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After spending two years delving into the deeper realms of sound experimentation and vast sonic environments, the established East-London based artist Bxentric returns to his imprint with his latest project and album ‘Desolate’.
Following directly on from his previous releases on the label and taking his art form to a whole new level, Bxentric has created on this album a balanced composition, offsetting the negative space with enough contrast to ensure a dynamic and narrative intensity.
Since it’s release we wanted to touch base with the East-Londoner to find out more about his thought process behind the album, what influenced him and how he curates whilst in the studio.
Bxentric’s ‘Desolate’ album is out on Nanda Records now – download/stream it here: http://hyperurl.co/wugfww
Hey Bxentric, thanks for catching up with us today. What are you up to currently? Are you locking in studio time as we come into the winter months or are you preparing for a live performance or DJ gig?
No problem I’ve just got back in, having been out for a late breakfast in my local cafe. I was a bit sad because they didn’t have my favourite thing on the menu, I made up for it with some extra coffee instead but now I’m feeling a bit jittery, so maybe that was a silly idea. I can’t believe we’re talking Winter already wow!
I’m still catching up with myself and trying to be conscious of being in the moment, taking in what I’ve achieved, so I’m staying away from the studio for now.
I find it hard not to be thinking about creativity, I have quite a busy mind. It just so happens this week I’ve started to think about live performance. I’m conscious of my limitations performing solo and I don’t want to have a laptop on stage, so I’m looking into what will be best for me.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen some of my releases on Youtube but they come with some amazing visuals from my friend Kenaim. I’m going to ask if he’ll do some for my live show.
With the recent release of your new album ‘Desolate’ on Nanda Records now complete, are you relieved, or have a sense of completeness, knowing that your art is now out in the wide-world for all to experience?
I’m totally relieved that’s for sure, it was a year leading up to the release so it takes a lot out of ones self, but I had a great team supporting me so that really helped. On the day of the release I was not able to take in the fact that it was done, but the next day when I invited all my friends over to my local pub for a good old East London knees up, I could celebrate properly, that’s when I felt a sense of completeness.
What’s so great is my friends were part of the journey too, from just being there when I needed to take my mind off things or in the studio with me helping complete my project to the delivery of it.
That’s why I set up my label Nanda Records, for a place I could work with my friends and we can support each others creative output.
Outside of music, what inspires or directs your creativity? Are you influenced by certain environments, interactions or activities?
I live in the East End of London, along with walking around the streets I use the Overground/Underground a lot and this is what inspires my creativity. From the overhead electric lines carrying the static energy at night to the constant sounds of Emergency vehicles and the mad hustle of heels pounding the streets. It’s all in the album through subtle use of field recordings on my Iphone, this created the sound bed for me as a foundation for my drum machines and synths.
When the City gets too much we have amazing countryside with vast space creating subtle variety of noise which inspires the background and sometimes foreground of my music. If you listen carefully you might pick up on these throughout. Visually the sheer brutality of the City also inspires me, I’ll walk around and take photos with my 35mm camera and I’ll have these photos with me whilst I’m engineering sounds.
The textures from these photos help me create what I feel through the pictures. You can see this in use with the album cover, it’s a photo I took at the very beginning and inspired the whole concept. I love looking at a cover of an album and it being the gateway into the sound.
How would you say that the music scene has developed over the last few years in East London? Are there any particular venues that you love to check out for new music? Or record shops you particular dig in?
I don’t go out to any of the clubs or live shows all that much, but I do read the local magazines that show our local community to be very healthy, from the big venue PRINTWORKS to the smaller but no lesser CAFE OTO.
The reason I mention this is because I’m an Extroverted Introvert, I’m happy to perform my album live when the opportunity presents itself and I love to be in front of a crowd from my days of Dj’ing, but I’m very shy and anxious within a crowd and it takes me a day or so to recover on my own from any large event, I’m much more comfortable on a one on one connection.
Because of this I’m much happier going into my local cafe and picking up the zines and reading up on all the amazing new and local artists coming out of East London and London in General.
That means I’ll also buy my vinyl online from the record labels directly and enjoy listening at home to these. I’ll swap albums with friends because this helps me discover things I would not buy myself, but I get to discover new sounds that I could not of on my own.
