J "Stroke" Ivcevich in his Brooklyn studio
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Tell us about your favorite childhood object...
Couldn't find my first/favorite which was a ratty old beanbag frog with a busted eye. This one was a close second and a hand-me-down from my mother's childhood days. An antique Jerry Mahoney dummy. Never got the gist of ventriloquism but loved his creepy grin and beat up wooden head. It also turns out my grandma made the suit after the original got worn out. This quite possibly led to my affinity for custom tailored suits and bow ties.
When did you live in Atlanta? how did you end up there?
1990 - 2004 I went to Emory University because I got accepted and it was a good enough school to please the folks. I appreciated the weather and music scene since I was coming from the relatively sleepy state of Indiana.
At what point did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue?
1983 Police Synchronisity Tour + 10 years at a summer camp playing music live every night for a captive audience of 7-15 year olds and my fellow counselors many of whom were cute young ladies.
Describe your sound. How did you get into playing that type of music?
Mega-eclectic-soulful-ambiance. I've played in hip-hop, post-rock, dub, Indian drum & bass bands, etc....Always striving for the next filtered through my personal taste.
Which music medium do you prefer to use and why? Vinyl? CD? MP3?
A mix of all keeps it flexible and interesting and in NYC, very practical.
How do you discover new music? any secret resources you want to turn us onto?
I have a freelance gig where I can check progressive internet radio stations, podcasts, etc while working. I also a have access to an exclusive site where members upload obscure and amazing music every day - Ethiopian Jazz, African Garage Rock, Cambodian street music, rare groove soul, 80's lost gems, contemporary hits, on and on and on. New York Noise: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycmg/nyctv/html/music/nynoise.shtml
Take us through your creative process.
I usually work in a modular way based on a riff, loop or sample. I just keep piling on sounds and then strip away to arrange. Reductive composition in a way.
How would you say Southern culture/living in Atlanta has influenced your work?
From 1994 on, I hung out with a very active crew of musicians, DJ's and music enthusiasts. MJQ in both locations and permutations, Yin Yang and the early days of Nomenclature/Crescent Room were fertile and fun places where we all DJ'd, performed and talked endlessly about new music and old discoveries. There seemed to be a laid back and accepting attitude that allowed for a cross pollination of genres.
Who/What are some of your inspirations?
My old house on Marlbrook and the parties held there over the years were pretty inspirational. Gilles Peterson is a selector who has very similar tastes to mine. I've been listening to him for 16 years. Still solid. Many great live bands, outdoor concerts, etc...too many to mention.
Who are some of your favorite Atlanta artists?
Outkast, Prefuse and Cat Power are all great for carving out their own unique sound, sticking to their guns and being deservedly rewarded for it. Great to see Deerhunter and Atlas Sound succeed as well. I remember tolerating early Bradford experiments at Lenny's and was shocked and quite pleased to hear the evolution. Wonderful music.
Where is your favorite atlanta hang out?
Dunch at the E.A.R.L. is always nice. I only get to Atlanta once a year or so but always try to hit the Starlight, Highland Ballroom seems to be a nice addition, and of course, Youngblood.
What music/album are you currently listening to?
Mostly old things that somehow got by me. The Go-Betweens, Rotary Connection "Songs," Model 500 "Starlight," Gun Club "Fire of Love," some new stuff like the latest Animal Collective and Friendly Fires.
What is one thing you love about your life?
I have been extremely fortunate to live a very stress-free lifestyle for many years.
Not only does J have fun in the world of sound he is a talented artist: click here to view his work at David Lusk Gallery