（ｉｎ ｔｈｅ ｒｉｇｈｔ ｄｉｒｅｃｔｉｏｎ）
Greetings again, it’s been three months since I last wrote. Which encounters, accomplishments or struggles have stood out? Which days have felt meaningful? How to remember the snail’s slime trail as we race past, minds occupied with equally passing desires?
My time the past few months has been primarily been in the studio: developing album material, producing remixes, composing. It’s been sitting in a room that gets darker earlier each day, learning to accept a particular discomfort: the potential of a catharsis that may or may not arrive. Attempting to reach that catharsis through quicker decision-making: by paying close attention to physical reactions, by trusting my taste and abilities.
(𝓰ⲉⲧⲧⲓⲛ𝓰 𝓵ⲟ𝛓ⲧ ⲁ𝓰ⲁⲓⲛ)
On top of studio work there’s been some gigs, though a fraction of former business. Exulting phrases like “we’re back” seem strange; back to what, exactly? A game show, reality TV, more frequent Instagram posts, “circuits”?
In total, there’s been six: Corsica Studios in London with Hodge; Kraftwerk, HKW in Berlin and Karlsorstbahnhof in Heidelberg with the Moritz von Oswald Trio; Teatro Circo in Braga with cellist Oliver Coates; at the Brücke Museum in Berlin.
After this strange time my gratitude is back: for being in different cities and spaces, for rejuvenating and awkward conversations with strangers, for the transformation of music by soundsystems and room acoustics, for the absorption of life experience and texture. Feeling again those show nerves, feeling oddly once again at home in clubs with the lights on, venues with no one inside - where’s that interference coming from? The heavies who’ve heard it all the past 20-30 years and really they just like this one band or DJ but they’ll tolerate my sound because I know how to do this mental dance, the shared burden of proof.
Live with Oliver Coates @ Semibreve Festival, 30 October 2021 (photo credit Adriano Ferreira Borges/Semibreve)
It takes some getting used to. Forgetting how to pack, how to navigate the station or the airport. Being late, reacquainting with nonspaces and food ‘items’ (Duty Free, craft souvenirs, Pret A Manger), the tickers of headlines on muted televisions, please help us fight against the spread of disease; in a way, I wish that Covid had had a stronger impact on the notion of togetherness apart from widely available hand sanitizer stations. Stores like Geox, Max Mara and Swatch creating a semblance of normality to which I don’t belong. There’s no one map or formula to life and yet these travel spaces try their best to make you believe in the maze: structure, direction, purpose, confinement.
Lewis Hammond, Coax, 2021
The motivation is grace. A beautiful transition or chord turn, dancers fully in it, a sliver of sun as the fields pass by, witnessing kindness; playing unreleased album material amidst paintings by Lewis Hammond which imbue the room with terror, romantic drama and acidic humor. Intuitively understanding collaborators, the satisfaction of pure listening, subtle detection, finding the right notes or words or tunes. Suddenly life isn’t a maze, but instead wide-open and multivalent. I’m as much artist as the slime trail I mentioned.
Live with Moritz von Oswald Trio @ Kraftwerk, 7 October 2021 (photo credit Frankie Casillo)
The next run of shows are exciting in equal measure: new material, new collaborations. Next up is a live performance with a string quartet from the London Contemporary Orchestra, featuring all unreleased material. The concert is this Thursday, November 11, at the Southbank Centre in London. Then two days later, Leeds for a DJ set at Headrow House for Natural Selections/Adaptations; two weeks later, returning to London to DJ at Drumsheds b2b Debonair; three weeks later, playing Liyo’s party Heartbroken in Brussels.
November 11 → London, UK → Southbank Centre (live with the London Contemporary Orchestra)
November 13 → Leeds, UK → Natural Selection presents Adaptations 2021 (DJ)
November 27 → London, UK → The Hydra presents To Be @ Drumsheds (DJ b2b Debonair)
December 4 → Brussels, BE → Heartbroken (DJ w/ Liyo, Physical Therapy)
Awe is something you feel when confronted with forces beyond your control: nature, the cosmos, chaos, human error, hallucinations.
On top of studio time and gigs I also spend quite a bit of time just researching, listening to and compiling music. It’s helpful for my own process to hear the endless span of music that has existed and will continue to exist. It makes me look forward to music that has yet to come into being. This research exists as an ongoing radio show (named after my nascent label Awe). The past three months’ editions are linked below.
What I’m currently reading: Compass by Mathias Énard, All About Love by bell hooks
What I’m currently watching: The Sopranos (Season 4, don’t tell me what happens)
(ⲁ ⲃⲟⲛⲉ, ⲁⲣⲣⲉⲁ𝓵)
I’m rather enjoying this new format of sharing news and thoughts. If this is also interesting for you, please consider supporting with a paid subscription. It would help me continue to realize my many-headed work. Plus, I’ll be making exclusive music and writing available only to paid subscribers. If you’d like sign up, please click the button below.
In any case, I’m grateful for your time and attention, and these occasional posts will continue to remain free for everyone to read.
And of course, please buy a ticket to come to any of the upcoming events above, if you live near.
More soon, thanks nochmal für ihre Unterstützung et votre compréhension.