8ULENTINA Blends R&B, Ballroom, And Mahraganat In Club-Ready Batch Of Edits

Release artwork courtesy of the artist

Oakland DJ, producer, and curator Esra Canoullar, aka 8ULENTINA, today shares a club-ready pair of edits called 8ULENTINA BLENDS. The tracks, which THUMP is delighted to premiere today, find the Club Chai co-founder coaxing unexpected registers of feeling out of softer R&B by Mila J and Tink, pairing their work with more exultant, bustling instrumentals in the ballroom and mahraganat genres. The release celebrates a special occasion, too: Club Chai’s first ever London party this Friday, presented in collaboration with Tobago Tracks.

The artist gave THUMP some backstory for 8ULENTINA BLENDS via email. “My mixes combine diasporic sounds with western club or vocals,” they said. “I have accumulated a lot of blends using non-Western instrumentals and R&B vocals, and I don’t produce a lot of club tracks, so these two releases are a taste of my mixing. The first one is Mila J’s track ‘Next Up’ mixed with DJ Delish’s ‘banjcunt harami mami bootleg,’ and the second is an Amr 7a7a instrumental ‘ ‘ mixed with Tink’s track ‘What is Real.’ I love the way downtempo emotional femme R&B can come together with celebratory rhythms like mahraganat in the club.”

Earlier this year, 8ULENTINA curated the DISMISS U compilation, which they described as “a sonic dialogue highlighting difference within the diaspora in resistance to generalisations and false notions of solidarity.”

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Boiler Room Open Up About Their Ill-Fated Weekender Festival: "We Need To Organize Ourselves Better If We Really Value Safe Spaces"

Photos by Tom Keelan

Last weekend, the debut Ray Ban x Boiler Room Weekender festival in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania was shut down prematurely after police arrested an attendee for possession of marijuana and suspected cocaine. Many festival guests and performers criticized the police officers and security guards at the festival for using overly-aggressive tactics to control the crowd, as well as specifically targeting people of color for extra security checks. On Monday, Boiler Room released a statement that also condemned the “unnecessary display of force against attendees” as “wildly inappropriate,” adding that they were deeply sorry for what happened after spending a year working towards creating a “safe, open, Split Rock Resort and the surrounding community had never experienced anything like this. Is there a danger in taking a party like Ghe20 G0th1k out of the context and scene that it belongs innamely, the New York undergroundand putting it into a new environment like a rural town that wasn’t ready or willing to accept its crowd of queer POC?

Boiler Room: There’s always a risk to measure when taking a large portion of people from a cosmopolitan environment to a rural environment but to be clear, we were fully transparent with Split Rock and the local community about what they should expect, and the resort management welcomed it. They had done their research about us, and all the artists, crews, collectives well ahead of time, and didn’t outline or identify to us any crowd or event they were particularly concerned about.

We’re still in the process of gathering as much information as possible to get a full picture of what transpired throughout the course of the weekend and who should be held accountable for misconduct, but at the moment all signs point towards a handful of individuals from the resort security and local police responsible for the incidentsnot an attitude or directive across the board that points towards targeting people of color or queer people.

I spoke to some cops who told us they were happy to see the event happen and welcomed our diversity so I think we need to be careful with painting a picture of a racist police force and hotel staff who had pre-conceived plans of busting certain people. There are good cops and bad cops, let’s not forget that. It seems to me like there are a few bad apples that are responsible for ruining the entire event, but we still need more information to gather before coming to a conclusion.

There was a lot of surveillance throughout the weekend via the live streams in every roomdid you have video footage of the police harassment and arrest caught on camera? What did you do with the cameras once the arrest happened, and why?

We don’t have any footage from our broadcast showcasing police harassment or any arrestsall of it happened outside of performance rooms, which were the only spaces Boiler Room was filming at length. Once the police shut us down and we decided to handle the evacuation, we turned the cameras off and did our best to get every one back to their room as fast as possible. Our number one priority at that point was artist and guest safety, and de-escalating tension as the cops were very close to calling back up.

“Safe spaces are a moving target that require ongoing dialogue and work to establish and maintain.”

What does this incident say about the idea of “safe spaces” in nightlife? Are they a myth?

What it says is that there’s a lot we, as in the arts and culture community, need to do to advance our agenda of safe spaces in nightlife. We are far behind places like Amsterdam and Berlin when it comes to this, and this incident reminds us that we need to mobilize and organize ourselves better if we really value this issue.

I don’t think safe spaces are a myth, but they are a moving target that require ongoing dialogue and work to establish and maintain. We’re learning each day how to better work with and for our community to create spaces in which everyone feels safe. What transpired at the Weekender has pushed us to work harder toward that mission and to look to the community for input on how we can get there together.