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I proudly present my debut album release Desolate via Nanda Records. In that prevailing time, I was featured on B.Traits BBC Radio 1 Show, playlisted by Maceo Plex for his R1 Essential mix and Max Cooper's Balance Series, which is one of the most storied compilations in electronic music. Desolate displays a diverse use of deliberate and accidental sound-strokes, on a foundation of subaqueous undertones. Like a brush to canvas, I wanted to create a balanced composition, offsetting the negative space with enough contrast to ensure a dynamic and narrative intensity. With a vitality for creation and time to evolve, my auricular expansion has been the seed for Desolate. Presented is a depth of field and focus to experience in any given space. What begins with a heavy punch of 'The Carrier' flows into an electrified 'Altered Signal' puncturing the static air as it moves. Then it plunges into the acidity of 'Mawrth' before resting at 'Echo 5', evoking the midnight calm of a sleeping city, only for you to be reawakened by the chants that 'Envelope' develops, while title track 'Desolate' completes an underbelly of hypnosis. The album moves into the warehouse space with 'Over Circle', ending in the chaotic energy of 'Minus Four'. "Over the long period my album took to create, I channelled many emotions and experiences, whilst attempting to capture that 'first thought best thought' onto record. What ensued was a combination of hyper energy, deep exhaustion and sometimes anxiety. I present you with an honest record that hopefully is enjoyed from start to finish the same way I enjoy many other inspiring records that exist today. Thank you, Bryn." . . . . . . #desolate #techno #london #electronicmusic #korgminilogue #korgprologue #juno106 #rolandre501 #elektronmachinedrum #korgms10 #fieldrecordings #roland #korg #hackney #londontechno #itunes #spotify #beatport #googleplay #junodownload #soundcloudtechno #tidal #boomkat #amazonmusic #ableton #bxentric #album #musicalbum Thank You @andymcdonnell @teganellahendel @your_army_club_department @dispersion_pr @paulandrewsphoto @nandarecs @kudosrecords
During the curation of your album, you describe the process as being similar to painting on a canvas, utilising tools such as using a “brush” and having some intentional and less so errors which add humanisation to the work. When in the studio what are your go to pieces of hardware or software? Do you find you tend to start in the box or jam with analogue gear initially?
Each track takes around a month or so to create, initially utilising one synth and one drum machine. I would engineer the sounds in a small space and save these, along with my field recordings on my I phone. I’d then go to my friends studio who helps with the engineering.
It would take around a weekend period to complete the track in a haze of hyper energy. The main sounds are mostly prepared but then all jammed out in that one weekend by hitting record and crafting patterns to work with.
Sometimes these would stay as one long stem, creating the beat around it with my drum machines, sounds are sometimes cut to pieces to create new movements. Whatever it takes to realise my concept, it’s a mix of outboard and in the box.
Since the release of your Sakura Fall EP on your imprint Nanda Records, how would you describe the development of your sound? Would you say that your approach to your style of techno-esque production has refined or moved in a direction you may have not originally planned for?
The development of my sound has become more minimal, I’ve noticed less stems within the project and I’m more focussed on primary frequencies doing their job from top to bottom and not filling up to much bandwidth.
For instance this is very much the case on my track “The Carrier”, it’s just my Machinedrum and Moog DFAM with a layer underneath from the Korg Prologue supporting each other, with none fighting for their space in the mix.
Since my Ep I feel I’ve refined my awareness of what is required to create a song and that will always be an ongoing quest.
Would you say that you are more a digital or vinyl fan? Your previous Nanda releases have been pressed to 12″, would you say that there is a difference in sound quality or there is an aesthetic appeal to having a physical record over a digital one?
I’m neither more or less a fan of both, I will choose to listen to anything I enjoy on whatever medium it’s delivered on, that’s why I release on digital and vinyl. I started learning and performed as a Dj on turntables, so my dream was to release on Vinyl, I love the artwork presented on 12″s and also enjoy music wherever I am.
At home I’ll listen to my chosen albums on Vinyl and discover new music through the sites I enjoy to read online, streaming or downloading these. I love the warmth from Vinyl and the ease of Digital.
What else do you having coming up in the near future? Should we be keeping an eye out for any specific tour dates, releases or any other projects you would like to mention?
The album was a big project for me so I’ll be honest I’m really not planning on anything for the near future, but I am ready to welcome any opportunity that arises.
So that means I’ve no specifics to share with you sorry, other than I’m working out how to deliver an interesting live Audio/Visual performance next year, coinciding with the Album on Vinyl.
That’s really exciting to hear that a live performance may be on the horizon, we will keep our eyes peeled! Thanks for catching up with us today and hopefully see you again soon!
Bxentric’s ‘Desolate’ album is out on Nanda Records now – download/stream it here: http://hyperurl.co/wugfww