Neuropunk and Bojaq team up for a truly dense sound experience with NEUJAQ—weaving in sounds and textures across the spectrum of dance, including a hefty taste of action, gaming, and drum ‘n’ bass. In all, an East-Coast-West-Coast collaboration even Midwesterners need to tune in.
“It sounds pretty dope, I like it.” -DJ Earl
HangTime Magazine gets the info straight from Violet Tucker with Bojaq, letting us in on his and Neuropunk’s collaborative process for NEUJAQ, some insights on Sure Shot Trax, and a look into 2018.
So, how did you two meet?
I first met Neuropunk in Winter of 2016. he flew over here to play a Low Key party at Sunnyvale. We didn’t really get to talk much until I went to Los Angeles in February of 2017 to play at ROCKSTEADY. I got myself an Airbnb that was coincidentally five minutes away from his place, and we hung out a lot during that week. We talked music and personal experiences, and the connection was clear from the beginning.
What in that connection prompted you two to start Sure Shot Trax together?
Sure Shot Trax is actually completely Neuropunk’s thing. I actually didn’t come into the picture until this NEUJAQ release came together. I remember we spoke about wanting an outlet to release music the way we wanted to, and how important it is to have a way to get our sound out to the public as frequent as we’d like. When he messaged me about him starting Sure Shot Trax and asked if I wanted to release some of the music we made on there, there was no question.
How do you two communicate, given the time difference?
We mostly just chat through Facebook and Twitter. I take into account the time difference and typically message him toward the evening to make up for the time difference.
What, in your eyes, makes Sure Shot Trax unique? How is this exemplified in NEUJAQ?
I think what I like most about Sure Shot Trax is the idea behind having an outlet to release music and truly express ourselves without having to wait for the ‘OK’ from anyone. It’s literally up to us, and that freedom to express yourself through your music free of any restraints makes it really unique to me.
What was the process of working together for NEUJAQ like?
NEUJAQ is a collection of tracks that we made together in the Summer of 2017. After my trip in February, I was really itchin’ to get back out there and Solomon welcomed me back to his place with open arms and we were able to sit and just write music for the entire duration of my trip. We wrote about 17 tracks while I was there, and we knew almost immediately that we wanted to take some of these and put them together for release. In my eyes, I really wanted to put together a release that captured the energy in the room during my stay with him, and I think with NEUJAQ, it’s captured really well. We never went in with a specific idea in mind…we literally just sat down and fed off of each other’s energy on a track by track basis, and tried to challenge ourselves to break our usual creative process and try something different.
How do you feel NEUJAQ is different than your solo work as Bojaq and Neuropunk?
I feel like with me personally, I have a bit of a formula when I sit to make music, remixes, flips; and with NEUJAQ, I really tried to break the cycle and create music in a way that I never [had] before with both the sounds we used and the way we went about using them. I knew almost immediately when making some of these tracks that it was something special, or at least, like nothing I’ve ever done before.
Something that I noticed on NEUJAQ, especially “Jet Set Tokyo Beat,” was more of a raw, kind of reckless-feeling edge—where did that originate?
“Jet Set Tokyo Beat” is a great example of how the music came together. While I was with Neuropunk, we spoke a lot about our influences when it comes to music as well as just our general interests–whether it be movies, video games or anything in between. We started to talk about our love for Smilebit’s Jet Set Radio, a video game released on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. After playing ROCKSTEADY at Tokyo Beat a couple times that month, we agreed it’d be cool to make a flip of the game’s OST [open source track] with some audio bits from the game where they reference Tokyo quite a bit. We wanted to create something to capture our love for the game as well as something neat to play at Tokyo Beat on Tuesdays.
What are you looking forward to showing us most on NEUJAQ?
I think I’d like to show the versatility when it comes to making tracks. We never had a genre or style in mind when making any of these, we literally just went off of the raw energy we were giving each other in that very moment. Neuropunk and I hadn’t really sat and made music together prior to this, and I love that we were able to vibe with each other and create something special and something out of the norm for us. Whether someone calls it footwork, “160,” or whatever they want to call it–we just call them tracks.
Those of us following Sure Shot Trax would love to know–what should we look forward to in 2018?
I too am very excited to see what is in the future for Sure Shot Trax. The love and dedication that Neuropunk has for this is something that inspires me every single day. What I can say for certain is to expect some new work from myself, some new work from some close friends, and definitely some new bangers from Neuropunk. Sure Shot Trax has a very bright future ahead of it!
Violet Tucker, Contributing Writer