In an interview with French site Hartzine, the body behind the excellent US tape label Aught said: “This series of tapes is finite, one will soon be able to deduce the remainder of our release schedule for the time being.” Looking at its releases now it appears that that finite number is 10, with the second half of the label’s lifespan – if that’s not a misnomer – mirroring the first. Xth Réflexion and ACI_EDITS both supplied repeat entries, and now, a year on, De Leon has (or have) done the same. It follows that Topdown Dialectic and Elizabethan Collar will come in due time, in that order, and thus the label will collapse on to itself, like a piece of paper folded over and filed away for posterity.
The label’s communications are sparse and direct: “We’re not attempting to aestheticize mystery, nor would it be too difficult to identify us,” they said, in response to a query that there might be a big reveal at the end of the project. “We’re attempting to provide as direct an interface with the content as possible.” Of course, this direct approach leaves room for conjecture, as discussed when we covered De Leon’s self-titled tape for the label last October. So let’s stick with the content. The source material was recorded in new sessions at the same Gamelan studio early this year, but “06” follows on from where “05” left off. It’s more percussive than melodic, as rising rhythms gather pace, pushing forward and pulling back with energising throm. It appears unvarnished, untreated: a live percussive performance presented with minimal additional effects. Appearances can be deceptive, and the relative clarity may mask untold tweaks and edits. “07” seems muffled and foggy, sounding almost like the half-sound one finds when the earplug is half pulled out of its socket. Soft melodies and dank metal lurk in the distance while off-beat tom slaps pulse throughout. “08” feels similar in tone and mood, yet rushes off at a bristling tempo, hurtling forward with its rattling percussion before drifting away suddenly at the five-minute mark. “09” is deeper, darker, slower. More rattles, sounding almost like a ruler being slammed on a table; coughs and sighs, muted, roughshod bass. The final track does not offer closure of any grand statement, just more of the insistent drumming that filtered throughout this project.
The downside to anonymity is that there is evident talent on display, perhaps unknown musicians whose work has been taken (willingly of course) and reformulated. Who are they? Those looking to expand their knowledge of gamelan and other such metallophonic music would do well to follow Wonja’s Wood Glass Metal series, with its two stunning entries to date, since this route is a dead end rather than a launching pad. The tapes available directly from Aught sold out in 26 hours all the same – not bad for a label with no press plan that makes contact through direct messages to its 300-odd followers. What happens next? We await the final two entries (if our hypothesis is correct, of course) and then perhaps we will see a new venture. Thgua, perhaps, in the spirit of mirroring. We’ll be watching.
De Leon – /\\08 is out now on Aught. Buy here.
Words by Aidan Hanratty, 04 August 2015. Leave a comment
We were first made aware of Florentino only recently. Pretty much an unknown entity, he played his debut show earlier in the month at Truants’ favourite Swing Ting as a special guest. We’d also heard his remix of Maejor and Jeremih’s ‘Get You Alone’ on Bok Bok’s excellent Fader mix. It’s easy to see why it caught his ear – it’s a joyous summer twist on the original, giving it a distinctly Latino vibe but the percussive sounds and effects mean it’s not something that feels out of place in a club in the UK. It’s also had support from a host of other favourites such as Kingdom, Girl Unit and Murlo. We’re pleased to be able to premiere the track in full as well as provide you a little more information about the Manchester-based producer who was kind enough to answer a few brief questions about what he does.
Hey Florentino! You recently played your debut show at Swing Ting, what kind of music can we expect in a Florentino set? “A lot of my own music. A lot of latino flavour. A lot of percussion. Music that’s made to make you move.”
We’re loving the edit of Get You Alone you’ve provided us with, what would you say would be the main influences behind your productions? “My family are my main source of influence. Shouts to my cousins, Florentino wouldn’t exist without them. I’m half Colombian, half English so it’s got a lot to do with those two worlds coming together and my interpretation of that. There are many other influences outside of that but that’s at the centre of it.
Can we expect some more material from you in the near future? “Of course, ya tu sabes!”
