Author Archive: Azlyrics

spalarnia is overcome with subterranean longing in Rozkosz

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

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 Seeking to dismantle outdated notions of division between eastern and western Europe, Kosma interpolates Polish folk music as the foundation of his sound, using trap percussion, drill bass,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

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

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

‘Rozkosz’ Credits:

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

‘Rozkosz’ Lyrics:

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

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

po co patrzeć przez oczy jak można patrzeć z rozkoszy

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

po co patrzeć przez oczy jak można patrzeć z rozkoszy

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

Future Shock: GENER8ION

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neo Surf was originally commissioned by the Onassis Foundation.

Watch next: Future Shock: Hamill Industries

Fact Mix 867: E-Saggila

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

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

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

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

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

Tracklist:

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

Listen next: Fact Mix 866: Pariah

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Justin Strauss

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

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

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

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Róisín Murphy

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

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

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

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Honey Dijon

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

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

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

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Overmono

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

Glastonbury Festival returned to Worthy Farm last month for the first time since 2019, and Fact was given exclusive access to the Block9 lineup where we filmed performances from artists across the electronic spectrum. In this performance, Overmono play at Block9’s imposing audiovisual stage, IICON.

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

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022: Shygirl

Exclusive performances from Glastonbury’s hidden rave utopia.

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

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

Watch next: Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Block9 at Glastonbury 2022

Exclusive highlights from the DJs and electronic artists that played at Glastonbury’s rave utopia.

Glastonbury Festival returned to Worthy Farm last month after an enforced three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, properly celebrating its 50th anniversary with a lineup that saw Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish headlining the Pyramid Stage.

Also returning was one of the most beloved parts of the Glastonbury experience, Block9, an area conceived and creative directed by Gideon Berger and Stephen Gallagher. Tucked away in the south-east corner of the vast festival site, Block9 is where some of the world’s most exciting DJs and electronic artists keep the party going long into the small hours.

Fact was given exclusive access to Block9’s many stages across the weekend, where we filmed performances from artists across the electronic spectrum including Roisin Murphy, Overmono, Honey Dijon, Shygirl, DJ Paulette and more, who played locations such as the immersive 3D surround sound arena IICON and the NYC Downlow, a space inspired by New York’s early house music scene.

IICON:AV-3D

IICON was introduced to Block9 in 2019 as a home for large-scale audiovisual performances. Dominated by a giant, anonymised head, IICON is described as a “pseudo-religious monument to the terrifying new realities emerging in our digital, post-truth age.” IICON:AV-3D is a 15-minute narrative experience that takes place on each night of the festival, in which the sculptural artwork is animated by cutting-edge video mapping.

Honey Dijon

Overmono

Shygirl

Róisín Murphy

Watch next: Future Shock: Hamill Industries

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

Husband-and-wife director duo Leo Gack and Zoé Martin reimagine the somnambulant intimacy of experimental musician Mari Maurice’s album for OOH-sounds as a moment of quiet tenderness the morning after a night of violent depravity.

more eaze describes each track of oneiric, her recent album for the always excellent Florentine label OOH-sounds, as “on the verge of communicating some deep truth but not quite being able to articulate it, like accidentally mumbling a secret while sleep-talking.” For the beautifully dazed visual for the album’s opener, ‘a romance’, directed by Zoé Martin and her husband Leo Gack, we’re transported to the moments that follow on waking, as two young creatures of the night awake to the aftermath of a particularly debauched party. Cinematic synth swells and tactile sound design signal the first crepuscular rays of dawn light, a wave of warm distortion duplicated in the twilit haze that illuminates the site of what reveals itself to have been an orgiastic banquet charged with vampiric desire. “Tracks like ‘a romance’ have such an immense cinematic potential that we, as filmmakers, often face the temptation to approach such music as a means rather than an end,” they explain. “While we knew we wanted to make a video that would be somewhat narrative, it was very important for us to make sure the story would serve the music, and not the other way around.” Translating the lovestruck melancholy that saturates more eaze’s sound into a evocative portrait of two characters intimately connected in an ultimately destructive circumstance, Martin and Gack explore how infatuation and lust can be, quite literally, all-consuming.

“‘a romance’ is largely about the awkwardness and absurdity of falling in love and how in the midst of that discomfort an undeniable, all-encompassing mood sets in,” says Maurice. “I feel like Zoe and Leo did an excellent job capturing this in their video and there’s this sense of beauty constantly encroaching and framing the horror of the events set in place here.” As the outlines of various bodies strewn across a bedroom floor gradually resolve themselves as morning approaches, an all-too familiar morning after scene is suggested, a post-party scenario that would go unquestioned save for the tell-tale stains around our protagonists mouths. “The starting point was that long, lo-fi distorted sound running through the second half of the track, which reminded us of a sunbeam piercing through a window,” continue Martin and Gack. “We don’t know, why but ‘a romance’ definitely felt like a morning song to us, a song to wake up to. So our goal was to encapsulate that fleeting, blissful, moment of waking up next to someone dear. The beauty and tenderness of it, right before we connect with the world, and regardless of the context.” Shrouded in a blood-stained sheet, faces turned towards the morning light, before pulling focus on the grisly reality of the world, our protagonists’ room is filled with love.

“The vampire theme helped us achieve that by visually opposing the ingenuousness of the young vampires with the horrid aftermath of their feast,” Martin and Gack explain. “Parting with the sexual aspect of the myth was also crucial to us: we kept the relationship between them ambiguous so kindness would prevail. We also drifted away from the usual romantic setting by adopting a more contemporary take on the vampire lair: a sort of Klimt inspired golden squalor that belongs to a place somewhere between dream and reality, in the treasured world of the half-awakes.” Amidst exquisitely framed squalor, in a space that is both an amorously trashed bedroom and a macabre den of corpses, demonic appetite is collapsed as just another form of youthful transgression, simply another expression of ravenous desire. In this way, turning towards the sunlight of a new day is framed as yet another taboo to be explored, the death drive of the young vampires demonstrated in stark detail. Surrounded by the bodies of the consumed, bloody testaments to their most primal urges, their hunger is shown to be for love in all its forms: a love of flesh, a love of each other and a love of beauty, each so potent they are willing to risk destruction in hedonistic pursuit.

‘a romance’ is taken from oneiric, which is out now on OOH-sounds. You can find more eaze on Instagram and Bandcamp.

For more information about Leo Gack and Zoé Martin, you can follow them on Instagram.

a romance Credits:

Directors – Léo GackZoé Martin
Cast – Oliwia Lis, Tanaig BonenfantAntoine LebasEmma EbouaneyEllyson GasparettoAlex LegalletHadrien Legallet, Jade Martinez, Clément Mellet, Robin Cannone
Director of Photography – Théodore Hugonnier
Casting Director – Jasmin Nahar
Producer – Producing Love
1st Assistant Camera – Léo Servant
2nd Assistant Camera – Paul Godeau
Gaffer – Joffrey Chatellier
Electrician – Sarah Guillaumin Haddad
Key Grip – Ugo Villaume
Grip Assistant – Louis Gasca
Set Designer – Jade Boyeldieu d’Auvigny
Set Designer Assistants – Caroline Reveillaud, Pierre-Henri Leneveu
Stylist – Lu-Philippe Guilmette
Make-up Artist – Zoë Derks
Hair Stylist – Jonathan Dadoun
Film Processing and Scanning – Silverway

Watch next: Torus & Mark Prendergast stare into a digitally mediated sun in 3000 Mirrors

Fact Mix 866: Pariah

For his long-overdue Fact mix Pariah chases a jaw-swinging, grin-inducing, eyelid-fluttering vibe that fluctuates between sparseness and intensity, depth and release.

Arthur Cayzer has been appearing in the pages of Fact for over decade. We were there way back in 2010 when “promising UK producer Pariah” first began turning heads with ‘Detroit Falls’ and Safehouses, picking the then 22-year-old producer’s brains about his love of Burial, following him as he and Blawan joined forces as Karenn a year later and onwards to collaborations with The Analogue Cops and Midland. In more recent history, following the 2018 release of Cayzer’s beautiful debut album, Here From Where We Are, he co-founded the inimitable Voam, which went on to house Karenn’s debut album, Grapefruit Regret, as well essential records from some of the best and brightest, both established and rising, including Peder Mannerfelt, Regina Leather, Piska Power and SSTROM. Consistently operating in sonic spaces both visceral and experimental, throughout his career Pariah has served as a welcome bridge between the weirder and the more fist-pump friendly sides of the dancefloor, all the while finding time to make stranger excursions into more reflective territory. It should therefore make total sense that Cayzer’s long-overdue Fact mix, which moves through club detonators past and present, chases a jaw-swinging, grin-inducing, eyelid-fluttering vibe that fluctuates between sparseness and intensity, depth and release.

It picks up where Caterpillar, his first solo EP in a decade, leaves off, a three-track barrage of throbbing techno, skittering electro and shuffling breaks with a title track boasting the most anthemic bass borborygmus of recent memory, or, in the words of fellow summer anthem maker and recent Fact mixer Gramrcy, “the track that sounds how pingers feel.” Jumping straight into the deep and deadly with heady twists and turns from Burnt Friedman, Barker and K Wata, Cayzer wastes no time locking in step with nervous skip from Cari Lekebusch, proggy squelch from Etienne and recent heat from Pangea, delving deeper still with a high pressure drum trip from Sam Goku, Drexciyan mischief from Kanyon and iridescent burbles from Wata Igarashi. Skream lets one loose from the vaults, sending up the signal for a hell for leather charge through frazzled nuclear meltdown buzz from Enayet, a sneak peek at Rhyw’s new one for Voam, the wigged out braindance gymnastics of Lurka and Bruce’s inaugural transmission as XRA and the ambient spiral of Ko-Ta. It’s a mix for the heads in the thick of festival season, serving as a timely reminder of all the promises Pariah has kept.

Caterpillar is out now, on Voam. You can find Pariah on Instagram.