What have you learned from this, and what would you have done differently? Are there plans to do the festival again next year? If so, will it be in the same place?

Don’t think anyone of us will be back to that place, and trying to do again next year at Split Rock would be a mistake. That being said, those few hours at the end should not erase the two days of beautiful cultural harmony that we all witnessed. Our objective was to build something from the bottom up, and support artists, crews, collectives from all over the country and the world to co-exist in an artistic environment as a social experiment that would bring about a ripple effect of inspiration and innovation.

I think we achieved that to a large extent despite the security issues, and it’s really important to mention Ray-Ban’s role in supporting us in this vision and believing in it from the beginning. The Weekender will happen again bigger and better, especially after the overwhelming demand from people to bring it back, just not at Split Rock.

What was Boiler Room trying to accomplish with this event that it hadn’t attempted before? Why try to bring together virtual experience with immersive, real space experience? Where there utopian ideals behind this? Would you rethink that model now?

Our main goal with The Weekender was to elevate our signature event design to a festival level without doing a traditional festival. We wanted to take the intimacy and uniqueness that people associate with Boiler Room in an environment that could welcome 3000 people over the course of 2 days. And to create a social experiment where we can cross-pollinate as many of the most cutting-edge artists, crews, collectives, and creatives in an environment where they could be inspired to learn from each other and share without it being forced or phoned in, and give access to anyone in the world to peek in and watch.

I would say that our ideals are progressive, not utopian. We are humbled to support underground scenes of diverse races, colors, and sexual orientations. This is the direction the world is going, not the other way around, and we want to be a catalyst for that change.

Follow Michelle Lhooq on Twitter

The Xx Announce New Album And Share Track, “On Hold”

Photo courtesy of label

The xx confirmed today the details of their latest album, I See You, which will be out on the Young Turks label on January 13. The 10-track record will be the British band’s third album, following 2012’s Coexist. It was recorded between New York, LA, London, Reykjavik, and Texas.

To mark the occasion, the xx shared a single off the album, “On Hold,” streaming below.

I See You tracklist:

1. Dangerous
2. Say Something Loving
3. Lips
4. A Violent Noise
5. Performance
6. Replica
7. Brave for You
8. On Hold
9. I Dare You
10. Test Me

THUMP Is Hosting Four Panels On The State Of The Dancefloor At BEMF This Weekend

The 2016 edition of Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival kicked off in our fair borough last weekend, but the good times are just getting started. In addition to hosting The Black Madonna b2b Mike Servito (aka, a coveted Servdonna set) at Analog BKNY this weekend, THUMP has teamed with BEMF to present an evening of four panel discussions. Starting at 4pm on Saturday, November 12th, we’ll be gathering at Williamsburg’s Kinfolk 94 to address important questions about what it means to be part of the electronic music community in 2016, whether you’re a clubber, a show organizer, a seasoned industry veteran, or one of the countless DJs and producers helping to shape the industry’s present.

Starting at 4PM, and streaming on Facebook Live, DJ Stretch Armstrong and Evan Auerbach will celebrate the pending release of their new book, No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999, with a discussion of the pivotal role of graphic design in the golden age of New York clubbing. Joined by designers Greg Homs and Eric Haze, plus Stress Entertainment’s Jessica Rosenblum, they’ll be doing a close-up on the exciting melting pot of cultures and musical styles that characterized the years 1988-1992, and how that period was fueled by a raw, new wave of creative party promotion.

Next, Mean Red’s Jen Lyons will moderate a discussion between THUMP editor-in-chief and AdHoc co-founder Emilie Friedlander and Basilica Soundscape founder and The Creative Independent editor-in-chief Brandon Stosuy on the challenges of putting out work you believe in and connecting with creative communities in an era of oversaturation. At 6PM, THUMP features editor Michelle Lhooq will bring together Discwoman’s Christine Tran, Fake Accent’s TYGAPAW, Papi Juice‘s Oscar N, and Techno Queers’ Tyler Pridgen for a discussion of the new queer dance floor, co-presented by VICE. Finally, at 7PM, NPR Music contributing editor Piotr Orlov will moderate a chat between DJ and promoter Benny Soto, GHE20G0TH1K’s Venus X, and House of Yes’s Kae Burke on the changing political, real estate, and cultural landscape of the dance music underground.

The talks will be followed by a special screening of THUMP’s 2016 documentary, J.A.Z and the Church of Episco-Disco, which chronicles a Charleston, South Carolina episcopalian minister turned DJ with a very special understanding of the ties between dance music and spiritual communion. RSVP on Facebook here. Hope to see you there

Max Eilbacher And Die Reihe's New Releases Represent Sound Art's Shapeshifting Possibilities

Max Eilbacher and die Reihe, photos courtesy of the artists.

