Interview in Peek-A-Boo Magazine

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In the 80s, Johan Troch was the singer and guitar player of the post punk band
Last Journey. His solo work is different. The instrumental pieces have an ambient feel which would do well as soundtracks, etc. He records and releases his music through his own label Adagio Productions. He doesn’t do live gigs. He just wants to create music and make it available for people to listen to. He just released Infinite Distances, which was a reason for asking him some questions.

Hello Johan, in the past you made post-punk with Last Journey (influenced by Joy Division). Later, you focused on a whole other genre of music.

“In my teenager years, I was mainly influenced by the music and the lyrics of Joy Division, that’s correct. In that time, this music was everything for me. The same goes for the lyrics by Ian Curtis. In the early eighties, I had a dark period. Through my brother I came in touch with music from artists like Pat Metheny and other ECM jazz musicians. Also the first solo album of David Sylvian (Brilliant Trees) touched me too. After the break-up of Last Journey in 1986, I got the opportunity to work on my own. It was time for something different, because post-punk didn’t go deep enough for me. Especially musically it didn’t. After 20 years of experimenting with different styles like fusion jazz and poppy things, I grew to the point where I stand now.”

The new album is again a magistral album which sounds professional and is well produced. How do you start making an album?

“During the latest years, the winter was the best moment to get me buried in my own home studio. I always want to make an album in a few months time. That’s my deadline and that keeps me focused. When I’m in a creative phase, it is important to stay focused. Stay in the flow, I always say. Mostly, I search for new sounds on guitar, keyboard or samples. The rest is a matter of building up and that happens naturally. The idea is already in my head and I just have to work it out. Being in a certain mood is necessary. For my last two albums, I used real drum-sounds which are a big gain. Online you can find many drumplayers who offer their work digitally for a small fee. For example, Jim Dooley from the USA. I did release a solo album with songs and some singles around 2014, but I am more in my comfort zone with instrumentals.”

You have your own studio to work in. That must be a luxury…

“It certainly is. However, it took until 2012 before I made complete digital recordings. Early on, I used an analogue 8-track. I heard musicians who were recording digitally. They reached a level that I could never reach. I was not so computer-minded in those days. Nowadays, I learn more about digital recording, as you can hear on my last album.”

You use the studio also for other productions…

“As an independent artist, I release and spread my work through my own download label Adagio Productions. Also the video’s and the old work of Last Journey. And a Joy Division tribute album under the name Last Journey (for old times sake).”

You never play live?

“Pieter Nooten, with whom I worked a few years back, asked me to do some concerts. I refused. I don’t fancy it. For me making music is a momentum and a gig is just recycling your own work for an audience. That’s out of my comfort zone.”

I can understand that. How do you try to sell and show your music to the public?

“The internet, Wim…Myspace, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Soundcloud… The famous Facebook is also very useful despite its negative reputation. In this way, I’ve reached a few thousand people who buy and follow my music. Also by digital radio broadcasts, but that’s outside my control. A few songs of Infinite Distances were also played on German classic radio. Thanks to that, there will be one of my tracks on a forthcoming double album (later this year).”

That’s great! What do you want to say or reach with your music?

“I find it important to be submerged by music that touches my heart. So, it’s my motivation to touch others in the same way. Music is one of the strongest emotions.”

Are there stories in the songs?

“Real stories, no. I can’ t deny that my work is autobiographical. But I can not say you more about that.”

Does the music correspond with the figure Johan Troch? Or is it more an opposite?

“Not an opposite. What you hear is what you get.”

Do you ever thinking of making music for films or documentaries?

“Certainly, but I did not have the opportunity to do it so far.”

Wim GUILLEMYN
10/05/2016

http://www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be/en/interviews/johan-troch-2016/

 

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Klassik Lounge Nightflight Vol.8

Opening-track Into The Night taken from my latest album “Infinite Distances” will be on the new compilation-album Klassik Lounge Nightflight Vol.8, published by the German label;
LemongrassMusic.

