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The Eighth Note: Michael Upton (AKA: Jet Jaguar)

‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

Today’s guest is a man of many musical sides, Michael Upton.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
My name’s Michael Upton. I make generally pretty chilled out, gentle, instrumental electronic music. When I started out in the 90s at least some of my thing was making tunes to dance to, but I’ve also always been into textures and atmospheres. That stuff has probably become more and more a part of Jet Jaguar’s “voice”, if you like. I still love beats.

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
I have a new album in the works, called ‘Grounded’, which will be out this year. It’s on an Australian label called DataDoor. I’ve released four albums and eleven EPs, but this is going to be my first tape ever.
I also just did a one-hour show of all new music written for a performance under the dome at Space Place. I’d like to do something more with the music, although it won’t make sense to just release it exactly as is.

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
My site nonwrestler.com has all of my releases, including links to one off tracks and various free remixes I’ve done for Phoenix Foundation, Home Brew, Lontalius, and so on. You can find links to my social media presence from that site too.

What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
Mouse on Mars Iaora Tahiti, Tricky Maxinquaye, Gramm Personal Rock.I guess everyone must give disclaimers about how hard this question is!

Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
I’ve been really lucky to work with heaps of people I like already. I guess I often think about working with people who are doing something quite different. I saw Girlboss a couple of months back and wondered how that could work.

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
It’s hard not to think of the Space Place performance I did a couple of weeks back, since it was fantastic to play in such a dedicated listening space with accompanying visuals on the dome. As far as a more trad venue, I’ve had a good time at Caroline every time I’ve been there, both as performer and punter.

In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
I usually have a really clear idea of one small part of a composition. In the process of getting that idea out it usually just feels obvious what I should do next. If it doesn’t come easily I’ll either completely stop and come back some other time or I’ll invent a little experiment for myself and see where that takes me.

Where/when is your next gig?
I’m playing at the Performance Arcade on Friday night, 7.30pm sharpish. It’s free, being outside on the waterfront. Should be fun!

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