Tracklist:

Burnt Friedman – ‘Monsun’
Planetary Assault Systems – ‘Eden Tide (Barker Remix)’
K Wata – ‘Bone Tags’
Cari Lekebusch – ‘Flip A Lid’
Etienne – ‘02042019’
Pangaea – ‘Fuzzy Logic’
Sam Goku – ‘Paradise Drum V2’
Lory D – ‘Acid Prastix’
Kanyon – ‘Number One’
Fixate – ‘Ruminate’
Wata Igarashi – ‘Warp’
Drexell – ‘PIK up Back up’
Skream – ‘Konga’
Enayet – ‘Chokkor’
Cari Lekebusch – ‘Minimalism 2’
Rhyw – ‘Honey Badger’
DJ GIRL – ‘And The Crowd Howls’
XRA – ‘Bee Track’
Mr Ho – ‘Perfect Round’
Ko-Ta – ‘Shiza’
Bitstream – ‘Stream One’

Listen next: Fact Mix 865 – séverine

Torus & Mark Prendergast stare into a digitally mediated sun in 3000 Mirrors

Developed from a previous collaboration between the two artists, 3000 Mirrors uncouples footage of the sun from its digital footprint, transforming ghosting and lens flare into separately autonomous digital entities.

In the work of Mark Prendergast the world is viewed differently. Using various methods of digital image manipulation, the artist focuses in on the idiosyncrasies of the kind of imagery that is inextricable from the contemporary moment. From smartphone image stabilization algorithms to aspect ratio pivots and motion tracking, in works such as EYE FALL and his video for Holly Childs and Gediminas Žygus’s collaborative track ‘Hand Axe’, Prendergast playfully subverts the conventions of digital imaging tools and the languages that govern them, enacting an ongoing interrogation of the intricate textures of digital aesthetics. This methodology is continued in 3000 Mirrors, his most recent collaboration with Joeri Woudstra, better known as the producer and sound artist Torus. Taken from his recent EP for Tresor Records, 333 Mirrors, the track is a spiritual successor to ‘300 Mirrors’, which began life as part of an audiovisual collaboration between Prendergast and Woudstra entitled These Cars Do Not Exist. In that work footage of the sea and the sky, clouds and concrete, pigeons, seagulls and bats is warped and refocused to gently lysergic effect, approximating a smartphone lens eye view of everyday objects and animals. In 3000 Mirrors, footage of the sun is uncoupled from the artefacts of its digital footprint, transforming lens flare and ghosting into separately autonomous digital entities.

“I was outside on a sunny day taking a photograph with my phone, I pointed my camera at the sun and noticed that turquoise dot, an aberration of the lenses of the recent iPhones,” explains Prendergast. “The flare was very present because the image of the sky and sun was so simple. This nervous dot is on a lot of our images but it has kind of been folded into visual language and is now something we don’t see. It fades into the background, or actually foreground, of the image and I wanted to give it some presence.” Opening on rolling clouds, evocative of the infinite scroll and the imperceptibly frictionless relationship we have with our screens, the radial flare of the sun indicates a technologically enabled flattening of the star, it’s image digitally reproduced as visual effect. Just as Woudstra’s arpeggiated euphoria begins its serotonin spiking ascendency, the sun and its iPhone induced visual artefacts are separated, moving as tracers disconnected from one another, as though manifesting the tension between silence and sonic swell that drives Woudstra’s production. “As I was filming I was thinking about the idea of mediation,” Prendergast continues, “how by putting a camera between me and the sun there was kind of a game I could play. The camera gave me a new, augmented relationship with the sun.”

“The sun and the dot became something like a paintbrush, so there was a process of figuring out how to work with it as a new medium, how to draw with it and what kinds of marks it can make,” he continues. “I am playing with light and how our eyes perceive it, I think the video feels very bright but it is no brighter than anything else on your screen, which also comes with the connotations of the sun. I think both the imagery and the music are exploring abstraction and ambience. There’s a brightness to the track, and also a sense of trying to overcome or push forward which I feel is encapsulated by digital methods allowing the sun a new form of agency. It becomes alive in a different kind of way.” Just as Woudstra reconfigures the ethereal beauty of the track’s ambience through stroboscopic loops and distant percussive crashes, Prendergast converts the aesthetic experience of pointing your phone at the sky into a generative process, transforming an abstraction of the sun into the raw material of his visual composition. In 3000 Mirrors, the image of the sun and the ephemeral turquoise dot that, through the iPhone lens, represents its digital counterpart are viewed equally, each imbued with a new aesthetic autonomy, the distance from the physical object and its reproduced image obscured, recontextualised as digital canvas.

‘3000 Mirrors’ is taken from 333 Mirrors, which is out now on Tresor Records. You can find Joeri Woudstra and Mark Prendergast on Instagram.

Watch next: Vladislav Delay, Eivind Aarset and AGF give generative shape to dread noise with creative coder Olivia Jack’s open source video synthesizer, Hydra

Fact Mix 865: séverine

A trip through electroclash, techno and acid from the founder of LA’s Xtended Release collective.

In early 2020, just after the world was put into lockdown, LA-based DJ and producer Christiane Øyen aka séverine uploaded a track to SoundCloud that would become a minor viral hit. ‘Look How Hard I’m Into You’ combines the vocal from Ariana Grande’s ‘Into You’ with Barker’s ‘Look How Hard I’ve Tried’ to create a work of simple but effective mashup genius that has since appeared in two Radio 1 Essential Mixes.

‘Look How Hard I’m Into You’ is reflective of the wide range of influences that make up séverine’s approach to music. As a young music fan growing up in Long Beach, séverine was immersed in trance and electroclash, which gave way to techno and rave as the LA scene evolved. A self-described “poptimist”, séverine draws on all of these experiences to create music and DJ sets that cross stylistic boundaries and prioritise euphoria over all else.

Since 2018, séverine has headed up DIY rave collective Xtended Release, an LA-based party that has paired local talent alongside international artists including Dis Fig, Jasmine Infiniti and Ariel Zetina. In her Fact Mix, séverine offers a taste of the LA scene while staying true to the music that formed her unique style, starting with the classic Jacques Lu Cont remix of Felix Da Housecat’s ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ and moving through tracks from M.E.S.H., Coucou Chloe, False Witness, Nkisi, Privacy and Portishead.

“I wanted this mix to incorporate as many past and present selves as possible, blended together sometimes seamlessly, sometimes not, to invoke euphoria and tension in quick waves,” séverine says. “It starts out with some of my favorite electro house bangers from my childhood before mixing in some staple tracks of my live sets over the years. From there it switches to a mainly 4/4-driven sound mashing together all the different strains of techno that make my brain go brrrrrr—industrial, hardgroove, schranz, acid, some shit that sounds like raving in a bounce house on the moon. In two words, it’s a sexy spiral.”

“This mix was definitely made with LA dancefloors in mind; it’s been beautiful seeing increasingly younger and queerer crowds here go so hard for increasingly weirder and deeper sets, supporting the locals and learning about the history. I dedicate this to the girls and gays first and foremost, especially the ones at the rave to find community and themselves, open to hearing something new and a little challenging. I also dedicate this to all the awe-inspiring transfem DJs who have been my role models and whose sets have left me fundamentally changed.”

Follow séverine on Instagram and SoundCloud. séverine’s latest release, a blend pack titled Dawn of the Coastal DJ, is available now on Club Paradiso.

Tracklist:

Felix Da Housecat – ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ (Jacques Lu Cont ‘Thin White Duke’ Mix)
Tiga – ‘Move My Body’ (Only 4 Erol Mix)
M.E.S.H. – ‘Inspired By True Story’
Coucou Chloe – ‘2000’
Privacy – ‘Apex Predator’
djsex – ‘Neo-Generator’
Female – ‘Serve’ (Re-Group Edit)
Metrakit – ‘Out of Control’
séverine – ‘FUCK HIM ALL NIGHT IN THE SUDAN SEDAN’ (AZEALIA X D.DAN)
DJ Powerout – ‘Slime’
Panteros666 – ‘Planet TER’
Ryan James Ford – ‘Snake Biter (1999 Mix)’
Nkisi – ‘Justice’
LUNÁTICA – ‘Ouroboros’
Mehen – ‘Silver Parade’
Gaël – ‘Mess’
Glenn Wilson & Mike Humphries – ‘At the Post’
Vitalic – ‘La Rock 01’ (Tommy Zero Bootleg)
False Witness feat. Ledef – ‘Arm the Dolls (San Antonio Original Mix)’
The Sprawl – ‘X System’
DJ Chip – ‘Bang Ski’ (Woture Edit)
Nebuchadnezzar – ‘Edit 2’
dj diphenhydramine – ‘patience is a vice’
Portishead – ‘S.O.S.’ (ABBA Cover)

Listen next: Fact Mix 864: Bloomfeld

Vladislav Delay, Eivind Aarset and AGF give generative shape to dread noise with creative coder Olivia Jack’s open source video synthesizer, Hydra

To accompany Vladislav Delay and Eivind Aarset’s collaborative track, ‘Single 22’, audiovisual artist AGF used Hydra, an open source, browser based video synthesizer to create live coded generative visuals.

As Room40’s Lawrence English notes, it’s little wonder that Sasu Ripatti and Eivind Aarset found each other eventually. Both artists have challenged the precepts of their respective musical fields, Ripatti over the course of his genre-defining career as Vladislav Delay and Aarset with his relentless efforts wringing every tone, shade and mood of sound from the guitar, an approach that has lead to essential collaborations with innovators such as Jon Hassell and David Sylvian. Together, as Delay/Aarset, the artists probe further past the frontiers of improvisational sound, folding immense slabs of radioactive feedback and low end weight over transcendent electronics and void drones. Like echolocating alien monoliths in pitch-black depths, their compositions gain shape through the cumulative pressure and steady energy pulse of experimental sonic excursions, transmissions sent outwards to be enveloped back into an ever expanding texture, flickering in and out of focus. This is sound that defies description, music that has to be felt, a quality that belies the visceral practice of each of these artists. It makes sense, then, that Ripatti’s partner and frequent collaborator Antye Greie, the audiovisual artist AGF, would seek an equally elusive visual system to accompany ‘Single 22,’ a highlight from Delay and Aarset’s collaborative album for Room40, Singles.

