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An Trinse traces a psychedelic history of ancient technology in Humic Acid Regress

An Trinse sets a swirling soundscape of hypnotic drones, tumbling synthesis and double bass, courtesy of Maxwell Sterling, against stroboscopic fragments of 3D renderings of prehistoric sites, grainy, monochromatic fractals stamped with ancient glyphs and ancient, science fiction schematics.

As An Trinse, Northern Irish audiovisual artist Stephen McLaughlin reckons with the cultural history of Ireland with sound and image, mapping what he describes as “the uneasy atmospheres and silences left in the Irish psyche in the aftermath of colonial and religious repression, using archaeology and ancient history as a conduit.” Of particular interest to McLaughlin are bog fossils, specifically, the incredible preservative effects that the anaerobic environment of bogs can have in relation to natural tannic acids that result from the natural degrading of peat moss. “Bogs themselves contain a unique environment free of oxygen which prevents the growth of bacteria which would normally decompose flesh,” explains McLaughlin. “In their place are a species which degrades peat moss to form humic acid, which acts as a natural embalming environment similar to the process used when tanning leather.” This process can result in the perfect conditions for preservation, with ancient artefacts including bog wood, barrels of bog butter, entire farming landscapes enveloped by blanket bogs and bog bodies, with skin, hair and internal organs intact, having been found in incredible condition up to 5000 years after they were submerged in the wetlands. “There is a general mystery surrounding these artefacts,” continues McLaughlin, “and it is unknown whether the bodies were the result of human sacrifice, a punishment for a crime worthy of shame or honour, but they have captivated artists and thinkers as diverse and Joseph Beuys, Seamus Heaney, Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung whose feud over the meaning of these bodies inspired my earlier work, Corpses From the North. “They emerge as what Karin Sanders calls: ‘corporeal time capsules that transcend archaeology to challenge our assumptions about what we know about the past.  By restoring them to the roster of cultural phenomena that force us to confront our ethical and aesthetic boundaries…excavates anew the question of what it means to be human.’”

It is within this frame that An Trinse explores Ireland’s violent history of colonial and religious oppression, incorporating iconography and the fossilised prehistoric culture of Ireland into his abstract excavations of cultural memory. It was during research completed as part of a collaboration with Sardinian artist Il Santo Bevitore, the same collaboration that served as the starting point for the above audiovisual work, that McLaughlin made the discovery that some of the oldest human remains unearthed in present day Northern Ireland, which date back about 5000 years, share close ancestral relatives with native Sardinians. “It is hard for the archaeological imagination not to run with this,” continues McLaughlin, “given the similar myths of giants, megalithic constructions and the concentric rings that run through both cultures’ artwork, which has been found as far away as the USA, and imagine there was some ancient network running between these cultures. Maybe it was simply through the slow process of cultural transfer, but perhaps a more mystical technology.” It’s these twin secret histories of ancient technology that McLaughlin explores in Humic Acid Regress, setting a swirling soundscape of hypnotic drones, tumbling synthesis, passages of uncanny ambience and double bass, courtesy of Maxwell Sterling, against stroboscopic fragments of 3D renderings of prehistoric sites, grainy, monochromatic fractals stamped with ancient glyphs and science fiction schematics. Mechanised, filtered footage of abandoned human settlements, as though plucked from an archive for extraterrestrial research, is superimposed with a self-generating, organic user interface, as though the artist has recovered the advanced communications technology of a lost civilisation from unknown depths, dripping with bog acid.

Ordnance survey maps of interstitial spaces seem to plot a lost megalithic network, while the overlay of an interconnected matrix of golden transmitters gestures towards the kinds of technology now lost to these ancient civilisations drowned in soil and moss. In this collage of imagery, McLaughlin seeks to trace an alternate history of these mysterious sites, developing a multidisciplinary practice he describes as “based on research undertaken looking into connections between ancient civilisations and the speculative history of a global prehistoric society with advanced manufacturing technology that was destroyed by some kind of apocalyptic event leaving few clues to their origin. There is something especially troubling here, deep in the Anthropocene, where signs of societal and ecological collapse seem to loom.” What McLaughlin effects, then, is a form of audiovisual time travel, in which his non-linear depiction of a speculative ancient history generates a space in which hidden pasts bleed into lost futures, a concept he lifts from the writings of The Teardrop Explodes frontman and Neolithic authority Julian Cope. “Another influence was Julian Cope’s ‘Time-shifting Gnostic Hooligan Road Novel,’ One Three One, where a psychedelic traveller finds a way to journey to ancient Sardinia through massive doses of hallucinogens,” says McLaughlin. “Over the last 30 years Cope has become an expert on the megaliths and ancients of European prehistory and has published several highly sought-after books on the subject that point towards a complex and mystical society that, despite being much more advanced that conventional wisdom would have us believe, has also left very few clues to who they were or how they met their end. These two different types of acid fused into imagining an ancient technology, travelling through time and space, within the ecology of the bog.”

“The piece itself was developed as the end of the current An Trinse live show that has been showing this year,” continues McLaughlin. “The backbone has remained, but what has gone over the top has been in flux, so I only recently had the idea of having Maxwell to provide strings to add some humanity to the chasms of noise.” You can catch Maxwell Sterling performing live with Stephen McLaughlin, who will provide live visuals, at Cafe Oto on December 6.

An Trinse will perform live at [ADSR]4, an experimental music event showcasing new and international sonic artists. Ticket are available now.

You can find An Trinse on Instagram and Bandcamp.

Watch next: Hannah Rose Stewart & Blackhaine Present: MIASMA (Excerpt)

Fact Mix 885: Tash LC

Courting chaos and curiosity through a continent-crossing bounce between dancehall, dub, tarraxo, techno, gqom and drill, this week’s Fact mix is a typically joyous dispatch from Tash LC.

“This mix is a real representation of me: a lil chaotic, curious, ambitious, gutsy,” says Tashan Leah Campbell of this week’s Fact mix. “It’s a snapshot of what I’m about as a DJ, always ready to try new things and explore new and unexpected ways of linking genres.” Courting chaos and curiosity through a continent-crossing bounce between dancehall, dub, tarraxo, techno, gqom and drill, it’s a typically joyous dispatch from one of the most exploratory and vital voices in a scene in sore need of exploration and vitality. Alongside kindred spirits Mina and Juba she is a third of Boko! Boko!, one of London’s most essential parties and DJ collectives, which since 2015 has been an incubator for all three of their influential, all-embracing approaches to music, as well a powerful force for good in the shape of a community of like-minded artists and ravers built on diversity, inclusivity and sustainability. It’s a project that Tash has continued and expanded upon with her own club night, community, radio show and record label, Club Yeke, which presents styles from the African Diaspora, South and Latin America, all channeled through the irrepressible sweaty energy of UK dance culture. “At my core, success is doing the things that I love and doing them with integrity,” she told Wonderland. “I want to be continually putting out artists that I really rate and continuing to build a platform for those people.” 

This same spirit lights up every second of her Fact mix. Whether it’s a recently unearthed disco mix of a UK dancehall gem from Sister Candy bubbling through screwed ragga and humid jungle dub from Seekersinternational, hiccuping tarraxo clatter from B1 Produções ricocheting off the seismic rumble of pioneering Cairene producer and rapper Rozzma and Bambounou’s dissonant percussive excavations, or an inspired whip pan from ‘Afrorave’ megastar Rema to ethereal psych throb from Daniel Avery and the deepest, darkest new rhythms from RS Produções lynchpin DJ Narciso, Tash LC draws wide and never misses, finding precise through lines in rhythm and mood with one ear while the other is tuned to a truly global frequency. She even finds time for a sequence exploring African artists experimenting with technology and sound in ways that present progressive alternatives to Eurocentric standards. UX designer Babusi Nyoni uses machine learning to create an algorithmically generated gqom track that bangs harder than your life with ‘Artificial Intelligence Gqom’, Nigerian sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh threads together a creeping dub patchwork of field recordings, percussion and reverb on ‘Ayilara,’ which was heard echoing off the concrete walls of Berghain during their pandemic exhibition, Studio Berlin, while Brian Bamanya, better known as Afrorack, demonstrates the transformative power of his DIY modular system with ‘African Drum Machine,’ which uses a Euclidean rhythm sequencer to divide CV signals into intricate algo-polyrhythms that mimic structures that exist in many East African musical forms.

Moments that demonstrate a formidable knowledge and a sensitive finger to the pulse of global dance styles are found throughout the mix, a result of the deep care and consideration that Tash invariably brings to her work. “It sounds cheesy, but I’m creating a story through my set a lot of the time,” she says. “I love connecting with people in a crowd, knowing that you’ve got somebody’s attention or you can almost see their eyes light up when they discover something they haven’t heard before.” Not simply satisfied with her own expansive focus, it’s clear that Tash LC is determined to open up all of our ears, too.

You can find Tash LC on Instagram, TikTok and tune into her fortnightly, at NTS.

Tracklist:

Sister Candy – ‘Keep Bubbling (Disco Mix)’
Seekersinternational – ‘Ringringriddim’
Sevenbeatz – ‘Dis Way’
Ronan – ‘Geodesis’
B1 Produções – ‘Tipo Assim’
Rozzma – ‘Hareeka’
Bambounou – ‘Dernier Metro’
Rema – ‘Calm Down’
Atik2 – ‘Ocean Dream’
Daniel Avery – ‘I Would If I Could’
DJ Narciso – ‘Esqueice’
Spice – ‘Clap Clap (Selecta Killa Acap Intro)’
Flexfab & Killa Bas – ‘Hednzo’ [Feat. Sim Citizen]
State Offf – ‘Artificial Intelligence Gqom’
Emeka Ogboh – ‘Ayilara’
Afrorack – ‘African Drum Machine’
Menchess – ‘Loxion Techno’
Mfumfanakagogo – ‘Bongo’
Dennis Cruz & Riza Starr – ‘A Jem Be’
Jamaica Mnanda – ‘Kama Ipo Ipo’ (DJ Firmeza Remix)
Amazondotcom – ‘La Fiction’
??? – ??? ( Unreleased Club Yeke)
Kingdom – ‘Ryde Of Your Lyfe’
Taze – ‘Rinse It’

Listen next: Fact Mix 884 – TAAHLIAH

Hannah Rose Stewart & Blackhaine Present: MIASMA (Excerpt)

In an original commission from Trauma Bar und Kino and Fact Magazine, concept artist and 3D designer Hannah Rose Stewart and musician and performance artist Blackhaine present MIASMA, a haunted world of lost souls, abandoned spaces and egregores.

An ‘egregore’ can be defined in various ways. An occult concept dating back to the 16th-century Enochian magic of John Dee and Edward Kelley, egregores were understood to be angelic beings, watchers of earthbound civilisations and the ancestors of the Nephilim, mysterious beings of gigantic stature that are written about in the Hebrew Bible. An egregore can also be understood as a non-physical entity, or thought-form, created by the conscious or unconscious will of a group or community, whose emotional and energetic focus imbues the entity with autonomy and the power to influence. Defined variously as an energised astral form, the result of communal will and visualisation and as a symbolic pattern, the concept of the egregore lends itself eerily well to the hyperstitional meme magic of our contemporary multi-platform mire, a strategy for thinking through the increasingly esoteric and atomised communities, complete with their own multi-user shared hallucinations, that break off as the result of the dispersion and entropy of the platforms we once mistook for a digital commons. For Hannah Rose Stewart and Blackhaine, the egregore is also the spectre which haunts and is embodied by MIASMA, their ambitious and enigmatic multi-disciplinary collaboration stretching from Berlin’s foremost exploratory art space, Trauma Bar und Kino, to the algorithmically compressed plane of the screen. At once a visceral live production and an intricate digital environment and performance built in Unreal Engine, MIASMA is enveloped by what Stewart describes as “socially imbued feelings of loss, ghosts, magical realism and the uncanny in post-industrial society,” chasing an egregore formed from the “architecture, ephemera and history of the working class in the North,” as well as death drone, the Japanese dance theatre of Butoh and abandoned urban simulation as seen through the eyes of philosophical horror writer Thomas Ligotti.

Photo: Lengua

Opening in total darkness, the opening excerpt of MIASMA presented above makes itself known via the dread hum and rusted industrial buzz of Blackhaine’s score, a dark, amniotic throb that rises up from pitch dark waters which slowly reveal themselves, the undulating surface of the waves forming a writhing skin, as though stretched over the crawling, intumescent flesh of a hulking leviathan. Submerged on the other side of this a man drifts listless, limbs outstretched toward the mirrored membrane of the water’s surface, pale flesh barely visible through grey currents. Wrenched up and out of the water, the muffled echoes of Blackhaine’s defiant cry come keening through thick fog, an inaudible invocation that nonetheless transports us to MIASMA’s next apparition, a grey glimpse of a stained beach, framed by the grim bricks of industrial coastal development. “One example of the egregore that MIASMA incorporates is world building in games,” explains Stewart of MIASMA’s opening scene, which is modelled on a culmination of places, non-places, and spaces important to both her and Blackhaine. “There’s a similar building by the beach in my home that was also used as a WWII artillery,” she continues. “I remember similar spaces being abandoned and littered. Each state changes how they are perceived through time.” Understanding her own process of collaborative world building as itself the making of an egregore, a contemporary, Neo-Gothic mode of ghostly virtual composition, Stewart associates her practice with Mark Fisher’s writings on hauntology, specifically, as Fisher describes in Ghosts Of My Life, the transposition of “ghost stories out of the Victorian context and into contemporary places, the still inhabited or the recently abandoned.” In this excerpt of MIASMA, an abandoned beach, the “shallow place, bled dry” of Blackhaine’s macabre utterance, is positioned as one of these ‘non-places,’ pervaded by the kind of haunted stillness that permeates the dull concrete of once thriving ports and old military fortifications, paved over with memories of death and drowning.

“One recurring theme in gaming worlds is that of the ghost town, found in titles like Silent Hill, or in the fact that game architecture sits vacant until the player enters,” says Stewart. “Vacant aesthetics generally proliferate game space. I think this parallels physical spaces plagued by ghosts such as defunct industrial shipyards, old bed and breakfasts no longer in use, or empty playgrounds in the rain.” The harsh whirr of Blackhaine’s score signals an uncanny glide onto the beach, revealing abandoned pill boxes and signal towers, all sodden metal, salt-flecked stone and splintered wood, standing as headstones marking the violent processes of industrialisation that birthed them. Here is from where the egregore emerges, a haunted space of a different kind. For Stewart and Blackhaine these ghosts have a very material presence, the result of post-industrial chaos magic in the liminal spaces of late capitalism, producing phantoms hanging in the wake of the disembowelling effects of austerity and inequality. In this way, the sinister autonomy of the egregores of MIASMA can be understood in terms of what Fisher described as “the agency of the virtual,” a spectre understood “not as anything supernatural, but as that which acts without (physically) existing,” a formulation borne out in Stewart’s 3D practice. “Even though the buildings are taken from real places, they are hollow and merely a veneer,” notes Stewart. “In the Unreal environment, you wouldn’t see anything behind any door, just grey. We took a similar approach to the defunct business signage, which we generated through AI tools that rendered this stylised, illegible language. That detail brought out a dissociating quality to walking through a place designed to be familiar.” Suspended in time, as though past, present and apocalypse are all collapsing in on each other, the virtual world of MIASMA can itself be understood as an egregore, a familiar place made strange, an environment that has created an apparition, which itself is an entity around which an environment has been constructed.

