next up in our new interview series is Endorphin.es modular heroine Julia Bondar, who dropped a stunning release 🎛️ 🤯 👌.
WELL DONE JULIA.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL OUR READERS ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY?
I have never thought and planned the build the career of a musician. Everything started when I started to help my partner Andreas Zhukovsky at Endorphin.es as a company at its very beginning. The modular synth market was at that time quite a niche market, boutique scale. The manufacturers and the artists were on a very amateur level of discovery of this new world. I was lucky enough to witness the development of this field to where it is nowadays.
Since I involved myself in this world since 2013, I saw artists who were the first who started to perform lives on eurorack synth. They are pioneers, and I am fascinated by their courage to take the risk. Unfortunately, many of these pioneers’ names remain unknown due to DJing’s popular culture, which eclipses decent composers. But anyway, as a co-founder of the synth company, I knew we need an excellent, accessible introduction and demonstration of the synth to new potential users. They do not want to spend time learning the features but use it right away to compose and create. I have decided that I should take this mission on my shoulders, and it worked out pretty well. My determined involvement with the music started since we released the Endorphin.es Shuttle System in 2016. Then my set up significantly grew up with the appearance of new modules on the market.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM’ INDUSTRIAL SYMPHONY’
My new work, ‘ Industrial Symphony’, is a tribute to my modular synth love, which dramatically changed my life. Through the years, I built my own orchestra. We get along very well, and they never late for the rehearsal.
Also, I want to break the modular stereotypes pattern that only nerds use eurorack synth, making boring blips-and-blops. My ‘Industrial Symphony’ is composed 100% on modular synths, like all my previous releases as well, and yet it is melodic and well structured, I want to believe.
And you know what is best? I am alone can reproduce 98% of my tracks on the stage. With some adaptations, of course, you cannot really bring the entire multi-track studio on stage and the guys who mixed the album: Gaël Loison (Maman Küsters, Noroeste, Dale Cooper Quartet And The Dictaphones) and Alan Lockwood (The Bass Valley Studios).
WHAT DID INSPIRE YOU TO RECORD THIS CONCEPT ALBUM?
I am often receiving questions in direct messages of how to build a live setup, so here I am to inspire you with my ‘Industrial Symphony’ and to show my modular orchestra, and I am its best conductor.
YOU ARE THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF ENDORPHIN.ES –
A LABEL MODULAR SYNTH BRAND AND AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTION LABEL, RIGHT?
I am coming from a working-class post-soviet regular family, and my parents could not afford to buy me an instrument either to mention paying the classes. After school, they send me to studies tailoring, because they thought I can make a living in the future. I hated the tailoring. It is quite an exhausting routine and an unthankful job. I chose to study the history of fashion and garments design. Now I am happy about it. Since I am involved with the Endorphin.es synth company, I saw its development as many fashion houses nowadays. Their history was slow but steady. Precisely the same is happening to us. Since recent years we see the bloom for modular synth companies, not only Endorphin.es.
As a company, we always stood out with the design decision. All modules we have are quite complex from inside but very easy in their layout and logic to be easily used. It is part of the concept. For some tracks in the Industrial Symphony, I used a few different prototypes of the newest drum machine ‘Queen Of Pentacles‘, which was released on the 9th of September 2020. Its faceplate design was changed 4 or 5 times before we were sure about the best layout decision before mass production. Here is the example of the module and our video presentation of it:
Andreas Zhukovsky is the origin of all activities we do now. He is a very kind and talented nature. Alongside modular synth development and design, he has this passion for cinema. Some years ago, he started to experiment with the cameras and now it turned out he did shoot all my music videos. We built a studio with all necessary video production equipment in the part of our Endorphin.es new office in the creative part of Barcelona – El Poblenou.
Now we can offer our video making services to other artists who are interested in accompanying their music with cinematic visuals. We both direct the picture, and I work as a set and costume stylist.
As you can see, the days are quite intense. During weekdays I work at Endorphin.es synth workshop controlling the hardware production and marketing. I am pleased to have this opportunity as I am always in touch with very talented artists who every year more and more are open in using eurorack synth, famous bloggers and other creative people.
In the evening and at the weekends, I usually work on my music in the studio. If we plan to do a video, I start developing the idea, writing script, searching for the location, logistics, and thinking about making it possible. Video production is a very complicated thing. Many factors must coincide to make it happen. It takes a long time to put one video out to the world. Usually, those are months to carry the idea inside of the brain. But our main motto is ‘Learn by doing’. Do not search for perfection – otherwise, you will never create anything.
Our ‘the weekend has landed’ selection:
Julia Bondar – Industrial Symphony (Endorphin.es Production, JB04)
Tracklist: Julia Bondar – Industrial Symphony (Endorphin.es Production, JB04)
01. Strength in Softness
02. Fire (feat Nero Bellum)
03. Running With The Wolves
04. Power Of Presence
06. Best Intentions
Discover more great music from Endorphin.es Production.
And don’t forget to check out the Queen Of Pentacles.
… Oh boi, that Queen sounds wicked.