Next Thursday, 9th August will start our beloved Yaga Gathering festival. As probably many people have noted already, Yaga is moving more and more from being a completely psychedelic trance music festival to a more versatile electronic music festival. This year among many interesting artists, chillout stage will have Pjusk performance from Norway, with whom we have talked a bit. Pjusk is Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik, calling their sound as Nordic Ambient electronica. Have five albums in their pocket, most of them released in famous 12k label, managed by Taylor Deupree.
Hello guys, what you are doing right now, this great summer?
This summer we have been busy doing nothing really. Spending precious time with our families and getting ready for life to get back to normal again. The good thing about being away from home, is mental preparation for new tracks and concepts. A few new plugs have been purchased (like every summer) – I am in particular looking forward to be testing out the DAW Cassette plugin. We are always seeking new and exciting ways to work with, and transform sound. In addition to new plugins, we are at the moment also looking into more algorithmic ways of creating sounds through the use of programming in TidalCycles, SuperCollider, Sonic Pi, ChucK and the likes.
We know that Jostein is part of Circular project, and Rune is not participating in any other musical project. What does your friendship mean for Pjusk project?
We started created music together based on a common notion that we were compatible with the same musical roots – and with shared musical goals. This happened to be very true and over the years we have become close friends. Pjusk is all of these factors fused together.
How does your life is connected to music – do you have ordinary jobs?
Yes. We have ordinary jobs. Rune is into research and development using new technology and programming languages, whereas I work as a digital advisor within the fields of digital marketing and web development. This has proven to be a good recipe. We are not driven by economic incentives and we have 100% creative freedom.
Your music is very delicate and precise. How have you started to play ambient? What do you like in ambient music most?
Ambient music has always had a special place in our hearts. I think it is as simple as that. Probably about personalities being inclined to the ambient, chill, downtempo vibe as well.
Field recordings are used. Could you tell us a bit about the procedure you make to choose / to record?
We have fields recorders that we bring along and try to look for more unusual sources of sound. Rhythmic qualities of ordinary life items for instance. We have recorded sounds of our snoring children, early attempts at talking, washing machines, coffee makers, ferries and boats. The list goes on. The most important factor is actually creating an organic presence using this sound material – adding more life to a static world.
We tend to think of ourselves as producers or sound architects, although we have some knowledge playing the keyboard and I (Jostein) used to play the cornet during a period of over 10 years.
What are your relationships with Biosphere, are you friends together?
We have no close contact with Geir (Biosphere) but are inspired by his works.
To a not very skillful ear, your music is quite similar, in comparison each album. How would you describe the difference of your each album?
Solstøv (12k, 2014) is in particular different from the others. It is more experimental and also based around the trumpet and the derivations of that particular sound. Common to them all is the subject of nature and landscape. Tele (Glacial Movements, 2012) is very focused on these matters and was sort of a natural summary of our earlier releases on 12k.
How do you divide each other work – does one of you ‘sets the tone, goal of the track’ or do you do it together?
We have quite defined areas of focus. Rune is more into using field recordings and adding details and experimental effects, whereas I have an overall focus on arrangement and the track as a whole.
This year you have released a great Sakne Verda EP, which involves quite a lot downtempo beats. Do you have any plans for bigger release in this type?
Yes. We basically do what we feel is natural and we have been drifting towards more beat oriented tracks for some time now. Also we got some attention from other labels that were especially interested in this style, so we will see what happens. We will probably try several directions.
Most of your music are released in cds. Why not vinyls?
We have no attachment really to the audio format. If I should choose though, I think vinyl has more to offer than CDs really, so I wouldn´t mind more vinyl releases in the future.
Christopher Pegg from Sleeping orchestra is joining you in many records. Tell us a bite more about this collaboration.
We got to meet with Chris in Barcelona (Storung Festival – and with Yui Onodera) and we agreed to collaborate on a few tracks to see where things would end up. And things went very well and we created an album together – as well as a track for Solstøv.
Are you a music listening geeks, or do you spend a lot of time listening your own improvisations?
Absolutely. We spend a lot of time listening to new music. We are big fans of the Discover Weekly option on Spotify. Listening to music is also a great way for us to detach from everyday stress, while at the same time stimulating creativity.
What are your remarkable ambient artists, which you would like to share or note?
Our favourite artists (some of them):
Loscil, Tim Hecker, Taylor Deupree, Otto Totland, Kangding Ray, Jan Jelinek, Morten Qvenild,Strie, Aris Kindt, Marcus Fischer.
Where do you think is the best place to listen to Pjusk? Or do people should have any ritual for this?
The best place is where you can have some peace and quiet.
Thanks and looking forward for your performance in Yaga!
So looking forward to playing at Yaga! See you there!