Originally conceived as an alternative nom de disk for his lower tempo output, Until Silence is quickly becoming a key creative for Jonathan Mitchell AKA Mode. We catch up to talk influences and reflect honestly on electronic music in general.
As Until Silence you are exploring a musical aesthetic that is almost without a fixed time or place. With clear influences from Detroit techno and analogue synthesis heritage, your music has a quality that renders it both contemporary while also referencing the past. What influences manifest themselves within your work? What is your music lineage?
Wow I think you did a better job of describing what I’m up to than I could! As Until Silence I’ve just had the freedom to explore all kinds of sounds and styles which I previously didn’t feel comfortable writing. Over the past two years I’ve written everything from Boards of Canada-esk IDM to stomping warehouse house, the vast majority of which I’ve not really made public. I have always had a bit of a DIY attitude to mixing and writing music and because of that I think my music has an organic quality to it that is a bit more rare these days.
However its not as if this is a universally positive thing for me as an artist, often my mixes don’t sound as I want them to and I find myself continually starting projects then binning them days later. Yet when things do go right I feel as if my music is much more raw and open than a lot of contemporary dance music.
You've received a lot of love as Until Silence with support from Scuba and Indigo, how does peoples reaction to your 140 bpm output differ to that of your drum & bass/ 170 bpm output?
Having ‘the affair’ on Scuba’s K7! Compilation was really the first attention I had, and to get attention from someone like Scuba who is really at the forefront of electronic music was certainly a step in the right direction. Indigo is another person who has always supposed my music, both as Mode and now as Until Silence he’s even more into it.
Recently Mary Anne Hobbes played a new tune of mine on her XFM show and again that was a really positive step. I think the difference between the two projects is that I feel like I can explore interesting themes and styles with Until Silence without having to stay rigidly within any ‘genre’, as much as I have enjoyed making 170 I always felt constrained by the genre that comes with it.
Coming from Sheffield originally you are one of several electronic outfits to become reputable for techno based or influenced music. Maybe most notably LFO. Musicians from other post industry cities have always cited the mechanical heritage of their hometowns as a critical influence. How have your past and current locations influenced the music you make?
Over the past ten years I’ve lived in a lot of different cities and to be honest for the most part I don’t really care for them, the hustle of the rat race is quite horrible to see and generally I just don’t really find urban environments that inspiring. However that doesn’t mean that my music and music in general can’t be related to cities and some kind of ‘mechanical heritage’, its just more about trying to reflect an interesting or original relation to a situation.
Personally I dislike the degree to which electronic music in so centred around key cities, London, Berlin, Detroit, it tends to generate a lot of ‘scenesters’ and just encourages a repetitive and stale attitude to music.
For those that don't know can you tell us about the name "Until Silence" and the ideology behind it?
The name is a little bit arbitrary really, it had a nice ring to it and I’ve always been keen on the idea of silence in music, or at least the idea that the quiet subtle sections are just as important as the powerful loud bits. There is a little more behind it as well but ill leave it up to listeners to try and fathom what it might imply.
What does your current studio consist of? What are your favourite toys?
At the moment i’m just hooked on a 101 and R8 (both Roland synths/drum machines). I’m looking to expand my synth collection but at the same time I think using one of two machines really well and getting to know them intimately is the way to go.