Building a name for themselves in Montreal’s local scene, we had a chance to sit down with record label/event platform NEUROMODULATION’s member J Saint Justin ahead of their pre-Halloween event INCISION.

For their upcoming October 30th event, you can expect a line up packed with artists and new music. "First of all, I really want everyone to be on time for this one," J forewarned excitedly.

Matt Morandi of Jahiliyya Fields and Roxy Farman will perform under the alias of Wetware. Roxy is a performance artist — mixed media arts — whom will do vocals to Matt’s performance; it’s the first time they’ll play outside of New York. Inhalants (Jahiliyya Fields and Patricia) will be another rare set outside of NY. Cienfuegos , whose record on Unknown Precept, is probably one of the coolest listens I’ve had in a long time. Nico Jacobsen, who was running 5th Wall Records and now is doing Broken Call Records, playing as Gaul Plus, will present a lot of rare tracks. And we have Excalibur representing the locals and Jesse Osborne Lanthier ,fromerly known as Noir , who is just a wizard at everything he does — it’s definitely a huge honour to have him here. He has mastered stuff for our label and he’s a great friend and musician.

Putting together a label with close friends and respected peers, J leads a life that intertwines closely with his art and music projects. A group of 6 core members, NEUROMODULATION found themselves amidst art, friendship and opportunity.

There are a lot of ways to sort of see what we’re doing. One thing that’s common to all 6 of us is that if there is a “mission statement” to what we’re doing, it would be to give a lot of people who don’t have the chance to be involved in art and music a chance to do so. And a chance to broaden the idea of what electronic music means in Montreal. There is always going be a techno party for techno people and a synth-pop party for synth-pop people but it’s sort of cool to have a lot of different elements of that and somehow find a way to make them all make sense in one room and have people enjoy all of those things in a festive concept.

The 6 members involved in NEUROMODULATION all release their art through the collective’s label. With each a varying sound, NEUROMODULATION aims to preserve the honesty in each artist’s vision, “It’s an honest piece when one or two people work on it in a precise manner,” J explained. From his history in bands, J feels freedom in the possibilities of working his own album from “A-to-motherfuckin’-Z” on his own. “You can’t do that with a classical or punk album,” he finished.

From dabbling into early dance music, J made a big detour into the hardcore punk scene. Still applying many of his punk approaches to his electronic music production, J found all of his musical experience of guitar, bass, vocals, sample manipulation and minimal synths transferrable. “That’s what I like most about music as an art form… it can play along with so many other elements-- such as visual and performance. Sound is just such a vast entity; you can transfer so many different experiences, feelings and knowledge through it,” J recollected.

Dance music was present early in J’s life, however through artists such as Michael Jackson and Prince. Only until his discovery of acid house music did J’s musical career had his first taste of electronic music. “Through the The British Murder Boys, I found out about Downwards and Regis and all the stuff that he’s doing,” J explained.

I think it was in May 2013, I was with some friends hanging out at a rehearsal studio and someone called us and said there was a party at a sex dungeon on Saint Laurent. They were playing EBM and minimal stuff and everyone was in leather and latex... I still think about it to this day. I think people need to be taken by surprise more.

 

“Yes world, I don’t sleep,” J Saint Justin repeated loud and clear into the tape recorder. Drifting with the wind for the majority of his late teens and early 20s, J Saint Justin declared himself “a bit nomadic”. Having lived, travelled and found himself within music, J has spent years forming his musical identity.

Self-titled as superstitious, J finds himself awake most nights wondering of the world outside, “I’m a crazy insomniac conspiracist, but that’s another story to tell.” For now, it’s expression through production and events.