Interview: Pariah

Around the time that James Blake and Joy O were first making waves in what we look back and call post-dubstep, Pariah made a similarly big impression. He caught the attention of R&S, with whom he released a couple of EPs, and forged an alliance with Blawan, performing hard-nosed techno as Karenn, putting out club 12″s on their shared label Works The Long Nights. While his DJ schedule has remained solidly busy over the past few years, his solo releases slowed somewhat. Earlier this month, however, he released his debut LP, Here From Where We Are, on the fabric-affiliated Houndstooth label. It’s a gorgeous album of melodic swell and hazy ambient abstractions, quite unlike anything he’s released before. We caught up with him on a WhatsApp call in June for a lengthy chat that covered pivotal records in his life, moving from London to Amsterdam, the long-lasting influence of MTV2 and how playlists are changing modern listening habits. Strap in.

I was wondering what you’ve been listening to lately and if that informed where this album went? “I wouldn’t say that anything that I’ve listened to recently has informed the record but I think the record was very much me trying to recreate the kind of feeling that I got in my head from listening to certain records in the context of certain experiences in my life. There are these records that I kind of see as pillars, that I’ve always come back to. The whole idea of the record was based on the universal fact that you can’t listen to music in isolation, it’s always impacted by your experiences, and often by your direct environment. And I think across the board with all music, it’s the same. Club music wouldn’t have that emotional impact on people if you were just listening to it on laptop speakers or headphones. When you’re in a club and you hear certain records, they completely transform within the context of the club. And I think I guess that’s just one strand of it, but the other is, records that I’ve listened to that I have a kind of really personal connection with, and how they made me feel, I realise that it wasn’t just the records themselves. It was certain situations in my life, even just being certain places, and that was really what informed the writing of the record, I wanted to translate my head into a record.”

Was that an attempt to translate your own experience or to recreate the feeling that previous records might have evoked? “I think that it was really trying to recreate my own experiences, but I’m quite keen to keep specifics quite vague, because I feel as though as soon as you start talking about, ‘it was this record in this location or at this time’, it then lends a certain bias towards, ‘maybe this is how I should approach this record’.” Okay, so it’s ‘I won’t get this if I haven’t listened to that’. “Less that, it’s more ideally I’d like people to approach the record and form their own experiences around it.” Okay. “There is one very specific moment in my life that was the catalyst for trying to write this record, and it’s so mundane, it’s nothing, it’s nothing particularly interesting!” So it’s not like the death of a family member… “Oh no, not at all. it’s something really everyday, super simple, but it had this profound effect on me because I was listening to a certain record. And I’ve always approached that piece of music in a different way, having experienced it in this context. And really, I’d hope that if anyone was to engage with my album, then I’d like them to form their own experiences based around it.” Sure, so the idea is that they form their own experiences in the same way that you have with other records. “Yeah. Because for this record in particular, I didn’t have any context for it. I didn’t know much about it, but it just had this effect on me. and yeah, I don’t think that this is anything particularly high-falutin’ or anything like that, I think it’s a really simple thing that everyone… It doesn’t have to be music, any art really, you experience it, you can’t experience it in isolation. And that’s really what I was trying to achieve. Capture that feeling.”

How active are you on social media? You don’t seem very, but I don’t know if you’re watching from the sides. “I am a massive Twitter lurker. I love Twitter. I hate it as well, but I love it.” Have you come across The White Pube? “No, I haven’t.” Okay, so it’s these two young women, they’re calling themselves ‘art critic baby gods’. Basically, they’re approaching art from, I don’t know if new is the right way to say it, but from a different perspective, they’re sick of art being run by and only covering old white men, that kind of thing. But the other thing they do is, their reviews are very much informed by their experiences. So, if they’re in a bad mood, if the room is too hot, anything like that – It’s entirely personal, it’s entirely subjective, and it’s approaching art in that way because as you say you can’t approach these things in isolation. And I think it ties in with what you’re saying. They were just featured in The Guardian the other day, that’s the reason it’s fresh in my mind. “I’ll check it out, that sounds really interesting. I guess also, conversely, I really like it when artists, musicians, whatever, filmmakers, really try to tell you what to think. I know that I’m being vague about my record, but I really also respect the high concept as well. Most recently, the Oneohtrix album, Age Of​, I’ve really been into the really ludicrous, bonkers concept behind it. It made me grin a lot. it’s so rare that you get that when listening to a record. ‘This is so silly, but in the best way.’ It’s silly but deadly serious, but also incredibly silly. There are some very serious moments and then some silly bits. it took me a while to ‘get’ it.”

