The 51st FACT podcast comes courtesy of 10-20, a new producer from Devonshire,whose self-titled album on Highpoint Lowlife is one of our favouritealbums to be released this year. Here’s what we said about it back in March:
“There’s a real glut of new underground producers in Britain right now, sharing a broken space between hip-hop, dubstep, RnB and techno. The last time I was this excited about a group of musicians was – well, almost a year and a half ago, when Zomby, Rustie, Darkstar and their assorted kin came to prevalence in late 2007/early 2008. Right now feels like the second wave of the-phenomenon-thankfully-no-longer-called-wonky – or at least a succession of producers influenced by that first wave – people like Floating Points, Sbtrkt, Rekordah, most of the people featured on Alex Nut’s forthcoming Rinse 08 comp (which increasingly, to my ears, is sounding like a reference point every bit as telling and micro-era defining as the Kode 9 and Flying Lotus Rinse session from late 07). And 10-20, a Devonshire based producer who’s just put out his debut album on Highpoint Lowlife.
“As nice as it is to have (or as is probably the case with this review, half-invent) a context for 10-20, his music would sound amazing without it. 10-20 specialises in a similar vein of clipped, grayscale techno as The Village Orchestra, but over the course of an album he really gets the opportunity to spread it thin – over industrial whirs and clangs on ‘Nei’, flattened hip-hop bumps on ‘Wdtrhjvelgrad’ and ‘Inb’, sweet piano transmissions on ‘Jjuvxszla’, icy-cold minimal on ‘Milvus’. There’s a great four-or-five-second moment where a soul vocal drifts over the music, and that’s when it clicks how Burial-esque 10-20 is – but with less of a narrow focus on innercity pirate frequencies and more childhood musical memories haunting Devonshire’s eroded cliffs and rolling moors.”
His FACT mix features tracks from the album, new 10-20 material, Gang Gang Dance, Clark, Bjork, Boxcutter, Wu Tang Clan, MF Doom and more. There’ll be a Q&A arriving shortly to accompany the mix – ’til then download it, and enjoy it.
Erstlaub – On becoming an Island (Highpoint Lowlife)A Grape Dope – track unknownGreg Davis – Archer (Kranky)Gang Gang Dance – God’s Money ix (The Social Registry)Clark – Empty the Bones of You (Warp)Flying Lotus – Camel (Warp)10-20 – Aut (unreleased)10-20 – InB (Highpoint Lowlife)Bjork – Storm (One Little Indian)10-20 – Majik (unreleased)The Village Orchestra – Sunken (Highpoint Lowlife)Fly Pan Am – Univoque Equivoque (Kranky)Pierre Henry – Portes (Harmonia Mundi)Pole – Madchen (Scape)MF Doom – My Favourite Ladies (Nature Sounds)Samiyam – Trick Platform (Hyperdub)Yuichiro Fujimoto – Handwritten Map to Sea (Ahornfelder)10-20 – Arcadeagle (Highpoint Lowlife)Boxcutter – Kab 27 (Planet Mu)Wu Tang Clan – Careful (Sony)Edward Artemiev – Solaris Soundtrack excerpt (Electroshock)Digital Mystikz – Haunted (DMZ)Autechre – Fol 3 (Warp)
10-20 – what’s your deal? Who are you? Where do you come from? How did you come into our lives?
“I was artificially created.”
10-20 the album’s amazing – tell us about it…
“I’ve been making music of sorts for a long time but then about a year and a half ago I started a sound design course. I learnt a lot from others in terms of production and so started using material I’d recorded or used for soundtracks to make music. I suppose one influence might have been the constant foregrounding and diminshing of sounds to highlight different visual elements. If only I could remember any of the clever terms. I was basically quite conscious of not letting it become flat, if that makes sense. It’s quite been dictated by my enthusiasm for immersive sound design. Leslie Shatz is a clever man.”
It’s both quite narrow (in a good way), in the sense all the tracks share a sort of hazy, misty grey-ness, but there’s also loads of different stuff you use – industrial-sounding samples, more bumpy hip-hop sounding bits, little whispers of piano. What sort of impression were you going for when you were making these tracks?
“I think i just like them to sound like a space that’s a bit alien. Like Centre Parcs, or a labour camp. Or perhaps sitting in a small room full of your favourite wooden objects. Then there’s the obvious musical influences. No prizes for guessing because the mix leaves little to the imagination.”
How long have you been making music for, and what sort of stuff were you making prior to the album?
“I suppose I started when I was about 16. i played the drums for a bit. Then I messed about on a PC with the sound recorder, then a four-track and a drum machine having a pretty good time making crap. I don’t think I have stopped since, just not always been serious about it. Prior to the album I was making a mix of stuff. Mostly very abstract, non rhythmical noise, but some dubstep on the side. Then they met each other and became good friends.”
How did you hook up with Highpoint Lowlife?
“I was researching labels and came across HPLL, I had liked alot of the artists and so thought it was worth a shot. Thorsten [Sideboard, HPLL label-boss] was really supportive and the rest is recent past.”
Tell us about the mix you’ve done for FACT…
“It’s a mix of stuff I like. A bit of musique concrete, a bit of hip-hop, and my stuff somewhere in between.”
Do you play out at all? And is it live, or as a DJ set?
“I haven’t yet but would definately like to. I would mix my own tracks but add alot of stuff to the overall mess/soundscape. If anyone has any offers just contact HPLL!”
What have you been up to since the album, and what can we expect in the future?
“There are some good things on the way on Highpoint Lowlife. A series of EPs, hopefully a 7″. I went a bit mad after the album release and made alot of music. I’m also appearing on Resonance FM on June 20. I’m also hoping to release a bird watching DVD.”