Today we are chatting with Natural Life Essence! Juan Pablo Giacovino Aka Natural life essence is from (Buenos Aires, Argentina). He began experimenting with electronic music, specifically with ambient and dub the mid-90s but had never decided to release something to the public level until in 2014 he launched his debut album hydrogenesis via Cyan-music records. Since then he has released several albums and EPs on various labels in the world. He uses a mixture of softsynths and hardware machines. Besides that, he creates own synthesizers which are used a lot in his own tracks. Further, he also operates another musical project, Spiritual Fields, which is addicted to dub and reggae culture. Juan is also a writer and inspired by poetry and cosmic mythology literature and writers like Lovecraft or Tolkien.
Interview made by Melissa Lara Clissold and Iurii GAGARIN PROJECT on 05/08/2019
Hello Natural Life Essence! Thanks for accepting this interview. It’s a great chance to have discovered your music which truly has an ethereal feel to it. Most of your songs truly made me feel connected to the earth and the universe. So, we have a few questions for you!
Thank you very much for your words and Thank you for inviting me to this interview.
It’s clear you get your inspiration from the natural world around us – is there anywhere in particular you like to be alone to feel more inspired?
No, for me, every environment is really inspiring. from the microscopic environment to deep space. That is why I try to represent this through sounds. All those environments.
When did you really understand that you wanted to make music, and why did you finally decide to share it with the world in 2014?
I always was making music as far back as I remember. First, I was making sounds with my mouth then I started to learn how to play instruments.
It was very difficult to record ambient music back in those days in 1990s. Especially here in my country. But the internet changed the whole thing and made it much easier.
Essentially, what is the messages you want to get across with your music?
Well, essentially. I think I just want to show my love and respect for nature. It is amazing how it breeds, heals and develops us and all other beings. I feel myself like traveling by caravan across the land. Not belonging anywhere in particularly but to the whole wide world. Maybe not only to this world but to some other worlds too. And more than this I feel like everything around is being healed with sounds. This is basically what the message of my music is about.
What are some of the favorite programs you use for music production? Which DAW’s?
You know I’m trying not to limit myself with any specific soft. I’m using all of them just whenever I discover them. I think it should be very noticeably from my releases. If I found the synth or instrument the next album is full of those sounds that I can get from them.
Do you also have any plug-ins or sample packs to recommend for our readers who would perhaps like to make music like you?
Not really. All sounds and synths are helping me in ambient music production.
I have always been a fan of long ambient songs and albums that truly unravel from stillness and calmness. There is a sort of meditative feel to your songs and albums too. What’s interesting is the build-up, for example in Natural Life Essence, that leads to a primal dub feel. This then stirs something deeper within the listener. I’m also a big fan of dub. I want to ask – who are your favourite dub musicians?
I love dub as much as ambient, you know. So yes, Im listening to a lot of dub, and you can hear a lot of dub in my music. From the old dub of jamaica to the electronic dub of the 90s. My favourites are The Orb. FSOL, Banco de Gaia, Leftfield and many many more.
Please tell us a little about your final album. How do you think you have developed as a producer over the years?
I am more a writer than a musician, or producer. but I suppose that I have changed some production or sound techniques over time, but it is always according to the caravan of my story, the sound in each album.
Where do you see your music going?
Well, I have released many of my albums via my own label Liquid Frog and put them on my bandcamp page, and I will continue with my friends labels. Although I would be happy to be in several more, I always would like to contact new labels and their creators.
Any favorite festival experiences? Why?
Unfortunately, I almost have no opportunities to go out to festivals. There is not so high demand for them in my country and the place where I live. Those that I want to visit are too far away from my location so I’m just willing to attend some in future.
I saw a few remixes on your Soundcloud. Do you have any new exciting projects in mind? Any collaborations you may be interested in?
Yes, I have several ideas. About new music projects. Remixes of some old albums… and I have thought of an entire album of my other dub and world music project “Spiritual Fields”. Don’t really have much to share right now and want to surprise you and others so let it be under the veil for now.
Do you think the country you live in has influenced the music that you make?
When it comes to music I don’t think that in my country people are very fond of the styles that I’m composing in. So in this case there is not too much influence. But if we are talking about the nature and surroundings it is vice versa and the influence is really huge. I’m in love with my country and its nature. It is really beautiful and diverse. We have all possible climate zones and types of surfaces and weather. I’m truly loving it!
Can you tell us a little bit more about your creativity process? How does a song come about?
Usually the thing starts from a story. From some impression of moving within a caravan. Like I’m watching some action and landscapes just slowly passing by us. It can be more like our planet, landscape or maybe some other worlds landscapes also. I’m looking for the synths to give me needed sounds to express these stories. And every time it is recorded live only, In only one try. Like elder masters of dub did, With all the mistakes. I’m never able to produce the same song. I can never repeat the same mix.
Do you do your own mix and mastering?
Yes. I always do the mix. but I do the mastering only when I record it on my own label. Other labels do their own mastering for my tracks.
Tell us a little about your other project Spiritual Fields? As a love of reggae & dub (as I mentioned) and the singer of a reggae band here in Turkey, this is always a sub-culture I’m really interested in.
As I told you, I love dub and reggae, it was my first love in music. The electronic music was only after it. The first song I composed was under the Spiritual Fields project. It was a mixture of caravan dub ambient and world music
I’ve heard you create your own synthesiser’s. What’s that like?
Well I created many virtual synthesizers. They give me my own sounds and effects. Someday I will release them to let everybody use them. ;)
Any particular labels you like to follow?
It seems like I’m not too much focused on the labels. Most of my interests are particular musicians and their projects. I’m fond of sounds and music by ISHQ and every other project of Matt Hillier. He is true mastermind of ambient music. And I listen to a lot of dub and drone too. Orb, FSOL and Banco De Gaia are my favorite ones.
I know that you initially released from Cyan in Argentina, but what are some of the others you’ve released from?
Well, I have released albums and EPs via several labels. Among them were Blue Tunes Chillout, Mindspring, Ovnimoon, Spitzer Records, Visionary Shamanics. And of course though my own label Liquid Frog. It is my personal bandcamp page.
What is one thing you’d say to someone who wanted to make music but didn’t know where to begin?
The main thing is to know what style is most close to your type of creativity. Never produce something that you’re not close to. Remember that creativity is not limited by equipment. And sometimes you will not have enough inspiration. Do not try to hurry it.
And the one and only rule for me: always enjoy making music!
Thank you for your time ….. if you wish to transmit a message to our readers please do it here!
I would like to say you and all the people who read this text and especially those who like my music huge thanks! For listening to my music. Contact me if you wish. I will be glad to answer you. See you. Greetings to you all from my edge of the world calling Argentina. Be happy and enjoy the music.
Juan Pablo Giacovino