[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]s humanity dives deeper and deeper into the digital age, we continue to consume media in smaller and smaller pieces. We prefer videos that are nine seconds long and restricting text to 140 characters. The same, unfortunately, goes for electronic music, where tracks continue to be three to five minutes long, but essentially consist of a 45 second “buildup and drop” cycle that is repeated a few times. Consuming media in such short bursts definitely allows us to keep up with the speed of day-to-day life, but it keeps us from being able to experience anything on a profound or substantial level. Thankfully, Montreal’s very own J.u.D. is here to help bring a little substance back to our lives—at least when it comes to electronic music.
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Born in Deux Montagnes but currently living in Laval, J.u.D. started rapping and producing in high school. He soon realized, though, that he had much more to say with his beats than he did from behind the mic. Slowly but surely, he began to focus on making instrumental electronic music and, before long, struck gold with his latest EP: St. Flower (pronounced Saint Flower). J.u.D. credits Montreal with helping him become the artist he is today, referring to the Montreal music scene as “incredibly friendly.” He counts Kaytranada and High Klassified among his local friends and influences while citing Diplo and Shadow Child as some of his out-of-province heroes. What one hears on St. Flower, though, sounds like nobody except J.u.D.
When asked to describe his sound, J.u.D. drops three words: emotion, spirituality and introspection. These three elements are all omnipresent on St. Flower and, perhaps more importantly, create a long-form listening experience that the modern electronic music scene sorely, at times, sorely lacks. “I know that people wouldn’t dance to this record, but that’s okay,” said J.u.D. over a whiskey at Else’s. “This album was made for people to listen to quietly when they’re lying in bed or walking outside.” There’s absolutely no wasted space on St. Flower. Every track on the EP constantly ebbs and flows while rhythm and tempo are both threats to shift at any moment.
In fact, unlike a lot of what we’ve seen in the EDM world, it seems that no four bars on St. Flower are ever purely repeated. Over our discussion J.u.D. constantly emphasizes that he purposely writes long (most of the tracks on the EP clock in at 4 minutes or more), complex songs, with the intention that the listener live the entire experience of the track. Part of the inspiration for this approach comes from the British electronic scene where J.u.D. says that live audiences at shows are much more willing to be patient and listen to the highs and lows of a track whereas North American audiences prefer selectors who hurl their mixes from drop to drop as quickly as possible without letting any individual track develop too much.
J.uD. is of the firm belief that we need to spend more time with our music. It’s for this reason that he crafts his tunes with enough sonic layers that listeners are rewarded with new aural discoveries on every listen. As we spend our day endlessly bounding from tweet to tweet and track to track, it’s possible that we could all use a contemplative and introspective sit down every now and then. If you’re looking for a good sonic background for this period of self-reflection, I think I know just the guy.
Check out J.u.D. epic EP St. Flower here.
J.u.D. will be performing at Le Belmont with Giraffage on February 7th, 2015.