It was last April when Tehran born, London based musical producer Ash Koosha mailed us his first mix tape GUUD. Once you hit the play button, it takes you to the dazzing and mezmerlizing unknown world not only to your ears but deep inside your mind. Often drawn comparison to Flying Lotus, his music is genre-bending, playful and unpredictable. Right after the release YouTube’s favourite music critic The Needle Drop gave it a very positive review, as well as America’s experimental music label Olde Spelling English Bee spotted his talent, resulting in the re-release of the mixtape with Name Your Price value. Furthermore Ash Koosha was honourably given a Best New Track by Pitchfork, proving he is most definitely one of the most interesting, exciting new talents to emerge. We have re-approached Ash Koosha again to ask him about his original composition style, Nano-Composition, as well as his working environment and dream collaboration. Feel free to stream the entire GUUD at the end of this interview.
Focus: Ash Koosha
By Satoru ‘Teshi’ Teshima, July 28, 2015
Please describe your music in your own three words.
immersive, supramolecular, blobitecture
You had a classical music training before, but how did you get into making a music with computer?
I was fascinated by the form and structure in classical composition as well as its versatile narrative my entire life, but as i grew up listening to more electronic music i felt a need to discover more of the noise and sound design world, so i began playing around with frequencies, trying to compose classically structured pieces using my rather unknown sound discoveries.
What’s your inspiration?
The Future. I really like to experience living my ten-years-from-now self in the present.
You are currently based in London. How is the life different from living in Tehran?Environment has a big impact on choices of sound and taste in general, however in my opinion we shape the cities they don’t shape us. So i would say London is another big city with less limits and it’s own characteristics.
It feels like “GUUD” is an album that should be listened as a whole. Also with playful song titles on the album, like Bo Bo Bones and JamJamJam, SlamSlamSlam, is there a certain concept behind this album?
Most of the titles are very accidental or just instant images in my head. JamJamJam and SlamSlamSlam are both three-act compositions, the first i was picturing a band from the future jamming in my head and the other i recorded while watching a 3d modelled slam dunk video on loop hence the name SlamSlamSlam.
One thing that I realised going through the album is that there’s a lot of deformation with genres, styles and song structures happening on this record, and you introduced the idea of “Nano-composition” on this album. Can you explain this further?
This idea came to me from my obsession with scales of waveforms. I read a lot about nanotechnology and the quantum realm, one day i thought it would be interesting to treat music as matter, creating a space where you can put sounds together as objects. i rigged deep into the grains of samples i recorded and found a lot of random sonic behaviour within the fractal patterns of each waveform taken from the samples. I tried to control the random chaos in the sonic events i created and the result was a long 42 minutes journey i experienced in an unknown world of random sound. As for the genre, i didn’t know what i’m about to experience so i couldn’t think of any forms or structure that existed as a genre of music.
How did this idea come about?
I always listen to classical music, from Chopin to Wagner, but sometimes i think the frequencies are limited to the instruments that we have known for years. I tried to change that for myself while i was studying in Tehran Conservatory of Music, by sampling sound, putting them on classical form and composition. As i grew older i realised i’m visualising music in my head and i thought it would be fun to discover sound objects that can fit into classical music and have theatrical motion as well as sonic and compositional value. recently learning about Nano technology opened another pathway for me to seek solutions for my futurist problems.
The title of the album “GUUD” means ‘good’, but for you, what is good music?Guud is the imperfect good. I think there’s a lot of ‘goodness’ in randomness, chance and error, so music shouldn’t be about being good or bad but letting imperfections have an emotional impact. If in a moment in time, a sound intensifies an emotion and have an impact then that’s pretty ‘good’.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Lars Von Trier
What’s next for Ash Koosha?
I’ll be finishing new material through which I want to further develop the idea of nano-composition and phenomenology of musical experience.