The Vermont-born label NNA Tapes has long established itself as one of the United States’ premiere homes for genre-agnostic, boundary-pushing experimentationmusic united more in its forward-thinking approach than any specific sound or scene. In 2016 alone, they’ve been home to releases of drippy alien concrete from Wanda Group, the interstellar brass and woodwind drones of Travis Laplante & Peter Evans’ Secret Meeting, Tredici Bacci’s cosmic orchestral post-Morricone compositions (out tomorrow!), and Nerftoss‘ twisted take on house music.

The label’s curatorial choices cover a lot of ground, but it’s all music that favors expansion, redefinition, the sort of sounds that force you to reconsider and recontextualize your previous understanding of how genre works. Tomorrow, in addition to the previously announced release from Tredici Bacci, NNA is also putting out two cassettes as a special surprisenew tapes from die Reihe and Horse Lords member Max Eilbacher that uphold the label’s tradition of shapeshifting.

Die Reihethe recording project of New Yorker Jack Callahanreturns with Housed, a cassette that surveys the history of house music and comes up with something a little more warped. A press release notes that Callahan sampled over 250 house tracks from over 150 artists in the making of this two track release, and you can hear it in the jittery panic of these compositions. It’s a stuttering collage of organ snippets and cymbal hits, the sounds of the genre ripped from their skeleton to present something wonderfully formless and misshapen. Callahan apparently approached the organization in an aleatoric sort of wayrandomizing samples on the first piece and then arranging them shortest to longest on the secondbut if you cross your eyes enough structure starts to emerge, as if you can feel the dull throb that originally imbued these microscopic tracks even though they’ve been melted down and reconstituted.

As the bassist and electronics wrangler for the Baltimore band of rhythmic contortionists Horse Lords, Max Eilbacher does his share of limber, legible instrumental work. But the beauty of his new tape, Schizophrenia as Architecture, is that he can fade into abstraction and still make music with the same crackling sort of energy. Utilizing a modular setup in conjunction with field recordings and some spoken word samples, Eilbacher constructs four pieces that prize transformation above all else. Dipping and diving between panicky percussive sounds, syrupy static, and fragmented melodies before you can really latch onto any specific rhythm, it’s a record of constant motion, a forward momentum that comes from the twitchy diversity of the sounds that make it up.

Taken together, the two tapes offer a testament to the power of what sound art can doto look to the past or the future, and change the way you hear a specific set of sonic cuesdrawing structure from randomness or momentum from stillness. You can stream both releases here or snag the tapes over at NNA’s Bandcamp.

NTS Radio Opens A Studio In Los Angeles

Logo via NTS’s Facebook

London radio station NTS has today (November 10) launched its American home base in Los Angeles, and you can tune in right now over on the official website.

The station is based over in the Highland Park neighborhood (about eight miles northeast of Downtown LA) in the same building as Warp Records US and choice record store Mount Analog. For now, it will broadcast two days a week, on Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 AM 12 AM PST; though the plan is to expand the weekly programming in the future.

NTS Radio’s US expansion comes five years after it began broadcasting in London. In addition to opening headquarters in Manchester, UK, and Shanghai, China, has run from over 20 European cities including Berlin. Regular hosts have included Andrew Weatherall, Alexander Nut, Tim Sweeney, Ed Banger, and Livity Sound. THUMP profiled the station back in April.

Like its overseas counterparts, NTS LA’s programming will feature a wide range of musical styles. Upcoming hosts include British producer Bonobo, pop psych duo Peaking Lights, techno heavy-hitter and Sandwell District co-founder Silent Servant, local party promoters Fine Time and Moony Habits, former Black Flag member Henry Rollins, rising artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and Grimy Edits’ Zernell Gillie. View the full list below, and tune in here.

Gazelle Twin And Pantha Du Prince Talk Site, Space, And The Suburban Horror Of J.G. Ballard

This post ran originally on THUMP UK.

What do you want on a Friday night? A few quick pints after work, maybe a cheeky plastic tub of korma eaten with absolutely no remorse whatsoever, rounded off by a few furiously sweaty hours in a nightclub, safe in the knowledge that you probably won’t be in work the next day? That’s great and everything, but some people want more from the end of the week.

Two of those searchers and strivers are Hendrik Weber (AKA Pantha Du Prince) and Elizabeth Bernholz (better known as Gazelle Twin). This coming Friday sees them taking the stage at the Electric in Brixton, for the final part of this year’s edition of Illuminations, a series of events that seek to explore the relationship between music, film, and art, where they’ll be joined by Kompakt’s micro-manipulative maestro The Field.

