Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary

Who’s to say that music has to be the most important thing in your life? Who says that? For our generation, music was important; for me, most certainly. But maybe music is not supposed to be the most important thing.

More than any other person, Leonardo Pavkovic has made me write some crazy shit.

Pavkovic is the primal force behind the joyously eclectic MoonJune Records, which he established in 2001. “Established” may not be the right word: “I am truly an unusual and rules breaking call-it-record-company with a ‘label’ identity despite the fact that as a person and as a ‘label’ I go out of any categorization and labeling of what I do,” he confided before our interview. “I am a stubborn Don Quixotesque romantic warrior and one-man-band army wearing many hats.”

MoonJune’s mission statement:  The ongoing goal of MoonJune is to support music that transcends stylistic pigeon-holing, but operates within an evolutionary progressive musical continuum that explores boundaries of jazz, rock, avant, ethno, the unknown and anything in between.

Pavkovic was born in Bosnia in the former Yugoslavia in 1962. He was raised in southern Italy and studied Portuguese and Brazilian literature at the University of Bari (Italy) and Afro-Portuguese History and Literature at the University of Luanda (Angola, Africa) en route to becoming fluent in six languages. Before MoonJune, he translated artistic and scientific literature from/to Italian, Portuguese and Serbo-Croatian, and published two volumes of original poetry. Pavkovic established MoonJune Management and Booking, now MoonJune Music, in 2000, copping its name from “Moon in June,” a Robert Wyatt tune on the third album by Soft Machine, one of his numerous prog-rock-jazz-fusion inspirations.

MoonJune Records is only part of Pavkovic’s impressive music business reach. As a booking agent, he has coordinated more than 2,000 concerts in more than 50 countries worldwide. Even though MoonJune Records consumes a great deal of his energy and time, he still does not consider it his “main business”; instead, it’s just one more chapter in his lifelong diary of musical surprises.

MoonJune Music is the musical equivalent of Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get: An improvisational jazz-rock quintet built around guitar, trumpet, and bass clarinet, named for a North Korean dictator and the martial arts style instructed by Grandmaster “Iron” Kim (Iron Kim Style, 2010); jazz-rock ensemble fusion led by Israel’s version of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen (Breaking the Cycle, Marbin, 2011); or ancient Indonesian temple ritual music and traditional gamelan percussion employed as rhythmic loops upon which jazz players can solo almost forever (Demi Masa, simakDialog, 2009), to name just a few of its far-reaching flavors.

Consequently, MoonJune Record reviews seriously stretch a writer’s analytic and descriptive faculties, not to mention ears—this writer’s, at least.

In late 2017, Pavkovic assembled the twenty-five track compilation It Must Be Jazz to celebrate the label’s fourth-place finish in DownBeat‘s annual “Best Jazz Label” poll (up from seventh place in 2016) and released it as a free digital download to thank the label’s fans. Its title track was jointly composed by guitarist Allan Holdsworth, keyboardist Alan Pasqua, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Chad Wackerman for Blues for Tony, their 2010 ensemble tribute to powerhouse jazz-rock drummer Tony Williams who passed away in 1997. This high-voltage piece of electric jazz-rock fusion was born from sentiment and experience: Holdsworth replaced John McLaughlin for a year as the Tony Williams Lifetime guitarist, and both Holdsworth and Pasqua were members of The New Tony Williams Lifetime.

This Might Be Jazz opens just as majestically, with the title track to Indonesian pianist Dwiki Dharmawan’s landmark Pasar Klewer, regarded one of the top jazz albums of 2016. Dharmawan’s playing, especially when accompanied by just bass and drums, sounds absolutely ferocious as it splatters chords and rhythms all over the ivories, mixing up mainstream, free and avant-garde jazz piano. “Indonesia is the place of ‘ultimate diversity,'” the pianist explained upon Pasar Klewer‘s release. “Here, the urban cultures accelerate the ‘acculturation’ process, which generates changes in cultural patterns and creates new forms of musical expression. Pasar Klewer is the answer to my search for ‘the difference,’ and also a valuable answer to our modern crises and urban uprooting. The album’s distinctive sound originates from an ancient Gamelan tonal system called Salendro, known in the Karawitan traditional music of the Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese.”

Pavkovic’s uncompromising and knowledgeable devotion to music has earned in return the same affection from MoonJune’s musicians. “Leonardo’s perspective on music has served to encourage and inspire musicians throughout Indonesia to create the music on a higher level,” explains Ligro guitarist Agam Hamzah. “MoonJune Records has been great in its impact, helping to orchestrate so many positive changes for the benefit of the Indonesian music scene and its artists. Being associated with Leonardo and MoonJune Records as a musician and as a friend is an honor and a privilege.”

