Mixes I by I 10.05.21

Fact Mix 807: Yen Tech

Part emotional odyssey, part experimental radio play, the SVBKVLT artist holds up a fractured mirror to the absurdity of contemporary times.

Yen Tech guides us through an extraordinary aural retelling of an alternative cultural history of the COVID-19 pandemic in his sprawling Fact mix, which weaves together text-to-script speech, AI language models and a breathtaking suite of experimental music, selected and compiled solely for its emotional heft. These are tracks that have provided strength and solace to the Shanghai-based producer and vocalist over the course of an extremely heavy year, linked more by an exploratory spirit than by any coherent aesthetic or genre focus. “Due to the pandemic I was unable to return to my residence in Shanghai and got stuck in semi-lockdown in the USA,” the artist explains. “The year that followed has felt like being encircled in a steady escalation of violently surreal and psychedelic cultural moments – a vortex of police brutality, racially motivated mass shootings, and conspiracy driven political extremism.”

“This is my personal soundtrack to the psychic exhaustion of my recent American experience. A necessary exhalation of divisive energies and anxieties – expelled like milky steam from the husk.” Using a loose, text-based narrative as a framing device, the mix follows the story of a 10-year old boy called Kevin who decides to run away from home as his parents descend further and further into a social media-fuelled mire of conspiracy theories, xenophobia and mania. “The narrative was inspired by stories I’ve heard all year from people who have recently ‘lost’ family members to fringe conspiracy theories and cultic behavior,” says Yen Tech, who paints a bleak picture of a family torn apart by blind fear and desperate belief. The result is something like a 2021 update of Prefab Sprout’s melancholy escapist masterpiece I Trawl The Megahertz, as we learn of Kevin’s journey from snippets of diaristic voice-over, interspersed with avant-club constructions from Bonaventure, ZULI and Hyph11e, gauzy ambience from Torus, Lawrence English and DJ Lostboi, elegant orchestral and choral compositions from Heinz Hollinger, Joe Hisaishi and Ben Salisbury, and mind-expanding experiments from galen tipton, Mark Leckey and Nozomu Matsumoto.

The mix arrives ahead of Yen Tech’s long-awaited second album, Assembler, a work of meta-sci-fi speculative fiction critiquing dystopian tech culture with bleeding-edge production and whispered, ASMR-inducing corporate jargon. Assembler will be the inaugural project of the artist’s new multimedia platform, sil0.app, which he recently announced with a tech corporation-skewering parody that bears a striking resemblance to a recent statement from a real-world example of the kinds of shadowy organizations that Assembler addresses. “I imagined Assembler as a type of self imposed simulation,” says Yen Tech. “It was a way of looking at how we may carry the issues and failures of the past with us into the future. The psychological baggage of history, the guilt of geotrauma, the addictive melange of technology all become dealt with in this stage of acceptance and recovery. I wrote the album with this in mind, a process to find the slimy pearl of who we are.”

Yen Tech will release a variety of work via Silo in the very near future. Assembler is out on May 28, via SVBKVLT. For more information about Yen Tech you can find him on Instagram or visit sil0.app.


Celyn June – ‘Bidders Patch (Possibility) / Distance All Singing’
Torus – ‘300 Mirrors’
Graham lambkin and Taku Unami – ‘Small Mistakes in Nature’
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Back to Roslyn’
Perila and Ulla – ‘Blue Heater / Hammock’
James Ferraro – ‘Neurogeist II + III’
Ken Vandermark – ‘Lead Bird’
galen tipton – ‘castform’ w/ Loto Retina
Bonaventure – ‘Both’
Lee Gamble – ‘Helicopter’
Mikael Stav ̊strand – ‘Catalys – 2.0’
Mark Leckey – ‘In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle’
Neana – ‘Secret Owner’
GRRL – ‘Nitrogen’
Zuli – ‘Trigger Finger’
Slick Shoota – ‘See Me Flex’
Hyph11E – ‘Get Out From Under’
Lighght – ‘St. Bliss / Care2kno’
Prettybwoy – ‘SLT / Isol’
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Windows’
Boldy James & Sterling Toles – ‘The Safe (The Womb)’
Klara Lewis – ‘Muezzin’
Jonathan Bepler – ‘Back Stretch Coda And Return / The Ballad Of Gary Gilmore’
Lucio Capece & Mika Vainio – ‘Valontuo’
Heinz Holliger – ‘Song Of The Seasons I’
Mark Leckey – ‘In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle’
Joe Hisaishi – ‘Parasite Eve 1997 Choral’
Gatekeeper – ‘Hematite Berry’
Torus – ‘Chroniko’
Nozomu Matsumoto – ‘Climatotherapy’
Ben Salisbury – ‘The Day Will Break’
Jesse Osborne-Lanthier – ‘Sarcoline (Maman)’
Jean Marie Massou – ‘Jean Les Complaintes À La Citerne’
Lawrence English – ‘Moribund Territories’
galen tipton – ‘pebbles’ w/ Koeosaeme
Oli XL – ‘Flower Circuit’
Gooooose – ‘Plasma Sunrise’ (Nahash Remix)
Jaeho Hwang – ‘Sad Relationship, Nami’
Mica Levi – ‘Waves’
RMR – ‘Rascal’

Listen next: Fact Mix 806 – exael



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