LA’s Lost Midas builds audio texture with digital analogue.

It’s a weekday afternoon and we find ourselves in a makeshift basement recording studio doubling as a humble and intimate apartment off the Sunset Strip.  The city noise outside grows dim and distant, muffled by egg crate foam adhered at various degrees on the low ceiling.  The walls and cross beams are covered in a collage of liner notes from CDs cataloguing a diverse musical collection as if spit out of a pop culture hurricane– 90’s nostalgia, classic rock icons and jazz legends.  The collection was left behind from the previous tenant who died suddenly of natural causes at the age of 30.  “There’s no remnants of ghosts,” Jason Trikakis, who produces electronic music under the moniker “Lost Midas,” assures us.  “Without ever having known him, it’s a bizarre way to pay homage.  It’s kind of like a teenage boy’s fantasy basement.” The space is a “fantasy” of divine creation and solace for Trikakis who labors over countless milliseconds of samples, beats, and loops creating complex electronic symphonies that are equally visual and auditory.  The sound collage inspires its own visual and auditory vernacular, while the software medium allows the artist to compose music in a layered grid of files conjuring rhythmic audio textures.  Lost Midas’ distinctive tracks are formed with analogue equipment that build warmth and nuance into a sound that can otherwise feel hollow.

Jason Trikakis photographed by Garet Field-Sells
Jason Trikakis photographed by Garet Field-Sells

While the arrangements are electronic composites of samples and variations of beats, it feels as though Trikakis has created his own algorithm for creating electronic music.  Analogue technology- like his prized Urei 1176 black faced compressor- helps give his music a rich and cascading texture.  “I feel like with digital you can hear the 1’s and 0’s being processed,” he explains.  “Some of the compressors and pre-amps that I use give it that warmth.  Although I love jazz, my process is not improvisational at all.  When you’re in the studio you get to examine every nanosecond of sound under a magnifying glass and I love that.  Maybe I wasn’t meant to be an improviser because those mistakes bug me, but in the studio I have complete control over every aspect of that sound.  The ideas come improvisationally but the process is pretty deliberate.” While it’s prized for its nuance, analogue equipment is costly and hard to find. Jason and his brother, who produces as NüTrik, opened up their label Love Ü Records as a way to collaborate with fellow producers by sharing their treasured auditory relics.

Creating music in Los Angeles during a time when the Beat scene is thriving, Trikakis witnesses the development of a culture during a pivotal moment.  “Sure I could have been in Boston distantly making my music and using the internet to hear what’s going on, but there is no substitute to actually being able to see it, hear it, smell it and touch it.”

Exclusively launched within Installation Magazine, Lost Midas created an original track titled Afrodisiaction which you can enjoy in Issue 01.

Featured image: Jason Trikakis photographed by Garet Field-Sells