Photo: Lengua

In his essay ‘The Slow Cancellation Of The Future,’ Mark Fisher describes haunting as “a failed mourning,” asserting that “it is about refraining to give up the ghost or – and this can sometimes amount to the same thing – the refusal of the ghost to give up on us.” Washed up on this beach at the end of the world, Blackhaine exists as a digital homunculus, an avatar made in the image of a man, left to wander through the ruins of MIASMA, his words echoing off wet brick and cold stone. Reflections on desperation, dead bodies and suicidal thoughts are shot through with void noise and creeping tension, vivid images of heels dug in dirt, a spade dug into sand. “Tide’s keeping me awake,” he mutters under his breath, “been numb to the waves, let me dance let me dance let me dance.” Drawing on Stewart’s imagery, which for Blackhaine evokes “Blackpool, another hotel room,” the artist uses MIASMA as space to reckon with personal demons in a motion capture performance he describes as “semi biographical” and incorporates elements of Japanese dance theatre practice Butoh. “It came about from an empty resort,” he explains, “it is a situation with both possibility and doomed inside – I chose to use this space as a symbol of how I feel.” Butoh, developed in the years following World War II, is a discipline that by its very nature evades definition, drawing from taboo and modelled on movement under duress or pain as an aggressive response to bourgeoise refinement. One of its pioneers, Tatsumi Hijikata, described it as a “turn away from the Western styles of dance, ballet and modern,” intended to evoke “the natural movements” of working class people. Assimilated into Blackhaine’s iconoclastic movement practice, Butoh serves as a cathartic expression of raw emotion, his violent, primal movement translated in staccato animation and virtual glitch. Bent double with rage, contorted with pain, hands and fingers twitching with rigor mortis tension, the Blackhaine avatar is pinned under the collective weight of MIASMA, neither entity able to give up the ghost.

“The movements were not captured entirely by the computer,” notes Stewart. “For me, Tom’s approach ascribed a certain possessed quality to the character on screen, which helped emphasise the feelings we were looking to capture in the work.” As iron lung bass and harsh percussive scrapes beat out a slow, funereal pulse, rock formations shrouded in smog swinging past, Blackhaine’s intonations become more urgent, eerie ambient wails glancing off his words as he breathes: “got me hung up on this wire.” The oceans turning turbulent, his naked appeal churning the waters around MIASMA’s rocks, his visions become apocalyptic (“I’m the only one alive in these streets”), glacial synths staking his stream-of-conscious prayer of pain into the sand, delivered at once inward and outward, the voice of MIASMA, channelled through the collective smog of generational trauma and malaise from which the egregore emerges. “Through the virtual and the choreographic, MIASMA autopsies the post-industrial urban corpse, carves out and meditates on its wounds in unparalleled catharsis,” concludes Stewart, “an embrace with a dark simulacrum that’s intimate, melancholic and abrasive.” Parsing through the entrails of this non-place, one of many sites of the most egregious hollowing out via the tentacles of capital, we can catch glimpses of its true nature, shards of mirrored glass protruding from internal organs, glinting back the familiar from within the abject flesh of the haunted. “We must also recognise the extent to which the capitalist dystopia of 21st Century culture is not something that was simply imposed on us,” writes Fisher. “It was built out of our captured desires.” From a now empty chest cavity there springs a new entity, an intoxicating miasma, a cold and empty portrait of our captured desires shone back at us, presented as abandoned architecture for us to chase ourselves through. In this contemporary Gothic mode the present is irrevocably ruptured by the eternal creep of the past, all signs of life extracted, leaving Hannah Rose Stewart to map its ruined landscape and Blackhaine the only one left alive to speak its name. With no glimmer of hope, no room for optimism, each artist is compelled to share this emptiness with each other, as well as with us. “Being able to talk about a shared experience is a form of solidarity,” asserts Stewart.

MIASMA was originally performed at and commissioned by Trauma Bar und Kino, curated by Madalina Stanescu and featuring music from Rainy Miller and Croww. The above excerpt is a new commission from Fact, elements of which were presented in Issue 04 of Fact Magazine alongside original poetry from Blackhaine.

For more information about Hannah Rose Stewart and her work you can visit her website and follow her on Instagram. You can find Blackhaine on Instagram and Bandcamp.

MIASMA Credits:

Video, installation, & performance Presented at Trauma Bar und Kino on October 12, 2022.

Curated by Madalina Stanescu
Credits – Hannah Rose Stewart & Blackhaine
Photo Credit – Lengua
Principal Filmography, Production UE5 – Filip Setmanuk
Editor – Marco Stoltze
Motion Capture – Samuel Capps
MOCAP Cleanup – Anastasia Holumbovska
3D Asset Creation – Lucas Hadjam
Lighting Design – Felix Ward
Music Production – Rainy Miller
Music Production – Croww
Choreographic Performance – Louis Ellis
Graphic Design – Jordi Theler

Special thanks to Kyle Van Horn & The Trauma Bar und Kino team

Watch next: Fact Residency – Blackhaine

Grand River surges through melancholy cascade with Human

Taken from her third album, All Above, dedicated to the memory of legendary experimental musician and Editions Mego founder Peter Rehberg.

On ‘Human,’ a stunning assemblage of acoustic instrumentation and elegant synthesis from the Berlin-based, Dutch-Italian composer and sound designer Aimée Portioli, better known as Grand River, a restrained tension between fleeting moments of corporeal beauty and a devastating wave of synthetic sublimity pervades. Gently stuttering samples, looping vocal chatter and choral peals drift between the heart-breaking vibration of resonant piano and artist Marco Ciceri‘s imagery, heavy mist draped over the rocks around a waterfall, the sounds of unseen voices reverberating around sheer rock. Starting as little more than a flutter, the rising surge of driving bass synth begins to clear the air, the arrival of a silent, monochromatic torrent, billowing clouds of foam and spray signalling a change in the emotional tide of the track. While constantly threatening to overwhelm the fleeting mortal beauty of voice and struck string in this electronic deluge, we’re never totally submerged, never subjected to the crushing weight of the waterfall’s base, as ornate glimmers echo in the distance, the ever-present piano and ethereal haze of choirs and voice continue to swirl through the lethal current, captured as an infinitely repeating, slow motion cascade.

Taken from Portioli’s third album as Grand River, All Above, ‘Human’ is indicative of the expansive scope of the record, which sees the artist building voices, strings, organs, guitars and synthesis around acoustic piano compositions, which resonates at the heart of each. It is the emotional heft of the piano that Portioli seeks to channel throughout the record, which seeks to explore the guiding forces behind our internal drives and urges, mapping different instruments onto different moods, using arrangements to chart progression through different states of being. Drawing from her training as a linguist, this sonic vernacular is conceived as an emotional language transcendent of cultural constraints, eschewing visual metaphor and imagery for non-verbal forms of self-expression. With his visual for ‘Human,’ Marco Ciceri achieves something similar, never showing us the source of the water, instead pulling focus on the unstoppable force of the waterfall’s terminal velocity and the roiling river underneath. What we are left with is an image of natural sublimity abstracted, with Grand River’s composition ringing in our ears.

‘Human’ is taken from All Above, which arrives on February 24, 2023, via Editions Mego. The album is dedicated to the memory of legendary experimental musician and Editions Mego founder Peter Rehberg, who died suddenly last year at the age of 53.

For more information about Grand River and her work you can find her on Instagram and visit her website. You can find Marco Ciceri on Instagram and at his website.

Watch next: Eden Samara & Natalia Podgorska journey through the many internal worlds of Rough Night

Fact Mix 884: TAAHLIAH

Modern rave music from one of Scotland’s most exciting new club producers.

In 2021, Glasgow-born and based producer and DJ TAAHLIAH made an impact with the release of her debut EP, Angelica, a deeply personal collection of tracks that explored her identity as a trans, working class person that grew up in the small Scottish town of Kilmarnock. The seven-track release showcased her irresistible combination of hard dance and pop influences, a sound that reflects Scotland’s legacy of rave and hardcore, influenced in part by the similarly adventurous pop of artists such as SOPHIE and Purity Ring.

TAAHLIAH’s DJ style is just as fearless as her productions. Rarely dipping below 140BPM, her sets are a celebration of modern rave music, blending happy hardcore edits of commercial pop tracks with fast paced music from her contemporaries. TAAHLIAH’s Fact Mix is off the wall in the best possible way, combining reworks of David Guetta, Azaelia Banks and Rosalía with the blog house revival from Doss, a piano house remix of SOPHIE’s ‘Infatuation’ and host of frenetic club cuts from ÅMRTÜM, Dialog, Himera and TAAHLIAH herself.

“The definition of play… with a drive for kinetic energy,” is how TAAHLIAH describes the mix. “The prioritisation of movement and glamour, during a time when there’s a lack of sunlight.”

Follow TAAHLIAH on Instagram and SoundCloud, and find her music on Bandcamp. Her latest single, ‘Fuck It’, made in collaboration with Loraine James is available to buy and stream now.

Next year, TAAHLIAH will be playing two exciting live shows: a collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra at London’s Southbank Centre on 1 Feb, 2023, and her new live show The Ultimate Angels, at Glasgow’s SWG3 on Feb 18, 2023.

Tracklist:

Skin on Skin — ‘For Tha Shot’
Mikey Barreneche & Z A K — ‘Shots Fired’
Forbid & Coppa — ‘Pose Position’
ROSALIA — ‘CUUUUuuuuuute’ (TIDEWARP TREATMENT)
MK — ’17’ (Bleu Clair Edit)
David Guetta — ‘Titanium’ (ft. SIA) (PZZS Flip)
Darren After — ‘Pretend (Edit)’
Sam Smith & Kim Petras — ‘Unholy’ (Disclosure Remix) [Kim’s Verse]
Moksi – ‘So Fly ft Lil Debbie’ (Mikey Barreneche Bootleg)
Ayesha Erotica – ‘SexyBack x Rockstar x Taboo’ (AARONON Mashup)
Azealia Banks — ‘ATM JAM’ (The Oddword Remix)
Doss — ‘Look feat. Rye Rye’ (All Night Mix)
SOPHIE — ‘Infatuation’ (Lichtbogen Dreamin’ Remix)
ÅMRTÜM – ‘ACAB’
TAAHLIAH — ‘Bodies’ (feat. Luca Eck)
Azealia Banks — ‘New Bottega’
Dialog – ‘Muthafucca’ 
Himera – ‘You Make It Look So Easy (Lucky)’ [feat. Petal Supply] 
Materia — ‘Kids’ (UHD Remix)
Manni Dee — ‘Pillow Princess’ (TAAHLIAH Remix)

Listen next: Fact Mix 883: Sarahsson

Eden Samara & Natalia Podgorska journey through the many internal worlds of Rough Night

Working in collaboration with friend, artist and animator Natalia Podgorska, Eden Samara explores a hallucinatory game world modelled around each track from her debut album, Rough Night.

Rough Night, self-described as “a tragicomedy in seven scenes and an interlude,” is the sound of singer, writer and producer Eden Samara working things out. Pulling focus on an irresistible club pop sound, threaded through with contributions from the best and brightest in contemporary dance music, including Call Super, Shanti Celeste, TSVI and Loraine James, Samara’s debut album is at once a coming of age story and an intimate testament to the challenges of drawing from such personal places. “I think well into our adulthood we still go through cycles of losing ourselves and finding ourselves again, so the album encompasses a cycle of growing pains, then coming out the other end where one might appear the same but inside something has shifted,” the artist explains. “I wanted the album as a whole to sound a bit unpolished, like real people making music with little to no equipment and a lot of heart.” Bounding from cosmic introspection on ‘Ultimatum’ and ‘Interlude’ to the sun-dappled skip and sensual stumble of ‘The Local’ and ‘Growing Into Your New Skin,’ weaving between bittersweet torch songs and near-future sex jams on ‘Sophie,’ ‘D4M,’ and title track ‘Rough Night,’ all the while whipping up an anthem for emotional complexity in the shape of ‘Madonna,’ Samara explores her internal worlds with openness and generosity, bringing us along for the ride no matter how raw and real. It is this exploratory quality of Rough Night that formed the primary inspiration for Samara’s collaboration with friend, artist and animator Natalia Podgorska, a hallucinatory game world modelled around each track from the album.

“Rough Night is a journey through internal change and growth, and we wanted to reflect that in the visuals – every song is a different scene that visually represents my internal world,” explains Samara. “The record documents a four year period at the end of my twenties where I totally changed as a person. Some people call it a Saturn return. It was like growing pains – when we grow, we go through all these feelings that are a progressive experience.” Podgorska takes the record’s eight tracks and constructs an intricate ecosystem around each of them, through which a virtual avatar of Samara is free to explore, manifesting her soul-searching into an expansive virtual odyssey. “I loved the idea of having a collection of visual pieces that tie together through music within an album that’s also very coherent,” says Podgorska. “It’s growing pains, it’s growth. I love having something that ties it all together visually. Technically it was a fun challenge to work with music I already had and I could create this world where certain elements of the game engine are reactive to the music, so watching the album video you can spot elements that are not just animated for your pleasure, but respond to beats and certain frequencies.” Starting out in a central hub area that invokes the warm memory of the Toronto neighbourhood bar that ‘The Local’ takes its name from, the titular Rough Night unfolds through landscapes of alien flora and fauna, iridescent bubbles and tentacular speaker stacks, flitting between outer and inner space. In one moment Samara floats through a shoal of richly textured sheets of fabric, rippling in zero gravity, while the next sees her strolling across a rainbow bridge, stepping past neon tracers of jubilant ravers, the spirit of letting loose picked out in shimmering light.

“It’s all made possible by using the game engine Unreal,” continues Podgorska. “I wanted to embrace the game-like associations, working in a game engine, so we have this character that looks a bit like Eden. She travels across the space as the listener is progressing through the music. The album is a journey in every aspect, so I wanted the video to reflect the journey of this character, which is Eden, and she’s going through that experience, that space and we get to travel around with her.” In a gesture that mimics the confessional quality of Samara’s lyrics, both artists are committed to opening up the experience of Rough Night further, with the intention to release the game for anyone with a PC to play. Just as everyone coming to the game will witness Samara’s journey in a wholly singular way, the process of opening out the album into a sequence of immersive worlds sheds new light on the artist’s own experience of making the album. “The record follows me evolving into an adult, I guess in a nutshell it’s my own adult coming of age story,” Samara reflects. “Ultimatum was the first song that I wrote for the record, and summarises my headspace at the beginning of this period of change. I was very disconnected from myself and had to go on a journey of reconnecting back in. Funnily enough, that included a physical journey of relocating from Canada to the UK”. We see this relocation reflected in Podgorska’s level design, with the progression from the first stage of the game to the second, from ‘Ultimatum’ to ‘The Local,’ following Samara taking flight from her neighbourhood bar, touching down into the loving buzz of a new world teeming with life. Fittingly, it’s this same hub we find ourselves ending up at in the game’s final stages, a chance to return with new experiences and fresh perspective.

