"Each track will contain sounds from a specific month. Each track will be ten minutes long. Each track, except the last one, will be released for free download during three days of the month after." Those were the rules when Hjorten created "2009: Year of the Deer", which now will be released as an album.
- "It was a lot of fun to do the tracks some months. Other months I had a lot to do and worked till midnight on the last day. The July track was only 6:10 minutes long and I didn't feel like trying to put more into it. It just would've been bad," says Johan Hjort, which is Hjorten's real name. Since he started making music in the 90's, his music has changed from noise to an experimental variation of ambient and dark ambient. Since the end of 2007, when he bought a digital recorder, his own field recordings have become an important ingredient in the music.
It's these field recordings that dominate 2009: Year of the Deer. There is a detailed list of all the sounds used in the music making process on Johan Hjort's website. Some examples: a cat, the ocean, a street guitarist, bondage porn, a Greek toilet, an organ being played at the Free Masons, and a dishwasher. Sometimes the sounds are typical for the month they describe, such as the fireworks and shouting in January after the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
The album goes in many different directions, both sound- and music-wise, and this is true for all of Johan Hjort's music, as his different artist names show. Music that he feels is more personal is released under his given name: Johan Hjort. Other music is released as Hjorten, Reversed Obesity, and some as You Are Ten. - "It's a bit hard to explain why one track fits into a certain artist name, but I can feel where it belongs. The same thing goes for which albums I'll release for free or as a physical release."
2009: Year of the Deer has already been released on the Internet by his own label, deersound, and it will eventually be released in an exclusive CDR edition limited to 12 copies. - I think it's better to release maybe 15 copies and that they sell out, rather than making 150 copies and only selling 20. This is a kind of music that doesn't sell a lot. Through the years I've mainly lost money on the releases, but it's fun to do it.