Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
I’m Jussi-Pekka Parikka, a family father and a part-time musician.
I started doing music more seriously around the change of the millennium but have done music for about 15-17 years (depends how one defines “compose music”).
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
Music-wise I studied piano as a kid and later on graduated from a university of applied sciences with main studies in “computer assisted commercial music”. That school was quite fun but the line doesn’t exist as it was back then. But personally, I think that all education is good for an individual, so I suggest all schools and courses.
What hardware are you using?
OK, now this is always the bad question for me as I have only 1 piece of actual hardware: a TB-303. I have also an Alesis compressor and a Mic Pre but those aren’t really interesting to talk about. However, I’m currently building my own Gyraf G9 2-channel tube mic/instr preamp, which is actually a really interesting task, if you’re into electronics and crap like that.
The 303 is something that every electronic musician should try to hassle with: bad sync (most of the time), just weird sequences, logic (or no-logic really), but the sound is just f’in great! In the end one must ask the question: how high on acid were the Japanese engineers when they did the 303? It should be like the bass-synth for a 1-man-band? Does it sound even close to a real bass? Well, put the resonance to full and you’ll know 😉
What software are you using?
I’ve been a Cubase guy since the first SX version and haven’t had time nor energy to change. Reason was a cool thing for a while, Live is used for my live performances. But about all the music since a few years are 100% Cubase, which is — ATTENTION STEINBERG!! — filled with bugs. So in case you want to start composing/producing, do it with something else. I have to say I haven’t tried versions above 4, so I don’t know if they fixed something. But frankly, having a policy of releasing new versions and not fixing the earlier releases is just bad business in my point of view. And as told, there isn’t really a reason for me to use Cubase except I’m used to it and I’m not really keen to start learning [another program] from scratch.
VSTs are also quite nice, especially with the proper effects, and one can go quite far with the free ones out there.
What would be your dream setup?
Well, of course a full hardware studio with software only for sequencing/recording would be top notch! I’m slowly trying to get there but not too hard; something every now and then. Dream hard/soft would be a direct link from the brain to the sequencer. So the sounds and lines I imagine would be recorded directly and edited from there on. I think that’ll take a few hundred years to be ready, but one never knows what happens in the future.
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
Earlier my schedule was most effective during the nights. But along came the kids and partial jobs, so I had to start working during the day/mornings. And at the moment it doesn’t matter what time it is. As long as there’s enough time to get “in the mood”. Personally I can’t start composing a track from the first minutes I’m in the studio, but need to hassle with the loops and sounds for a few hours. Then the main idea/loop/hook can be found. At least in most of the cases.
It’s truly amazing how good I feel after a productive session (which can really take all the concentration for many many hours) but alas if I spend 4-5 hours in vain for nothing, THEN the whole day is totally ruined!
Where do you shop for and discover music?
Spotify. I have a shared playlist with a good friend, who’s into everything else other than electronic dance music. And frankly I think Dance music is really boring stuff to listen at your home/work/car. For clubs it’s the thing, but other than that I go for Jazz/Funk/Disco/stoner rock and shit like that.
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
My musical preference goes always in a few weeks – two months cycles. I find something and then I’m going only for that. Last time it was (sadly) Foo Fighters, which I did listen to for 4 weeks in a row. Nothing else. Now when that’s done, I just check for various tracks around. Modern minimal classical is quite interesting from time to time (John Adams for example). Good Disco and Funk are always there, say The Fatback Band.
What’s brewing in your studio?
Not sure what I can/should tell you as the music “biz” is as uncertain as a business can be. Really, if traffic would work like the music “biz”, no one would be using the train or flying around. BUUUUUT there are some remixes coming, possibly a new Disco EP from a Berlin-based label (featuring my new alias “Juicy Pecker”), so watch out!
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
Trust your ears, don’t hunt for the sound that “everyone likes”, but the sound you like! Compose for the fun and creativity, not for the gigs and fame. That’s actually one of the most irritating things going on lately: People try to compose the most uplifting tikki-tikki shuffle-minimal-bassheavy shit just to be famous and get gigs in Berlin. Fuck that shit!