On The Radar: Ternion Sound
by Annette Lucero

SIM: Could you please give our readers a brief overview of who you each are with respect to your monkers outside of Ternion Sound? 

Nostalgia (Andrew): I’ve been writing music since I was 4 and writing electronic music since I bought subwoofers in high school. My background is in Drum & Bass and Dubstep, and I’ve released on labels such as: Rottun Records, Dim Mak, Play Me Records, Prime Audio. Been lucky to have had 5 Beatport #1 releases and 31 tracks in the Beatport top 100. Now a days I’m writing more music than I ever have before, but it’s not all as “Nostalgia” 😉

Apparition (Aric): My passion for bass music started right around when I was graduating from high school in 2010. I attended my first electronic shows while I was attending the University of Minnesota Duluth, and I was immediately interested in getting involved. Once I had fallen in love with Dubstep, I attended music school at McNally Smith and continued to get gigs in Minneapolis and across the midwest.

Johnny Foreplay (Jack): I’ve been playing shows since 2007 and producing/DJing since 2003 but started focusing on Dubstep as Johnny Foreplay around 2009.  Mostly before Ternion Sound I focused on more aggressive Dubstep and more extreme styles of music like Breakcore and Gabber.

SIM:How long did you all know each other before the project began, and how long have you all been working together?

Andrew and Jack met back in 2009 during the first period of TC Present’s Amplitude weekly; they were both playing shows quite a bit at the time and it was bound to happen.  They both met Aric around 2012. [It happened when] he was hanging out at Skyway, he saw Andrew play before Excision and decided to hit him up after.  Andrew invited him to the Electronic Music Production Club he had started at McNally Smith and they became closer friends there.  Beyond that we all inadvertently get booked for the same shows because we all play similar music and we bonded over that as time went by.

SIM: What was the motivation for Ternion Sound’s formation?

We all had been playing shows together for years and were pretty close even before starting the group.  Jack got a booking for Snowta last year so he decided to ask Andrew to tag and then Andrew said they should ask Aric to join as well.  The set went extremely well and we all decided we should start producing tracks together as a new project.  After that we started meeting up weekly to make music and the project has just coalesced into what it is now.

SIM: What elements of your individual projects did each of you bring into Ternion Sound? (i.e. sound variations, mastering, knowledge of any sort, etc)

The funny thing is that we originally intended to start a group to make heavier Tearout/Riddim Dubstep because that’s what we were all known for and good at doing at the time.  In the past few years though, we have all had less interest in that side of the genre and increasing interest in deeper and techier cuts.  After a couple of sessions working together we thought it would be a cool idea to come out with a new project that was entirely different from our old ones as a surprise.  

SIM: What have been the group’s favorite/least expected responses from listeners about Ternion Sound’s music?

So far, we’ve had nothing but love at our shows! We are always excited to share our music and start with energy that gets matched and amplified by those who attend our live shows. As for posting music on soundcloud, we’ve only just begun, but we’ve been getting nods from The Widdler, Joe Nice, Dalek One, and several other influential voices in the scene that we look up to!

SIM: How has the group managed to balance out a “sound” specific to Ternion Sound, yet also considerate of each of your original styles? Do you have a ratio, per-say, of each individual style that you hope to incorporate into a track, or does each track vary based on who starts it?

The big overarching word to describe all of our work is “soundsystem music,” and that really just means our goal is to make music that is best presented and listened to on large soundsystems with a crowd of people.  Whether it’s our darker, deeper, wonkier, or more sunny dub style stuff, we just aim to have it fit that aesthetic of big soundsystems and energetic dancefloors.  All of our original styles were pretty similar, but with certain color for each of us.  Andrew was known for his big melodic Dubstep bangers, Aric was known for his heavy and high energy wonky style, and Jack was known for his darker and more aggressive tunes.  We all seperately start tunes that end up having more of our own influence, but we work using the same sound banks and templates that we all created so we can have a cohesive sound.  Everyone takes part in the writing but Jack handles more sound design and Andrew handles more mastering.

SIM: How does Ternion Sound stay organized and motivated to make sure new ideas are approached, work-in-progress tracks are continued, and bookings are pushed for? 

Well there’s three of us. We’re not all motivated at the same time, but when we get together we push each other and take over when inspiration strikes. Also, Google Docs.  Seriously, we meet every week but we also take a lot of notes in a pretty deeply organized Google Docs folder.  One thing we keep track of, for instance, is all of the tunes we’ve made so far. We have a doc that lists all of the WIPs (works in progress) and shows the “Dopeness” and “Doneness” of each track.  At a certain point we all get together and discuss which groupings of tunes we think would fit for which labels.  It’s a process of making as much content as we can and then sorting through it to find the gems, polish them, and figure out where they belong.

SIM: Dream list of producers/groups Ternion Sound would collaborate with, go!

Andrew: The Widdler, Rezz, Kloudmen…

Jack: Goth-Trad, Noisia, Bukez Finezt, Culprate, Sleeper, Causa.

SIM: Does Ternion Sound have any additional thoughts or track announcements they want to make?

Be on the lookout for two releases to be announced soon!

Make sure to catch this trio as they open for Infected Mushroom this Saturday at Skyway Theatre! Tickets are still up for grabs here, but make sure to get them while you can!