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Ryoji Ikeda interview: “For me, there’s no separation between sound and visuals”

In this career-spanning interview, originally published in the A/W issue of 2020 Fact’s print edition, Ryoji Ikeda details his thought-provoking universe of immersive digital art.

Ryoji Ikeda’s innovative work explores the essential characteristics of sound and light by means of mathematical precision and aesthetics. By orchestrating sounds, visuals, materials, physics and mathematics, Ikeda goes beyond the conceptual to delve into extremes and infinites, testing the limits of human senses and digital technology.

Ikeda’s long-term projects have taken a multiplicity of forms, from live performances and immersive audio-visual installations, to books, records and CDs, and have evolved over the years to encompass the latest iterations of his data-driven research. His work has transformed the way we experience art and pioneered a global movement with immersive works that push our senses to new sonic and visual extremes, challenging our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

In 2021, Fact and The Vinyl Factory presented one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Ikeda’s work to date at London’s 180 Studios. The exhibition featured 12 large-scale, multi-media works, including six global premieres. Imagined by Ikeda as a subterranean exploration of sound and light, the exhibition took viewers on a sensory journey of 180 Studios’ labyrinth-like spaces, which seem to defy the building’s scale.

In this career-spanning interview, originally published in the first issue of Fact’s relaunched print magazine in 2021, Ikeda speaks to Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff about the show and his practice as a whole, offering rare insights into works such as test-pattern, point of no return, and his data-verse trilogy, a body of work that visualises and sonifies the different dimensions co-existing in our world, from the microscopic, to the human, to the macroscopic.

Ryoji Ikeda live set, © Ryoji Ikeda, Photo by LU Kuo-wei, Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2019 ©TFAM

Ralph Rugoff: Your show at 180 Strand brings together a variety of very different works, from subtle sound installations and minimalist light works to spectacular video projections. When designing the exhibition, did you conceive of it as a single composition with a certain flow?

Ryoji Ikeda: I’m basically a composer, so my job is to compose something. So I compose the placing and pacing of the exhibition in response to the nature of the physical space. The entire exhibition is based very much on physical experience, not only intellectual content. It begins with works that give intense, very simple experiences, and then the works get more complicated, like the data-oriented digital projections such as data-verse.

It’s a kind of orchestration of 12 large-scale installations. I also tried to make a balance between the sounds from the different installations. In a group show, managing sound bleed can be very difficult, but in a solo show it’s nice to have a mix of soundscapes that you can hear at the same time. It’s a fantastic opportunity. I can even recompose soundtracks of different works so they work better together.

You’ve also included a number of silent light installations in the exhibition, which create a range of very distinct experiences. Can you tell me about your new work in the show that makes use of laser light?

Nowadays many artists are using lasers in very spectacular ways, but I don’t do this – this is a very straightforward work. In a small black box space, a laser device on the ceiling, projects very simple scanning lines onto the floor. A glass wall divides the laser light from the visitor. Because everything is painted black in the box, the laser lines will appear as if floating in space. So the feeling is like observing something in a laboratory that’s seemingly a little bit dangerous – something inhuman, a very cold expression that you are invited to observe and analyse.

point of no return, a very different kind of light installation which comes a bit earlier in the exhibition, seems to offer a more subjective type of experience.

point of no return is a very simple, very intense piece. I paint a black circle on a wall and project light around it, and this intensifies its blackness. It feels like it’s always firing, you get a bit scared. It becomes a bit overwhelming. The other side is the total reverse, just a white circle. It never changes, just stays still like a moon.

So the piece is completely abstract and people can interpret it however they like. All of my work is open like that. But a circle can represent infinity; it’s like a Platonic sphere, something very pure like planets and stars.

Or a black vinyl record?

“Point of no return” is actually a term used by astrophysicists. It’s like the event horizon of a black hole, the point at which you can’t escape its gravitational force.

point of no return, 180 Studios 2021. Photography: Jack Hems

Astrophysics play a part in the exhibition’s central installation, which features three digital projections data-verse 1, data-verse 2, and a brand new iteration, data-verse 3, which completes the trilogy. Using open source data sets in a series of ‘verses’, these works progressively chart the physical world from sub-atomic phenomena to a map of the cosmos.

It’s a bit like the film Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, but the scope is much, much wider. In 11 minutes, you go on a journey from micro scale to the scale of the universe.

Usually I visualise scientific data relating to very small or very big things. But here, for the first time, I included some data related to human scale, ranging from proteins to anatomical parts to cities.

Shown together as a single installation, these three works must surely comprise your most complex project to date?

This is the premiere of data-verse 3, and it’s also the first time that I show all three works together, and it may be the last time as well because it’s very difficult to set up. But the three works are very well balanced. It’s kind of like a symphony orchestra. Everything is perfectly synchronised.

Is there a single soundtrack for all three projections?

It’s very slightly different for each one. It’s the same timing, same composition, but slightly different content.

In the past you’ve said that sound should never be a slave to the image, but in this trilogy the visuals — all that dizzyingly complex data – seem to take precedence.

The sound is not a slave in this work, but it’s kind of a navigator of the visuals. If the sound is too rich with this kind of work, it’s simply too much so I tried to be as minimal as possible. But for me, there’s no separation on one level between sounds and visuals. When I start a new work, it’s all just an operation of a particular structure. So I still feel that data-verse is very much a musical composition piece.

Did your initial thinking about data-verse take root during your 2014 residency at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research based in Geneva?

I have a good relationship with CERN, which is the mecca of particle physics. For two years I had a key that let me into every laboratory. I could talk with the scientists there, exchange questions and ideas and I really learned a lot. What they’re doing there is really extremely beautiful. And some part of data-verse did come from their data and also their aesthetic. Everything that they explore there is totally invisible, it’s on the subatomic scale. But whatever experiments they undertake, and whatever difficult theories they develop, the point is always to try to reveal the mysteries of nature.

data-verse, 180 Studios 2021. Photography: Jack Hems

As it cycles through vastly different orders of magnitude, data-verse inevitably calls attention to the limited character of our everyday ‘human-scaled’ perception. In this respect, it reminds of your earlier (and ongoing) interest in pushing the limits of what is normally considered music – such as using white noise or sine waves, or sounds beyond the range of human hearing. What is it that draws you to these kinds of sonic materials?

Of course I’m interested in mathematics and quantum physics, but that isn’t really the starting point for me. I began my career working with a Japanese multi-media art collective called Dumb Type. The group formed in 1984, and over the years it has done many performances and installations around the world. Altogether there were like 15-20 people involved, from completely different types of backgrounds. I’m still kind of a member. The theme of their work is always related to social issues. I was of course interested in composition, video and technical matters but I learned a lot about social and political contexts through my work with them.

Dumb Type toured internationally and wherever we went audiences and critics perceived us as “Japanese,” even more so than as artists. And they put this label “Zen” on everything. I was not really happy about that kind of labelling. So I became interested in making my music as universal and transparent as mathematical equations. Maths is not like culture – there’s no such thing as Chinese or African mathematics, for instance, because science is concerned with universal facts.

I wanted to make something like this through music. So I decided, okay, I would use pure tones, sine waves, white noise – these are materials that everyone can use. For my CD +/- (1996), I made music only constructed with sine waves and white noise. But after +/- came out, people said, ‘Oh, this is so Zen, so Japanese!’ (laughs). So I learned that you cannot really escape this labelling very easily.

You’ve decided to end your exhibition with the audio-video installation test pattern, which I can’t imagine many people would describe as being “so Zen.” It’s more like entering a throbbing nightclub dedicated to bar codes.

Test pattern is so loud that it’s like a concert. It’s very physical and abstract. The soundtrack is a sonification of pure data, it’s very brutal, very strong. With data-verse, you observe various phenomenon from an exterior perspective, but with test pattern you dive into the experience. You are tested, you have to jump in. The big digital projection screen shows tiny data bits that have been totally enlarged, like under a magnifying glass, so the expression is binary, just zeroes and ones. But data has really beautiful patterns, even the data embedded in your emails and photos.

test pattern, 180 Studios 2021. Photography: Jack Hems

Your exhibition spans a disparate range of approaches to making art and music. Do you develop the ideas behind distinct types of work in different ways?

First of all, I’m never working on just one project. I’m more like a painter who’s working on several canvases at the same time. When you stick to just one project, you get mad. You try to put all your ideas into this single work and it becomes too much. I much prefer working on many things at same time.

I remember visiting you at 180 the Strand in 2019 when you were finishing work on data-verse 1. It was such an intense atmosphere in that room! It felt like a kind of a performance, a dress rehearsal with you conducting your team of five programmers who were tweaking digital codes for the images and music that were playing.

The production of data-verse took place over two years. When you visited us, it was the last stage – the composition was already complete and we just had to work out minor changes. So at that point I’m like a conductor or a director. But each project has a completely different composing process. I’ve been working with the same programmers for many years now, and they are like collaborators, not just assistants. It’s like a band – who’s taking care of the drum, the bass, the guitar, a bit like this. I make a master plan, but usually we discuss a lot and many ideas come from them.

One of the advantages of taking a long time to make work is that it gives you more chances to reconsider things. Sometimes in the middle of the process, we unexpectedly turn left or right, do something in a different way, and the project goes in a new direction. It happens many times.

Do you create a score for your compositions?

To make a score is really my job. Not every production has one, but data-verse, for example, has a huge score in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. I write down texts, signs, function equations, memos, research. I also include jpegs and website links. It’s really like a kind of cookbook. When I make a performance piece, I also create an enormous score.

While they are rigorously composed, many of your works also incorporate elements of noise.

In classic information theory, it’s said that to verify the signal we definitely need noise. It’s a complementary relationship. That kind of concept is still really interesting to me. Humans love to organise things so we often hate randomness. To me, though, randomness is a hint of the richness of our lives. It’s not something to be thrown away.

That play between order and randomness has been central to a long tradition of avant-garde music and art.

For me, music is structure plus sound. Even in John Cage’s pieces that are seemingly unstructured, there is a structure. You need a certain set of rules, or structure, which is a property of mathematics. Sound, on the other hand, is a property of physics. It’s just vibrations of the air. So sound plus structure is what makes music for me. Both pure composition and actual physical phenomena are very important for me.

I think that’s apparent in how your work is highly conceptual and abstract on one level, and yet is always open-ended in a manner that emphasises the experience of the viewer.

I don’t like the overly intellectual orientation of some contemporary art. I’m a musician basically. And we don’t think in that way. We play music, and of course there’s some intellectual concept or theme always, but it’s not that important. What you hear, what you experience – that’s everything, whether you’re at a live performance or listening to a recording. Music is beautiful because we can’t see it and we can’t touch it, but everyone knows it. You don’t need to have it explained; you don’t need special tools to understand it. You can charge it with meaning all by yourself. That’s the same approach I take with my installations.

A [continuum], 180 Studios 2021. Photography: Jack Hems

Introduction by Sean Bidder
Interview by Ralph Rugoff

This interview was originally published in Fact’s Autumn/Winter 2020 issue, which is available to buy here.

Fact × The Vinyl Factory presented RYOJI IKEDA in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Contemporary, at 180 Studios, 180 The Strand, 20 May 2020 – 18 September 2021.

Watch next: Caterina Barbieri: light-years

Fact Mix: Grand River

Grand River signals the close of a particularly bitter Winter with an homage to rebirth, renewal and growth.

Grand River, the alias of Berlin-based, Dutch-Italian composer and sound designer Aimée Portioli, conducts a paean of rebirth and renewal over the course of her transcendent Fact mix, structuring it as a rite of Spring – the perfect coda for the Easter Monday after a long bank holiday of debauchery. Drifting elegantly between virtuosic synthesis, twilit drone, granular fractalizations, electro-acoustic, hybrid experiments, gauzy clouds of noise and expressive, electronic takes on classical composition, Portioli signals the close of particularly bitter Winter and the stirring of new vitality.

“The mix was recorded in my home during the first days of Spring, 2023,” she explains. “It is a homage to this beautiful rebirth, renewal, and growth period. The mix is rich in choral, dense aerial, almost spiritual textures, and enthralling melodies.” In this way, the mix unfurls as a continuation of a project the composer explores on her recent album for Editions Mego, All Above, which saw Portioli striving to develop an emotional language, unconstrained by words and cultural limitations.

Having trained as a linguist, Portioli’s approach to composition reconfigures arrangement as centred around drives and moods, a means by which to communicate the most nuanced and complex thoughts and feelings without words. Here she achieves the same, finding wellsprings of psychic articulation in abstract sounds that conjure internal clarity, the illumination of nascent Summer sun piercing through the smog.

You can find Grand River on Instagram and at her website.


