The 28-year-old Los Angeles native Jason Chung, known to most of the world as producer Nosaj Thing, has been an integral component to southern California’s burgeoning synth-laden post-dance movement. For the unfamiliar, Chung’s music exists at the intersecting paths of rapidly evolving technology and digital music production, often incorporating a tranquil assortment of synthesized sounds, echoes, syncopated percussion, and mesmerizing vocals that produce a full body experience that feels as though it’s approaching you from all directions. The production’s styling is often likened to fellow Los Angeles based producer Flying Lotus, more likely for proximity and friendship than actual composition, and exists in contrast to the pulsating build-ups and drops of popular electronic/dub-step artists. He just refers to his work as “Beat music.”[i]
Music has always been a major component in Chung’s life. It started out as experimentation with instruments: the Sax in grade school, the clarinet in in junior high, and the drum line in high-school. At the impressionable age of 12, Chung was introduced to turntables and the tenants of DJing by a friend’s older brother. In the late 90s came the first wave of widely available music production software, and in a conversation with Michaelangelo Matos he explains, “A friend gave me a bootleg version of some music-production software. I installed it in my dad’s computer, and I never looked back. It was just having a little bit of musical background and being really familiar with software and programs. It’s easy to for me to figure out the software and start doing music. It’s pretty much all I did.”[ii] It was a passion transferred to digital.