Hi! Thanks for stopping by Relaxed Machinery and for looking at my bio. My name is John Koch-Northrup – and I created Relaxed Machinery and also used to record music as Interstitial. I’ll now be releasing music under my name.
As a label owner
I’ve been helping out artists and labels “behind the scenes” for years – typically with their websites. AtmoWorks, The Foundry, and Green House Music I helped with various bits and pieces.
I was a co-owner of AtmoWorks from 2008-2009 when James Johnson left the label and John Strate-Hootman, Matt McDonough and I ran it. I left in June 2009 and started ramping up my new label, Relaxed Machinery.
As an ambient / electronic artist
I’ve recorded as Interstitial since around 2000 and have released several ambient / ambient techno albums. I play synths, bass, piano, trumpet, and whatever else is handy. I’ve been on a break from recording since 2005, although I’ve never stopped playing – just stopped recording.
Relaxed Machinery Releases
- Interstitial – Temporal Arc (2001 Red Antenna / rereleased 2009, AtmoWorks)
- Vir Unis / Interstitial – Live at the Miramar (2002, AtmoWorks)
- Interstitial / Vidna Obmana / Vir Unis / Saul Stokes / M Bentley – sub.terra (2003, The Foundry)
Tracks Appear on
- Various Artists – The New Electric Policy (2001, Red Antenna)
- Vir Unis / Saul Stokes – Thermal Transfer (2002, Hypnos/Binary)
- Various Artists – Portraits (2002, AtmoWorks)
- Various Artists – Red Antenna Assembled (2002, Red Antenna)
- Various Artists – Lappland (2004, Saasfee*)
- Jonathan Hughes & Guests – Fluidities (2004, The Foundry)
- Various Artists – AtmoWorks Presents Compiled (2009, AtmoWorks)
More about me…
Here’s a bio I wrote in the 3rd person for an earlier project – enjoy!
John Koch-Northrup has been playing and writing music since the age of five when his grandma began teaching him to play piano. He quickly found he enjoyed making noises with the piano that weren’t necessarily written on the page. While these early sessions were highly annoying to anyone within earshot – the rhythms and textures eventually began to evolve into music pleasing to young John’s ears – and many years later pleasing to other people’s ears. He learned to play classical and also began to explore jazz.
Thoughout school he was a certified band geek: playing trumpet in jazz band, student band director, playing trumpet and piano in state band contests (even writing piano solos for the contests). He also found a love of synths and electronics and joined his first band, playing regularly in area bars and clubs at the age of 15. Playing in a band elevated his geeky status slightly, but not tremendously much. After high school he switched to playing bass in live bands. Throughout it all, John began to record songs on borrowed 4-track cassette recorders and drum machines. The music quickly began to evolve from synth-pop to longer form instrumental pieces that hinted towards ambient and industrial sounds.
By 22, he was burnt out on music and put all the instruments away except his piano. His mom passed away, he got a “real” full time job, and he married the love of his life that same year. Nearly four years later, he pulled out the gear and played in a band again. It was a musically rewarding experience, but frustrating at many levels and the band imploded within 18 months.
At that point – his long time friend Vir Unis’ ambient music career began to take off. This was a great inspiration and it got John to take the leap and start recording his solo material again. Focusing on ambient and minimal techno material, he put together his first demo, which was eventually released on the Red Antenna label in 2001. Also in 2001, Vir Unis asked John to play live with him at the 2001 Space For Music festival in Milwaukee, WI. This was later released as Live at the Miramar on AtmoWorks.
Since then John has released several other projects as Interstitial, including a group remix project on The Foundry label with Vidna Obmana, Vir Unis, Saul Stokes, and M. Bentley remixing John’s sub.terra track which was recorded solely using trumpet and processing. John has recently been taking a few years off from recording.
A few favorite artists
herbie hancock, basic channel / chain reaction, vidna obmana, cabaret voltaire, beatles, depeche mode, 80′s synthpop and industrial, 90′s britpop, cecil taylor, steve roach, underworld, japan, david sylvian, autechre, speedy j, and friends.