Dylan Henner – ‘A New Living Being Opens Its Eyes For the First Time’
Jens Pauly – ‘Erinnern’ (Rework)
Jan St. Werner – ‘Sipian Organ’
Gintas K – ‘Bonus Sound’
Marsen Jules – ‘De La Mort D’un Cygne’
Giulio Aldinucci – ‘Rhizomatic Realities’
Noémi Büchi – ‘Prelude for Rational Freshness’
FRKTL – ‘Fire Upon The Deep’
Meer – ‘Al Nasr Wa Al Hazima’
Dino Spiluttini – ‘Body at War’
Quiet Voices – ‘Quiet Voices of the Ether’
Space Afrika – ‘Version 1’

Listen next: Fact Mix – i-sha

Fact Premiere: HforSpirit & Nick Hadfield – UnTyMe

Composer and musician HforSpirit and photographer Nick Hadfield find ritual power in rave during a jubilant retreat to an abandoned quarry with a band of club kid pilgrims in their debut short film, UnTyMe.

Back during the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic composer and musician HforSpirit and photographer Nick Hadfield were, like the rest of us, longing for escape. They conceived of this an opportunity, not only to extract themselves from the psychic torment of months spent in quarantine, but also to rewrite the blueprint for more magical acts of celebration, separated from the commodified hedonism of London’s club scene they had both long grown weary of. Drawing together a shared interest in tracing the potency of the ritual energy of rave, connecting it back to pagan practices excavated from Anglo-Celtic folklore, the collaborators planned a retreat into the hills, to the post-industrial setting of Skull Quarry alongside a gathering of artists and friends. A short film, part documentary, part contemporary folklore, emerged.

“UnTyMe revealed a collective intention to find a new sense of belonging,” writes Nick Hadfield. “Prompted by feelings of dissociation from contemporary club culture, we sought out the ancient rhythms of the land. The making of this film became an exploration of ritual movement, symbols, and silhouettes inspired by the ancestral myths of Britain.” Working in collaboration with HforSpirit as first-time filmmakers, Hadfield captures their escape with the lush saturation of folk horror and the hazy blur of ’90s rave archives, positioning the film’s ravers as a band of contemporary pilgrims, bearing their sound system aloft like a sacred totem.

“Much like the old Irish adage it takes its name from, UnTyMe is a collaborative multimedia project that unravels further meanings with each reading,” says HforSpirit, who stars in the film and contributes its visceral, electro-acoustic score. “It has given rise to an exhibition series at The White Hotel, THEE BIRTH, exploring ritual participation and rave cults, as well as a forthcoming physical release of the music on Toothgrinder Press containing artefacts used in the film.” He continues, “the film itself is a fly on the wall of an invitation to dance – an overture that cadences with an unhinged crescendo into the action of life.”

You can find Nick Hadfield on Instagram. For more information about HforSpirit and their work, you can find them on Instagram.

UnTyMe Credits:

Director, Photography – Nick Hadfield
Director, Music – HforSpirit
Words – Edwin Bennett, Zoe Bedeaux
Costume – Olubiyi Thomas
Movement – Salome Pressac
Design – Jonathan Castro, Delphine Lejeune

Support from Emulsion Magazine

Featuring – HforSpirit, Salome Pressac, Jet Sweeney, Olivia Stewart, Olubiyi Thomas
Producer – Scarlett Anderson
Director of Photography – Milo Belgrove
Editing – Nick Hadfield, HforSpirit
Art Director – Molly Martinez Hackney
Art Assistant – Eleanor Jeffrey
Styling Assistant – Olivia Stewart
Hair – Chloe Frieda
Make Up – Siti Haval
Catering – Hayett Belarbi McCarthy
Percussion – James Larter
Female vocals – Zoe Bedeaux
Recording – Luke Gardner at The Studi/o, Manchester
Sound mix – HforSpirit, Bitter Gold, Alexander Green 
Mastering – Tony Cousins at Metropolis Studios, London
Creative direction assistant – Mikey Opie O’Grady 
Title – Jonathan Castro
Title animation – Ali Raybould

Watch next: Ale Hop & Laura Robles – Son de los diablos

Fact Mix: i-sha

i-sha feels through a deeply personal session of emotional resonance and cathartic intensity.

For this week’s Fact mix Bristol-based selector i-sha trips through a chasmic session of heavy feeling and gnarled catharsis, a viscous and heady suspension of experimental electronics, machine music and soundsystem alchemy, held somewhere between out-of-body experience and fever dreamscape. “The mix for me doesn’t have a theme, but a lot of my emotions and energy have gone into it,” she says. “It’s something I’ve been working on in the last few months, but I’ve faced many challenges in my personal life which had made it difficult to complete.”

“It’s been a stop and start process for the most part, challenging, but also super therapeutic at the same time. I think it represents my journey in the last few months really, moments of sheer darkness, stillness, grief, disorientation, but brighter parts still manage to lace their way in.” Drawing from her experience curating singular gatherings for The Secret Shade and as resident at Bristol institution Noods Radio, as well for the resolutely explorative label and party series Accidental Meetings, these are raw sounds for smoked-out rooms, music for both soul searching and big picture thinking.

“I’ve got to shout out Bristol on this,” she notes. “I’ve been here for just under two years now and it’s allowed me to comfortably develop my own musical style. I’ve made some amazing friends here, who really feel like family, plus witnessing incredible artists, venues and promoters never fails to inspire me. A big thanks to the Strange Brew crew and to Accidental Meetings, I think this mix is something similar to what you could hear me playing at one of their parties, I always feel like I can do what I want there.”

“The clip towards the end from the Manchester Street Soul tape is a small homage to my parents – really captures the vibe of the music they used to play to me. I guess to be fair, a lot of the tones throughout this mix are influenced by them.”

You can find i-sha on Instagram and SoundCloud.

Russell Haswell – ‘1/2/3’
Mono No Aware – ‘Nkisi’s Awakening’ 
Dan Johnson – ‘1’
Dale Cornish – ‘Xeric Pattern 1’
DJ Sotofett & Christian Dugstad – ‘Dynad’
CIA Debutante – ‘Bathouse’ 
Polido – ‘Twig (Live @ Damas)’
Perko – ‘Marri’ 
Danny Breaks – ‘Earth Shaker’
Rolf Laureijs – ‘Untitled’ 
Nkisi – ‘Secrecy’ 
Terrorrythmus – ‘Gentrizerfickung’
Montel Palmer – ‘Catastropheland’ 
Muslimgauze & The Rootsman – ‘Abyss-in-yah’
Új Bála – ‘The Clock’ 
Lostsoundbytes – ‘FunkDrunk’ 
Source Direct – ‘Approach & Identify (Demdike Stare Remix)’
Christoph de Babalon – ‘Endless Inside’
Sockethead – ‘I’m Here’ 
Driftmachine – ‘Sternenmeer’
Petit Gateau & Su-27 – ‘Tribe Orient Express’
ТЕПЛОТА – ‘Skynned’
Sister Marion – ‘B Safe (Version)’
Kinlaw & Franco Franco – ‘Crocs On The Plough (O$VMV$M Version)’
Spliftan & Jay Glass Dubs – ‘Look Up Dub’
jog mode – ‘trackTHREE jm’ 
All Bad Boy & All Good Girl: Manchester Street Soul Tapes – ‘Side B’
jog mode – ‘trackNINE jm’ 

Listen next: Fact Mix – LU2K

Caterina Barbieri: light-years

The Italian composer shares her innermost thoughts on music, sound, composition and collaboration amidst exclusive live footage shot in Italy, Berlin and London.

Over the past 10 years, Italian composer Caterina Barbieri has created transcendent musical experiences, combining modular synthesis with vocals and other forms of instrumentation to create a distinctively emotive musical signature, most notably on her albums Patterns of Consciousness and Ecstatic Computation.

For Barbieri, music is the meeting point of the material and the immaterial. “I like to think of sound as a spiral that connects the physical world with the metaphysical world,” she tells Fact in our new film exploring her performance and practice. “In that sense sound really brings you outside of your ego and your physical boundaries.”

Following the isolation of the pandemic, Barbieri found herself craving shared artistic experiences. She launched a new platform and live concept called light-years and released an album, Spirit Exit, all of which had musical collaboration at their heart. 

In this film, shot by Fact as Barbieri returned to live performance and debuted the light-years concept around Europe, the artist shares her innermost thoughts on music, sound, composition and collaboration amidst exclusive live footage shot at Berlin’s Metabolic Rift, London’s Southbank Centre, Italy’s Nextones Festival and the volcanic environment of Mount Etna in Sicily.


Directed and produced by Pedro S. Küster

Filmed by
Sven Gutjahr
Laima Leyton
Sofia Kuster

Live Sound Engineering by
Bridget Ferrill

Sound by
Pedro S. Küster

Special thanks to Metabolic Rift and Kraftwerk, Mount Etna and Joe Goddard.

Watch next: Fact Residency: Gabriel Massan

Fact Premiere: Ale Hop & Laura Robles – Son de los diablos

Ale Hop and Laura Robles manifest their mutant reimagining of traditional Afro-Peruvian music with a dystopian vision in which past and future realties merge.

With ‘Son de los diablos’, Berlin-based, Peruvian musicians Ale Hop and Laura Robles enlist the talents of filmmaker Lauren Pringle to manifest their mutant reimagining of traditional Afro-Peruvian music. Taken from their debut album, Agua Dulce, named after the most popular beach in Lima, the city in which both artists grew up, ‘Son de los diablos,’ is an apocalyptic concoction of electric guitar, electronics and a self-built electric cajón, a percussion instrument originating from coastal Peru that was created from wooden fruit boxes by Black slaves as a response to the banning of foot drums during the end of the Spanish colonial era in the 19th century.

“For many years I have played Afro-Peruvian rhythms such as Landó, Festejo, Tondero or Son de los diablos. As some of the elements of this traditional music made me uncomfortable, such as the typical costumes, the slightly macho choreographies or the forced smile gestures of the artists, I have always tried to adapt them to a form that was closer to my personal tastes, informed by improvised music, jazz and the use of effects in my sound,” explains Laura Robles. “These rhythms have become ossified nowadays,” Ale Hop continues, “heard in Peruvian folklore shows, and on the ‘global music’ circuit, but our desire is to experiment and do something more radical with them, connecting to the instruments more radical past.”

“We were lucky to have worked with Natisa Exocé Kasongo, an incredible performance artist who made the video jump, shout and flow with fire and grace. The drum became our process of focus and we looked at the roots of the track linking to Afro-Peruvian history and dance,” says Lauren Pringle of the atmospheric visual. “I knew we didn’t want the video to be set in any particular space but rather a future dystopian space where we combine past and future realities. For me, I also could relate this to a contemporary world where technological artefacts suppress the spirit.”

‘Son de los diablos’ is taken from Agua Dulce, which will be released via Buh Records on April 7. You can find Ale Hop on Instagram, Bandcamp and at her website. You can find Laura Robles on Instagram.

Son de los diablos Credits:

Music – Ale Hop & Laura Robles
Director – Lauren Pringle
DOP – Tebbe Schoeningh
Performer –  Natisa Exocé Kasongo
Set Design – Marcel Schon
Editor – Ilja Siebert
Colour Grade – Maxime Demartin
Costume Design – Diane Esnault
Producer – Kiki Ramos Sörvik

Watch next: Fact Residency – Gabriel Massan

Fact Mix: LU2K

Jesus Piece percussionist Luis Aponte steps up to flex a formidable ear for bleeding-edge club constructions.

Puerto Rican, Brooklyn-based Luis Aponte is perhaps best known as one of hardcore’s most influential drummers, but his virtuosic playing for beloved Philly metalcore legends Jesus Piece is only the tip of the iceberg of his many talents. Over the last few years Aponte has been shredding ear canals and rearranging internal organs from behind the decks as LU2K, corralling his obsession with percussion into explosive production, touching on brick-tonne bass and lethal breaks, as well as a fearless, hyperactive approach to selection.

“It was around 5am and I was in a hotel room in Denver, Colorado when I recorded this, while being on a 6 week tour with my band Jesus Piece,” Aponte says of his Fact mix. “As a drummer, I’m extremely inspired by the culture of rhythm and how it influences the world everyday. This mix is a culmination of tracks that cover all grounds of what I love: Bass, Percussion and a good vocal. It only scratches the surface of what can be considered club music.”

Indeed, LU2K flexes a formidable ear for bleeding-edge club constructions, locking in to a percussive charge that winds its way across continents and through a dizzying variety of styles, threaded through with possessed vocal energy and low-end sorcery. Come for the hardcore energy, stay to dance it off.

You can find LU2K on Instagram and SoundCloud.