The trio have come together to conduct a kind of experiment into the limitationsand advantagesthat come from using a traditional club space as a site for forward thinking electronic music. Ahead of the performance, we sat in on an incredibly interesting conversation between Hendrik and Elizabeth. Read the results below.

What can we expect from both Illuminations as a whole, and your shows in particular?

Pantha Du Prince: Expect nothing. The show is about taking the audience to the place I am in when I create music. Basically I try to give an insight into what happens to me when the music takes shape and comes into existence. My approach is something like a unification process of all the senses that we have as human beings. I try to provide an experience that gets close to what I experience when this whole process is rolling. It’s an atmospheric dance that evolves throughout the set and hopefully the audience will embrace the connection between the visuals and the audio.

Gazelle Twin: This show, Kingdom Come is based on the last novel by J.G. Ballard, which is very much a kind of English, suburban, horror landscape. It’s a very prophetic vision of where things are going which is eerie because I wrote it way before the whole Brexit thing happened. In a nutshell, it’s about suburban life becoming tribalised in the presence of an enormous shopping centre, which takes on an almost religious role. In a world of ruthless consumerism of emotional and cultural tolerance. You don’t need to know Ballard, or the book, or London’s suburbs to understand the show.

Both shows seem to be about the need to remove electronic music from the traditional club environment. Hendrik, you’re talking about taking people to this higher state of awareness, something more introspective and Elizabeth, you’re talking about it from a very political angle. Is that fair?

Pantha Du Prince: For me, it’s travellng with a community of people where I don’t know where we’re going but we all decide together. I always think it’s misleading to say that it is not a political act. I think there is a general misunderstanding of what is political and what is personal because the two are so intertwined, so I think it’s very important to put emphasis on this aspect of what “political” actually means and how society can change and how civilisation progresses. J.G. Ballard deals with that very high state of consciousness, where you almost hover in a dream state. It’s political information that’s also based on psychology. It’s how subconscious states and dream states are interconnected, and how that influences people on their political actions and everyday lives.

Thinking about the audio visual in a more general sense, how dependent is success on the use of venues?

Pantha Du Prince: My experience recently is that people want to see shows but don’t necessarily want to go to a club. And that turns the whole thing upside down. You redefine the space you’re in. We are at this turning point where people are more and more open and ready to receive new forms. What I think is important is that we create new spaces that are not predefined. It could be a challenge for museums, it could be a challenge for concert halls. Clubs feel limited now. For a time in my life, it was the biggest liberation I knew, but humankind has moved on and we need new formats. What you do, Elizabeth, is really interesting and challenging because it operates on all these levels where you can address people. Whereas when I started, these doors were closed, you couldn’t address people on these levels.

Gazelle Twin: My background is in classical music. I wanted to be composer and write music for orchestra and films, you know like sitting in the BBC Studio Maida Vale whilst a massive string orchestra plays my music. But that hasn’t happened. I started that route and quickly got incredibly bored of that traditional worldit has a lot of limitations that really frustrated me. When I went to concert halls, I would would want leave halfway through because everything was so stale and I would feel so tense in my seat because I couldn’t react to the music. That’s the problem with classical concerts: you want to punch the air, you want to physically act but you can’t. You wait just to clap.

With regular gigs, the venues were limited with the three bands a night set up. Everything was so rigid. Which is why anything vaguely theatrical is just seen as lavish and gimmicky. It’s not about that, it’s about everyone’s individual experience and about the message of the creator and you kind of have to shed everything and give yourself over to it. If it doesn’t reach you then that’s it. There’s such a fine line between the piece of music or performance reaching people or totally losing people. I’ve definitely experienced various signs of that. There was one experience had where I definitely thought that I had lost everyone. It was the very first performance I did of my last album Unflesh. I was invited to perform at the BFI in London as a support gig. I came dressed up in my hood and I was playing a really short set of demos mostly. I was stood of in front of this seated audience, all totally silent and I was just like this was so wrong, this is not going to come across at all, what am I doing here? I almost left during the show, I was so nervous. But because I had chosen costume and chose a kind of awkward physical performance, people actually were kind of reassuring and came up to me afterwards saying that it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

Can you name somewhere you would love to stage your music now that there are these new avenues you can pursue with electronic music and audio-visual performance?
Pantha Du Prince: I like to walk in the space and sit down and listen. I like to experience certain sonic architectures and as an artist I want to create them. This is something I find highly interesting and something that I am working on right now. I am looking to find funding actually, because there isn’t a specific format to adhere to. You could work with a theatre but then you’d have to stick with that format, or a museum, or a gallery where you’re in the art world and you have to deal with that scene. It’s something that I deal with all the time, like how do I define what I do and who connects?

