Jude Frankum // Music, Sound, Art?
Jude Frankum is an Electronic, Ambient and Experimental Music Producer, Sound Designer and Guitarist based in East London. He answered our questions while on the train back from a set played by a fellow producer, ‘Master Boot Records’. Frankum is best known for his ‘Remember’ alias and projects and he is a big part of the virtual underground experimental music scene that is growing in London and across the web.
[C] How would you put your music in words and how would you describe yourself as an artist?
[J] I once released an EP called Phantasmagoria, I feel that sums up my music pretty well in both my approach and final sound. Usually dreamy and ambient in some sense, though not always pleasant. As an artist, I think that I'm extremely emotive in my writing, very honest.
[C] How and why did you start making music, especially in this experimental way?
[J] I've been playing guitar since I was a little kid, punk and metal mostly, I have always been and always wanted to be a musician. I started to discover genres such as ambient, IDM, post rock etc and I knew that was the sort of music I was meant to be making. I loved the freedom and experimentation in those genres, whether it be in the sound, concept, structure or the overall execution of interesting song writing. At the same time, I started to teach myself electronic production, learning Ableton, synthesis, sampling etc.
[C] Would you explain some of the different concepts you've explored? I know of your album, Axico industries and the narratives behind others, how do you produce music around an idea?
[J] Although music is my main influence, film is also a major one too. Narrative in music to me is such a strong idea, being able to tell a story through music is a great way to exploit your audience’s imagination. Remember for example has one long major story line, although over time it has become more of a feel and atmosphere than a direct story, but it's there none the less. Axico was a spin off to that story. I just tend to lay out the story as best as I can from my head and let myself take over. Trying to surround myself in a concept, mindset and narrative when composing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
[C] Who would you say influenced you to begin with?
[J] My influences are pretty wide with my music as I listen to so many different types of music and in some way I want to incorporate it all. When I started making more ambient based electronic music, I was of course influenced by a lot of the more obvious and well-known artists, as most are, I can imagine. Your Aphex Twins, your Boards Of Canadas. However, I also had a lot of influence from post rock bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Ros, Explosions In The Sky. Bandcamp artist Mesen Mampos was the one to show me that the guitar could be used as a driving force in ambient music. I had never heard the guitar be used in that way before until I had heard his music. This also runs true with Andy Othling, better known as Lowercase Noises. In terms of music far from what would be associated with me usually, I'm very much drawn to everything from black metal to pop music. They may not have a direct influence on me compositionally, but maybe in timbre or texture.
[C] How would you say your music has changed? What new influences have you discovered?
[J] My music has definitely changed over the years as my production as a whole improved. Whether that be just more advanced mixing skills, or the little details I add to my tunes. I've found that my music has maybe become more beat based too.
[C] You use different aliases for different albums and projects. What is the significance and how many do you have?
[J] I have had quite a number of different aliases over the past 5 years or so I couldn't say how many exist accurately, 10 to 15 maybe. Different aliases are usually called upon when I have music or a concept that needs a specific packaging associated to it rather than just my name. Remember is probably my most significant project and has way more listenership that anything else I've done.
[C] You have a large online presence. Is this where most of your following is? Do you have a physical
presence in a traditional way. How highly do you value live music performance?
[J] All of my following is online. I've done a few real-world performances and events in the past, but most of my traction is online. However, I would like to change this in the future and branch out more into the physical music space. I think very highly of live music performance, an opinion not generally shared with some of my closest music peers. I feel it adds different dimensions to music, both in a physical way and in a mental way. It has different effects on everyone. I also just like to hear music pretty damn loud too!
[C] What do you think of music from the virtual era and where should people look for new sounds?
[J] Music in the virtual era is both amazing and damaging. I think discovering new music has never been easier with spaces like Bandcamp, Soundcloud and YouTube enabling independence from the usual corporate bodies that run the industry. Some of my favourite artists of all time and close friends have been discovered via these places, there is the Dream Catalogue label which is run by the artists than anyone else. However, it also makes it harder to find good music too. But then again, what I find to be 'bad' music could be someone else’s favourite. Who am I to say anyways? These spaces online are real, but I am also an advocate of crate digging too, finding music you originally based on it's cover or artist name. There is something rewarding about finding new great music in the physical world. Maybe that's just me these days.
[C] Do you feel you and your music belong to a place, genre or label?
[J] I would say my following being quite worldwide kind of shows that it doesn't belong to one place although I myself am London based. I'm happy to be making music for the entire world rather than one specific place, genre or scene. However, Dream Catalogue is where I feel most comfortable as far as the Remember project is concerned. That's my home, and I love everyone who is involved.
[C] What can you tell us about the your mental and technical process when composing a new song?
[J] In terms of what I use to create music, I use Ableton Live 10 Suite, mainly using the stock effects and instruments. I use a few VSTs though, such as NI Massive, Serum, Synth 1 and a few other small ones. I find that Ableton's effects suffice for what I need them for. I've a Fender Telecaster for my guitar of choice since 2014, however, on the new Remember album I've been using a Parker P-42. I usually DI my guitars, usually using virtual amplification and re-amping. My process for writing is always changing and never the same. Every song starts differently, from writing random drum parts, manipulating guitar recordings, a synth patch...all of these can be starting points for tracks, and have been.
[C] What would you say the term art means to you?
[J] Art is an expression of the self, a concept or emotion.
[C] What project are you most proud of?
[J]The new Remember album is probably the proudest I've been about a project thus far. It's probably the most personal and painful album I’ve done, but it is also one full of hope and optimism. I can't wait to share it with people. I feel that most will probably agree with my description.
[C] What's next?
[J] I have the new Remember album coming at some point in 2019. A new Jude Frankum album in the same year. Other than that, no concrete plans. Just working away at little ideas like I always do. Maybe something will come from them, only time will tell.