If a small blessing has come out of the miserable over the past two years, it’s that DJs seemed more drawn to the production than ever. This includes Miami DJ / producer Jonny From Space, who produced his latest EP, Traveler, during a two-week quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 in December.
“I just wanted to take care of the new music, and in 14 days I found these four ideas,” said Jonny From Space (AKA Jonathan Trujillo). New times. “I would wake up, go to the beach, come home and spend all day working on music. And just before sunset, I would go back to the beach and watch the sunset. ”
During those two weeks, Trujillo produced four mercurial tracks that reflect the emotions he felt throughout the pandemic.
“I confess my feelings in the first one [track]”he explains.” I feel very crazy with everything that goes on when creating the second track. On the third, I’m very depressed, and the last track is of a more upbeat, happy, kind of backing up type. ”
Trujillo’s penchant for breaks, industrial grain and ethereal vibe make Traveler the impression that the listener is plunging into a sound abyss.
The self-produced disc begins with “Confession,” with heavily distorted voices that are a past recognition. With a drum pattern that eschews the typical four-floor rhythm, the track is ominous but somewhat club-friendly. The second track, “Neurotic”, highlights frenzied percussion as parasitic pains reverberate and throw a blanket of anxiety over the listener.
“My approach to each trail was different,” notes Trujillo. “Each song is its own thing – different takes on different days. Traveler is the door to what is to come. ”
With works by Caterina Haddad, Traveler is available to stream through SoundCloud and Bandcamp and will be available on other streaming platforms later this month.
In addition to producing music, Trujillo is a resident DJ at Club Space and works behind the scenes at Eleventh Street Hall. Still, being behind the DJ booth doesn’t compare to the euphoria one feels on a crowded dance floor.
Before his 40s, Trujillo spent time in Mexico City and attended performances from the perspective of the crowd, helping him re-energize his passion for dance music.
“I had the experience of being on the floor and reconnecting to it, seeing everyone dancing with their eyes closed and leaving with the sound – it was really amazing, and I missed it a lot” , he said.
Trujillo heard his track “Neurotico” – a track that may not be the most obvious of the dance floors but still manages to trigger catharsis – while he was on the dance floor in Mexico City.
“The majority of the time I’m making music, my eyes are closed and I see where the track is and where it’s going to go,” Trujillo explains. “‘Neurotico’ is a very intense song, but I have seen people play it for the dance floor and see people dancing with their eyes closed. It’s a wonderful feeling. To see I did it with my eyes closed. and that people react that way is very telling. ”
During Miami Art Week in December, Trujillo joined local producer Sister System for a guest mix from English DJ Ben UFO Hessle Audio radio program. Ben UFO had contacted Sister System to record a mix that would coincide with his performance at Rakastella last month. Sister System asked Trujillo to collaborate on the project and together they recorded two 45-minute mixes, which earned them a Dedication on Resident Advisor.
“We picked a night and agreed to share the set. I knew which direction Sister System wanted to go, and she knew which direction I wanted to go – and just gave her the best 45 minutes we could do.”
Other collaborations are also underway. Trujillo is working on projects with DJ / producer Nick León and Trujillo’s ad hoc mentor Danny Daze and his label Omnidisc. There will also be new collaborations with Sister System involving the local DIY party scene.
Trujillo’s mind is more relaxed these days, an attitude he hopes to maintain in 2022.
“There is no one going to say to you, ‘OK, you have reached your destination, and now you have to make the music,'” he explains. “It finally came to this point where I had this feeling and I said, ‘OK, this is a good time to release this record. “It was just logical.”