One solution is to make completely acoustic music, to get away from the digital. But unlike Elizabeth, I don’t have any education in that sense. I learnt my music at home and played a lot of instruments but I was never really pushed into an education system. I found my own way to create and record music at a very early stage.

Elizabeth, have you had a think about somewhere?

Elizabeth: Yeah, one of the things that first came to mind was when I was commissioned to do the Kingdom Come show, was whether or not I would be able to get it performed in a shopping mall in the daytime. The ultimate contrast and the ultimate uncanny to really make something that cuts through so strangely into everyday life. There’s an artist called Mike Nelson, he creates totally believable spaces within art galleries so you would walk into a room that’s been all boxed off and suddenly you are in a minicab office in Iraq or somewhere. He will do it down to every single detailsmells, sounds, every prop, every object. I just found it so amazing, it was the ultimate art experience. It totally takes over all of my senses and makes me feel strange, confused, dizzy almost. If I can kind of try to recreate that with a live performance somehow, somewhere then I’d be very happy.

Pantha Du Prince and Gazelle Twin appear alongside The Field at Electric Brixton this Friday as part of the 2016’s Illumination series of events.

Pedram’s “Reaching” Video Is A Lo-Fi, Late-Night Love Story

When the night is young, anything can happenespecially if you’re living in a world soundtracked by Pedram. The Sheffield-based producer just last month released his latest EP, Delirious / Reaching, via Waze & Odyssey’s W&O Street Tracks label, offering up a pair of singles that exude more of his cinematic sound. It’s fitting, then, that he and photographer Netti Hurley teamed up to create a short film-like music video for the latter track.

Shot by Hurley on Video 8 and edited on an iPhone, the video for “Reaching” follows a young couple over a long night out, beginning with the two parties preparing separately for the dalliance ahead. Once they unite, it’s a blur of colors and locations, from a neon carnival to a red-lit dancefloor, until they head their separate ways at sunrise, presumably to get some sleep before doing it all over again.

Speaking with THUMP over email, Pedram describes the video as having a “sort of moody yet hopeful atmosphere of late morning drives around my old estate in the UK,” while Hurley adds that it “explores the way we deal with love and longing, documenting a youthful romance, amidst parties and the chaos of the city.”

Watch the video for Pedram’s “Reaching” above, and buy the EP here.

You Have One Hour To Pay What You Want For Wolf Eyes’ Music On Bandcamp

Photo by Alivia Zivich

In the somber wake of this week’s presidential election comes a way for people to support the arts and marginalized groups.

Detroit noise band Wolf Eyes announced yesterday that they were implementing a pay-what-you-want plan for most of their music catalog on digital retail site bandcamp. Sales will be donated to various charities as a show of the group’s solidarity to “its sisters, people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled, the poor, and all of our freaks out there experiencing systemic oppression under the white straight male order,” band manager Forest Juziuk wrote on his personal Facebook page.

Juziuk also wrote, “Although many hear Wolf Eyes as an ‘end of the world’ band, and surely it feels that way for many, our hope is that it too can be some light in the darkness.”

The message was posted yesterday at 10:45 AM PST, so that leaves fans roughly one hour to take advantage of the deal and support many people and groups in the process. Read the entire note below, and head to Wolf Eyes’ bandcamp here.

Shapednoise's New Single With Rabit Seeks The Beauty In Bedlam

Photo by Rebecca Cleal

Over the past half decade and change, the Italian-born and Berlin-based producer Shapednoise has been making tracks that feel like steamrollers. As his chosen moniker implies, he’s built up a reputation as a dedicated sculptor and designer of the world’s harsher soundsmolding cracks and hisses and rhythmic pandemonium into precise assaults that’ll bowl you over if you’re a little off-balance. But buried in the work that he’s made for labels like Hospital Productions, Opal Tapes, and Repitch (which he co-owns), is a desire for something grander, peaceful, beautiful evena slight glimmer of steely melody buried somewhere in the static.

It’s this line of his work that comes to the forefront on his new EP for the experimental-leaning label Type, Deafening Chaos Serenity. Enlisting likeminded producers Roly Porter and Rabit, the producer born Nino Pedone set about making music that embodied the title’s perceived dichotomy, exploring the ways we can find hope or peace in the midst of noise, love in the midst of chaos, sentiments that feel all the more pressing in light of the deafening reverberations of current events.