Do you think your album is serious? “I duno. I was very concerned not to make it ‘moody’. I don’t think that would have been an accurate reflection of the reasons why I was making the record, but I think it’s… It’s not exactly humorous, it doesn’t have loads of silly noises in it. And I love a silly noise! I’d love to be able to write more music that has that weird sense of humour to it, but I really struggle with that. I wouldn’t say it’s overtly serious though. Someone who listened to the record before it was finished said that a ‘general feeling of contentment’ was what they got.” I can understand that! As I ask the question, one word that springs to mind is ‘earnest’, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, because I don’t think it’s serious in that it’s dour or grim, it’s more serious in that it’s straightforward and it’s not tongue in cheek. “No, it’s not tongue in cheek, I guess that wasn’t really the point in making it. I get the earnestness, maybe it’s slightly over-egged in places, but I think it was just because it was coming from quite an honest place. Contextually as well, it was off the back of being incredibly frustrated with attempting to write music and just utterly failing.”

Was that club music or music full stop? “Yeah, club music. I just kind of hit this block, and part of it, I spent so long going round in my head why this might be, but I think part of it was that I released a couple of records, there was a certain amount of attention, and I don’t think I was quite ready or confident as a producer, and I basically had a massive panic and didn’t know what I was going to do. I just didn’t have a direction that I wanted to go in, which is doubly frustrating for me, because I’ve always found doing stuff with Jamie [Blawan] for the Karenn stuff, not easy, but it comes very naturally because we have a pretty clear focus of what we want to do. And I think for me on my own, there were strands of endless possibilities, and also a lack of self-confidence.” Whereas when you’re working with someone you can rely on them or you can stand on them. “Yeah, I think the pressure’s off a little bit. But also, sometimes that brings its own pressures, collaboration. Part of the reason why I wrote this record was really just a cathartic process as well, ‘Think back, why have I connected with certain records in my life, what if I try and recreate that feeling’. And it kind of worked, which was nice. But now I don’t know what to do next.” Yeah, do you join the modern ambient sound, do you make club edits, you’re back to endless possibilities. “This is the thing! I absolutely love DJing, so I don’t particularly want to stop doing that, and I’m not currently confident that I could do the album live. I’m also not sure whether, part of me thinks that right now, if I was to agree to do it live, it might be just doing it for the sake of doing it. Rather than because I think there would be any net improvement. Like would it actually bring something different to the record?” You might just be playing the record live. “Yeah. Which, on a nice system, it could be nice, but I think that I’ve always thought that the live music that has connected with me is always stuff that brings something different to the material. And I think that’s a lot easier to achieve if you’re a band, because of that live energy you get. But at the moment I don’t particularly want to do a live thing, which puts me back into like, I should probably make some club records! But we’ll see. I’m quite happy to mine this path a little while longer, see where it takes me.”

Was there any moment when you thought, ‘maybe I’ll try a different alias or something, just because it is so different from what I’ve done before’, or did you feel you’d be starting all over again? “Yeah. there was certainly a conversation that I had in my head about that, and I spoke to a couple of people as well. As you said, it’s so different from the old stuff, but I do think you can draw a line between the stuff that I was doing.” Oh yeah, there was already an emotive swell, let’s say, for want of a better phrase, there was great musicality and it wasn’t just beats. “Yeah. I duno, I’m happy that I’ve gone with it. I feel as though this is the first record that I’ve made where I feel completely happy with it as a whole. This is a statement of work that I’m happy with and can commit to, and I think that if I’d put it under a different name, it perhaps would have seemed maybe more of a side thing. Whereas I don’t view it as that. It’s kind of engulfed the past couple of years of my life!

