â€” Subbacultcha quarterly music magazine Issue 06, Winter 2016 1
Good tidings in a time of shorter days and lowering temperatures. From Wednesday 25 January to Sunday 5 February you, film fanatics, culture lovers and party animals alike can head for Rotterdam again. Twelve days of premieres, parties, installations, music and performances, inside as well as outside the cinema.
25 January - 5 February 2017 IFFR.COM
Dear reader, With the cold, comes a heightened sense of nostalgia and a renewed appreciation of home. In this issue, we take you along to different ends of our planet – from the streets of North Philadelphia with activist Moor Mother, all the way to stunning Estonian woods with post-soviet rapper Tommy Cash. We speak to SKY H1 about childhood influences, to Kedr Livanskiy about her Moscow roots and lo-fi heartthrob infinite bisous about the pleasure of your own home. We’d be missing the point if we forgot our own homebase. Our Local Area Network. That’s why we’ve included a special inlay, dedicated to our upcoming L.A.N. Party on 23 December in Melkweg. As always, we’ve devoted each page to discovering new music. To spotlight the bedroom projects, protest songs and sweet melodies we think you should take a minute to listen to. Go on. Get into it. 03
For your consideration
Interview by Alexandre Ermakov Photos by Sasha Mademuaselle
Interview by Mateusz Mondalski Photos by Tiny Geeroms
Leading Your Ears Astray
by Carly Blair 43
Tommy Cash Interview by Callum McLean Photos by Dmitri Gerasimov
Rewriting The Future
Meanwhile at Our Shows
Interview by Zofia Ciechowska Photos by CJ Harvey
Click Click Club
22 L.A.N. Party Special 28 Infinite Bisous Interview by Roxy Merrell Photos by Jules Faure 30
by Jo Kalinowska
48 Meanwhile at WORM, Rotterdam 50 Meanwhile in Subbacultcha Belgium 53
Colophon Subbacultcha We are an independent, Amsterdam-based music platform devoted to emerging artists. We organize progressive shows and make print publications. We are supported by our members, who for €8 a month, have free access to everything we do. Sign up online and we’ll love you forever. For more information on what we’re all about see p. 46. subbacultcha.nl
Subbacultcha quarterly music magazine Issue 06, Winter 2016 Front cover: Infinite Bisous shot by Jules Faure in Paris, France Back cover: Moor Mother shot by CJ Harvey in Philadelphia, USA Editors in chief: Leon Caren and Bas Morsch Editor: Roxy Merrell Art director: Tjade Bouma Copy editor: Brittany McGillivray Advertising and partnerships: Loes Verputten (firstname.lastname@example.org) Interns: Laura Bonne, Thierno Deme, Maan Jitski Meelker Contributing writers: Carly Blair Laura Bonne Zofia Ciechowska Alexandre Ermakov Maija Jussila Jo Kalinowska Callum McLean Roxy Merrell Mateusz Mondalski Deva Rao Contributing photographers: Florian Braakman Jules Faure Tiny Geeroms Dmitri Gerasimov CJ Harvey Sasha Mademuaselle Printer: Drukkerij GEWADRUPO Arendonk, Belgium Distribution: Yacine N’diaye (email@example.com)
Subbacultcha Team Programming: Keimpe Koldijk Online editor: Maija Jussila Production: Yacine N’diaye Jessica Tucker Daphne Verweij Finance: Emma Schouwenaar Thank you: Jacques-Henri Almond, Carolina Altamirano, Francesca Barban, Ida Blom, Alette Boogman, Jan Pier Brands, Pia Canales, Alex Christodoulou, Tom Coggins, Isabelle Cotton, Kelvin Dijk, Daniel Encisco, Alena Ethembabaoglu, Patrick James Foetisch, FotoLabKiekie, Iris Furth, Irene de Gelder, Saar Gerssen, Wallis Grant, Irene Ha, Martine Haanschoten, Kelly van Haastere, Faith Hardman, Grace Hardman, Camilla Heath, Annemijn von Holtz, Karolina Howorko, Michelle Jansen, Lola Ju, Ilias Karakasidis, Jan van der Kleijn, Lotte Koster, Niels Koster, Fleurie Kloostra, Patrick van der Klugt, Loulou Kuster, Robert Lalkens, Jente Lammerts, Crys Leung, Callum McLean, Melkweg, Melkweg Expo, Manon Portos Minetti, Flora Nacer, Aisling ORourke, Melanie Otto, Tamar Pool, Iris Roell, Egle Salominaite, Randy Schoemaker, Monika Simon, Bart Staassen, Sanne Tames, Aglaya Tomasi, Frédéric Van de Velde, Vicky Visser, Valérie Vugteveen, Sandra Zegarra Patow, Laurien Winckels, WORM, Claudio Zaia, Milah van Zuilen Subbacultcha Office Dr. Jan van Breemenstraat 3 1056 AB Amsterdam The Netherlands Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org © photographers, artists, authors, Subbacultcha quarterly magazine, Amsterdam, December 2016
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION Recent finds from our editorial team
Track: Reckonwrong - The Passions of Pez
both geographically and socially – the artists have lived through. Kirk (an alias) creates testing sonic elements which realize a distinct sensation of falling apart – a dissolving center – and a period of stagnation. Matched with the visuals from Sphynx’s self-programmed software, which incorporates the same dispersive aesthetics, the collaboration offers a spacious – at times claustrophobic – examination of adjustment and mutation, out of The Hague-based cross-disciplinary platform DEVORM.
Another impressive release from London label Whities, on which Reckonwrong seems to be finding his voice, literally. In a time when UK producers doing a singer-songwriter stint seems like national service, this vocal turn gurgles with a refreshing peculiarity. His wonked-out baritone spars with taut string plucks, junk shop house percussion and about seven criss-crossing basslines. Kind of like Devo in a K-hole on the night bus.
