Cxemcast 073 – Ausschuss
In 2014, you’ve returned to Berlin after living in Brighton for seven years. Both cities have thriving electronic music scenes, however, their sonic signatures are quite different. How did your British experience influence your current position as an artist on Berlin experimental scene?
UK music is a big inspiration for me, and my British experience was mainly just exposure to that. At the time I was too young to get into clubs, so I would just buy records and listen at home. Listening to club music within the actual context of a club was something I only got to do when I was back in Berlin.
So, what has changed since you’ve moved to Berlin, then?
Since 2014, my day-to-day vibe has definitely changed a lot. I had a lot more of a chill lifestyle before that, but now I am really enjoying operating from here. It’s a very allowing space to do projects, with very little limitations. I’ve just had the summer off from studying, so I have completely lacked any routine for a while now, but soon I’ll be back to school every day.
You study fashion, don’t you?
As of last year, I’m doing a degree in it. I’m trying my best to find time for music still!
You’ve been writing music for a few collection launches (Nike x Sacai, Marieyat, Affix), and have already designed some clothes in collaboration with a Japanese brand Radd Lounge. Do you plan any future collaborations of this kind?
I’ve been very lucky so far, with all the collaborations being very interesting processes for me, as they’ve all been quite different. I have some collaborations I am working on at the moment that I am really excited about.
In German, your moniker Ausschuss means “rejects”, usually regarding physical goods. You’ve said in the interview for The Astral Plane that fashion is an area you would like to work in even more frequently. Aren’t you afraid that working with the fashion medium reinforces the vicious cycle of wasteful consumerism and conspicuous consumption?
Ausschuss does mean “rejects”, but it refers to rejects that still end up being sold, often on the side or as damaged goods — I like the character things have when they are slightly off.Pollution is a huge issue, especially within the fashion industry. It’s really crucial to be actively working with more considerate and sustainable methods and logistics both in fashion and music. There is a growing number of smaller designers and studios working on implementing and promoting a more considerate approach to production and growth which is really exciting to see!
Do you think is it important for an artist to engage with political issues? Do these topics get expressed in your music?
It’s important for anyone, regardless of their field of work, to engage with political issues around them, especially in the past few years. Whether it is something that is done in public or in private doesn’t matter to me. I spent my formative years in the UK and engage a lot with UK politics still, for example, but I don’t think my political views and opinions are something I actively express or try to communicate with my work.
Your debut album, Room 1, was released on Haunter Records earlier this year. What do you like about Haunter Records’ sound?
I have been a fan of Haunter for a long time now. Daniele and Francesco, with whom I connected through a mutual friend, are really amazing selectors, and artists too. They’ve consistently released a lot of my favorite artists — Inna Babalon by John T. Gast is one of my favorite records.
In Room 1, you’ve somewhat moved away from the harshness of your earlier dancefloor-ready works to more melancholic sound. What were the circumstances in which you’ve made this stylistic transition?
The record was made during one of Berlin’s long and pretty dark winters, and the city felt a lot hazier and more sluggish than it had in a long time. I spent most of that winter holed up in an attic room recording and going for late night walks.
By the way, what does the room in the album’s title stand for? Did you have a real place in mind, or was it rather about general fascination in spatiality?
A bit of both — some spaces exist, some are made up. Every track has its own space sonically, and I recorded small clips in certain places as well. In the track Room1, the siren is a recording from my room on a day when I had endless sirens going past my street, and it really places the record for me personally. All the tracks reflect that wintertime in Berlin for me, and all the tracks are self-contained spaces in which things happen, but often end similarly to how they started. Actually, the record was a lot about that, you are going through certain motions just to end up almost exactly where you started.
Manga and films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell have been a big influence on you, as you’ve noted in other interviews. Also, you had mentioned that you’ve been referencing mood boards with film stills and works of designers you appreciate as a part of your workflow. What is your way of transforming visual inspiration into sonic matter?
In recent years I’ve moved from images to writing. I collect phrases and words I see around that appeal to me and put them on my wall at my desk, and try to sort them over time, how I think they would sound.
Do you feel that working with textual stuff is easier or yields more interesting results, or is it that you’ve decided to dedicate your fascination with visual artworks solely to fashion projects?
Right now it feels right for me to be working with texts, but I am open to finding new and different ways to work always. Reserving visual work only for one practice would feel constricting.
Interviewed by Mykhailo Bogachov.