“I recently moved to Amsterdam, a couple of months ago. My girlfriend moved out there three-and-a-half years ago, coming up to four, I finished this album and I moved to Amsterdam. I got the masters and then three weeks later I left London. So, it’s nice, it’s the first time I’ve not lived in the UK. Easy pace of life, quiet.” Amsterdam? Really? “Yeah, well where we are is quiet. We’re in the east of the city, I mean the centre, it’s beautiful, but unfortunately… Lads holidays, times infinitum. It goes from being quite a sleepy city to kind of chaos, within a couple of streets. It’s only refined to the very centre, where it’s crazy, but in fact, I find central London less hectic than the centre of Amsterdam. Also, the streets are a lot narrower, so it can be really packed, and also it seems to be all through the year. At least sometimes in the winter you can go to the centre of London and there’ll be no one there. But the centre of Amsterdam is always popping off. But in general it’s lovely!” Have you been to De School? “I’ve not been since I moved here, but I’ve played a few times, and I have been a couple of other times. It is fantastic. It’s one of the best clubs in Europe, and everyone who I’ve met who works for the club and is involved with it is super nice. One of them, Aron, has been especially helpful, he helped me set up my studio, which was amazing, because I’m a complete novice when it comes to DIY, or acoustics.” Oh yeah, those are two things that you need! “But yeah I’m enjoying it here.”

How has the move affected your dealings with Houndstooth? I guess it’s all online anyway. “It’s been pretty simple. And I’ve been back in London quite a bit anyway, just for shows or visiting. It’s been super simple. They are the easiest people to deal with.” I know Rob Booth is one of the nicest people in dance music, probably. “Yeah definitely. He seems to be fully behind the record, which is nice.” How did you first get in touch with them? “I just sent them some music. I sent them the rough demo and they were really keen. Off the bat. I wanted to send it to the label who had one foot within club music and one foot doing something slightly different, and to me they made the most sense. And also, a label that doesn’t have too much of an affiliated sound. I don’t want to confuse people too much, and I felt if I’d sent it to any labels that just dealt with the more experimental side of electronic music, and if any of them were keen on releasing it, it might have been too much of a statement in one direction. And also, maybe people who know my music from Karenn, or the stuff I used to do, maybe wouldn’t pick up on it.” Because it was coming from too weird a place? “Yeah. Or maybe it’s just a world that they don’t check. But I still want people who are dance music fans to check the record and I felt as though on balance Houndstooth was probably the label that fit best. And also Joe Seaton [Call Super], he says that working with them is the easiest thing in the world.” Your album maybe fits alongside his, insofar as they’re coming from ‘club’ people but not necessarily club records. His albums occasionally have the odd clubby track but they’re much more artistic than some of his 12″s. “Yeah, I mean Joe’s two albums are phenomenal. They’re really well constructed, especially the first one, as an album. It’s an album, it’s not a collection of tracks, and I think this is something that really informed my process, that it has to work as a whole. I feel as though a lot of the music on the record doesn’t work on its own, it has to be taken as a whole. And I’m a huge fan of albums that work as a single piece, take you into a world for 45 minutes to an hour, however long, you can get locked in, and personally my view on a lot of club music albums is that they’re not albums. They might have amazing music on then, but I consider the album as a format – and this is just my personal opinion – as its own thing, it should be a cohesive whole. And the nature of club music, this is such a well worn subject, but the nature of club music, with mixable intros and outros, does not lend itself to an album format. This isn’t me gunning! It’s more that I just think the album as a project is something you can do quite a lot with, and I really wanted to try to do something that locks you in for the duration.”

The first track starts if not with a bang, with a big flourish, and it comes down from that, and it almost feels like that first track is possibly trying to break people in gently who might be expecting something different. Would that sound right? Or am I imagining that? “I can see why you might think that, but I duno. It was the first track that I wrote. The first and second track, it’s one track, they were written together.” Oh yeah, you can feel the flow. “There’s parts from the first track in the second track, it’s all made from the same parts essentially, and it was more like, start with, not a bang, with a flourish, yes! I wanted to have an attention-grabbing opener.” Not a slow fade in. “Yeah, and also for that to be the loudest point of the record. And then from there it meanders off into other places. I liked the idea of having something that was, I see it as quite joyful, upbeat, so maybe not something different in tone, but something different sonically, as the opener. Something slightly more brash.” I don’t mean this in a disparaging way at all but it is very nice. “Yeah, I get that! I think it was a real struggle to mix. I worked with a couple of mix engineers on the record, we all did it together, and that one was the real problem track.”