Nesa Azadikhah – ‘Tasnif Eshgh’
Fiend – ‘Jah Hear Me’
Masis – ‘Mount Zion’
K Wata – ‘Lost My Focus’
Less-O – ‘Movimiento’
BANkaJl – ‘Future Gun (Spicy Bois)’
Le Diouck & Low Jack – ‘superficielle’
Mosca – ‘Lashes’
Xiao Quan – ‘Quicksand (African Tusk Crime Syndicate)’
Fwea-Go Jit – ‘The Hallow Drill’
De Grandi – ‘Juggalo’
MM – ‘9th Ritual’ 
Lurka – ‘Machine’ 
WILHELMINA – ‘Purificação’
el Irréalités Veintiuno – ‘Retiembla’
Mutant Joe – ‘Bird Views’ [Feat. Brodinski]
Sleepers – ‘Leo Cap’
Left low – ‘Queasy’
DJ LOUI FROM JUPITER 4 – ‘The Aggressive “Daddy” and the whiny, high – pitched “baby”‘
Cocktail Party Effect – ’88’
ATRICE – ‘Chamber of Mazarbul’
Toma Kami – ‘Ritmo Actual’
Hedo Hydr8 – ‘keep up’
Pleading Fern – ‘I love you’

Listen next: Fact Mix – Daisy Moon

Fact Residency: Gabriel Massan

Over the course of their online residency at Fact, Unbonded on a Bonded Domain, Gabriel Massan constructs a virtual ecosystem built around emotional experience and structural critique.

In their rendering of emotional experience as the raw material for their work, digital artist Gabriel Massan takes cues from writer and academic Saidiya Hartman’s notion of ‘critical fabulation,’ a practice of including fictional detail alongside factual material to fill in the blanks left in the archival and historical record of Black history. “I don’t know how many digital sculptures I’ve made,” they admit, “but it all feels like archeological research.” Seeking to align their experiences growing up in Rio de Janeiro, coming of age in Sao Paulo and relocating to Europe, Massan excavates a virtual space in which to more closely examine the political and cultural structures within which they are entangled, without having to use their physical identity as a lens.

In this way, Massan’s practice of world building can be understood, in Hartman’s terms, as “a way of naming our time, thinking our present and envisioning the past which has created it.” Over the three episodes of the artist’s online residency at Fact, Unbonded on a Bonded Domain, the artist explores a virtual ecosystem untethered both from their own identity and the physical and conceptual limitations of the human body, performing speculative scenarios to investigate how queer club culture, systemic violence and virtual identities can help us map out the material world and our relationships with it.

“I think it comes from an understanding that all of the things that my family and I went through in my life were part of a wave, or part of an ecosystem,” Massan says of their approach. “When I took my individuality out of this process, I could better understand how my identity, even though it clashed with that ecosystem, had another self, or another consciousness, that was more related to my feelings and my personal emotions, not only to my background.” By looking past the human, to entities sculpted to fill in the blanks left in the disconnection of Massan’s experience with socio-political systems built without them in mind, the artist invites us to share in that experience, to contribute to the worlds they continue to build.

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part One)

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Two)

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Three)

You can find Gabriel Massan on Instagram.

Unbonded on a Bonded Domain Credits:

Concept, Director, Lead Artist – Gabriel Massan
Animator, Unreal Developer – Carlos Minozzi
Sound Designer, Music – Agazero

Watch next: Gabriel Massan Presents – Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Three)

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Three)

Gabriel Massan questions how we can conceive of social, political and sexual freedom detached from the human body, deep in the guts of a biomechanical night club.

Encountering the work of digital artist Gabriel Massan can be comparable to getting lost in a particularly intense nightclub, a multi-sensory overload of disorientating overstimulation that can leave you questioning not only where, but who, you really are. “I think it’s because there’s no hierarchy between the senses, they’re all at the same level, sharing the same animation techniques,” they explain. “Sometimes you can perceive them moving within the same direction, getting mixed with the same colours, even though you can see there’s an object there.”

This is absolutely by design. Queer club culture is an essential part of Massan’s practice, a space from which they have always drawn vital influence, both before and after their relocation to Europe. “Seeing the difference between Berlin and Sao Paulo made me realise how these two cities are connected in the way creating space for freedom, for people to investigate and formulate their own identities, but at the same time, they are so different,” they assert.

It’s here, in a space both furtive and fertile, caught in a clash between cultures, that we find ourselves in the third and final part of Massan’s online residency at Fact. Having graduated from from the bright intimacy of the first episode’s cyberpunk bar to a darker, more cavernous spaces – from Panorama Bar down into the throng of Berghain’s main room – the artist’s virtual golems are locked into the rhythm of another party, another chance to discover themselves.

In this alternate reality Massan is free to question how we can conceive of freedom, whether social, political or sexual, detached from the human body. As a biomechanical angel descends past monolithic, mycelial speaker stacks, shaped from the same glistening organic matter as the ravers they tower over, we are incited to question what it actually is we might be celebrating, what is the precarious bubble that is always at risk of bursting.

You can find Gabriel Massan on Instagram.

Unbonded on a Bonded Domain Credits:

Concept, Director, Lead Artist – Gabriel Massan
Animator, Unreal Developer – Carlos Minozzi
Sound Designer, Music – Agazero

Watch next: Gabriel Massan Presents – Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Two)

Fact Mix: Daisy Moon

Daisy Moon goes deep and dark for her Fact mix, rattling through high-velocity club rotators and synapse singeing shape-shifters, tailor-made for irresistible peak time tension.

Daisy Moon contains multitudes. The Bristol-based producer and DJ moves effortlessly between scenes and sounds: playing as resident alongside Shanti Celeste, Gramrcy and Golesworthy for legendary Bristol and Berlin party Housework, producing and performing as part of the sprawling Curl collective and most recently founding her own platform, Off-Kilter, a mix and event series with a focus on the fringes, probing the boundaries between club music and live performance.

Between releasing music with Rhythm Section and the aforementioned Curl, Moon is also one of the co-founders and mentors at Mix Nights, an initiative from Saffron Records, which is a course and community designed to encourage women, trans, non-binary and minority genders to learn how to DJ.

“This is the fastest mix I’ve ever recorded, I wanted to record a mix that represents what I like to play and listen to peak time in a club,” she says of her Fact mix. “For the later seconds, when the dance floor transforms into pockets of deep energy – heads down and then hands up and vice versa – for hours that dissolve so quickly, leaving with them traces of the moments that melt into us and never leave, injected into our bodies and imprinted into our minds.”

“Genre wise the mix touches on the more techy, proggy sound that I’m playing a lot of at the moment, with skippy, darker but energetic techno and also real chopped and screwed, mind-melting broken techno in there for good measure,” she continues. “In a club, I love going from playing quite straight to then suddenly dropping something outrageous that is similar in pace and vibe but totally throws everything off – people lose their shit to stuff like that.” 

You can find Daisy Moon on Instagram and SoundCloud.


Joe Koshin – ‘Astro Wax’
Pletnev – ‘Am I Looking At Two Similar Cats’
??? – ‘???’
Asphalt DJ & Gzardin – ‘Okra Slink’
DJ Life & Reflex Blue – ‘Glacier Run’
Spray – ‘Zippycher’
Suki – ‘Hidden Credentials’
Sniper1 – ‘Malkovich’s Workout (Mabel Remix)’
Roza Terenzi & D. Tiffany – ‘Prude Pride’
Piezo – ‘Bbent’ [Forthcoming]
Austen – ‘Reuben’
Human Resources – ‘Tra3_E’ [Forthcoming]
Product Toss – ‘Canned’
DJ Stingray – ‘Binarycoven’
LDS – ‘Vone’
??? – ‘???’
Awo Ojiji – ‘Ridicoloum’
Blu:sh- ‘Recess’

Listen next: Fact Mix – OSSX

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Two)

In the second part of their online residency at Fact, Gabriel Massan drops us into the midst of an existential fighting game and hard dance battle between two biomechas who have lost their identities.

A large part of Gabriel Massan‘s art practice has centred around mapping the systemic structures of violence and inequality they have observed and experienced throughout their lives, from their birthplace of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, to their current bases of Berlin and Paris. “When I started I wanted to create situations and scenarios that were close to me. I wanted to talk about violence without using the same old images of violence, I wanted to talk about race, or racism, without forcing the topic,” they explain.

“At that time I was always talking about topics that were much bigger than me, trying to represent the other’s perspective, but I realised that I just want to tell my own story without needing to call it out for everyone, that I’m not everyone’s saviour,” they continue. “Now, I really want to create beings and objects without a strong connection with humankind, or even signs and symbols that we use as a society. It’s a way to tell stories without leading with prejudice.”

In the second part of their online residency at Fact, the virtual entities from the first episode are reincarnated within a dream of an existential, biomecha fighting game, spectated and narrated by another character who has seemingly lost their previous identity. “The image that is generated, the sensation that is generated, is influenced by the signs stored in you,” they assert. “Unbridled violence is a choice, but not in your world.”

As the biomechanical brawl spins out into a hard dance battle, soundtracked by producer Agazero, Massan underlines the powerful potential of gamifying difficult experiences, allowing their audience to feel through complexity on their own terms. “You expect them to act as you would act,” the commentator observes, “but then you disregard the multiplicity of their experiences.” In this way this “clash stuck in time” serves both as a reflection on Massan’s relationship to representation in art and as a comment on the messy process of navigating a world that wasn’t built with you in mind.

You can find Gabriel Massan on Instagram.

Unbonded on a Bonded Domain Credits:

Concept, Director, Lead Artist – Gabriel Massan
Animator, Unreal Developer – Carlos Minozzi
Sound Designer, Music – Agazero

Watch next: Gabriel Massan Presents – Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part One)

Gabriel Massan Presents: Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part One)

Digital artist Gabriel Massan explores queer club culture, societies of violence and virtual ecosystems across their online residency at Fact.

Gabriel Massan describes themselves as a ‘3RD WORLDBUILDER’, but really, we don’t have a name for the kinds of worlds they want to build. Over the last few years the artist has defined a discipline of CGI sculpture, drawing from a vast, digitally-mediated latticework of video game and anime references to create visceral work with a physicality that reflects their experiences growing up in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as their immersion in the queer club culture of the latter and in their current bases of Berlin and Paris.

Driven by a desire to map their emotional experiences of systemic political and cultural structures onto ecosystems untethered from physical representation and the body, these digital sculptures have blossomed into a fully-fledged world building practice, work which the artist has shown at the X Museum in Beijing and the Julia Stoschek Collection in Dusseldorf. Their approach culminates in the upcoming Third World, a “consciousness-raising game that explores Black-indigenous Brazilian experience,” commissioned by Serpentine Arts Technologies and featuring Web3 integrations built on the Tezos Blockchain.

In ‘Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part One),’ the first of a three-part series Massan will present during their online residency at Fact, we find ourselves in a biomechanical nightclub, an alternate reality mutation of Cyberia, the cyberpunk haven for underage ravers and disillusioned hackers from cult 1998 anime Serial Experiments Lain. Trapped in a Beckettian back-and-forth of drug-induced small talk and existential angst, a group of digital entities question the nature of their environment and their place within it.

By transplanting a familiar scenario into an entirely fictionalised context, Massan creates space for a complexity of expression without the need to offer up too much of themselves in the process. “Dismembering my body from my mind gives those bodies and those different identities a way of flirting with my concepts without really giving them any traces of me,” they explain. “Imagine if I was able to give those different identities a voice, if they could speak, how would they speak, what would they say to each other?”

You can find Gabriel Massan on Instagram.

Unbonded on a Bonded Domain Credits:

Concept, Director, Lead Artist – Gabriel Massan
Animator, Unreal Developer – Carlos Minozzi
Sound Designer, Music – Agazero

Watch next: Fact Residency – Theo Triantafyllidis

Fact Mix: OSSX

OSSX charge through a mix with the kind of unstoppable momentum that makes it physically and emotionally impossible to leave the dance floor.

OSSX do not fuck about. The East Coast dream team of Equiss, Lektor Scopes and Elise waste no time in plunging us head first into 90 minutes of unadulterated, peak time pressure. “This would be typically how we would play stepping up to the decks,” the trio assure us, “we wanted to capture our regular club set energy.” While this might be just another day at the office for these three, make no mistake that this is OSSX at the height of their powers, a set with the kind of unstoppable momentum that makes it physically and emotionally impossible to leave the dance floor.

This is a masterclass in keeping bodies moving, a deft journey through techno variations from across the globe, joining the dots between Japan, Europe, the UK, New York and LA, woven seamlessly into the trio’s unparalleled celebration of American dance music, finding the through line between NYC breakbeat, Jersey club heat, riotous Philly club edits, filthy Florida breaks and Miami juke. They even find time to unleash a handful of their own solo productions, unreleased OSSX cuts and an irresistible ‘Dare’ rework.

Yet it’s with their focus on UK styles that OSSX are really flexing here, moving flawlessly through an immaculate selection of UKG, lurching bassline, ferocious jungle and G-force-inducing speed garage, showing particular love to Bristol duo Disaffected, who come out swinging on three separate occasions. Invoking the spirit of oldskool hardcore in a breathless sprint to the finish, OSSX kiss off with a Styles P classic, the perfect note on which to join the rest of the party.

You can find OSSX on Bandcamp. Elise, Equiss and Lektor Scopes are on Instagram.