Words by Antoin Lindsay, 30 July 2015. Leave a comment
A regular to labels such as Planet Mu and Ninja Tune since 2009 and 2011 respectively, FaltyDL has managed to carve himself a robust discography where quality rarely dips. His most recent outing, a return to Planet Mu, saw him adopt his own name Drew Lustman for The Crystal Cowboy, an album that he describes as being an examination of into what got him into music in the first place. We caught up with Drew for a quick chat: discussing his label Blueberry and forthcoming releases from Elysia Crampton, as well as talking about collaborations with Le1f and and creating music for film directors such as Terrence Malick. Describing making mixes as being somewhat like the job of a sommelier, his Truancy Volume is a contrasting but well paired affair, focusing on what sounds balanced well together instead of just using tempo as a mixing tool. There’s jungle alongside folk, and folk alongside footwork, all coming together in unity like “a warm bullet”. Clocking in at just under hour you’ll be working through forthcoming Blueberry records, as well as music from AFX, Traxman and Luke Vibert under his Plug alias to name a very few.
Hey Drew, thanks again for doing us a mix and taking time to answer some questions. It feels like a good start would be to talk about your label Blueberry Records. We wanted to ask if you feel you’ve achieved what you set out to do when you decided to start your own label? “That’s a really good question! I haven’t asked myself that yet. This is deep for 8am over here. I think I have, but the object of the label keeps changing, or rather I set new goals constantly. The first release was from Brrd whom I had demos from knocking around on various laptops for years. I actually tried to get him signed to a few different labels and when they all basically told me to release it myself I finally listened. I’m obviously glad they said that and I did. Then the goal of asking some heroes like Osborn, Vibert and Dego for EPs was simple but never guaranteed. What I hadn’t expected while releasing their records was the pressure of not wanting to fuck up your hero’s records! That was a trip. Luckily those dudes have such a great core audience it was easy to get the records to those people. Now it’s about real work, discovering new artists and breaking them through — if I can! Also signing a few more young acts, but time will tell with them. As for the future, I have no idea what the label will be. Maybe for me at some point.”
You’ve got the first full-length LP from Elysia Crampton coming out imminently. I feel like letting you talk openly about the LP might be better than me asking a question about it. “I started emailing with E+E about two years ago. I wanted a remix for one of my tunes and she happily obliged. That was the first communication. I had started Blueberry at that point so I asked her for some material but it seemed to be around the time when she was ending her work as E+E and figuring out her next steps musically. Months would go by and I would check in with her to see what she was making. We ended up having a few phone conversations where we were just chatting about music and record labels and how frustrating it all can be but also about our shared love of parts of the process, largely production and artwork. I think somewhere in there she picked up on how open and honest about why I loved her music and how I was operating Blueberry with complete control and how we can do whatever we want with the music. That seemed to resonate with her and she decided to release it with Blueberry. I was shocked and excited and still am to get it out the door. So close now, out Aug 7! It has made me slow down a little with the label and really enjoy the work more. Not scheduling loads of release at once allows us to really look at all the steps carefully and do it right. The press has been lovely and will start to trickle out soon. I’m excited to read her interviews, haven’t seen them yet!”
I think one of the most surprising, yet standout releases that many people were eagerly awaiting for was something new from Luke Vibert as Amen Andrews. Having not released anything under this alias since 2006, we’re pretty keen to know how this came about? Don’t think I could find any written statements on this exactly. “So Luke is a big inspiration for me, but also just a complete dude; so kind and always down to go record digging when we are both in London. He once gave me a CD — actually it was the first time we met — and it had 200 unreleased tracks on it. Very trusting fella! So I have always had these unheard gems and when it came time to asking him for a jungle EP he decided to do it under that name. I asked for Plug at first, but was happy as I really enjoyed the LP he did on Reflex back in 05 or whatever. Same with the Luke Warm EP. I get Luke cause he releases so much music like myself, he needs other aliases as to not cram his own release schedule. So it’s partly of necessity but also its just how he compartmentalises his styles. Kind of brilliant.”
