Series I by I 25.09.23

Fact Mix: Venus Ex Machina

Venus Ex Machina signals the end of summer with a heartfelt plunge through experimental electronics.

“This set of rhythms and shadows attempts to conjure an imaginary place, of which no trace remains, except for the flicker of fading memory,” writes Nontokozo F. Sihwa, the composer and producer who makes music as Venus Ex Machina. Trained as a mathematician, Sihwa explores themes of futurism, post-humanism and the phenomenology of radio-related communication through sonic precision, designing instruments, algorithms and oscillations that gesture towards and move through the Black musical traditions of techno, electro and experimental music. Conceiving of performance and her role as performer as a practice of storytelling, Sihwa understands sound as a language of emotion, a means of evocation and invocation. “The place may be gone, yet you persist in seeking it, believing in the power of fantasy to redeem you from reason,” she says of the space her mix is amplified from. “A sweaty night underneath a motorway, somewhere. The end of summer. A refusal to give up.”

This refusal to give up takes the form of a heartfelt plunge through the bleeding edge of avant-garde electronic music, compiling some of the key figures from interdependent experimental scenes that map a dialogue between the US, Europe and the UK, as well as Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, Vietnam, Japan, Iran and South Africa. Finding common ground in Erase Me’s horror OST and FRKTL’s organic rework of Aho Ssan’s synthetic jazz, the fried hardware electronics of B. Rupp and the virtuosic machine drumming of Speaker Music, or the quotidian digital drum experiments of Gooooose and the Afrofuturist electro improv of Gladstone Deluxe, Sihwa conjures a convergence point that unfurls from the imaginary, but coalesces into a very real and vital sonic network, a sonic language shared by like minds and kindred spirits.

You can find Venus Ex Machina on Instagram and Bandcamp.


Erase Me – ‘Hypnosis’
Aho Ssan – ‘Simulacrum I (FRKTL Remix)’
Scotch Rolex – ‘U.T.B. 88’
Nick León – ‘Igneous Drums’
B. Rupp – ‘124055’
Speaker Music – ‘Feenin’
Bridget Ferrill & Áslaug Magnúsdóttir – ‘Sensitive Town’
DJ Rogelio Huerta & Alfonso Luna – ‘CULTO’
Ehua – ‘Giada’
Lý Trang – ‘sạp đổ đàn tre’
Gooooose – ‘Chips’
Gladstone Deluxe – ‘Structure B’
Rian Treanor & Ocen James – ‘Naasaccade’
Emptyset – ‘flame’
MIRA新伝統 – ‘Disembodiment (Ziúr Remix)’
Temp-Illusion – ‘Ray Bloody Purchase’
Slikback – ‘VOIDOUT’
Duma – ‘Lionsblood’
Jumping Back Slash – ‘King Stupid’
Tadleeh – ‘II’
Aleksi Perälä – ‘FI3AC2399060’

Listen next: Fact Mix – Tadleeh



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