Illustrator: Polly Nor
Record: Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth North West London illustrator Polly Nor captures ‘Going to see end of days / I’ve been hanging on my phone all day / And the fear goes away / I might not need to stay / On this sinking ship for long / I can give it away every day / I can fly and spend all my seconds / Like they’re my last / It’s not the past that scares me.’ When I first heard Weyes Blood’s new album, Front Row Seat to Earth, I thought it was just a stunning mix of classic ‘70s aesthetics and contemporary lyrical themes. As I write this, the day after Trump was elected, it seems downright prophetic.
women as 21st century as they come – riddled with demons, unabashedly sexual and killing many-anhour online. Demons, demons and more demons, both those within and those they hang out with, Polly Nor nails err day female existence. 80% of comments on her Instagram read young women caps-screaming ‘ME’ or ‘SAME’, the other 20% (and Nor’s personal fav) is ‘OMG WTF IS THIS?!’ Get hooked.
Music: Creep Woland
A/V: METASTASIS - Robert Kirk x Sphynx
Good news for those of you endowed with a working hearing, brain and spine combo, because someone out there makes music just for you. His (likely pseudonymous) name is Creep Woland; he
A skilled audiovisual collaboration that centers around the feelings of dispersion and dislocation –
t s e b e h T , s e i v o m , s t r e c con d n a s e c n a m r o perf r o f s n o exhibiti th. n o m a 5 â‚¬1
For your consideration
dwells in the murkiest corners of Glasgow’s underground. Alongside bass-mongering UK crew Astral Black, produces agile, viscerally pleasing beats designed to tap directly into your nervous system’s almost pitiful need for rhythmic gratification. Listen to his LAKEHOUSE BEAT PACK, then listen to it again, and then listen to it again. https://soundcloud.com/creepwoland Album: Tall Black Guy - Let’s Take A Trip A relative enigma in the beats scene, Tall Black Guy’s productions takes a conceptual turn on his second full-length, tracing a journey even more far-out than his relocation from Detroit to the UK. G-funk bass worms compete with crystalline sample flips that would tip DJ Shadow’s snapback. Although it’s Madlib and Premier whose spirits are raised most loudly here; the record’s oozing soup of floor-shakers and head-spinners makes for a totally original train ride outta nowhere.
Music: PYUR - Epoch Sinus The seamless sound design of PYUR – who you might remember from Amsterdam’s Progress Bar – presents her impressive debut EP on Hotflush Recordings. Raised within a shamanic household, music played an integral role in her childhood, enabling the dissolution of boundaries and the freedom to create: ‘I felt like the music was making me, not the other way round,’ she says. Epoch Sinus explores the connection between the self and the all, a meditative - almost healing - harmonic experience. Each track is accompanied by images which translate the sonic into a visual body, using light, water, reflections and colours of nature. Instagram: What Fran Wore
tallblackguy.bandcamp.com Track: Homeshake – Call Me Up
Montreal favourite Homeshake pays overdue homage to the long-forgotten chat on the phone. ‘We got a little space between us / I know you want me to / And there’s something we can do,’ coos Pete Sagar, knowing a quick call and a little conversation can go a long way. ‘Call Me Up’ was dropped on 1 November, a smooth taster of more bedroom R&B to come on his upcoming record Fresh Air, out on 3 February, 2017 on Sinderlyn Records! https://soundcloud.com/sinderlyn/call-me-up
Oh, The Nineties. The top of the line comeback era for Millennials, boasting the revival of crop tops, turtlenecks and mom jeans. For those of you who ever wondered, ‘who wore it best?’ Introducing: What Fran Wore. The Instagram account dedicated to the absolute finest outfits worn by ‘90s daytime television queen Fran Fine, from The Nanny. Bold shoulder pads, jeweled vests, mint green blazers, Versace checkers, the miniest of skirts, the most flamboyantly colourful Todd Oldham blouses and holy mother of matching your Moschino animal print EVERYTHING! Go. Revel! @whatfranwore Music: Flohio MCing over the hyper-confident beats of God Colony’s recent release ‘SE16’ is the effortless voice of South London’s Flohio – a 16 year old already impressing with her vocal innovations.
For your consideration
A member of the TruLuvCru; a collective between a rapper, producer, photographer, videographer and graphic designers. The supportive network – present at each others shows, video shoots, studio time – becomes apparent in her eclectic approach to production on her debut EP, Nowhere Near – spitting elements of grime conflicting with successive polished sounds.
Zemler released his third solo album Pupation of Dissonance. The Warsaw-based artist plays the drums like he’s leading a meditation class. The kick drum realigns the heartbeat, analogue synths add some colour. Zemler also dives into minimalism with his take on Steven Reich. Breath in, breath out. http://hubert-zemler.bandcamp.com/
Music: Klein Audio Exploration: Jana Winderen
London-based producer Klein is as new as new can be. She debuted this year with a mixtape with eclectic samples called ONLY, following shortly with her surreal, sample-packed EP Lagata on 1 September. Sampling everything from Katy Perry vocals, Phantom of the Opera excerpts and hip hop beats, Klein serves a completely new approach to music, deeply loaded with symbolism.
