Mix 121 Jonathan Castro

№ 121

To accompany our recent project with Peruvian-born graphic designer and multidisciplinary artist, Jonathan Castro Alejos, we released a limited number of tapes featuring a collection of loops, all based on field recordings recorded in Amsterdam in 2022/23.

№ 121 - Jonathan Castro - Radiance Loops - The EDWIN Music Channel

To celebrate the music, that is – as Jonathan Castro puts it - “embracing the non-linear and unconventional aspects of sound”, we have published his subtle recordings on The EDWIN Music Channel, too.

As ever, we caught up with our host to delve deeper into his work and inspiration and dive into a sonic world of field recordings from beyond.

Q. Jonathan, how did you end up doing what you do and not something else?
A. Life.
Q. What is the driving force of your creativity?
Jonathan Castro: Curiosity.
Q. How do you characterise your output?
A. Honest.
Q. What were your main compositional challenges at the beginning of your career as a graphic designer, and how have they changed over time?
A. Moving along with your practice is to dig within yourself more. Part of the work is not just to improve your craft or deal with the profession's challenges but to take care and know more about yourself. Your practice changes because you also change, which is always a constant challenge and a beautiful thing to happen.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in the capsule collection “Radiance” and what is the idea behind it?
A. I had previously worked with EDWIN on a project with DJ and producer JASSS, and this naturally led to the latest capsule for Autumn/Winter 2023.
The collection was based on my research about traces and abandoned spaces in the urban city. Throughout time, I collected many of these traces, and with this, I mean the subtle or sometimes marks, imprints, or remnants left behind by human activities, interactions, and the passage of time.

Q. Are the visual compositions for the collection mirrored in the music on the tape? If so, how?
A. Yes, the tape is an archive and collection of loops based on location/field recordings of abandoned and post-industrial spaces, mainly in Amsterdam. I am interested in the idea of "dirty listening" which refers to intentionally exploring and embracing the non-linear and unconventional aspects of sound. Engaging with sounds that may be considered undesirable, disruptive, or "dirty" in the traditional sense. Instead of avoiding or dismissing these sounds, "dirty listening" encourages individuals to embrace them as valuable and meaningful sonic experiences.
Q. Does your visual work for labels and artists Meakusma, Brothers From Different Mothers, Donato Dozzy, Jasss, or Huerco S always reflect the music it illustrates?
A. It is a personal interpretation but triggered by the nature and concept of the music of course. Sound is also a material. As a designer, and specially with LP records, I am deeply interested in creating sleeves that feel like sculptures rather than a traditional design layout. 
Q. What have you learned through music that has helped you in your visual work?
A. Listening in all the broad sense of the word.
Q. When do you feel most at peace?
A. With cats.
Q. How is music a part of your life?
A. It is constant. 
Q. How much does Amsterdam influence your creative work?
A. In many mysterious, challenging and fun ways.

Photography: Studio OverLab