‘On My Deathbed / Journey to Truth’ out now via Aagoo Records.
Producer/composer TheUse, the solo project of Michael Durek, has joined forces with the enigmatic Rachel Mason for ‘On My Deathbed’, the lead track from his latest 7 inch. Setting her mysterious vocals to an English translation of the poetry by Xu Lixhi, the FoxConn worker from China who committed suicide leaving behind a wealth of poetry exploring and unveiling the plight of Chinese migrant workers, the track is a trance-like and jittery offering that is as mesmerising as it is unnerving.
The song will feature in the documentary Who Pays The Price? The Human Cost of Electronics which focuses on a Chinese activist with leukemia who is assisting young workers poisoned on factory assembly lines. The video for the song, featured above, focuses on the Occupy Wall Street riots, drawing focus on the dissatisfaction of the working person and the growing divide between the elite and everyone else.
Also featuring on the 7 inch is ‘Journey to the Truth feat. Black Saturn and Charvak R. Jagtap’, with Black Saturn providing lyrics while Jagtap supplies classical tabla. You can check that out below.
To celebrate the release, Durek has curated a mix of his favourite tunes under the theme of Nothing’s Ever Lost, as inspired by the lead track from the mix by The Sun Betas Down.
TheUse’s Nothings Ever Perfect Mix
How do I make a perfect mix for Overblown Magazine, and what is sludge metal? As a typical American mutt, I myself am a mix. I grew up religiously attending American Irish Association picnics, in virtue of the Irish side of my family being WAY more enthusiastic than the Slovak side. (Note below: the large “Proud to be Irish” hat I’m sporting, the green pants on my mum, the Irish sweater on my brother Patrick).
Maybe I’m not a perfect mix of Irish, Slovak and German. But you know what? Nothing’s Ever Perfect, as Django Voris’s solo project, The Sun Beats Down, soothes us reassuringly. The title of his track became the theme for this here mix, so let’s just get that right out in the open.
1. The Sun Beats Down – Nothing’s Ever Perfect
A driving force behind the South Street Seaport’s Little Water Radio, Django Voris walks the line between synth pop and textured ambient soundscapes. Debuting this new track here, which is peppered with fat basslines and catchy melodic hooks.
2. The Strange Walls – White
The Strange Walls have a campy beauty that’s as authentic and unavoidable as any I’ve ever heard. It’s as if they have no choice but to make the music they do. I have admired Jon Vomit Worthley’s hopeless dedication to song-writing and pretty melodies for 7 years. With the recent addition of vocalist Regina Yates, and along with Dan Drogynous, their sound has crystallized.
3. Letters To Nepal – Lonely Trees
Letters to Nepal is a duo from Siberia now based in Brooklyn. They put edge on pleasant chord progressions and dissonance on top of sweet melodies, pitch-shifted vocals and live-finger-tapped electronic drums. It’s the kind of pop music I would like to hear more of on the radio and in shopping malls.
4. TheUse – Journey To Truth feat. Black Saturn and Charvak R. Jagtap
I met Charvak just before playing with him to a huge outdoor crowd in Thane, India at Upvan Arts Festival. His poise and skill struck me, and when I got back to the states he sent me a tabla track. Black Saturn’s musings have inspired me since I first heard his track “Minor Affliction”. In this track, just out on Aagoo records, he speaks about the imagination. The rest is vocoded, as they say.
5. Your Grace Adrianna Natalie
Your Grace does it. It’s an experimental hard beats and IDM music that you can move to. This track is something I could hear on Warp Records, but this track is from her debut her EP on Alrealon Musique, coming out later this month. It is pulsing, morphing, and at times even harsh.
6. Jahiliyya Fields – Galcit 210 (LIES-060)
I met Matt from Jahilliya fields in a radical arts space in Indonesia, called Ponti. This space would not be a surprise in Brooklyn, or in any college town in the USA, but it was apparently one of the only sort of arts establishments in Jakarta. Jahiliyya Fields, equipped with Modular synths, creates a sea of complex hypnotizing rhythms.
7. JOHN 3:16 / Mark Harris
Mark Harris is based in the West Midlands, and has a strong interest in systems and generative processes in music. JOHN 3:16 is the nom-de-plume of Philadelphia, USA-based Philippe Gerber, former frontman with Heat From A Dead Star. Together on this Little Crackd Rabbit Records release, they take this mix around a darker turn.
8. Zs – Corps
I met Sam Hillmer aka Diamond Terrifier, at Envoy Enterprises Gallery in Manhattan, where we put on an intimate show with Rachel Mason and Neil Harbisson. Later I discovered Sam’s project Zs, and was pulled in by it’s next-level sound featuring Saxophone, electronics, and now the drums of Greg Fox. Noisy, but technical, they are an ever-evolving mainstay of Northern Spy.
9. Pas Musique and Chester Hawkins – Sleep the Storm
Chester Hawkins was visiting Robert L. Pepper in Brooklyn, when hurricane Sandy struck. The transportation shut everything down for a good while, so Chester and Robert had a fruitful recording session while they were hunkered down. Some were released later on the Alrealon Label. You can hear and feel the storm in here.
10. X-NAVI:ET – Amen
X-NAVI:ET, project of Rafal Iwanski of Hati and Alameda 5. He is based in Torun, Poland but has played in New York a number of times via Unsound Festival and ISSUE, at Experi-MENTAL Festival, and more. Hypnotic loops in this track provide a smooth, yet eerie landing, in what flailing aspires to be the impossibly perfect mix.
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