Sound recordist Jana Winderen captures beautifully organic audio-glimpses from hidden worlds, whether it’s species too small to see, or too deep underwater to reach. A recent excursion to Iskanten, in Norway, has produced outstanding recordings that surface an entire sonic landscape we’d otherwise never have access to. The research looks specifically at underwater acoustics, communication and navigation techniques between fish and mammals, which making it a critical resource and documentation of our environment. Don’t miss Jana Winderen at Sonic Acts 2017. sonicacts.com Instagram: Classical art memes
klein1997.bandcamp.com Music: Délage A.K.A. Loverboy Bestface Late night unanswered calls, voicemails confessions, breakups, blue air and mumbled love songs. There’s a side to love that’s not so romantic – the painful sacrifice, the killing of time, the feeling of necessity – perhaps that sounds narcissistic… The bleary vocals of German-born Amsterdam-based musician, Délage drag over distant but constant rhythms from lo-fi synthesizers and lonely guitar echoes, soliciting us to call him.
No words. Just check this out. @classical_art_memes
Music: Hubert Zemler Autumn feels like the time to peace out and travel inside. There’s a great tool to pilot this journey. On 25 October Polish percussion maverick Hubert
NEW MUSIC introducing you to fresh artists we admire
SKY H1 Interview by Mateusz Mondalski Photos shot by Tiny Geeroms in Brussels, Belgium
It seems we are living in the age of crossovers. Musicians become designers, painters turn into film directors. Some artists seamlessly transgress their categories. You’re bound to hear this in SKY H1’s music. The Belgian producer has risen to fame with Fluid and Motion – her cinematic EPs released accordingly on Creamcake and PAN sublabel Codes. Listening to SKY H1 feels like watching a dreamlike fantasy movie. In fact, the Brussels native just contributed to the score of Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso – a quasi sci-fi documentary about female Filipino workers in Hong Kong. One Monday morning I connected with the artist via Skype. She just played in Antwerp and Lausanne and speaks to me with a calm voice from her home base in Brussels. 14
‘My dad was a very emotional person. His personality grew further in my music.’ You’ve been around for a while but you’ve only started performing recently.
You dedicated Motion to your dad. Was he a source of inspiration for your music?
My first performance as SKY H1 was at Berlin’s 3hd Festival. Not even a year ago. It’s surprising how quickly it went but I’m happy about it. I started making music about six years ago but I never felt the confidence to share my work. I uploaded the first tracks three years ago. People responded immediately. Uli K from Bala Club was one of the first to contact me and we made a track together which never got released but you can find it in some mixes. Tobias [Lee] (Berlin-based DJ and producer Why Be) started playing it and around the same time Shanti (Yves Tumor) asked me to do a mix for Novembre Magazine.
My dad passed away a few months ago. He was a major influence to me even though he wasn’t a musician. For example, the thing you mentioned earlier about Blade Runner. Many things we did and watched together had a big influence on me. We used to watch Twin Peaks together and as a kid I listened to its soundtrack all the time. Those albums inform my sound and I think he gave me this melancholic vibe. My dad was a very emotional person. His personality grew further in my music.
Your music sounds like science fiction. It reminds me of Kuedo and his game-changing album Severant. I’m sure you know it. He released it in 2011 and it was inspired by…
— Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso OST came out 26 September, curated by Why Be, featuring SKY H1 and Elysia Crampton and cover art by M.E.S.H.
Blade Runner. That’s right. You and Kuedo both seem to enjoy this sort of dystopian imagery. Speaking of sci-fi, you just scored Stephanie Comilang’s short film Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso. You produced that with Why Be, whom you’ve already mentioned, and Elysia Crampton. I’m really happy that you mentioned Kuedo and Blade Runner since I’ve watched it so many times with my dad when I was younger. That Vangelis soundtrack was a big inspiration for me. As for that score, it’s mostly a Why Be thing. The movie is not really science fiction. Maybe the soundtrack sounds that way. It’s amazing when you hear the music and watch the movie together.
NEW MUSIC introducing you to fresh artists we admire
Tommy Cash Interview by Callum McLean Photos shot by Dmitri Gerasimov in Tallinn, Estonia
Picture Aphex Twin, but with acid and Cornwall exchanged for hip hop and Estonia. Then throw in a little Ninja from Die Antwoord, turn the BPM down to a slo-mo crawl and you might be somewhere near the slimy intrigue of Tommy Cash. Straight outta Tallinn, this dancer, painter and fashionista-turned-rapper is taking the Internet by storm with his bizarro music videos, Baltic swag and penchant for horse-riding. His 2014 full-length Euroz Dollaz Yenniz saw Cash drawling rhymes about coital socks, smoking trees and, of course, $$$. And new video â€˜Winalotâ€™ paints new worlds of freak-fleek. We catch him towards the end of his biggest Euro tour yet to get a glimpse of the man behind the moustache. 18
‘I guess there is a sense of darkness to the world I am living in.’
Tell us more about growing up in the Tallinn hood. It’s special because it’s my home, here was the beginning. And we have the most bomb yoghurt in the world. I don’t know what they feed the cows. I never leave Estonia. I always take it with me. You’ve also played a lot of shows over the border in Russia. How does it compare to home? Russia is like a jungle compared to Europe. I’m proud that I have the privilege to tour there because it is not easy to get inside. A couple years from now when I will be doing Pitchfork festivals and playing at SXSW we will sit around a campfire with Kanye West, Kim-K and their kids and I will tell them about the crazy stuff that happened on the Russian tour.
‘Why have abs when you can have kebabs?’ is possibly my favourite line of the year so far. Do you have any tips for the rest of us trying to maintain our strict junk food regime? Well, I’m actually trying to be healthy at this point in my life, but I guess it seems like it’s kind of a disease of our generation, we know what’s good for us, but we often don’t do it. ‘Post-Soviet Rap’ makes me wonder what Soviet Rap would be like — how would you have done things differently before Estonia got its independence in ’91? Then I would be called an American Spy and sent to jail. I’m pretty sure they would have made me do propaganda rap with some communist swag... — Tommy Cash plays two Subbacultcha shows on 14 January. Eurosonic Day Party, Groningen and De Nieuwe Anita, Amsterdam.
