Strobelyx
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Strobelyx

Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF | AFM

Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Electronic EDM

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"Janko Novoselic: I unwind listening to modern classical music"

Janko Novoselić, one of the most acclaimed Croatian’s drummers, who plays with most popular Croatian hip hop band TBF, took some time to talk about his work for All4You Magazine.

Janko is primarily a drummer but also a producer and composer and has by now worked with many big names in music industry, such as Vještice, Matmar, HGM Big Band, Miles Griffith, David Murray, Adrienne West, Tamara Obrovac or Elvis Stanić.

* Why the drums?
I banged on everything in the beginnings, so say may parents, tables, chairs, furniture. So they decided to buy me a little set of drums. They say it was from the beginning of time. I was about three or four years old. And with time it formed a whole set. Then I started playing drums in a bend at the end of the elementary school. We played covers, rock, Jimi Hendrix. That was in fact the band that still exists today, Bilk, from which I left few years ago. We started doing our own music some time through high school so I decided to go to percussion classes in musical high school “Vatroslav Lisinski”, and then I went to few jazz seminars in Grožnjan and by that time I already decided to enlist in jazz academy in Graz. When I was at the end of musical high school my mother said: “And what are you going to do now?!”, so I decided that really is something I want to do with my life. I wasn’t sure would I rather go to a classical academy but in the end jazz took over, it was more appealing to me.
* How come you didn’t stay there?
Well, I played here and there, with Austrians and Slovenians, but it seemed to me that projects here, in Croatia, are more interesting. There were more combinations here available for me. There is a difference between scenes here and there, conditions for musicians are better, the choice is bigger. And they stick to agreement much more than here, it’s not going to happen that the owner of the club at the end says: “well… can we pay you in beer now” or “you didn’t sell enough tickets so we can not pay you, although we agreed on that”.
* You make your own music for some time now. Do you remember your first composing rush or the idea? What dragged you into it?
That happened through high school. It happened through classical education, when I took composing classes and piano, and also started to play guitar. It was from the beginning pop inclined. I’ve just been moving recently so I found in long lost boxes some of the tapes I made then. It was available for me even at that time because my father is a musician so he had all the necessary equipment for me to record my self. And I think there was even some good themes there, something that I could even use now. Even then there was a mix of genres, some rock, some brit pop, some electronic, some noise even.
* So what do you concentrate on now? You do jazz, electronic, hip hop, pop…
I’m kind of mostly in the electronic genre right now. I do jazz mostly through playing and is always part of my life, but somehow it’s not my prime interest right now, since I’m with TBF. I’m mostly attracted to something we could widely call pop right now. There’s a little bit of everything in it but it’s not the music with the architecture that jazz or classical music have. I like to listen to it still, but this is a different kind of approach. Club music, dance electronic music is something that’s captured my preoccupation last couple of years. I mean, you can always write stuff that you can later through improvisation turn to jazz. That’s something, for instance, that Brad Mehldau, jazz pianist does. He takes bits and pieces of Nirvana, Radiohead, or some other popular musician and turns it into jazz. But I’m kind of not into that right now. I’m into music production in general. Working on music with every possible tool available; computers, programs, etc.
* Ordered music vs. Inspiration. Which are the merits and flaws of one and the other?
It depends. Sometimes it’s nice to do something commercial, let’s say, but I’m lucky in the way that I bring the suggestions and most of the time what I like the most is something the client likes the most also. So the collaboration begins.
* So how did you start playing with TBF?
They heard me play live with Bilk in Split and they heard some jazz CD’s that I’ve made. So they came to me. I was first the replacement and then they decided to take me for good. It was a good and unpainfull transit. We make music together now so there’s no big difference between coming to an already formed band and starting one your self.
* Considering your classical training, how do you experience music? What’s the main difference between, for instance, jazz, electro and hip hop?
Duke Ellington said: “There’s only good or bad music”. But famous drummer Jojo Mayer on his seminar in Grožnjan said that he does not agree with that because every music deserves to be called music, and something that you think is bad somebody will like. And I like to think about it like that. Everything can be music, but you have to feel that something is sincere and that it isn’t done after somebody else’s work just to reach through to the masses. And a very big amount of pop music nowadays is like that, also a very big amount of Croatian music is like that, regrettably.
I personally go by the mood. For example, since I’ve been playing with TBF for three years now, we play the whole summer and every autumn after the exhausting tempo of constant loudness and strong rhythms, I unwind with something more mellow, without that kind of rhythm, something like ambiental, modern or avant-garde classical music. And that unwinding can last up to a month, believe me.
* And who can you call your influences?
The music I currently listen to is not often something I can call “influence”. They are always the same I think. Or I like to think that. And that would be some kind of wider influence, specifically, pop music of the 80′ is something I grew up on so that always stays with me. I simply like the sound, the sound of synth, new wave. When I was little, my father played in big and influential bands such as Film or Haustor so that is very familiar to me. I like everything that has strong melody. Also, if we go more electronically, I always have to mention Chemical Brothers or Groove Armada who have also been in my ear forever. In jazz, particularly drummers, since that’s my main profession, I always admired Elvin Jones, Brian Blade, Jeff Tain Wats. When I was in college that was my all day preoccupation so that stayed with me also, for sure. And of course, the standards from the 60′s, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, you just can’t ignore those guys.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pcVm9V-bq4&list=UUA5TFunppc6ySLinVTDwOzw&index=4&feature=plcp[/youtube]
* Which were your favorite collaborations?
Most interesting certainly was with Srđan Sacher when we did concerts with Vještice, and afterwords I did some songs with him that yet have to come out. It’s the long process for him but it was very nice to see him work, I think he truly is a genius. I grew up listening to his music so when I got the opportunity to work with him and see up close how he does music and approaches it I was really blown away.
* What do you think the accessability of making music did to the quality of music? Do you think really anyone can make music nowadays?
It certainly is much more accessible to anyone and that is a good thing, but you have to have the idea no matter what. And that is what makes good music in the end. Also, something very interesting can come out if someone who doesn’t have any kind of musical training approaches music. For example, Timbaland claims that that is the reason his beats and samples always sound so fresh and different.
* And what are your own current ambitions and aspirations? What would you like to do?
I’m very glad that working with TBF offers me stability and with that also the time to devote to something I want to do just for my self. So in the past couple of years I’m mostly interested in production and composing and that is what really makes me happy and what I will certainly be doing in near future. I do express my self through playing but this is the first period of my life in which I have the time to do these things on the side freely.
Iva Končurat - ALL4YOU


