Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
There is innocence in creation. Whether or not we were inherently creative as children, a sense of purpose was carved out when handed a crayon and paper in school. For an allotted period of time, we made our own proverbial mark upon the world. As adults, we’ve found other ways to do this. Through jobs, friendships, hobbies, and relationships we scatter pieces of our puzzle around. Through living we are constantly reminded that those pieces can be easily put back together.
With all of this metaphorical writing on the wall comes a feeling of inner connection. Like many others – Los Angeles is a big city – and whilst the word ‘networking’ might be tossed around, what Los Angeles does excel in is fostering a community of collaboration.
Through the constant laid-back yet ambitious ebb and flow, the city’s art scene is thriving. The underground world of small gallery spaces and art-house parties lives just below the surface, and labels like Private Selection work with visual artists such as Crash Override to scratch into that world. Like any good movie, the music carries just as much weight as the scene itself. For Private Selection’s Jesse Pimenta (who also records under the name Dreams) and Crash Override’s visual talent Aron Johnson, this union wasn’t given a second thought. At the centre of Dummy’s first event in Los Angeles, Pimenta and Johnson converse about the importance of art and its effect on music, as well as the first thing he ever made as a kid.
Read the conversation between Dreams and Crash Override below. L.A. heads can check out by the event at the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles to fully grasp how these dynamic minds work in sync.Just don't forget to RSVP!
Jesse Pimenta [Dreams]: “We’ve already worked a lot together on this, but how can you explain the importance of having visual elements at our shows?”
Aron Johnson [Crash Override]: “I think it’s important for several reasons. When the audience is at the show and there is something cohesive with the music- that all resonates with them. I also think lighting is important. For the DJs you should use a warm or different array of color. The stage is important.”
Dreams: “Totally, you need to separate the audience from the actual artist because it gives them a sense of mystique. When the artist is playing, tied in with a visual that you have created, it leaves more than just the audio memoir.”
Crash Override: “It’s a mood – a setting for that specific time and place.”
Dreams: “Completely. When an artist has music there is a platform or label for them to release music, but there isn’t really something along those lines for a visual artist. What do you use? How do you get your work out into the world?”
Crash Override: “I have my Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, but eventually I’d like to get as far away from the screen as I can. I’d like to have my work live in galleries. 3D printing is something that I’m very much interested in working with, as well as Virtual Reality. I do a lot of VR stuff.”
Dreams: "What was the first creation you were ever proud of?"
Crash Override: "When I was around 10 years old, my parents got me this video camera called Digital Blue. I would take photos with it and it came with its own editing software as well. It was similar to Photoshop, in the sense that you could warp and skew images. So, I made a magazine with my friends in 5th grade – it was kind of like a parody on pop culture at the time. It was called JADD for Jacob, Aron, Dustin and Dustin. It was just photo shopping people onto the back of mountain lions, had weird Oprah references. Stupid shit that was relevant at the time [laughs]."
Dreams: "Do you ever work with anything else besides 3D graphics? I know that’s your main focus now, but what else have you experimented with?"
Crash Override: "I use a lot of analogue gear along with my 3D animations. I’ll run an animation that I made through several different 'boxes' – essentially different video synthesizers and processers to come up with more organic '80s or '90s look. VHS tracking, aesthetically pleasing, warm, noisy, looking stuff."
Dreams: "When did you start using your analogue gear as opposed to all your other gear?"
Crash Override: "It was about two or three years ago when you [Dreams] were putting out Lost Kingdom, your album on Astro Nautico. I got involved with some other visual artists that were involved in, and run, Astro Nautico. They introduced the whole world of VHS, VCRs, and analogue stuff. It was from there that I began working for them."
Dreams: "How does being the visual artist on the label influence your work?"
Crash Override: "I find it very interesting that all of my close friends on the label use hardware from the 80s and 90s as well as early 2000s. I find it very powerful that I can run through my own current art through data processing software from those decades. It’s really beautiful."
Dreams: "I see that a lot in your work- you’re constantly pushing the boundaries- something we love at Private Selection."
Crash Override: "I’m very much inspired by 3D logos from the '80s."
Dreams: "How does music influence your work?"
Crash Override: "Music is definitely a very big part of my process. I like listening to a lot of techno and house- a lot of music we [Private Selection] likes to play at shows. It sometimes feels like a heart beat when I’m creating. [Music] helps inspire a lot of the stuff I’m making. A lot of my art is influenced by what I’m listening to at the time. When I’m making things I’m thinking about where I am and feels like a womb of sound."
Dreams: "You try to visually recreate that feeling of sound."
Crash Override: "A lot of the times a song that had originally inspired me is not the song that I end up finishing the piece listening to."
Dreams: "What can we expect from Crash Override in the future?"
Crash Override: "I’m at a place now where I’m exploring a lot of different mediums besides video. I do a lot of virtual reality content creation now. I’m part of a studio called Hybrid Reality that specifically works with this. It’s comprised of artists in Los Angeles that are also working with Virtual Reality. Projection mapping is something that I’ve worked with in the past, but I’d like to incorporate more into the shows and gallery spaces. 3D printing is also something I’m truly fascinated by, I’d like to get into that."
Dummy Presents: Private Selection Records takes place November 13th at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles featuring Dreams, Arkitect and Aerial with visual art provided by Crash Override (RSVP essential).