There’s a definite horrorshow vibe to your darker beats, is it important for you to be scary af? I guess just like a dancer reflect the song he is dancing to, I reflect the world I am living in. So I guess there is a sense of darkness to the world I am living in, but that is just the tiny part of this world. Conjoined twins, toothless mouths and big bellies — why so many odd bodies in your videos? We use odd bodies because we represent the weirdos, gays, nerds, self-made assholes and so on first of all. And we weird as fuck too! It is the world where Tommy is coming from. We create it and we live in it.
Philly-based musician and activist on the importance of community
Moor Mother Interview by Zofia Ciechowska Photos shot by CJ Harvey in Philadelphia, USA
Moor Mother’s music exists in the moment, spread through word of mouth, a passing on of Afrofuturist history lessons of ancestors past and future descendants, rolling waves of broken beats, punk stutters and noise. It’s the project of Maryland-born, Philadelphiabased musician, poet, activist, teacher, organizer and curator, Camae Ayewa. Spawned from the urgency to amplify the erased pain of those whose cries remain unheard, Moor Mother is the musical expression of the community work that Ayewa has been pushing for years in North Philly’s neighborhoods. It’s this community work that enables her to reach new audiences with her protest songs. 22
Community work, she believes, should lie at the core of every musician’s practice. Fetish Bones is the latest release in Moor Mother’s already superabundant output, the self-recorded LP that she’s now taking on tour to spread through her roaring live performance. ‘I don’t want to just tell my stories on the Internet. I have a lot to say, and my particular perspective is not often shown,’ she explains, highlighting the lengths she’s gone to to be heard as a black woman artist, raised in poverty and looming social injustice. ‘I’m looking for people who want to listen to music that isn’t just about makeup and sex.’
Where’s your head at as you’re on the cusp of your autumn tour? My main concern is being in places I’ve never been before and sharing the subject matter that I use. I’m going to Nebraska, for example. How careful do I need to be there? And I don’t just think about that now, I think about that all the time, because I’m a black women speaking out. You know, most of the black women making music that I know who have been speaking up have had more wealth than I have. You need to understand my heightened awareness. Most of the black women making music who are touring nationally or internationally come from more privileged backgrounds than me. I’m actually speaking from my personal, true perspective. I actually grew up poor and I have family members who have been incarcerated. I’m speaking from this first hand perspective that a lot of black women don’t get to share. Men can tell their stories in that particular way, but black women cannot. Do you think people are now more willing to experience women’s anger than before? Women have always been angry. Women’s anger is often a commodity. It’s just a certain type of woman who is allowed to get angry right now. In the US, every 15 seconds a woman is attacked in her home by someone who loves her. This is happening around the clock and no one is saying anything! Whose anger are we talking about? I talk about positive anger. You mentioned that your voice as a black woman is different from the mainstream voices of the black women we often hear. You being able to express yourself creatively speaks so much. What needs to happen for more women like you to do what you’re doing? Discussions of class need to happen. No one talks about class. Take for instance, Solange.
How long has Solange been rich? Her sister was in Destiny’s Child at 15. She grew up exposed to wealth and fame, reaped those rewards. What’s that perspective? How does class play into who she is as a person, the album she made, the black issues she discusses? People talk about Bernie Sanders marching in Washington. People say they marched in Ferguson. What does that mean, that you had the means to go there and march? That you’re dedicated to the struggle? I am not speaking ill of people with money, it’s just wild that class is not discussed in the context of art and music making. It’s so expensive to be a musician. Even this tour I’m going on, I need money to be able to go on tour. Some people can just go and perform; they have a safety net.
‘Women’s anger is often a commodity. It’s just a certain type of woman who is allowed to get angry right now.’
How has this year particularly shaped your art practice, music and activist work? I’m surprised to find out that a lot of musicians have zero community work, they have people just booking their shows that they then go to perform. I’m meeting people who are not booking their own shows to play with other artists in their own communities. They won’t book a spot at a community space, won’t go into a high school. It baffles me how little community work they do. They are more comfortable inside their studio, rather than being out in the world.
Do you believe your music comes to life when it directly engages with the community? Where should we be organizing and performing music? I think we’re doing the best we can. There’s a drumming circle near my house. There’s house shows near me. I love all types of places. Most stuff happens in West Philly. North Philly is a little more dangerous, way more poor, not many shows happen in this area. So, what do we do? Do we go to the safe hippie spaces? Or do we go where people are struggling? It’s a tough one. We have to look at people’s struggle. We need to be aware that some people’s expiration date is coming really soon. Artists need to do more to raise awareness about this and engage – stop hiding behind buzzwords and online identities.
‘I don’t need to brag about my community work, it’s not part of my brand, it’s just in my neighborhood, it’s what I do.’
I don’t need to brag about my work, it’s not part of my brand, it’s just in my neighbourhood, it’s what I do. I’m also a writer, I have published books. So if you read books and are interested in Afrofuturism and poetry, you’ll find me. With all respect to the Internet, it could all blow up and I could be very happy. There’s a live element to your performance that makes your music come to its own that’s not fully there in your recordings. I’m like the coolest live compared with my recordings! Fetish Bones came out of the fact that I won a grant that helped me buy equipment. I had to learn how to record my album all on my own. Making an album by yourself and googling stuff you don’t know is hard. I cried a lot. But I did it, so that’s cool! I don’t like people recording me live because it never captures what’s happening. Just experience it; if your friends aren’t there, tell them to come next time.
