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Everything’s coming up Graves.
Image: christopher Ahn

CTLGD to the Graves

Christian Mochizuki reminds me why I love music. His is virtually limitless. If I could put his electronic productions into a picture, it would look something like a thick, heavy, black piece of rubber stretching over fun and familiar melodies while his head pops through it, Mochizuki exclaiming, “Hellooooooo!” with a halo and bright stars flying around and rainbows coming out of his eyes. But that’s just my take.

Learning about Mochizuki reminds me how incredibly talented the new gen is getting, thanks to the rising use of applications that take less time to manage. All due respect to those in the past who had to work hard to create one track, but the evolution of hard- and software makes it possible to make more music in less time–never a bad thing. Artists have the sounds and vision in their head with faster, more efficient tools to put them together. Instead of spending time on machines, producers can spend their time developing and perfecting their craft, or in Mochizuki’s case, his entire mantra.

The 25-year-old Grammy award-winning engineer’s long list of work includes engineering Kanye West’sMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in itself a tremendous learning opportunity. Soaking up that creative process for such a great album might be part of the influence in his obvious gift for producing. But his meticulous attention to detail, his spark for zeroing in on what sounds good and his near-impossible high standards stand out more to me. “I honestly treat my iTunes like a blank CD,” he told me when I asked him what plays most in there. “I have 20 songs at a time, I always delete and put new stuff on. I never listen to the same stuff over and over.” He adds, “I am not mentally capable of looking at tracks I don’t feel represent me anymore, so I delete them off whatever distribution source they are hosted on.” While he’s only been producing for three years, Mochizuki seems to maintain a firm grasp on what is quality. The new music project is his way of starting off with a clean slate. “All of these ideas are very refined rather than my old sporadic self,” he told me. “Groove and melody are the most important things to me, musically, these days. That, and working abstract genres into the music I’m creating. Mainly pushing a lot of indie music into dance music.”

No wonder pretty much everyone who hears it loves it. His gift is obvious. Watching him perform live is infectious. The fact that he’s not satisfied until he’s reached a high quality only means amazing things when he introduces us to his re-invention, called Graves, a multimedia project Mochizuki has thought hard about and will include more than just music. “It will be everything as a whole cohesive idea moving to reshape the music industry and pop culture,” he explains. Catch Mochizuki’s last show as CTLGD at The Republik for the Electric Palms, and standby for his reinvention as Graves, which will be an all-encompassing marquee as complex and gifted as he is.

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