"What does Janko Novoselic fantasize about?"

All the kids love to play drums, but for some it is a must in life or otherwise they can't be happy.

One of those kids is multi-instrumentalist, drummer, producer Janko Novoselic.

He played with various European and Croatian artists, ranging from jazz to electronic music styles.

He brings you the new album Fantazija on which he utilises various instruments from drums to synthesizers, but also guitars and voice. - Klubska Scena


"Immerse yourself in "Fantazija""

"Janko Novoselic, one of the best drummers in the country, released a new album called Fantazija." - UES Mag


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Bio

Everyone told him he will never be able to escape the huge LED wall he was part of, that it’s impossible and that he will surely fail. Strobelyx knew better than that. He knew he had to trust his brains, he knew there was something else out there for him but he just didn’t see it yet.

It happened on one night when Strobelyx was working his usual night shift as a part of a big LED wall screen on a party. It was one of those really boring parties where nothing interesting was happening and the music was bad. At one point there was a short power outage, but just enough time for little Strobelyx to seize the opportunity where he managed to unplug himself from the wall connections and escape. 

This marked a new beginning for Strobelyx, who more than anything wanted to find some meaning in life. For one thing, he could finally light himself up whenever he wanted, and in whatever color he chose at any given moment. Now that he was finally free from the big wall, there were no limits to what he could do. 

So begin the adventures of Strobelyx, the little LED light. 

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