Nathan Jonson is Berlin-based, Canadian-born artist, DJ and producer, Hrdvsion. The younger and musically more rebellious brother of Mathew Jonson, he is part of the Wagon Repair crew and also one half of live act, Midnight Operator, with his elder sibling. Having seen releases on the likes of IRR, Traum, Planet Mu, Itiswhatitis and of course Wagon Repair itself, his experimental beats have taken him around the world over the last ten years. Ahead of new releases as Midnight Operator, Nathan dropped us a free track for you to download ("A Great White Bird - Black 67 New Yorker [Hrdvsion Remix]") and spoke to Pulse about his musical youth, jittery nerves and the places he loves to play.
It has been said that you grew up in a musical household, so what made you head in the electronic direction rather than forming a band? I was in a couple duos, and a band here or there. They were electronic but still, we were jamming like maniacs.
Who would you say provide the biggest influences to you at the moment, electronic or otherwise? I really love what the Swamp 81 label is doing right now, I love the Cobblestone Jazz records coming out on Wagon Repair, and new tunes by Adam Marshall on New Kanada, and the new The Mole record on Haunt! I love to hear dance music that is always trying new things and as a result really get's people moving!
Are you a 'daily musician' or do you find yourself working at a more irregular pace? I used to work on music everyday and I thought it was the best way. Lately I've change my position on this. It's important for you to take a step back and listen to your music from different perspectives. It's hard to move forward and learn if you are always inside of something.
You've been described as having a lack of faith in your own work. How do you overcome these neuroses? Do you have to have a stern word with yourself sometimes to make things happen? [laughs] I might have a bit of an anxiety problem. I also never 100% write music for a crowd. I always write it for myself. So sometimes it can be a little nerve racking when I realize I'm in front of a crowd and to realize I hadn't ever REALLY considered that being the result. Thankfully most of the time it goes over pretty well. The most important thing to remember that always helps me through any kind of stage fright or anxiety, is to have confidence in your material. Never second guess yourself while you're performing, as it will only ruin any kind of mood you were trying to create in the first place. Let your music speak for itself, and don't rush it.
You've given us an exclusive track for Pulse readers to download. Could you tell us a bit more about this track and would you say it is a continuation of tracks such as 'I Can't Exist' in its bleak undertones or does it have more of an uplifting vibe? It is a remix I did of a friend I was in a couple bands with. We played together for quite awhile, and I think this was made towards the end of the time he lived in the same city as me. It really doesn't have much Hrdvsion in there at all. I basically just mixed it for him and added some tougher beats. It's ages old, 2006 I think. I played it on the radio a few times, and then started to get requests for an MP3 of it. So I feel it needs to see the light of day, and what better place than here?
What does the future have in store for you release wise? This year has been pretty busy so far with a lot of remixes I did last year finally seeing the light of day, but I've also been able to release some new original material as well. I just put out a single on AR (Areal) and earlier in the year I did an EP for International Deejay Gigolo Records. Coming up I have a split 12" with Midnight Operator (my project with my brother Mathew) and a track called "Prettier Than That" which is by myself on the A side.
I also have quite a few exclusive tunes coming out on compilations over the next few months on Air Texture, Dame Music, Areal, and Astro Lab.
Wagon Repair tore up Fabric back in September, what have been particularly memorable gigs or the best places that you have played so far? This year has had many shows I've really loved so far! The Boiler Room set here in Berlin was absolute madness and you can check out the video here: http://boilerroom.tv/midnight-operator-60-min-mix/
I also just recently played in Arnhem Holland at the 8Bahn Festival followed by the May 1st parties at Kleine Reise and Farbfernseher in Berlin. A couple days in a row that really had too much fun packed into them! Nothing really beats Aphex Twin - Windowlicker as the sun disappears and the rain begins to pour!
Are there any ideal collaborations that you'd like to happen in the future in terms of vocalists or producers? At the moment I'm focusing mostly on my own music with Midnight Operator shows every once in a while. I always love to collaborate with people but at the moment I just don't have time. I guess that's a good sign.