With Catskill Chill just a day away, we’re happy to publish this exclusive interview with arguably the most unique act on this year’s line up, the one-and-only Space Jesus. I was personally shocked to see Space Jesus on the festival bill after the lineup’s grand reveal, as he’s the only electronic music producer performing at this weekend’s festival. I can’t recall Chill including electronic producers in their collection of acts in past years, so to my knowledge this is a first-time experiment with the festival’s traditionally jam-heavy lineup.
We had the pleasure of catching Space Jesus close out the main stage at Great North in Maine a few weekends ago, as well as his inaugural performance at Camp Bisco earlier this summer. Jasha is certainly a producer who’s both involved and intertwined in the jam community as he’s worked on collaborations and projects with members of bands like lespecial and Particle, so his introduction to the Catskill Chill community does make sense. In this interview, Jasha tells us his Catskill Chill performance will hopefully include Rory Dolan from lespecial on drums, so his performance could resemble something like a Drunken Doja Monkey set, which features Luke Bemand of lespecial in the booth and Rory on drums. Anyways, if you haven’t already copped your Catskill Chill pass, there’s still time (tickets here). In the interim, enjoy this unique Q&A with one of the industry’s most meteoric electronic producers.
Sound Fix: Thanks for taking some time to answer some questions here, Jasha. To start things off, is this your first time experiencing Catskill Chill? What can you tell us about your plans for the festival as the only electronic music producer on the lineup?
Space Jesus: Yes it is. I grew up in the Northeast so I heard about it a lot. I’m planning on playing with a drummer if everything works out logistically – Rory from lespecial. I’ve worked with Rory a bunch with Space Jesus live and Schlang Worldwide Secret Band.
SF: Are there any artists or bands you’re looking forward to checking out at New Minglewood?
SJ: Break Science is dope.
SF: Veering away from the Chill, when did you first start marking music, and what made you want to become a professional producer?
SJ: I first started toying with beat programs and drum machines when I was thirteen or fourteen. I guess I just didn’t want to be a professional anything else.
SF: Has there been a moment during your development as an artist where you realized you’ve made it, or had at least created something substantial enough to focus on full-time?
SJ: No, I think feeling like you’ve made it is an excuse to be lazy and not hone your craft.
SF: This might seem like an odd question, but in a different world or dimension where you did not follow the path of a musician, what would you be?
SJ: It depends what types of jobs are available in this other dimension. Would we even be humanoids? Perhaps we’ll just be floating clouds of consciousness birthed from the pipe of an inside out turtle wizard. If that’s the case I wouldn’t want to be the wizard. I guess I’d probably be making beats.
SF: Explain your apparent interest in outer space and extraterrestrial life. It seems to be a reoccurring theme within your body of work.
SJ: Outer space represents the unknown, and I think its important to remember that we are surrounded by mystery and wonder.
SF: I was at your Camp Bisco performance this summer and the crowd was completely lit. It was a kick seeing your mom on stage partying at her first music festival! What was your experience like performing at a festival like Camp Bisco?
SJ: It was meta. Camp Bisco 5 was a life changing festival for me, seeing Shpongle for the first time really left a mark so to speak. So coming back to perform years later with my mom watching… We’ve had our ups an downs regarding her supporting my decision to make music, so having her there experiencing that with me was full circle. It’s a hard feeling to describe honestly, that’s the only time I’ve ever felt that exact feeling.
SF: Besides Bisco, what has been the singular highlight of your summer, if you had to choose?
SJ: Getting to spend time with my brother, and Crayon Boy. Also the Wakaan Takeover at Up North was tight.
SF: We’re based in Brooklyn, so I’m interested to understand how you feel the city and music community has influenced and affected your sound.
SJ: Check out Close Encounters, I wrote that album in Brooklyn.
SF: What Brooklyn-based artists would you recommend to people reading this feature?
SJ: Esseks and Dr. Jeep.
SF: While we’re on the topic of producing new music, what can you share with us about new material currently in the works?
SJ: New Wakaan EP – Zoned Vol. 2 in the works! Collabs with Mr. Bill, Minnesota and Proko are also coming along nicely.
SF: You’ve done a good deal of work with Liquid Stranger and his new label, Wakaan. How did you first link up with Martin to collaborate and work on music together?
SJ: We showed up in each others dreams, then contacted each other about it, and have worked together since.
SF: What do you envision the electronic music culture to be like in 10 years?
SF: To finish things up here, I’d like to close with an open forum. Anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t covered in this Q&A?
SJ: Be careful where you don’t look, Yheti and I are on tour through the US this fall so come hang out!