Tyler Friedman‘s upcoming CCC: BB: BBB: JJ EP on Kontra is a demonstration of subtlety and control in line with the Malmö-based label’s inclination towards the leftfield borderlands of techno. Delicate polyrhythmic elements cross paths with bleeps and a multiplicity of sonic odities, with the final result held down firmly by the trustworthiness of 4×4 kicks. We hooked up via email with Tyler to talk about the EP and the upcoming Berlin release party.
Local Suicide: Hi Tyler, could you please start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Tyler Friedman: Oh I am not so interesting.
LSD: CCC: BB: BBB: JJ is your third release with Kontra, how did you and the label start working together?
TF: I cold mailed him [Ulf Eriksson] a demo and he was into it!
LSD: The tracks on the EP are very complex, there are so many intricate elements that weave in and out, interlock and bounce off each other and the result is pure grace. How do you approach the production process? Do you know where you want to go from the start or is it a case of experimenting and watching the track take on a life of its own?
TF: Thanks for the kind words! The production process tends to change, based on mood, purpose and phase, but these tracks at least developed out of a relatively clear direction. I have always had a thing for vertical complexity and density; so when I started making this type of music, a crowded soundstage was actively aimed for.
I wanted to make something that was firmly within the kick drum continum, but somewhat more timbrally wild and structurally composed outside of the clock elements in a way that I wasn’t hearing very often when I went out. BB and JJ for example were both written with the same basic strategy: dubbed, poly-rhythmic sine wave melodics, with shifting key signatures and levels of drift on top of a pulse. While BB was meant to expand and contract, to shift in and out of awkward warped spaces, JJ was always supposed to be stretched and flowing, with a clearer trajectory.
LSD: Ulf Eriksson said that Kontra music could be describes as “club music for the living room”. Do you feel the same about your music?
TF: Not really, these tracks are something of a fantasy of what I want to hear at 5/6 in the morning! In my mind they are peak time music. Although maybe they are a bit of a challenge to mix…
LSD: You’re involved with the artist collective The Otholith Group, who is headed by Kodwo Eshun whose field of work is Afrofuturism. Could you tell us a bit more about your work with the collective and how concepts like Afrofuturism influence your music?
TF: To say that Kodwo’s field is Afrofuturism is somewhat reductive, though he is certainly heavily informed by it.
I worked on the sound for a number of their films over the past years.
Kodwo and Anjali produce very dense works; all of the information they draw from for each individual project can not possibly find its way into the final form(s) in a direct way. The challenge and pleasure has always been trying to distill the essence of the theoretical cosmologies they build around their projects into the sonics. To inject ideas, history and I guess what you could call the atmos of dialectic images into the sound, to produce a conceptual counterpoint and abstract speculative space in its own right.
Like all experimental processes, its not always successful, but that has always been at the core of what I have tried to do when working with them. So perhaps what is most influential is not so much any individual idea or notion in particular but rather strategies of making connections across seemingly disparate practices.
LSD: What should we expect from your release party this coming Thursday at Ohm?
TF: Some eclecticism, some exaggerated pitching dub, some awkward rhythms. I guess a kick drum or two? And then of course the fantastic Rabih Beaini and Ulf!
LSD: Thanks for speaking to us!
Berlin people, we have 2×2 guestlist spots to give away for the release party of CCC: BB: BBB: JJ on Thursday October 29th at Ohm. To get involved just leave a comment and for more info head to the event page.