Today he’s sharing the record’s first single, a collaboration with Rabit called “Pulling at the Seams of Existence,” which follows through on the promise of this anarchic grandeur, piling distant drones and nauseous bass lines into a gloriously messy nine-minute assemblage of ear-splitting bliss. Underneath the roar, there’s tranquility. You can listen to that track below, in advance of the EP’s November 17 release date, alongside a brief email exchange with Pedone about his new record.

THUMP: There’s something in the press release that really struck me, the idea that this EP is in some way a “reconciliation with chaos.” Can you explain what this means?
Shapednoise: The record is about noise as serenity and harmony through chaos, in the sense that in an era of coercion, violence and manipulation something like noise, which is perceived as a disruption and chaos can actually be an outlet for psychic resistance and lead towards a harmonious vision of the universe’s dissonant complexity.

What do you see as the relationship between chaos and serenity, as linked in the title of the album? Do moments like the end of “Resistance to a Harmonious Vision” suggest that these ideas can exist in harmony or that they’re irreconcilable?
Yes, I believe that the two ideas can exist in harmony. Heinz Pagel, a great physicist, believed in a strong relationship between chaos, order and the evolution, because complex systems show a greater degree of spontaneous order than we would assume, and this aspect was completely ignored in the evolutionary theory. I believe that such theories can be related metaphorically, today, to many different contexts, such as music. My music could be perceived as a noisy big complex chaos, and perhaps in the beginning it can be difficult to listen to, but if you do listen carefully then you realise that every sound has its own specific place, in a peacefully coexisting order.

What drew you to work with Roly Porter and Rabit? They seem like kindred spirits in the way they mold harsher sounds.
I decided to work with Roly and Rabit because I really love the way they shape sounds and take care of sound design in their productions. They both have a really personal style. I respect a lot their vision of music and creativity, and there is also a really good feeling and communication between us, which is really important when you work together with other artists.

You’ve talked before about the value of thinking of your work as sculpturalis that something you were thinking about on this release as well?
Yes, this is something that I was also focusing a lot on while and I weren’t able to work in the studio together, so at first we exchanged ideas and files via email. I started creating some sounds, these very physical random percussion drums and the reese bass line. When I sent them to Eric, I didn’t give him any particular guideline because I wanted him to feel free to express himself. He added some extra sound designs, the very metallic synths and the melodic drone/pad lines. We then arranged the track and gave it its final form during the mixdown fase. As Rabit says it’s an attempt to explore different modes of thought, so we hope people will explore through it.

Hudson Mohawke Shares Soaring New Track From His Album, “Play N Go”

Photo courtesy of the label

Glaswegian producer Hudson Mohawke has shared a new single from his forthcoming album, Watch Dogs 2, ahead of its release tomorrow on Warp Records. The track, “Play N Go,” soars, clangs, and glitters throughout its four-minute duration, punctuated by grandiose, drawn-out chords that could make club walls crumble at the right volume. Listen to it below.

Watch Dogs 2 is HudMo’s third album following last year’s Lantern. It also serves as the official soundtrack to Ubisoft video game Ded SecWatch Dogs 2, which is set in San Francisco and follows the main character, hacker Marcus Holloway, as he teams up with the Dec Sec collective to dismantle a shady operating system controlling city infrastructure. As the producer noted upon sharing “Play N Go” yesterday, the game “ironically… has a parody Shkreli” in it. “Picked a hell of a week to move to the US,” he added.

Listen to the first single from the album, “Shanghaied.” Following the album’s release tomorrow, the video game arrives on November 15.

Like Donald Trump’s Victory, The Boiler Room Weekender Exposed Liberal America’s Blindspots

Photography by Thomas Keelan.

Rural Pennsylvania. An expanse of rolling hills and changing leaves, that, over the past 4 days, has played host to two distinct events demonstrating the failure of the liberal imagination to comprehend America’s fraught political environment.

The more visible of these events was, of course, the election of Donald Trump. On Tuesday night, voters hailing all the way from the Susquehanna Valley to the Allegheny River defied the polls and the pundits and voted for Trump, the first time a Republican presidential candidate has won the state in decades. A combination of weak turnout in liberal bastions like Philadelphia and an unexpected surge of voters in rural and suburban areas was responsible for delivering the Republican candidate his shocking winone replicated in swing states across America, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Hampshire.

At least, it felt shocking to me. I’m from the Bay Area, I’m white, I live in New York, and I work in the media, surrounded by progressives. I know a few Republicans, but not a single Trump supporter. For the last six months, I’ve only been aware of them as an unseen force amassing on polling maps in places where people like me have few connections. Their opinions don’t enter the cocoon of my social media feed, where Facebook’s ad servers index me as “very liberal,” and where ideological battles tend to rage between the center left and the far left.

