Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An Interview with Shloggfather: Godfather of Shlogg

Current Wesleyan senior, "mysterious beatician hailing from Eugene, OR" and occupant of the room beside mine, Shloggfather has cultivated a unique sonic palette/soft palate over the years. I sat down at my computer and gchatted with him while he made dinner for our apartment. Listen to "recent" chef-d'oeuvre "Intergalactic Furgle-Fest" on his bandcamp page, where it is available for free download.

Click through to read the interview

WESU: Hi, [Shloggfather's real name]. I'm a Music Director at WESU.

Shloggfather: K.

W: We received a copy of your album, "Intergalactic Furgle-Fest," a few years ago, and it just made its way to the top of our pile. Have you sent your music to other radio stations?

S: When I finished that album (the summer between freshman and sophomore year) I sent it around to KWVA in Eugene, WESU and various indie labels and artists. I may have sent it to WFMU also but not too many radio stations. Excuse me, I have to check on the potatoes.

W: Does KWVA play this kind of music?

S: KWVA is similar to WESU in many ways. Definitely some of the same kinds of music get played, though I think the main difference is the level of commitment DJs have to the station.

W: Maybe you could also explain what genre you consider your music a part of?

S: This may be a cliche, but I prefer not to construct musical value around arbitrary nomenclature. That said, my music has been classified on last.fm as slutwave and sexperimental.
W: Those are helpful specifications. Did you take a similar approach to naming your album? Is "Intergalactic Furgle-Fest" an arbitrary generation of words?

S: It's a reference to a character in (Joseph Heller's) Catch-22 who is so preoccupied with taking pictures of women that he is unable to simultaneously furgle them. I took the idea of a furgled furgle and expanded it to resonate through the galaxy.

W: Which character? Milo? Huple?

S: Hungry Joe.

W: Right. Inspirations. What sounds inspire you?

S: I am inspired heavily by heavy machinery, as well as rattling, clanging and banging.

W: "You're sweet but you can be a cold hard bitch sometimes" sounds far from industrial/metallic. You've clearly got some funky melodic proclivities, too.

S: Right. I also take cues from Jean-Pierre Rampal. Ken Davis' "Pan Flutes by the Ocean" is seminal.
S: Dinner is ready. Let's eat now and finish this after.

W:  Okay. Bon appetit.

W:  Hi. If your music were a sport, what it would be called?

S: Poopscatball.

W: Who are the musicians on campus you like working with?

S: I really haven't played with that many people on campus, but Jeremy Webber '13 and Henry Molofsky '13 and I have formed a band this semester called Goodbye Goodbye Penis Penis Penis which has so far played 1.5 aborted gigs.

W: What's a dangus? 

S: A dangus is a dry dingus.

W: You mentioned that you released this album three summers ago. Was your freshman year at Wesleyan at all formative in the creation of IFF?

S: Definitely. Taking Intro to Experimental Music with Alvin Lucier really expanded my horizons, and Physics for Future Presidents, well... Some of the tracks on that album are reworkings of things I'd started long before Wes, too. That's often how I work – I'll start something, get sick of it, and return to it after a few months with fresh ears.

W: One (ish) more question. What can we expect from Papa Shlogg in the future? Similar aesthetic? Sun Ra + Stockhausen? Organ blowing?

S: Lately I've been focused on composing for the pipe organ as well as designing custom audio software in Max/MSP. In fact, I'll be combining the two in my senior organ recital this spring, which will focus on the work of Olivier Messiaen and his forbears. That could be a nice story for a children's book. O.M. and his Four Bears.

W:  I look forward to the audiobook. Thanks for your time! Last words of wisdom to students who want to make electronic music but are too intimidated to start?

S:  Download Propellerhead's Reason for free online and figure out how to use it. That's a great way to learn how to fit different sounds together in time, as well as how physical audio equipment works. Reason was my gateway drug.

W:  Great. Happy Hanukkah.

S:  Matzoh Tov.

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