“I took part in a workshop during the pandemic led by Olivia Jack demonstrating her Hydra project to us online and it was so fun,” explains AGF. “I adore the generous browser based concept, the accessibility and the math translation into colors and movement. I find the live coding community wonderful, a true community, not what is today used to market business. I thought I’d try my first piece based on a sketch. To me the value is accessibility, post aesthetics” Combining the results of a research practice which explores the aesthetics of distributed networks, feedback, collaboration and chaos, Hydra is an open source, browser-based platform for live coding visuals. Built with the express purpose of enabling real time, online peer-to-peer collaboration and inspired by analog modular synthesis, Hydra allows connected browsers, devices and people to output a video signal or stream and to receive and modify streams from other browser, devices and people. Multiple visual sources, including oscillators, cameras, application windows and other connected windows, can be transformed, modulated, and composited via combining sequences of functions. The code for these functions is displayed on screen, the open source nature of the code projected outwards from the browser window.

Developed out of the notion of using a modular synthesizer as a model of understanding the web, Hydra reconfigures the web page as a site for performance, recoding the browser window through which the page is presented as a distributed stage that can be shared by everyone using Hydra to connect into the performative network. “Rather than think about a webpage as a ‘page’, ‘site’, or ‘place’ that you can ‘go’ to, what if we think about it as a flow of information where you can configure connections in real time?” Jack asked in a 2019 interview in CDM. “I like the browser as a place to share creative ideas – anyone can load it without having to go to a gallery or install something.” By converting the browser page into one node of a generative feedback loop, Jack creates a non-hierarchical, distributed space of collaboration, in which every node influences and interprets every other. It’s this non-hierarchical model that Hydra cribs its name, a reference to the distributed nervous systems of hydra organisms. Just as AGF is drawn to the accesible, post aesthetic process of using Hydra, so too do Delay and Aarset’s respective sounds ebb and flow into each other throughout Singles, engulfed in a collaborative system of feedback. The dread noise of ‘Single 22’ is given shape through Olivia Jack’s code, jagged glaciers of glitch and shredded pixels guided in and out of existence by AGF, Delay and Aarset’s indefinable textures made manifest in intangible mathematic shape.

‘Single 22’ is taken from Singles, which arrives on Room40 on July 8. You can find AGF and Olivia Jack on Instagram.

Watch next: Anetha, UFO95 & Orgaphine uncover mutant forms of slippery sexuality in Wet For It

Fact Mix 864: Bloomfeld

For his joyous Fact mix Bloomfeld relentlessly chases different forms and definitions of ecstasy, tracing the connections between dissociative Euro-hedonism and contemporary Pan-African music.

As the ringleader of Berlin-based, multidisciplinary art collective Overthinker Mob, Bloomfeld is all too familiar with riding the line between concept-orientated, heady approaches to music and tracks aimed squarely at the body, sound that rattles bones and live performance that you can feel in your internal organs. Conceived as an anonymous space for unfinished music that can be understood in various ways as overthought and founded with the intent to disrupt conventional models for distributing music and visual art, Overthinker Mob gestures towards a more holistic, community-focused approach, the same approach that Bloomfeld takes towards his own production and selecting. His debut album, LARP OS, is a reflection on the producer’s nascent years through the lens of live-action role playing games, a performative practice of assumed identity that Bloomfeld identifies with in his everyday interactions. “For my part I am blessed with the ability to distinguish and compartmentalise the characters I adopt to navigate my circumstances, and I have a strong bond with all of them,” he explains. Choosing a model that reflects moving between the personalities of multiple avatars, as opposed to a single protagonist identity, Bloomfeld rejects a singular sound, choosing instead to amplify polyphony, drawing from a wide breadth of sounds and styles and in so doing tracing the connections between them.

It’s this adventurous sense of audio exploration that drives Bloomfeld’s joyous Fact mix, which sees the artist chasing different forms and definitions of ecstasy across continents and decades. “This mix compiles a few recent findings for my ‘Ethnofuturist Transmissions’ and ‘Non-Physical Rave’ playlists, as well as more aged ones,” he says. “I’m not saying I wasn’t just messing about with a bunch of bangers, but I tried my best at deconstructing some familiar sonic aesthetics connotated with ecstatic European hedonism to uncover elements that overlap with both modern (Pan-) African and ancestral concepts of ecstasy.” Bounding between gqom, amapiano, trap, dark ambient, breaks, bass and techno, Bloomfeld relentlessly pursues the superposition of dissociative euro-hedonism by powerfully physical rhythms developed with the precise purpose of guiding ecstatic movement. In this hybrid space, held between ‘Ethnofuturist’ body music and ‘Non-Physical’ braindance head-scratchers, experimental stalwart Objekt and rising Berlin producer Notte Infinita tune in to the same dark euphoria and erotic tension as gqom royalty Newlandz Finest and DJ Lag and industrial amapiano duo Aryu Jassika and Bujin.

The irresistible skip of Gafacci’s iconic amapiano and azonto update of Haddaway’s ‘What Is Love’ amplifies the loose joy of contemporary UK funky collective Funkystepz, while DJ Lag and Sinjin Hawke’s cyber-gqom smasher ‘Raptor’ channels the same maximalism as a vintage trap instrumental from UZ. Whether it’s Bliss Signal’s scorched-earth ambient into Bambounou’s intricate puzzle box breaks, Massacooraman’s ice-cold instrumental grime autopsy of Prettybwoy’s’ ‘Shadow Riddim,’ paving the way for Lorenzo Senni’s brittle straight edge rave to seep into lysergic percussive reflection from Space Drum Meditation, or NKC’s cacophonous hard drum sound lending riotous energy to Gafacci and Chefbanku’s ‘KICKY’, it’s clear that Bloomfeld is constantly juggling different conceptions of the ecstatic – whether narcotic, transcendent or simply just giddy. What’s clear above all is that Bloomfeld is having the best time, despite the fact that he, and we, might well be overthinking it.

You can find Bloomfeld on Instagram. LARP OS arrives on July 1, on Lobster Theremin.

Tracklist:

Objekt – ‘Secret Snake’
Notte Infinita – ‘ID’ (unreleased)
Newlandz Finest x Omagoqa – ‘That Bass’
DJ Lag x General C’mamane – ‘No Childs Play’
Aryu Jassika x Bujin – ‘Miss Madam Flesh Eater’
Gafacci – ‘What is Love’
Funkystepz – ‘Ninjaclart’
Newlandz Finest – ‘N.F.C.S’
DJ Lag x Sinjin Hawke – ‘Raptor’
UZ – ‘Trap Shit V6’
Bloomfeld – ‘QR vs. PIN’ (unreleased)
Bloomfeld – ‘Bad Idea’ (unreleased)
Ludwig Wandinger – ‘ID’
Bliss Signal – ‘Slow Scan’
Bambounou – ‘Temple’
DJ Lag x OKZharp – ‘Steam One’
Hectic Boyz – ‘Badlands’
Notte Infinita – ‘ID’ (unreleased)
Mafou – ‘ID’ (unreleased)
Alys – ‘ID’ (unreleased)
Logic1000 – ‘Derriere’
Bloomfeld – ‘Voodoo Bref’ (unreleased)
Prettybwoy – ‘Shadow Riddim (Massacooramaan Remix)’
Lorenzo Senni – ‘Rave Voyeur’
Space Drum Meditation – ‘Müde Augen’
MM – ‘Tompocalypse’
NKC – ‘Hissing’
Gafacci x Chefbanku – ‘KICKY’

Listen next: Fact Mix 863 – ELLES

Future Shock: Hamill Industries

A look inside Hamill Industries’ Vortex, an installation showing now at Future Shock featuring a soundtrack by Floating Points.

Devised and engineered by Barcelona creative studio Hamill Industries and soundtracked by an original score from Floating Points, Vortex is an interactive light, smoke and sound installation that generates a series of smoke rings, suspending our sense of disbelief and disconnecting us from our surroundings by visualising how music travels through air.

Currently installed at Fact and 180 Studios’ new exhibition Future Shock, Vortex is one of the first pieces encountered as you enter the subterranean spaces underneath London’s 180 The Strand. Originally conceived for the 2016 edition of Barcelona’s digital arts festival, MIRA, the installation reacts to sound and generates an increasingly complex sequence of light patterns.

“We really wanted to work with smoke and haze as a possibility of making invisible forces visible,” says Hamill Industries’ Anna Diaz, who works alongside her creative partner Pablo Barquín. “We were trying to think about an installation that would be able to reproduce, or at least give a sense of how music can travel trough space.”

In this film, Fact talks to Diaz about the genesis of the piece and how it was inspired by Barquín’s interest in fluid dynamics. Diaz also explains the experiential ethos of Hamill Industries, whose videos and installations – including their frequent collaborations with Floating Points – aim to add an immersive tangibility to audiovisual art.

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

Watch next: NONOTAK on turning their love of illustration and architecture into audio-visual art

Anetha, UFO95 & Orgaphine uncover mutant forms of slippery sexuality in Wet For It

Casting their gaze over a menagerie of cybernetic, biomechanical and chimeric creatures, producers Anetha & UFO95 and CGI artist duo Orgaphine build a world in which fetish and phobia blur into one another.

‘Wet For It’ is the second collaborative track from producer, DJ and Mama Told Ya label head Anetha and rising talent UFO95, aka Killian Vaissade, a lethal, headlong charge through subterranean technoid textures, death drive synthesis and IDM inflected alien choruses, drawing influences from the duo’s shared love of hardcore techno, contemporary reggaeton and experimental sound design. “Killian is one of the most talented and proactive producers of his generation,” says Anetha. “I love his work and his universe.” Appearing on his second album, Use your difference to make the difference, ‘Wet For It’ is a thrilling glimpse of a new live project from the two artists, serving as an introduction to their collaborative sound. “With this new album I wanted to go further in my music making process, to not fix boundaries,” explains UFO95. Finding inspiration in ’90s IDM, specifically Richard D. James’s releases as Polygon Window, UFO95 worked to incorporate these sounds into Use your difference to make the difference. To match the dark ecstasy of the music, Anetha and UFO95 enlisted the talents of another creative duo, Orgaphine, the collaborative project of CGI artists Salika Kadita and Computer.kitty, to build a suitable world for ‘Wet For It’ to live inside of. The result is an ecosystem that surges between psychosexual manifestation and body horror mutation, in which fetishes and phobias blur into each other.

