Interview: Jostein Gjelsvik & Rune Sagevik (Pjusk)

1. Who came to be the ideological inspirers of Pjusk?

If we should narrow it all down to one major inspiration and influence, it has to be the Norwegian project Biosphere. Basically this is where it all started. His music has been a true source of creativity. Of course we have a lot of other projects that has meant a lot to us - too many to mention.

2. Pjusk is a project with quite a depressive image. Is it the mighty force of the fjords? Is your music tied to nature? How would you describe it?

We know that a lot of people consider our music to be closely linked to nature. I guess that is correct, but it is more on a subconscious level, really. It is only natural that our music reflects our environment somehow when living in the countryside. Depressive is perhaps a bit too strong a word - perhaps melancholy is more fitting. We are certainly not trying to sound depressive.
3. How do both of you understand the term "destructive music"? Does your work fall under this concept?

Although Norway is known for dark ambient and black metal, we don't really see ourselves as part of that scene. Ambient minimalism - experimental ambient - but not dark. But we understand why, some tracks would probably be fitting within a dark ambient framework.

4. You tend to often utilize field recordings in your work. What kind of sounds attract you? What is the most exciting thing for you in the entire process?

We were very into fan noise on our first album, Sart. We got a fair amount of nice soundscapes from hotel fans. We’re also fond of noise and sounds that have a rhythmic quality to them. Sounds that could work as a pulse or backbone in a track. Noise or sounds from a wonky machine or factory equipment can often sound great after a bit of processing. The favourite moments with field recording are initially when we discover the sound, and then when we reach the end result, the sound or loop that ends up in a tune.

5. Two of your latest EPs have appeared in free access. Why is that? Does this mean the end of cooperation with 12k?

Not at all. We started our own label “Fono Fonogram” and released three EPs by the end of last year really to investigate the reception and concepts of using Bandcamp and digital distribution. The test was really about checking if we should continue establishing a label for our collaborative work and then perhaps do other releases later on. I guess we have abandoned that idea. Still happy to be with 12k.

6. According to your opinion, does a modern musician need a label or are Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Facebook enough?

It all depends on your goals as a musician. It is certainly a good start, but getting out on the road is certainly the best part of releasing music.

7. Could it be said that the most widespread genre of electronic music in Norway is in fact Ambient?

Well, the two biggest electronic artists (in the wider term - thinking commercially) is Kygo and Alan Walker. The latter being responsible for hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify. Ambient is a small genre for the initiated few.

8. What Norwegian musicians and labels would you personally recommend? Does Norway have any original festivals that are fun to visit?

We are quite fond of the Hubro label. Lots of interesting artists (mostly jazz). Also Smalltown Supersound and Rune Grammofon deserve a mention. When it comes to festivals, the Punkt festival in Kristiansand and Insomnia in Tromsø are worth a visit.

Recommended artists from Norway:

·        Morten Qvenild (latest album: Personal Piano)
·         Todd Terje 
·         Erik Skodvin 

 9. Your project started in Bergen, the city where the great composer Edvard Grieg lived and worked. What is your opinion on him and his work?

We are of course proud of Grieg and his works - it is part of our Norwegian heritage and culture.

 10. Is Pjusk strictly a domestic project or are you always prepared to give live performances? Do you like to move around or do you prefer to remain in one place?

We love doing live performances. It is a great opportunity to meet new people. Although we think we haven´t cracked the live code entirely yet. It is about balancing risk and safety and I guess we still have a way to go. Anyway. Great fun. Please invite us to Russia. We would love that.

11. Could you give us the list of your favorite movies and books? Has all this served as an inspiration for creating music? Where does your inspiration come from?

Well, being electronica fans, we probably want suprise anyone when we spill the beans about being sci-fi nerds. 
We love Blade Runner, the Alien franchise, 12 Monkeys and etc.

12. Jostein, how was the Circular project born and has it had an influence on your consequent work? What was the main idea behind it? Is it still alive or has it come to an end?

Not closed at all. At the moment progress has been quite slow due to many reasons, but we are working on new material - to be honest we probably have hours of music almost finished, so I guess we should expect a new album out by 2017.

13. Each one of your albums has a spectacular graphical represantation! Do you have a designer do the visuals for you, or are you personally responsible for it?

Thanks! We have always a very defined visual style in mind when releasing an album. This is important factors and we take it seriously. A lot of great music has been let down by lousy covers and stock photos.

14. Anything to say to the Data.Wave audience?

Live long and prosper! Or simply: Peace, love and unity!

Questions: Ilya Kudrin / Krib