Continuing on jungle for second, your influences from the genre are well documented, especially with the release of your recent LP The Crystal Cowboy under your real name, but in an interview with Dummy you mention that there’s only a small amount of jungle you actually truly love. The interview sadly doesn’t expand upon that so was wondering if you could fill us in on some of that ‘small amount’ and when exactly you were introduced. “Yeah I wonder what I meant when I said that, haha. Well the thing is it’s more of a time period — ’93-’96. I don’t really care for drum and bass too much you see, and hardcore before was lovely but some it it isn’t my taste either. I follow producers and periods for labels very closely. I love jazz and classical music so 4hero made complete sense to me when I first heard it. I grew up on a strict diet of east coast rap so all the same samples being flipped at that time all resonated deeply. It’s a true British art form and one I have studied for years. I came into it at a bizarre angle at first — through Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, only to truly have my mind blown thereafter by Remarc and Bizzy B, mostly through the releases on Planet Mu. It’s fun growing up thinking one person first mangled the “Amen” break and then realising it most definitely wasn’t them. Such raw power in jungle. Timeless.”
Speaking of The Crystal Cowboy, the idea of putting out an album under your own name has been one floating around since 2012 right? In a different interview after the release of Hardcourage you mentioned you wanted to wait a while with that. Care to explain why you felt this year was the right time. “This is sort of similar territory to what I mentioned about Luke Vibert, sometimes these things are legal decisions. But when using your own name you can’t escape some connotations of sentiment. The thing at play here was more about Planet Mu. It was the first label to really take a chance on me and for that I am forever grateful. The album was supposed to be under the name Shanghai Den, this weird one I did a 12” for R&S under a few years ago, but I sort of felt it wasn’t accurate. Mike Paradinas had always suggested I use my own name and if I had FaltyDL may have almost never existed! So I had these thoughts of, well, people are gonna see my own name and think I am all of the sudden singing on my music etc. The truth is the sounds on The Crystal Cowboy, the jungle influences and manic breaks on “Green Technique” and the electronic playfulness on “Sykle” are what hits most deeply with me. My beginnings if you will. So it’s an examination back into what got me into music in the first place with all the updated production techniques I have learned over the years. I actually didn’t let that get in the way creatively either. Those tracks all started out as just jams, and then were built later into full tracks. Compartmentalising and organisation are not my strong suits. I make a lot of music, and how and in what context it gets dropped remains a mystery to me until it gets released. I really admire people who take their time and form with the world around which the music lives in. But also fuck that, I need to get it out there so I can make more. It’s like releasing a pressure valve on top of my head, leaving them in too long drives me crazy.”
The Crystal Cowboy takes on a similar aspect to Hardcourage with the notable sole vocal contribution, this time from Le1f. It’s some unexpected vocal work from Le1f too, in that I heard it was his first ever sung performance. Can you tell us a bit about how it was working together? “Le1f and I have been sending beats to each other for a while now and there is something in the works happening on our own time in between larger solo projects. He is the shit. I adore Le1f and think he can rap circles around most MC’s, just waiting for everyone else to realise that. Anyways I wanted him on the album so much and had this track written for him “Onyx” — I finally get the vocals from him about two hours before I need to hop on an international flight for a three-week trip. The deadline for the final track submissions is also in two hours, shit. I get to work, I make an edit, put it in an email to him and Mike Paradinas, hit send. Not a hit, so I rework it and hit send again. Nope, not yet. I take out the actual verse he provided me with and make him just start counting 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 over and over again, make it make no real sense. Just a meditation on numbers. I hit send and it’s dope and pops off haha This was right around the time of the Eric Garner case being thrown out the window and the climate was scorching in NYC. Le1f had written a verse about his experience and others feeling alone, some of that still comes through in the intro singing part. He is a genius and I can’t wait for his flipping LP to drop!”
