Te Ahi Top 10 | Junus Orca
Written by Sam Dunlay on 29 November 2021
Taking out the top spot in the Te Ahi Top 10 two weeks in a row is Christchurch based Junus Orca with ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’. Full of atmospheric layering and moody synths, the track is an exceptional piece of electronic music. At an extended run time of 8.52, ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ showcases Junus Orca’s ability to craft an engaging and memorable song.
We caught up with Junus Orca to chat about taking out the top spot two weeks in a row, his production process and how ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ came together.
Check out the interview below.
Kia Ora! Congrats on taking out the top spot on this week’s Te Ahi Top Ten! For those who may not know, can you tell us who you are and what you do?
My name is Josh and I make electronic music under the name Junus Orca. I’m aware saying electronic music doesn’t really narrow down my sound so I guess my music is in the techno realm. I kind of go in between heavy experimental stuff and more recently ambient stuff.
This is the second week in a row ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ has taken out the number one spot. Can you tell us what that feeling is like?
I knew this track was super different from my other stuff, I was kind of worried I’d alienate anyone who liked my heavier stuff so it feels great knowing people are enjoying it enough to keep it in the number one spot. Thank youuu xoxoxo
The song is a lengthy listen with a run time of 8.52. Throughout the song, there is a lot of diversity and tension being built, can you tell us how you plan out a track of that length? Do you carefully structure it, or is it more of a free-flowing process?
With this track and actually, a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing recently seems to be quite free-flowing in terms of process. It just has to happen quickly for me, I don’t really remember actually writing it. The idea was sketched out after I drunk a lot of wine. I went back in later and finely tuned it, adding some bits here and there.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’?
Well, the song definitely has a kind of dub theme to it. I actually was making a song with similar sounds with a friend in London who tends to have dub themes in songs. So I started fiddling around with those same sounds to make a fast dub techno track, like a club track but I just slowed down the BPM and suddenly it was just a dub track and I was like oh okay, I didn’t realise I could write music like this. So I guess my friend Sam was really the inspiration in terms of sound. To be honest, he is probably my biggest influence anyway, he definitely opened my eyes to lots of different music.
What does your production process involve? How did you go about putting ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ together?
I use Ableton to write mostly, it helps me write quickly. I have a lot of go-to sounds that I’ve made and saved over the years, so I have a lot to pull from after the initial idea comes inspired. The song was built around those numb dubby minor stabs, and that sound was kind of made by accident, to be honest. The big ambient pads are just played in live, which is what I tend to do with those types of sounds. It’s a pretty minimal song really.
I also added a field recording I did on my phone which is just playing the whole time, as well as a kind of ASMR voice memo I recorded myself and just pitched up. I tend to hide subliminal type things in my tracks, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s cos I like writing lyrics even though my songs don’t have any really vocals or whatever.
‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ is taken from your recent three-track EP of the same name. Can you tell us more about that project as a whole?
I wanted to make something super melancholic and numb. Actually, through making the whole EP I was picturing Lars Von Triers ‘Melancholia’, feeling this like heavy celestial or existential weight. The song names kinda represent the character Justine and maybe how I feel she relates to me.
You’ve had a busy 2021 with new releases and shows. Are there any particular moments that stand out?
I released something on a label for the first time, did some cool collaborations, got to play in this cool box thing at flux. It’s been another year of general learning and growth, and I also feel like a couple more people are interested in what I do so that’s nice. Makes me want to keep trying to be better and make better music.
You’re firmly rooted in the Ōtautahi electronic scene, can you tell us some of your favourite local artists?
Fis, Kamandi, Toyota, Rosetown, Jaga, Texture, Keanu Raves, Elphee…I can go on all day, I like everyone, we are spoilt for choice.
2022 is slowly sneaking up on us, what are your plans coming out of the New Year?
More music, I have a lot backed up and ready to go. More collaborations and maybe even a few sneaky festival slots. Who knows.
You can take a listen to ‘Prophet Of Blindness & Vision’ below.