DJ Shufflemaster – ‘Fourthinter’
1morning – ‘Flow’
Huey Mnemonic – ‘As Above So Below’
D-Base – ‘Love Is Deeper’
Disaffected – ‘Now We Will Commence’
Lektor Scopes – ‘Touch It’
SP:MC – ‘Big Request’
Tah – ‘Talk Tuff’
OSSX – ‘Dare Edit’
DJ Sega – ‘Stand Out’ (DJ Sega Remix)
Nienna – ‘Around Here’
Abe & Ayo C – ‘4 The Big Gurlz’
Green Velvet – ‘Shake And Pop Instrumental’
DJ K Shiz – ‘Hands On Your Knees’ (Arch In Ya Back)
Sticktalk – ‘U Right Now Shut Up’
Soul Mass Transit System – ‘Wine’
Chontane – ‘After Images’
Alarico – ‘Boya’
Deniro – ‘MPC Tracks A2’
Point Reyes – ‘Icy Acid’
Kanyon – ‘Conga Mix’
1morning & The Sixth Sense – ‘Untitled’
OSSX – ‘????’
Skeptic – ‘Vots Dub’
Tessela – ‘Rub’
OSSX – ‘Queso & Bones’
Near Dark – ‘Vile Child’
Disaffected – ‘Offie Scran’
Tre Oh Fie – ‘Sit On It’
OSSX – ‘Make Nice’
Duburban – ‘Heartbeat’
Lost – ‘Elevate’
Radicall – ‘In The Air’
Coco Bryce & Breaka – ‘Want U’
Disaffected – ‘Kiwi Passion Fruit Guava’
Moresounds – ‘Warcloth (Amen Fi Coleco)’
Styles P – ‘Good Times (I Get High)’

Listen next: Fact Mix – HOWE

Fact Selects: Jesse Kanda directs Tzusing’s 偶像包袱 (Idol Baggage)

A visual that explores the “elegant muscles” of a structure that protects Japan from tsunamis and typhoons.

In the video for Malaysian producer Tzusing’s new single ‘偶像包袱 (Idol Baggage)’, director Jesse Kanda sets the track’s finely-tuned drums and tense strings to footage of one of the largest anti-flood tanks in the world.

“Innocently and most primarily, I wanted to show the beauty of this structure by itself,” Kanda says. “Personally, the narrative of the video is of emotion and its direct relationship with the body in the process of dissolving separation. Relentlessly looking into direct experience – with patience, with love. The typography that is arranged over the video is the Heart Sutra from the Buddhist tradition which correlates to this process.”

‘偶像包袱 (Idol Baggage)’ features on Tzusing’s new album 绿帽 (Green Hat), which is released on 31 March through PAN. The album “meditates on China’s complicated history of patriarchal heteronormativity, and how these archaic double standards continue to dominate the culture in pervasive, often invisible ways”.


Director/Editor: Jesse Kanda
Producer: Kana Fujimaki
Cinematographer: Timothée Lambrecq
Drone/Photography: Steve Gaudin
Transport, Health & Safety: Tomo Takahashi

Music written & produced by Tzusing
Mixed by Jondu
Mastered by Enyang Urbiks

Read next: London photographer Gabriel Moses debuts first exhibition at 180 Studios

London photographer Gabriel Moses debuts first exhibition at 180 Studios

Gabriel Moses: Regina features the premiere of two new short films.

London-based photographer and filmmaker Gabriel Moses, who has previously worked with musicians including Skepta, Little Simz and Pa Salieu, will hold his first exhibition at 180 Studios this April. Gabriel Moses: Regina features around 50 photographs from his career across fashion, music and sport, including never-before-seen images.

Regina will also see the premiere of two new short films, including Ijó, commissioned by 180 Studios, that follows a group of young ballet dancers in Lagos, Nigeria, exploring common themes within Moses’ work through the intersections of art, family and culture.

Inspired at a young age by black and white ancestral photography, identity and community has continuously shaped Moses’ aesthetic, which draws on both his South London roots and Nigerian heritage, as well as images by acclaimed artists such as Gordon Parks and Malick Sidibé.

A self-taught photographer, Moses was offered his first directing role with Nike at the age of eighteen and went on to be the youngest photographer to shoot a cover for Dazed. He has collaborated with brands and designers including Adidas, Beats by Dre, Dior, Moncler, Supreme, Apple, Burberry, Virgil Abloh and Pharrell.

Tickets are available now from the 180 The Strand website.

Gabriel Moses: Regina
180 Studios
180 The Strand
London, WC2R 1EA
5 April – 30 April 2023

10am – 7pm, Wednesday– Sunday 

Read next: Fact Focus: Jon Rafman

Fact Mix: HOWE

For his Fact mix HOWE imagines a near future in which the radio of a Ford Fiesta, abandoned somewhere in the dense smog of London, circa 2050AD, picks up fractured radio signals from a fast fading past.

The sound of multidisciplinary artist HOWE is broadcast from deep in the heart of his base of London, distilled from the cacophony of a youth spent embroiled in the city’s club scene. Though taking cues from across the musical spectrum, HOWE’s productions and installation works envision a world of maximal, highly emotive pop constructions, wherein sci-fi visuals, MIDI orchestras and vocal manipulation are spun together as a single, urgent transmission. His experience as a filmmaker and visual artist only serves to amplify the cinematic flavour of his approach to music, in which the stakes are always high and the world he inhabits is in a state of constant precarity.

His Fact mix is borne out of this dramatic tension, a speculation on a near future scenario in which the radio of a rusted Ford Fiesta, abandoned somewhere in the dense smog of London, circa 2050AD, picks up fractured radio signals from a fast fading past. “I wanted it to feel as though a listener from future London is experiencing ghost transmissions from the past,” he explains. “Jungle, D&B and Dancehall pirate stations, talk radio and Classic FM smashed together to form a smorgasbord of mutated sonics.”

Serving as a reflection on his discovery of electronic music, HOWE’s space pirate radio show includes a post-apocalyptic edit of Skilibeng’s ‘Bad Everyday’ – which will be available on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going towards aid for those affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey – a vinyl-only, drum and bass sequence, freshly dug from his mum’s house in homage to his years working in a record shop and guesting on radio shows as a teenager, cyber punk street fight soundtracks and an eerie tapestry of OSTs and HOWE’s own productions, with a particular and well-deserved focus on composer Juan Cristobal Tapia de Veer, the architect of the singular soundscapes of beloved contemporary cult series Utopia and the inescapable charms of The White Lotus.

You can find HOWE on Instagram, SoundCloud and at his website.
Artwork – Benny Bowls
Typeface – Sean Burn


HOWE – ‘Forever Radio Scan Intro’
Skillibeng – ‘Bad Everyday’ (HOWE Remix)
Skeng – ‘London’
Connecta – ‘What Happens Here’
DJ Hazard – ‘Busted’
Subwave – ‘So Twisted’
DJ Pleasure – ‘In The Dark’
Jaydan – ‘Wasted’ (G Dub Remix)
Serum – ‘Ammo Dump’
‘Unknown White Label’
Icicle – ‘So Close’
D-Bridge & Vegas – ‘True Romance’
HOWE – ‘Wasp’
Kim Neundorf – ‘I Feel Like Shit’ (White Lotus OST)
Howe – ‘This Is Me’
Lauren Duffus – ‘Permanence’
Cristobal Tapia De Veer – ‘I Want To Live’ (White Lotus OST)
HOWE – ‘Fade Away Radio Scan’
e-sai – ‘Urt’
Estoc & Syn – ‘x04 Has Escaped’ (Ytem Remix)
Cristobal Tapia De Veer – ‘Where Is Jessica Hyde?’ (Utopia OST)
Georges Delerue – ‘Le Mepris’
Ed Case – ‘Something In Your Eyes’ (K Warren Remix)
HOWE & Emily Cabarle – ‘Love’s Teeth’
HOWE – ‘Forever ‘(Time Stretched Version)
Billie Eilish – ‘When The Party’s Over’

Listen next: Fact Mix – S-candalo

Fact Premiere: Nene H – Hold Ud, Skat!

Nene H explores the experiences of her queer, POC community navigating the colonial history of art and culture in Western Europe.

On her recent EP for Live From Earth Klub, Trifecta, Nene H offers up three tributes to cities that hold special significance in her life, reflecting on the places that have shaped and inspired her as an artist. Having channeled her deep love for Istanbul into an homage to Sirän, a rave collective for cultural exchange she co-founded last year, with ‘Ring the Sirän’, and sent up the self-serious European techno scene in her current base of Berlin with ‘Fukken Lie’, here, with ‘Hold Ud, Skat!’, she opens her heart to Copenhagen, a city she feels accepted her at a time when she felt most lost.

“The last of these three videos is dedicated to Copenhagen, where I found so many brown, queer sisters that inspired me so much, living their own truth, creating their own spaces, reality and culture in Europe, with experiences that are peculiar to our existence in Western European countries and thriving because of it, nevertheless,” she explains. “It became a very powerful visual language surrounding this EP and this became such a personal and important project for me.”

“The story is about how we as POCs often find ourselves away from our origins and experience the world through a westernised perspective,” adds director Noah Umur Kanber. “We see our history in stolen and sold objects seen through museum glasses. The community we create is not only for survival but also for understanding. We see each other and we help each other to find the lost pieces in ourselves, reclaiming the relics’ cultural heritage and creating the new history of our culture.”

Set against an urgent technoid charge, we see in small moments of joy between friends the texture of everyday solidarity within their community, yet the process by which this is made into a spectacle for those of us in the audience is not lost on anyone. Throughout, the camera is turned back on us, a subversive act of confrontation that connects the colonial practises of the museum with the Eurocentric standards of the art scenes within which Nene H thrives regardless.

‘Hold Ud, Skat’ is taken from Trifecta, out now on Live From Earth Klub. You can find Nene H on Instagram.

Hold Ud, Skat! Credits:

Director – Noah Umur Kanber
DOP – Cat P Coleman
Producer – Benjamin Muasya
Editor – Ribka M. Pattinama Coleman
Colorist – Ribka M. Pattinama Coleman
Steadicam – Lars Noerlund
Focus puller – Neffi Kristensen
Production assistant – Josva

Nene H
Sahar Jamil
DJ Nah Care
Sofia Skir
Kimia Farhadian

Thank you – Davids Samling, Diamond Rice

Watch next: Charlie Osborne – Bury-Man-Lane

Fact Mix: S-candalo

Sibling DJ duo S-candalo pay homage to the whirlwind vitality of queer and Latin house.

Tania and Dominik Humeres Correa have been making waves in their base of Berlin for years, bringing heartfelt sensitivity and queer sensuality to lovesick house, swollen-hearted techno and dewey-eyed trance as THC and DHC respectively. Though separately they’ve quickly become fixtures of the scene, with Tania playing a quietly legendary residency at Radiant Love and Dominik making a series of feted solo appearances on Berlin’s number one bathroom-based cultural export, HÖR, it’s together, as S-candalo, that the siblings are at their freest and most transcendant.

Over the last year the duo have honed in on an irresistible strain of steamy euphoria, a sound that is as influenced by their Latin roots in Bogotá as it is by the LGBTQIA+ and FLINTA club cultures they inhabit. This is perhaps best exemplified by their new party La noche, which they run alongside Radiant Records’ Byron Yeates, the first edition of which features kindred spirits Angel D’lite, eoin dj, Cáit and ferrari rot.

”This is the first S-candalo mix in a year,” Tania and Dominik say of their Fact mix. “After taking our sound on the road we prepared a mix that represents us in our truest form. With our music, we want to reflect on our culture and heritage whilst celebrating Latin and queer influences on house music. Intent is everything and we hope to make music that empowers us as well as our listeners.”

“In the first half of the mix you can hear the smoother side of S-candalo and in the second half the club sound you can expect from us.” Moving through a selection of club tracks both pumping and playful, this is S-candalo at their most elegant and urgent, a testament to the whirlwind vitality of queer and Latin house and a blueprint for the kinds of parties we want to see more of in the world.

You can find THC on Instagram and DHC on Instagram. You can find S-candalo on SoundCloud. Catch both DJs on the Venus Vessels show on Radio 80000. You can also catch THC curating HOT BOX, a new residency on HÖR.


Jazzmun – ‘You Can’t Handle It’ (Rene & Jon’s Peanut Mix)
Frank ‘O – ‘Outside’ (Frank ‘O Moiraghi Guitar Mix)
Albita – ‘Valga El Brillo De Tus Ojos’ (The Dungeon Dub)
R Angels – ‘I Need To Know’ (The Happy House – Club Instrumental)
Jíbaros – ‘Colorá’ (Dub)
Hoxton Whores – ‘Smoothe’
Fuego! – ‘America Latina’ (Al-Faris & Andrew Wooden Mix 1)
Tell Us – ‘Get Em Up’ (X-Tended)
Pulse – ‘Music Takes You’ (Club Dub)
Junior O & Prince Quick Mix – ‘Miss Thing’ (It’s Over Mix)
Kynt – ‘Makes Me Hot’ (Joey Alvarado & Midnight Society’s Late Dub)
Superchumbo – ‘This Beat Is’ (Victor Calderone Tribal Mix)
Larissa Vitorino – ‘I Had Enough’ (E-Thunder Tribal Dub)
Soluna – ‘Bring It To Me’ (Pablo Flores Club Mix)

Listen next: Fact Mix – Van Boom

Fact Premiere: Charlie Osborne – Bury-Man-Lane

Multidisciplinary artist Charlie Osborne explores performance anxiety and liminal space surrounding a mysterious talent show in a haunted bingo hall for her short film, Bury-Man-Lane.