What have you heard from your audiences after the release of your Fetish Bones LP? People have been so nice, appreciative, and supportive. I had no idea I had so many fans overseas. It’s been really good. I am shocked people know about me! It’s the Internet, I guess! The other week I had a bit of a Facebook to-and-fro with someone about the fact that they wouldn’t have known me without the Internet, but my response was, I’m not just on the Internet. I’m more off the Internet than on. I don’t need to go online and brag that I did a workshop in a high school, that I worked at a shelter. 28
— Moor Mother plays World Minimal Music Festival at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ on 5 April. Fetish Bones came out on Don Giovanni Records on 16 September, 2016.
Paris-based romantic on mining online gems and the art of making music
Infinite Bisous Interview by Roxy Merrell Photos shot by Jules Faure in Paris, France
After years of touring as an instrumentalist for Connan Mockasin and Mac DeMarco, Rory McCarthy shifts centre-stage with his gently composed lo-fi pop, ever-so-sweetly named infinite bisous. An Englishman in Paris, Rory has found the comfort of home in the city of sex and literature. Only making music when it feels right, infinite bisous fogs your bitter outlook on life with delicate, funk-infused billows of pure romance. We spent a late Friday morning on Skype, musing on the art of making music, the sound of sensual and the brighter side of our digital times. ‘This is the most personal project yet,’ he ruminates on infinite bisous. ‘It’s me.’ 30
What got you out of bed this morning? My alarm I think… I’m supposed to do this, then going to meet my friend Alex – one of the Alexs in Aldous RH – to go for a walk and visit a museum. So I was excited to get up for that! How did you end up in Paris? This is the first place I moved to, from England. We toured France a lot with Connan Mockasin, and every time I came here I thought ‘I wish I could stay a bit longer.’ At the end of a solid 3-year chunk of touring, for me from the ages 19 to 22,
I thought ‘where am I gonna live?’ and I thought I’d go to Paris and see what happens. How has France influenced your music? France won’t have influenced this album, although it could be thinking of France. I remember when I made the first things that I was calling infinite bisous, I was in the east of France to do this show with Connan and Sam [Dust] for a project that’s just coming out now called Soft Hair. I remember seeing everyone kissing all the time, and I thought ‘this is great.’ Actually being in France, you won’t hear that on anything I’m releasing now, because most of the stuff I release is at least 4 years old. I have a backlog of stuff; it’s not intentional but if I still like it after 3 years, then it’s worth releasing.
pid words like ‘sexy, man’. And I was thinking, how can music be sexy? It didn’t make sense to me. But then I thought, I guess that’s a way of presenting myself. I’m pretty selfconscious about my body, so if I just take it off, it’s just like ‘oh my god I’m so terrified in front of this group of people’, so then I get too excited and end up doing things I didn’t expect.
‘The whole thing is about relationships. Getting to the very end of one and the very start of another. So it’s like a screenshot of that period.’
So, how much material are you sitting on? Are we talking about Prince-like vaults of unfinished material? [Laughs] No… the dichotomy of that is I’m like that, I backlog, but I’m also incredibly unproductive. I don’t make that much music. I made the decision to only make music when I really feel like making music. Then, it should only be good – because you’re making it when it’s entertaining and genuine. The other problem is, when you have a total idea of something and you finish it, it’s finished to you. You kind of forget, that the idea is to release it. So, to answer your question, I think 3 infinite bisous records. You talk about being genuine. You’re not fearful of showing a little skin. Uhm… [clears throat] I assume what you’re referring to is I’m always taking my top off. Is that a way of making yourself vulnerable? It’s this weird thing, especially when I started the project, people kept saying all these stu-
Your music brings a sensual, romantic atmosphere to mind. What do you want your music to evoke in people? This is what I get confused about. People think it’s all about sex. See, I am a romantic. But as for sensual, I’m not really sure what that means in terms of music. I think an album should just be saying what you were thinking at the time and I think that’s just what I was thinking about. It sounds really boring when you put it like this, but the whole thing is about relationships. Getting to the very end of one and the very start of another. So it’s like a screenshot of that period. So that’s the only thing I was wanting to evoke, I suppose. I guess I didn’t really want to evoke anything. I wanted to make myself feel better. You’ve spoken about releasing music for free online, saying it’s an act of wanting to get your music out there. Regardless of what it gets you in return… 33
It’s kind of what I was talking about earlier; it wasn’t really my prerogative to release my music, so the fact that I’ve made it and I’m happy with it, I’m happy to put it online for free, and only for free because I think it’s kind of a joke to charge for a file. The good thing about digital music then, one of the only real benefits, is you can do it on your own terms, you can do it without any money, and you can do it as quickly as you like.
Totally, yeah. The only music that I feel attached to that I found online, I found in the middle of the night trolling through some website… You find some guy who has posted some good stuff so you keep going through, and then like, four in the morning you find one, and you’re like ‘this album is incredible’ and you feel like it’s yours. Because you found it. Is that what (net label) tasty morsels is about?
‘We should be happy that the record industry is kind of dying, because it’s a real mess.’