“The title track ‘Rough Night’ I also wrote early on, but purposely placed it last in the album track listing as a way to represent my eventual choice to come back from that place of disconnect and start actively participating in my own life again,” Samara says of the cyclical nature of the game. “Basically, you’re going through a bunch of fucked up shit but moving through that and navigating back to an emotional place where everything looks different, better, almost like going through stages of grief, where at first we tend to disconnect and then maybe hang out in denial for a while. Thinking that you’re back on track, you just end up partying all the time and fooling yourself that you have your shit together. Some of that partying is really fun and maybe cathartic, I’ve always found the dance floor healing. So there are lots of moments of joy too, and that’s also reflected in the music.” Ultimately, the internal worlds crafted by Podgorska exist to be explored at your own pace, a metaphor, perhaps, for the growing pains from which Samara draws inspiration from, the unrefined emotion that makes these songs hit so close to the heart. “It was a big challenge, being an album length piece,” says Podgorska. “It’s also a very interesting middle place of work for me. Usually clients just want to use my skills, whereas Eden also wanted my creative input. To have this thing where, I want it to be good, but also this artist is breathing down my neck because they want it to be good – I cherished this relationship. Thank you Eden.”

Rough Night is out now, on Local Action. You can find Eden Samara on Instagram, Bandcamp, and catch her performing tracks from Rough Night live for the first time on Wednesday, November 16, in support of Bodysync. Tickets are available now.

For more information about Natalia Podgorska and her work, follow her on Instagram and visit her website.

Watch next: Solveig Settemsdal & Melkeveien entangle us within the world in the i sea

Fact Mix 883: Sarahsson

For her Fact mix, Sarahsson obscures beauty with grotesquerie, scraping ethereal sequences of harmony and light raw with squalls of dissonance and chaos.

The Horgenaith, the astounding debut album of hardcore classical vivisections from polymathic composer, producer, performance artist, DJ and instrument maker Sarahsson, takes its name from something the artist misheard. “My dad is a big Tom Waits fan,” she told The Quietus, “and in ‘Cemetery Polka’ there’s the line “independent as a hog on ice”. As a child, I misheard this as ‘Horgenaith.’ Because it sounds similar to the word ‘Argonaut’ and I’d seen bits of the film Jason And The Argonauts with the Hydra, I made this association in my head, and have had this idea ever since of a creature called The Horgenaith.” Describing the creature in an interview with Kaltblut as “a colossal thurse, a many-necked beast thrashing and lamenting and wrought of iron and clay, leather and moss, organ pipes and bellows,” the conjuring of this mythopoetic beast serves to mirror the artist’s own transformative acts of queer cacophony. Drawing as much inspiration from folklore and the natural world as she does harsh noise and gore, Sarahsson alloys classical composition with hardcore, metal and electronic experimentation, finding a shape-shifting sound between recordings of a homemade daxophone, an experimental, electronic instrument crafted from hard wood, self-made samples and a patchwork of field recordings. Through and with all of this noise, the sound of the Horgenaith, she explores queerness through the lens of “transmutation, embodying contradicting parts of oneself,” as she describes: “finding familiarity in difference is a lot of what queerness is about for me.”

Pursuing that which you have misheard, or can’t quite hear, is something Sarahsson continues to explore with her all-embracing Fact mix. “One of the themes I’ve been interested in musically recently is this idea of ‘vague music,’ these kind of suggestions of sounds and things that are almost there but maybe obfuscated or ambiguous in some way,” she explains. The Horgenaith opens with ‘Ancient Dildo Intro,’ a bracing blast of choral peals, sensual squelches and distorted exhalations, the cry of the Horgenaith, every sound save for piano and birdsong made by the artist’s mouth. It’s an urgent introduction, as well as powerful statement of intent, a vocal warm up exercise for an entity in constant flux. Sarahsson pulls off a similar trick for the introduction to her mix, a smog clearing medley of Adele, Giant Claw’s masterful inversion of ‘Set Fire To The Rain’, and Lexxi & Elysia Crampton’s canonical ‘Esposas 2013 (No Drums)’, the combined effect of which sounds like a MIDI orchestra tuning up, air horns blown in contrapuntal rhythm with pizzicato strings and flourishes of laser-focused oscillation. “A lot of the mix feels very autumnal, sort of turning inwards and flourishing through decomposition,” she continues. “The tracklist is mostly things I’ve been listening to whilst touring and it feels like the different types of events I’ve been playing really show in the variety here, some very ambient moments, some very intense.” It’s a mix of dramatic contrasts, in which beauty is obscured by grotesquerie, ethereal sequences of harmony and light scraped raw by squalls of dissonance and chaos.

Gabor Lazar’s synthetic dissection of Jesse Osborne-Lanthier & Grischa Lichtenberger’s ‘Good Morning America’ is stretched into the connective tissue between the hopeful procession of Yves Tumor’s ‘Role In Creation’ and the MIDI harpsichord jam ‘Sunbeams Streaming Through Leaves on the Hill,’ a cult favourite cut from the Evergrace OST, performed by the in-house band from the infamously uncompromising video game studio From Software. FKA twigs, Future and performance artist Betty Apple are submerged deep into the Mariana trench by new American metaphysicists 01168 and S280F, twigs’ stark vocals and Future’s playground sing-along set adrift on Joe Hisaishi keys, drifting further through field recordings made in Cork’s upper Blackwater Valley by agri-ambient artist Michael Lightborne and the avant-garde organ clusters of Ligeti’s ‘Volumina.’ “I really recommend listening to the whole thing,” says Sarahsson of the composition, “it’s a really confusing sensation, especially knowing that it’s just an organ.” In perhaps the most climactic, and inspired, sequence, the devastating organ drones of Anna Von Hausswolff’s ‘Persefone’ are melted into a ‘slowed + reverb’ version of System Of A Down’s ‘Chop Suey,’ every drop of the iconic track’s melodrama wrung out in a transcendent, elegiac crawl. Elsewhere we discover music plucked from obscure YouTube channels, the radioactive ache of Hildur Guðnadóttir’s halldorophone (an electro-acoustic cello) emanating from Sam Slater’s ‘I Do Not Wish To Be Known As A Vandal’, doom prophet spoken word from Chino Amobi, music for motorised grand pianos and the opening theme from obscure anime series Oban Star Racers.

“I like to imagine my mixes have a narrative element to them,” concludes Sarahsson. “Melodies become plot points and transitions become characters, whilst lyrics provide an architectural structure or setting.” In her Fact mix, amidst the noise, the striking power of voice pierces its way to the surface. From the somnambulant sensuality of Tara’s ‘Duppy Ride’ and the haunting grace of composer, vocalist and actor Keeley Forsyth to the tense theatricality of Kate Bush’s ‘Under Ice,’ the gut-wrenching pow wow incantations of Joe Rainy and Delaram Kamareh’s jaw-dropping rendition of Stravinsky’s ‘Chanson Du Rossignol,’ the splendour and the extremity of voice reverberates as a grounding presence sent skyward, around which the rest of the mix gravitates. Like The Horgenaith, Sarahsson’s mix unfolds as emotionally charged testimony, both transformative and transforming, probing at the limits of queerness and trans identity. “I’m trying to reach a very specific feeling,” she says. “One tiny point in the middle of a nuclear explosion where everything happens all at once, bittersweet and fierce, a moment when opposites collide into one.” We are held in this space for the duration of the mix, embodying all the contradicting parts of ourselves, left changed in the wake of the Horgenaith.

You can find Sarahsson on Spotify, Instagram and SoundCloud. The Horgenaith is out now, on Illegal Data.

Tracklist:

Adele – ‘Set Fire To The Rain’
Giant Claw – ‘Soft Channel 001’
Lexxi & Elysia Crampton – ‘Esposas 2013 (No Drums)’
Kronos Quartet – ‘Steve Reich: Different Trains – After The War (Third Movement)’
Femmexy – ‘Clitoris’
Tara – ‘Duppy Ride’
Yves Tumor – ‘Role In Creation’
Jesse Osborne-Lanthier & Grischa Lichtenberger – ‘Good Morning America (Gabor Lazar Remix)’
Frequency (Kota Hoshino) – ‘Sunbeams Streaming Through Leaves on the Hill’
Sanguinarius – ‘Goth Jam’
Keeley Forsyth – ‘Limbs’
Sam Slater – ‘Darn! III’
011668 / S280F – ‘FKA Twigs – holy terrain (00168 edit ft. Betty Apple – “The Rubber Mermaid”) / 011668 – untitled fish (ft. Kuthi Jin)’
Michael Lightborne – ‘Lugh’
Piet van der Steen – ‘Ligeti: Volumina’
Anna Von Hausswolff – ‘Persefone’
System Of A Down – ‘Chop Suey (slowed + reverb)’
Anthony Laguerre – ‘V’
City of Quartz – ‘E’
Chino Amobi – ‘Emmanuel’
Tom James Scott – ‘See The Glass’
Bad Bunny & Daddy Yankee – ‘La Santa (Balas De Aqua Edit)’
Kate Bush – ‘Under Ice’
Kurama – ‘Seraph’
Quayola / Seta – ‘Transient #D_002-01
Yennu Ariendra & J. Mo’ong Santosa Pribadi – ‘Raja Kirik (Dog King)’
Indus Bonze – ‘山怪 (The Ghost Stories of The Gorge)’
Teya Logos – ‘Mother Devours’
Joe Rainey – ‘no chants’
Shoeg – ‘Unstable’
Delaram Kamareh – ‘Stravinsky: Chanson Du Rossignol’
Issei Herr – ‘Aveu (The Beginning Is a Farewell) ft. Maria BC’
Rachika Nayar – ‘The Price of Serenity’
AKINO from bless4 – Chance To Shine

Listen next: Fact Mix 882 – Sansibar

Solveig Settemsdal & Melkeveien entangle us within the world in the i sea

In a short film about crisis, liminality, witchcraft and quantum physics, artist Solveig Settemsdal and producer and composer Melkeveien level a spirited critique of the materialist relationship between subject and object.

the i sea, the newest video work from London-based artist Solveig Settemsdal, owes its structure to one of the first verses of 14th century poet Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Inferno, the first part of The Divine Comedy: “in the midway of this our mortal life I found myself on a darkened path, astray.” Working in response to what Settemsdal terms “a great flattening,” the artist takes aim at conventional, materialist theories of the observable universe, looking towards speculative fiction, alternate models of understanding and the contemporary condition of the image at a time in which reality can be said to be unfolding in both virtual and physical space simultaneously, for a new way to look at the world from a position of emotional and literal entanglement. “It’s about knowing, for a fact, that at most points in the past, in the place into which I was born, I would have been burnt as a witch,” says Settemsdal about the film. “It’s about quantum physics, but most of all and most importantly, it’s about relationships, how we see and are seen, how we change and are changed. And I don’t think you need to know about any of these things when you watch it.” Drawing particular influence from Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli’s recent book Helgoland, which details his thoughts on quantum mechanics and relational interpretation, first developed by Werner Heisenberg while secluded on the titular island in the North Sea in 1925, the i sea develops Rovelli’s desire to move away from “naive materialism,” instead working towards, in the physicist’s own words: “a theory that accounts for a structure of the universe that clarifies what it is to be an observer in the universe – not a theory that makes the universe depend on me.”

Settemsdal, like Rovelli, is critical of a model of understanding in which the all-knowing subject operates outside of the observable universe, granting presence through categorisation and labelling of the objects the subject observes make up the materialist universe. The artist draws parallels between this point of view and Rovelli’s critique of cubism within Helgoland. “Rovelli is particularly scathing about cubism – as built around an ‘I’ that knows, for which the world performs, and a self that, with its ego, is somehow outside of nature,” explains Settemsdal. “Cubism anchors reality to a subject of knowledge, being outside of nature and knowing best due to holding the top of the current food chain, which has led us to our current precipice,” a precipice the artist asserts is characterised by, “a great lack of empathy and disregard for life.” In the opening moments of the i sea this model of understanding is immediately countered, our point of view as the audience of Dante’s dark forest immediately obscured by entangled strands forming on a perpendicular plane of reality. This is then further complicated with another entity’s point of view, shining torch light on the quotidian objects of another, simultaneous existential space – a brick wall, a green lawn at night. Ever present throughout the work is the expansive darkness of the North Sea, which both Settemsdal and Rovelli take as a case study for the shortcomings of the naive materialist conception of the world. “The seas were considered silent and used as a toilet (still the case) but stopped being silent when we developed hydrophones that could pick up sound waves underwater,” says Settemsdal. “Suddenly everything speaks, but we still don’t know.”

Within the world of the i sea, the silence of the sea is filled with a constantly mutating score by Kristian Møller Johansen, the producer known as Melkeveien, whom Settemsdal at art school in Oslo back in 2005 which throbs between eerie low-end ambience and shuffling synthetic beat science, as though flickering between two conflicting perspectives of the same scene, created using analog drum machines, organismic and monophonic synthesisers and recordings of electromagnetism, including recordings of fluorescent lighting from elevators and phone booths. Muddled in-between these perspectives on the world, we are presented with a literal eye, restlessly gazing back at the viewer, a mirrored image of the participatory observation we as the audience are ourselves entangled within as we view Settemsdal’s work. In this way, the artist shines a light on what she perceives as a lack of empathy for both the viewer and the viewed, illuminating a greater significance on both the roles of the observer and the observed as active shapers of the universe, collapsing the distinction between artist and audience, between reader and writer in a defiant move against the dissolving of the materialist world into content. “There is a great flattening happening, with all human experience compressed onto screens, all things condensed into language and human culture, everything becoming second, third hand experience,” asserts Settemsdal. “We are told, we don’t feel. We don’t play. We are so tempted to escape into a clean digital future fantasy, which seems increasingly unsustainable as we struggle to keep the lights on.” In response, the artist posits a different way to think and feel through the world, to operate from a point of view inextricably entangled within the world.

Gesturing towards one possible alternative, Settemsdal invokes Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges centring around a secret organisation, Orbis Tertius, responsible for the creation of the fictional city of Uqbar and its fictional legend of Tlön, a mythical world in which a materialist understanding of the universe is rejected in favour of subjective idealism. Tlön is a world which is understood “not as a concurrence of objects in space, but as a heterogeneous series of independent acts,” a world in which, during the course of the short story, seems to be growing out of the confines of the secret organisation’s fictional universe and seeping into the universe in which Borges himself inhabits. A similar phenomena can be observed in the i sea, in which a series of objects, cobbled together from LEDs, wires,  silicone skin casts from toy animals sewn together and egg yolks suspended in space, are superimposed on top of and in between the various perspectives of the universe we are shown. “As in Borges’ Tlön, the fantasy is taking over reality and membranes between them are worn to the point where impossible objects percolate through between the spheres of fiction and reality,” explains Settemsdal. Both the presence of the artist and the presence of the audience are reflected in these objects, as Settemsdal’s own practice is presented from multiple different angles.

As her sculptures rotate, are submerged in primordial ooze and burnt to cinders, it is our entanglement with those objects, both Settemsdal’s and our own, that lend them their presence. “Looking IS changing something,” concludes Settemsdal. “What does nature care whether or not something is being observed? We could see the world being reflected in the observer and not the other way around. The only way to learn about something is to get entangled with it. The cat is yawning.”

For more information about Solveig Settemsdal and her work you can find her on Instagram and visit her website. You can find Kristian Møller Johansen on Instagram, and check out his music as Melkveien on Spotify.

