With song titles like “Regolith”, “Inner” and “Mantle” it’s not surprise that Ausschuss‘ music has an innate sense of physicality to it, a sensibility that is at once earthly and fantastical. Like paeans to crumbling mountains or fracturing worlds, Ausschuss has built a sound that positions noise as elemental without coming across as self-indulgent, maintaining wisps of tangled vocals and a cinematic possibility that always seem to underline the metallic bursts and seeping magma of his productions. Based in Berlin, the 19-year-old producer has found a set of fitting contemporaries, from the Bill Kouligas-helmed PAN to up-and-coming artists like Why Be, Mechatok, Organ Tapes, Eaves and Nunu and while he doesn’t envision his music existing in a specific cultural context yet, a shared passion for films like Akira and Ghost In A Shell have clearly drawn together a host of young producers from a host of disparate backgrounds and geographies.
In German, ausschuss refers to the second grade or sub par products that are shifted out of a production line, an interesting reference point for a project with such a cataclysmic sonic palette. After all, there’s nothing average about the music Ausschuss produces and whereas other industrial/noise-influenced projects might intend to sonically manifest the feeling or essence of a production line, it would be a mistake to paint Ausschuss’ work in such monochromatic fashion. And with a background buying techno and bass 12″ at Well Rounded Records in Brighton, he’s actually come around to more abstract sounds through more straightforward, 4/4 dance sounds, an element he’d like to maintain in the Ausschuss project. Fashion and film are also influential to his final output and while he has no design background, he physically writes out ideas for every track before entering the production phase, a process intended to organize ideas in the face of an increasingly distracting and overwhelming digital realm.
Two weeks ago, Berlin collective/label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray released “Ravoir” on their Annual General Meeting Record (Vol. 1) compilation, the first Ausschuss track to see official release, but tracks like “Regolith” and “Mantle”, as well as previous mixes for Primitive and Disc Magazine, the former titled “6 Paracetamols Deep”, represent the work of a young artist who has already carved out a distinctive space for his work, balancing on the fringe of club ready forms while engaging in more abstracted, dark sound design. His Astral Plane mix comes through as a mission statement of sorts, positioning a whole arrangement of solo productions that set an almost-apocalyptic tone early before drawing clear, and often surprising, lines between his work and tracks from Rabit, Dviance, Rizzla, Why Be and more, often matching towering sections of mechanical noise and alien vocal work with vocals from Tink, Kelela and others. And in the same vein of many of the aforementioned producers, it’s not all that difficult to imagine Ausschuss fuck up a club with this set, burying pop convention deep in the earth, but not quite going as far as to give up a human touch in the end. Hit the jump to read our full interview with Ausschuss and find the track list at the bottom of the article.
Hi Linus, how are you? Where are you answering these questions from?
Hi Gabe, I’m good thanks – spent the last few days catching up on missed sleep. I’m sitting in a friend’s room I’ve taken over while he’s away for a short while, nice to have a change of scenery!
When did you move to Berlin? What instigated your move out of the UK?
I moved back to Berlin late 2014 after having spent 7 years in the UK, down in Brighton. Moving back to the UK had been planned for quite a while – the UK was cool but I really missed Berlin. Feels very good to be back now, although I do miss the UK more than I thought I would. Different vibes, both nice in their own way, but I think the Berlin vibe suits me better for day to day life.
It seems like some producers come around to the noise-y fringe of dance music after they get bored with cleaner, more linear dance forms while others come to it from straightforward noise/ambient/drone culture. Which, if either, approach fits you? And do you see your music fitting into a greater cultural context?
I definitely come into this from the former – last few years in the UK were spent at Well Rounded Records buying Techno and UK Bass 12”s every week, Listening pretty much exclusively to 4/4 stuff. While what I make is definitely different to the sparser Techno I listened to at that time, at it’s core it is still very UK to me. I feel like that sound is embedded in me, and I try to bring elements of it to everything I do.
I feel like right now I couldn’t say what cultural context my music fits into, if any at all. I am still finding myself with each piece and getting closer to finding out more about myself and what realm I feel comfortable being in with my music. Trying to force a cultural context right now would be quite premature and not sincere to what I am doing.
I’ve been told that you draft your songs up on paper before you go into Ableton to record. Do you have a design background? How is that process realized in the final sonic output?
I actually don’t have any design background other than very rudimental Photoshop skills, when I do draft a track on paper it’s a lot more written than visual. Ideas I’m trying to bring across, emotions I’m trying to provoke – it helps me if I have them written down and can go back to them to stay focused on what I’m doing. I chronically get sidetracked by absolutely everything, having a kind of rough idea written down really helps me.
Your music is often quite brutal. “Regolith” and your remix of Acre’s “Spirals” come to mind as being especially in-your-face and physical.
Is there a context, real or imaginary, that you envision your music existing in?
I do have a very strong visual and often imaginary space for my tracks. Films like Ghost in the Shell and Akira play a big role in how I try and make my music sound. Alongside having a draft I’m constantly compiling folders of pictures that I go back to between working on different projects. A lot of look-books in there of designers I rate and film stills.
What medium that you haven’t worked in yet would you like to/plan on working in?
Fashion is a medium I want to work in, and working on moving into that in the next year or so. I enjoy creating a lot, whether it is a piece of music or something more physical. The two often go hand in hand for me, sound tracking installations and fashion shows is definitely something I’d like to do in the near future.
Where do you generate the most trash, either physically or digitally?
I create a large amount of ‘trash’ digitally with various samples and stems being bounced constantly, filling up my hard drive way too quick. A lot of what I bounce never gets used so it does feel more like waste after a while but I’m very bad at deleting that stuff – always feel like it could be useful somehow sometime somewhere maybe. ‘Trash’ I cling on to is amassed a lot digitally, not so much physically.
Ausschuss – Laboured (Maxin edit)
Ausschuss – Inner
Organ Tapes – ???
Amnesia Scanner & Bill Kouligas – Lexachest
Ausschuss – Breaching
Arash Moori – Flowers Of Evil
Eaves – GORILLA Movement 1
MHYSA feat. Chino Amobi – power cuts (Rabit Remix)
Dviance – Seve
Ausschuss – ???
Rizzla – Airlock
Why Be – VERSACE BANGY CUNT TINK YB CHOP (133) V.4
#postbae AKA Jónó Mí Ló – Hell is empty, all the demons live here
Ausschuss – Regolith
Nunu – ALONE
Baby Blue – AETERNITAS
Silent Hill + A melody I found on my desktop
CIRQA – Gallows
Niclas – YUNNAN
Perfect Blue OST – Akumu
M.E.S.H. x FF VI x R.A.T
Organ Tapes – ???