Tag Archive: DIY

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

Theresa Baumgartner Presents: Abyss X – Animosity (SOPHIE Remix)

Theresa Baumgartner injects DIY energy into audiovisual art and performance.

In recent years Theresa Baumgartner has emerged at the forefront of a new generation of artists blurring the lines between installation art, audiovisual performance and experimental film. Working in collaboration with fellow Fact Resident MFO she has created immersive set design for Jlin, performed live with Juliana Huxtable and Ziúr as part of their live audiovisual poem OFF LICENSE and perhaps most notably, transformed Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Grammy-winning score for Chernobyl into a site-specific, multi-channel performance alongside Guðnadóttir, Sam Slater, field recordist Chris Watson and Francesco Donadello. Yet, despite the dizzying scale and intricate technicality of Baumgartner’s projects, the artist’s interests do not lie in any one discipline or technology but in collaboration, instinct and emotional exchange. More often than not, Baumgartner tunes into her best ideas by listening to her gut. “It’s about creating some sort of feeling that lives with the music,” she explains. “I’m more interested in the emotional part in anything. At the end of the day I’d rather have people reaching back into themselves, being overwhelmed or just able to forget about themselves.”

These will be familiar experiences for anyone who has witnessed the artist’s work in the flesh. More than simply immersive, her work encompasses installation, live performance and theatre, crackling with the synapse-singeing energy of a DIY noise show, or squat rave. Indeed, it was Baumgartner’s formative experiences in punk and noise music scenes that ultimately inspired the artist’s transition from fine art to installation work and AV performance. Studying painting in Berlin, she quickly became disenfranchised with the legacy art world she found herself in orbit of. “It felt a bit weird to come from a working class background and a leftist punk scene, where I was always around noise and the oddities of the music world, to then being basically trained up to create luxury products for people who are already wealthy,” she says. “It just didn’t make sense to me. I started to be really not okay with it, I didn’t want to be in that world anymore.”

Spending more and more time attending and documenting shows across Berlin, Baumgartner began to conceive of a way to transfer her painterly sensibilities into a more democratic space. “I started thinking of the screen as basically like a painting, but just with the added factor of time,” she explains. “I was interested in creating worlds and environments that tell a story.” Distancing herself from the aspects cultural and economic inaccessibility of museum and gallery spaces, the artist set out to create experiences designed to be enjoyed communally, work in service of “creating some sort of feeling that lives with the music.” Though Baumgartner is careful to highlight a completely new set of obstacles inherent within the experience economy of the audiovisual art space, including prohibitively expensive tickets, door policies, funding body politics and mystery money arts patrons, it was in the comparatively democratic space of the live performance that the artist was able to access a more liberating, collaborative art practice.

“Surrounding yourself with your friends is influential because you throw ideas around that boil in everyone’s head,” Baumgartner emphasises. “I understand how scenes develop and evolve because you all sit in the same stewing pot.” Contributing to festivals like Berlin Atonal and CTM and heading up lighting design and visuals for Berlin’s pioneering audiovisual space Trauma Bar Und Kino, the artist has been able to move among a wealth of world class talent, drawing inspiration from a plethora of artists and collectives. It was in this way that Baumgartner’s collaboration with Hellenic experimental taste-maker Evangelia Lachianina, otherwise known as Abyss X, developed. “I started talking to Evangelia about this idea for a 360-degree camera and a light installation that I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time,” she explains. “I wanted to have something that was high energy and doesn’t really give a fuck, to let out some steam and make it weird.” Transposing 360-degree footage into a single channel, Baumgartner captures Abyss X at her most distorted, seemingly trapped in an illuminated chamber, moving in a ritualistic fervour to the sounds of SOPHIE’s shape-shifting remix of her own track ‘Animosity’.

“Evangelia is a dancer and acrobat and does this crazy stuff on a pole in her live show,” continues Baumgartner. “It’s kind of sexy and feminine and the lights lend this strip club vibe, but then it gets really fucked up because of the distortion. I like the contrast with the hyper feminine, this super sexy, super strong woman.” Made in collaboration with BFF (Best Films Forever), a production company co-founded by Baumgartner to support femme, femme-identifying, non-cis, non-straight people to find a foothold in the video production and tech world, the collaboration sheds stark light on the lack of diversity that still exists in audiovisual art spaces. “There’s a crazy lack!” the artist exclaims. “Everywhere I roll up I’m always surrounded by the same people, who are mostly straight guys trying to tell me about my job and that I suck.” Embodying the abject and the libidinal simultaneously, Abyss X’s fishnets and lipstick are stretched and deformed by Baumgartner’s digital manipulation, subverting the processing of the digital image from a tool of commercial production and social media platform primacy to something altogether more confrontational.

“I’m fucking with the male gaze,” says Baumgartner. “There are clear symbols that this is supposed to be attractive, but then I’m morphing her body, morphing her features.” It’s here that the artist’s DIY influences are most apparent. Everything from the visceral performance of Abyss X, the sparse lighting and smoke to the asymmetry of Baumgartner’s frame, her disregard for convention and perfection, imbue the piece with subterranean potency, like you’ve just stumbled across two friends testing their artistic limits in a cramped Berlin basement. “I’m okay with things looking rough, or disorganized and turning that into a statement,” she says. “With stage design especially, often everything’s symmetrical and super slick. I’m okay with it really not being that way, to a degree where I’m really going the other way.” Encouraging each other to push their respective practices further, Theresa Baumgartner builds a world for Abyss X to inhabit, imperfectly and unashamedly.

