What has the last year been like, what have you missed most?
The last year has been one of ups and downs. A certain heaviness still hangs over the city, as we process the trauma of the pandemic. The sequence of events highlighting systemic injustice has piled onto the negativity in this time of crisis. A recent bright spot is the ramped distribution of the vaccine which hints at a return to normalcy. I miss outdoor events, and generally not feeling like we’re in the middle of a Black Mirror episode.
Did you learn anything about yourself, are there any positives?
I came to a new understanding of things that were holding me back both as a person and an artist, which enabled me to set out systematically addressing them. One of my strongest takeaways from this process is the importance of consistency, structure and patience.
How did you link with the Undermind crew for your recent release “Reflections”?
I’m a founding member of Undermind. I linked up with the other co-founders when I first came to New York a few years ago. I was introduced to Marco through my brother, and met Dylan and Stefan shortly thereafter. They had been organizing events and DJing in the underground scene for a while. The first time we all met up as a group was at Congee Village in the Lower East Side. We talked about music, the NYC underground scene, and ideas for throwing our own unique events with emerging artists, while fostering a positive and safe environment. Thus, Undermind was founded.
What was the inspiration behind the new tunes for them?
I started producing the Reflections EP during the onset of the pandemic. I wanted to give shape to isolation and memory simultaneously; warm yet cold; nostalgic, yet fragmented and disembodied; the many sentiments we collectively experienced during the lockdowns.
What gear did you use, are you a hardware or software person?
I usually use a combination of both. I have a Subseq 37 and Minilogue XD which I’m always tweaking patch libraries on, and I use a lot of u-he soft synths as well as Soft Tube’s Euro-rack Emulator.
What is the New York scene like right now? What’s good, what parties and artists do you recommend?
The scene in New York is slowly emerging from a relative standstill until the pandemic has subsided, so any parties happening are speakeasy style. The live music community will see a lot more opportunities once restrictions are lifted, as many of the groups which once dominated the scene face new competition.
I always enjoy seeing Dixon when he is in town — he brings out the best traits of the New York techno scene. When things return to normal, I would love to see Nakadia when she comes to New York — her DJ sets at the Berlin Love Parade always inspire me.
How much does the city inspire you at all? Influence your sound, given its rich history?
New York has such a lengthy, historic role in underground music, and you feel it when you’re here. The organic and industrial juxtaposition, the freedom of expression. It’s refined my approach to writing music, and I meticulously try to represent that in the sound.
What are you most proud of so far in your life/career?
I’m proud of the work I put in to get to this point. I’ve spent years teaching myself recording techniques, mastering production software and developing a sound that was unique to my experience. Even though I struggle and feel lost at times, the experience makes me hungrier.
What have you got coming up?
I have a few more EPs scheduled to release with Undermind over this year, which are darker, more primal sounds. I’m in a really comfortable place with the story I’m trying to tell with my music and I’m really excited to get started on new material with what I have waiting to be released.
What are you most looking forward to when things return?
Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring new restaurants in the city — you won’t find a better place to enjoy global fare. As an artist, I hope to return to planning and performing at live events, as we’ve had some very exciting developments in the visual narrative that will begin rolling out this year.