Week in Pop: KNXVES, Macajey, The Nico Missile

Sjimon Gompers

Getting to know KNXVES—San Franciso's rising star; photographed by Nicole Sievert.


The latest from Macajey's Jeremy Macachor; photographed by Ruudu Rahumaru.

The latest from Macajey’s Jeremy Macachor; photographed by Ruudu Rahumaru.

We first introduced you to Macajey, the creative outlet of San Francisco’s Jeremy Macachor with the release of Let’s Go. The Bay Area artist illustrated hints at orchestrating sophisticated pop tracks that took cues from the natural occurrences that take place amid the physical earth systems of earth, fire, wind & water—the latter of which inspires the name of the forthcoming anticipated EP. Presenting the world premiere listen to the Water EP, Jeremy has created his most illustrious & brilliant work to date reinforced from vocal contributions by Elle Leatham, Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir & sister Ashley Macachor (of the San Jose band Oddly Even). All the guest vocalist further guide Macachor’s sound out toward these cosmic worlds that are developed through an ecologically obsessed approach to audio equations being drafted with science project-like alchemy.

Macajey welcomes you into the secret garden of Water with the title track that features Elle Leatham offering a delivery that cascades like gazing at the freely streaming vertical channels that comprise a waterfall wall of sound. The ebb & tide can even be detected in the production to the ear that is listening closely to the Balearic textures of sands & seashells heard in the calming of each passing note. Those coastal considerations continue their movements on the vulnerable & privy dialogues heard on “Weak” feat. Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir that deals with some complicated topics of kindness & weaknesses that are given an incredible score of sky ripping synths that bathes every glimmering tone with a sense of light. All winter-weary souls can find a calm of rest in the two minute moment of reprieve provided by “Summer Mornings” that softly rises to the day with an instrumental of wakening & sleepy-eye-rubbing reckoning that eases into the succession of scheduled events. A similar subtle majesty can be found on the well-titled track “Light” that casts a natural feeling beam of rhythm & synth swaying movements into the sun’s own holistic spotlight. Some of the most beguiling aspects of the Macajey’s sounds are always on some of the most understated of tracks like “Love and War” featuring once again the vocal talents of Elle Leatham that push international dance pop toward some clever, calm, cool & stylishly collected terrains. And just to show off, Jeremy flies the Macajey flag high with the super smart dance cut “Inwards” that is once again another trademark of organicly grown rhythm obsessed pop that takes cues from the atmospheric patterns & formations of all the things monitored by folks like the Weather Channel to your local meteorologist.

Describe the creative road and processes that would give rise Water.

This could potentially be a 3 hour conversation on everything that’s gone on in my life the past few years and things Ive learned, but to give a short answer, the creative road and process that gave rise to Water resolved a ton of things I was trying to resolve and left me with a clean slate and foundation and philosophy for all the music I want to make for the rest of my life and I look forward to sharing the album I make when I’m 80 with you.

Natural elements have always played a motif in your work—how have you found the form of liquid, water, rain, ice, etc continues to inform your musical sensibilities?

Hmm, that’s a good question! I can’t quite say for sure how nature would influence me, but I am positive it does. I’m very into meditation and lately I’ve found the best mediation music are these 10 hour long YouTube vids of rain or waves or crickets. Those sounds give so much more peace and tranquility than any mediation music a human would make. There’s no trying or effort to be calm and meditative, they just are, and that’s a kind of feeling I try to put into my music.

Describe working with Elle Leatham on the title track, who you have worked with previously, and how the subsequent visuals came about.

Working with Elle is always really smooth and hassle free. I just send her a track and she puts down her vocals, I do minimal editing and mixing and we’re done. We have a sort of musical understanding. The video was done by an amazing artist here in Tartu names Paula Mauer. She hand drew everything and deserves an award for all the work she put into the video.

Catching up with Jeremy Macachor, oka Macajey; photographed by Ruudu Rahumaru.

Catching up with Jeremy Macachor, oka Macajey; photographed by Ruudu Rahumaru.

What have you been listening to and watching a lot of right now?

Lately I’ve really been loving Joao Gilberto, Celia Cruz, Cesaria Evora and Panda Bear, those guys give me the feeling Im looking for. Also Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussells podcasts provide hours of thought provoking conversation. Been watching a lot of Anthony Bourdain that is really inspirational and shows so many examples of people loving life intensely with just the basics, which with a little love and creativity give so much pleasure and excitement to life. And you didn’t ask but I’ll throw in reading. I’m re-reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I highly highly recommend this book. Its a really easy read and flows perfectly. It gives strong images without using complex language and is full of authentic spirituality and story telling.

Meditations and hopes for our world?

We have all the technology and earth has all the resources and beauty that we could and should be living in an absolute utopia. I have faith that we’ll get there one day, even if it takes 10,000 more years for us to learn our lessons, we’ll get there.

Upcoming projects you want to mention?

I’m working on an album that I am really proud of and am conquering some of my biggest fears to get done. If all goes well I’ll release it either towards the end of this year, or possibly might hold off until March 2018. In between now and then I have some singles and remixes and a short EP I’ll release.

Other artists the world should know about?

Those artists that I mentioned I’m listening to at the moment definitely. And some artists from my adopted country of Estonia…Pastacas, experimental glitch folk; Mari Kalkun, sweet sounding, nature inspired folk; The Werg, melodic post rock fusion; Argo Vals, introspective atmospheric cinematic).

Macajey’s Water EP will be available April 11.

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