Was it a question of it being too loud, compared to everything else? “The sound source for the main bit of the track was made by just messing around. I recorded a synth in, and then I put a plugin on to it, and was messing around looping up bits, with this delay plugin that allows you to loop. And I was recording and then I cut bits out of the recording, and the quality of the recording was really hard to balance without it sounding flat, my original demo was a lot harsher. I kind of counteracted the shoddy mixdown or tried to hide the shoddy mixdown with slamming it through a valve mixer, way too loud. It sounded rubbish! But yeah, it’s certainly the noisiest part of the record. I wanted something like that, as a big opener. Also, it wouldn’t fit anywhere else on the record!” It’s not like you can go from one ebb-and-flow track into that, and then out again. It just wouldn’t make sense. “There were a couple of other ideas that I had to have another moment like that towards the end, but I couldn’t really get anything to work, I didn’t want to shoehorn anything in for the sake of it. And actually, I took a track out after the record got mastered. It hadn’t been cut, it didn’t need to be recut! I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to take it out, but I wanted to hear the whole record mastered.”

What sort of environments were you listening to it in, or were you just sitting at home? “Well, it was really just in the studio, I had someone build these acoustic panels for me a few years ago, I rented two rooms in the house that I was living in. So one of the rooms was my studio and one was my bedroom. The room was fully treated and it sounded great, but I think it maybe sounded too good. It was really pleasant to listen to music in, and since moving to Amsterdam, my new studio, which again has been treated – same panels, same speakers, slightly different dimensions – but it’s really brutal. Any mixdown flaws and you can hear them.” But I suppose that’s what you want. “Yeah. That being said, no one’s going to notice, only I’m going to notice because I’ve heard the tracks so many times. But there are a few things, I realised there was a certain frequency in my old studio, which was essentially being completely phased out, because it’s quite present in some of the tracks.” The other thing about having too good an environment is that’s never going to mirror most listeners and what they get. “Yeah, exactly. I think I need to go back to what I used to do, which was, with my older records – also, I’m so out of practice with finishing music, that I forgot what my process was – but I used to listen to tracks on quite bad speakers and quite bad headphones, if they sound good, especially if they sound good on a bad pair of speakers, they’re probably going to sound alright.” I know a lot of people listen to music in the car. “I can’t drive, unfortunately. I know very few people who can.” I suppose, London – that’s the thing isn’t it. “I could buy a car and sit in it! Yeah. I think the car is really good, especially for club music. I’ll do it next time.”

Just to go back to listening experiences, I noticed it’s coming out on CD, that’s a Houndstooth thing I guess – how do you feel about that or do you have any opinions on that? “Initially I was like, we don’t need to do a CD, I’m not particularly up for it, but Rob was kind of insistent, and he said that people do still buy CDs, you’d be surprised, And that’s absolutely fine for me. In fact, and someone’s going to gun me for saying this, I think you’ll probably get a better experience listening to it on CD.” Is it because you don’t have to turn the CD over? “That, and also, I really made it with headphones in mind, so really what I’m saying is digitally, high-quality digital with a good pair of headphones.” Bluetooth headphones of course. “Yeah, snazzy Bluetooth headphones. I do agree that not having to turn it over is probably a good thing, but at the same time, the A side and B side, it’s definitely like one part ends and then the other part begins. So, from track 5 is the B side. And I feel as though that’s a shift from I guess the first half of the record is slightly more compositional, maybe, I guess it’s melodically stronger, and then the second half is a bit more washed out, until the last track, which I guess is the closest thing to, in my view, to a song on the record. And I think that it shouldn’t interrupt too much with the listening experience.

“I remember reading an interview with Fennesz, about nine or 10 years ago, and he said he’d rather people listened to his music on CD, because his music is entirely digital. And the sound that he’s going for is exactly replicated on CD. His high ends are so crunchy, and in your face, in the nicest way possible. And I think you lose some of that fidelity with vinyl. That being said, [there’s] nothing like a bass line and vinyl. Do you know the record The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull​ by Earth? They’re like the pre-Sunn O))), and their early records are those really loud guitar droney records, and they moved into playing what can only be described as drone country music. There’s one record and it’s one of my favourite records of all time, I guess when it came out I was probably 17 or 18, and it’s one of these pillars, actually – I’ve never stopped listening to it, and I finally bought a copy on vinyl – I had the CD – I shelled out like €50 for it. I finally bought some hi-fi speakers and a hi-fi deck. And just listening to that record on vinyl – the bass guitar, it sounds so nice.” Have you ever seen that brand, Lyle’s Golden Syrup – have you ever seen that logo? It’s literally a lion carcass. “Is it?! I just thought it was a lion having a great time.” It’s some biblical reference as far as I know. “Yeah I think it’s some Old Testament thing.” I think that’s the same as this album title! “That’s amazing. I’m googling this now. This is mad. It’s quite dark!” It’s really dark, especially for something you put on your breakfast table with your pancakes. I guess it’s the circle of life. “Oh my god it is. Samson! What the fuck. That is some excellent trivia. You’ve blown my mind.” Happy to hear it. “This record has this psych, really heavy kind of vibe to it. It’s fucking amazing. I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s heavy in its repetition, it really hammers home these droney four-bar sequences that just go on and on and on. With these really nice little flourishes and motifs running through. It’s incredible. It’s heavy without resorting to all the standard signifiers of heavy.”