DJ Nartak’s eighth Nightflight compilation is a symphony for very special moments. Bursting with finest electro-acoustic soundscapes, lovingly selected and framed in 2 mixes with much attention to detail. Based on latest Downtempo and Ambient gems, it’s astonishing to witness the weightless intersection with elements of Modern Classical, Jazz, Alternative, World Music and Folk, all merging into the Nightflight Sound. A subtle, soulful flow enfolds in an inspiring way, full of hope and understated beauty.
Enchanting delicate sounds lead into the depth of the night, once in a while freshened up with some cool loungy grooves, underlining DJ Nartak’s gentle art of balance. Being on air at Klassik Radio for more than 11 years, DJ Nartak is a well respected musical pioneer, dedicated to quality productions. For all those, who seek relaxation with style and spirit, step on board for another deep-blue Nightflight voyage.

CD release and digital release at Klassik Radio: April 29th, 2016
Digital release worldwide: June 3rd, 2016
CD Export (via Nova Media Distribution): August 2016
Catalogue number: LGM209
Label: Lemongrassmusic (LC 12644)

http://lemongrassmusic.de/artists/various/Klassik-Lounge-Nightflight-Vol-8-Compiled-By-DJ-Nartak/

Album review

Infinite Distances

[83/100]   

Adagio Productions
04/03/2016, Wim GUILLEMYN
Peek-A-Boo-Magazine

http://www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be/en/reviews/johan-troch-infinite-distances/

In the 80’s, Johan Troch was the singer and guitarist of the post-punk band Last Journey. After the band called it a day, it went quiet. And then suddenly, Troch began recording instrumental records that are a contrast to the cold wave/post-punk of Last Journey as they have an ambient character. Johan distributes his music through his own label Adagio Productions. He does not perform his music on stage.

As always, this album by Johan Troch is made in a professionally way.
Opener Into The Night floats on a warm bass and atmospheric synths with aqttention to detail. Conditioned Beliefs is a track that mainly consists of a reverberant piano.
At first it sounds like a pop song, but it develops in another direction.
Artificial Intelligence includes a sample of Robert Fripp (King Crimson).
The guitar line of Frippertronics is mixed in the song.
Well done.

There are a lot of guest musicians included, who add their own subtle effects/styles.
The guitar of Alexander Naumov gives Living Without Frontiers a Gilmour touch.
On Project X , the drums are done by Jim Dooley and the percussion loops by Achim Berens. Again, the Robert Fripp-sample is used. A pretty rhythmic and upbeat song.

The album (fourteen songs) closes with the longest track, When She Turned Her Head.
The intro consists of a recording of a crowd at Union Station Portland Oregon.
It is complemented with ambient drones by Rhodes Tim Kahn.

Johan Troch has made an album that is a stunner in its genre. It is a continuation of his previous release The Enlightened.
This is enjoyable ambient that does not sound too vague or too strange, with a hopeful atmosphere.

Wim GUILLEMYN
04/03/2016

https://johantroch1.bandcamp.com/album/infinite-distances

Photography

Composing music will have to wait for a while at this time.
But still I’d like to be creative in another form, photography.
I’m just an amateur, but I want to share some pictures I took recently.

Kind regards,
Johan

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Photo by © Johan Troch

Top 10 albums

At request of fans I’ve added a top 10 of albums that had a profound influence on my musical journey from my childhood until present time.
This is quite difficult, because there are so many albums more than just 10.
Very important in my youth were Joy Division, Cocteau Twins and later on David Sylvian and Pat Metheny.
I even had a period of Doors, Velvet Underground, and Joni Mitchell fever.
Also a lot of jazz artists that were signed on the ECM label like Bill Frisell, Eberhard Weber and Pat Metheny during his ECM period in the seventies and early eighties.
I had the luck of having older brothers who were into a great taste of music.
That’s how I’ve made an acquaintance with a totally other kind of music style that my classmates used to listen to at the time.
In the nineties we had ‘OK Computer’ from Radiohead and ‘Mezzanine’ from
Massive Attack.
Very enriching the past decade: Thomas Feiner & Anywhen with “The Opiates Revised” ‘Slope’ from Steve Jansen, and ‘Cartography’ from Arve Henriksen.

Johan Troch 10 February 2015