“Aisha, I get so bored like, like I’m internally beating myself up.” These are the first words we hear from Charlie Osborne, a multidisciplinary artist, musician and performer who makes work on the presumption that “the internet is a genre and protection can be found in objects, mascots, easter eggs and symbols.” What follows lands somewhere between an urgent threat and morbid fantasy, free association tripping towards destruction: “I swear to god one day I’ll grab the perfume, you know, not the liquid kind, the aerosol kind, and I’ll grab a lighter, you know, a Clippers, the shiny ones, and I’ll go up in smoke.” It’s this space in-between, a liminality conjured out of performance anxiety and contemporary malaise, that Osborne moves through in her short film Bury-Man-Lane, a portrait at once personal and phantasmic. “Although my writing style is based in magical realism, I kept weaving in real life events,” she says of the film’s stark opening. “There’s a scene where myself and close friend Aisha share dark fantasies in the back of a car. It’s based off this time when a girl at my school did go up in flames in the playground after dousing herself in Lynx and a boy flicking a lighter at her. It was only for a split moment and so she was by miracle un-harmed. I’m always drawn to these ‘close calls’ lucky escapes and this idea of mischief. It’s like a bleak form of entertainment.” Apocryphal tales, intimate myths and surreal, domestic lore proliferate the world of Bury-Man-Lane, in which the mysterious power of an enigmatic talent show, which seems to take place outside of time, in a limbo that may or may not be haunted, generates a gravitational pull through which the film’s characters orbit. “I wanted all my characters to seem like they are in search for something hopeful and that in the fog there’s something good out there for all of us,”  Osborne continues. “I wanted there to be a common thread that ties all the characters together and so I chose an event. TV talent shows, music videos and performing for social media became a key reference when thinking about what this ‘event’ in the story of Bury-Man-Lane would be.”

Drifting between surreal CGI sequences – swarms of digital cheese puffs swirling around the film’s titles, a weather beaten talent show flyer, contact telephone full of angel numbers, buffeted by computer-generated wind – and restless, hand held photography, all washed oranges and pinks, Y2K optimism blurring into the dull light of the present, Bury-Man Lane plays out like a fever dream. Osborne’s world is one of plush toy iconography and desiccated frog totems that guide people to their true loves, in which characters down energy drinks to the point of internal haemorrhage and friends transform themselves through finger tip impact meditation, trapped by empathy felt so keenly it’s painful. “Alongside the script I wrote a poem called ‘Metal detector, get me some gold.,’” she notes. “I wanted it to sound like it was beckoning for something and that it was linked to all these characters I’d created. The words, phrases and lyrics started linking back to my childhood in Cardiff. It felt like a thread of rage and the words felt hoarded like, ‘am I really writing about my absent Dad again?’ But at the same time, the poem became an anchor for this entire project.” Bursting forth from the film in a climactic performance, Osborne’s words emerge like a magic spell, an act of magical realist manifestation, the invocation of a hit, the bag, or success, viral, material or otherwise. Drawing together the ritualistic invective of a chewing gum-spat ceremony, the voyeuristic charge of an exploratory bedroom dance recital and the film’s hauntological score of lilting ambience and driving synthesis, a Daniel Lopatin soundtrack refracted through Photo Booth and GarageBand on a knackered laptop, Osborne’s verse and performance channels the crackling potential energy of Bury-Man-Lane, the first and last word.

“Time becomes so warped post graduation,” says Osborne of the film’s conception, which was, in part, made in response to the stress she felt on completing her studies at Camberwell. “It feels like there’s a set of conditions we all have to resist in order to be artists. I don’t want things to be survival of the fittest, although the energy that builds up as a result of this madness can be exciting. Life felt like one big collective talent show amongst many obstacles. I wrote the script for Bury-Man-Lane as a response to that feeling. I was unsuccessful in receiving funding so I saved every penny I could and started shooting with a crew of friends.” The artist zeroes in on this untethered anxiety – conversations are muttered and thrown away, gazes are never met and expressions rarely change. This is no clearer than in the “passing-through space” in which the talent show takes place, a venue richly evocative of warped time and unrealised ambition. Captured in the faded glory of Sydenham Bingo Hall, one unseen character describes the space with the words of a ghost story (“No one ever lives there, no on ever wants to be there, they just gotta be there”) as those trapped in its limbo emotionlessly count pennies, eat crisps and pass a “little fried-ass frog” back-and-forth for eternity. “In my work I like playing with a grubby-glossy aesthetic and I try to get that in my films,” explains Osborne. “When I was location hunting I was thinking about where the characters would hang out. On one hand they are introverted hermits, performing for their phones in a private bedroom, and then on the other hand they are avoiding home, always on the move. The space and set had to enhance their skater, loner, party people, misfit archetypes.”

“It was a real pleasure to work with all the cast whom for most was their first time in a film,” she continues. “When directing I was always craving for it to look slightly contrived, like their emotions were wrapped in plastic. I wanted to story-tell through the choreography as much as the dialogue, so I collaborated with artist Gulliver Whitby to create a twitchy, bird like movement. This image of a flock of birds and a flyer moving across the screen wouldn’t leave my mind. It opened up the idea that somehow my characters are subconsciously dictating one another from scene to scene, through this choreography.” Though at times disconnected, it’s clear that the characters of Bury-Man-Lane are dancing to the same beat, disaffected by the material conditions of their existence yet steadfast in their faith in each other, drawn by the irresistible pull of the show, a stage on which to be seen. It’s in this way that Charlie Osborne’s performance rips back through the sequence of signs, sigils and spells of the world observed through her eyes, her band’s frazzled anthem the flicked lighter that sets the perfumed flame of Bury-Man-Lane ablaze.

You can find Charlie Osborne on Instagram, SoundCloud, Vimeo and at her website.

Bury-Man-Lane Credits:

Cast – Charlie Osborne, Aisha Kacie, Annastasia Mikhailova, Isabella Pinto, Tara Strange, Theadora Sutherland, Hemi Shannon, Cosmo Conway, Jude Woodhead, Amon, Sammy Neale, Travis Barton, Brandon Westly, Esme Ashley Smith, Kurtis Lincoln, Morgan Lee Johnson, Ines Sacof, Nathaniel David Trevor Bailey, Ratiba Ayadi, In Tongues (Tara Cunningham, Sam Bates & Pike Ogilvy)

‘Metal Detector’ written and performed by In Tongues & Charlie Osborne

In Tongues are Tara Cunningham, Sam Bates, Pike Ogilvy

Director – Charlie Osborne
Writer – Charlie Osborne
Producer – Charlie Osborne
Director of Photography – Jack Cullis
Editor – Dominic England
Composer – Reuben Joseph
Costume Designer – Gulia Galiberti
3D Effects Supervisor – Finn Dove
First AD – Teddy Skinner
First AC – Edward Melbourne
Second AC – Ruben Neviazsky
Movement Director – Gulliver Whitby
Sound Designer – Reuben Joseph
Sound Recordist – Zak Ferguson
Gaffer – Marcus Kartal
Spark – Charlie Ring, Marc Milay
Props Handler – Miriam Aston-Hetherington
Photographer – Bella Santucci
Make-Up Artist – Eve Lyttelton
Colourist – Chris Poole
Runner – Kitty Drury, Jack Whitby

Special Thanks to Dominic England, Reuben Robinson, Gulliver Whitby

Watch next: Spekki Webu & Matti Vilho – Signal Transmutations

Fact Mix: Van Boom

Van Boom leaves no space for the faint of heart in his Fact Mix, an elegant onslaught of hard techno and post club at terminal velocity.

Splatters of feedback, squalling noise and battering ram drums sound the alarm: Van Boom has arrived. The Kuwait-based producer, DJ and organiser has been performing playful plastic surgery on the dour face of European techno since his debut EP frown was released back in 2019, hammering out a hard, fast and sexy take on the sound that lurches between hard-faced aggression and tongue-in-cheek melodrama. On MORFEUS, his 2020 EP for ANBA, and more recently on Prosthetics, his debut album and inaugural release for Varg2™’s Cease 2 Exist imprint, Van Boom hones a razor-sharp, high-tech industrial foundation with elements of post-club chaos, ’00s bass gymnastics and interpolations of Arabic scales lifted from the rich, idiophonic musical traditions of the Gulf region. “The soundscapes I produce capture, distort, and then fragment the industrial terrain I grew up around,” he told METAL. “I definitely would consider myself to be an outsider, but I mostly felt that way growing up in Kuwait,” he continues. “It’s also been difficult to connect with musicians in Kuwait who found my sound to be too abrasive and outside of what they’re used to. My music is a personal expression that, I hope, can resonate with the feeling of ‘otherness’ – of feeling othered in your own country.”

On Prosthetics, which the label describes as “a mangled mirror to the social and state forces with which he lives,” and the album’s accompanying collection of remixes, featuring flips, inversions and eviscerations from some of the producer’s closest friends and brightest inspirations, including Endgame, Estoc, E-Saggila, Sorcery, VTSS, Whiterose, Deena Abdelwahed and Slikback, this feeling is distilled into potent concentrates of eldritch ambience, punishing percussion and mutilated sound design, pushed to the most dissociating and cathartic extremes. The same pressure is applied throughout his blistering Fact mix, an elegant onslaught at terminal velocity. “Pure darkness in industrialised terrain is the theme of the mix, which incorporates genres from hard techno and post-club sound,” he explains. “I wanted to demonstrate how club music could be reflected in a sinister setting with a unique twist.” Brandishing unreleased weapons from Exploited Body, Estoc and Cardopusher, Van Boom leaves no space for the faint of heart, plunging us into the shadows without so much as a lighter to guide us, letting us loose at lethal speed to be overwhelmed by the discordant force of his sound.

You can find Van Boom on Instagram, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.


Ice_Eyes – ‘Dark Unit’
Death Grips – ‘No Love’ (KAVARI Blood Flow Mix)
LSDXOXO – ‘Rockstar69’ (Exploited Body Remix)
AQXDM – ‘Balled 002’
Witch Trials – ‘Dilemma’
Liza Aikin – ‘Hospital Bed’ (Swarm Intelligence Remix)
Van Boom – ‘Torn’
LAREN – ‘Call of The Nymph’
Estoc – ‘Unreleased’
ØRGIE – ‘Thétre Du Chaos’
exilee – ‘toll bait’
xerxr – ‘ca mi allah psytrance’
MORSURE – ‘Abstract Dimension’
BLK SLK – ‘1312’
Van Boom – ‘Agora’ [Feat. Whiterose]
Van Boom – ‘XXX’ [Feat. Whiterose] (Sorcery Remix)
Cardopusher – ‘Unreleased’

Listen next: Fact Mix – Laila Sakini

Jon Rafman: Minor Daemon (excerpt)

Take a trip across an impossible virtual reality-inspired landscape in a scene from the Canadian artist’s latest feature.

In this extract from Jon Rafman’s new film Minor Daemon: Volume 1, the protagonist travels from the farthest reaches of space and time, across an arid planet populated by wild beasts towards an impossible landscape filled with floating islands. It follows the narrative and structural logic of a video game – appropriate considering the film’s premise, which sees two virtual reality gaming-obsessed men trying to secure their freedom as they journey through a Hieronymus Bosch-like hellscape. 

Minor Daemon, which is currently showing at London’s 180 Studios, builds on Rafman’s earlier work, from his early experiments in Second Life through to the animated project that saw him weaving his own dream journals into an epic feature film. The world of Minor Daemon is Rafman’s most outlandish to date, a computer-generated fever-dream universe that drawing on the landscapes of online worlds to examine the relationship between technology and social consciousness.

Tickets for Minor Daemon are available now from the 180 The Strand website. The presentation at 180 Studios coincides with a solo exhibition of Jon Rafman’s work at Sprüth Magers, London (3 February – 25 March 2023). 

Watch next: Fact Focus: Jon Rafman

Fact Premiere: Spekki Webu & Matti Vilho – Signal Transmutations

Tripped-out techno innovator Spekki Webu and visual artist Matti Vilho explore cycles of death and rebirth in a hallucinatory vision of infinite reincarnation and emotional transformation.