What’s the real difference between releasing online versus on a label? The only thing that drives me to release is the physical side. It might be nostalgic or romantic, but until it’s a hard object it feels like it isn’t really finished. The downside is, a record label would try to push a campaign and ensure all the attention at once, because otherwise you’ve got no chance. I think that’s nonsense. If you go into any record shop, and you find something you’ve not heard before, possibly released a long time ago, you buy it, you listen, and you get super excited. To you it’s new. When you release online, even if you release it and nothing happens, it stagnates. And then if it starts to pick up heat later on, that’s fine by me. As long as people hear it in a nice presentation, I think they’re really happy to stumble across it themselves. Or at least, certainly I am. Often when we talk about digital music, we seem to focus on the future of making money and miss the point about emerging ways of discovering music. 34
Me and my friends set it up, just as a library of stuff we thought was good. And the best part is that it doesn’t matter if people find it in ten years or find it tomorrow. There’s no financial loss of people not getting to it straight away. There’s no financial gain, anyway, so… it’s different when you start releasing physically I think. That’s the best part of digital music. And, I’m probably going to get told off for saying that, but what a weird idea that mostly musicians are complaining about not making money from their music. I just find it a really crazy idea to believe you’re owed money for something you’re supposed to do for yourself. Now I’m all up for making money with your music, and I think it’s a real blessing if you can do it. It takes a lot of hard work and it is a job. But the fact that the world, the digital environment, is changing, is not a point to complain about. I think our generation grew up knowing that was the case. If anything, we should be happy that the record industry is kind of dying, because it’s a real mess. It either needs a gigantic revolution or a very slow one, which I think is what’s happening… a really mild, slow operation.
— infinite bisous plays De Nieuwe Anita, Amsterdam on 28 January. Upcoming album w/ love can be expected early 2017.
Underground Moscow producer on finding melody and movement
Interview by Alexandre Ermakov Photos shot by Sasha Mademuaselle in Moscow, Russia 36
There are some artists out there that easily fit into a specific mould. Be it hair-metal, powwow step or Muzak, everyone’s got a genre they like to call home. Which is why when an artist like Kedr Livanskiy comes along, all bets are off. Combining her love of pop, electronic and the avant-garde, Kedr swirls her influences together, creating an idiosyncratic sound that would be impossible to duplicate. Her upcoming EP January Sun shows a musician that is traveling on an artistic trajectory, one that allows her to explore herself and to express her personality to the world. This month, we sat down with the Russian musician, to look back at some of her past, and discuss what the future holds for the ever-growing Lebanese cedar. When did you first start playing music? When I was 17, me and a friend formed a sludge metal group. I played drums. Then when I was 18 or 19, I assembled a poppunk group that played in Russian. We even released an album, our band was called Hesburger. What made you transition from punk to more electronic-based music? I mostly listened to punk during my teenage years and at one point I realized it was sort of the only thing I was listening to. And so I began to sort of see the limitations of the genre. Film school changed my perception of what music can be. Whilst studying, I learned that film is essentially built through editing. I started to relate this idea back to music – that music is made through editing, particularly electronic music. I began to see a completely different approach to making music. Are there any similarities between Kedr Livanskiy and your earlier bands? I was a completely different person back then, my aims were different. With Kedr, it’s
a much more personal thing; where it’s just me and my music, and me trying to understand myself through my music. For your most recent music videos (e.g. Otvechai Za Slova (Keep Your Word)), did you film them yourself or did you work with someone else? Me and my friend filmed the latest music videos. We didn’t really approach it with a screenplay or with a concrete plan, and sort of approached shooting it in a documentary style. Now I feel like I want to create something with a story, with continuity, something much more structured. But I enjoy both styles equally, and I want to mix them up. The locations are mostly places near where I live or ones I see when I’m travelling. If I see something that speaks to me, I make a note of it and when it comes time to shoot a video, I think back to that place and head over there with a camera.
‘Music is made through editing, particularly electronic music.’
Tell me about Johns’ Kingdom. Johns’ Kingdom was a community of friends, who started their own club. Over time it started to grow and grow, turning into something much bigger. It had it’s own style of music and clubbing, as well as having an art, video and design component to it. As of now, Johns’ Kingdom is slowly dying out, and transforming into something completely different. It was like this stepping stone to bigger things. There’s a label forming called Gossvuk, and now NII (short for the club Nauka i Iskustvo) is forming their own label. 39
They just had their first release. I feel these things evolve over time and usually can’t stay the same. What is your recording process like? I like to start to just jam out and look for musical patterns or specific synth sounds. It’s sort of like you’re floating in this ocean and you slowly start to find the melody and the movement. You start to realize that this pattern speaks to you. Once I get a feel for the song, and what it’s going to be about, I start to add vocals. It’s hard writing lyrics. It’s easy to do a text that’s just a phrase, like six words on a loop. Most of my older songs are like that. With my newer material, I’ve started to approach the vocals in a more structured format. It’s been challenging, causing a bit of a block. I don’t want my words to interfere with the rest of the song, I want it to fit phonetically. Do you find that you’re influenced by things outside of music when writing your songs? 40
Yeah, I find that visual art and movies tend to influence me. I find that you can find influence in a multitude of different things. But also in terms of music, I find that my influences tend to change. I’ve currently gone off ‘90s electronic music and started exploring ‘80s music. Recently, I’ve particularly been getting into a lot of Russian groups, like NII Kosmetiki. Are you considering a switch from electronic music to something else? I don’t really think in terms of genres. I don’t want to be labeled as ‘Techno Kedr’ or anything like that... and like to keep people guessing. I’m making what I like in the moment, and what works for me.
— Kedr Livanskiy headlines our magazine release party on 26 November at De Nieuwe Anita, Amsterdam.
