Hidden behind the name Octex is the Ljubljana-based artist Jernej Marušič, who started appearing under this name, a shorter version of Organic Crackle and Tone EXperiments, in the late nineties of the previous century – as a follower of contemporary currents in electronic music and a lover of analogue sound synthesisers. His first released composition “Nigljana” was included in the varied compilation of Slovenian electronic music Elektrotehnika Slavenika from the year 2000, which was issued with wide acclaim as a supplement to the British music monthly The Wire. His LP debut Idea Lashna, by and large one of the most groundbreaking and creative achievements in the Slovenian electronic scene, was released in 2002 under the Tehnika Records label, having wide reverberations abroad as well. The critics recognised it as a top-notch product following the stripped-down aesthetic characteristic of musicians signed under the German label Basic Channel, while the album offered a finely tailored mix of techno, ambient music and dub as an echo of and a reaction to the contemporary, nervous sound landscape of urban circles. The album earned Marušič the then-influential Slovenian music award “Bumerang”, awarded by the Studio City programme of the Slovene National Television, while, in France, it was voted one of the ten finalists for the electronic music award presented by Radio France International. That said, Marušič’s music making does not stick to proven recipes and a solidified sound aesthetic. In an ongoing, restless search for a new sound, Octex absorbs various trends that schizophrenically spring from the field of electronic music, incorporating them again and again in his own music in a distinctly unique and recognisable manner. Already with his next album Variations, released by RX:TX in 2005, Marušič found himself in an altogether new world, which drew on a tense and intense techno connection between Berlin and Detroit, traversed by dub, soft sound textures and complex, seemingly unstructured rhythms, with which he stepped out of the prescribed matrix 4/4 and which have today become a trademark of Marušič’s work. Around that time, Marušič also started to regularly appear live; he did remixes for well-known artists, like Laibach and Ultra-Red, while reverberations of his work also took him across our borders. He performed, for example, in the London-based series Sprawl, in Club Transmediale in Berlin, in Dispatch in Belgrade, and at the Exit Festival in Novi Sad. With the Variations album, Octex had also signed to the home RX:TX label, in the frame of which he performed alongside artists under labels such as Raster-Noton, contributed tracks to two international compilations, Progress and Progress EX 0.4, both released by the mentioned label, and was featured on the highly appreciated Slovenian compilation Trans Slovenia Express Vol. 2, dedicated to the cult band Kraftwerk and released by British Mute Records. Earlier this year, RX:TX released Octex’s long-awaited new album entitled Every Sound Tells a Story, which this time is lined more explicitly with an analogue sound of modular sound synthesisers, sifted through digital technology. Individual tracks from the album were inspired by fieldwork recordings, which are in a processed form blended into each track. Dino Lalić, a music critic for Radio Student, wrote the following about the album: “Its sound readily admits techno, dub and ambient influences, with none of them standing out in particular. The fact that these influences remain merged offers a myriad of interpretations. Nobody is right and whoever says he is – is inevitably wrong.” These words capture aptly the essence of the restless yet sound-wise well-tailored creativity of Jernej Marušič, which he has lately also been incorporating into improvisation, both in his solo performances and in his work in the trio Ago Tela, which also includes, besides Marušič, DJ Dojajo and Mario Marolt, while at the same time, he has also started creating audiovisual performance art events. In a word, Octex presents one of the rare restless spirits in the landscape of Slovenian electronic music who do not settle for being hard-headed prisoners of their own creativity within the rigidity of genres and rules.
Jernej Marušič, aka Octex, is one of most profiled and internationally established Slovenian electronic artists, operating somewhere in between club and avant-garde, exploring the boundaries of dub aesthetics and sub bass frequencies.
His debut album Idei Lahesna (Tehnka, 2002) is regarded by many to be one of the best dub-techno albums, while his second one, Variations (rx-tx, 2005), showed his desire to push the sound further, deeper and more experimental. He continues in that direction on his latest album Every Sound Tells a Story (rx-tx, 2009).
Besides that, he has released music on numerous labels (Mute, EFA, Entropy, Public Records…) and has remixed artists such as Laibach, Marko Furstenberg, Gabriel Le Mar, Ulltra Red…
For next year, he's planning his first release under the new alias, Pavmental, focused on experimenting with more urban hip hop beats (wonky, glitchop…)
In the meantime, he is busy performing his audio/visual live sets at festivals and clubs all around Europe, such as ARS Electronica (Linz), Club Transmediale (Berlin), ISEA (Helsinki), Dis-patch (Belgrade) Exit (Novi Sad), White Night (Riga), Flussi (Avellino)…
Lately, he also became interested in improvised music, either doing his solo improv sessions, or as part of the trio Ago Tela, which he formed in 2009 with like-minded musicians Marjan Crnkovic (Dojaja) and Mario Marolt (Electrosaurus), and has been focusing on it a lot lately, planning their own label...