Samuel Kerridge and DVA Damas' Taylor Burch team up for „The Other“, a collaborative record that explores ambiguous poetics of voice and sound.
Since his first EP „Auris Interna“ on Horizontal Ground, Samuel Kerridge remains one of the most intriguing figures exploring the heavier side of electronic music. Each new release adds another piece to the puzzle and pushes further the boundaries of uninhibited expression, which seems to be the central focus on Kerridge's artistic work. His raw and sensual take on noise and distortion has found a suitable home on labels like Blueprint, Downwards, and his own imprint Contort. What started out in 2011 as an event series giving space to novel, left field approaches to sound, has developed into an exciting „quasi record label“, honoring both primordial sounds from the 80s and 90s, as well as new cutting edge artists such as SØS Gunver Ryberg. It's no wonder then, that „The Other“ represents a new step forward in terms of the stylistic and conceptual universe it inhabits.
For this new record, Kerridge once again returns to Downwards and teams with Taylor Burch – another Downwards affiliate who has been carving unconventional paths with DVA Damas and Tropic of Cancer. Burch's spoken word passages accompany some of Kerridge's most distinct production to date, which replaces estranged dancefloor oriented brutality for a more mature, but equally powerful project. „The Other“ is also imagined as an AV piece in collaboration with film director Daisy Dickinson. It aims to create a multi-sensory experience by using large pieces of semi-transparent fabric and audio-reactive live-mixed visuals.
As each of their individual work is trying to capture the richness of emotional states, „The Other“ is no exception. The title itself suggests a light motif that connects a variety of topics the album taps into through Burch's performance of Jean Cocteau's piece „Jean Cocteau s’adresse à l’an 2000“ from 1963. Drawing from deconstructive practices of Kerridge's previous work, mainly last year’s “The I Is Nothing”, „The Other“ further explores dynamic rhythmic structures and ambiguous poetics of voice and sound. Intense, doleful melodies emerge in stretched bursts of physicality, counterbalancing Burch's signature strong, detached vocal delivery.
The opening track „Transmission 1“ instantly lures us in with isolated vocals pronouncing „I don't know if you can hear me“, followed by frantic shattered synth and irregular beat emphasizing Burch's musings on linear time and progress as a development of an error. Throughout the record, different excerpts from Cocteau's address form a defamiliarised narrative because Cocteau's romantic naivete speaks to our time with unsurprisingly uncanny prophetic accuracy.
Topics of numbness and melancholy produced by the obsession with immediacy haunt his era as well as ours, along with mysticism of art and many others, forming a complex semantic interweb. Kerridge and Burch mainly investigate Cocteau's idea of mediated (self)expression that defines the modes of human interaction and marks us as perpetual other to a deeper self that can't be fully known. Burch's role on the record is precisely the one of a medium which constantly disintegrates its own actuality. Her vocals are oscillating from clear narration to stream of syllables as if signaling interference in message transmission.
This inevitable, sweeping state of isolation is stunningly depicted in „Transmission 2“ and „Transmission 3“. Kerridge's constant variations between slow, throbbing blocks of sound, more fluent breakbeats and almost gentle, trembling melody evoke a sense of unease and vulnerability.„Transmission 6“ builds on a lingering chopped up synth with a hint of forgotten, devastated trance sensibility. It disappears and reemerges throughout the track, opening the way for even bleaker atmospheres, disorienting shooms, and Burch's fragmented vocals. The tension is propelled into „Transmission 7“, which closes the record in an even more distressed manner. It moves through a collage of warped beats and washed out traces of melody until a final crash, stating „I'm starting out“.
„The Other“ reads as a system that continuously construes and destroys its foundation, resulting in an experimental record that dares to go further in its exploration of texture, depth, and tension, as well as the very idea of authenticity. Kerridge and Burch elegantly combine elements of their previous work into a project that finds its strength through cracks and errors, using Cocteau's address as a conceptual frame to once again reimagine the limits of expression.
- Check Tracklist
- Format: 2x12” / Digital
Cat. No: DNSKER03
Release Date: May 3rd, 2019
A1. Transmission 1
A2. Transmission 2
B1. Transmission 3
B2. Transmission 4
C1. Transmission 5
C2. Transmission 6
D1. Transmission 7