Watch next: Maelstrom & Louisahhh soundtrack the visceral sculpture of William Guillon in Anatomy Of Chaos

Maelstrom & Louisahhh soundtrack the visceral sculpture of William Guillon in Anatomy Of Chaos

Filmmaker Benjamin Juhel explores the physical process and internal universe of designer William Guillon, who extends his multidisciplinary sculptural practice in collaboration with dancer Nicole Muratov of L’Opera National de Bordeaux and production duo Maelstrom & Louisahhh.

Anatomy Of Chaos is a dark and visceral portrait of Bordelais designer and art director William Guillon, whose visceral sculptural practice is captured by filmmaker Benjamin Juhel, of Maison Mouton Noir. Working in collaboration with dancer Nicole Muratov of L’Opera National de Bordeaux and longtime production partners Maelstrom and Louisahhh, Guillon achieves a multidisciplinary extension of his singular style, which amplifies beauty in unconventional forms. Primarily working in cast bronze, a process documented in Anatomy Of Chaos, Guillon seeks to push past the limits of the material, crafting textural and complex works that seemingly draw as much influence form the natural world as they do from more esoteric and macabre places, forging towards a kind of contemporary gothic sculpture, part functional art, part alchemical instrument. His process is translated into movement by Muratov, whose twisted, instinctual physicality follows the gnarled, imperfect forms of Guillon’s sculpture. Putting the artist’s concept of functional art into haunting context, Guillon’s objects are revealed as part of some grander, transformative ritual, the result of his alchemical experimentation.

As though channeling the dark energy emanating from Guillon’s work, producers Maelstrom and Louisahhh lend their new track ‘If I Could Hold’ to Juhel and Guillon’s vision, which serves as the lead single for the collaborators’ long-awaited debut album, Sustained Resistance. A jagged reflection on the excruciating pains of the deepest love, ‘If I Could Hold’ sees Maelstrom and Louisahhh contorting their “punk for techno heads, techno for punks” sound into impassioned and foreboding new forms, invoking the frustration and paranoia of post-pandemic disillusionment. “It was a happy accident that the audio-visual universes collide so seamlessly, with both sonic and aesthetic teams sharing an appreciation of process, a relationship with the instinctual and divine work that is channeling and manifesting creation,” the duo explain. “The film explores the method, both in terms of metaphorical ‘chasing the muse’ (as represented by Nicole Muratov of L’Opera National de Bordeaux) and also literal: the carving, casting and shaping of raw materials that make up Guillon’s celebrated sculptural work. It is always a great pleasure when art creates more art, and it feels like the synergy between our music and William’s sculpture (as captured in this video) has created a new and thrilling ‘third thing’ that is almost unintentional, and therefore more magical.”

They continue. “We are really humbled to have gotten to work on this project, and the fact that the themes of ‘hunting the muse’, or the chaotic, ecstatic, sometimes painful act of creation are so dear to us and so present here mean a lot when it comes to a visual representation of our sound, and the announcement of this record.” Sustained Resistance arrives as the culmination of a creative partnership that dates back to 2013, when Louisahhh first visited Maelstrom in his base of Nantes. Following four collaborative EPs for Bromance Records and the start of their own label, RAAR, their debut album sees Maelstrom and Louisahhh and their most brutal at most beautiful, taking rage at broken systems of governance, grief for those lost over the last few turbulent years and determination to find new ways of thinking and being as the raw material for a loud and urgent testimony. Sustained Resistance is the sound of fighting back, at once a prescient diagnosis and a battle cry for the future.

‘If I Could Hold’ is taken from Sustained Resistance, which arrives via RAAR on February 10, 2023. You can find both Louisahhh and Maelstrom on Instagram.

For more information about William Guillon and his work, you can find him on Instagram and check out his website.

Anatomy Of Chaos Credits:

A Project By William Guillon
Director – Maison Mouton Noir
Music – Maelstrom & Louisahhh
Choreography & Dance – Nicole Muratov
Sound Design – Into The Wave Studio
Special Thanks – YNDO Hotel, Fonderie Des Cyclops, Ateliers Arquié, Undercover, Mairie De Saint Emilion, Foundation Banque Populaire

Watch next: Richie Culver contemplates god and Elvis in Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems

Fact Mix 882: Sansibar

A trip through peak time club music mixed by the Helsinki artist, from vintage ’90s techno and trance to modern cuts.

Since the release of his debut cassette in 2018, Helsinki-based DJ and producer Sansibar has respectfully looked back to the past to craft a style of techno that nevertheless feels fresh and forward-facing. Early trance, euphoric ’90s techno and hardcore, Artificial Intelligence-era electronica and chillout room ambient all seem to be touchpoints for Sansibar’s sleek, fast and uplifting productions, which have appeared on labels including Kalahari Oyster Cult, Natural Sciences and Émotsiya.

Sansibar’s DJ sets are a similar mix of old and new, often placing rare old school gems and forgotten techno and trance classics alongside contemporary cuts. Although he frequently DJs across Europe, Sansibar has held down residencies in Helsinki’s Kaiku and Post Bar over the past few years, allowing him the space to develop an eclectic style that still manages to go hard.

On his Fact Mix, Sansibar balances these moods with music from Steve Rachmad, Terry Lee Brown Jr., Rowland & Simon, DJ Swisha and Dylan Forbes together with his own edits of Art of Trance’s cosmic 1994 track and ‘Cambodia’ and Darkman’s 1992 jungle cut, ‘Escape From The Planet Of The Zombie Droids’. In Sansibar’s words, it’s a selection of “old and new peak time club music, recorded with two CDJs and 1s and 2s at the comfort of my own home.”

Follow Sansibar on Instagram and SoundCloud. Find more of Sansibar’s music at Bandcamp.

Tracklist:

Air Liquide – ‘Tongues Of Fire’
Cherry Bomb – ‘Asylum’
The Lonely Guy – ‘Saying All That Crap’ (Old School Mix)
Scan Carriers – ‘Bandini’
Steve Rachmad – ‘Sinosphere’ (John Thomas Remix)
Terry Lee Brown Jr. – ‘Impact State’ (Original Mix)
Art Of Trance – ‘Cambodia’ (Sans edit)
Maara – ‘Forget The World’
DJ Swisha – ‘Reconstructed Club’
Dylan Forbes –’Resoblaster’
The Advent – ‘House Seed’
Rowland & Simon – ‘Oscillator 2’ (Live Mix)
Compass – ‘Steam’
Les Points – ‘Youknowwhatminimalisch’
Generali Minerali – ‘Batteries Arent Low’
Darkman – ‘Escape From The Planet Of The Zombie Droids’ (Sans edit)
Khetama – ‘Rotation’

Listen next: Fact Mix 881: DJ Voices

Richie Culver contemplates god and Elvis in Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems

Filmmaker and Participant Records co-founder William Markarian-Martin captures iconoclast, outsider artist Richie Culver in his mother’s house near Hull, revisiting the home town he spent his entire young adult life trying to escape.

The resonant barrage of concrète clatter and MRI machine churn of ‘Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems’ swells at the beating heart of I Was Born By The Sea, the devastating debut album from iconoclast, outsider artist Richie Culver. Unfurling as relentless friction, a Sisyphean surge and retreat that evokes trying and failing, again and again, to break out of an itching cycle of frustration, the track’s DIY sonics sandpaper a malleable surface upon which Culver inscribes his observations from the fringes that take on cavernous emotional potency with each repetition of his dissociated delivery. Here, the artist looks back at the “hardest working man in the job centre,” this “habitual bastard,” the “most underrated person in your family,” pinned under the crushing weight of his home town, obsessing over the need to escape while battling the apparent absurdity of such ambition: “you and god on a rollercoaster.” For the accompanying visual Culver, alongside close collaborator and Participant Records co-founder William Markarian-Martin, fittingly makes a return to his mother’s house in Withernsea, the titular seaside town of his birth. “The video was shot in my Mothers home near Hull. Where I was brought up also,” explains Culver. “You can hear the Sea from inside the house in Winter. Sometimes you can’t walk on the promenade because it’s so wet & wild.” Captured with an unflinching and poignant fusion of grey nostalgia and tender catharsis, Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems evokes a past battered by the rain, shaken by personal struggle and ransacked by Tory austerity. Footage of foam-flecked waves crashing across sodden concrete is obscured by the phrase “picture yourself succeeding,” as cold rain smudges a blurry lens.

Supplementing the track’s original bleak seaside poetry with additional writing, Culver and Markarian-Martin’s video reimagines the composition as a surreal broadcast from the Withernsea tourist board, inciting viewers to “think a positive thought to drown out a negative thought,” to “minimise obstacles,” while the fraying crunch of the broadcast’s grim soundtrack evokes the kind of limbo it feels impossible to imagine ending. Shifting focus in a hallucinatory sequence of dusty bottles of cologne, grey skies and various items of Elvis Presley memorabilia, the broadcast messages abruptly turn to faith, as though picking up evangelical radio signals or plundered from local church billboards. “If god be for us, who can be against us?” we are asked, before an unconvinced assertion: “I can do all things through christ which strengthen me.” This soggy invocation to faith transubstantiates the images of Elvis presented to us into escapist iconography, the fading remnants of the ‘Fantasy Island’ of Culver’s turbulent past, monolithic and technicolour, yet dull with salt and petrol fumes. “My Mother is obsessed with Elvis. Always has been,” explains Culver. “My stepdad was a singer in the local pubs. We always used to sing Roger Whittaker – ‘The Last Farewell’. That’s what I am singing in the video. I never really learned the words properly. Nothing like staring down the barrel of the North Sea on a wet & wild Tuesday evening in January.” All of this before pitching in to the spoken word of the track proper, a doom-laden introductory exclamation singularly evocative of an unmistakeable anxious stasis: “Woke up. In the morning. Pray for me. Don’t trust Elvis. Bad vibes. I wish I could sing. I listen to grime.”

The work vibrates with a tension between painful recollection and optimistic forward momentum, something that characterises the emotional texture of I Was Born By The Sea. Culver’s cold narration matches the temperature of Markarian-Martin’s seaside footage, yet at the same time alludes to the position he now finds himself in, ready and able to look back without blinking, a process that has continuously provided the engine for his ongoing journey as an artist and musician. “Hometowns are odd things,” he says. “Nothing can hold you back like a hometown. Imagine if your hometown was New York though. I wonder if New Yorkers know about the North Sea in January. My eldest son was originally in the video. But my partner said we should edit him out cos the video was a bit too morbid.” It’s this playful irreverence around very real strife that drives Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems, around which the industrial scrape and hum of the track turns, burrowing towards some deeply buried feeling, probing at the waterlogged roots of the artist’s present clarity. Even the track’s title, which at once to alludes to Culver’s past struggles with substance abuse, evoked in the sparse paranoia of his television static soundscapes, also seems to refer to the uncompromisingly autobiographical nature of his visual and sound art, which tackles with piercing economy his trajectory from self-described shut-in, wracked with low self-esteem, to a vital voice of the resolutely fucked, contemporary condition of the United Kingdom, echoing from the outside in. Like finding god in an Elvis mug, or translating the North sea into both blistering noise and heart-breaking song on I Was Born By The Sea, Culver finds wild beauty in places that once looked desperate.

‘Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems’ is taken from I Was Born By The Sea, which arrives via REIF on November 11.

For more information about Richie Culver and his work you can follow him on Instagram. You can also find William Markarian-Martin on Instagram.

Create A Lifestyle Around Your Problems Credits:

Director – William Markarian-Martin
Additional Camera – Takeru Brady
Music – Richie Culver

Watch next: Yogev Freilichman, ERRANTH & Excessive Productions Present – Tectonic

Fact Mix 881: DJ Voices

DJ Voices balances an exploratory and omnivorous appetite for new sounds with a passionate predilection for the trippy, the deep and the sensual.

Kristin Malossi is a crucial node in the rich and energetic network of producers, DJs, venues and parties that crackles tirelessly through New York City. As a founding member of the collective Working Women and booker at Ridgewood institution Nowadays, Malossi consistently platforms the best and brightest talents, both established and rising, with an empathetic and enthusiastic approach that demonstrates a loving and dedicated relationship to the scene. Between her residency at The Lot Radio, Nothing In Moderation, her resident shows at Nowadays and the rapidly rising demand for her genre-less, emotional, vibe-centric work as DJ Voices, it’s clear that Malossi’s ear is one of the keenest around, balancing an exploratory and omnivorous appetite for new sounds with a passionate predilection for the trippy, the deep and the sensual.

This is exactly the territory we find ourselves in for Malossi’s hypnotic Fact mix, which unfolds in stately fashion through submerged house and amniotic techno, cosmic breaks and deep space bass. “This mix was originally intended to be more of a ‘chill out’ mix, but the final result sits somewhere closer to the dance floor,” Malossi explains. “Still, it showcases my love for deep and psychedelic sounds, lots of heads down, eyes closed moments. Recorded on 3 CDJs with liberal use of wide mode.” The perfect soundtrack for those nights during which it’s unclear where the sofa ends and the dance floor begins, Malossi’s mix marks a constantly shifting transition between internal reflection and outward expression, a swirl of sounds designed for the moments when instinctive movement and expansive thought become one and the same, a concoction for dissolving the mind in the body.

For more information about DJ Voices, you can find her on Instagram and SoundCloud, tune into her at The Lot Radio and, for some incisive and personal notes from a prolific reader, follow Malossi’s book Instagram, Late Nites Book Club.

Tracklist:

HVL – ‘agneffC01’       
Albino Sounds – ‘Dried Seeds’   
Tano – ’10 to 11′      
KΣITO – Makimura’      
Androne – ‘Abducted By Aliens (A Strange Wedding Hypergravity Remix)’    
Au Contraire – ‘Chrome Rips’      
Pixelord – ‘Vibrate’          
Wilt – ‘Fractal Ceiling’     
Body Corp – ‘Talk Box’        
Driss Bennis Pres. OCB – ‘The Magic Laugh (Trancehuman)’   
Technic Trouble – ‘Shikariama’     
Aloka – ‘Rotary XL’     
Cubemod – ‘Sling’        
Vardae – ‘LITERATUREFORMEN’      
NVST – ‘Drum in the Bass of Attention (Jan Loup Remix)’   
Match Box – ‘Viggo’      
z72.52 – ‘Dawn’        
Clap42 – ‘Make It Squirt’       
Paul Fleetwood – ‘Marion’        
Conrad Pack – ‘The Best’       
Morphing Territories – ‘Dicephalic Snake’    
Primal Code – ‘Akhet’          
Dimitar Dodovski – ‘Trash Stratum’

Listen next: Fact Mix 880 – Scratchclart

Fact Mix 880: Scratchclart

A legend of UK club music mixes grimey and funky tracks with heavy gqom and amapiano influences from South Africa.

Scratchclart is the latest moniker of a multifaceted UK artist who has also gone under the names DVA, Scratcha DVA and DVA [Hi:Emotions] throughout his long and storied career. Coming to prominence through a legendary stint on Rinse FM’s breakfast slot, Scratchclart’s keen ear and love for new and emerging sounds has kept him at the forefront of UK dance music for 20 years, through releases on Hyperdub and his own DVA Music and Allyallrecords labels.

As his career has evolved Scratchclart’s music has continued to innovate, moving from grime and UK funky towards his own potent take on UK club music that draws inspiration from South African electronic styles such as gqom and amapiano, both solo through his recent DRMTRK series and in collaboration with North London MC Lady Lykez. Scratchclart’s Fact Mix (published over 13 years after he first delivered a mix for Fact as Scratcha DVA – number 64, no less) is a succinct snapshot of where he’s at now, featuring plenty of recent solo material and collaborations with Lady Lykez, Citizen Boy, Trim, Ikonika and Mxshi Mo alongside tracks from Bok Bok, Logan Olm and Toya Delazy.

