JQ

Structure 007 comes courtesy of ambient tour guide, JQ.

As the name of this achingly subpar music blog indicates, I’m a big fan of ambient and new age music. In an age of constant intrusion, where information, images, noise and all other manner of distractions come at you from every angle, sometimes its nice to go to a quiet place, maybe run a big bath, maybe even light a yankee candle that reminds you of the spring and put on some Chris Rea… I jest. No Chris Rea in my bathroom. I’m talking about the good shit. That Steve Roach, Brian Eno, Terry Riley, Stars of the Lid and Suzanne Ciani shit. And more recently that Yamaneko, Huerco S, Biosphere, Grouper and Helm shit. These guys know their ambient onions and they’re not afraid to chop a few of them.

So, when I was lying in my bed thinking of who to approach for the next guest mix (and also trying to ignore crippling self-doubt and the urge to comfort eat) I decided I would ask the man JQ. He first came to my attention when I listened to the majestic New Atlantis takeover on Radar Radio. Everyone’s set was first class, but I really loved how JQ set the mood in his opening set. This then led me to JQ’s own productions and his gorgeous minimal EP ‘Quiet Music‘. There I thought, this is a man who can be my ambient wing/guestmix man anytime. So yeah, I was pretty stoked when JQ agreed to contribute to the series and couldn’t wait to hear what he had rustled up for us. He didn’t disappoint. Stream the mix and peep our little Q&A below.

Tracklist:

JQ – Komorebi
Unknown – Ocean Symphony (Side B)
Murena – Genuine Michella (Soda Lite Remix)
Yamaneko – Pink 3
Acid Fountain – Juglians Regia
Sangam – Purple Lights
Sign Libra – Intro / Tropical Plantarum
Pulse Emitter – Teal Forest Droplets
Mark Isham – Raffles In Rio
JQ – What Was And What Will Be
Grackle – Desert Acid (Musiccargo Version)
The Darkest Future – Untitled
Slow Attack Ensemble – Landscape of Perpetual Oblivion
Misao Senbongi and Shusaku Uchiyama – Serenity (Resi 4 soundtrack)
India Jordan – Untitled
☒ QuadratoX – Dreamin’ Suicide VR
Gary Wilson – Another Time I Could Have Loved You
Broshuda – You’ll Always Stay Beautiful (Edit)
Yungchen Lhamo – Dream

Hello Joe, thanks for the mix dude, really appreciate it! For the uninitiated out there, introduce yourself… Who is JQ?

Hey Chris, no worries, glad you like it : – )

I’m JQ, I live in south London and make electronic music.

Tell us a little bit a about the mix?

The mix is a mostly ambient collection of favourites new and old, it features cassette & vinyl rips, desert disco and new tunes from India Jordan and me.

Tell us a lil bit about the mix art?

I love it, it’s by Jeffrey K. Bedrick and is called Oasis, it’s from Iasos’ amazing website

It’s only description is “location as metaphor”.

So ambient, even new age music is having a mini renaissance / revival at the minute I think, what do you put that down to?

I’m not sure exactly why it’s more popular now, I’ve heard people say that it’s a direct reaction to the current political climate or modern musical trends, but there’s always been amoral leaders and bad music so I think that view is reductive and easy.

Ambient can be political, like Sam Kidel’s Disruptive Muzak, Helm’s Olympic Mess or Sangam’s You Forget This, but it can also be a way to seek solace in an uncertain world or act as escapism. 

I often feel like it allows me to think by adding a musical backdrop, one that I can drift in and out of, offering two forms of listening by being either in the background or something I can get lost in, in a way that no other music can.

I’m really glad people are showing more interest in it on the internet and are making and putting out great bandcamp releases, but irl I’d love to see more events similar to New Atlantis, where I play each month, more live ambient and new age shows and also the reintroduction of chill out rooms in clubs.

What are your top 5 ambient records at the minute?

New ones:

  • Hi Tide – Rest Easy, Volume 1
  • Steve Hauschildt – Where All Is Fled
  • Rhucle – Fantastic Garden
  • Sangam – You Forget This
  • Biosphere – Departed Glories

Old Ones:

  • Hiroshi Yoshimura – Green
  • Kip Mazuy ‎- The Sweet Nectar Of Silence
  • Stars of the Lid – And Their Refinement of the Decline
  • Iasos – Inter-Dimensional Music
  • J. D. Emmanuel – Solid Dawn

How should and where should people listen to the mix?

I’d recommend listening to it by yourself and hopefully it’ll will take you somewhere : – )

Describe your surroundings right now.

I’m listening to music in my flat and am surrounded by lots of wires as always and also lego as I’m making the Kwik-E-Mart I got for Christmas.

What was the last book you read?

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. At the moment I’m reading The Mind Illuminated which Lockyear gave to me.

So this is forever evolving for me, but what is your favourite movie soundtrack at the minute?

Recently I’ve been listening to Nils Frahm’s Music for the Motion Picture Victoria and Mica Levi’s Jackie soundtrack the most.

Finally, what are your your plans for 2017?

Survival.