“Like its namesake orb, MoonJune steadily casts its light across a commercially ravaged musical landscape without ever capitulating to the market, a rare paragon of musical virtue in ever more culturally bankrupt times,” suggests guitarist Dennis Rea (Moraine, Iron Kim Style, Zhongyu).

“Because his vision and erudition know no physical or mental boundaries, MoonJune might seem an oddity founded by a starry-eyed idealist, a rather utopian proposition in our increasingly prefab musical world,” muses guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object, Machine Mass, DouBt). “But, to me, MoonJune is not just a record label pushing out alternative music. It feels more like a family of like-minded musicians keen to explore new grounds while collaborating with each other and engaging in a dialogue between the past and the present.”

How enthusiastic is Pavkovic about music and MoonJune? After we finalized the following 12,000 word interview, he mused, “It’s a bit LONG, but I have so much to say and what I said is only 1.75% of what I would be able to say.” Leonardo Pavkovic exemplifies a profoundly personal yet widely public relationship with music. It’s hard to imagine how the future of this music could be in more caring, capable hands than his.

All About Jazz: Where’s the best place to begin the MoonJune story?

Leonardo Pavkovic: When I first started the label, I had no background in the music business whatsoever. After I moved from Italy to New York City in August 1990, I met the renowned Brazilian graphic artist and photographer Fernando Natalici, who created the legendary “Studio T” graphic design studio in the mid ’70s. Studio T was almost a cult phenomenon in downtown Manhattan. Fernando himself was a living encyclopedia of virtually everything that happened in the New York music scene during the 1970’s and ’80’s, and soon we became inseparable friends. (Later, I became his business partner). Studio T was known for its large clientele in the city’s music business community, so I was always in the company of great musicians, concert promoters, and record labels owners and executives, from majors and from independents.

In the early 2000s, I was briefly involved with the NYC-based label Jazz Magnet Records through a jazz publicist and music industry veteran, the legendary Jim Eigo. This experience was both inspiring and beneficial. Motivated by that experience, I decided to start my own record label and released my first album, a live recording of the legendary saxophonist Elton Dean, who I’d known since the mid ’80’s, while I was living in Italy. Two other live albums of young Italian progressive rock bands quickly followed: Finisterre’s Storybook and D.F.A.’s Work In Progress Live.

Full Interview:


Another Mix . . .

A non-piano specific (but mostly piano) mix;
blending ambient, electronica & a dash of ECM Jazz
(with, uhm, a treatment/wash or 2) . 81:42

01 Alaskan Tapes – We All Speak in Poems
02 Markus Reuter – Lurk
03 Julio Di Benedetto – Original Light
04 Markus Reuter & Sha – 0103 (excerpt)
05 Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Iano
06 Ben Monder – Dinosaur Skies
07 Dirk Serries – Epiphany & Isolation
08 A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Prologue, Iris
09 Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang & Tigran Hamasyan – Shushiki
10 Erik K Skodvin – Shining, Burning
11 A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Comme on a Dit
12 Tangent – Dissolution
13 Okada – Shredded Remains of Hope (excerpt)
14 Ambient Landscape – Ghost edit segue
15 Edward Carlsen – Far (Bruno Sanfilippo rework)
16 Pepo Galán – Human Values Disappear


another MIX_alt

Dub Taylor, Path Beyond Ego

A favourite producer of Lucidflow, Dub Taylor is the deeper, dubbier alias of Alexander “Tigerskin” Krüger – best known for his releases across the highly regarded Dirt Crew, Morris Audio, Dessous imprints to name a few. As Dub Taylor, he popped up on Lucidflow co-owner Nadja Lind’s epic ‘Brain Candy’ remixes album – taking After The Rain through a slowly swinging harmonic dub workout. However, his debut release on Lucidflow ‘Path Beyond Ego’ sees the Berlin based producer in vibrant and energetic form.

This is epitomised in lead track ‘Get Up Dub’. Rolling and hypnotic, the melodic elements sit low in the mix like a blanket of murky mist, perforated by the shout of “GET UP!” throughout the track. Direct and effective, it begs for the long undulating mix treatment from DJs in full mastery of their pitch control skills.

Equally rolling is ‘Lamma’, whose tumbling beats drive the track. Resonate dub chords straddle the dived between percussive and harmonic, twanging in the background. As the track progresses, the brassy melody that rises eventually flourishes into a string led breakdown. Like a dolphin breaking the surface of the ocean, it arcs in the air before diving back down into the aqua with graceful ease.

