Truancy Volume 120: Karen Gwyer

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan but now residing in London, Karen Gwyer has become a firm Truants favourite since her debut release in 2012, releasing records on labels such as Opal Tapes and Public Information whilst collaborating on records with fellow producers like Torn Hawk. Having found a more regular home for her productions via No Pain In Pop for the last two years, her newest release titled the Bouloman EP sees her forthcoming on the brilliantly consistent Nous label; home to the “Fluenka Mitsu” record from Call Super that came (and went very fast) earlier this year. We expect a similar response for what could be considered Gwyer’s most textural club driven productions to date, falling somewhere in between a John Heckle, Actress and early Steve Bicknell record all combined into one. Hopefully coming out before the end of the month, you can stream snippets of the three tracks below.

In an interview with the Quietus in November, Karen Gwyer carefully describes the aesthetic she is striving for in her own music as wanting it to be loud, banging and not what people expect, whilst still meandering between house, techno and hugely experimental noise. There’s none of her own productions in her Truancy Volume (from what we can see in the tracklist) but we can’t help feel that small description perfectly narrates the hour long mix she has recorded for us. There is house and techno, but at unexpected tempos ranging from 118BPM to the upper echelons of 144BPM for a substantial duration. It is loud and bangs from very early on. This is all intricately layered throughout with noise productions from the likes of Acre and Nadia Khan, blending the percussive elements with the beatless with the upmost attention to detail to the overall sound. If there wasn’t a tracklist included we’d have been very hard pressed in telling the Acre/Villa Abo section at 35 minutes apart to the point where we may be unable to listen to those tracks singularly ever again. It is this singular vision as a whole mix that makes our 120th Truancy Volume one of the most unique listening experiences we’ve had in our series so far. Here is what Gwyer had to say on the mix which she kindly sent over whilst away in the United States:

“This mix is the result of some very focused dives straight down into several different label holes (hence the recurring artists), combined with a few assorted new and slightly less new favourites. I love hearing tight curation across loads of releases on a label. Never having run a label myself, I’m really impressed with how solidly they all hold together sometimes. It’s as though I’m roaming through a massive multi-room gallery of crazy good, seemingly disparate sonic shit, and I’m coming out of it bearing witness to a singular vision. This isn’t news to most people, I know, but in the process of preparing this mix, I really took the time to indulge. So thanks for that.”

Tracklist: 

Heckadecimal – Bentings Bang Side A_2
Yellow Hyper Balls – Fuck Off
Unknown – Untitled
Yellow Hyper Balls – Take Your Clothes Off
TML – Residuals
Community Corporation – Grandmont Rosedale War
John T. Gast – Congress
Aisha Devi – Throat Dub (The Hieroglyphic Being Experience 9)
Acre – Untitled 2
Villa Abo – Luminous
Heckadecimal – Floater
Yellow Hyper Balls – Forgery
Nadia Khan – Selective Thoughts
Iueke – Tape 5.2

Karen Gwyer: Website, Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter

Riccardo Villella
Riccardo Villella

OG at Truants / Graphic Designer / DJ Twitter Soundcloud

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