking care of this release in such a wonderful way.
Purchase Jigsawtooth today through n5MD label as vinyl, CD or Digital Album!