Following a twisted menagerie of cybernetic, biomechanical and chimeric creatures, Orgaphine explore their own sexual identities and bodies through various environments and avatars: shallow-breathing horse babies illuminated by floodlight, visions of an entropic, hermaphroditic fertility goddess, nests of umbilical cords and fallopian tubes. “The narrative is centered around Agena, who is the bird-like being with horse legs,” explain Orgaphine. “Agena moves around in this universe and connects with the horses through hoses and creates symbiotic, mutually benefitting relations. Agena is there to nurture the horses.” This central figure appears throughout the world of Wet For It, running figurative and literal lines through and from its different figures and scenes. Both nurturing mother and bound abomination, Agena’s erratic movement traces the strange momentum of Anetha and UFO95’s sound. “We tried to create a sexual space we can bring multiple sides of ourselves into and challenge a dominating stand on these topics; internalised ideas of our own bodies and sexuality,” Orgaphine explain. “Though we introduce sensitive topics, especially in the context of sexuality, like fear of umbilical cords, hyperventilation, dysphoria and the visual language itself, we wanted to tell a story where we can explore such things not for the sake of phobia, but to be recognized and included.”

“It does speak to some darkness, but we feel like, seen purely, it’s simply what’s going down in their world and they are having the best time,” they conclude. In the virtual worlds of Wet For It, sites of horror are reproduced as erotic zones, low-lit, Twin Peaks-esque nocturnal woodlands become a space for exploration, breath play reconfigured as a characteristic of the defenceless and viscera slick horse baby. A industrial cavern and rain-lashed canyon house strange bio-mechanical golems processing in solemn strides, dysphoric forms obscured by metallic face filters suspended from metallic exoskeletons, technologically mediated reproductions of their own likenesses constructed as ceaseless voyeuristic avatars, consigned to a trudging search. In the visual’s climactic moments, ivory white horses, born of fallopian nests swollen with eggs, are butterfly pinned to the concrete of a warehouse floor, the flailing dance of Agena channelled into a mutant ritual of care performed by an ersatz mother.

You can find Anetha, UFO95 and Orgaphine on Instagram. ‘Wet For It’, taken from Use your difference to make the difference, is out now.

Watch next: Rebecca Salvadori reflects on intimacy, community and liminality within London’s contemporary rave scene in The Sun Has No Shadow

Primary Optics: NONOTAK on turning their love of illustration and architecture into audio-visual art

With NONOTAK’s Daydream V.6 currently showing at Fact’s Future Shock exhibition at London’s 180 Studios, we revisit our 2020 documentary on the audiovisual duo’s immersive work.

NONOTAK is an audio-visual collaboration between illustrator Noémie Schipfer and musician Takami Nakamoto. Together they’ve been exploring space, sound and light across installations and live shows since 2011, appearing at festivals such as MUTEK, Sónar and Houston’s Day For Night.

The duo’s extensive catalogue of works focus on the interplay between Schipfer’s geometric patterns and Nakamoto’s sound design, brought to life by stunning projections and lighting, triggered with the aid of Ableton Live and Resolume.

“With NONOTAK, it’s more like drawing inside a space compared to when I was drawing on the paper or painting,” Schipfer says. Nakamoto, who is a former architect, approaches the creative process almost like the design of a structure.

“When I write music I always think about spaces or there’s always a sort of abstract vision going on in my head,” Nakamoto says, “and then I start to put colours or emotion in the idea I have and I start to think about what it could sound like.”

In this episode of Primary Optics, Fact met up with NONOTAK at the 2020 edition of Lunchmeat Festival in Prague, where they performed their stunning AV show Shiro, which took place in the city’s Divadio Archa. The duo spoke to us about their career, inspirations and the technology behind their ambitious audio-visual productions.

NONOTAK’s Daydream V.6 appears at Future Shock until 28 August, 2022. Tickets are on sale now via the 180 The Strand website.

Watch next: Primary Optics: Pedro Maia on creating ‘live cinema’ for music from analogue film

Fact Mix 863: ELLES

A celebration of summer for hedonistic ravers from naive affiliate and Rinse FM resident ELLES.

Since her first release in 2016, London-based DJ, producer and Rinse FM resident ELLES has delivered emotional rave vibes across the world through her music, sets and radio shows. The capital’s queer party scene and warehouse raves proved to be formational in the evolution of an eclectic style that draws on house, post-punk, UKG, ambient and pop music.

ELLES has been closely affiliated with Lisbon’s naive label since the start of her production career, a relationship that grew out of a close friendship with the imprint’s founder, Violet. Since 2019, ELLES has released two solo EPs on naive and its naivety sub-label, a number of collaborations with Violet and, in May 2022, her debut album, A Celebration Of The Euphoria Of Life.

Largely written during the pandemic when clubs were closed, A Celebration Of The Euphoria Of Life follows a conceptual arc that tells the story of a night out, acting as a personal love letter to the tapestry of people, spaces and experiences that make up the club scene. To mark the album’s release, ELLES delivers a Fact Mix that both reflects the reflective tone of the LP and celebrates the first full summer of freedom since 2019.

“To celebrate a well-earned hot girl summer for us all, this one’s for the ravers – hedonistic warehouse shakers with some softer elements peppered in for good measure,” ELLES says. “Includes ones from super talented mates like J.Aria who has a gift for bangers drenched in emotion and soulfulness, and BLEID who’s naive fam and an incred producer, also FAFF and Angel D’Lite who never fail as producers or DJs. We open with Trim’s brooding self-love anthem, there’s a visit from Tinashe in the middle – an artist whose mixtapes inspired some of my very first productions-  and we close with Afterglo off my new album with a spectrum of high octane bumpers along the way <3” 

Follow ELLES on Instagram and SoundCloud. A Celebration Of The Euphoria Of Life is available now on Bandcamp.

Tracklist:

Trimbal – ‘Confidence Boost (Harmonimix)’
FAFF – ‘Course Poursuite’
Groovy D – ReezyBiz
Amaliah – Speedy G
DJ Q – All That I Could
Lisene – Moral Panic
NSDOS – Mount Lico Dream – NSDOS [Nehza Recs]
Tinashe – ‘Ecstasy’
Bored Lord – ‘Get Loose’
Dillinja – ‘My Love is True’ (Capone Remix)
Cryptobitch – ‘DDoNK CrySyS’
Spokesman – ‘Acid Creak’ (Pierre’s Reconstruction Mix)
DJ これからの緊急災害 – ‘FUCK THE PA1N AWAY’
SASHA THEFT – ‘affection143’
Angel D’Lite – ‘Werk My Body’
Stones Taro – ‘Extasy’
BLIED – ‘Forever Lame’
J.Aria – ‘NO WORDS’
Bliss inc. – ‘Radiant Reality’
Iceboy Violet  x Emily Glass – ‘Are U Connected’
Dog And Fox – ‘Who Gets The Cows?’
ELLES – ‘Afterglo’

Listen next: Fact Mix 862: DJ Travella

Rebecca Salvadori reflects on intimacy, community and liminality within London’s contemporary rave scene in The Sun Has No Shadow

An evocative portrait of the city’s in-between spaces, within which it is possible to extract oneself from relentless urban malaise, suspended in transit from one time and place to another, in a process of psychological and spiritual transformation.

In one of the opening scenes of The Sun Has No Shadow a modulated voice quotes art critic and media theorist Boris Groys, suggesting that: “the openness to exteriority and its influences is an essential characteristic of another feature of the modernist inheritance and that is to reveal the Other within oneself, to become Other.” Under the gaze of experimental filmmaker and video artist Rebecca Salvadori, refurbished factories and warehouses, industrial parks, dimly-lit underpasses and motorway-adjacent woodlands are produced not only as hedonistic spaces, the as yet undeveloped real estate upon which London’s clubs and free parties can find an all too often temporary home, but as liminal sites of transformative potential, in which one is suspended in fleeting moments of intimacy and communal connection. Cutting between non-linear documentary and abstract montage in a dissociative assemblage of image, sound and text, The Sun Has No Shadow navigates a vital shared territory between the moving image and live sound and performance, splicing footage from Canning Town institution FOLD and its beloved Sunday day rave UNFOLD next to testimonials from ecstatic ravers and Salvadori’s own friends. “I have always been drawn towards environments and situations that felt transitional, open, not fully finished,” explains Salvadori. “I believe it might be because these contexts allow you to exist in a less mechanical way. They are more layered and have a space of possibility within them. When an area has been conceived for a specific need, everything feels more compressed and mechanical. The edges of a city are spaces in-between, areas where the intentionality of urbanisation becomes transitional and almost left to itself.”

In this way FOLD, perched on the edge of an E16 industrial estate, takes on the wild aura of the “edgelands,” seperate from the relentlessness of the city and tinged with the transient energy of wilderness, charged with transformative potential. In the excerpt of Salvadori’s film presented above, the filmmaker’s passage through these liminal environments serves as both a record of navigating the complexity of London’s outer reaches and a prescient diagnosis of a contemporary condition. Flashes of hi-vis trousers illuminate the ghosts of the second summer of love haunting Salvadori’s frame, mapping the distance between London’s rave scenes past and present. Loops of night vision footage of Salvadori’s friends at an after party repeat as an unseen speaker narrates the experience of watching themselves on screen, the visual repetitions taking on the constant rhythm of a four on the floor beat. These vignettes, displaced form discernable space and time, seem to wrestle with the psychic difficulty presented by the commercial and corporate intensities of urban life, parsing the tension between a desire for and an assumed need of various kinds of dissociation, be they emotional, political or narcotic. These liminal spaces present an opportunity for escape from the city, but whether this is an escape from an overwhelming network of automation and commodification or an escape into a DIY formation of community is left intentionally vague by the filmmaker, an inscrutability emphasised by facial blur, voice modulation and detached subtitles. “Sometime ago I received a message from someone I don’t know,” Salvadori recalls. They said: In your work everything happens in its exact own time, I felt I was not watching a video, just being in myself, part of a continuous life of something. It was a really weird feeling.”

