We decided to put a spotlight on our favorite artists from our home city of Los Angeles this Summer. Over the coming 10 weeks, we’ll feature a cross section of what the city has to offer. Far from a selection of the biggest touring entities, we hope to shine light on the individuals who brighten the airwaves and nights out on a regular basis.
We saw the first M.D. James live performance at Los Angeles’ Rec Centre in December 2017. Situated early on in the night, the set was short and erratic, a raw, unencumbered burst of speed and guttural sound. Several of Matt’s previous projects had manifested in live shows, but this performance as M.D. James felt new, a departure from his DJing and the beginning of genuinely singular artistic expression. The set also felt like an ideal extension of the CAMEO nights that Matt has been throwing since February of last year, nights that featured live acts like Aisha Devi, Malibu and Organ Tapes.
Initially taking place at small bars in Chinatown and later at several DIY spaces, CAMEO has consistently brought artists to Los Angeles that might not have a broad American audience (yet), but are clearly on the cusp of their respective approaches. Backed by residents and co-live performers Baojiaxiang, Bapari and SWISHA, CAMEO has become an essential part of Los Angeles’ DIY fabric, proving that vibrant hybrid nights can co-exist alongside the myriad club nights the city has to offer.
As for the progression of Matt’s solo work, we’re excited to be working towards the debut M.D. James release on Astral Plane Recordings this Fall. We’re keeping details close at hand at this point, but “Swan” appeared on our NEW YR NEW US 2 compilation and Matt also joined us on our NTS show in January for a startling recitation of his live set. His Astral Plane Mix should also shed some light on the direction of the M.D. James project, a blend of emotionally bare weightless material, dense hardcore and a range of gorgeous, if often anxiety-inducing, vocal experiments. Like in his solo work, you’ll be hard pressed to find any easily recognizable aesthetic threads in the mix, but the general approach — an earnest take on noise aesthetics and club dynamics — is an exciting forebear of what’s to come later this year. Hit the jump for a track list, download the mix here and be sure to check out the next CAMEO (with MHYSA) if you’re in Los Angeles.
Emptyset – Over
Klein – stunt
Yusseff Kamaal – Black Focus
Arafat Group – Rag on a dead cat using a guitar
Celyn June – Bidders Patch (Possibility)
Black Mountain Transmitter – Part One
Cecelia & IsabellaLoveStory – Green Tea / Prelude Purgatory
Hyph11E – Enter Nowhere
Hijokaidan – Beyond
M.D. James – ???
Alex Zhang Huntai – Paris Means Nothing Without You
Ril3y & rogergoon – Diane Ambulance
Aphex Twin – Rhubarb Orc 19.53
Embaci – Hymnal Pine Heart