Finally, ‘Ten O’Clock Dub’ marries half time elements over the steady footsteps of the house tempo. The uptempo heartbeat retains a vibrancy but the mood is most certainly more languid. The traditional organic dub backing sits perfectly with the modern electronic template set out by pioneering dub labels such as Basic Channel and Maurizio.


Emergence; Experimental Music from Vietnam

“Emergence” is an introductory compilation of experimental music from active Vietnamese artists, foreign artists who are based in Vietnam and those who collaborate with Vietnamese artists. This compilation features ten tracks of both established and emerging artists from all backgrounds.

Experimental music is a genre that has been overlooked in Vietnam. The number of artists active in Hanoi, Saigon and abroad is small. The first generation of experimental musicians appeared in Hanoi in the 1990s. Late 2000s and early 2010s, the second generation of Vietnamese experimental musicians started developing.

Up until now the local scene is still lacking resources, awareness and appreciation for experimental music in Vietnam. Our emergence is not only to claim our musical identities but also to open up new possibilities, exploration and potential future collaboration. For us, experimental music is a direct way to construct our sonic language; to freely express a complex range of personal experience, thoughts and emotions.

………………………………………………………..~Nhung Nguyen, Hanoi, Vietnam

Released April 25, 2018

Curated by Nhung Nguyen
Art by Dan Ni
Mastered by Jason Corder
All tracks by listed artists.

f l u i d

f l u i d | ambient/experimental | 80:06

Fluid structure tables within an ambient laminate; a bit of causticity, glitch & some experimental after-burner.

Armed with naught but a pair of digital scissors (& a small pot of glue), I hacked away at the looming stack of potential audiological deliverables until I liked what I was hearing . .

. . . and hope you will too.

[apologies to any artists, listed herein, who feel their composition was butchered, maligned or transmorgrified in any way, shape or fashion . . . it’s, uhm . . . just how I roll]

: )

01 Robert Curgenven – Eclipse (plasticine porter echo edit)
. . .[containing a reversed echoed version of the same track]
02 Moss Covered Technology – Sea #4 (excerpt)
03 Chris Russell with Mystified – Reflections in Transit (edit)
04 Dirk Serries – Brittle Air Elegy
05 Saul Stokes – Drop by Drop (evaporated leche edit)
06 Porya Hatami & Arovane – Mii
07 Steve Roach – Expanding Again
08 The Green Kingdom – Bathypelagic Zone
09 Robert Rich – Curtain (excerpt)
10 Ten – AE & VZ
11 OffTheSky – Gust.Form (excerpt)
12 Si Begg – Location 4
13 Andrea Belfi – Spitting & Skytouching
14 Brian Eno w/ Rick Holland – Fierce Aisles of Light
15 Arovane & Porya Hatami – Mata Evolve
16 Pascal Savy – Ghost Echoes



It Must Be Jazz, a MoonJune Records sampler

25 Jazz & Beyond Jazz tunes from 25 artists from 25 different albums released on MoonJune Records between 2011-2017.
Featuring 86 international musicians from different parts of the world:
Abel Pabon, Alan Pasqua, Alex Maguire,Allan Holdsworth, Amy Tata, Aris Daryono, Asaf Sirkis, Beledo, Bill Jones, Bob Mintzer, Bojan Ivkovic, Boris Savoldelli, Branko Trijic, Chad Wackerman, Charles Hayward, Ciro Riccardi,Damien Polard,Dave Carpenter, David Binney, Dave Liebman, Demas Narawangsa, Dennis Rea, Derek Di Peri, Desal Sembada, Dewa Budjana, Diki Suwarjiki, Domenico Angarano, Dusan Jevtovic, Dwiki Dharmawan, Elton Dean, Endang Ramdan, Frank Harrison, Fred Baker, Fred Delplancq, Gary Husband, Gilad Atzmon, Hugh Hopper, Hul Hul, Indro Hardjodikoro, Izaak Mills, Jason Smith, Jay Jaskot, Jean-Paul Estievenart, Jenny Bliss, Jimmy Haslip, Jimmy Johnson, John Etheridge, John Marshall, Jonathan Joseph, Larry Goldings, Laurent Delchambre, Lincoln Goines, Marcello Giannini, Marco Bardoscia, Mark Fletcher, Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Michel Delville, Miroslav Tovirac, Othello Molineaux, Pedja Milutinovic, Pete Lemer, Peter Erskine, Peter Sebastian, Phil Miller, Pietro Santangelo, Raffaele Casarano, Riccardo Villari, Riza Arshad, Robert Thomas, Jr., Roy Babbington, Rudy Zulkarnaen, Ryan Berg, Salvatore Rainone, Simon Fintch, Simon Picard, Steve Franklin, Tali Atzmonn, Tesla Manaf, Thaddaeus Brophy, Theo Travis, Tohpati, Tony Bianco, Vasil Hadzimanov, Xavi Reija, Yaron Stavi.