Salvadori continues: “Just like it might happen in very loud and crowded environments, connections are begun, interrupted, lost and remade; one stumbles across conversations only to abandon them again.” Her deft cuts between the exoskeleton of FOLD, industrial fan and red LED light framed against the chilly grey of an early London morning, and fly-on-the-wall documentation of the club’s inhabitants evoke the exquisite disorientation of the club space, capturing a very particular sort of sensory overload. Soundtracked with distorted fields recordings of the club in full swing, this montage is inscribed with the disembodied words of an unknown raver. Enveloped in a blown out recording of machinic techno churn, the cacophony of image, sound and text approximates the experience of overhearing something beautiful from a stranger dancing next to you, rising above the smoke and the din for an instant. “The subtitles, often sharing personal thoughts, phrases cut out of the context or straightforward statements, add into this constantly evolving layered complexity that I find fascinating, this undefined stream of something,” says Salvadori. “Facial blur and voice modulation are choices born from a combination of both the club privacy policies and a reaction to my attitude towards portraying close friends. With the The Sun Has No Shadow, I felt the need to detach; for the first time those portrayed are not fully themselves, my friends, but more vehicles for a specific symbolic moment.”

This dissociation into symbolism manifests literally in the excerpt’s climax, where the haze and blur of the crowd dissolves into the abstract rupture of what Salvadori terms ‘euroemptiness,’ an evolving graphic language comprised of shifting combinations of animated shapes and colours. “When I started filming I didn’t have any sense of boundaries; myself, the camera and what was being filmed felt equally important, to the point where I found myself disappearing behind the camera,” explains Salvadori. “I had to stop and subvert the trajectory flux: instead of filming everything I saw, I isolated and started making abstract animations. The simple animated geometries have always represented my desire for silence and emptiness. Then years after my first experiments, ‘euroemptiness’ has grown into a portal for new dogmatic messages. In The Sun Has No Shadow, the graphic language is not silent anymore; it is inviting both for myself and those watching to find and follow that light that never fades.” By disrupting linear techniques of film editing, Salvadori formally subverts the momentum of her own frame, reinscribing the transitional liminality from her subject to the screen. The constantly evolving collage of shapes effects an inward turn, pulling focus on the voice and text that is woven into the texture of the frame, another modulated voice relating their experience of being lost in the dance. “I enjoy it because it’s like looking into a lens,” they assert, “a way to condense information whilst the body is undertaking a process, this constant feeling that nothing belongs to you.”

Presented with a desubjectivised procession of abstract images in process, the momentum of the footage preceding it is revealed, a record of transformation within liminal spaces that enacts another process of transformation, once removed, in its relationship with the viewer. This shift in perspective, a rupture of the subjective gaze by abstract projection, opens up The Sun Has No Shadow to the audience. Transient intimacy between strangers, captured in a way that is dissociated from linear time and conventional space, invokes a community in process, constantly fluctuating, shifting shape as soon as a recogniseable group is formed. “Where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

For more information about Rebecca Salvadori and her work you can follow her on Instagram. The Sun Has No Shadow was commissioned by curator Adriana Leanza for the hybrid show Synchronous Errors, which took place at FOLD earlier this year and will be shown at Futur Shock, curated by Karolina Magnusson Murray, at FOLD on June 9.

Watch next: Zoë Mc Pherson moves through a healing dub elixir in I Expect Nothing (Straight)

Fact Mix 862: DJ Travella

DJ Travella is responsible for the most exhilarating music of recent years, injecting crackling cybernetic energy into singeli in a semi-improvisational style incorporating production, DJing and live performance.

If you want to hear the future, listen to DJ Travella. The 19-year-old producer born Hamadi Hassani is responsible for the most exhilarating music of recent years, injecting crackling cybernetic energy into singeli, a genre which has resulted in some of the most important developments in electronic music in the last half decade. For those of you paying attention, partially thanks to devoted online support from patron saint of the experimental Arca and esteemed music meme lord La Meme Young, ‘Crazy Beat Music Umeme 2’ has been one the defining tracks of 2022, a turbo-charged transmission of full throttle, red-lining, hyperactive rave polyphony. Between the release of Travella’s essential album, Mr Mixondo, on Nyege Nyege Tapes back in April, his own Instagram documentation of ecstatic street parties in his hometown of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and his recent run of European performances, which have seen him brandishing his trusty Bluetooth keyboard like Herbie Hancock shredding a keytar solo, it’s clear that this is Travella’s time and the best we can do is keep up.

His mix for Fact, or as Travella has tagged it, MR MIXONDO MX SICK FACT MIX, which foregoes a tracklist, instead featuring improvised remixes of tracks from Mr Mixondo as well as several unreleased productions, is a thrilling glimpse of his creative process, an improvisational hybrid between production, DJing and live performance. Recorded live in Virtual DJ, Travella loads an expansive deck of carefully selected samples which he is then able to cut rapidly between, crafting constantly evolving compositions on the fly. Layering a relentless percussive charge and melodic instrumentals which reveal the producer’s preternatural ear for soaring emotion and steamy sensuality with a cacophony of pitched-up glissandos, chipmunk ad-libs, sword shings, glass smashes and Travella’s signature surprise breakdowns, he creates a sparking feedback loop, in which samples, pre-sets and motifs from dembow, trap, hardcore rave and R&B are constantly fed through singeli’s hybrid accelerator at blistering speeds.

Performed live, aided by his Bluetooth keyboard with which he triggers samples mapped to different keys, Travella is able to step away from the decks in moments of live improvisation where every element of his process flows through and out of him, acting as producer, performer and composer all at once. While the terminal velocity and sensory overload of his sound bears all the hallmarks of a cybernetic music born of online spaces, the inherent physicality of the producer’s ability to smash together software and hardware in a totally singular way marks DJ Travella as a visceral antidote to any sort of fevered, doom scroll nihilism. His is a sound that outpaces and overwhelms the speed and spectacle of the vast array of influences he draws from, wrenching you up and out into unhinged street parties and onto frenetic dancefloors, begging you to move as fast as you’re able. This is the most vital stuff around at the moment: if you want to hear the future, listen to DJ Travella.

You can find DJ Travella on Instagram. Mr Mixondo is out now.

Listen next: Fact Mix 861 – Nsasi

HAAi, Jon Hopkins, Akira Uchida and Tom Furse combine music, choreography and AI on Baby, We’re Ascending visual

Dancers morph into birds and trees in a soaring journey across time and space.

In the video for HAAi’s ‘Baby, We’re Ascending’ – the title track from the DJ and producer’s debut album, made in collaboration with Jon Hopkins – sweeping melodies, soaring vocals and a hardcore-inspired rhythm are brought to life by a combination of real-life dance and AI technology. Choreographed by Akira Uchida and animated by Tom Furse, the visual is both a kaleidoscopic interpretation of the track and a stunning technical achievement in its own right, in which three dancers morph seamlessly with flowers, birds and trees.

“I’ve worked with Tom across my entire album, including the video for ‘Purple Jelly Disc’, the AI clouds on the digital album cover, my Mixmag cover and now for this,” says HAAi. “He’s also creating some bespoke visuals for my bigger shows this year which I’m really excited about.”

“I met Akira virtually as he had choreographed a dance piece to an older track of mine called ‘Feels’, which blew me away. His interpretation of my music and translating it into movement was really emotional to watch. It was a no brainer for me to work with both Tom and Akira on the video.”

Furse is best known as a member of The Horrors and as a solo musician in his own right, but more recently he was inspired to try using AI to create visuals and animation. “I’d seen examples of the technology before with things like the famous ‘avocado chair’ but after hearing about VQGAN+CLIP on the Interdependence podcast I woke up a few mornings later and thought ‘OK, I’m going to give this a go today’. That morning cracked my entire creative practise wide open. I wasn’t just doing music anymore. It also changed the way my eyes saw the world.” When Furse first heard the track, he wanted to convey the feeling he says he gets with a lot of HAAi’s music, “a kind of rushing feeling, a sense of being propelled through the atmosphere at force.”

“So there’s already that feeling of flight, and married with ideas of ascension it seemed only natural to explore avian forms. Across my work so far there’s been a lot of botanical exploration so I also incorporated that into my prompts for the AI knowing that I’d get some interesting results as it tried to figure out whether any part of a dancer was supposed to a bird, or a flower, or something in between. But also as Akira pointed out to me, ascension is also about change, and the life journey of a flower illustrates change very poetically.”

Uchida had a similar response to the track, which he wanted to communicate through the choreography. “The first thing that impacted me upon listening to the track was this feeling of it being heavenly and ethereal. The peak in the song gave me a very specific feeling of falling upwards into the sky and beyond (not to be confused with flying) which inspired some of the visuals at the end of the video. There is also an immensity in the sound which I felt was important to capture as well as a powerful feminine energy I wanted to channel in movement.”

The production of the video was a collaborative process, with Uchida shooting the dancers in front of a green screen in a New York studio, and Furse processing the footage with conventional means before running each scene through a machine learning synthesis process called Guided Diffusion.

“This is still an emerging technique and I believe possibly the first time it’s been used at this scale,” Furse says. “I’ve seen 5-10 second clips before but it’s such a time consuming process I’m not sure if anyone has really had the freedom to set the time aside to make anything longer form. Personally I can’t wait to start using and see this process in more conventional narrative storytelling. It has so many possibilities.”

“Collaborating with Tom was a really enriching experience,” Uchida says. “Though I had worked with green screen before, working with AI in this way opened up a whole new world of possibilities and challenges as well. As we were both undertaking a new process in our own ways, myself working with AI and Tom working with dance, a lot of our collaboration had to do with problem solving and coming up with creative solutions.”

Although Uchida and Furse were in close contact throughout the process and communicated on revisions before reaching the final edit, the unpredictable nature of the AI rendering presented some challenges in developing the choreography. “We did a few tests throughout the process, so I had a reference as to what might work better than other choices, but ultimately I was choreographing without having an exact idea of how this would turn out,” Uchida says. “I knew that we wouldn’t be able to see some of the more subtle details in their expression, so I focused on creating large powerful movements which convey a strong intensity, while focusing on the form, so the feeling would still translate and remain present regardless of the outcome.”