VANAF 1 DECEMBER IN DE BIOSCOOP kpn.com/unknownbrood
Point of view
Leading Your Ears Astray by Carly Blair On the last night in August this year, I found myself in a rental car with my boyfriend, driving across southern Ontario from Niagara Falls to the Elora Gorge. We’d had a slow start that day and were running very late getting to our campsite. One of those seemingly pointless, exasperating late night traffic jams whose cause is never revealed had delayed us an additional hour. It was pitch black outside, and even in the daylight that stretch of highway offers little in terms of visual respite, lined as it is with warehouses, shopping malls, and signs pointing to more scenic places, tragically beyond visual reach. I was not excited about setting up a tent and building a fire in the dark. There was rapidly cooling pizza and rapidly warming beer sitting in the backseat of our car. My boyfriend wasn’t hungry and wasn’t thirsty and wasn’t too bothered about the whole situation; I was dying for a beer, starving, and teetering on the edge of an irrational crying jag. Needless to say, the atmosphere was tense. At some point I realized that my brooding wasn’t exactly helping the vibe, so I decided to turn on the radio. As I methodically scrolled through the frequencies, the usual assortment of pop and talk radio stations presented themselves unconvincingly. Then, out of nowhere, the dial landed on something unlike anything else we’d heard: a somber, hypnotic instrumental soundscape which perfectly suited our dark and somewhat dire circumstances. I lowered my hand and found myself surrendering to this soothing dispatch from the ether. After some minutes of that first bewitching tune unfolding before us, the voice of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver emerged from the haze,
crystal clear and immediately recognizable, singing a song I’d never heard before. Almost as quickly as it had appeared it was gone again, dissolved into another and yet another mysterious jungle of sounds. This enchantment lasted for what could have been hours before the spell was finally broken by the DJ’s voice: deep and slow-moving, enthusiastically describing the minute details of the ‘trip’ he’d just taken us on with the kind of geeky self-seriousness that calls to mind Jack Black’s character in High Fidelity, minus all the caffeine. His name, as it turns out, was Hymns57, and he intended to take us on several more trips that night. The next one started and was as mesmeric as the first, but it wasn’t long before the signal started to crackle as we drove out of the station’s range. Suddenly I wasn’t in a hurry to get to our campsite anymore; I wanted to stay suspended in that warm bath of ambient, world, electronic, and indie music he’d poured for us indefinitely. I frantically wiggled the dial to no avail – he was gone. I turned to my boyfriend and said something along the lines of, ‘That was the best fucking thing I’ve heard on the radio in years!’ Though I was too caught up in my own rhapsodic musings to really pay attention, I’m pretty sure he agreed.
— Aural Tethers (Hymns57) broadcasts out of the University of Guelph’s campus and community radio station. You can hear the show at http://cfru.ca/recordings/294 or on Friday nights from 10-12am at 93.3FM if you find yourself driving along that same lonely stretch of highway in southern Ontario.
A GET-TOGETHER OF POP AND ELECTRONICS
Point of view
Rewriting The Future by Jo Kalinowska History presents us with timelines, grounding our understanding of time as a linear sequence from past, to present, and into the future. Through religion (or science) we learn a story of origin and a prophecy of an ending. We structure time in these ways in order to better understand any reason or purpose there might be for us being here. A coping mechanism. We use the future as a source of hope, an uncertainty in which we can project our creative visions. A source that’s becoming increasingly necessary for us to imagine because the present is breeding isolationism, racism, sexism, and many other forms of intolerance. In 1993 author Mark Dery asked: ‘Can a community whose past has been deliberately erased imagine possible futures?’ He coined the term Afrofuturism – although its trajectory started decades before with artists like Sun Ra and George Clinton – to describe a movement of aesthetic imagery, sonic components and spiritual elements that promoted an alternate experience of black identity; where present-day problems and joys of blacks were critiqued and explored, re-examined, re-imagined, and retold. Detroit’s Drexciya presented their 1997 album, ‘The Quest’, with a story of an underwater sanctuary called ‘Drexciya’ populated by the unborn children of African women thrown off of middle passage slave ships that learnt how to breathe underwater whilst in the womb. Their imagination invaded the past, twisted it around and created a new present and future that attempted to dislocate and escape to a new place and for a new black experience.
Stream a playlist of early Hype Williams videos. Go for Missy Elliott. Forever underrated despite artistry that liberated images of blackness and womanhood. Seducing us into another dimension, the video for ‘She’s a Bitch’ beckons the arrival of a new world order. Or ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ where a vial of silvery liquid spills out into a long worm-like shape before morphing into the figure of a watery Busta Rhymes. Janet Jackson fills the screen wearing a purple cyborg-dominatrix suit. Wall to wall speakers immerse us in a hyperreal space in which these black artists – who we watch burst into silver droplets – have become so advanced they have become the sound that we hear. Open space is created for trans and queer identities in Elysia Crampton’s future: you have to rewrite people into the future when they have been written out of the past and present, she says. Gaika, Flying Lotus, Patten, Amnesia Scanner. Artists can challenge the limits of our imagination, including ideas on race, culture and sex. Art provides a platform to explore time and memory in the context of human life, it creates communities for people who feel hurt, dislocated, or vulnerable. We have to imagine the future in order to avoid remaining trapped in history and politics of the present. Alternative visions let us focus on the reality we want to experience, spreading optimism and setting our energy in the right direction.