You can catch Scratchclart playing at London’s Printworks this Saturday, 29 October, where he’s appearing alongside Lady Lykez as part of The Hydra and Hessle Audio’s massive double birthday rave celebrating 15 years of Ben UFO, Pearson Sound and Pangaea’s label and a decade of The Hydra events in the capital. The event is sold out but resale tickets are available.

Follow Scratchclart on Instagram and SoundCloud, and find his music at Bandcamp. You can also tune into his weekly Soup To Nuts show on NTS Radio every Friday at 11am.

Tracklist:

Lady Lykez x Trim – ‘Shapez’
Logan Olm – ‘Crash Dem Down’
Mez – ‘Big Seed’
Doller – ‘Vybz & Energy’
Toya Delazy – ‘Water’
Ikonika x Scratchclart – ‘Crash Riddim’ (Worst Behaviour Remix)
Scratchclart – ‘Marixylo’
Lady Lykez x Lioness – ‘Muhammad Ali (Remix)’
Scratchclart x Citizen Boy – ‘Ammo VIP’
Sonia Calico – ‘Mukbang Roller’ (Scratchclart’s Afrotek Remix)
Whistle Dub
Lady Lykez x Scratchclart – ‘Killa Bee’
Scratchclart x Mxshi Mo – ‘Afrotek’ (9’s Mix)
Trim x Scratchclart – ‘Yardman’
Scratchclart – ‘Queen’
Lady Lykez x Scratchclart – ‘Buzz Lightyear’
Scratchclart – ‘Gun Walk’
Durrty Goodz x Scratchclart – ‘Ganja Time’
Bok Bok – ‘Ouais’
Mez x Scratchclart x Razzler Man – ‘Think About It’
Mak10 x Scratchclart – ‘Smoke Signal’
Lady Lykez x Toya Delazy x Scratchclart – ‘Woza’

Listen next: Fact Mix 879: k means

Yogev Freilichman, ERRANTH & Excessive Productions Present: Tectonic

Dead Sea-based producer and sound designer Yogev Freilichman comes together with Mexican video artist ERRANTH and Jerusalem art collective Excessive Productions to present Tectonic, a live, improvisational AV performance captured at ZIRA, a multidisciplinary space in Jerusalem dedicated to new and challenging art forms.

“I wanted to explore several intersections between noisy textures and club-focused beats and try to distill them down into one single-cell organism,” says Yogev Freilichman, the Dead Sea-based producer and sound designer who, following releases with Failed Units, Zabra Records, A Flooded Need and Eternal Search, translates his club-centric take on experimental noise and improvisational synthesis in Tectonic, an extended reality performance captured at ZIRA, a multidisciplinary space in Jerusalem. Presented in collaboration with Mexican video artist ERRANTH and Excessive Productions, the Jerusalem art collective who also make AV works as Wackelkontakt, Tectonic combines virtual architecture, IRL, DIY structures, lighting design and digital effects to draw Freilichman’s sound out through multiple media in a performance that takes place in multiple sites of reality simultaneously. As though in response to the fragmentation of the form and medium of live performances during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tectonic skewers the contemporary lack of consensus surrounding where reality is happening, in which worlds, online or organic, we truly exist and whether a performance in a virtual environment is any more real, or true, than one happening in physical space.

“Skeletal forms of sounds collide with each other throughout the performance, feeding off one another, building a chaotic, glitchy soundscape,” continues Freilichman. “After the music was composed and the performance recorded live, the video went through a heavy treatment process that used the raw footage as material, transforming it into a grainy and dystopian visual hallucination.” U.I. features imposed on the frame reflect visual motifs within the virtual environment, red scanner lines extended out across a gnarled, alien object, an ossified biological form suspended across an everlasting beach, across which Freilichman’s discordant sounds echo infinitely. “The music that Yogev builds, his broken rhythms and disruptive breaks, sounds that hit with the dimorphous noise of post-technological landscapes, allowed us to modulate and emulate in image the intraposition of granulates and clouds of points that collude with his atmospheres, to converge with the textures of his sound and the forms of his rhythms,” explains ERRANTH. “The exploration of image and 3D modelling also encompasses scenarios focused on the contemplation and meditation of the body and space, taking into account not the human body, but the amorphousness that gives the dissimilarity of the de-configuration of being.”

“The format of separating oneself into territories, into entities and in forming a conjunction of sensations, allows us to go through personal questionings about the lethargy of the real, or about the dosage of emotions and post-global agencies that have to do with the immediate sensations of the connection to the Net and its’ slackness of information, to the manipulation of desire and to the recharging and reproduction of patterns. Therefore these forms are semi-deserted spaces, which if they were real would be easy to get lost within. The performance allowed us to emulate these issues by way of null interpretation, or empty signifier. Taking this into account when observing the staging of the clip, within the illumination and the disposition of the capture we started to generate a subtle accompaniment, but accentuated it to the disruptive.” As Freilichman’s performance glitches into silence, ERRANTH pulls focus on the now transfigured alien totem, illuminated with otherworldly light, floating in a vacuum, as though suddenly transcendent of conventional spectrums of sound, an empty signifier, surging with information indecipherable by human minds, a glowing icon to the dissolution of the real, both virtual and actual.

A recording of Tectonic is out now on Kaer’Uiks, presented as part of their SIM series featuring ABADIR, ZULI and Grischa Lichtenberger. Tectonic will be released as a full live AV album in 2023.

For more information about Yogev Freilichman, you can find him on Instagram and SoundCloud. You can also find ERRANTH and Excessive Productions on Instagram. For more information about ZIRA, check out the space’s website and follow them on Instagram.

Watch next: Bendik Giske explores ideas of queer time and ecstasy in Not Yet

Bendik Giske explores ideas of queer time and ecstasy in Not Yet

A documentary about Giske’s recent commission performed in Oslo, created in collaboration with Bridget Ferrill and Theresa Baumgartner.

Bendik Giske is an artist and saxophonist whose practice frequently blurs the boundaries between performance, installation and music. Over two solo albums for Smalltown Supersound – 2019’s Surrender and 2021’s Cracks – Giske has pushed his instrument and body to the limit through circular breathing techniques that stretch and shape his tender compositions.

In March 2021, Giske was commissioned by Oslo’s MUNCH Museet to create a new live work, Not Yet. Created in collaboration with sound artist Bridget Ferrill and featuring lighting and bespoke scenography by Theresa Baumgartner, Not Yet is a performance that explores ideas of queer time and ecstasy, drawing inspiration from the first passage of José Esteban Muñoz’s book Cruising Utopia, which references queerness as something glimpsed on the horizon that belongs to everyone.

“Queerness is not yet here,” Muñoz writes. “Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future. The future is queerness’s domain.”

In this film, directed and produced by Fact’s Pedro S. Küster and featuring exclusive footage from the live performance of Not Yet, Giske discusses the many innovative techniques that go into creating his work, from circular breathing to using microphones mounted on the instrument to create different tonal qualities. Giske also discusses the inspiration behind Not Yet and the idea of ‘stepping out of the binary’ to create a unique tonal and spatial experience, one that communicates with both the audience and the performance environment.

“Queerness will never be here,” Giske says. “It is inherently something that exists in the future, and always will be. I like that thought.”

Credits:

Not Yet
Written and performed by Bendik Giske
Film directed and produced by Pedro S. Küster

Sound by Bridget Ferrill
Light and stage by Theresa Baumgartner
Costume by Nicole Walker
Hair and make-up by Akischa Budd

Filmed by
Alice Sephton
Ingrid Styrkestad
Maja Wilhite Hannisdal
Pedro S. Küster

Sound mixed by Bridget Ferrill

Not Yet was commissioned by MUNCH for MUNCH Live
Performance produced by Erica Berthelsen and Anette Engkvist
Additional production by Sofie B. Ringstad

MUNCH Team
Artistic Director: Ingrid Moe
Senior Curator: Tominga O’Donnell
Project Manager: Jonas Vebner
Technical Manager: Lasse Baklien
Production Manager: Kaja Langø Aasmoe

Not Yet is supported by Arts Council Norway, The Norwegian Composers’ Fund, The Fund for Performing Artists, City of Oslo and Fond for Lyd og Bilde, Norwegian Arts Abroad and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Watch next: VTSS and Actual Objects blur together the digital and the physical in ‘Notoriously Fast

Fact Mix 879: k means

For her Fact mix k means holds us at a constant simmer, slick with sweat and dense with smog, burbling between unease and release, murk and steam.

Like so many of us during increasingly cursed times, k means is feeling unsettled. This isn’t entirely new territory for the Stockholm-born, Bristol-based DJ, in fact, by her own admission, the unsettling is often what most attracts her to music. “I like to be weirded out,” she told International Orange, “I like it when [music] takes you aback and maybe makes you feel like you want to go into a weird frog stance and do a weird dance.” Growing up playing piano and violin while simultaneously obsessing over a steady diet of video game soundtracks, this formative love affair with video games quickly overwhelmed her more classical influences, resulting in years spent performing iconic scores from Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger on the piano. Her appreciation for the virtuosic economy of these compositions morphed into a profound love of the raw energy and lethal functionality of footwork and juke, the music that got her into mixing in the first place and, she says, “sits closest to my heart.” Add the sonic textures of whirring modems, dial-up tones and error message glitch that accompanies her other role as a computer scientist, as well as many hours of on-air experimentation for Noods, Netil and Rinse FM, and you’re halfway to the singular space her ear occupies.

“Mixes commonly represent a few things for me; where my head’s currently at, my emotional state, and more simply what I’m enjoying at the moment,” says k means. “My life has been in a state of flux recently. There’s been a lot of emotions flying about, countless train rides, an impending house move. I moved to Bristol early this year too, which has been a very appreciated change. I guess that’s sort of the theme of my life right now – shit is moving in all shapes and forms, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Emotionally, I think this mix represents the repercussions of this, where I’m channeling all of the organised and disorganised chaos I’m currently experiencing.” Finding unstoppable momentum in said chaos, her Fact mix pitches us into a irresistible descent through high-pressure industrial throb, dread techno, ghost footwork, deepest, darkest dub and everything in-between, the radioactive thrash of breakbeats and the gnarled snarl of snares suspended on cacophonous bass rattle, paired-back moments embellishing slow skeletal pulse with wiggy vocal samples, sombre synthesis and low-end ooze, all permeated with a steady creep of lysergic tension.

Slick with sweat and dense with smog, k means holds us at a constant simmer, burbling between unease and release, murk and steam. “Musically, I drew a lot of inspiration from a closing set I recently played at Venue MOT, following after Shackleton and Al Wootton,” she continues. “I often play closing sets – there’s usually a style of closing set I’m drawn to, but I’ll always try to play to the context. This mix is very much my ideal closing set in terms of how the energy and sounds flows throughout it, one I’d want to play late at night in a dark, heavily smoke-filled room. Starting things real intense, allowing things to descend into a clattery percussive hellhole, going deeper, slowly coming out of the other end, getting trippier, more grungy, more amphibian, eventually ascending into a noisy, guttural climax – things are noisy, hazy – then wondering, how did I end up here?” Unfurling with exploratory purpose, each weighty surge and masterful retreat dropping the bottom out of your stomach, this is music to close your eyes and get loose to, the sound of moving through dissociation and displacement while keeping your head just above the foam and slime of the swamp. No tracklist, no life jacket, no safety, untethered and tapped in, you’re going to have to go with k means for this one. Trust us, it’s more than worth it.

You can find k means on Instagram. Tune in to k means at Rinse FM, Noods Radio and Avant Garbage, her show with DJ ojo for Netil Radio.

Listen next: Fact Mix 878 – Juba

Fact launches new issue featuring VTSS, Rabit, Universal Everything and Richard Mosse

Fact’s Fall/Winter ’22 issue explores how artificial intelligence is being used by artists in unconventional, exciting ways.

Rabit, VTSS, Richard Mosse and Universal Everything feature on the covers of the fourth print edition of Fact, an ever-evolving platform for artists working at the intersection of the physical and virtual, pushing creativity in new, often unexpected, directions.

The issue explores the artists behind our two new exhibitions at 180 Studios: Richard Mosse, whose mesmerising new A/V work Broken Spectre places the viewer directly in the climate emergency red zone of the Amazon; and digital art collective Universal Everything, whose show Lifeforms is an amalgam of unpredictable, generative pieces and installations that mirror and shift with time and the public’s interactions.

Artificial intelligence is also a key tool being used in unconventional, exciting ways by other artists featured in this issue. LA-based studio Actual Objects “process everything with AI” to merge together nature and technology in order to “suspend reality” in their collaboration with electronic musician VTSS.

Elsewhere, artists Hito Steyerl and Lawrence Lek discuss the implications of Deep Learning AI for the practising visual artist; technology disrupters Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst unveil the ways in which AI will radically transform the creative landscape, and Rashaad Newsome contributes an original artistic intervention inspired by a non-binary AI called Being.

Fact 04 also features original contributions by Rabit and Collin Fletcher, Blackhaine in collaboration with Hannah Rose Stewart, and Block9. Fact’s Fall/Winter ’22 issue is available now and will be distributed internationally by WhiteCirc. It can be bought direct from The Vinyl Factory’s online shop, from Boutique Mags, the exhibitions at 180 Studios or from the stockists listed below.

Buy tickets for Universal Everything: Lifeforms and Richard Mosse: Broken Spectre. Both exhibitions run at London’s 180 Studios until 4 December, 2022.

Stockists:

180 The Strand, London
Artwords, Broadway, London 
Artwords, Riv St, London  
Barbican News, London   
Charlotte St News, London   
Good News, London  
Magazine Brighton, Brighton   
MagCulture, London   
Magma, Cov Garden, London   
Magnum News, London    
Phonica Records, London 
Rainbow News, London   
Rare Mags, Stockport   
Stack Mags, London  
Unearthed Sounds, Poole  
Unique Magazines, Newcastle  
Village, Leeds 
Actual Source, Provo   
Amen, Madrid  
Athenaeum, Amsterdam    
Basheer Graphic, Singapore  
Eslite, Taiwan    
Garage, Moscow
Podipisne, St Petersburg    
Gudberg Nerger,  Hamburg
LMDS, Shanghai   
More More Artbook, Shanghai   
Odd Kiosk, Barcelona  
Papercut, Stockholm  
Post Nothing, Bogota   
Print Matters, Zurich   
Readallion, Kyiv    
Reading Room, Milan  
Rosa Wolf, Berlin    
Sendpoints, China   
Skylight Books, LA    
Smoke Signals, San Francisco  
Top Hat & Tales, Faversham  
Tonic UK, London 
Journals, Sydney 
Mag Nation, Melbourne 
IMS Stadsfeestzaal, Antwerp 
IMS Kaasrui, Antwerp
IMS, Hasselt 
Megusta Utrecht, Netherlands
Magalleria, Bath                                       
Marsell Paradiso, Milan
Barnes Noble (Various) USA                   
Books a Million (Various) USA
Allscript, Singapore

Read next: Universal Everything explore digital life in motion with Lifeforms, a major new solo show at 180 Studios

Brunson & Mark Prendergast reflect on generational trauma and acid techno with Hug Your Friends

Artist Mark Prendergast and fORMATS aND mECHANISMS piece together diaristic glimpses of the life of Gerald Brunson, the enigmatic DJ and producer best known as a member of Model 500 and the founder of Dance Sacred Records.