Spekki Webu has been transporting the Dutch underground electronic music scene to alternate dimensions for over 15 years. Probing the lysergic spaces in-between techno, trance and ambient, the DJ and producer conjures immersive sonic worlds with a preternatural ear for dense, narcotic compositions drenched with propulsive tension and extraterrestrial atmosphere. Between his legendary sets, his own productions and his influential label, Mirror Zone, Spekki Webu has demonstrated a direct line of contact with these worlds, enabling audiences to tune in to their strange frequencies and share in their transformative potential. With Optic Portal, a multidisciplinary imprint refracted straight from the Mirror Zone, he seeks to shed light on these exploratory transmissions, working with audiovisual artists to make these sounds visible. It’s this urge that lies of the heart of Signal Transmutations, a collaboration with visual artist Matti Vilho, orchestrated by Joni Stanley of Veli Studio, one of the co-founders of Post Bar and one of the minds behind Solstice Festival, where Spekki Webu played live for the very first time. “I’m fascinated about the interconnectedness of audio signals and digital real-time image generation,” explains Matti Vilho. “Signal Transmutations for me is about the birth, death and rebirth of digital signals affecting each other with every cycle. It’s like a metaphor for our lives.” In the excerpt presented above, Spekki Webu and Matti Vilho give us a glimpse of their new, live AV show, which they will be debuting later this year.

“When the time has come to go for us humans and we have learned enough over the course of life, we join the new dimension and enter the light. Signal Transmutations is our perspective on this take,” adds Spekki Webu. “I see the experience of Signal Transmutations as a meditative journey which you can dive deep into and zone out. You don’t need to understand everything, the emotions that arise are most important,” continues Matti Vilho. Spekki Webu spirals through an atmospheric assemblage of gas leak ambience, submerged skitter and possessed drum programming, swirling viscous globules of reverb through oozing loops of found sound, riding a constant creeping tension between organic and synthetic textures that is reflected back in Matti Vilho’s cyclical landscape, the rebirth loop manifested in the time signatures of the music and the space of the virtual world. Screens are submerged in swamp water as far future technological interfaces hover and rotate, glowing fiberoptic cables drape from an enormous cluster of fungus, wires wound tightly into its mycelium. “The combination of alien and mundane has always been present in my work,” says Matti Vilho. “The giant fungus-like tree is an abstraction of the Tree of Life, connecting the past and present in a continuous fluid cycle.” Trance-inducing sound flows between smudges of hallucinogenic colour, organic matter and alien hardware, all captured through the imprint’s namesake ‘optic portal’. “The fun thing is that Matti hasn’t been sending out any visuals to get my music going,” notes Spekki Webu. “I started developing sketches of sound and shared this with him. The visual world building took off organically from there. It’s a mutual bond of trust we built over time.”

“When performing my music, I am always trying to transmit a set of emotions,” he continues. “This live performance is a journey into the next realm, balancing in between the various stages of life and death.” As is evidenced in his mind-expanding Fact mix, which saw the artist utilising a hybrid live set up, allowing him to layer rhythms, ambience and sound design on the fly, Spekki Webu’s approach to live performance allows him the freedom to delve deeper into the Mirror Zone, to coax out irresistible groove and vertigo-inducing depth. “Going live allows me to take full control of the audience,” he expands. “I can narrate my story down to perfection and translate every detail, taking people along on this introspective journey. I have always been a keen listener of ambient, experimental electronics, noise, and avant-garde music. Signal Transmutations is a spiritual approach on these types of music, it really feels like I am entering a next step within my career as an artist.” This renewed focus on the more esoteric corners of his sonic vocabulary serves as the impetus for Matti Vilho’s visual response, as he accentuates its intoxicating blend of technicality and spirituality. “The music of Spekki Webu is so much aligned with my taste that it was really natural right from the beginning to explore the ideas together,” he concludes. “The whole technical aspect is also in the theme of the show: cycle and rebirth. Each software we use discusses with each other and affects each other.” Whether spiralling through Spekki Webu’s sound or Matti Vilho’s images, Signal Transmutations marks a jumping off point for Optic Portal, the start of a deeper dive through both artist’s transportive practices, as well as a state of transition, as we phase from our world to the mirror zone.

You can find Spekki Webu on Instagram. For more information about Matti Vilho you can follow him on Instagram and check out his Vimeo.

Watch next: Female Pentimento & Axonbody – Zugunruhe

Fact Mix: Laila Sakini

Laila Sakini takes a somnambulant stroll through heady experimental transmissions, insomniac club rhythms and a treasure trove of unreleased material from friends, collaborators and the artist herself.

“I think music should be about what we can’t say easily,” Laila Sakini told Zweikommasieben last year. “It should hold and express feelings that we have. Sometimes it compounds the feelings I have, which might be sadness or something that lifts me up and I like the fact it doesn’t fit into a paradigm – an either / or.” Since the release of the Melbourne born, London based musician, DJ and curator’s stunning debut album, Vivienne, in 2020, Sakini has continued to draw from the most personal places, circling around a sound of extraordinary emotional generosity, picking out the most complex feelings with stark arrangements of sparse instrumentation, subtle effects and her own haunting vocals. Strada, Into The Traffic, Under The Moonlight, Princess Diana Of Wales and Paloma are records made to be felt as much as they are to be heard, with Sakini coaxing delicate physicality out of a dizzying array of instruments, including piano, cello, bass clarinet, violin, glockenspiel, timbale and recorder, as well as intricate manipulation of reverb, space and found sound. “The spark and the light that keeps me going is the curiosity I feel doing music,” she continues. “It’s a very embodied reaction.” Capturing with striking clarity the quiet mania of London’s liminality – late night cigarettes outside of basement clubs, lonely walks home through cold morning light – Sakini makes a space for us in her sound, mirroring in her instinctual playing the restless pulse of reflective thought.

It’s with the same tender fluctuations that her beguiling Fact mix unfurls, a somnambulant stroll through heady experimental transmissions, insomniac club rhythms and a treasure trove of unreleased material from friends, collaborators and Sakini herself. “Felt like I should step away from my usual forlorn and filmic style to draw on some of the sounds around me from the goings-on in the UK / London,” the artist explains. “So this is a ‘what I’m listening to now’ type mix. Theme I suppose is: it’s like… almost at the club. Dance music with DIY energy. Trance/dub chords + bass, strings, cliffhangers, harmonised vocals, field recordings, found sound. Music is by myself and others, mostly from the UK, who exemplify this union of club and grub.” Delivered with the intimacy of a solemnly passed aux chord at an afters, or of a DJ set for a handful of close friends, Sakini moves between these tracks with a loose elegance, opening with a spoken introduction, halfway between a whisper and a moan: “So this is what was asked of me / And I’m not always that sure of what you mean.” Feeling her way further into this ambiguity, the grey area between club and grub, Laila Sakini threads together music that expresses that which is difficult to say.

Simmering feedback, amniotic low end, aching strings and ecstatic swells of synthesis swirl through untitled works from Civilistjävel! and Astrid Sonne, Dali Muru & The Polyphonic Swarm play through a “soundtrack of Transcarpathia and whirling unresolved hum”, courtesy of Belgian experimental outpost Stroom and Elklink share DIY recordings made at Green Chimneys rehabilitation centre for children and animals for Farm Stories, the second archival collection from Adris Hoyos and Graham Lambkin. Malvern Brume unleashes a screeching seance of ice-cold industrial throb, smudged through scuffed dub techno from Conrad Pack and Leeway. “Renaissance space music” from Geiwissen ebbs into choral luminescence shot through with concrète murk from Holsen&Cassiers, while the inverted Shepard tone depth charge beat magick of Grim Lusk sets the stage for the ethereal, water-logged majesty of This Mortal Coil’s ‘Acid, Bitter and Sad,’ an essential cut from 4AD’s ’80s compilation Lonely Is an Eyesore that sounds like the alternative supergroup is playing backwards from the bottom of a storm drain. “I think adequately recounting the impact of an experience using sound, primitive or developed, relieves some of the explanatory burden for the person who is doing the sound making,” reiterates Sakini. “I think in that way sound provides a wider scope for expression which may more more apt or useful when trying to describe complex emotions.” With these songs Laila Sakini speaks volumes, an emotional polyphony to be heard clearly and felt keenly.

You can find Laila Sakini on Instagram, Twitter and Bandcamp.


Civilistjävel! + Laila Sakini – ‘Untitled’
Astrid Sonne – ‘Untitled’
Laila Sakini – ‘Untitled’ 
Dali Muru & The Polyphonic Swarm – ‘Swaddledidaf Rosé’
Astrid Sonne – ‘Untitled’
Elklink – ‘Farm Stories 10’
Malvern Brume – ‘Body Traffic’
Conrad Pack – ‘Process Version’
Doomed – ‘Maelstrom’ (Leeway Edit) 
Laila Sakini – ‘Untitled’
Gewissen – ‘sanna 2 –versuchung’ 
Laila Sakini – ‘Untitled’
Holsen&Cassiers – ‘Today’s bright’
Grim Lusk – ‘It’s Happening’ 
This Mortal Coil – ‘Acid, Bitter And Sad’
Dali Muru & The Polyphonic Swarm – ‘My Boar’ (Rework)
Elklink – ‘Untitled’ 

Listen next: Fact Mix – Katatonic Silentio

Fact Premiere: Female Pentimento & Axonbody – Zugunruhe

Multidisciplinary artist Female Pentimento enlists the talents of digital visionary Axonbody for the enigmatic visual for ‘Zugunruhe’, named after the German word for anxious or restless behaviour in migratory animals.

Though often drawing from personal pain, the work of Female Pentimento shines divine light on a world full of wonder. In her music, organ drones are layered with visceral sound design, ASMR whispers and lacerated noise to amplify a constant tension between transcendent beauty and cathartic horror. In the same way her imagery, intricate composites of photography and digital composition, conjures moments of beauty so surreal they constantly threaten to tip over into the sublime. Through the eyes of Female Pentimento, our world is teeming with apparitions, Ignes Fatui, Brocken spectres, luminous glories and Heiligenschein, natural phenomena that come the closest to manifestations of the miraculous. “I grew up in the Methodist church and I think subconsciously a lot of traditional, Christian symbolism has been embedded in my psyche and made its way into my work; light being one element,” the artist told Coeval Magazine. “Its ability to transmute the physical and speak to a more beautiful, inner world withstands the cliches and religious connotations for me.” Eschewing depictions of human beings for alternate realities inhabited by alternate forms of energy, Female Pentimento seeks to transform the world as means of exploring our place within it, a biospiritualist practice that finds divine inspiration within nature. Digital visionary Axonbody shares a similarly metaphysical approach to image making, blurring the natural with the synthetic until they are indistinguishable from each other, collapsing all matter into vibrant material, bursting with potential energy. The two share such common ground that their collaboration feels destined, the meeting of two minds dedicated to both inner and outer discovery. It’s fitting, then, that the two come together for Zugunruhe, a searing hymn to turmoil and transformation, exposing a spirit in crisis.

“In the video we use the motif of birds to speak directly to this idea of ‘zugunruhe’, which is a term that refers to the instinctive restlessness that many migratory birds experience,” explains Female Pentimento. “I think as a concept it’s an interesting metaphor for the liminal phase of a healing process, that is, wanting to change your physical or mental state but not knowing how and feeling lost amidst the desire.” Stroboscopic flares, storm clouds swollen with electricity and warped murmurations of birds depict states of continual flux, perched on a knife edge between change and destruction. Artificial light penetrates grey rock formations while ancient stones burn with pale fire, the natural world ruptured by unnatural forces. “The notions of cycles and rebirths is something that has always been very central in my work,” continues Axonbody. “What is left after a form of energy ascends from one layer of reality to another? Can some of it stay left behind, and what would it look like? I think I connected very closely to ‘Zugunruhe’ because of that. The friction between the whispered voices and the screams in the vocals feels like a very raw depiction of this state of confusion someone can feel when being on the verge of big changes, or transformation, this feeling of fear and attraction towards that next layer of reality, the next stage in your life.” Female Pentimento describes the track as “a response to my own desire to heal from abuse but not having the tools or know-how to do so,” and alternates between tender spoken word, ethereal harmonies, strangled song and eviscerated howls, lending clarity to catharsis. “I wanted to capture the longing and chaos of that process,” the artist continues. “I was interested in exploring different sonic temperatures, so there are parts of the song that are quite cold and barren, while other moments feel a bit warmer and soothing. I think this reflects the emotional ups and downs that can come with the journey to mend one’s heart.” 

“I’ve been a fan of Axonbody’s work for a few years now and I’ve always been drawn to his ability to organically speak to the metaphysical,” says Female Pentimento of their shared vision of ‘Zugunruhe’. “I think what makes Female Pentimento’s work so special is that while depicting very unique and surreal scenes, there is some sort of omniscient quality to it,” continues Axonbody. “It feels like these images are already a part of you before you even see them, like finding an old film photograph that you took in a past life. I think that’s a very precious feeling that not a lot of art can convey and I love the work for that. It just feels very natural and universal. I have a very iterative approach when it comes to creatives process; I’ll start by going very spontaneously into it, drafting as much as possible based off emotion and intuition, and then get back at it, deconstruct it and refine over and over. For this collaboration this approach was especially perfect since Female Pentimento and I have a very connected and symbiotic visual language, so it felt like the video just built itself very naturally based off the song. The process was so fluent that this space in between our worlds somehow manifested itself naturally, and reaching a balance was actually very organic.” Shot through with chaos, the pair’s shared biospiritualist vision begins and ends with the organic, from invisible vapours in space to petrified tree roots deep underground, dark skies over shallow seas giving way to tireless flocks. From out of these phenomena there arises a presence, manifested in glitching angel apparitions and green laser light, a spirit very much in crisis yet held in place by the terrible power of the numinous, an expression of immanence that sheds light on our place in the world by transforming it.