You’ve ventured into the sound design aspect of production the last few years be it for people like Daito Anabe, artists over at the Creators Project or more recently that video for Audio Technica. What is it you find draws you into these sort of projects? “The Audio Technica one I am just an actor in ;) I have done a lot of film work in the past two years, some for Terrence Malick and some other short films. It’s all great for letting me relax about FaltyDL. Basically I see all work other than my solo project as a vacation. Like my label peeps will ask me for beats for big artists, and I know what that could do for my career, but I’d just rather keep them for myself or use them with an unknown at first. It’s way more fulfilling that way and I find it’s so impersonal too, just sending beats to big people. But anyway, the sound design aspect as taught to me by Ahoy Twin, is just to freak people out! Don’t ever let them know where you are coming from. Hold their hand a little and then let go. The pocket I live in is familiar yet startlingly horrifying, and the marriage of image and sound, as best encapsulated in cinema, is breathtaking and maybe our greatest artistic achievement. I can remember hearing the dinosaurs move in the original Jurassic Park and thinking who the fuck made that noise? Cause those dinosaurs aren’t real, well not any more! Haha.”
So what can you tell us about the mix you’ve done for us? “I wanted to showcase some of Elysia’s album and a new thing from someone else but quickly realised how well they paired with the Johnny Greenwood piece and the other jungle. I find making mixes like being a sommelier. What pairs well together? Not just tempo-wise but what is contrasting and and brings out the best in each other? The Nick Drake and Phil Collin’s tracks aren’t things I would have mixed in a few years ago, so maybe I am getting more sentimental — emphasis on the mental — in my older years. I like a mix to be a journey stylistically, use jungle as a weapon, folk music as a warm blanket and use them all together. A warm bullet, you dig?”
Elysia Crampton – American Drift
Jonny Greenwood – Moon Trills
Autechre – Pro Radii
Boards Of Canada – The Beach At Redpoint
Untitled – Untitled
AFX – Serge Fenix Rendered 2
DJ Roc – I Don’t Like The Look of It
Traxman – See Things My Way
Defcon – Reach Out
FaltyDL – AFast 5%healthi
Plug – A Subtle Blend
Elysia Crampton – Axacan
Bogdan Raczynski – Your
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Phil Collins – Take Me Home
Words by Riccardo Villella, 29 July 2015. Leave a comment
Tape Archive have quietly been sharing murky, anonymous techno on YouTube for some time now: abstract oddities like the undefined gone with the noise (part1) and floral party numbers like DJ G.O’s sorrylarry. For their first foray into the physical world of objects, they’ve put together three tracks from F.T.F. — another mysterious techno project, but one we’ll forgive on account of the high quality of the tracks on offer. Three jams, each offering different delights, while operating in roughly the same sphere — atmospheric, emotive, somehow both earthy and ethereal.
“Untitled 01″ is direct and plaintive, with unvarnished percussive lines bolstering its wailing synths and on-beat stabs, minor melodies paving the way for the mood of the release. Energetic yet wistful, with unrelenting pace that leaves room for tears. The slightly slower “Untitled 02″ takes time to grow, sliding percussion slapping back and forth before its central emotive synth melody comes to the fore. This one comes with a video, a study in repetition focusing on a single pedestrian passed by innumerable skaters. There’s something forlorn in it, an interminable mundanity that’s matched by the dour, unchanging chords that hover sadly throughout the track. The longest of the bunch, B-side “Untitled 02″, is dank with longing, a squelching mid-range driving things through while pipes reminiscent of the work of Palms Trax lend bittersweet effervescence. The whole release could come from the hands of that Truancy Volume contributor, but for two things: the release lacks the joyous whoosh of his work, remaining slightly maudlin throughout; it wouldn’t make sense for him to drop an anonymous release at this point in his career. Who knows. It’s a solid record, and the label is taking an interesting approach to modern techno.
F.T.F. – 000666 is out now on Tape Archive
Words by Aidan Hanratty, 28 July 2015. Leave a comment
For those who consider themselves regulars in the electronic music club scene in London or have lived here at any point in the last eight years, there is a remarkably high chance you’ve attended a night put on by, or in someway associated with, Casper Clark. In the last year alone he has managed to sort special eight hour back-to-backs from Morphosis and Ben UFO as well as bringing a host of names such as Laurel Halo, Demdike Stare and Objekt to play at his night BleeD. His incredibly forward-thinking approach to music has led him to curate lineups for festivals such as Field Day, Beacons and Donau and he’s become a go-to DJ for many other likeminded promoters and DJs. Earlier this year he added producer to his list of talents, doubling up BleeD as a label and releasing his debut Charlatan EP under Volte-Face, whilst also doing official remixes for Daniel Avery. Ahead of two big shows at Berghain and Fabric in the next month, we decided to catch up with Volte-Face for a little chat about London life and all things BleeD, as well getting him to mix our 123rd Truancy Volume. Describing the mix as a representation of what he likes to play in the clubs at the minute, the mix glides seamlessly through a barrage of techno tracks from Pysk, Bjarki and Abdulla Rashim to name a very few.