Among the many legends who pioneered the sound of Midwest techno, Gerald Brunson is a singular voice. Between playing as part of Model 500’s live iteration and operating Dance Sacred Records, the producer and DJ is truly a veteran of the scene, winding his way from working the floor at the legendary Detroit record shop Submerge Records, his early experiments in acid techno as Acid Jakal, linking up with Underground Resistance founder Mike Banks and Juan Atkins, to his current run as Brunson. His new EP, Hug Your Friends, is his first release for Tresor, a long-in-the-making joining of forces that arrives as part of the label’s 30th anniversary celebrations. To mark the occasion, Brunson worked in collaboration with video artist Mark Prendergast and fORMATS aND mECHANISMS to create a short film in support of the project. Never one to settle for the obvious, Brunson began to send Prendergast a collection of diaristic audio and video clips, which together paint a rich and complex picture of a truly enigmatic artist. Touching on his childhood, generational trauma, the American Midwest, his process as a producer and DJ and, above all, the love he has for his late grandmother, Vivian Rowe, Brunson paints a colourful impression of the intimate and at times melancholy space from which his music emerges, parsed through and lovingly stitched together by Prendergast in his inimitable style. “In the same vein as the previous video we made in this series with Terrence Dixon, Gerald sent us a bunch of off the cuff imagery and audio that he felt represented himself in some way,” explains Prendergast. “It was all great material, but one video in particular stood out to us, in which he takes us on a tour of a photo collage which hangs in his kitchen, telling us about his family background and in particular about his grandma.”

“The video takes the form of a journey of reflection and memory, intercut with a road trip to Yuma, Colorado to the patch of land that Rowe was born on, where we see Gerald spread his grandmother’s ashes,” continues Prendergast. “What we actually is see the surreal moment of him accidentally dropping the bag of his grandmothers ashes to find two CDs he put in there at the time of her passing: one an album by her favourite singer and one a mixtape Gerald made of her favourite music. On a formal level, the juxtaposition between the love for an elderly relative and hard techno was one we were super interested in exploring.” From the very first moments in which grandma Rowe is introduced, pictured striding across the plains of Colorado on horse back, these two pillars of Brunson’s life are fused together, his description of his grandmother as “a very hardcore woman, period” punctuated by a 4/4 beat, metered out in the lo-fi rhythm of Prendergast’s jagged edits. Throughout the film Brunson’s voice and the sounds in the background of his recordings are threaded into the machinic pulse of his own primal hardware techno, resulting in an expressive score that captures the intense nostalgia and intimacy of the producer’s expansive trips through his own memories. Prendergast and fORMATS aND mECHANISMS annotate Brunson’s voiceover with pixellated phrases, scribbled over the top of grainy footage, underlining the scrapbook, patchwork quality of the producer’s video and audio, personal recollections animated with his own sounds. “Where they grew up, like, literally no one could hear you scream,” Brunson says of his grandparents home. “They say that about space, but not a lot going on back there.”

“We noticed that the videos Gerald was sending us, particularly about Grandma Rowe, touched on themes of generational trauma,” continues Prendergast. “He has had to deal with the effects of alcoholism and drug abuse from two distinct angles throughout his life – in his family and upbringing, due to what could arguably be seen as the American Dream gone bad, and then again in his social circles which revolve around club music culture. Gerald is doing the work to unpack the resulting trauma and seems to be committed to making sure that this stops with his generational line.” It’s a recurring theme in Brunson’s approach to techno, which, while hugely inspired by psychedelic experiences, doesn’t draw its potency from club hedonism, but rather a rigorous dedication to the fringes of the Black musical tradition. “I don’t understand why everyone where I’m from drinks so much and does so much ketamine and coke,” Brunson tells Juno. “I’m not fucked up on coke and fentanyl or ketamine all the time. You can count on me at three in the morning, I’m committed to the set up, execution of design and the dismantle.” Recounting a difficult past of family struggles and losing friends to overdoses, Brunson connects the strife of the Great Depression to memories of addiction in the rave scene in the Midwest in the mid-to-late ’90s during a spoken passage that intermingles the two narratives, finding a shared pain in the experiences of his ancestors and his own experiences in music, before he is interrupted by the bleep of a sequencer, the ensuing acid squelches illustrating perfectly the artist’s ability to channel this raw emotion into his productions.

“In some way I recognised my own story in the one that Gerald was telling us,” says Prendergast, “processing a dysfunctional upbringing and coming to terms with things as an adult. I don’t think he knew how clearly he was communicating about these themes, and maybe it takes a certain sensitivity and sense of shared experience to pick up on what he was really meaning. He was really stoked when he realised it was taking this shape as its obviously a huge part of who he is, and its stuff he’s been thinking about a lot recently. We are really glad we focussed in on that one video and managed to open up a space for some catharsis.” What Prendergast and fORMATS aND mECHANISMS’s vision of Brunson’s life illustrates is an artist committed to coming to terms with his past, both in terms of where he comes from and in terms of his formative experiences with music. To this day he produces techno in his childhood bedroom, “I’ve been generating energy in that place for a long time and it definitely transfers through to my music,” he asserts. From the climactic moment of the film, in which Brunson finds some lost CDs in his grandmother’s ashes, it’s clear that his music proceeds as a direct result of the gifts given to him by Grandma Rowe. “I remember one time I was expressing an idea about something and someone was trying to cut me off, and she cut them off and said: ‘let the boy speak!’. Ever since then I had a proper speaking place at any table I was at, she would stand up for me. When I started going to raves, she stood behind it.” We close with a final word from Brunson, “we’re only here for a certain amount of time man,” and shaky close ups of the words ‘this,’ ‘is,’ ‘your,’ ‘life.’ “The video is a testament to the impact that Grandma Rowe had on Brunson, telling the story of the many ways that she supported him,” concludes Prendergast. “She gave him a voice and she gave him her house. She validated and pushed him to follow his love of music, which ultimately became the vehicle for him to transcend his circumstances.”

Hug Your Friends is out now, on Tresor Records. For more information about Mark Prendergast and his work you can find him on Instagram. You can find fORMATS aND mECHANISMS on Instagram.

Watch next: Heith wanders through a dark dream world in A Venus flytrap in the circus lodge

Fact Mix 878: Juba

Juba ties together sounds and rhythms from the African diaspora and beyond in a mix that mirrors her ideal club night.

British-Nigerian artist Juba has built a strong reputation as one of Europe’s most thrilling DJs, particularly in Berlin where she has been based since 2018. Juba’s sets and mixes draw on her Nigerian heritage, combining dance music from Africa and the African diaspora with genres including techno and UK funky, bringing together music from different corners of the globe through her own unique perspective.

A regular host on Berlin’s Cashmere Radio and member of London’s Boko! Boko! collective, Juba is also the creator of Assurance, a 2020 documentary and subsequent podcast series that interviewed women DJs in Nigeria and the global south about their experiences. In September 2022, Juba launched her own club night in Tresor’s newly refurbished Globus space called BPM aka Beats Power Movement, a venture with Saevi Agency’s Sara Avitabile that aims to bring new energy to one of Berlin’s oldest techno institutions.

This spirit is present throughout her 90-minute Fact Mix, which plays out like Juba’s ideal club set, moving through melancholic and yearning vibes to joyous party heaters at the end, packing in music from DJ Lag, Ploy, Roska, Anz, Sansibar and many more. “The mix is coming off the back of a busy summer and I feel like it encapsulates the fun, free and energetic spirt of festivals and events that I’ve played at this year like Fusion Festival, Balance Festival, Glastonbury, Reverse Engineering, BPM of course and more,” Juba says. “When I was putting the mix together, I imagined it being a kind of sonic journey through the different rooms and DJ sets at my ideal club night. It eases in, reaches an intense peak and then ends on a rhythmic high, which is how I like my sets to flow.

“The mix contains snatches of sounds and rhythms that are diverse and from totally different musical ecosystems, but they still somehow fit really well together,” she continues. “The core of my music is electronic music from African countries, but I feel like a spectrum of sounds, representing multiple influences are truly encapsulated in it, with a flow from Afrotech to gqom, global bass, Asokpor, drum and techno and flavours in between. I also added in my first production by the name of ‘Show Dem Fire’ and I was pretty chuffed that I could mix it into ‘Melodie Glaçe’ by Nídia, which is one of my favourite tracks right now.”

Follow Juba on Instagram and SoundCloud. Buy her track ‘Show Dem Fire’ at Bandcamp.

Tracklist:

Pablo Fierro – ‘Kalaa’
DJ Satellite  – ‘Kemuda Siyeza’ (Demented Soul & Noxious DJ Afro Mix)
Fiyadread – ‘Log In’
Dlala Thukzin feat. Iso – ‘Nika Nika’ (Magical Remix)
Themba – ‘Who Is Themba?’
Dlala Thukzin – ‘Small Boys (feat. Kususa & Bongo)
DJ QUE – ‘Night Vision’ (feat. Nana Atta, Mampintsha & Karyendasoul)
STATE OFF – Into the Jungle (feat. Omagoqa)
Avicii x Dee Traits – Levels (Dee Traits Bootleg)
Zvri – ‘Kontrol’ (feat. Cue)
Surreal Sessions – ‘Danger, Gevaar, Ingozi’
Griffit Vigo – ‘Come To Durban’
Avernian – ‘She Dances In The Rain’
DJ Lag – ‘Shululu’ (feat. K.C Driller & Loki)
Worst Behaviour – ‘Abenzi Bezinto’ (feat. Okmalumkoolkat, Skillz & DJ Lag)
Tribal Brothers – ‘Tribal Drums’
PLOY – ‘Stinky’
Alex Index – ‘Four Point Five’ (Circuit Remix)
Murder He Wrote – ‘Future’
Gafacci – ‘Amazonto 2.0’
Roska – ‘Pree Me’ (feat. Nakamura Minami)
Noire x Lobby – ‘ClubScream’
Arma – ‘Clap Trak’
Anz – ‘Inna Circle’
Sunareht & Sylvere – ‘Vervain’
Nick León – ‘Xtasis’ (feat. Dj Babatr) [Pearson Sound Remix]
Bitter Babe & Nick León – ‘Delirio’
Ekhe – ‘Tuli Banyo’ (Rave Edit)
DJ Swisha – ‘Telepathic Abuse’ (feat. DANNN)
Fracture & Sam Binga – ‘Termites’
SAAH – ‘Engage’
WRACK – ‘Tribell’ (Rumina Remix)
Ghetto 25 – ‘Where Is My Queen?’ (Bad Boombox Remix)
Sedef Adasi – ‘Power of X’
Salome – ‘Catch Us’
Simo Cell  – ‘Whisper’
Sansibar – ‘Scully’ (Earth People Mix)
Sleep D  – ‘Tram’
Leibniz – ‘Reduced Scope’
Juba – ‘Show Dem Fire’
Nídia – ‘Melodie Glaçe’
DJ LYCOX – ‘Parabens Moh Baba’

Listen next: Fact Mix 877: Himera

Heith wanders through a dark dream world in A Venus flytrap in the circus lodge

The third and final instalment of a video trilogy accompanying the Haunter Records founder’s new album for PAN, X, wheel, sees three radiant figures communing with the shadowy spirits of untamed nature in an intricate plant language.

On X, wheel, the new album from artist and Haunter Records founder Heith, the very texture of human consciousness is rendered as both malleable and nebulous, something that shifts and warps as a result of the artist’s continued exploration of esoteric notions of reality. His first album for PAN manifests a practice that draws on both the spiritual and the artistic, folding in elements of psychedelia, psytrance, freak folk, stoner metal, harsh noise and early electronic music into a singular sonic language, inspired in equal parts by biological forms of plant communication and the logic of dreams. This focus on alternative methods of communication extends out of phonetic expression and into speculative inscription with Angel’s Hair, an alphabet of vegetal glyphs and mycological characters devised by Heith in collaboration with the visual artist Pietro Agostoni. The alphabet shares its name with the folkloric substance siliceous cotton, a sticky gelatinous substance of unknown origin, claimed by believers and zealots to be produced during UFO visitations and miraculous manifestations of the Virgin Mary, respectively. This strange language provides one path into the world of X, wheel, and the nightmarish overgrown ecosystem of one of the album’s most unsettling tracks, ‘A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge.’

Following three bioluminescent figures moving around a shadowy dreamscape, ‘A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge’ embodies a world in which the natural world produces a violent, predatory response, a nod to the titular carnivorous plant. Probing the interplay between this lethal connotation, Venus as the Roman god of love and beauty and as one of the closest planets to earth, Heith conjures a world in which liminal realities are illuminated – the impossible proximity of the planet evoking an unknowable space, the love deity gesturing towards new modes of faith. The denizens of the world of ‘A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge’ emit an inner radiance, yet this light does not travel upwards, transcendent of physical flesh, but instead seems of the unkempt earth, glowing spores that suggest these figures have sprung up from the very soil and sand over which they now tread. Like the Angel’s Hair alphabet, these beings take on a physical form familiar yet unknowable to us, moulded in the shapes of bodies, yet smeared with a life-giving substance of a different nature, the natural world taking back control of its inhabitants with ghostly guardians, stalking their birthplace surging with all the promise of violence of the Venus Flytrap.

A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge follows Your Element (a spell of equality) and Dero as the third part of a video trilogy accompanying X, wheel. In Your Element, ancient ritual practice and cursive script are illuminated by laser light, a contemporary excavation of spiritual tradition and myth. In Dero, strange scrolling visuals give us glimpses of dystopian urban environments, occult graffiti and carnival fun house imagery suggesting a transformed environment of illusion and deceit. In the third and final part, Heith reaches past the summoning ceremony and the disfiguring tricks, delving deeper into a darker, more natural space. The denizens of A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge move with unknowable potency, a mystery only amplified by the concluding strands of Angel’s Hair, a new visual language for new realm of existence. Experienced as a hazy cloud of shadow and loam, the dream reaches back into the waking world, casting weird shadows on the boundaries between flesh and earth.

‘A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge’ is taken from X, wheel, which is out now on PAN. For more information about Heith you can find him on Instagram and at Haunter Records.

‘A Venus Flytrap in the circus lodge’ Credits:

Video – Heith & Nicola Tirabasso
Camera – Nicola Tirabasso
Assistant – Leone Ciocchetti
Lettering – Pietro Agostoni
3D – DECLINO (@andrea.declino & @gvn908)
Actors – Alison Bizzi @ultracreature, Clara Grilanda, Thomas Venezia
Make Up – Bruno Fontana

Watch next: André Bratten collaborates with Birk Nygaard to bring his album Picture Music to life

Fact Mix 877: Himera

This week’s Fact mix, from producer Himera, is what falling in love on the internet sounds like, the overdriven, hyper saturated soundtrack to vaping in the club, k-holing in the bathroom and crying on the bus on the way home.

