Airport rises from the electronic underground.
Dance floor as runway. Analog-electronic instrumentation as Mission Control. Music as supersonic jet. The metaphors run deep with Airport, the one-man mood-elevation project of Jayson Kochan. Though Kochan’s put out a 12” on the Motor Collective imprint of Debacle Records, Airport’s full transportive effect is best experienced live. From behind the open lid of his black road case, Kochan pilots skittering, soaring symphonies via inscrutable manipulation of vintage equipment. We asked Kochan—who also plays bass with psych-rock shamans Midday Veil—for the details of his custom flying machine.
1 Oberheim DX drum machine The brains of my operation. Randall Dunn, producer extraordinaire, gave me a screamin’ deal on this gem a few years back when Midday Veil was in the studio cutting The Current. All instruments are synced via midi or control voltage through this.
2 xoxbox (303 Clone) Bass lines are born in this machine based on Roland’s classic TB-303. Produced in the early ’80s and used by Daft Punk to create the distorted acid lead in the breakdown of “Da Funk.” Legit.
3 Mood enhancer A For taking off.
4 Forget-me-not From my lady. <3
5 Cheat sheet Songs/notes/preset orders. Words of encouragement. Exit strategies. Jokes.
6 MOTOR sticker Motor is a Seattle-based collective of gear creeps. Headed by Sam Melancon of Debacle Records, Motor artists create broken/psyched-out dance music with actual instruments.
7 Mood enhancer B To maintain.
8 Headphones Typically used to queue/preview sounds, but I keep Cameo’s “Word Up” playing on infinite loop to keep me grounded.
9 Pink mirrored Turbo-brand AviatorsMy shades of choice, won off Giorgio Moroder in an all-night poker game in the mid-’90s.
10 Mini disco ball See Mood enhancer B
11 Buns Of Steel 8: Pregnancy Workout Background visuals for projection. Most of the beats I play are 120 BPM. Turns out most aerobics workouts run at the same tempo.
12 Mood enhancer C For landing.
13 Korg Monotribe Analog ribbon synth with a built-in sequencer. Easy to use and great for spacey/acidy laser-like leads. Runs on batteries so you can also play it through your car stereo and bum out your friends.
14 TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb effects pedal You gotta have good reverb if you wanna sound like outer space. This particular pedal is cheap and versatile (which coincidentally is how I prefer sex).
15 Skin-tight purple polyester unitard No OPEN FLAMES.
16 Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler Aka the “Green Monster.” Bought in the early ’00s. Everything sounds better with delay-delay-delay-delay.
17 Boss Dr. Sample For sequencing sampled Mellotron choirs and sex moans lifted from trashy ’90s porno videos.
18 Howlin’ Wolf pillowcase Spirit animal, or whatever.
19 Mackie eight-channel mixer The end of the line. All sounds are routed through this before they reach ears.
Photo by Alex Crick