Q&A: Israel Medina & John Kunkel

John and Israel talk us through how they approached their latest Dynamic release ‘Indie Chill’.


What was the goal for this album in terms of sound and overall experience? 

John and Israel – We wanted to immerse ourselves in ambient inspired electronica. We taught ourselves the techniques and sound that were used by the leading artists of the genre.

It was also imperative for us to get outside of our comfort zones, and experiment with new processing techniques.


Where did you take inspiration from for this album?

John And Israel – We went straight to the main sources for inspiration: Tycho, Boards of Canada, Sigur Ros, Washed Out, John Hopkins, Ulrich Schnauss, etc. While all of these artists sound quite different from one another, they all appeared to have a similar sonic aesthetic that inspired us to write this record.


What is your creative process when making an album like Indie Chill?

John – Since I normally work in FL Studio, I decided to try working in a different DAW. In this case, Ableton Live. It helped me get out of my comfort zone, and from repeating old habits. I wanted to experience what it felt like to approach an album using different tools, so that everything I was doing felt new in some regard.

Israel – For my tracks, I challenged myself just like John did. I stuck to using only Ableton Live and its native plugins. I did this to try and see what plugins/effects would suit my taste best. This also helped to further expand my knowledge of working in Ableton Live, which was a lot of fun.


Are there any differences in the way you create production music as opposed to music for a more commercial market?

John – The biggest difference is that when I’m doing commercial work, it’s really more about delivering what’s required versus what I’d like to do. Personal production is obviously a personal endeavor and the possibilities of what you can do are endless, but that can also be quite un-motivating if you’re vision is unclear. It’s nice to do commercial work and know exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

Israel – For me the difference is in being technical rather than pursuing a personal creative endeavor. I’ve always enjoyed working on different genres and styles of music and production rather than just sticking to an ‘identity’ and a sound for that brand or project. This also helps me expand my palette with clients/bands/artists. Personally I enjoy the challenges that come with working outside my comfort zone.