STM 229 - Erin Arthur

Erin Arthur from New York DJ musician artist

Photo from Erin Arthur's archive

Our first New Blood of 2017, Erin Arthur drops a kaleidoscopic selection of IDM and techno jewels varying between the organic and the futuristic


The first winner of our New Blood 2017 competition is New Yorker Erin Arthur who also goes by her DJ name Animalia. Erin received her higher education in visual arts and has been exploring the relations between sound and emotional states since she was at school. This naturally drew her to installation art and thinking about space, performance and narrative. Another medium she found for putting these ideas in action is the DJ set and mix - some of her previous mixes can be found on her Soundcloud. We’re happy to have her clever offering on our roster!

For her New Blood entry Erin chose to focus on experimental/noise/IDM genres and their intersections. The mix starts with a personal touch - the elegant, exotic flow of a Cibo Matto track. The playfully cinematic alt-pop tune shifts into the minimal droney pulsations of Ø, which is a type of contrast that recurs throughout the mix - the same Cibo Matto stands next to the ambient of O Yuki Conjugate or Elbee Bad’s uplifting and soulful pulsations, which merge into early Plastikman’s stark cuts. There is also a number of IDM classics incorporated into the selection spanning the last couple of decades and presenting a kaleidoscopic history of the genre. These carefully woven gems induce an airy and deep vibe in the selection, whether it was Autechre’s “Kalpol Intro” or Seefeel’s blurry shoegaze patterns. The mix mostly maintains unusual rhythmic patterns and rarely jumps to 4/4. It is a very focused, floating affair - a personal journey through a rich electronic music landscape. Erin’s selection brings a variety of spaces to mind, from white-walled galleries to suburban woodlands. The mixture of irregular geometric shapes, the airy pastel pallette, the circular and straight lines of Lawren Harris’ “Abstract No.7” capture the dynamics of the mix rather nicely. The abstract structure has some sharp and static futuristic traits, yet at the same time is very integral and lively, similarly to this sonic narrative.

Erin on mix:

I started off by remembering sounds of the nineties within the music scene but also extending beyond that to films and video games. I normally work off a theme of my own but for this mix I started with an artist I wanted to feature and the rest came out of that. I remembered finding Cibo Matto in high school and thinking they were so cool and different. I still feel this way so I wanted them to start things off, found a track I liked, and developed a loose narrative from there. As the mix developed so too did my own personal theme and I had a very vivid sense of place (or places, as there was more than one) and I wanted to interpret these environments sonically. I decided the Free Jazz/Experimental/Noise genres gave me the most freedom to interpret and explore so I kept within that realm. I sought out tracks with unusual rhythm patterns and even tried experimenting within the blends of the mix itself, putting two different bpms together to play with the ear a bit and create rhythm shifts. I also kept an ear out for tracks that used sound and/or distortion to create a sense of atmosphere; in particular I was attracted to watery, windy, and electrical sounds.

Because of the nineties element, I found myself thinking more about specific artists than I usually do when making a mix. This was a challenge for me because I usually make choices based on something more nebulous, like a mood or feeling. Despite any struggles I may have had, the challenge was incredibly worth it! I discovered new artists, re-discovered artists I hadn’t listened to in years, and was continually amazed at all the work being produced during this decade that seemed to go virtually unnoticed in its time, at least here in the U.S. This added a nice rich layer to the entire process that was new to me but enjoyable, and some exciting things came out of it.


01. Cibo Matto – Theme [Warner Bros. Records, 1996]
02. Ø – Loihdittu [Sähkö Recordings, 2008]
03. Autechre – deco Loc [Warp Records, 2013]
04. Boards of Canada – Petina [Music70, 1989]
05. Coppe’ – Mars 2 Jupiter [Mango & Sweet Rice, 2005]
06. Two Lone Swordsmen – Hope We Never Surface [Warp Records, 1998]
07. The Black Dog – Tunnels OV Set (Autechre Remix) [Soma Quality Recordings, 2009]
08. Murcof – Mo ( – Aeroc Mix) [The Leaf Label, 2002]
09. Two Lone Swordsmen – As Worldly Pleasures Wave Goodbye [Warp Records, 1998]
10. Trømmel – Transicion [NXT Recordings, 2015]
11. Susumu Yokota – Kinoko [Sublime Records, 1994]
12. Robert Rich & B. Lustmord – Delusion Fields [Fathom/Hearts of Space Records, 1995]
13. Plastikman – Kriket [NovaMute, 1994]
14. Alva Noto – Xerrox Radieuse [Raster-Noton, 2015]
15. The Black Dog – Rise Up [Warp Records, 1999]
16. Dominik Eulberg – Stelldichein Des Westerwalder Vogelchores [Traum Schallplatten, 2007]
17. Voices From The Lake – ST (VFTL Rework) [Prologue, 2012]
18. Andy Stott – Cherry Eye [Modern Love, 2007]
19. Elbee Bad – Just Don’t Stop [Bassment Records, 1988]
20. Plastikman – Passage (In) [NovaMute, 1998]
21. Plastikman – Convulse (Sic) [NovaMute, 1998]
22. Autechre – Milk DX [Warp Records, 1999]
23. Beaver & Krause – Walkin’ [Warner Bros. Records, 1971]
24. Bola – Versivo [Skam, 1998]
25. Susumu Yokota – Akafuji [Sublime Records, 1994]
26. Proem – Phat Shield [n5MD, 2001]
27. Porter Ricks – Biokinetiks 2 [Chain Reaction, 1996]
28. O Yuki Conjugate – Still Breath [Projekt Records, 1991]
29. Monolake – Lantau [Chain Reaction, 1997]
30. Underground Resistance – Metamorphisis [Underground Resistance, 1993]
31. Boards of Canada – Mukinabaht [Music70, 1996]
32. Cibo Matto – Beef Jerkey [Warner Bros. Records, 1996]
33. O Yuki Conjugate – 200ft Vertical Wall [Staalplaat, 1995]
34. Boredoms – Cheeba [WEA Japan/Reprise Records, 1992]
35. Seefeel – Starethrough [Warp Records, 1994]
36. Robert Henke – Plankton [Imbalance Computer Music, 1997]
37. Two Lone Swordsmen – Mr. Paris’s Monsters [Warp Records, 1998]
38. Fluxion – Fovea Centralis [Chain Reaction, 1999]
39. Plastikman – Smak [NovaMute, 1993]
40. Plastikman – Ovokx [NovaMute, 1993]
41. Nocturnal Emissions – Wetback [Earthly Delights, 1991]
42. Susumu Yokota – Alphaville [Sublime Records, 1994]
43. Autechre – Kalpol Introl [Warp Records, 1993]
44. Plastikman – Locomotion [NovaMute, 1998]
45. Mira Calix – The More You Do The More You Do [Warp Records, 1998?/2000?]
46. Monolake – Cyan [Chain Reaction, 1997]
47. O Yuki Conjugate – Tidal Dance [Projekt Records, 1991]

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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