When Trump’s victory actually came to pass, my responseand that of everyone I knowwas disbelief. How could someone with demonstrably racist and sexist viewsviews that have no place in the modern world as we’ve imagined itbe the man we elect as president in 2016? After the shock wore off, Trump’s victory raised a frightening thought; these voters who’d emerged seemingly out of nowhere have been here along, and we just haven’t been able or willing to see them. The election felt like a repudiation by middle America of the liberal media itself, and of the wider bubble of thought that media exists within; we felt like our hashtag activism and eloquent think-pieces were getting our points across, but as it turned out we’d been talking to ourselves all along.

In his 2016 documentary, HyperNormalization, British filmmaker Adam Curtis posits that “we have retreated into a simplified and often completely fake version of the world,” one where social media and internet echo chambers allow us to construct curated, utopian versions of reality that have nothing to do with the reality around us. He has a point: over the past year, “Unfollow me if you support Trump” emerged as a recurring refrain on our newsfeeds. At first, it felt like a justified response: if you hate something and it makes you feel unsafe, why engage with it? It’s an approach that works just fine until the things you’ve tried to lock away strike back when you’re feeling most securelike Tuesday night, when coastal liberals watched in disbelief as a sea of red swept across the electoral map.

But for a certain contingent of music loversnamely, those hailing from the small, hyper-liberal bubble of experimental electronic musicit felt like deja vu. This past weekend, Boiler Room and Ray-Ban teamed up to present the first ever Boiler Room Weekender at the Split Rock Resort in rural Pennsylvania. The festival put up some 3,000 festival-goers for free in the resort’s luxurious sprawl of cabins and villas and offered them two days of stacked programming, with headliners like Blood Orange, Virgil Abloh, and Kamasi Washington alongside a selection of buzzy GHE20G0TH1K affiliates like MikeQ and Kamixlo.

On Saturday night of the festival, police arrested a young woman who was allegedly attempting to bring what a police report would refer to as “a small amount of marijuana and suspected cocaine” into the GHE20G0TH1K stage; a crowd gathered, people began filming, event security tried to take their phones, and then the festival shut down early. As night rolled into morning, social media erupted with allegations of racist policing. What promised to be a fun weekend quickly turned into a rude awakening. Days before the election we’d found ourselves in the middle of Trump country, and a phrase I’d heard some festival-goers use to describe the event”this feels like a weekend at the end of the world”suddenly felt apt.

I felt an air of surreality the second I stepped off the bus at Split Rock Resort. The hotel and water park follows in the grand tradition of eerie Poconos vacation destinations; beige carpets, long hallways, elaborate chandeliers hung above grand ballrooms with peeling walls, and so on. Inside the festivalwhich took place in a large building called the Town Center, wrapped in tumescent water slides that looked like colorful snakesthe vibe was 70s kitsch. A six-foot plastic toucan loomed over the water park. The cafeteria offered a full Thanksgiving dinner. A sign in an arcade warned, inscrutably, “Big Bass Wheel Pro is now a ticketless game.” Through the woods behind our cabin, a golf course stretched into the hills, bounded by stucco McMansions whose yards were dotted with a mix of Trump signs and for-sale signs. As the sun began to go down on night one, I noticed packs of deer and wild turkeys crossing the links in the fading light.

Cameras were everywhere at the Ray-Ban Boiler Room weekender. Spherical 3D cameras faceted with lenses like fly eyeballs sprung from poles planted in the middle of crowds. GoPros lurked on tables next to CDJs. Video techs roamed the space with shoulder-mounted units on gimbles. At most festivals, the relationship between the audience and the performer is straightforwardtheir performance is the product, and you are the consumer. At the Boiler Room weekender, that relationship was complicated by the presence of a second audiencethe thousands of spectators tuning into the event from home.

As I bounced from room to room throughout the maze-like resort I felt like a character in a play, performing the role of audience member before a phantom crowd I couldn’t see. I knew that over on the Boiler Room website, live-streaming cameras were transforming the dim mezzanines and arcades around me into virtual multi-media environments. Standing there, I could almost feel my body extend through the cameras and into bedrooms and living rooms across the world.

One of the central theses of the Marxist philosopher Guy Debord refers to the rise of spectacles in place of real experience. “All that once was directly lived has become mere representation,” he argued, describing the trajectory of human civilization in terms of “the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.” Here, though, Boiler Room seemed to be replicating the logic of the spectacle in service of a utopian aim. The Weekender brought together a selection of underground performers, including a broad swath of queer and POC artists; all sets would be streamed and recorded in lush 3D, giving kids around the world the chance to experience cutting-edge performances as if they were there and exposing artists from tight-knit, homegrown scenes to an international audience. Every moment would be preserved through 3D cameras to create a permanent digital archiveand the artists would get paid. Little did they know that this ambitious attempt at world-building would bring performers and guests into an unexpectedly hostile environment.