Subbacultcha We are an independent, Amsterdam-based music platform devoted to emerging artists. Shows: Weekly gigs in Amsterdam & Rotterdam. Radio: Tune in to Carly Blair at Red Light Radio. Magazine: Unruly quarterly dedicated to new music. Playlists: Tracks and acts you don’t want to miss. We are supported by our members, who for €8 a month, get free access to everything we do. Sign up online and we’ll love you forever. subbacultcha.nl/join
Upcoming Subbacultcha Shows Cheena 0 9. 1 2
OG Maco 21.01
Nadia Tehran 10.12
Princess Nokia 26.01
Progress Bar feat. Flohio + God Colony and more 1 7. 1 2
Infinite Bisous 28.01
L.A.N. Party 23.12 Tommy C ash 14.01 Eurosonic Day Party 14.01
Tommy Genesis 07.02 Omni 11.02/12.02 All shows are free for members. sign up at subbacultcha.nl 47
Meanwhile at Our Shows Click Click Club
Click k c i l C Club
â€” All s105 shows are sponsored by Jupiler. Thanks to FotoLabKiekie for developing our negatives. 05
Meanwhile at Our Shows Click Click Club
The Click Click Club means future #tbt material by our members. We hand them a disposable camera and they show us what they see. Want to join our Click Click Club? Shoot email@example.com an e-mail and get your hands on a disposable camera at one of our next shows. 01. at Fatima Yamaha, Muzieklokaal, De School shot by Michelle Jansen 02. at Mykki Blanco, Melkweg shot by Lotte Koster 03. at Fatima Yamaha, Muzieklokaal, De School shot by Kelvin Dijk 04. at Princess Nokia, Muzieklokaal, De School shot by Kelly van Haastere
05. at Merchandise, s105, De School shot by Michelle Jansen 06. at Princess Nokia, Muzieklokaal, De School shot by Kelly van Haastere 07. at Mykki Blanco, Melkweg shot by Lotte Koster 08. at Merchandise, s105, De School shot by Faith Hardman 09. at Princess Nokia, Muzieklokaal, De School shot by Iris Roell 09
Meanwhile at WORM A series dedicated to establishments we like to visit
They call themselves the institute for avant-garde recreation: WORM is Rotterdam’s ever-growing, multi-setting, 2000m² space for all things experimental. Boasting an energy-generating dance floor, OV chip hackathons for 65+ers and The Young Petanque Club. They got it all; even Subbacultcha shows on the regular. Programmer Frédéric Van de Velde let us in on a few highlights you really cannot be missing out on. WORM The hub of it all: WORM central station. The main venue where shows, screenings, talk shows and workshops take place. Located on Witte de Withstraat, WORM aspires to remain just off the radar, to draw the right crowd. Inspired by DIY and recycling culture, pretty much all of WORM’s interior is made of salvaged material – toilets made of water reservoirs, floors from second hand Fortis Bank desks, concert hall walls consist of many plane windows, seats from old NS trains. #Wunderbar Get ready for your departure from the commercial street and kick off into the out-there world of #Wunderbar. Its mission is just that – to bridge the gap. Targeted at ‘the low brow stuff’, where anything and everything that catches their interest can be given a stage, and willing audiences are invited, free of charge, to give it a go. It’s EastGerman inspired, as Frederic so beautifully put it – ‘less Berlin, more Apres-Ski’.
Subbacultcha We Visit magazine You
Meanwhile at WORM A series dedicated to establishments we like to visit
Performance Bar Come drink beer at this bar run by performers, who close the bar sporadically throughout the night for – you guessed it – short and strange performances. Beat boxing. Strip tease. Body painting. Weird singing. Bands. The best part? They’re always searching for new experimental performers. So what are you waiting for?
The WORM Pirate Bay A physical space to watch and duplicate WORM’s archives of avant-garde media. One part epic collection of avant-garde makers and cult video store, and one part obscure radio plays, records and books they made themselves. And then there’s The Display (by Amy Suo Wu). A pink-fur bunk-bedcupboard hybrid you’re welcome to crawl in and plug into said media on a personal display. But while you watch, you’re being watched – the glass wall shows all. ‘It’s a physical reaction to the public prostitution of self on social media’. Very meta.
— Text Roxy Merrell Photos shot by Florian Braakman Don’t miss Omni on 12 February at #Wunderbar worm.org
DE BRAKKE GROND 11 DEC
SONIC SOIREE #49
Moodfamily presenteert: Olaf Stuut / Harted / AMyn MUZIEK
DE COMMERCE: CHER AMI
“Een ode aan dieren in WOI, met muziek van Yuko” MUZIEK
“Knokkende koppels, van Ike en Tina tot Temptation Island” THEATER
Meanwhile in Belgium Checking in with Subbacultcha Belgium
If you didn’t know, you best learn today! We’ve got Subbacultcha brothers and sisters next door in Belgium, booking great shows, doing stellar interviews, putting on festivals. They’re like us! But just a lil’ different – just as siblings should be. We thought we’d check in real quick, to see what’s been going down, meanwhile in Belgium.
06. Best show in the past three months:
01. Song blasting in the office on repeat:
08. Guilty pleasure of the moment:
Lion’s Den - Marching Church . Soundtrack to Home made by Johnny Jewel from Chromatics.
Nuts and watching cheap horror movies.
02. Show you cannot wait for: Our 5th anniversary party at Beursschouwburg, Brussels on 28 January.
Elysia Crampton in Vooruit, Ghent in October. 07. Band you can’t stop raving about: Tommy Genesis.
09. Must-have Subbacultcha Belgium gadget of the moment: Subba socks. 10. Hottest band/musician:
03. Latest Subbacultcha Belgium gossip: Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. We are a secret love agency. 11. Best haircut? 04. Best new Belgian artist: Tommy Cash.
Coco Haram. 05. Band/musician you wanna spend a drunk party with: Lorenzo Senni, he doesn’t drink.
— questions by Laura Bonne subbacultcha.be
Famous Last Words
Get. On. Your. Horse! Thatâ€™s all folks! See you at our shows or online at subbacultcha.nl xoxo Subbacultcha 54
Issue 06 of Subbacultcha quarterly music magazine featuring Infinite Bisous, Moor Mother, Kedr Livanskiy, Tommy Cash, SKY H1 and more.
Published on Nov 24, 2016
Issue 06 of Subbacultcha quarterly music magazine featuring Infinite Bisous, Moor Mother, Kedr Livanskiy, Tommy Cash, SKY H1 and more.