You can find Female Pentimento on Instagram, Bandcamp and at her website. For more information about Axonbody and his work, you can follow him on Instagram.

Watch next: Fact Mix 893 – KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky

Fact Mix 894: Katatonic Silentio

Katatonic Silentio embarks on a tripped out crawl through “a combination of shadowy, ethereal and intricate ambiences,” a glimpse of the sounds and textures she draws from for her latest album, Les Chemins De L’inconnu.

Mariachiara Troianiello is a sound artist, live performer, DJ and independent researcher, though she prefers the title ‘sonic sculptor’. The Milanese artist has developed a singular sound practice through experiments with the form and function of radio, a topic she began to explore as part of her undergraduate thesis and continues to explore with residencies at EOS Radio and LYL Radio, as well as her ongoing project Expanded Radio Research Unit, which she describes as an “independent radio art platform for innovative works at the intersection of music, spoken word, performance and sound.” Her focus for Expanded Radio Research Unit varies wildly, from speculative soundtracks for David Cronenberg’s Crash, Videodrome and Naked Lunch, to a 40-year retrospective of Polish Experimental Radio from Studio Warsaw, to her own mixes, which see her moving between sonic abstraction and lethal precision aimed squarely at the club. Active as a DJ for over 15 years, Troianiello is just as comfortable winding between musique concrète, spoken word and outsider music as she is techno, dub and drum & bass, displaying an omnivorous appetite for sound that is just as clearly reflected in her own productions. Since 2018 she has been releasing projects as Katatonic Silentio, finding kindred spirits at CyberspeakMusic, Bristol Normcore, Youth and, most recently, Ilian Tape.

Back in 2021 she released Tabula Rasa, a six-track excavation of foreboding atmospheres and ornately crafted bass, serving a heady concoction of razor-sharp sound design and blunt force pressure. The following year she followed up with an album proper, Les Chemins De L’inconnu, a return to the depths with a renewed clarity and a more delicate approach, balancing cavernous, sub-aquatic low end with viscous, organic textures and eerie soundscapes, described by the label as “a psychedelic trip to wake up the warrior” and the kind of record that could out smoke even the likes Skee Mask and the Zenker Brothers. For her Fact Mix, which Troianiello describes as “a combination of shadowy, ethereal and intricate ambiences underpinned by broken beats, alternating between urgent and gentle rhythms,” we’re shown a glimpse of the kinds of sounds the artist draws from to transport us to the world of Les Chemins De L’inconnu. Embarking on a tripped out crawl through heady haze and visceral sludge, Katatonic Silentio drags us through a hallucinogenic swamp of ambient, dub and chug before eventually swimming up through sporadic breaks and d&b, the paranoid scramble of Source Direct’s ‘Stonekiller’ serving as a dim beacon in the darkness, a surge of propulsion into the celestial skip of nthng’s ‘1 2 Butterfly’.

You can find Katatonic Silentio on Instagram, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and at her website.


Alter Ego – ‘Telekinetik’
Marconi Union – ‘Stationary’
Interactive Music – ‘Dynamic Link’
Hampar Soum – ‘Dsub I’
Christian Coiffure – ‘Unreleased’
Synth Sense – ‘The SRV Experiment’
Indigo – ‘Symbol #7.4’
Konsudd – ‘Schwebende’
Varuna – ‘Unreleased’
San, サン & さん – ‘Cleanse’
La Serpiente – ‘Man Is Both Animal And Plant’
Source Direct – ‘Stonekiller’
Hysee – ‘Transmission Shaft’
DB1 – ‘Feld’
nthng – ‘1 2 Butterfly’ 

Listen next: Fact Mix 893 – KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky

Fact Focus: Jon Rafman

As Fact and 180 Studios present the Canadian artist’s new film Minor Daemon: Volume 1, we look back on his explorations of reality in the digital age, from excursions into Second Life and Google Street View to a 3D-animated dream journal.

In Jon Rafman’s latest film, Minor Daemon: Volume 1, two young men who share an extraordinary gift for virtual reality gaming attempt to secure their freedom from a Hieronymus Bosch-like hellscape. The feature-length film, showing at London’s 180 Studios until 25 March 2023, pulls together many of threads that the Canadian artist has been exploring throughout his career – online communities, identity, the increasingly thin boundaries between the digital and physical worlds – and tells a story that drills into the anxieties surrounding our fast-moving technological present.

Rafman first came to prominence in the late ‘00s with two ongoing works: Kool-Aid Man in Second Life and Nine Eyes of Google Street View. In the first, Rafman would conduct live guided tours in the online world of Second Life through the avatar of a soft drink mascot, contrasting the absurd character with the often overtly sexualised alter egos many participants would create for themselves. In the second, Rafman trawled the vast database of Google Street View (then a new venture for Google) for strange vignettes, accentuating the odd glitches that transpire when images are stitched together.

In both of these formative works, Rafman acts as a digital flaneur, wandering around the strange corners of cyberspace to document our strange new reality – a role he has played ever since, archiving the digital detritus of the modern web. “When I’m surfing Google Street View or exploring Second Life, the narrative impulse is always there,” Rafman said in a 2009 interview. “An underlying theme or goal is a constant search for artistic tools and methods that best represent or reveal modern experience. So I look for ideas and inspiration from those who also struggle to represent their experience of modernity, whatever the time period or era. In fact, I believe the different generations or time periods that have been termed modern are more similar than different. I mean, be it Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages or the contemporary artist Cory Arcangel, the artist has searched for how to represent and critically examine the present.” 

In recent years, Rafman has continued to push the boundaries of digital art with a host of challenging narrative works such as Dream Journal, a feature-length film soundtracked by Oneohtrix Point Never and Andy Morin that explores the effects of technology and information overload on the contemporary psyche. Last month, he provided the album cover for Lil Yachty’s new album Let’s Start Here, which plays with the nightmarish aesthetic of AI-generated imagery. As we are bombarded with art created by AI tools such as Midjourney, Rafman’s early work feels particularly relevant to our present situation, showing us not just the deepest, darkest corners of the web, but an early indicator of what would ultimately become mainstream digital culture.

Caution: Some of these videos contain NSFW content

Kool-Aid Man in Second Life (2008-2011)

Second Life, launched in 2003, was one of the earliest examples of what would now be classed as a ‘metaverse’, a digital space where all forms of high and low culture collide. By conducting tours in this digital domain, Rafman acknowledged its role not simply as a video game, but an extension of human creativity. “It’s not so much the amateur technologies themselves that inspire me, but what amateurs are doing with these technologies, what they are using the technologies to create,” Rafman said in 2009. “I just love looking at stuff that people have created without the intention of it being called art. I mean, stuff that is made by people semi-naively, by people who are simply excited to create things.”

Nine Eyes of Google Street View (2008-ongoing)

Rafman’s exploration of Google Street View, an archival project that came to be known as Nine Eyes of Google Street View (named after the nine lenses on the 360-degree camera used to capture the images), can be seen as a search for a more honest representation of the world than traditional photography can offer. Horses wander streets, people fall off bikes, suspects are apprehended and a farmer chases his sheep. “In Street View, I first believed I had found a more truthful and more transparent world because of the seemingly unbiased and neutral way in which reality was photographed,” Rafman said in 2009.

You, The World, And I (2010)

You, The World, And I can be read as a companion piece to Nine Eyes, in which the narrator attempts to recapture memories of his lost love by trawling Google Street View for chance images of her. “That Google Street View image began to replace all other memories of her,” the narrator says. In the end, the original image disappears, presumably overwritten as Google periodically updates its image database – a reminder that even in an age of technological permanence, the internet is an ephemeral place.

Remember Carthage (2013)

As Rafman’s experiments with narrative filmmaking evolved, so did his source material. While You, The World, And I created a haunting collage from Google Maps, Remember Carthage constructs a documentary-style narrative with footage from Second Life and PlayStation 3-era video games. Imbued with a sense of loneliness and isolation, the narrator’s commentary recounts a search for an abandoned resort in Tunisia, unable to determine ancient remains of the site from their reproductions – an idea mirrored in the fictionalised culture depicted in the digital footage.


Named after Erisichthon of Thessalay, a gluttonous king from Greek mythology who was cursed with an insatiable hunger, this film concluded part of a trilogy of works that includes Still Life (Betamale) (2013) and Mainsqueeze (2014), films that studied niche internet culture such as cosplayers and hentai pornography enthusiasts. ERYSICHTHON‘s subject is the infinite loop of user-generated content – a reference perhaps to the Greek king, who eventually consumed himself.

Sticky Drama (2015)

Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2015 album Garden of Delete was initially teased through an alternate reality game, which hid arcane lore about a fictional ‘hypergrunge’ band called Kaoss Edge and an acne-afflicted humanoid alien called Ezra amongst PDFs, MIDI files, a fake label profile on SoundCloud and an obscure Blogspot scattered via hyperlinks across the web. This was expanded on in the video for standout track ‘Sticky Drama’, a grossed-out tale of teenage cyberpunk LARPers that plays on the gamified aspect of the Garden of Delete backstory.

Dream Journal (2016-2019)

Rafman’s latest work, Minor Daemon, wasn’t the first to dive headfirst into full 3D animation. Dream Journal (2016-2019), spawned from Rafman’s practice of animating his dreams using 3D software, and turned into a feature-length animated film that explores the psychological effects of technology and information overload. Its absurdist landscapes and vaporwave soundtrack (provided by Oneohtrix Point Never, James Ferraro and Death Grips’ Andy Morin) play out like a fever dream, with a visual style that recalls the slew of cheaply-made, algorithm-baiting kids content that flooded YouTube during the same period. From our current perspective, Rafman’s work can sometimes look dated – but together it creates a historical document of our strange and ever-changing digital reality.

Punctured Sky (2021)

Punctured Sky is the strange tale of a video game designer trapped by his ex-lover in the game they were designing together. Structured like a point-and-click adventure game, the film has its origin in a personal story of Rafman’s, in which an old friend tells him he can’t find any mention of a video game they used to play with each other after school called Punctured Sky. Subjective reality is a common thread in Rafman’s work, but in Punctured Sky it takes on a personal dimension, of a reality reconfigured by the broken memories of someone else.

Minor Daemon is showing at 180 Studios until 25 March 2023. Tickets are available now from the 180 The Strand website.

The presentation at 180 Studios coincides with a solo exhibition of Jon Rafman’s work at Sprüth Magers, London (3 February – 25 March 2023). 

Jon Rafman: Minor Daemon
180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
2 February – 25 March 2023

10am – 7pm, Wednesday – Sunday

Watch next: Fact Mix 893: KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky

Fact Mix 893: KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky

Artist Sevi Iko Dømochevsky visualises the kind of catastrophe that KMRU and Aho Ssan make audible in their Fact Mix, one that is painful to comprehend, yet serves as a prescient diagnosis of our present.

Kenyan sound artist Joseph Kamaru, otherwise known as KMRU, and Aho Ssan, the French producer and composer born Désiré Niamké, are two of of contemporary electronic music’s most fascinating and vital figures. While the former artist’s prolific experiments with field recording have seen him develop an approach to ambient composition that emerges from and through the listener’s relationship with the sounds of their physical environment, the latter artist uses the infamously byzantine programming language Max/MSP to delve deep into the infinite possibilities of synthetic sound. Across his catalogue, on records such as Peel, Jar and Imperceptible Perceptible, KMRU emphasises the importance of listening to what you might usually miss, using patchworks of field recordings, foley and processing to bring small details into sharp focus. In contrast, Aho Ssan operates in more speculative and expressionist space, on the one hand contorting synthesis in unexpected directions while with the other simulating sounds previously unheard. On his 2020 album, Simulacrum, Niamké created Max/MSP patches to simulate The Mensah Imaginary Band, a synthesised ensemble inspired by his grandfather Mensah Anthony, a trumpet player who in the ’50s led a Ghanaian band across the Ivory Coast and acted as a conductor at the country’s famed Abissa Festival. Having never met his grandfather, as well as never having heard any recordings of his music, the artist created The Mensah Imaginary Band as a means of connecting with the music of his heritage, making sounds lost to memory material. Though perhaps counterintuitive, KMRU and Aho Ssan find immense, crackling potential energy in the contrast between their approaches, embracing chaos and cacophony and for their astounding collaborative work, which has seen both artists eschewing the minimalism of previous solo projects in favour of an intoxicating hybrid form of ferocious digital maximalism.

