“One question I’ve been asking myself lately is what happens if our architecture pushes to be fictional, forcing our lives into fantasy.”
With his first two releases out in the past year, New York’s Eaves is a relatively new name in the constantly expanding (and blurring) world of club music, but his perspective on the form feels far more articulated than artists and critics both far older and more experienced. Last March’s Hue EP on Seattle’s Hush Hush Records functioned as a startling introduction to Eaves, a chest rattling four-tracker touching on architectural tropes and blending ambient noise (bird sounds, static, eery pads) with a myriad of different percussion arrangements. December’s Gorilla, a uniquely arranged four movement piece for Purple Tape Pedigree, both expand and expound upon his work on Hue, maintaining the spatial awareness and dystopian sonics, but involving a much wider emotional range, full of the sort of anxiety and excitement both inherent in our persons and our environments.
We spoke with Eaves via email about Gorilla, fictional architectures, and having an appreciation for EDM as a musical idea. His Astral Plane mix features a series of vaulting rises and dips in energy, cutting across over 50 tracks from a who’s who of boundary pushing producers and peppered with bizarre vocals from an EDM pack and Call of Duty respectively. Referring to his short attention span, Eaves rejects that he does not see his own art/music/culture consumption as being “a calculated, contemplative experience,” instead seeing the process in terms of “osmosis” or “indigestion” and his Astral Plane mix, along with Gorilla‘s skirting, almost spastic form, certainly reflects (enforces?) that point of view, an almost uncontrollable tumble through the canon with plenty of outside noise and peripheral interference. Check out our full talk with Eaves after the jump as well as a full image-oriented track list and indulge in his Astral Plane mix below.
Hi Rick, how are you? Where are you answering these questions from?
Hey, I’m doing alright, thanks for asking. I’m writing from my studio desk at school. (Cooper Union)
What have you been up to lately? Do you go out a lot in New York?
I just got back to New York last week from LA – I was trying to see Kablam at Trans Pecos last Friday but the blizzard forced me to stay home. I wouldn’t say that I go out a lot; I’m sorta reclusive. I live a few blocks away from Palisades here in Bushwick though so I go to a lot of shows there.
How has the response, both critical and popular, been to Gorilla? Considering its arrangement in movements it’s clearly not intended solely for DJ play so wondering if people have been approaching it faithful to the intended order?
The response in general has been really great. I’ve appreciated the different ways in which people have been coming at the record, whether they listen to it in its entirety or pick out specific tracks from it. That’s sort of the point, there’s not really a singular way to access it. SCVSCV’s review for TinyMixTapes I feel really got at what Gorilla was about: internet detritus and human emotional response. It was really well articulated, and it was incredible to read, seeing what someone else got out of the record.
In Seb Wheeler’s review of Gorilla for Mixmag, he questioned the direction the more abstract side of the club music world was taking and whether the current trend towards more “jagged” and “noisey” sonics would foment a broader experimental spirit. Do you have plans to expand your work into the live arena or into other mediums? And how do you see your work, especially Gorilla, in the context of the artists mentioned in the same review?
Live-wise, I have the different pieces of Gorilla mapped in Ableton so that I can perform the whole thing live. I also play lots of other unreleased stuff that I’ve made in sets, a lot of tracks built specifically for a live environment. I think the best parts of a live show are the unexpected parts – I want my shows to feel unnatural. In terms of other mediums, I work visually for school – designing structures and buildings is what I spend a lot of time doing. My music is sort of a reconciliation of the two — sound and architecture. Their relationship is something I’m still processing, using my work in both mediums to hopefully discover something new. Fiction has been important to me lately, looking at the fictional architecture of video games and movies to understand what those digital/fabricated structures mean as a possible realistic projection for our own future. Our reality mimics our fiction and vice versa. Architecture is the background of our present reality. One question I’ve been asking myself lately is what happens if our architecture pushes to be fictional, forcing our lives into fantasy. Perhaps the internet does this already, if you consider it as a regulating cultural entity. With this notion, fiction and reality are now intermingled into one, where 1080p 60fps graphics become a realistic prognosis of our future. I’ve been studying the work of Liam Young to sort of centralize this argument – why can’t an architect be a filmmaker? a musician? a creator of fiction. And in terms of context with the other artists mentioned, I was honored to be considered in the same vein; all of them are major influences and idols to me.
You play a few rips (from Lorenzo Senni’s recent Rinse FM show, Chino Amobi & Rabit’s Great Game mix, etc.) and some generic EDM vocal drops. Is this an intentional jab at the rigidity of the recorded mix format or more of an aesthetic decision? Do you include bits like this in your DJ sets or live performances?
It’s definitely not a jab in any way; it’s probably an act of appreciation more than anything. I love EDM as a musical idea, it’s just the culture that surrounds it that bothers me. Viewing it from an outsider’s perspective, though, the relentless rises and comedowns contain the kind of energy that is defining our generation. Digital movement feeds the twenty-first century.
You’ve talked about how humans / music listeners are “victims of incessancy”, but how do you personally imbibe music or art in general? And how does that inform your production process? Do you exhibit the “exercise in patience” the record attempts to create?
The way I take in information, especially music, is probably problematic: my attention span is really low and so I tend to just click around, waiting for something to hook me. It’s digestion, osmosis rather than a calculated, contemplative experience. With “Gorilla”, I chose to embrace that kind of information reception. Everything’s getting smaller; it’s pixels. And I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, I believe we’re moving in a direction that gives us the opportunity to hold more knowledge, to understand in increasingly larger volumes. In my mind, that only bodes well for our species’ future.