Hey Casper, thanks for taking out the time to do this mix and interview. I want to start with asking about your time in London – I understand you moved here around 2006. The Volte-Face project has only taken form in the last couple of years but for those who may not know your background you’ve been pushing London nightlife forward for a while now. Could you tell us a little about your history here and why you think you’re still grounded here after all this time. “Yeah, I moved to London in 2006 after periods of living in South America and on the continent, although I’m originally from Brighton, which is a great place to live if you perpetually enjoy nu-skool breaks. Pretty much straight off the train, I got a job as a full-time promoter, working on fabric club shows and festivals as well as live gigs in various UK venues. Although Volte-Face represents a renewed focus and my first moves into production, I’ve actually been DJing regularly ever since moving to London and very much consider myself DJ first and producer second. It’s probably not common knowledge that I have been playing at fabric since 2006, used to reside at The T Bar and Paris Social Club, and have played at venues like Trouw, Razzmatazz, Rex, The End, Culture Club, etc. I think my experience is invaluable, having the ability to see the industry from so many angles and cutting my teeth as a warm-up DJ first and foremost.”
BleeD has been one of your main focuses the last four years and it really shows you’ve put the time and effort into the night and label. Can you tell us what motivated you to start the night and any ethos behind the label. “BleeD represented my maturing tastes, and as I’d become a pretty experienced promoter by then (mainly losing other people’s money), it felt like a good time to branch out on my own. It was also an incredibly fertile time for left-leaning music, with the likes of Raime, Demdike Stare, Oneohtrix Point Never and Laurel Halo amongst my earliest guests. I hope the label retains some of the character of the night, although I should stress that it’s not ostensibly an ‘experimental’ label, whatever that means. Every BleeD release will be designed for the dancefloor, although it’s aimed primarily at the most open-minded DJs and dancers. BleeD has always been informed by club music, and taken place at venues like Corsica Studios and XOYO, so the transition shouldn’t be particularly jarring for those that have kept a keen eye on proceedings.” The follow up to BleeD001 is coming up in September right too? “We’ve had a few delays, but BleeD002, by a new artist, Rote, should be out in September. Rote’s a duo that chooses to remain anonymous, although they’re very close to the label. It’s an outlet for them to release pretty much whatever they like, free of any preconceptions, and there is some more material ready to come out in future. The remixes are from two of BleeD’s biggest supporters from day 1, and two of my favourite DJs to boot, Svreca of Semantica fame and DJ Nobu from Tokyo. I’ll be releasing a second Volte-Face EP very soon after, in October, featuring four original tracks and a DJ Spider remix.”
Do you feel like this musical ethos transcends well over to your occasional radio shows on Rinse FM? What’s the idea when it comes to them and the guests you invite. “I think I’ve settled into a groove for the sporadic Rinse shows that I do. It’s a good opportunity to play some music that I love on the more ambient/experimental end of things, as well as taking things clubbier as the show goes on. We’ve had some excellent guests in the past, such as Powell, D’Marc Cantu, Vester Koza and Lee Gamble, often just before they went on to wider recognition. I think it’s fair to say that the most basic motivation for everything I’ve done in music has been to help the artists that I am excited by to reach a wider audience.”
To people wanting to put on nights in London is there anything you recommend possibly more on the business side of things that new people might necessarily skip over due to inexperience. “I’d always advise people to start small, and build organically. Booking a big name from the start certainly won’t guarantee a good turn-out, especially as agents will often attempt to charge inflated fees to promoters they’re unfamiliar with. I’d also advise that the press side of things is absolutely crucial. Don’t run before you can walk! It’s probably also worth dropping any notion that it might make business sense, at least in the short-term. My aim with BleeD was always to try to ensure that I broke even, rather than anticipating any significant financial rewards, and I experienced setbacks perennially.”