Can you tell me any other albums that you would consider benchmarks? “I guess another one from childhood, and it’s about as far removed from the record that I’ve made, is Jane Doe​ by Converge. That’s like trad heavy. The Earth album isn’t really heavy, I just think that it is because it’s so thick and humid-sounding. But Jane Doe ​really is. That record has stayed with me, I was young when I got it, and I didn’t really understand it at first, I was like, wow, this is a bit much. And I just kept listening and it kind of clicked. And in terms of live experience bands, I’ve never seen a better band play live. Like a whirlwind of energy, it was amazing. The last time I saw them I was 19, but it stayed with me, completely. I think that’s probably another pillar record. Certainly, a record that I’ve listened to and my 30-year-old self still thinks that this is ‘actually’ good, rather than ‘nostalgically’ good. Cause I’ve got loads of those! I’ve got hundreds of nostalgia records that are probably quite naff.” Did you ever have a blog house phase? “No. I was probably 17 or 18 when I first heard the Justice record and I probably wouldn’t have recognised that that was dance music. But then quite swiftly after that I got into dubstep. It’s weird that. I guess I went from not really knowing what dance music was, to becoming heavily involved with it. Which I think quite a lot of people did.”

Do you think it was a live thing, an experience thing? How do you go from metal to dubstep? “I’d been listening to electronic music for a long time, since I was really young, but I knew nothing about dance music, I don’t know if institution is the right word, but as a scene – something that had a culture connected to it – and then you stumble across something that piques your interest and you delve head first down the rabbit hole. Dubstep was the starting point. I wouldn’t have put Aphex Twin, even though I knew Selected Ambient Works​ and I knew the early stuff like ‘Digeridoo’, I wouldn’t have known that that was dance music. Which is crazy! Cause I listened to ‘Digeridoo’ and I just want to go mad! My first exposure to Aphex Twin was either seeing ‘Come To Daddy’ or the ‘Windowlicker’ videos on 120 Minutes​, on MTV2. That was so formative for me, in terms of my music tastes in general. It ran really late at night, midnight till 2 or 1 till 3, and it just played a really wide mix of music. Some rubbish, but some really really good stuff. So, they’d have Aphex Twin videos, they’d have other stuff on that axis, but then they also had slightly more interesting bands, there’s this band called Autolux that I really got into as a result of watching that show.

I first heard The Knife, probably before Deep Cuts ​came out, when they had this super fucked-up video, it wasn’t a song – it wasn’t released commercially I don’t think – it was just a video. It was this weird cartoon, I think it involved a car going down a road, and a weird animated rabbit – I’ve not seen it since I was 16, but it made a huge impression on me.” I imagine it would! “So yeah. That as a thing was super formative for me. Some of the videos were so good as well. MTV2 was the shit, it was so good. I remember watching Zane Lowe when I was a young teenager. But it was more that they used to play a huge range of music on it. Myspace was around, but this was pre everything being connected, still the days of everything taking a long time to download a track off Soulseek or something like that, waiting four weeks for an import CD from America. And I also lived in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t really have anything to do, so I used to sit around at night and watch this.” You know the story about Kowton, who would sit in a car outside a rave, listening to the music from afar. “That sounds like him!” Whereas you’re sitting at home watching MTV. “Yeah. that was my life, for quite a long time.”