Friday night culminated with parties in a building called the Lodge that started at 2 AM; a house party atmosphere reigned across four separate rooms, which were hosted by crews ranging from NAAFI and NON DJs to New York dance duo Wrecked. The audience featured a diverse range of people, from hardcore techno lifers to streetwear-clad kids. In a way, that inclusivity felt like a justification of the Weekender’s utopian project; since the festival was free and underwritten by Ray-Ban, Boiler Room didn’t have to worry about using big names to sell tickets and could instead focus on niche acts and promoters from deeper in the scene. The party stretched on and on; Wrecked ended their set to cheers from a packed room around 7 AM.

Saturday kicked off in the festival’s cavernous waterpark. NYC label Mixpak supplied dancehall DJ sets and acts like New York MC Lil Haiti performed as hundreds of people splashed in the pool and enjoyed the water slide. The afternoon offered a moment of childlike tranquility ahead of what promised to be a nail-biting week.

On the first day, security around the festival had seemed pretty minimalpeople mostly came and went from rooms as they pleased, with occasional bag checks at the larger rooms. By the afternoon of the second day, though, the resort was crawling with police and additional security. They swarmed the entrance to rooms, creating bottleneck checkpoints where they searched wallets, bags, pockets, and waist bands.

The security was by far the tightest outside the large upstairs ballroom, where the GHE20G0TH1K lineup was taking place. As some spectators would later allege, people of color were subject to additional checkpoints. One of those people was Kaylan Jones, a young black woman who allegedly tried to enter the party with a small amount of weed and another controlled substance; cops took her drugs, cuffed her, and began leading her down the stairs to a cop car (some eyewitnesses claim she suffered a panic attack en route). People gathered around, and the situation escalated. A friend of Jones’ tried to open the door of the cop car, and several attendees began filming. One reported that her phone was taken away by security guards, then returned to her smashed; another said that she was “Grabbed at, threatened and hit for filming these monsters handcuffing and parading a young black girl.” Nearby, I watched half a dozen police restrain a young man with a bandage on his head in the back of an ambulance, as he screamed, “Let me out! Let me out of this car!” Here’s a photo he posted of his face afterwards. By the end of the night, the police report would later attest that 18 people had received citations.

Just moments before, crowds had danced in front of Boiler Room cameras to raucous sets by Kamixlo and Venus X. Now the surveillance dynamic shiftedattendees pulled out their phones and posted footage of the arrests online, adopting the strategies of social justice movements like Black Lives Matter. Elsewhere people walked around as if in a dream, unsure if what they were seeing was real, and unable to believe the festival was over.

For all the levels of surveillance going on at the Weekender, the events of Saturday revealed a giant, gaping blind spot in Boiler Room’s plan: it took place in an area where black and queer youth were being perceived as a threat, and where law enforcement was seemingly ready to pounce at the first sign of provocation from anyone they viewed as other.

Whether or not the festival organizers were aware of the risks to the queer people of color for they brought in doesn’t matterthe fact is, their attempt at creating a utopian space came into conflict with the underlying attitudes that still define a majority of America. “We need to organize ourselves better if we really value safe spaces,” said representatives from Boiler Room in an interview. Ultimately, the event demonstrated the limits of what can happen when we try to uproot safe spacesspaces that emerged in a specific geographic and cultural contextand transplant them into the wider world, a world that necessitated their existence in the first place.

But the Weekender also pointed to the frightening limits of technology, limits that would reveal themselves even more alarmingly on Tuesday night. As we wrap ourselves tighter in the mantle of our imaginations, using technological filters to shape the world in gleaming virtual environments, brutal realities can begin to seem more like inconveniences than immovable facts of modern life. What the shock of this week’s election revealed was that up until a few nights ago, we’d been proceeding as though people outside of our liberal thought bubble didn’t exist, and as though they didn’t need to be involved in our calculus of how to build a better society. Hillary Clinton dreamed of a cosmopolitan, diverse coalition sending her to the White House; Boiler Room imagined a cosmopolitan, diverse festival showcasing queer, black, underground music. Both of those ambitions died in the forests of rural Pennsylvania, leaving those of us who hoped for a tolerant future to stumble, bleary-eyed, into the vicious glare of an apocalyptic reality. Next time, if we’re lucky, we won’t be so naive.

Ezra Marcus is on Twitter.