The very talented producer from Aarhus, Denmark has decided to release his album titled ‘No Boundaries‘ with us today and i am so excited about this – Read the full story about J. Vibes going to India, creating this unique & stunning album.
Make sure to show love & support to everyone included in this project.The release can be found on all digital platforms – press here to get directed.
In 2016 I had the great opportunity to spent six months in Varanasi, India. I think most people, who are first time visitors will agree with me, when I say that Varanasi is both an amazing and terrifying experience!
Before going to India, I had been to Saigon, Vietnam, plenty of times for family visits, which I naively thought would be similar to India – wrong! I wasn’t prepared for Varanasi. Whenever I would go out of my apartment, where I was living with two other of my fellow students, I was confronted with the realities of the city, which included immense noise coming from the temples, auto rickshaws; wandering buffalos and cows (that were not friendly at all, which I know because my friend got attacked); extreme heat; dust; and so on.
If you are from Aarhus, Denmark, then you are out of your right element – that is how I felt. Living there was quite an emotional roller-coaster ride, and it took me some time before I got used to the environment, or at least accepted it. During my stay I managed to collect a vast amount of different sounds – ranging from 70’s and 80’s bollywood to various types of traditional South Asian folk music. Most restaurants and cafés in my neighbourhood played a lot of really dope music, which they kindly were willing to share.
The waves had to collect dust for some years, before I around 2018–2019 decided to turn these sounds into a project. I have always been a huge fan of Onra‘s ‘Chinoiseries‘ and Madlib’s ‘Beat Konducta‘ projects – and with ‘no boundaries‘ I wanted to do something similar. Nevertheless, I also wanted to add an ‘extra’ layer/dimension. I didn’t want this journey to be an ‘ego-trip’, and it would only make sense to involve artists from the very region from which the samples are from. But at that time I wasn’t in contact with any artist from South Asia, nor wasn’t I familiar with the beat-scene there. While trying get to know the South Asian music scene better, I by a serendipity stumbled upon an article on Bandcamp, which highlighted a range of various upcoming beat-makers/producers from India (Article). One of the artists mentioned was Yung.Raj, an extremely versatile beat-maker and producer from Hyderabad, who’s beats I instantly fell in love with!
After I got in contact with Raj via Soundcloud, he not only agreed to contribute to the project, but he also linked me up with the Mumbai-based producer, beat-maker, and bassguru Nate08, who besides contributing to the ‘Ek Sath‘ beat in general, also blessed the track with some sick bass playing! Retrospectively, the process of getting to know new artist, who has now become real friends, can best be described as a ‘snowball effect’ – one thing kinda lead to the other.
In addition, I also decided to team up with Cam the Downrocka and Max I Million. One of the first tracks I made for the album was ‘Mera Naam‘ (translaton: My Name), which is a really classic boom-bap track. After I was done with the beat, I thought it was still missing something. Thus, I reached out to Cam, who layed down some siick complementary cuts saying: ‘my name is famous at the street‘, haha… When I reached out to Max, I asked him if he would like to make something from scratch, or if he would like to work on one of the tracks that I’ve already worked on.
To my big surprise, he picked ‘Nacho‘. Max did his thing, and suddenly we had a 2 in 1 track, hehe… On top of that, Max also decided to make some super slick visuals for our track! ‘No Boundaries‘ is an an ode to the diverse and vibrant music tradition and culture in South Asia. It is a way for me to give back to the people and culture, which have offered me so much! Further, another aim of the project relates to the title. The Album is a trans-cultural project, which attempts to ‘bridge’ communities geographically separated. As Ive gotten a bit more familiar with the beat-scene in India, it seems like many artist mainly get attention within South Asia.
And I feel that a similar tendency is the case place within the beat-scene in EU/US. Hence, ‘No Boundaries‘ is a platform, where these two “worlds” can meet and together create culture. My obsession, and yes that’s what it is, with India relates to my nerdy academic background. I have a bachelor-degree in India- and South Asia Studies, and I am currently taking a master in Global Area Studies with a certain focus on India and South Asia. At this point, I am already planning to make a follow up.
In relation to my master I will (hopefully if COVID allows) go to India in late August for an Internship at the Danish Cultural Institute in New Delhi, where I will stay till December. Besides the working at the institute, hopefully I will be able to gather new material for the sequel and also to meet up with some musicians. It would also be dope to play some gigs over there. I would love to play ‘No Boundaries live’, which would really fulfill the “circle” – ending where it all began. Lately Ive come across sooo many dope beat-makers/producers from South Asia.
Here are some of the releases I have been listening too lately and feel inspired by: • Yung.Raj – “Waterpipe Dreams” (EP) and “Hotbox 1.0” (EP)
• Nate08 – “Donuts” (single) and “Lightwork” (EP)
• Kumail – “Yasmin” (album)
• Chrms – “Loverboy” (Album)
• MadStarBase – “Mollywood” (Album)
• Raaja Beats (Soundcloud)
Finally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this project, A big thanks to Cam, Max, Nate, Raj, who besides dedicating their time, energy, and effort to this project, has shown constant support througout the process. Another thanks should go to Ninetofive and Luciano in particular, who has believed in my vision from the very outset ❤️. Also I want to thank the talented Nepali visual artist Aditya aka. Saadhu-x, who has made the artwork for the cover. A further thank goes to all the blogs and magazines from South Asia, who has supported this project!