What’s the direction that you’re looking to go in right now? Are there any styles of dance music that are inspiring you?
Yeah, for sure. I’m obsessed with Kumo 99 and any dark electronic music. I love French techno, it’s the main reason I started producing – it’s just fucking cool! Especially if you’re from New Jersey where it’s all about artists like Skrillex, the bigger the better. The bigger the car the bigger the nails. Hearing French techno when I was in college, I was like, ‘Hell yeah! This is exactly what the doctor ordered’.
Is that a direction you’d like to move in? Heavier, darker music?
Definitely! I think ‘UP N DOWN’ is undeniably a techno tune, but I think the techno world can also be super pretentious. Ironically, the best artists don’t take it seriously at all. From my understanding, artists like Gesaffelstein are out here in LA working with rappers and making pop music and shit, so it’s like, do whatever you want with no rules.
‘Freak Baby’ came out recently – you said this track acknowledges your “dysfunctional adulthood”. Could you tell me a bit about that?
I had just moved into this temporary sublet in Bushwick last spring and was sending some ideas back and forth with my friend Aaron, whom I’ve sort of welcomed into my world. My first EP was produced entirely by myself, there were some writer credits from my friend Nick with who I learned to use Ableton. But Aaron does a lot on these new tunes. My philosophy is that most people in this business and even in the audience aren’t going to consider that I produced them, they’re always going to just assume I’m a singer or vocalist, so there’s no harm in bringing other people on board. I don’t need to be precious. ‘Freak Baby’ just came about really quickly, probably within a week we had the demo almost finalised. It’s not a very poetic tune, you know, it’s pretty direct. The pre-chorus talks about ‘we don’t care how far away we have to go to get away from home’. That’s more a reflection of being an adolescent, you find a lot of beauty and romance in pain, but as you become an adult and the stakes get higher and you have to pay rent and bills, it’s not cute anymore. I go from this dreamy moment to this serious like, I’m fucking deranged and need to sort my shit out. There’s this acknowledgement, it’s very direct, and I wanted to bounce between the two.
Do you think that, as a singer, people tend to overlook the fact that you produce your own music too?
Oh, 100%. No matter what I do, that will always be the case. Even last night, I was hanging out with some friends who had heard my music before we connected in person. We were just chit-chatting and getting to know each other, and they were all like, ‘wow, you produce as well? That’s pretty cool’. It’s just the way it is, and it’s always been this way. It used to hurt.
What can we expect from ‘ANG3L NUMB3RS’?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Machine Girl and stuff that exists on the periphery of hyperpop. I know Jimmy Urine is cancelled, but I’ve also been listening to a lot of Mindless Self Indulgence because it’s something I listened to a lot when I was about 12 – also Kumo 99 and that kind of aggressive electronic music. I think Atari Teenage Riot are a big inspiration for this project, it’s trying to bridge the gap between this skits cyberpunk stuff and dream-pop. I think that dichotomy encapsulates what we’re all going through right now, we’re teetering between the extreme of everything… ‘nothing matters, let’s party, let’s not have kids’. Or like, ‘hope is the answer, angel numbers!’. It’s just finding a balance, but everything is manic right now and I think everybody’s feeling scared. It’s end times, this is the fifth or sixth great extinction. ‘ANG3L NUMB3RS’ is my acknowledgement of that.
Outside of that, what’s next for you?
I’m always putting playlists together, and I’m always putting mixes together in Ableton, so I’d like to become a strong live mixer and be a part of the scene in the flesh. We’ve been online for such a long time, I think everybody’s longing for a stronger sense of community, which might also have to do with the fact that it’s end times and community makes us feel safer. But yeah, just going out in the flesh mixing and DJing. With my detached nature, I can be pretty obsessive with everything I do, and I want to do it well. I don’t want to be cheap about it. I want to know my shit and be good at what I’m doing.
Can you tell us about your Impact mix?
Motivated by both a deep love – and repugnance – of NYC’s post-pandemic scene, I still feel like there are some sonic and emotional voids in the city that need plumbing. I idealise the atmosphere of New York City’s ‘80s clubbing golden age. All you need to do is watch footage of the way people moved their bodies at these parties to understand. If I was throwing a house party, this is what you’d hear – a set doused in my own personal taste and bias. As another young person raised on shuffle, this comes with a degree of chaos and inconsistency, like the track selection. With our collectively shortened attention spans, however, I don’t see that as a bad thing (as much as I like going zombie mode and vegging out to the same kick pattern for hours on end).
This mix is actually.. mixed. Intro’d with a playful Sextile remix and punctuated with two emotional and personal heavy-hitters – ‘Adjacent Casualty’ by Kumo99 and ‘I Am Not a Casualty’ by Louisahh and Maelstrom. Keyword: Casualty. I’m not afraid to drop some cringe or profundity or poetry. Maybe a song here and there that isn’t electronic at all. Dancing and clubbing, to me, is sacred catharsis. I want to tailor an atmosphere for people who desire the same release.
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Sextile – CRASSY MEL (AirBall Electro Mix)
Spike Hellis – Mouth
Sega Bodega – Kepko (Boys Noize Remix)
Léonie Pernet – Les Chants de Maldoror (Para One Remix)
Im Kellar – Im kellar
Where Do You Go (DJ Topgun Remix)
Boy Harsher – Electric (Kris Baha Remix)
David Löhlein – Bad Bitch
Body Beat Ritual – Teethgrinder
Locked Club – It’s My Rave
LSDXOXO – DEATH RATTLE
Giant Swan – Pandaemonium
DRES – Pick6
SWAN MEAT – SUCKLING GROWN
Vladimir Dubyshkin – 1 rural woman
Psycho Boys Club – YSL
Devault and the Bloody Beetroots – Hold On
Pixel Grip – ALPHAPUSSY
Schwefelgelb – Balancier Dich
I Hate Models – Werewolf Disco Club
Randomer – Sleep of Reason
Angel Emoji – darkest night
Basslyn (Extended Mix)
kumo 99 – Adjacent Casualty
Maelstrom & Louisahhh – I AM NOT A CASUALTY
Written by: Tim Hopkins