In their earliest iterations, the results from machine learning algorithms trained to create images created some strange and variable results, but recent developments allowed Furse to create visuals with some degree of predictability. “The results can be unexpected, although not enough to be completely unrepeatable,” he says. “The details might be different each time but your general output will still be in the same world if you’ve crafted the prompts and the process well enough.

“I would love to train my own models but there is some pretty serious time and processing power needed to do so and gain impressive results so I used various open source models for this video. The openly available nature of this technology is an interesting component, it’s just waiting there for people to use. Who will emerge as the Bach of promptism and AI image synthesis? Someone’s bound to come along and really blow some minds, and I’m excited for them.”

Baby, We’re Ascending is out now on Mute Records – order and stream it here. Follow HAAi on Instagram and SoundCloud.

Follow Akira Uchida on Instagram and find out more on his practice at his website.

Follow Tom Furse on Instagram and explore more of his visual work on Foundation and Versum.

Baby, We’re Ascending credits:

Video directed by Akira Uchida & Tom Furse
Choreographed by Akira Uchida
Animation by Tom Furse
Executive Produced by Box Artist Management / Ben Totty
Assistant Producer – Julia Norman
DOP – Ethan Stupp

Cast:
Taylor Graham
Lucy Vallely
Chantelle Good

Watch next: Zoë Mc Pherson moves through a healing dub elixir in I Expect Nothing (Straight)

Zoë Mc Pherson moves through a healing dub elixir in I Expect Nothing (Straight)

The audiovisual artist’s collaboration with filmmaker Manuela Aguilar depicts a dialogue between the lonesome brutality of unforgiving terrain and the defiant strength of the human spirit.

Zoë Mc Pherson describes Abyss Elixir, their latest release for Ciarra Black’s Pendulum Recordings imprint, as “made to mend.” Eschewing collaborations, which have defined so much of their previous work, here, they drill down into a deeply emotional and personal sound, incorporating weighty low frequency with visceral warmth to craft an alien sound precision engineered to flow through flesh and bone. “The overall tracks were written for heavy sound systems that have this unique capacity to hit your heart, strongly influenced by dub music,” Mc Pherson continues. “As you make that effort to allow that space and process your wounds, it is strengthening and developing your position, while observing all that is around you, its history, what changes, as well as what needs attention to change further.” This is a process that is enacted in the audiovisual treatment of the record’s opening track ‘I Expect Nothing (Straight),’ a collaboration with filmmaker Manuela Aguilar which sees Mc Pherson performing a ritualistic dance of catharsis and healing, drawing strength from the lonesome brutality of unforgiving terrain.

The sparse textures of Mc Pherson’s soundscape are reflected back in the vast, open landscapes we witness them moving through, their spasmodic movements twitching instinctively in time with the throb and tick of the track. Just as patches of pixelated glitch mark their use of low-end distortion, their movements seem to move in phase with their surroundings, flowing to match undulating rock formations and windswept plains, or jerking in rigid sequence, as though safely channeling lethal electricity from the cables stretched overhead. In shots that evoke the defiant solitude of the opening scene of Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, Mc Pherson’s physicality cuts through desolate visions of crumbled concrete and twisted metal, splitting earth-toned expanse with flashes of jet black and radioactive green. Slowly building momentum, Aguilar’s film reveals itself as both recorded healing ritual and experimental road trip, in which the artist’s internal progression and emotional landscape are projected out into the world around them.

Throughout the entirety of I Expect Nothing (Straight) the intensely charged atmosphere and joyful rebellion of dub is palpable. Here, sound systems and turntables are replaced with electricity pylons, sheer rock faces and scorched earth, the healing properties of bass weight invoked by Mc Pherson reproduced in Aguilar’s vision of the natural world. Depicted as finding solace in solitude, drawing transformative power from the earth, the artists synthesise a new kind of elixir. Laughing in the face of the abyss, Mc Pherson moves within a tense equilibrium between the crushing weight of the world and the defiant strength of the human spirit. As the final pulses of distortion and reverb echo into silence, Mc Pherson walks purposefully into the darkness, the healing ritual complete.

For more information about Zoë Mc Pherson and their work you can follow them on Instagram. Abyss Elixir is out now on Pendulum Recordings.

I Expect Nothing (Straight) Credits:

Co-Direction, Music, Performance – Zoë Mc Pherson
Co-Direction, Editing & VFX – Manuela Aguilar
Director Of Photography – Ginevra Marino
B-Roll Footage – Zoë Mc Pherson, Suzy Poling
Movement Coach – Kiki Ramos Sorvik
Styling – Konstantinos Efstathiadis
Wearing – Helena Stölting
Nails – Thams Does Claws
Gaffer / Assistant – Matias Boettner
Color Grading – Franco Palazzo
Production – Zoë Mc Pherson and Pendulum Recordings

Watch next: IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII & Thomas Collet reflect on industrialisation and the anthropocene, live at Berlin Atonal 2021

Fact Mix 861: Nsasi

A hybrid DJ set and live performance from one of the founders of Kampala’s ANTI-MASS collective.

Early in his life, Ugandan DJ and musician Nsasi earned a reputation for challenging authority, something that led to him being excommunicated from a seminary during childhood. His icon was Tshala Mwana, a scandalous ’80s pop star who lived and performed dangerously – qualities that Nsasi has sought to emulate in his own life and art.

Nsasi is currently one of the driving forces of ANTI-MASS, a collective based in Kampala whose parties have become vital spaces of safe expression for the city’s queer community. Together with co-founders Authentically Plastic and Turkana, Nsasi pushes a fluid, hyper-modern style of club music that seeks to disrupt traditional forms, his own style drawing a line from Kiganda percussion to Chicago house and beyond.

Nsasi’s Fact Mix is a thrilling window into his club sets, combining live performance of his productions and traditional DJing in a manner that reflects the experimental nature of ANTI-MASS as a whole. “It’s a trance-inducing kind of vibe that transitions to a more groovy dancey vibe,” Nsasi says.

“I chose to layer all the tracks with my live stems creating a seemingly hi-LFO medium. It was done on purpose to muffle the sound and effects on them to have not so clear a relation to what seems to be said when voices appear, but rather have some type of connection or to be reminded of something – to feel something in relation to how you’re hearing the set and how you feel when listening.”

You can follow Nsasi on Instagram and SoundCloud. ANTI-MASS recently released their debut compilation, DOXA – follow them on Instagram and Bandcamp. Once you’ve listened to Nsasi’s Fact Mix, check out the recent entries from ANTI-MASS co-founders Authentically Plastic and Turkana.

Fact Magazine · Fact Mix 861: Nsasi (May ’22)

Tracklist:

Ciara ft. Ludacris – ‘Oh’
Bungalovv  – ‘Alacran’
Da Gold Dust – ‘Sizokhonga’
Galtier – ‘My Mess Is A Face’
Oskido ft. Candy – ‘Tsa Ma Ndebele’
Honey Drip ft. King Shadrock – ‘Brand New Flava’
Remiseria Temperley –  ‘Leguero Hacelo Bien’
Remiseria Temperley – ‘Hospital Canin’
NKC & MM – ‘Beams’
HYPNA – ‘DRM//BLL’
Oyisse – ‘Rare’
Slikback – ‘Lasakaneku’
Authentically Plastic – ‘Strakka’
Chrisman ft. Yunis – ‘Ku Mwezi’
DJ Swisha – ‘Grape Surgery’

Listen next: Fact Mix 860: Manuka Honey

Intonal Festival 2022: Hiro Kone

The world premiere of Hiro Kone’s new live show, an extension of her recent album Silvercoat the throng.

In the last of a series of highlights from Malmö’s Intonal Festival, we present the world premiere of Disruption and Epokhē, a new live show from New York-based musician and producer Nicky Mao, otherwise known as Hiro Kone. Mao has been exploring the experimental fringes of ambient music and techno for over a decade, using an array of electronic hardware and synth modules to create meditative and unsettling music that resists easy categorisation.

In recent years, Mao’s music has found a home on Dais Records, where she has released three albums: 2018’s Pure Expenditure, 2019’s A Fossil Begins To Bray, and Silvercoat the throng, composed during lockdown in 2020 and released in 2021. Disruption and Epokhē is an extension of Silvercoat the throng, inspired partly by the words of the late philosopher Bernard Stiegler: “The age of disruption is the epoch of the absence of epoch.”

As Mao explains: “Current technical systems are preventing our expression of will and what we are left with is a fragmentary sense of existence. The incomprehensibility of our times, faltering mutualities, diminishing worlds, a lack of growth in transgenerational experience – all lead to an unbearable psychic weight and an inability to conceive of new forms of life together.”

Mao resisted the urge to fill the space in this work, exploring instead how absence gives dimension and form to our lives, a theme quite pertinent to a time of pandemic and lockdowns. “If light does not break, if shadows are not cast, how are we to process and then disseminate all that we have experienced? And in these current modes of existence, will we experience an epoch together ever again?”

Intonal has been one of the highlights of Sweden’s electronic music calendar since it was first held in 2015, inviting international artists to perform alongside the country’s own pool of innovative experimental artists. Run by the team behind the intimate Inkonst venue, Intonal’s programme sees a host of commissions, one-off performances and club nights take place across the city.

Intonal’s 2022 festival was its first full edition since 2019, with 2020 cancelled and 2021 taking place in a hybrid format due to the pandemic. “The whole point of a festival is to bring people together – a proclamation so self-evident that one would never reflect upon it under ordinary circumstances. But the last two years have given us cause to do just that,” the festival team says.

For more information on Intonal, visit the festival website. Follow Hiro Kone on Instagram and find her music on Bandcamp.

Filmed by Jonatan Gyllenör and Henrik Hellström.

Watch next: Intonal Festival 2022: Fulu Miziki

Intonal Festival 2022: Fulu Miziki

The Kinshasa group perform at the Malmö festival with their orchestra of DIY instruments constructed from salvaged items.

In the second in a series of highlights from Malmö’s Intonal Festival, we present a performance from multidisciplinary Kinshasa collective Fulu Miziki. The Afro-Futurist collective, whose name roughly translates as “music from the garbage,” are famed for their DIY ethos, constructing their instruments and costumes from salvaged objects.