MoonJune Records is the universal “go to” label for the exploring curious listener of progressive music with a heavy accent to Jazz and beyond Jazz. The alchemy of jazz, rock,avant-garde, fusion and world ethno future mixed here music knows no bounds. Take a sonic test drive and sample the music. Journey worldwide hearing the compositions,virtuosity, passions, excitements, and subtlety of the music of the legends and newer musicians back from London and Canterbury then jump to Belgium, Italy, Indonesia, Serbia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, Canada, Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, and more. There is an implicit trust in the MoonJune brand that has created an alternative soundtrack for the listeners as well as the musicians themselves that continually cross pollinate and collaborate. Listen and come into the MoonJune Universe.

– Mark Redlefsen, music journalist.

Released December 4, 2017
Dedicated to Allan Holdsworth, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Riza Arshad, Dave Carpenter. (R.I.P.)


SEQUENCE4, by Various Artists

SEQUENCE 4 is the fourth installment of the Sequence series. Continuing the series started almost a year ago, SEQUENCE 4 showcases some of the finest artists from around the world, working in the genres of ambient, drone, minimal, electronic and modern classical.
The compilation remains free and is curated from just over 130 artist submissions and like it’s predecessors, weighs in at 42 tracks.Release artwork is available as framed print, stretched canvas or mobile phone case here: society6.com/aphomic/SEQUENCE4_Print


Released June 27, 2012
Curated by Ed Hamilton and Michael Waring


Seven, by Peter James

This collection of tracks are, if you like, an homage to the time I spent in Cumbria, and it’s countryside. each one inspired in some way by where i lived, and the places i visited, and came to love, and where i found some peace within them. all were recorded between 2010 and 2012. the artwork, and the extra photograph’s were all taken on my last visit to Loweswater, towards the end of 2012. it was a place i spent countless hours at, or around and above, over the years, so it seemed kind of fitting to use them for this set of works – and even if they do span over 2 years, they are all intrinsically linked by one single factor – Cumbria.

Released March 16, 2013
All field recordings, sounds, music, production and mastering, by peter james.
Artwork and photography: peter james

Star Man Underground: David Bowie Takes Over Manhattan Subway Station

by , filed under Destinations & Sights in the Travel category

David Bowie lives on in many ways and in many places, but at the moment, his presence feels particularly acute while passing through the Broadway-Lafayette Station of New York City’s subway system. The music legend has completely taken over, from lenticular portraits looming over the heads of commuters to posters replacing the typical advertisements and even keepsake Bowie-themed MetroCards. He might have been from London, but Manhattan was Bowie’s home, and Spotify is celebrating that fact with an immersive exhibition acting as an extension of the ‘David Bowie is’ show over at the Brooklyn Museum.

Much of the work seen in the station is Bowie-inspired art, including fan art and reproductions of the pieces on display at the museum. Each piece is paired with a statement of Bowie’s that reflects his love for New York City and how it affected his work.

“The intricate details that make up the subway takeover speak to key moments in Bowie’s New York City history, many of which were in the neighborhood surrounding Youd Be SurprisedBroadway-Lafayette, where he spent over two decades,” says Spotify of the project. “From legendary concerts at Carnegie Hall to recording sessions at studios like Electric Lady and the Magic Shop, the takeover beautifully explores how the City impacted the artist, and speaks to visitors about the truly unforgettable mark of New Yorker David Bowie.”

The David Bowie Subway Takeover went up in April and will be in place through this weekend, so if you’re in the area and haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out. If you can’t see it in person, experience it vicariously through the social media hashtag #davidbowieishere.

s-c-r-a-p (techno)

Short…& to the point; beginning with a low growl & finishing in the fast-lane; I utilize techno mixes primarily for my workout regimen: specifically Nordic Track workouts & upper body weight/calisthenics – both using my Dr. Dre wireless Powerbeats.

diggit! |

01 Dirk Serries – Torrential Aether Shadows (excerpt)
01 Lucy – The Horror
02 Speedy J – Manhasset
03 Pact Infernal – Sapere Aude
04 Lemna – Knot
05 Kangding Ray – Epsilon
06 Photek – Infinity
07 David Bowie – Law (Earthlings On Fire)
08 Shifted – She Dressed In Grey (Static Mix)
09 Visible Silence – Into the Deep
10 Joachim Spieth – Annihilatio
11 Von Grall – Hyper Density