Earlier this month the Latvian-born, Amsterdam-based producer Himera released their debut album, Sharing Secrets, a heart-swelling, hair-raising, bliss-inducing statement of intent that throws wide open the doors onto a vital new world we had previously only caught glimpses of on their beloved 2020 EP, More Than Friends, their 2021 collaboration with partner-in-crime Petal Supply, ‘You Make It Look So Easy,’ as well as dewy-eyed remixes of the same track from Malibu and Mura Masa. Himera captures ecstatic rushes of intimacy and jubilation in full-bodied, hyperactive sound, transplanting the abstracted signifiers of trance, happy hardcore and extreme computer music, elements that the PC Music crew and associated artists have spent the best part of the last decade synthesising into what is now known as hyperpop, back onto more adventurous dance floors, both URL and IRL. This is what falling in love on the internet sounds like, the overdriven, hyper saturated soundtrack to vaping in the club, k-holing in the bathroom and crying on the bus on the way home.

What Sharing Secrets continues to prove is that, above all, Himera makes music about friendship. “Friendship, and the moments that come from it, is definitely my main source of inspiration for my music,” they recently told AQNB. “Be they the happiest moments or the most bittersweet ones, the best way for me to lock in these memories is to write little tunes about them.” From Hannah Diamond’s pining vocals on ‘Kiss’ and the rain-flecked memories of sharing an umbrella on the way back from a party that drive the bubblegum marching song of ‘Umbrella’ to the Shepard tone epiphanies of ‘Today, I Opened My Eyes’ and the heart breaking swell of ‘Good Night, I Hope The Future Brings You Only The Best!,’ Sharing Secrets issues forth in a language of optimism and affection, where having faith in your friends and being in love shines brilliant light on a more caring way of being in the world. “I just want someone to press the pause button on reality and go into this imaginary little world with me,” Himera concludes.

For their delirious Fact mix, Himera delivers a whiplash-inducing retrospective on the year leading up to Sharing Secrets, moving between unreleased originals and production variations, remixes of friends and heroes EASYFUN, A. G. Cook, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ariana Grande, as well as some more mysterious inclusions. “This is a mix of originals and remixes, mostly unreleased,” says Himera. “I wanted to compile a lot of the sounds and melodies that I’ve been working on for the past year or so, leading up to the completion of ‘Sharing Secrets’. It includes some extra Secrets that will slip out soon enough.”

You can find Himera on Instagram, Twitter and Bandcamp. Sharing Secrets is out now.

Tracklist:

Himera – ‘Giggle’
Himera – ‘Our Garden’
Himera – ‘Spellbound’
Himera – ‘You Make It Look So Easy’ (Squeeky VIP)
EASYFUN – ‘Audio’ (Himera Remix)
former hero – ‘Changing Tense’ x Himera – ‘I Mean Love’
Petal Supply – ‘1’ (Himera ReRemix)
Himera – ‘Anything For You’
A. G. Cook – ‘Stargon’ (Himera Bootleg)
? – ‘?’ (Himera Fragrance)
Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘Call Me Maybe’ (Himera’s Dancefloor Remix)
Ariana Grande – ‘One Last Time’ x Bloom OS – ‘?’
Unu & co2 – ‘Precious Words’ (Himera Remix)
Planet 1999 – ‘crush’ (Himera Rinse)
Himera – ‘Thrash’
Himera – ‘Bubblegum Interlude’
Bloom OS – ‘Always’ (Himera & Olipra’s Bonus Level)
Himera – ‘A Song I Heard in a Dream’

Listen next: Fact Mix 876 – Snufkin

André Bratten collaborates with Birk Nygaard to bring his album Picture Music to life

In a seemingly endless flow of GAN animation, artist Birk Nygaard guides us through a constantly shifting procession of painterly digital imagery, making visible the atmospheric kosmische of producer André Bratten.

On Picture Music producer André Bratten eschews the darker elements of his previous releases to delve deeper into the cosmic textures he has explored throughout his career. Focusing less on genre than on mood, Picture Music sees the musician combining paired back strings, plaintive keys, gauzy synthesis and delicate fragments of field recording to creates the most melodic and transcendent sounds of his career. Leaning into the atmospheric kosmische Bratten has tapped into for Picture Music, artist Birk Nygaard employs GAN animation to bring the album’s 13 tracks to life, creating a seemingly endless flow of continually shifting imagery. Heavenly vistas marked with glinting cliff faces and towering nude worshippers melt into pastoral idylls populated with geodesic domes and elderly couples. Alien landscapes pocked with emerald cities and ancient monoliths morph into radioactive trees beset with bioluminescent spores.

As we are brought deeper into the painted world of Picture Music, the album’s escapist tendencies become fully realised. Recorded during the isolation of multiple lockdowns and inspired in part by a reappraisal of what constitutes ‘normal life, as well as the birth of his second child, Picture Music is designed to conjure illustrated worlds to slip into, an effect brought to surreal life by Nygaard. Impossible figures inhabit impossible places, speculative creatures perch upon speculative shapes, eerie in their algorithmic plausibility. As the album closes out with the reverb-heavy piano of ‘Evening’, the scene resolves into an image much closer to home, a shady woodland strewn with wild flowers, a poignant rural coda in counterpoint to a sprawling cosmic dream.

Picture Music is out now, on Smalltown Supersound. You can find André Bratten on Instagram and Bandcamp. For more information about Birk Nygaard and his work, you can find him on Instagram and visit his website.

Watch next: Marija Bozinovska Jones transcends the limitations of language by visualising embodied forms of intelligence

Richard Mosse’s new immersive installation transports you into the heart of the Amazon’s ecological red zone

Award-winning artist Richard Mosse will unveil a major new installation, featuring an original score from Ben Frost and cinematography from Trevor Tweeten, presented by 180 Studios at 180 The Strand, opening 12 October 2022.

Broken Spectre is the culmination of three years of painstaking documentation from artist Richard Mosse, who uses a wide range of scientific imaging technologies to capture environmental crimes in the world’s most crucial yet ignored ecological war zone. Filmed in remote parts of the Brazilian Amazon, Mosse has worked in collaboration with artist and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and composer Ben Frost to overcome the inherent challenges of representing the urgent and ongoing effects of climate change, making visible the immediate impact of climate catastrophe. Alongside Broken Spectre, the artists’ most ambitious project to date, 180 Studios will present a selection of the artist’s photographs from the project, including large-scale photographs that have not been exhibited in the UK before.

“The scale of this catastrophe frequently unfolds in ways that are too vast to comprehend, too minute to perceive, and too normalised to see,” says Richard Mosse. “I utilise scalar shifts to move between different temporalities of seeing — from the piercing vision of satellite cameras to the vibrant matter of interdependent rainforest biome seen by an insect or microorganism, to the sweeping vista of the pioneer settler, an uncanny cowboy realism evoking the spirit of Manifest Destiny that underwrites the rainforest’s destruction. Broken Spectre presents a phasing of ecological narratives that shifts wavelengths across environmental, anthropocentric, and nonhuman violence.”

“Broken Spectre presents a phasing of ecological narratives that shifts wavelengths across environmental, anthropocentric, and nonhuman violence, to articulate different fronts of destruction at play in the Amazon. Time itself is a crucial part of this catastrophe, as mass deforestation began in earnest in the early 1970s when the military regime built the Trans- Amazonian Highway (Rodovia Transamazônica), opening the primeval forest for development. Only a few generations later, this development has destroyed one fifth of the Amazon rainforest to make way for the cattle, soybean, and mining industries.”

“Data gathered by satellites over the last three decades has revealed that within a few years we will reach the very tipping point at which we can no longer save the Amazon, at which it will no longer be able to generate its own rain, triggering mass forest “dieback” with carbon release at devastating levels, impacting climate change, biodiversity, and local communities. This is a world emergency that is entirely man made. The burning and other forms of deforestation that we witnessed are carried out wilfully by millions of people and actively encouraged and bolstered by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has defunded and undermined Brazil’s environmental protection agencies. Making and releasing this film in the days leading to the Brazilian election is a deliberate attempt to raise awareness of these issues internationally.”

“In a key scene in the film, a young Indigenous woman from the Yanomami community confronts the camera and exclaims, “You white people, see our reality. Open your minds. Don’t let us talk so gallantly and do nothing. White people! Tell your fathers and mothers. Explain to them.” My film examines an intergenerational destruction; a legacy passed on from grandparents to grandchildren. We have only one generation left to save the Amazon rainforest.”

Mosse has documented some of the most significant humanitarian and environmental crises of our time. He has mapped the journeys of refugees and their camps across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and documented an ongoing cycle of conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Combining reportage and contemporary art photography, he creates images of striking and unsettling beauty that push the boundaries of his craft to try and convey the scale and tragedy of events that are complex and opaque, often working critically with military-grade imaging technology and using camera, film, and sound in unconventional ways.

In 2017 Mosse was awarded the Prix Pictet for series Heat Maps, panoramas of refugee camps made using a military-grade thermographic camera, designed to detect body heat and classified as a weapon under international law. In 2013 he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale with The Enclave, an immersive six-channel video installation capturing war zones in Eastern Congo that utilised 16mm infrared film, shooting a discontinued military surveillance film developed to detect camouflage, producing a landscape that glowed a disquieting pink.

Broken Spectre is presented by 180 Studios and co-commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the Westridge Foundation and VIA Art Fund, and by the Serpentine Galleries. Additional support provided by Collection SVPL and Jack Shainman Gallery

An artist’s book of Broken Spectre, published by Loose Joints, will accompany the exhibition, with essays by Txai Suruí, Christian Viveros-Fauné, Gabriel Bogossian, and Jon Lee Anderson.

Richard Mosse: Broken Spectre
180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
12 October – 4 December 2022
11am – 7pm, Wednesday– Sunday

Tickets are available now. For more information about Richard Mosse, visit his website.

Watch next: Universal Everything explore digital life in motion with Lifeforms, a major new solo show at 180 Studios

Universal Everything explore digital life in motion with Lifeforms, a major new solo show at 180 Studios

180 Studios presents a major new exhibition by digital art collective, Universal Everything at 180 The
Strand
, opening 12 October 2022.

Inspired by decades of visual culture and futurists’ attempts to depict the body in motion, digital art collective Universal Everything will present Lifeforms, their largest UK solo show to date, at 180 Studios, populating a sprawling network of subterranean spaces in the heart of 180 The Strand with an extensive collection of future-facing moving image artworks. Using cutting edge digital technology Universal Everything are able to create soulful digital life and explore a wide range of human behaviours and natural phenomena, from evolution, parades, and the dynamics of crowds, to the diversity of our planet’s ecosystem. For many of the works presented, Universal Everything employ generative systems that evolve and shift with time and audience interaction, meaning that no one experiencing Lifeforms will see the same show twice.

Presented and commissioned by 180 Studios, the exhibition will bring together 14 individual ‘lifeforms’, that will exist in distinct spaces or ‘habitats’ created by Ab Rogers Design. Lifeforms also includes the world premiere of new Universal Everything artworks Primordial, Maison Autonome, and Into the Sun. Universal Everything’s work was first shown at 180 Studios as part of LUX: New Wave of Contemporary Art in 2020 with a reworking of Transfiguration, which will be included in Lifeforms. The studio has also exhibited at cultural institutions including ZKM, the Barbican, the V&A, La Gaite Lyrique and Science Museum.

Universal Everything: Lifeforms
180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
12 October – 18 December 2022
11am – 7pm, Wednesday– Sunday

Tickets are available now. For more information about Universal Everything you can follow them on Instagram and visit their website.

Watch next: Marija Bozinovska Jones transcends the limitations of language by visualising embodied forms of intelligence

Marija Bozinovska Jones transcends the limitations of language by visualising embodied forms of intelligence

Taking Natural Language Processing and search engine results as her raw material, artist Marija Bozinovska Jones gestures towards an interdependent conception of consciousness with image, movement and ritual.

With Beginningless Mind, Marija Bozinovska Jones poses some fundamental questions, how do we know, how do we know that we know and, crucially, what makes our beliefs justified? In a tripartite, audiovisual narrative, Jones explores two central public access knowledge commons, Wikipedia and search engines, in real time, using NLP (Natural Language Processing), a branch of artificial intelligence that deals with the interaction between computers and humans using natural language, developed alongside Jayson Haebich. By connecting the content streams of Wikipedia and Google Earth to search engine results, Jones is able to analyse live speech, connecting spoken language with what most people at any give moment are searching for online in a complex simulation of rational, human-centred intelligence. “I’m curious about the ineffable and the transcendental; the embodied as an experience which cannot be expressed into words,” explains Jones to Edwina McEachran of AND Festival. “With technological interfaces, which rely on language as a communication tool, we tend to hit a wall with the affective, an invisible wall most of the time. Referencing philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ‘the limits of my language are the limits of my world’ the work communicates overarching ideas which deal with production of reality and ordering of knowledge. Essentially, artificial intelligence is manufactured knowledge, a simulation of knowledge and intelligence as cognitive processes disregarding embodied knowledge.” Juxtaposing images captured via satellite with footage filmed at the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, Jones uses a third-person POV most closely associated to gaming, marking a thread of subjectivity in opposition to the satellite’s Gods’ eye perspective. 

By using NLP in conjunction with publicly accessible knowledge resources, Jones is able to exceed the limits of what the program is trained to recognise semantically, approximating a collective understanding of speech based on the results of what most people were searching for online at that moment. “It wouldn’t necessarily return results for the searched phrase or the string of words, but whatever was most optimised or trending, often with rather arbitrary results,” explains Jones. “The returned results can be nonsensical and very entertaining, revealing a rather lucid algorithmic reasoning.” In this way the artist shows how this algorithmic reasoning effects its own production of reality, ordering knowledge into categories based not on personal enquiry, but on populism, both democratically derived and artificially boosted via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). “It is techno-capitalism at its best,” asserts Jones. “This way of deriving knowledge creates a notion of reality, including the proliferation of fake news and conspiracy theories. This is the reason why I wanted to go somewhere beyond language because the overarching idea of the work is interconnectedness and interdependence as a felt experience – something experienced as a sense of belonging and a nurturing way of being in and with the world.”

In its original iteration, Beginningless Mind gestured towards more embodied forms of intelligence in image, spoken word and the stunning electronic score from 33EMYBW and Gediminas Žygus. For Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals, Jones worked in collaboration with Berlin movement artist Franka Marlene Foth to translate the results one step further, into a “kinesthetic vernacular,” which the artists describe as “a gesture where the verbal collapses meaning onto movement.” In a process of translation that moves past the machine-level perspective of intelligence as a cognitive process that disregards embodied knowledge, Jones situates Beginningless Mind as issuing forth and flowing through the body, a corporeal liberation from algorithmic reasoning. “To transcend the limitations of language, Beginningless Mind observes the mind as embodied intelligence with porous boundaries,” describes Jones. “A view of the body as a collective assemblage of social, material and unknowable multitudes, queers the nature-culture divide. Starting where we are, we can begin to refine our consciousness towards universal kinship. Viewed as an open holistic system, such intelligence releases innate wisdom through movement, where the unfolding of awareness exceeds the threshold of the skin.”

By transcending the limitations of language and redefining intelligence and knowledge as inherently bodily phenomena, Jones is able to trace consciousness as an expansive, flowing network of interdependent exchange, between mind and body, organism and environment. “In union with the environment it is composed of and situated in, the embodied mind as intrinsic multiplicity feeds back information through sensing multitude sources,” explains Jones. “A view of a collective sympoietic assemblage as tangible and imperceptible interrelations, offers liberation from categorisations. Interdependent with other ecosystems, collective embodiments engage in a perpetual life-maintaining ritual of energy flows. The title, Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals, refers to the dharmic notion of the mind as universal consciousness which has no beginning nor end and manifests as a constant energy transformation. Approaching our need for connection through the commons of the internet and our primordial interrelationship with the more-than-human, could prompt us to nurture our contact zones. Starting where we are, we can begin to refine our consciousness towards universal kinship.”

