Multi-faceted Bronx artist and co-founder of Oakland company Deepblakmusic Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences just released his fourth long-length effort via Bill Kouligas’ PAN. Circuitous is a psychedelic journey from hip-hop abstractions, East Coast’s 90s house, free jazz, indigenous African and Latin rhythmical explorations looking for a universal language able to marry different tempos and rhythms. From Cairo to the stars, the proper Afrofuturistic sound inspired by the king and astral traveler Sun Ra, 80s electro DJ Afrika Bambaataa and sci-fi writer Octavia Butler.
Visual works by Matthieu Levanchy
It’s not so easy to get a read on experimental musician Jeff Witscherhas’sound, whose releases previously appeared on labels like NNA Tapes and Type: from drone to techno going through computerized chamber music and other unclassifiable styles. Hi first record for PAN is a sort of organic electroacoustic music and much of his effort was written in ariports as you can hear in the record. His goal is to create pieces that all draw from the same palette and repeated listens reveal melodies that aren’t immediately obvious, but hidden in this loopeseque architecture. Stream here Var_len.
Photo: Raphaël Halin
London-based sound artist Luke Younger aka Helm, after Impossible Simmetry – his third full length record- will release soon release a new effort. Silencer EP is due out September 10 on PAN and Younger’s own Alter label. Electroacoustic elements, glacial drone meditations, repeating patterns, cryptic synth scrabble and buckled tape FX to create metaphysically affective atmospheres, all coalesced in a post-industrial fashion. Wow.
Photo: Grace Gloria Denis
Bill Kouligas’ PAN Records has been one of the best labels of 2012. Steven Warwick aka Heatsick one of the most talented artists. We’ve had a conversation.
EC: Your music is often dance oriented but with lo-fi sounds. Could you please tell us how your live setup changed during years and how does it sound today? What about the relationship between you and your Casio keyboard?
H: It hasn’t changed. I still play under the same set up. However, i’m not bound to it. It can change, and it will. I am a bit weary of being labelled under some “Casio house” label, as I feel the music transcends that expectation. If anything, it’s about maximal results from a limited, volatile set up. I have played bills in the past where you have people with a whole table of equipment, yet you feel very disconnected from the sound, I wonder if they re even playing half of it.
EC: Are you more inspired by Chicago house, musique concrete or you’d prefer more to mention psychedelia as inspiration source? Would you like to talk about your background?
H: Lots of different sources really. I like the editing and chopped up voice in both musics that you mentioned. It’s funny with musique concrete, as it’s not merely “music”, there’s more happening there and I think that’s also what interest me about it. I do listen to so called “experimental” music, but I find the name so limiting. There are more connections going on there, and not merely musical ones. My music could be called psychedelic, I find it a catch all term. Lots of music can be psychedelic, it’s not genre specific, so to speak. I’m equally inspired by non musical sources as musical ones.
Heatsick ‘Déviation’ (PAN 29) from PAN on Vimeo.
EC: What are your current listenings and your favourite records ever?
H: It’s always changing, as I listen to lots of music, and I normally come back to it. I’ve just finished an LP, so I spent most of the time listening to that. Normally when I’m making a record I don’t really listen to similar sounding music, as I need a break! Like I said, I haven’t really been listening to much, but when I have it’s been more classical music.
EC: EC usually likes to create weird combination between visual and music. Could you explain us more about the title Intersex inspired by the work of German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld? Do you think music and sexuality can be somewhat associated?
H: Well the link was more an anti genre gesture. I was making the point of music and then sexuality operating on a constantly sliding scale, recurring and disappearing, in flux. I think people do associate music and sexuality together, especially when dancing is involved.
EC: The artwork of every PAN release is very well-groomed and recognizable. How the collaboration between Bill, Kathryn and the artist is managed?
H: We discuss the artwork a lot, and I usually approach them with ideas of how I would like it to look, and also the ideas contained in it. We bounce ideas back and forth until we come up with something that we are all satisfied with.