Can I ask where you grew up? “I grew up near Dundee in Scotland. There wasn’t a huge bunch to do. And I think that’s why I got so lost in music. I definitely think that those were good times as well! I don’t look back and think my teenage years were depressing. I really miss that, staying up all night to watch something, thinking maybe they’ll play this track that I heard a couple of weeks ago, or maybe I’ll hear something new that’s really cool.” I never had money as a kid and for years I wanted this Notorious BIG album and I couldn’t afford it because it was a double album, so I used to ring up pirate stations that had rap shows and asked will you play ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ or ‘Sky’s The Limit’ or something, cause they would play the uncut versions, whereas the other radio stations would play the edits. Innocent times, ringing up radio stations. “Yeah, I think for everyone who is 27 and over, I think we all feel this way. This is how we used to consume music or could hear the music that we wanted to. You hear endless stories, especially when people are talking about dance music in London, about people waiting up all night listening to the pirates, frantically trying to ID tunes by what the MC or the DJ announces, trying to work stuff out, taping madly. As far as I’m aware there weren’t any pirates around me, but I think we all had that experience. It’s just modified to our location – whether it be calling up a rap pirate show or watching MTV! Whereas now, everything, I saw some tweet the other day, something that made me feel old, from someone who’s a teacher, and they asked a student what their favourite album was, and they said that they’d never listened to an album before. They only listened to playlists.” I see so many people talking about their Discover Weekly playlists – I find new music every day but I listen to albums, I can’t fathom this experience. “I don’t know whether it’s a chicken and egg thing, whether it’s these huge streaming sites gearing everyone towards listening to playlists or whether that’s how naturally people would like to consume music.” It’s not that different to the radio all day and hearing the same songs, you’re never going to hear an album in that sense. “But then also, as much as I like the idea of an album, the way in which albums were first created, as far as I’m aware, was basically just a way to sell the singles. It wasn’t until later that they became more of an artistic statement, and I don’t know whether naturally our attention spans would rather listen to singles, or a playlist.”

When we were talking earlier on about club music vs non-club music, an album vs a collection of tracks, one thing I thought about was classical music or opera, now I guess that’s more performance based, but you wouldn’t think about the single from this particular Mozart suite or whatever, so how did we go from that to individual songs to albums to playlists? I don’t know where I’m going with this. “I guess it’s the fact that popular music as we know it today has its roots in blues, and traditional folk music. I guess that’s where it comes from, all short songs, and it’s an extension of that. I am not a music historian.” Nor me. “Even those, you listen to a classical piece, and it’s usually about half an hour, all the movements together, unless it’s an opera, then it goes on for four-and-a-half years, it really struck me when I read that tweet. Do people really not listen… It made me feel old as well, because I guess my life in music has totally revolved around certain albums and getting so into them and not listening to anything else.” I don’t do that any more but it’s definitely how I grew up. “I get that occasionally. If there’s an album that I really like I’ll just absolutely cane it. But I guess also, instant access to everything nowadays, we didn’t have that growing up. But at the same time, I don’t think that that means you have any less of a personal relationship with music. Your relationship is based around your choices.”

I think that’s where playlists are changing things, because you are foregoing that choice, you’re giving that choice to the algorithm, if you’re following the playlist route. “Yeah but if you make your own playlists, which I think a lot of people do.” Oh okay, so it’s not just the Discover Weekly thing. “The algorithmic playlists, yeah I totally see that, but I have a few playlists that I’ve made – I’ve one for a lot of the US rap stuff, which I find quite hard to digest in album format, because the albums are so long. Also hunting for music to play in clubs and stuff like that, I don’t feel I have the time to digest a 22-track album, that’s like 80 minutes long. I used to love making mix CDs for people.” Oh sure! I mean in that sense I’ve no beef with playlists, I was purely thinking about the automated ones. I have playlists on my iPod of all the music that I download every day, but I didn’t see that in the same sphere, maybe we’re just talking about different things. “That whole news story that broke about Spotify fluffing up its playlists with fake artists, people they just hired to write Muzak. I find that fascinating. All these sleep playlists, where they’ve commissioned this person to write sad piano.” You could do so many modular things, just set the thing to do the thing, I don’t quite know how these things work but I understand that they do work. You could do that, you wouldn’t even have to ‘play’ the music. “Totally. fully generative. Just leave it on forever. Sell it to Spotify. Quids in. I find it quite fascinating. It’s like Muzak being consumed as music. ” As opposed to what Muzak was originally for? “Yeah. It’s all in the name of increasing revenue for the company and paying out less to actual artists. That being said, I do value Spotify. It’s so helpful. I’ve discovered a lot of music through Spotify, so you know, the good with the bad.”

Pariah – Here From Where We Are is out now on Houndstooth. Buy here.

Photo by Kasia Zacharko

Aidan Hanratty

Dublin ...