In a gesture towards an interconnected, interdependent model consciousness, Jones finds a radical, participatory practice in the form of Self Optimisation, a psilocybin tea reading which, in her own words, “invites embodied knowledge of an online mycelial infrastructure to decolonize hierarchical world-making and collectively hallucinate new imaginaries.” Employing the same NLP techniques as Beginningless Mind, selections from the canonical science fiction of Octavia Butler were used as the spoken input, to which hallucinatory imagery harvested from search engine results was matched in a “collective acts of lucid dreaming.” Placed in opposition to the approximated, algorithmic understanding demonstrated in the initial iteration of the work, Self Optimisation looks to merge the technological with the biological, combining NLP with psychedelic experience to discover new neural networks, embodying knowledge in the mycelial structure of psilocybin. In the communal ritual of the tea reading, Jones finds embodied forms of knowledge that might hint at a more hopeful future.

It’s a hopeful practice that relates back to Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals, which, when it was shown as part of The London Open 2022 at Whitechapel Gallery, included edible, micro-dosing chocolate sculptures, a reference both to the exploding psychedelic micro-dosing industry, but also to ritual practice and the idea of devotional offerings. “While the mirrored surfaces provide space for self- and world-reflection, I’m proposing a gift economy,” says Jones, “an alternative value exchange to counteract our dominating systems of economic exchange, and an affective exchange to counteract interpersonal relationships with transactional character.” By directing the flow of Beginningless Mind into public rituals and participatory events, Marija Bozinovska Jones re-situates intelligence as both embodied and relational, transcendent of artificial simulation and inseparable from the planetary networks of technological and biological systems within which we are embedded. It is through these systems that we might find answers for Jones’s fundamental enquiries: how do we know? How do we know that we know? What makes our beliefs justified?

Self Optimisation was originally produced for Mycological Twist’s Myco TV in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement presented at MOSTYN online and at Centrum in Berlin.

Beginningless Mind (Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals) Credits:

Music score – 33EMYBW and J.G Biberkopf
Choreography – Franka Marlene Foth
Dancers – Janan Laubscher, Camille Jackson, Steph B. Quinci, Dana Pajarillaga, Myriel Welling
Software Development – Jayson Haebich
Voice – Natasha Kerry
Wardrobe – Ottolinger
Set – Studio Lilo

You can find Marija Bozinovska Jones on Instagram, Twitter and at her website.

Watch next: Natália Trejbalová flattens out the Anthropocene in Isle Of The Altered Sun

VTSS and Actual Objects blur together the digital and the physical in ‘Notoriously Fast’

Created at 180 Studios XR space at 180 The Strand, Actual Objects draw inspiration from Holy Motors and Under The Skin in a sci-fi horror thrill ride starring Martyna Maja, the artist known as VTSS.

‘Notoriously Fast’ is the latest excursion from producer VTSS into hell-for-leather, techno pop territory, arriving as the last of four emotive, vocal-led tracks that make up her debut EP for Ninja Tune, Circulus Vitiosus. With each cut from the project exploring a different side to the multi-faceted character that is VTSS, ‘Notoriously Fast’ finds the artist at terminal velocity, barrelling into the depths of her own speed freak nature without pausing for breath. Working in collaboration with former Fact Residents Actual Objects for the track’s visual, the artist born Martyna Maja is cast as both esoteric alien biker and the sinister sea siren in the pursuit of which the biker races, a nocturnal chase that sees the roles of hunter and prey becoming indistinct from one another. Drawing inspiration from Leos Carax’s modern classic Holy Motors and Jonathan Glazer’s astonishing Under The Skin, Case Miller, Claire and Rick Farin seamlessly blend live footage, CGI and A.I.-assisted imaging to create a high-speed fever dream steeped in sci-fi horror and visceral surrealism.

“The whole process was fast; it was a fast-forming friendship between the three of us, a fast collaboration that came together in just a few weeks, and the video features me riding a motorcycle, so it’s very on brand with the ‘fast’ narrative,” explains Maja. Filmed using the XR Stage at 180 Studios, ‘Notoriously Fast’ makes use of pre-configured virtual environments, against which physical effects can be captured, often imperceptibly. “Sometimes we like to remind people of how we transform environments and certain spaces by leaving in something that breaks down the illusion and shows our process,” says Claire Farin. “For example, in the ‘Notoriously Fast ‘video, the XR stage we used at the studio ended up being far more realistic than we ever imagined, so we left in a shot where Martyna and the background don’t sync up and it’s obvious she’s not physically and literally riding a motorcycle along a motorway tunnel.”

“With this video, we really tried to play around and blur the lines between what’s real, where things were shot and how things were made,” continues Rick. “We want people to question where things are taking place; is this a liminal space? Is it all CGI? It’s about the push and pull between nature and technology and how they’re not always so separate. It’s all kind of merged together, which is something we do with all our projects.” Seeking to collapse distinctions between the technological and the natural, in ‘Notoriously Fast’, Actual Objects constantly blur the digital and the physical together, as though the sheer speed at which this facet of Maya’s character moves enables her to shift between states, from hunted to hunter, from NPC to avatar, from Martyna Maya to VTSS.

‘Notoriously Fast’ is taken from Circulus Vitiosus, which is out now on Ninja Tune. You can find VTSS on Instagram.

For more information about Actual Objects and their work, find them on Instagram or at their website and check out their Fact Residency. Interview by Claire Mouchemore.

Notoriously Fast Credits:

Creative Direction – Actual Objects
Director – Rick & Claire Farin
Producer – Isabel Levin
Art Direction – Case Miller 
Styling – Peri Rosenzweig
Make up Artist – Echo Seireeni
Motorcycle – Sam Denniston & Adam Faires
Management – Modern Matters
Filmed at the XR stage at 180 Studios 
Supported by Fact

Watch next: Natália Trejbalová flattens out the Anthropocene in Isle Of The Altered Sun

spalarnia is overcome with subterranean longing in Rozkosz

Performance artist Wojciech Kosma descends into the Kletno Bear Cave to capture the erotically charged visual for ‘Rozkosz’, his latest track under his musical moniker, spalarnia.

As spalarnia, performance artist Wojciech Kosma makes experimental pop music with an explicitly queer, secular and anti-nationalist flavour. Seeking to dismantle outdated notions of division between eastern and western Europe, Kosma interpolates Polish folk music as the foundation of his sound, using trap percussion, drill bass, eurodance synthesis and an ear for irresistibly melancholy hooks to craft a singular take on traditional musical forms. On his second album, USTA, spalarnia addresses love in its various refractions, exploring lust, desire, sensuality and intimacy through evocative lyricism and exploratory sonics. “I wrote these songs thinking what would happen if I didn’t look for love, but sang as if it was already here,” explains Kosma. “I felt that it’s not true that love is supposed to be missing, that you have to wait for it. It’s been always here, it’s happening, in insane amounts, and it makes the world, at least my world.” On ‘Rozkosz,’ a slow and sensual highlight from the album, Kosma groans through an electronic dirge charged with longing, a quivering homage to overwhelming and all-consuming moments of pleasure and delight. Mixed by James Whipple, better known as M.E.S.H, Hesaitix and now EEA, ‘Rozkosz’ finds erotic tension in the interplay between throbbing low-end, sparse percussion, synthetic strings and primal flutes, coaxing lip-biting melodies out of negative space while Kosma’s foundation shaking baritone pins the track back down to earth with visceral heft.

For the ethereal visual artist Ewelina Węgiel worked alongside movement artists Luisa Mateo Dupleich Rozo and Monika Błaszczak to collaborate with Kosma, illuminated against the dramatic backdrop of Kletno Bear Cave, the longest cave formation in the Śnieżnik Mountains. Filmed using both digital and 16mm film, the film uses pale light and expressive movement to collapse the wet walls of the cave into the same texture as glistening skin and soaking fabric, a portrait of lovers slick with sweat and rock worn smooth by condensation. Perspiring stone protrusions are viewed with the same amorous gaze as necks upturned in ecstasy and fingers grazing outstretched arms. Milky stalactites drip onto expectant faces, calcium deposits formed over hundreds of years take on the sensual form of smooth bodies, while craggy rock faces layered against each other in photographic assemblage suggest biological mutations, organic matter bursting at the seams, desperate to spill over into new, more expansive, forms. This desirous overflow reflects the yearning of Kosma’s lyrics, who follows a churning repeated refrain of “too much” with the assertion, “there’s never too much,” begging the question, “why see with eyes if you can see with delight?” Just as centuries transform cave formations, hewn through mountain ranges with crushing patience, so too does the pressure of spalarnia’s desire have radically transformative potential, as he sings: “under the cover of delight, delight / I want to be your husband and wife.”

‘Rozkosz’ is taken from USTA, which is out now. For more information about Wojciech Kosma and his work as spalarnia, you can follow him on Instagram.

‘Rozkosz’ Credits:

Directors – Ewelina Węgiel, Luisa Mateo Dupleich Rozo, Monika Błaszczak & Wojciech Kosma
Performance – Luisa Mateo Dupleich Rozo, Monika Błaszczak and Wojciech Kosma
Camera – Ewelina Węgiel
Editing – Ewelina Węgiel and Wojciech Kosma
Color Grading – Igor Kawecki

‘Rozkosz’ Lyrics:

too much too much too much too much
of you there’s never too much
too much too much too much too much
never too much of our delight
delight delight covers me right
fine fine i can see fine
sky sky sky sky sky
through the thin veil of delight
why see with eyes if you can see with delight
under the cover of delight delight
i want to be your husband and wife
please please take my hand
our beauty might make me break
take me take me as husband as wife
for you i’m alight yet i’m not at all alight
i am a happy oasis of green
no other place like you and me
why see with eyes if you can see with delight

dosyć dosyć dosyć dosyć
nigdy nie mam ciebie ciebie dosyć
dosyć dosyć dosyć dosyć
nigdy nie mam dosyć naszej rozkoszy
rozkosz rozkosz całkiem mnie przykrywa
dobrze dobrze dobrze dobrze widać
niebo niebo niebo niebo niebo
przez rozkoszy cienki welon

po co patrzeć przez oczy jak można patrzeć z rozkoszy

pod rozkoszy rozkoszy zasłoną
chcę zostać twoim mężem i żoną
weź proszę moją moją rękę
z naszego piękna piękna zaraz pęknę
weź mnie weź mnie za męża za żonę
dla ciebie płonę chociaż wcale nie płonę
jestem zieloną zieloną oazą szczęścia
oprócz nas nie ma takiego miejsca

po co patrzeć przez oczy jak można patrzeć z rozkoszy

Watch next: more eaze wakes up to the aftermath of a night of extreme hedonism in a romance

Future Shock: GENER8ION

Romain Gavras and Surkin give a unique insight into their collaborative project and audiovisual triptych, Neo Surf.

GENER8ION is the multidisciplinary collaborative project of French filmmaker Romain Gavras – the director behind striking videos for Jamie xx, M.I.A. and Justice as well as the films Our Day Will Come and The World Is Yours – and electronic producer and composer Benoît Heitz, aka Surkin.

Neo Surf is the first instalment in GENER8ION’s tale of the future with a lowercase ‘f’, a future that contains moments that uncannily look like the present: an AI scanner capturing emotions, a fly-over alliance posing with a spaceship, teens enjoying flying surfboards – a seemingly ‘normal’ environment, underpinned by a threat of slow violence, just like the one we are experiencing right now.

Presented as a triptych, Neo Surf is currently installed at Fact and 180 Studios’ new exhibition Future Shock, offering a uniquely optimistic view of the future despite a sense of slowly unfolding catastrophe. “It’s almost more controversial to see a positive side, that even when the world is collapsing, kids will be kids and do stupid shit,” Gavras says.

In this film, we go behind the scenes of Neo Surf with the duo, who offer a unique insight into its influences, setting and opaque meaning. “I just think it’s important to make people feel something,” Gavras says, “whether it’s good, bad or unsettling.”

Neo Surf is showing now at Future Shock, at 180 the Strand, London until 28 August, 2022. For tickets and information on opening times, visit the 180 The Strand website.

Neo Surf was originally commissioned by the Onassis Foundation.

Watch next: Future Shock: Hamill Industries

Fact Mix 867: E-Saggila

An atmospheric journey through cutting-edge sounds from one of techno’s most inventive artists.

Rita Mikhael has been exploring the fringes of noise and industrial music for over a decade. In 2014, the Iraqi-born artist launched the Summer Isle label alongside fellow Toronto-based artist Max Klebanoff, inspired by the lack of channels for releasing and promoting power electronics in their home city, a style that Mikhael began to experiment with as a producer.

In 2015, Mikhael adopted the E-Saggila alias for her music and DJing, which draws inspiration from harsh electronic forms, ambient textures and the rhythmic structures of techno and breakcore. Following a few early self-released cassettes through Summer Isle, Mikhael has built an extensive discography on labels including Hospital Productions, Northern Electronics, PAN, Opal Tapes and BANK Records NYC and has become one of techno’s most exciting DJs.

Mikhael’s latest album Blaze, released last month on Northern Electronics, encapsulates her inventive spirit as an artist, exploring sludgy tempos as well as breakneck gabber and places crystalline timbres against scorched textures. Mikhael’s expansive approach is reflected in her Fact Mix, an atmospheric journey through cutting-edge techno and club music that pitches several tracks from Blaze alongside music from a varied host of electronic artists including Otik, Vril, Griffit Vigo, Air Max ’97 and Inigo Kennedy.

Blaze is available now through Northern Electronics. Find E-Saggila on Instagram and SoundCloud.

Tracklist:

FFF – Bookworms
Nemerov- AD05 (ABADIR remix)
Van Boom – Agora (E-Saggila remix)
Area Forty_One – Nocturnal Passions I
Otik – Falling Forward
Nørbak – There Are Only Victims Left
Ignez – Arcane
E-Saggila – Alrmr
Spiderwrap – Climax
E-Saggila – Crimson Liquescence
E-Saggila – For The Butterfly
Alstadt Echo – A Muted Radiance III
Griffit Vigo – Gqom 6
E-Saggila – Venture Link
Air Max ‘97 – Psyllium
Inigo Kennedy – Arcadian Falls
E-Saggila – Seecure
Vril – Psionik
Lazarus – Harbinger
E-Saggila – Anima Bulldozer
Async Figure – Waking World
Mako – Raisuma
Slave To Society – The Invisible Enemy
E-Saggila – Spectator 
Gaul Plus – Pink-618
Kilbourne & The DJ Producer – Seismic Cross
VAXXX – Loser

Listen next: Fact Mix 866: Pariah

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Justin Strauss

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

Glastonbury Festival returned to Worthy Farm last month for the first time since 2019, and Fact was given exclusive access to the Block9 lineup where we filmed performances from artists across the electronic spectrum. In this performance, Justin Strauss plays at Block9’s NYC Downlow.

You can discover the full story of Block9 by watching Fact’s 2020 documentary, Block9: Temporary Alternative Realities, and watch more highlights from Block9’s 2022 lineup here.

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022