TOTD // 26/07 // Jonathan Kusuma

Published: July 26, 2017, words by Elle Clarke

Part of the Correspondant takeover


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Combining the sounds of synth-laden disco and his native Indonesian music, Jonathan Kusuma is one of the most exciting producers on the scene right now. In 2009, he founded the label Space.rec alongside two friends. The label went on to release some of hidden gems Kusuma found amongst Indonesia’s fledgling new music scene, picking out some of the best material from musicians, artists and producers in his native country. Now based in Singapore, Jonathan Kusuma has seen a number of releases on international labels like Melbourne’s Power Station, Jennifer Cardini’s Correspondent and Paramida’s Love on The Rocks, as well as Optimo Music, Italy’s Pizzico and Malaysia’s Love International with his band Space System.

His mainstay labels right now are Berlin’s respected avant-garde Cocktail d’Amore, where he released last year’s Black Magic EP, and Cosmo Vitelli’s French imprint I’m A Cliché, which he debuted on back in 2014. More recently, his track ‘Motor Melodies’ has just been released via Correspondent on its annual compilation. Kusuma’s track sits in good company alongside new material from the likes of Marvin & Guy, Man Power, Rex Axes, Underspreche and Fort Romeau. Nearly 12 years ago, Kusuma created the band Space System with his friend, fusing electronic Nu-jazz with synth melodies and cosmic influences.

Jonathan Kusuma (real name Ojon) was previously in a rock band, growing up on the sounds of heavy metal, punk and electronic. Now his sound is hard to define, combining elements of zany disco, hypnotic minimal and sharp electronic undertones to create material that stands in a league of its own. 2015 saw Jonathan Kusuma’s rise on the club circuit. He’s since played for Cocktail d’Amore at their Griessmuehle nights, Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Oath in Tokyo and many, many more.

Here, Jonathan Kusuma joins the Correspondant takeover with four inspiring tracks that have influenced his production over the years.

via youtube

Depeche Mode

World in My eyes

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Their music really introduced me to electronic bass lines , electronic snares and what not. Got my first Depeche Mode record in an old vintage record shop in Jakarta , Indonesia. With a Francois K remix on the other side, I fell in love immediately with that weird sound. This record introduced me to house music as well. This track made me discover that they are using synthesiser and drum machines. After that i kept digging more of their stuff. Its really difficult to find new and interesting music in Jakarta during that period. I got to listen to most only from mixtapes that was brought from some of my friends from San Francisco like “Bang The Drums “ from Jeno or the other Wicked crews old tapes. Even till know i can still remember the songs but didn’t know the artist and the titles of the tracks.”
via youtube

Rage Against The Machine

Testify

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I think Tom Morello is one of the artists that really pushes the limit and think creatively in terms of  creating new sounds and character. He makes guitar sound like a synthesiser and this really inspire me to work more creatively. The power and messages that they were trying to deliver really got in to me as well.”
via youtube

Liquid Liquid

Cavern

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I was born when this track came out , discover it 22 years later and instantly felt musically related. That bassline seems to be too familiar. Yes i listened to “White Lines” first before i discovered this track. This track makes me think about space between beats and tones , disharmony , and a place for you to imagine a your own music or sound on top of an already finished  track.”

Stomu Yamast’ha

Floating Music

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I always consider myself lucky to have met him and studied during his workshop in Bali. This was quite a while back when I first got my first synthesiser and a computer, and I went to a music programme in Bali for a short period, where I met a lot of very inspiring traditional Indonesian musicians and artists like I Wayan Sadre, Bli Komang, Swarasama. Stomu taught me a different approach on seeing a wave form as a 3D object. He used to be in the band Go with other pioneers like Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola and Michael Shieve. Aside from Stomu, I’m also really influenced by the other artists in this band. ”

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