This kind of world building stems from broader world view that was shared in part by their third, sadly absent collaborator. “The collaboration is basically a tribute to SOPHIE,” explains Baumgartner. “Her production works really well on a technical level, it’s artificial and highly produced, so blending it with the 360 technology fucks that up again. It’s out there, technologically, but then it breaks it, and that is also what SOPHIE did with her music.” Through both sound and image, SOPHIE demonstrated that it was possible to find a pureness of expression and an emotional truth in the most artificial, technologically-mediated places. Through digital distortion and physical theatrics, Theresa Baumgartner and Abyss X pick up this thread, injecting DIY energy into audiovisual art and performance.

You can find ‘Animosity’ (SOPHIE Remix) on Bandcamp. For more information about Abyss X you can follow her on Instagram. For more information about Theresa Baumgartner and her work, follow her on Instagram and visit her website.

Watch next: LUX – Julianknxx – Black Corporeal (Breathe)

YLTCU presents The Children Of Dagon, an audiovisual mixtape

20 minutes of off-kilter instrumentals, eerie samples and trippy DIY visuals courtesy of Just Jam’s Jake Plisken.

London producer YLTCU shares The Children Of Dagon, an audiovisual mixtape that features 20 minutes of all-new material, accompanied with a frenetic video montage from Jake Plisken, the man behind Just Jam‘s iconic visuals.

Moving from dusty, tea-stained jungle to half-speed trip-hop instrumentals, through frazzled IDM and eerie, head-shrinking ambient, YLTCU offers up a fresh batch of forward-thinking compositions and textural club productions.

The Children Of Dagon was edited by YLTCU, and features footage from IMPATV, DLGHT, Paulina Korobkiewicz, Laurie Robins, YLTCU, Dancing Elmo, Suspicious Observers and V/A.    

The audiovisual mixtape follows Controlled Folly, the producer’s fêted debut for NoCorner, volumes one and two of Dagon Hours, as well as last year’s TRAX BAE.

The Children Of Dagon is out now.

Watch next: Son Zept fucks with rave aesthetics on ‘Trophy Run’

Shamir makes a triumphant return to pop with ‘On My Own’

A break up anthem for proud introverts.

Shamir makes a triumphant return to pop music with ‘On My Own’, an alt-pop breakup anthem accompanied by a DIY visual shot in various places in his home during quarantine.

“I wrote ‘On My Own’ last summer after a breakup as a way to remind myself that while it sucked to lose someone I was getting used to, at least I’m an introvert,” Shamir told Rolling Stone. “But considering the pandemic, it’s also morphed into an accidental quarantine anthem, especially for the people who live alone like me.”

The track follows a string of albums of lo-fi and outsider rock and marks his first foray into pop music since his 2015 debut, Ratchet.

‘On My Own’ will appear on Shamir’s forthcoming album, which is set for release in the autumn, and is available to stream and download now.

Watch next: Chester Raj Anand sleepwalks through Tokyo in Strawberry

FACT mix 756: TALsounds

A meditative mix of DIY music from a Chicago underground favourite.

TALsounds is the project of Natalie Chami, a staple of Chicago’s DIY scene and member of psych trio Good Willsmith. Her gorgeous solo work takes inspiration from minimalism and her classical voice and opera training – knowledge she shares as part of her teaching job at ChiArts, a Chicago public high school for music and the arts.

Chami’s music, which has been released on labels such as Hausu Mountain, Ba Da Bing! and Tabs Out, is largely improvisational, combining tranquil synthesis and live-looped vocals without overdubs. Her next album, Acquiesce, released on NNA Tapes on May 22, is described as “a fluid extrapolation of her thoughts, worries, and stresses” during a turbulent period of personal change.

“I focused this mix on women (and more importantly friends) from DIY music scenes in the US and beyond who I’ve played with and who I dearly miss,” Chami says of her FACT mix, which includes music from Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore, Matchess, Jackie Lynn and Fire-Toolz as well as a few tracks from Acquiesce.

“The process of compiling these songs brought back memories of all the music we have shared and made me feel re-inspired. I’m proud to connect with them, even if it is only through a mix.”

Find TALsounds’ music at Bandcamp.

Tracklist:

Matchess – ‘For Lise’
Good Fuck – ‘Secret Meetings’
Wume – ‘Walled Garden’
Nordra – ‘Reflections’
LEYA – ‘Wave’
TALsounds – ‘No Rise’
Steffi Neuhuber – ‘Building Strength’
Somesurprises – ‘Sometimes’
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – ‘Damaged Sunset’
Damiana (Matchess + TALsounds) – ‘Ivyneer’
WHITE BOY SCREAM – ‘Apolaki’
Gel Set – ‘Ether Or’
Jackie Lynn – ‘Dream St.’
TALsounds – ‘Soar’
Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa –  ‘Elastic Astral Peel’
Fire-Toolz – ‘It’s Now Safe to Turn Off Your Computer’

Listen next: FACT mix 755: DJ Bus Replacement Service

MHYSA records a video from quarantine for ‘before the world ends’

A highly relatable ode to being horny in the face of global catastrophe.

MHYSA has released a DIY video, filmed in quarantine, for her track ‘before the world ends’, which is taken from her Hyperdub debut, NEVAEH.

‘before the world ends’ is an extremely timely and highly relatable ode to being overwhelmingly horny in the face of global catastrophe. MHYSA made the video entirely on her phone while in quarantine in her Brooklyn apartment.

NEVAEH is out now, on Hyperdub.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, artists need our support more than ever. You can support MHYSA by buying her music from Bandcamp.

Watch next: Artist DIY – VONDA7