Daily Discovery is a feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist that we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
The feeling of discovering new music is great, but the feeling of discovering something truly original is even better. James Kristofik isn’t just making music with no equal, he’s moulding every other aspect of the process to his own liking, too. Making music under numerous guises, Body Cheetah is his main output, but only one facet of what makes him such a captivating character.
He doesn’t see things the same way as other artists, which is perhaps the reason why his distinct sound is so poignant. “I don’t consider myself an artist, or a musician—I reinterpret time and give it a new name,” he tells us. He’s more inspired by life experiences and stories, rather than specific sounds. Rather than waiting for that perfect noise, he actively seeks it out himself.
If I need more magic in my life, I need to create it.
He’s already crafted music under numerous characters, including a member of a family of hoarders who bury bodies under the floorboards as part of Cemetery Family Band. He’s kind of like a filmmaker, or an author; he seems very much interested in creating worlds through sound, with complex and unpredictable characters.
After his third full-length as Body Cheetah, he wants to take these ideals further than before. “I’ve always felt subhuman,” he mentions, “sort of like a character in a book, I’m only what you imagine I am.” He abstractly describes his own work as, “like some sort of weird substance,” but it all makes sense when you fully comprehend his ethos alongside sound.
I survive by passively interacting, and only truly exist in my mind, the book, where the words don’t matter. The words only matter when being read.
Outside of crafting these wildly inventive stories, he’s coming up with new ways to distribute his music. His upcoming album, The Dead That Dance, is only being released by hand, which he claims is to “disprove the belief that everything has been done before.” He’s right, because it hasn’t. “I Believe that line of thought is disturbed,” he says. He describes Body Cheetah as “toy music,” in that he wants to, “be an object, like the lamp in the room; it changes your mood, but no one realizes it does—they only see the lamp.”
He’s a captivating person to talk to, and his way of thinking is almost as inspiring: “I consider any action that takes place in the average day priceless.” This is also the reason why he’s releasing The Dead That Dance by hand, and by hand only. “I don’t feel the need for my album to be any different than a conversation between two neighbors, or the dog barking at night.”
Confidently, he says “The Dead That Dance will never be able to be replicated,” and that no one will ever sound like him again. He stresses that, even after he’s dead, “no one will ever hear that dog bark the way it did that night.” After he releases That Dead That Dance by hand, James will be releasing another new Body Cheetah record late 2014/early 2015. Get familiar by downloading his previous output for free here, or listen to an introductory mix below.