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There are many entry points to the multidisciplinary practice of British-born, Berlin-based artist Steven Warwick. Dance music fans will have surely come about Warwick’s work through the Heatsick moniker, home to the majority of Warwick’s solo recordings and easily his most functional and dancefloor-focused project to date. Birds of Delay, a collaborative project with Luke Younger aka Helm, explored the outer ranges of noise and other harsh electronics, pushing texturally dense, alienating experiments on a series of releases for labels like Alcoholic Narcolepsy, American Tapes and Tronics. Fomented in 2012, a partnership with Bill Kouligas’ PAN label has seen the release of several Heatsick releases, and most recently, Warwick’s most personal work to date and the first under his own name. Xeroxed art books, a Snapchat-recalling video shot in a mall and a book, written with Nora Khan, utilizing the X-Files as a prime source for examining the rise of fear during the 1990s and subsequent right wing conspiracy theory movements.

Nadir, described as a mixtape by both label and artist, arrived at the tail end of 2016 and couldn’t have been timed better. Eschewing the hardware specific formation and coyly gleeful sonics of the Heatsick moniker, Warwick is at his most open on Nadir, utilizing oblique electronics and his own voice to weave depressive poetics over creeping, disjointed rhythms. The album is a dense, often difficult listen, but its core themes are readily accessible throughout and Warwick not only offers observations on life under late capitalism,  but a clear eyed vision of emotional disaffection and degradation that follows the pressures of wage labor, an inescapably fearful media climate, millennial placelessness and urban isolation. As mentioned before, these themes can be found in all of Warwick’s various projects previous to Nadir, but there’s a particular clarity to the grimness evoked throughout the mixtape that has had us returning over and over again in moments of acute dislocation.

Warwick’s Astral Plane mix is a curious affair, a series of live recordings that lead into club-friendly selections that range from Geko’s buzzy, Summer-ready “Right Here” to classic Steve Gurley and Tommy Genesis’ sad girl anthem “Empty”. The original works range from heavy, piston-like techno to soporific arrangements that recall Heatsick at its most muted. The composition is distinctly club-focused, but comes from a left field perspective that combines the jittery disposition and spoken bits from Nadir with crunchy, all out drum machine rhythms and a decisive forward momentum. Eclectic contemporary selections like Cruel Boyz, Celestial Trax, Orlando Volcano and Niagara also show off a willingness to mine the frontier of experimental club forms, particularly ones outside the worlds of house and techno. Unlike Nadir, exultant moments abound in the mix, but a sense of unease, found across Warwick’s various projects, exists at a constant simmer just below the surface making it a fitting progression for an artist who has managed to mirror the dysphoria of life in 2017 across so many mediums. Catch Warwick at the following dates and hit the jump for a full track list…

 8th June – CTFO, Monarch Berlin ( DJ set )
10th June – Berlin Torstrassenfest
16th June – Antwerp TRAP w/ DJ Burrnesha
23rd June – Bristol Fiddlers w/ DJ Burrnesha
24th June – London Cafe Oto w/ DJ Burrnesha
29th June – Edinburgh Paradise Palms w/ DJ Burrnesha
1st July – Glasgow Art School

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Having spent years in London and Berlin as a writer and DJ, Flora Yin-Wong is deeply engrained in the world of experimental electronic music, but many were introduced to || FLORA, Yin-Wong’s latest musical alias, earlier this week. That was when New York’s PTP (fka Purple Tape Pedigree) dropped the fourth edition in their CELL Audio Codex series — part mixfile, part recipe book — featuring City God, a gorgeous 15 minute composition by Yin-Wong. On City God, the || FLORA project, previously teased in mixes and edits, comes into focus, an exploration of identity, technology and history born out through lithe electronics and smartly integrated sample work recorded on a trip to east Asia. City God is available here and more || FLORA material is set to be released through Objects Ltd on the not so distant horizon.

Born and raised in London with Hong Kong and Malaysian heritage, Yin-Wong plays the dual roll of personal historian and curator in her musical output, displaying macro historical narratives alongside her own recordings as a way of investigating the entangled nature self-identity, culture and language. It’s somewhat cliche, but || FLORA shows the fingerprints of an artist who has spent a good portion of time writing, editing and working behind-the-scenes for labels (most recently PAN), a dedication to detail and a reticence of both what is fleeting and what is contemporary.

Her Astral Plane mix splits from the intensely personal, but functions equally as a personal document, providing a roadmap to Yin-Wong’s peers (Abyss X, Soda Plains, Hex, Organ Tapes, etc.) and re-contextualizing her original work in what is an extremely effective club composition. Tresillo rhythms, Jersey club structures and glossy synth work dominate the 128th Astral Plane mix, a jarringly beautiful and distinctly modern path through myriad club genres that seems to heave and convulse in its own skin. It’s the manic analog City God assured confidence, teetering on the precipice without fully falling, a somewhat stressful place-of-being that keeps the listener constantly on edge. Full track list is after the jump and more || FLORA material can be found here.

 

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