“I never made something so extreme,” Niamké says of his first recording with KMRU, a brooding composition made up of dense swarms of noise, groaning low-end and heart-wrenching synth improvisations, proof incarnate that, in the right hands, ambient, far from floating off in the background, has the all-consuming power to engulf entire rooms, volcanic eruptions of sound channeled into a deeply resonant collaborative expression. Commissioned by Berlin Atonal for their Metabolic Rift event, that first recording would grow and develop to eventually bloom into Limen, the duo’s 2020 album for Subtext. Here, driven by the internal and external pressure of the pandemic, the collaborators explored the dichotomy of their partnership further, taking cyclical processes of destruction and creation as a leaping off point to record an album structured around duality in sound, concept and execution. The result, in the words of Subtext founder James Ginzburg, unfolds as a soundtrack for “deconstructing history as it detonates around us.” It’s amongst the rubble of this detonation that we find ourselves for KMRU and Aho Ssan’s latest project, an audiovisual mix created alongside visual artist Sevi Iko Dømochevsky, who plunges us through the smog of a post-apocalypse, gliding through ruined environments and ecosystems like a reality warping ghost haunting a dead planet. “The approach of the mix was quite seamless,” explains Kamaru. “It’s evident how both of our works juxtapose onto each other and the mix feels like an antiphony between our sonic worlds. I began the mix with subtle tones and tracks currently unreleased and Désiré did the same with a more abrasive ending, an alternating response to the first half of the mix, which imbues an attunement to the reality through stillness, chaos and regeneration in a dialog between both of us.”

“I can’t seem to escape the idea that humans are so blissfully ignorant of the reality of the world,” asserts Dømochevsky, framing KMRU and Aho Ssan’s apocalypse ambient in motion blur and synthetic haze, languidly moving between a haunting sequence of catastrophic scenarios. The bleached ribs of a rotting leviathan protrude from a drained sea bed like spiny columns in a post-apocalyptic cathedral, its gargantuan spinal cord jutting from a carcass slick with sea water. Salt and whale blood swirl together in the discordant drones of unreleased material from KMRU, the sounds of a Berlin train serving as a quiet reminder of a world left to ruin. Space Afrika’s ethereal smudge of The Orielles ‘Beam/s’ strikes an eerie dissonance against a crimson sun setting over a radioactive sea, their haunting refrain, “something true, something real” warped into a chilling portent of what at present feels like our planet’s inevitable climate collapse. Just as KMRU’s soundscapes drift between dissociation and unease, an amorphous smog thick with tension, Dømochevsky’s imagery seems caught between entropy and undulation, streaked with analogue grain, the beautiful accidents of corrupt technology. The frazzled onslaught of Aho Ssan & Josèfa Ntjam ‘Dislocations’ bleeding into an excerpt of ‘Ego Death,’ performed at the 2022 edition of Unsound by Niamké and Resina, signals an explosion into psychedelic glitch. Frames within frames mimic the hyperactive pulse of news cycles in the age of social media, a perpetual deluge within which it is at times impossible to discern the difference between legacy media, OSINT reportage and deepfake spectacle, where natural disasters vie for their place within the attention economy, fighting for position alongside TikTok trends and targeted ads. Dømochevsky visualises the kind of catastrophe KMRU and Aho Ssan have made audible, one that is painful to comprehend, yet serves as a prescient diagnosis of our present.

You can find KMRU on Instagram, Bandcamp and at his website. You can find Aho Ssan on Instagram and Bandcamp, For more information about Sevi Iko Dømochevsky, you can find him on Instagram.


KMRU – ‘Till Hurricane Bisect’
KMRU – ‘Slowed Cities’
The Orielles – ‘Beam/s (Space Africa Remix)
KMRU – ‘Dissolution Grip’
KMRU – ‘Motley’
Aho Ssan & Josèfa Ntjam – ‘Dislocations’ (Extract, 2022)
Ego Death – ‘Ego Death (Excerpt)’, Live @ Unsound 2022

Watch next: Fact Mix 889 – Tim Reaper & Jack Anderson

180 Studios presents UK premiere of Jon Rafman’s Minor Daemon

The Canadian artist’s computer-generated fever-dream examines the relationship between technology and social consciousness.

180 Studios will present the UK premiere of Minor Daemon (2022), a new film by Canadian artist and filmmaker Jon Rafman, from 2 February – 25 March 2023. Set in a surreal dystopia, Minor Daemon: Volume 1 is a feature film that tells the story of two young men who share an extraordinary gift for virtual reality gaming that could secure their freedom as they journey through a Hieronymus Bosch-like hellscape. 

Rafman, whose work explores the relationship between digital technology and the communities it creates, is also known for collaborating with Oneohtrix Point Never on his video game-like narrative feature, Dream Journal (2016-19). Minor Daemon picks up where the striking Dream Journal left off, utilising consumer animation technology to raise aesthetic questions about computer-generated moving images, projecting the anxieties of 21st century techno-society into 3D motion. 

Building on the often disquieting qualities of Rafman’s earlier works, Minor Daemon presents a computer-generated fever-dream universe, drawing on the landscapes of online worlds to examine the relationship between technology and social consciousness. The presentation at 180 Studios coincides with a solo exhibition of Jon Rafman’s work at Sprüth Magers, London (3 February – 25 March 2023). 

Tickets are available now from the 180 The Strand website.

Jon Rafman: Minor Daemon
180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
2 February – 25 March 2023

10am – 7pm, Wednesday – Sunday

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

Fact Mix 892: Nexcyia

An intimate ambient soundtrack to the ups and downs of 2022 from the perspective of experimental producer and sound artist Nexcyia.

Nexcyia is the musical alias of Adam Dove, an African-American/French sound artist and ambient musician who splits his time between London and Paris. His artistic practice, which encompasses sculpture, installation, painting and moving image as well as sound art, explores notions of alienation and otherness in the African-American experience. “We never really speak about the sonification of race and the racialisation of listening,” Dove told The Wire in 2022, discussing his 2021 installation INTER(FEAR)ENCE. Inspired by the Black sociologist and civil rights activist WEB Du Bois’ idea of a “transparent wall”, he placed a speaker underneath the glass of a car door playing a muffled recording of the late Sandra Bland, a Black victim of US stop and search policies. “Black and white people can only see each other, today, they can’t hear each other,” Dove said.

The notion of otherness is something that he explored in his stunning 2020 debut EP, Crawl, released on London’s Alien Jams label. Across its six deeply layered compositions, Dove combined manipulated found sounds with granular synthesis to create intimate expressions of his inner experience through vast ambient vistas peppered with delicate textures. On his follow-up, the Origin EP released on Cafe OTO’s in-house label Takuroku, Dove crafted a broader meditation on place, time and being.

When recording his Fact Mix, Dove opted to approach it in a personal a fashion, as he would when creating one of his own records. “I started recording the mix on laptop back at my family’s house in the suburbs of Paris,” Dove says. “The mix conveys different moods throughout 2022 – I see it as a soundtrack and wanted to keep a memory of how the past year has been so crazy for me.  The energy intentionally changes throughout the mix almost reflecting the ups and downs of that time, dealing with mental health, chronic illness, losing my grandfather Clyde Vernel Dove, moving house three times because of shitty situations.”

“It’s also the longest mix I’ve recorded so I wanted to compile something special with all my favourite artists,” Dove says of the mix, which includes music from Racine, Stone, crimeboys, Florian T M Zeisig (as spool), Igor Dyachenko, mu tate and arad acid (as dj bathtime). “The mix starts off and ends with Barcelona based artist Nueen – I first heard the track ‘Link IV’ on a mini UK tour I did with him November last year in Glasgow and Manchester. The tour was organized by the lovely Conna Haraway & Deep Softy who run INDEX:Records – we also had the amazing Slowfoam on tour with us.” 

Nexcyia will be touring in February and March 2023, playing several dates in London, as well as shows in Florence and Madrid – find more info at his website. Follow Nexcyia on Instagram and SoundCloud.


Nueen – Link IV (forthcoming 3XL) 
Stone – Guh 
gab_i – stasis_relief_ 
Xenia Reaper – Stereo Dipole [APPX-09] 
crimeboys – deja entendu (dub) (3XL) 
AshTreJinkins – zonedOwt [1 for Tre] (2016) 
duun – Losing Track With Discosexo 
Corell – Under the Surface (forthcoming Appendix.Files) 
dj bathtime – subzzero-_+ 
Igor Dyachenko – melt 
Slow Attack Ensemble – November, 1st in Detroit 
Oliver Coates – Forest Arrest/Search For Body 
Unt – For The Love Of Money 1 (forthcoming) 
DJ Birdbath – to see (forthcoming Appendix.Files) 
DJ Birdbath – spec (forthcoming Appendix.Files) 
mu tate – salt cat 
mu tate – me when u (forthcoming) 
crimeboys – red shift (3XL) 
Joseph Theodor – What Are You Thinking About 
Bogdan Simeonov – somewhere else 
Racine – Le clocher de Hamelin_M (forthcoming) 
McGregor – fuse_0xe5(d1) 
OL – 1Bar (formyset mix) 
crimeboys  – Deja Entendu w- James K (Single Version) (3XL) 
usof – Brat 
Corell – G7  (forthcoming Appendix.Files) 
editer h – no culture (shiner’s edge remix) 
spool – its alright, seven 1 (forthcoming) 
Nueen – Link I (forthcoming 3XL)

Listen next: Fact Mix 891: Richie Culver

Andrew Broder, serpentwithfeet, Kazu Makino and Holly Blakey explore the mind of Alan Moore with These Seas

Movement artist Holly Blakey reunites with dancer and actor Nandi Bhebhe for a visceral response to the writing of Alan Moore, adapted by producer and musician Andrew Broder alongside serpentwithfeet and Kazu Makino.

Back in 2020 the Minneapolis producer and multi-talented musician Andrew Broder was tapped for the soundtrack for The Show, a fantasy neo-noir film written by legendary comic book writer and national treasure Alan Moore. Having previously worked with Moore on the score for the authors semi-autobiographical, audio novella Unearthing, Broder jumped at the chance, crafting a suite of evocative compositions channelled from the dreamscapes of Moore’s script, which follows a detective searching for a mysterious artefact around Moore’s birthplace of Northampton. The Show Original Soundtrack sees Broder revisiting the score, remixing and re-contextualising his own sounds with the help of a stellar cast of collaborators, including Moor Mother, Billy Woods, Denzel Curry and Haleek Maul. For ‘These Seas,’ Broder enlisted the talents of serpentwithfeet and Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead to spin the surging instrumental into an urgent anthem for dreamers, weaving an interpolation of Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ together with hiccuping samples, synthetic squelches and propulsive percussion. “It was a cool opportunity and challenge to make a track around Alan Moore’s lyrics, to hit his reference points and underlying thematic narrative,” explains Broder. “Serpent and Kazu both have such unique and different approaches to singing, so transportive and perfect for a song about living and dying in dreamworld. This is a track for the scary and exciting club in one’s dreams.” For the track’s surreal visual movement artist Holly Blakey reunites with dancer and actor Nandi Bhebhe, who Blakey captured in the “gum chewing, colour changing portrait” Wrath – presented by Fact as part of Holly Blakey’s stunning Fact Residency. Translating Broder’s pulsating synth swarms into visceral, instinctive movement, Blakey and Bhebhe draw the dream in close to the body, spinning between sexual tension and violent release.

Opting for eerie monochrome and low resolution infrared, Blakey plays with the internal spectacle of dream space, bleaching the colour from much of the visual, drawing attention away from aesthetic detail and pulling focus on the brutal simplicity of her stage and the rawness of Bhebhe’s movements. When Blakey does introduce colour into the frame it is as an obscuring gesture, rather than adding more detail she takes it away, with pixellated, high-contrast footage invoking the visual language of surveillance, a dancer trapped in a dream, as opposed to moving freely through it. With the introduction of another dancer the scene strays further from our initial understanding, leaving us questioning whether what we have witnessed was a dance or a possession, the prelude to a demonstration of intense physical intimacy or a violent exchange. This ambiguity is central to the project, both in Broder’s music and in Alan Moore’s wider writing practice. “Alan Moore is such an inspiring writer, thinker and social critic – uncompromising in his artistic vision,” concludes Broder. “I wanted this record to pay tribute to those qualities and step out of my own character a bit, work with some new friends and make something dark and mysterious but also confidently physical, with a lot of momentum. I am moving into more focused exploration of electronic music now, away from my time as a songwriter. I want to approach music with little adherence to genre, and a universal outlook, dwelling less on the self and more about painting with sound. Like Moore, trying to find some threads to weave together the cosmic, psychedelic realm with the more human and vulnerable melodic sense, something that still aches.”

You can find Andrew Broder on Instagram.

‘These Seas’ Credits:

Director & Choreographer – Holly Blakey @Hollytblakey
Hero – Nandi Bhebhe
Set Sculpture – Joe Sweeney
Costumes – Jivomir Domoustchiev
DOP – Joseph Edwards
Editor – Barry Jarman
Exec Producer – Ben Totty for Box Artist Management
Location – The Place Studios

Watch next: Holodec tunes in to the sounds of the city in Dog / Just U