Living in the duality between Puerto Rico and the Pacific Northwest, Cristo Nova is from the realm where digital nomad and music producer overlap. Inducted into festival culture from post-tech industry burnout, he left the confines of his cubicle to pursue a vision of dance music inspired by cyberpunk culture, west coast bass, and the rhythm of world instruments. Nova now comes to Conscious Electronic to premiere his newest track, “Decentralized,” exploring these very thematics.
Inspired by the looming collapse of global finance and the rise of cryptocurrency during a time of uncertainty and chaos, “Decentralized” is nothing else if not incredibly timely. Especially considering how COVID-19 is presenting the opportunity for a potential major global economic restructuring. On the making of the track, Cristo Nova had the following to say:
“A vision came to me last summer while living a digital nomad life and volunteering at festivals all around the west coast. It all stemmed from a book by William Gibson called Snow Crash. A cyberpunk novel that takes place in a near dystopian future between Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest.
I highly resonated with the protagonist in the story, but instead of delivering pizza and hacking the metaverse, I was delivering songs and coding for eCommerce. It was my calling to craft the sound of cyberpunk, something that has no origin, like me, completely decentralized.”
In translating this “cyberpunk” thematic from culture to frequency, Nova puts himself on the cutting edge of electronic sound design, if only for the fact that it’s never been heard before in the dance music sector. On the one hand, “Decentralized” draws reminiscent parallels to 1788-L’s cyberpunk aesthetic with its ominous moods and tones, although 1788-L’s approach is largely laced with midtempo and off-kilter dubstep. Quite the contrary, Nova’s cyberpunk sound stamp is entirely unique to his own fascination with sci-fi fx, cinematic chords, hypnotic melodies, downtempo measures, and future beats.
Wildly original, and meticulously crafted at its core, “Decentralized” feels as if one is wandering lost and alone in a high-tech dystopian reality on the silver screen. Nova is laying the foundation to build a movement around this refreshingly new cyberpunk aesthetic. Check out more of what the Puerto Rican producer had to say about cyberpunk, cryptocurrency, the coronavirus, and more in our exclusive Q&A below.
CE: How does being a digital nomad influence your music?
CN: I use my time traveling to research local music scenes and incorporate those styles into my music production.
CE: Why do you describe your music as cyberpunk?
CN: It’s my fascination with scifi and creating cinematic sounds with future beats that belong in a high tech dystopian future.
CE: Your new single “Decentralized” relates to cryptocurrency, why?
CN: We no longer need to use record labels, any musician can self publish on any platform, the internet gives us the opportunity to become autonomous, decentralized, work from home, and the song is meant to promote that.
CE: Where did you find yourself working to produce the track? What scenes gave you inspiration?
CN: So I worked from coffee shop to coffee shop or just about any place I can find wifi. Using my APC40 in the most random places, recording synthesizers in used music stores, and renting recording studio time to mix and master.
CE: How is the Corona Virus affecting you?
CN: It’s made me reconsider my priorities, how important it is to grow food, collect water, and create my own resources. I’ve built my life around working remotely so I acclimated quickly to the fall out of the financial collapse. We’ve been in mandatory quarantine for a month now in Puerto Rico with a curfew between 7pm-5am, huge lines at grocery stores that are starting to have less and less food, farmers aren’t allowed to distribute, it’s all very surreal and ominous.
CE: What brings you to Puerto Rico?
CN: In the fall of 2019 I received news that my grandfather passed away, so I sold everything I owned, packed my bags and headed back home to Puerto Rico and started a new chapter in my life.
CE: When can we expect your next release?
CN: I plan to release a new single every month for the rest of the year, including a 1 hour mix of songs that influence me.