Fulu Miziki’s instrumentation changes as their music evolves, and has included guembris built out of computer casings, keyboards constructed from wood, springs and aluminium pipes and flip-flops used as percussion pads. For their latest EP, Ngbaka, the group experimented with electronic textures and production techniques, recruiting Sekelembele and DJ Final to help create a hybrid sound that was developed in Kampala during Covid-19 lockdown.

Intonal has been one of the highlights of Sweden’s electronic music calendar since it was first held in 2015, inviting international artists to perform alongside the country’s own pool of innovative experimental artists. Run by the team behind the intimate Inkonst venue, Intonal’s programme sees a host of commissions, one-off performances and club nights take place across the city.

Intonal’s 2022 festival was its first full edition since 2019, with 2020 cancelled and 2021 taking place in a hybrid format due to the pandemic. “The whole point of a festival is to bring people together – a proclamation so self-evident that one would never reflect upon it under ordinary circumstances. But the last two years have given us cause to do just that,” the festival team says.

For more information on Intonal, visit the festival website. Follow Fulu Miziki on Instagram.

Filmed by Jonatan Gyllenör and Henrik Hellström.

Watch next: Intonal Festival 2022: WaqWaq Kingdom

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII & Thomas Collet reflect on industrialisation and the anthropocene, live at Berlin Atonal 2021

A collaborative audiovisual performance, recorded live at last year’s edition of Berlin Atonal.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII, or Barcode, is an enigma. In an effort to shirk the personality cults that can develop when an audience’s primary tool for engagement with music is social media, the mysterious producer and musician removes their personality entirely from the distribution process of their music. In an age where the widespread adoption of streaming services has removed most value for most musicians releasing their music in digital formats, artists have had to transform themselves into the product, their music becoming a means of signal boosting their personal brand and in so doing imbuing their practice with value. In a critical gesture, Barcode collapses these distinctions, reducing their identity to a visual marker of their creativity as product, a barcode, within which all the information pertaining to the potential value of their artistry is contained. In the absence of any identifiable artist, the listener is left only with the music, evocative and experimental percussive compositions that defy any easy genre definitions or corporate categories. When it came time to translate the project into a live audiovisual performance for the 2021 edition of Berlin Atonal, it made sense that their collaborator, glitch artist Thomas Collet, also had his mind on how inextricable contemporary art is from capital.

“This whole project started during the pandemic, when it was nearly impossible to travel or record videos outside,” he explains. “It’s in that particular context that I decided to explore Google Earth, seeking new images. During this long journey I developed a fascination for industrial forms. Gravitating around Google Earth during curfew made me realize how much our lives are intricately related with industrial culture. It took such an important part in our evolution during the last two centuries that we can barely think without it. This particular mindset led us to the anthropocene we live in today. This concept describes a new geological epoch, where the human impact is more significant in earth’s ecosystems and geology than ever. Google Earth in itself emphasises this idea of a world sculpted by human activity.” A seemingly infinite procession of god’s eye view images of industrial phenomena – supply chains, shipping crates, megaports and coastlines dotted with oil tankers and supply ships – are presented in counterpoint with plains, mountains and seas, simultaneously exaggerating and collapsing the enormity of the vast, globally connected network of industry that enrobes planet earth. Through Collet’s pixel manipulation these artificial forms saturate, warp and shift into patterns that resemble organic forms, as vast aerial images car parks are duplicated, taking on the structure of a teeming ant colony, while 3D rendered shipping crate blueprints glitch and drip like petrol floating across water.

“When Barcode contacted me for Berlin Atonal it was an incredible match between the music and the videos. I can’t imagine a better place than an old electric factory to play this set.” Collet continues. “Destructive processes ground my experimentations and I can feel this in Barcode’s work too. Glitch art has always been a way to create a singular version of reality. In this case it can erase data to the point where the landscapes are consumed and melted into other material. It gives the sensation that time is accelerated and we are travelling through the anthropocene era. It reaches a point where industry becomes a camouflage of nature, and the other way around. You may feel that you are staring at romantic paintings, watching these over-industrialized sites in their terrific beauty. In these experimentations I had this feeling that I was mining glitch in Google Earth, using the same processes I could observe in industry: starting with raw materials to glitch into processed ones.” By aligning his art practice with industrialized processes of production, Collet enacts Barcode’s depersonalised approach to art in his visuals, mapping the extraction of value from the earth onto the aestheticization of distortion presented in his work. Pixels are rendered as precious ore or oil deposits in his excavative approach to glitch art, the most basic units of digital imagery coded as the most basic objects of value within the natural world.

“We live in the information era where data is a new resource, it seems essential that artists use it as well,” Collet concludes. “In this regard glitch art processes open a new narrative where digital doesn’t only produce tangible data, but also generates artifacts through its own destruction. The idea that we can eternally stock everything online seems foolish to me, therefor I prefer to show the fragilities and weaknesses of the medium I use.” By probing at the stress points of digital imagery, Collet formally captures how difficult it can be to think on a planetary scale. He exaggerates how dwarfed our personalised perspective of the world is by global industry, twisting it into even more intricate and overwhelming forms. Capitalising on this inertia, he replicates the feeling of standing in the bowels of Kraftwerk, the old power station and longstanding home of Berlin Atonal, an epiphanic instance of feeling at once impossibly small and intensely alive – insignificant on the scale of a supply chain, yet all powerful on the scale of the consumer.

You can find IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII On Instagram and at Bandcamp. For more information about Thomas Collet and his work you can follow him on Instagram.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII x Thomas Collet – Live at Berlin Atonal 2021 Tracklist and Timestamps:

1. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – Electric Rated Gesture 00:00
2. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – Outlook Remains Untouched 04:06
3. user09081994 – Help Yourself 10:23
4. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – All the Hours I Spent in Bunkers 14:00
5. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – Qatidiq 17:12
6. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – Exoteric Resistance 21:01
7. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – A Kenotic Song About The Megamachine 23:23
8. user09081994 – A Red Warning Flag 26:50
9. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – Why She Is Hiding in the Other Man’s Eyes 32:40
10. Grand Inc – Stress Kicked In And Hurled You Toward 37:59

Watch next: Xenoangel simulate mythic archaeology on the back of a world beast in Supreme (Slow Thinking)

Fact Mix 860: Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey serves a sweat-drenched selection of the steamiest tracks pulled from the sexiest corners of the Latinx club scene worldwide.

DJ, producer and gal-dem’s resident astrologer Manuka Honey is one of the brightest lights of the Latinx club scene in the UK, folding in sounds from the breadth of the Latinx diaspora alongside sharper-edged shades of gqom and the bludgeoning weight of industrial into an irresistibly steamy and undeniably charged sound. Over the last three years they have mixed for Rinse FM, Club Chai, BOXOUT.FM and BBC Asian Network, released their own productions and remixes for Promesses, Daytimers and YCO, most notably their debut EP, Industrial Princess, for NAAFI, all whilst writing an invaluable horoscope column, kindly dispensing enough zodiac wisdom to guide us through the swirling chaos of the last few years. More recently, together with Baby Cocada, she founded SUZIO, a London-based, Latinx collective and party, which she describes as “an intentional space to hear the hottest sounds from across the LatAm underground.” The first SUZIO party will see Toccororo, Sueuga, Florentino, Nyksan, as well as Baby Cocada and Manuka Honey themselves, tearing up The Grace on June 18.

Manuka Honey’s Fact mix is the perfect warm up, serving a sweat-drenched selection of the steamiest tracks pulled from the hottest dance floors throughout the Latinx club scene worldwide. “As always, I wanted to showcase the darkest, sexiest, most unhinged beats I could find in my library,” they say. “From Venezuelan turreo sessions to shatta from Martinique, the guiding principle I used when creating this piece was remembering my love of tying together sounds that share a vibe, not a genre. You’ll also find quite a few of my own productions and remixes scattered throughout the mix, too.” She continues: “I built this mix in Ableton. I love building mixes in Ableton so much. I’m a perfectionist and often treat mixes and radio shows like one big track I’m producing, and that’s exactly what I’ve done here. I suppose that means if anyone tells me the mix isn’t perfect I’ll probably cry.”

Bouncing elegantly from contemporary reggaeton anthems from DJ Gere, Lautaro DJ, Alan Gomez and Plan B, deadly perreo variations from Nick Léon and Luciano DJ and low-slung shatta from X-Man, JD&JDS and Shaydee to future-facing Latinx club artillery from Arca, Merca Bae, Cardopusher, Imaabs and King Doudou, sweltering edits from MODABOT & MANNYDOJO, Jags 639, Amor Satyr and Miss Jay, riotous baile funk from DJ Scuff, JC NO BEAT, MC Teteu and DJ F7, as well an unreleased Florentino hookup with DJ Python and Manuka Honey’s own lip-biting take on steamroom reggaeton and beyond, this is one for sunny ragers and debauched basements, to be played as loud as you possibly can.

You can find Manuka Honey on Instagram, Bandcamp and at gal-dem. Their next release arrives in the autumn on Florentino’s Club Romantico.

Tracklist:

DJ Gere x Lautaro DJ – ‘BAJALO SUAVE’
Safety Trance – ‘Agarra Lo Que Es Tuyo’
Alan Gomez, Lucas Rmx & Matias Mareco DJ – ‘Raka Taka Taka’
DJ Tao & John C – ‘JOHN C DJ TAO Turreo Sessions #4’
Beta Canseco – ‘Jadea’
Manuka Honey – ‘Noise Complaint’
Nick Leon – ‘Bachetrón’ 
Arca – ‘Tiro’ 
Zona Instrumental – ‘Sacala’
Luciano DJ – ‘Intro Teléfono Perreo’ [Feat. Mister Remix]
Plan B – ‘Hora De Perrear’
X-Man – ‘Pon Di Beat’ [Feat. Shannen & Natoxie]
JD&JDS – ‘Copilote XTD’ 
POBVIO – ‘KONTAKTO 2020’
Merca Bae – ‘Bubbaloo’
Shaydee – ‘Kipembe’
King Doudou – ‘LSDLNG’
DJVivaEdit – ‘Call All The Putas (Party Break)’
Baby Cocada – ‘BPR’
MODABOT x MANNYDOJO – ‘BAJALE’
Entrañas, PVSSY – ‘Calor’ (Jags 639 Remix)  
Manuka Honey – ‘Industrial Princess’
GLOR1A – ‘Running Man’ (Manuka Honey Remix)
Dixson Waz – ‘KLK Coño’
Florentino – ‘Sicaria’ [Feat. DJ Python] (Unreleased)
Amor Satyr – ‘Ward 21 x DJ Lag’
Manuka Honey – ‘Pestañas’
Imaabs – ‘Crush’
st.grimes – ‘Lenta’ (Miss Jay Remix)
DJ Scuff – ‘Clap Clap’
JC NO BEAT, MC Teteu & DJ F7 – ‘Eu Vou Machucar Só um Pouquinho X (Black Lança) Catucando Gostosinho’

Listen next: Fact Mix 859 – Changsie

Xenoangel simulate mythic archaeology on the back of a world beast in Supreme (Slow Thinking)

Multidisciplinary artists Marija Avramovic and Sam Twidale combine live simulation, hybrid poetry, 3D animation and reactive sound design to explore symbiosis and synchronicity in a world which is both ecosystem and organism.