I’ve seen you play a wide variety of slots in London be it 5-8am closing slots at Corsica to 10pm warm up ones at Dance Tunnel. Taking this into account and knowing you love a good ambient set do you find you have a favourite time of night to play new music? “No, I don’t! As long as the event is well attended, and fosters the right kind of interaction with the music, I am happy to play a small part of the big picture. I’d like to think I have something to offer, regardless of the context. Having said that, some sets do require a lot more preparation than others! As far as ambient sets go, they’re something that I really relish when the opportunity arises. My first time at Berghain, I was lucky enough to play a 2-hour ambient set, most of which can be heard on my Soundcloud. I would have been happy to play that set to nobody, as it was just so wonderful to hear the music with that much clarity and power.”
You work a lot with Daniel Avery be it remixing and playing each other’s tracks, playing b2b at a lot of shows together and it seems like you’re coming from a similar place sometimes with Erol being a major influence. How did you guys first meet and are we right in thinking he might have been one of the guys who helped push you into that next step of producing. “Dan’s a very close friend, and our paths have crossed ever since we moved to London. We’ve worked together on various projects since the very beginning, but our respective musical tastes have never been as close as they are now. He’s my first port of call for exchanging tracks, or seeking feedback on my productions, and his successful transition into production was definitely an influence on me finally getting off my arse in that regard. It’s true that Erol has been an influence to us both, although it might be hard to detect that from one of my DJ sets or productions these days. Broadly speaking, it’s his ability to take risks and make musical ‘volte-faces’ that have made the most lasting impression on my approach. I like to be immersed in what might be called the techno scene, whilst trying to remain an eternal outsider at the same time.”
What can you tell us about the process of making the Charlatan EP? “It came together fairly quickly, with some essential help from a studio partner. My productions wouldn’t sound as polished if I was working entirely on my own. On that note, my next EP has been mixed down by Jas Shaw, as I felt it would benefit from being run through some wonderful analogue machines, with the additional benefit of a second pair of ears. I’m really happy with the results.
What else can we expect from Volte-Face and possibly BleeD in the next year? “I’m debuting on Semantica, with a track on the next Nonnative compilation. It’s something a little slower, weirder and more conceptual, based on the phenomenon of ASMR (great minds, with regards to Holly Herndon!), and I’m very proud of the results. I have more material ready to come out on future 12″s, and would love to start thinking about a concept for a debut LP. I’m also hoping to work on a second remix, as soon as the right thing comes along. On top of that, I have various collaborations on the go, some of which I would expect to see light of day on BleeD in the new year. I’ve got a lot of good gigs coming up, and hope 2016 will be even more strenuous!
Dale Cornish – Ulex Pattern 1 (Entr’acte)
In Aeternam Vale – Non (Forthcoming Linda)
Abdulla Rashim – Asayita 1 (Abdulla Rashim Records)
JP Enfant – Subliminal Message Of Fear (Les Enfants Terribles Amsterdam)
Future 16 – Filaments pt 4 (Zadig Remix) (Gynoid Audio)
Eric Cloutier – Palimpsest (Forthcoming Wolfskull)
Leiras – Beginning Of Visions (Ownlife)
Eduardo De La Calle – Under Divinity Laws (Fanzine)
UnCUT – Deviant (Fanzine)
G-Man – Cosmic Shores (Exos Remix) (Bang Bang!)
Bjarki – Orange Juice Man трип)
Acronym – Realisation (Northern Electronics)
Sleeparchive – Window 092 (Oscar Mulero Remix) (Warm-Up)
Blind Observatory – And The Flying Saucer (I/Y Remix) (I/Y)
Rote – Rote 2 (Svreca Remix) (Forthcoming BleeD)
Psyk – Aumento (Mote Evolver)
Inigo Kennedy – Requiem (Efdemin ‘Journey To The Stars’ Mix) (Token)
Nima Khak – Nebulosa II (Sand)
Rennie Foster – Monochasm (Xplor Music)
Words by Riccardo Villella, 22 July 2015. 1 comment