I am interviewing Troy Masters of the Econ (Electronomicon) Collective and Label. Troy is one of the artists as well as curator, graphic designer and producer brand owner. E Con has released five titles so far with two more albums on affiliated labels. Electronomicon artists wear the hat of varied electro based acts in solo, partnerships and collaborations. The work often has thematic elements and guiding visions for each release and stylistically one can hear influences from most era’s and styles of modern music infused via the glue of the electronic method. E- Con hosts a multitude of incredibly diverse and talented global musicians.
Catherine Meeson: When was the E-Con collective born and where?
Troy Masters: Electronomicon (E-Con) was born on the 11th of November, 2011. I just felt that it was a nice symmetrical number and a great starting point for the group.
Catherine: How many artists are part of it?
Troy Masters: The numbers fluctuate the original core group is Electronomicon and the E-Con Republic’ is our public face I would imagine we have approximately 120 members all together.
Part of our mission statement is to run a highly functioning community, and a deeply focused group of like-minded artists. Over the years we have found that there really is an optimal number for this to occur. If you stray too far beyond that, community values break down and one can feel alone in the crowd.
Catherine Meeson : Where do they come from?
Troy Masters: From Melbourne, Australia but we have since grown to include artists from across the entire globe.
Catherine Meeson: How and why did the E-Con Collective form?
Troy Masters: Why we started and why we transformed into what we are today are two entirely different stories. Originally I just wanted to create a modest space where I could get together with a small group of musician friends, post our music for feedback, interesting articles/videos about music technology, or just discuss talking points about the industry in general. The group was essentially a refined man cave for all things electronic and musical.It now has lots of women members as well.
James Cain (aka DevilMonkey) saw an opportunity to expand and improve the limited communication channels that already existed within the SoundCloud network. James started to bring fresh members in from SoundCloud and E-Con started to organically grow and evolve into something entirely new.
Technology, like most things has become a double-edged knife. On one hand it has liberated millions of musicians and home studio enthusiasts by democratising the access to the types of tools that once only existed within top end studios. Unfortunately the consequence of this is that it has also unleashed a tsunami of artists across the interwebs, and we now find ourselves at a saturation point where the signal to noise ratios drown out the individual voice.
E-Con has become the combined strength of many voices as one. As part of this environment, we have DJ’s, Terrestrial and Internet Radio Presenters, Bloggers and Authors from Australia, UK, Europe, Canada and the USA with a genuine interest and dedication to supporting and giving a louder voice to independent artists and the E-Con brand. When an artist becomes a part of E-Con, they immediately have access to all these vehicles for broadening their audience and as a result, Electronomicon also grows stronger & radio is playing music with creative integrity. We don’t need a music industry that has been coopted, dumbed-down and homogenised by corporations, and stripped financially threadbare by streaming services that have removed the monetary and culturally intrinsic values from music and artistry. We have so many incredibly talented people in the E-Con group that deserve their big breaks.
Album concepts are proposed by various members of the Electronomicon administration team, featuring Keith Witham, Liza Nicklin, Troy Masters and David Furodet.
Catherine Meeson: What releases are there to date and what was the concept behind them?
Troy Masters: We started releasing material in early 2014 with ‘Future Imperfect’ musings about possible futures that hadn’t turned out the way humanity had planned a double album featuring both up and down tempo tracks.
Troy Masters: Our next foray was ‘1984 – A Retrospective’, a love letter to the hits of 1984. They are total reinterpretations of the original material. Breathtaking stuff! Both of these albums were released via The Wetlands Productions here in Australia and Dhatura Records, an amazing boutique label from France.
Troy Masters: In May of 2015, I launched the E-Con Records label via Bandcamp with Gravity Feeder’s Magneto Remixe’s album which is 10 different interpretations of a track that was written for an as of yet, unreleased album through Wetlands called Muahaha.
Troy Masters: In September of this year we released Pano. A series of long form compositions that were inspired by Panoramic images. The goal for the artists was to find the soul within these stunning vistas and give them a voice . Pano is a series of sonnets for the visual cortex. Music for sunrises & sunsets, for rainy days, quiet nights and all the other deeply meditative moments in our lives.
Troy Masters: October of 2015 saw the release of The Transhuman Project which explores the merging of humanity and machines and the inevitable arrival of the singularity.
The Magneto Remixes, Pano and The Transhuman Project can be downloaded from the E-Con Records Bandcamp site. It is doing incredibly well for the E-Con Collective.
Catherine Meeson: What does the future hold for Electronomicon and the E-Con label?
Troy Masters: There are already a few more concepts in development for 2016 that promise to be even more exciting than anything we’ve previously done, however we still have a project running at the moment with The Great Youth Circus in the USA. GYC is the oldest community circus of it’s type in the world. We are in the process of producing the music for their 2016 Space/Zero G shows across the US.
Video- Electronomicon artist Akaysha Rose (OK Sure) who recently won the JJJ Remix competition for Australian band Hermitudes song Ukiyo.OK Sure: Controls (Ok Sure’s ‘Out Of Control Space Jam’ )
More details at their Facebook page.