Marija Avramovic and Sam Twidale describe themselves as “scavengers of virtual worlds.” Since 2017 they have been working collaboratively as Xenoangel, combining their multidisciplinary practises to create worlds animated with an intricate fantasy cosmology of interconnected systems, media, organisms and objects in order to further explore and develop a variety of research interests and influences. Whether taking on the existentialist thought of Jean-Paul Sartre in After Intelligence (2018), interpreting the magical realist cinema of Akira Kurosawa alongside animist and techno-animist beliefs with Sunshowers (2019), or coding political theorist Jane Bennet’s theory of ‘vibrant matter’ onto Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s 1971 science fiction touchstone Roadside Picnic in The Zone (2019), Xenoangel build virtual ecosystems that are complex and expansive enough to encapsulate the broad scope of their thought. “It’s about making worlds which are autonomous and independent of us,” explains Avramovic. “It’s really about watching a universe from the perspective of the observer.” In their latest work, Supreme (2021), the artists utilise the object oriented ontology of philosopher, ecologist and realist magician Timothy Morton to evolve their own theory of ‘slow thinking,’ at once an expressive mode and a philosophy of engagement. “In a very direct way, the basis of the idea is thinking at the speed of mineral exchange in a forest, or the movement of tectonic plates to make mountain ranges,” explains Twidale. “Something less human, less capitalist, less instant,” adds Avramovic. “In some way it’s banging up against this idea of accelerationism, trying to think of some sort of alternative where instead of pushing to extremes, maybe you need to slow down and be able to think in the same key as the world around you,” continues Twidale. “That could be the natural world, or the inorganic world, or it could just be your neighbors.”

In Supreme, Xenoangel collapse these definitions into a self-contained, symbiotic ecosystem, following the progress of a monolithic world beast and the organisms that have taken up residence on its gargantuan back. “There is this myth, which is present in many cultures, of a world existing on the back of a creature, so we created a completely imaginary beast,” says Avramovic. Created using a synthesis of 3D animation, A.I. systems adapted from video game code, collaboratively sourced text and a painterly approach to color and composition, the world beast is presented to us in a fluid succession of view points, ranging from the smallest, granular scale, where the observer glimpses the world from the perspective of its most minute texture, to a roving, planetary scale view, where we are able to observe the world beast in its enormous totality. Teeming with technicolor life, radioactive foliage and jutting rock formations house incomprehensible lifeforms, lumpen, tendrilled and curious. Throughout the course of the work these lifeforms explore and adapt to their surroundings, seeking to synchronize with the world beast by excavating artefacts from the world beast’s past, embedded within its huge form and in so doing harmonizing with the world beast’s song, finding a means of expressing their interdependency through resonance. “The name ‘Supreme’ comes from this supreme type of relation,” explains Avramovic, “where the inhabitants on the back of the beast are synchronized with the beast. The creatures of Supreme are trying to synchronize with the beast, with the world, and they do it through their singing. They’re listening to the sounds of the beast and they are making their sounds in harmony. The more synchronized they are, the more artifacts they will be able to find and rediscover messages from the previous world.”

Each of these artifacts is represented by a virtual object, objects which appeared in a previous Xenoangel work, The Zone, an act of artistic cannibalisation which in itself embodies interconnected and symbiotic aesthetic relations. Each artifact also corresponds to a different text, contributed by six collaborators tasked by Xenoangel to write a response to the work and the broader themes of symbiosis and interdependence. Manifesting different perspectives of the same ecosystem and organism, Serafín Álvarez (in collaboration with the neural net-enabled A.I. language model GPT-3), Paul Robertson, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, Phoebe Wagner, Corinna Dean of The Archive for Rural Contemporary Architecture and the experimental performance collective VVAA all put forward variations on Timothy Morton’s conception of the symbiotic real, a term that implies non-hierarchical solidarity between human and non-human entities, describing the inseparability and inherent participation of organisms within a given ecosystem – a relationship manifested in the hybrid, symbiotic form of the world beast. In the online iteration presented above a poem written in response to these texts by Xenoangel serves as both lore and language for the world beast and its inhabitants, an adapted corpus of free association and expression that works to capture the atmosphere of the world beast, rather than attempt to explain its symbiotic existence. Thus the world beast’s inhabitants are recorded as: “A people. / There are characters. Many. / And they are nodes. They are synapses,” while “Logging trucks form psycho-commercial traffic jams,” evoke some distant memory of “Mechanical ant lines with their sylvan swag.” Just as the creatures of the world beast enact an evolving practice of virtual excavation, Xenoangel inscribe a figurative excavation of myth, simulating a linguistic mode of mythic archaeology that functions with and through Supreme’s live simulation of the world beast.

Photo by Virginia Bianchi Gallery, ArtVerona 2021.

“The critters are uncovering little snippets of a past world, or a world from a different timeline, understanding all these stories around their main story, like us discovering artifacts from the archaic people of our world,” explains Twidale. “There’s this really interesting idea from Federico Campagna, who talks about an end of a world, but not the end of all worlds. There is a world which follows and you need to imagine the entities which take it on. He says we can imagine them because the first people in the world are the archaic people of the world, so we imagined that these critters on the back of the beast are these archaic characters who arrive somehow and are trying to understand what their world is.” In this way, the role of Xenoangel’s discursive art practice is coded as the exploratory behaviour of the world beast’s inhabitants, a relationship delineated in the poem’s opening lines: “I’m thinking about something. / Slow Thinking is a myth.” By positing slow thinking as part of the fabric of the world beast’s mythos, the programmed excavation of the world beast’s history and the supreme, symbiotic relationship it has with its inhabitants doubles as the artists’ interrogation of their own thought. Their living, breathing world, “the shape shifting critter that took forever to shift shape,” becomes both vessel and avatar for this mode of thinking, one of Morton’s hyperobjects, objects so vast in temporal and spatial scope they become unplaceable, animated as both biome and beast. To look at it another way, slow thinking might be understood as one possible way of engaging with the enormity of Morton’s ecological thought, an engagement that serves as the lifeblood of both the world beast and of Supreme.

“Ecology has now become a very interesting topic for artists,” says Twidale. “Everything you’re trying to look at within ecology has parallels within society as well. Being able to think about the symbiotic real is to realize that you already live in this kind of interdependent, interconnected system, you can’t escape it. You have to learn how to maximize that and get the best out of it, you have to understand that you’re with this environment around you.” This grasp of their inherent interdependency is borne out not only in the duo’s artistic response, but also in Xenoangel’s approach to collaboration. “Our practice is becoming more and more collective in terms of involving more and more people,” continues Avramovic. “It’s such a nice ground to have a dialogue about these things. This sort of art is a good place to have paradoxical situations, because art allows that.” Ultimately, the paradoxical, impossible scope of slow thinking finds immediate expression in the languid progress of the world beast, its real time animation outlining Supreme as a marker by which to navigate Xenoangel’s broader philosophical investigations. By thinking slowly through the symbiotic real of this virtual ecology, the artists construct a contemporary myth as sense-making apparatus, an interdependent parable for navigating the present. “If you take the ecological viewpoint of those things, art has forever had a connection with nature,” concludes Twidale. “It’s not surprising that now people are interested in this approach, it’s just the way you look at nature and your position within it.”

For more information about Xenoangel and their work, you can visit their website and follow them on Instagram.

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Intonal Festival 2022: WaqWaq Kingdom

Kiki Hitomi and Shigeru Ishihara present the world premiere of Glitches Jungle, a commission for the Malmö experimental music festival.

Malmö’s Intonal Festival has been one of the highlights of Sweden’s electronic music calendar since it was first held in 2015, inviting international artists to perform alongside the country’s own pool of innovative experimental artists. Run by the team behind the intimate Inkonst venue, Intonal’s programme sees a host of commissions, one-off performances and club nights take place across the city.

Intonal’s 2022 festival was its first full edition since 2019, with 2020 cancelled and 2021 taking place in a hybrid format due to the pandemic. “The whole point of a festival is to bring people together – a proclamation so self-evident that one would never reflect upon it under ordinary circumstances. But the last two years have given us cause to do just that,” the festival team says.

Fact is proud to present highlights from this year’s event, which took place from 20-24 April. The first performance is from WaqWaq Kingdom, the project of Japanese artists Kiki Hitomi, vocalist for King Midas Sound and Black Chow, and Shigeru Ishihara, aka breakcore producer DJ Scotch Egg. Their psychedelic electronics combine traditional Japanese min’yō with elements of dancehall, footwork and dub, drawing on ancient Shinto mythology and Japanese Matsuri festivals that honour local gods.

WaqWaq Kingdom’s Intonal performance, titled Glitches Jungle, was a world premiere developed from their recent residency at Inkonst. “Using the Erica modular synth to twist and distort natural forms, WaqWaq explore the algorithmic relationship between nature and technology. The result is Glitches Jungle, a futuristic landscape sculpted through a hybrid of ancient indigenous patterns,” the festival says. The performance also features audiovisual artist Kalma, whose real-time reactive and generative video projections provide an audiovisual backdrop for the duo.

For more information on Intonal, visit the festival website. Follow WaqWaq Kingdom on Instagram.

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