You are speaking with devils elbow, sonofone and indiana stones, a small portion of the Joint Ventures collective. Joint Ventures are a group of mates from Adelaide with a cohesive vision for soulful hip hop styled beat production and beat tape releases. Other artists include the ambiguous mrs. baker, freakQ from Sicily and a slew of others from Australia and abroad. Joint Ventures was founded by devils elbow, sonofone and indiana stones as a way to have fun and get busy.
The JV crew have made a 45 minute beat tape for BODY MOVEMENT's motion tape series and answer some of their questions about all things production, influences and future plans.
BODY MOVEMENT: How did the Joint Ventures collective come about? I know you guys have a lot different past projects, what drove you guys to where you are now?
indiana stones: devils elbow, sonofone and I have been friends for a long time and music has always been a big part of our friendship, but it wasn’t until recently when devils elbow really put his foot down that I started to get involved with the production side of things. son had been showing him the ropes for a little while being that he was more experienced, and once he grasped it, it was on. We started making a few tunes together and not long after, he released his solo tape ‘slaps from the vault’ independently via bandcamp. Soon after that we collectively had roughly 20 tracks and the idea of creating something as a group to release music through was discussed. Alongside mrs. baker we released the first official JV release ‘the elusive george carlo’.
There are whispers of special guests on some of these tunes - is that something that will happen more?
devils elbow: Collaborations will always be something I am interested in; I think it’s great linking up with someone who shares the same mind set as you & laying down something different. You always learn from others.
sonofone: Yeah… there’s a couple of sneaky collaboration projects growing under the JV banner that we can’t speak about just yet. Other than that though, we’ve released a couple of compilation tapes that feature other dudes we vibe from around the globe and we plan on keeping this a regular thing. We’ll be releasing solo tapes from a couple of peeps later this year too.
indiana stones: There are some cool collaborations in the works and some of our close friends are working on solo music for the upcoming JV compilation tape, which is really exciting as well. I think collaboration will always be something that’s a big part of Joint Ventures.
What are you guys listening to at the moment? Any particular influences?
devils elbow: For as long as I can remember I’ve been right into digging, so, I’ve always drawn inspiration from a large number of artists. I’ve been bumping a lot of Steve Lacy, Matt Martians & Mach-hommy at the moment, the new Karriem Riggins LP is getting a few spins too. As far as beats go, for me, there is the god knxwledge, samiyam, eevee, idntrmmbr, devonwho, swarvy. I could go on and on but basically anyone from LA haha.
sonofone: At the moment (to name a few) I’ve had bsd.u, fitzroy, sumwun, eevee, kiefer, floridomi and nohidea on rotation. I find listening to instrumentals helps me study.
indiana stones: I’m all over the place, but more so than the other guys I lean towards R&B. Recently I’ve been listening to Kaytranada, Jon Wayne, Syd, Frank, Anderson .Paak and Mndsgn as well as a few from what the other guys have already said.
A lot of your music has an abundance of soulful chords, swung out drum patterns and moody vocal chops. Apart from the later, is it all samples based, field recordings or raw original synthesis?
devils elbow: the majority of my production is sample/midi based.
sonofone: I dabble in all of the above. I like to play keys and that lends to synths being a useful tool in my productions. I often record clicks, claps and other percs on my SP to layer with my drums, and use my phone to record sounds like rain, etc., to layer in some extra textures.
indiana stones: With me it’s all samples and midi like devil.
What are some intrinsic joint ventures methods in approaching the manipulation of samples when building tracks?
devils elbow: A whole bunch of warmth, hiss and distortion - and pitch, you can’t forget pitch.
sonofone: Anything to rough up the sound even further. Bit crushing, filtering, heavy-handed compression and layered textures are some of my go-to’s.
Indiana stones: Compression and excessive side chaining.
What kit are you guys running in your live shows? And what role is each member assigned to when playing live?
mrs. baker: When playing as a collective we use 2 x SP404sx's and a mixer. The format isn’t overly rehearsed, it’s a bit of an all in really. We know each other's music well and seem to make it through fairly comfortably without having to assign each other specific duties. Solo performances will be somewhat different dependent on who is playing and what they’re playing.
What is the Joint Ventures approach to production in terms of gear? Are you guys solely making music through the means of the laptop or are you using external gear to create your music?
devils elbow: sonofone and myself use the very same SP404’s to make beats, between that, Ableton and a few midi controllers, we get our lo-fi sound.
sonofone: Yeah, I used to use Ableton a lot, but for me lately I focus everything on the SP404 as the centre piece because it limits me and streamlines my workflow. For synths I use a Juno and a Korg Minilogue. Half of my output comes from happy accidents while jamming lately…
indiana stones: Production for myself is fairly basic. Sampling through Ableton, midi pads/keys and plugins.
Catch the JV boys this Saturday night supporting Onra at Rocket Bar & Rooftop.
Event details here.