Cover for Good Dude Lojack's Colorless Green Dreams, out on Fri., Aug. 3 on MISC Records
Good Dude Lojack returns this week with Colorless Green Dreams, the followup to the excellent 2017 full-length Voyage. In some ways, it's a departure: the songs are noticeably shorter and easier to digest on the first listen than the stubborn, heady repetition of Voyage. But the smart sampling, impossible danciness and dynamic production remain intact. If you're unfamiliar with GDL, he's a Pittsburgh-based DJ/producer with a handful of excellent, minimalist (IDMish) releases under his belt. Here's "Spicy Pho."
CP reached out to Good Dude Lojack at the tail end of a trip to Germany to talk about the new album. Catch his performance/album release show at Apteka, with Naeem and ONDO / GUSTO, at 9:30 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 3. It's free.
While Colorless Green Dreams plays with a lot of the same sounds and styles as your previous work, it feels like a big jump from your last album, Voyage. The songs are shorter and though there’s plenty of repetition, it feels a little antsier and dancier. What could you point to explain that shift? Do you agree there is one?
There is definitely a shift in style from my last release, and that could partly be in response to a new approach I took with my creation process. I wanted to capture a moment quickly and not overanalyze it. Overall, this entire release took me about a week or two to make. I tried out a new approach to my process after I took a long and hard look at where I’ve been falling short. I tend to make a lot of music, hoard it, and never let anyone hear it. I’ve got hours of music that I’ve just left behind. I get caught in the idea of, “I’ll just put some finishing touches on some older stuff and it’ll finally be done and maybe I’ll release it.” That quickly turns into me just never being happy with anything and burying all of it deep in a hard drive. So, this change has been a positive one. I really love all of the tracks, and I don’t find myself hating them already, which is rare.
How did the idea for the video for “Bout It” happen?
Juan (MISC) and I wanted to go a different route from my past videos. I remembered a video for Nice Rec’s track “Not Real," and wanted to aim for something similar. So I went straight to the source and asked the creator, aka PayAndrewBurgerDotCom, if he was willing to take a swing at a new video for me. Aside from Andrew being a talented video artist, he has also had a huge influence over my musical taste and style over the years, and was also the head of the Harmony Society (Smooth Tutors, BusCrates, PTA). So needless to say, I was very excited when he agreed to be a part of this.
Were there songs you wrote for CGD that you cut from the final track list? There were two songs that I cut from the final release. All the track lengths on this release are way shorter than what I normally end up with, so these tracks seem to walk the line between feeling unfinished and capturing a feeling. The two tracks that I cut didn’t capture enough of a feeling. They were fun, but I wanted the overall release to be refined well rounded, so they had to go.
You’re in Germany right now, can you talk a little about the time you’ve spent over there over the years and how it’s affected your music?
Germany absolutely changed the way that I think about and create music. It started when I first studied in Berlin, having to leave Smooth Tutors in Pittsburgh for the summer. That was the first time in my life, ever since I started playing live music, that I wasn’t regularly playing music at least once a week. Not having this creative outlet affected me more than I imagined, so I began focusing on producing more music to make up for this. I began using Reason and bought a MIDIkeyboard and just went for it. Forcing the shift between playing live music with others, to playing music alone with a computer, was extremely challenging. I was chasing a feeling that I would ultimately never find that summer, but it led me to become more focused on producing, and here I am now. I should also mention that the music I heard in Berlin that summer was a huge source of inspiration, and it changed me in a equally powerful way, but I feel like everyone has already heard that story.
Good Dude Lojack's upcoming gigs:
Fri., Aug. 3 - Release party for Colorless Green Dreams at Apteka with Ondo and Naeem.
Tue, Aug. 14 - DJ’ing at Goldmark
Thu., Aug 23 - Ambient set at the 3rd Summer Yoga Splash at CMOA. (all unreleased GDL material)