So my 2nd album is out, if you remember Loyal then this is his less lo-fi less moody cousin. Body Complex has a pulse to it, I needed to also make sense of my DJ sets which have always been Detroit Techno heavy so I set off to create that with a few honest thoughts, passions and a collection loops i’ve been working on over a 6 or so month span. I talk way more in depth about the album in its bio, a lot care has gone into not only the music but the piece of art I made for the cover. Hope you enjoy!
For Jakub Alexander, the languages of music and visual art are permanently intertwined. And he’s always been this way—from his birthplace in communist Poland, to growing up outside of Detroit, to his current home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “When music like Gas, early Dial Records, and Mille Plateaux releases in the 2000s popped up in my headphones,” Alexander begins, “it was completely visual for me. Something clicked from collecting pages out of old Architectural Digest magazines and being completely overwhelmed with inspiration for my own visions of interior architecture.” The concept carries on still, now as an integral part of Body Complex, his second album as Heathered Pearls. Body Complex represents a new form of Alexander’s visually inspired sound creation, but just as it points to changes in direction for the ambient-inclined producer, it also revisits the past experiences that make his music possible.
Perhaps the most important era referenced in Body Complex is Alexander’s mid-teens, when he was a 15-year-old DJ going to raves with the older kids. Sure, the parties themselves were influential, but it’s the afterhours that resonate the strongest on Body Complex. “I remember those mornings better than the holidays during those years, the drives home from Detroit at 7AM were always stimulating. Everyone was so content, we’d usually listen to something deep and easy on the ears. This was a perfect time to let your mind wander.” It was also an opportunity for him to discover the likes of Terrence Dixon and Lawrence, artists who would eventually offer encouragement to Heathered Pearls as he moved into a new beat-centric sound. “I respect [Terrence Dixon and Lawrence] because they can ride the same thin lines of what I love: electronic music that is heavily repetitive, melodic, and deep. They both can find this elegance in techno beyond the dark warehouse.”
Body Complex doesn’t necessarily aspire to recreate the music of Alexander’s youth. But while taking inspiration from !K7’s classic audio-visual mix series, X-Mix, and early-aughts techno compilations, Heathered Pearls has moved himself closer to the dancefloor. “Loyal was these indirect, huge, heavy, slow ocean waves off in the distance at night,” he says of his beatless debut album, “and Body Complex is a stunningly bleak, uncharted landscape of man-made cement and artificial foliage.” Take a track like the desaturated “Sunken Living Area”, where flickering synths and chrome-plated drum patterns sketch out Alexander’s conceptual backdrop. You can almost envision the sounds as columns and plateaus protruding from a dusk-lit valley. “Personal Kiosk”, an exuberant ambient-techno highlight with The Sight Below (who also mixed and mastered Body Complex), might best represent everything Heathered Pearls brings to his second album: whorls of deep texture, abstract melodic drifts, elegiac beauty, and illusory dance music.
Of course, the artwork is another integral aspect of Body Complex, especially as it was conceived around an object designed by Alexander. “The shape came from wanting to create an imperfect sculpture that, from a distance, looks like a display piece,” he shares, “but when you get closer and you have more time with it, you see its flaws.” And that sort of ever-changing perspective reflects how the album itself can be heard differently in various contexts. Put on the Shigeto-featuring “Abandoned Mall Utopia” at home, and it’s a softly pulsing current of astral dust; put it on in a DJ set, and the music becomes a heady balm for the dancefloor. “You’re given this body and mind to build on, and everyone has their imperfections they don’t love,” Heathered Pearls explains in regards to the double meaning of his album title. Indeed, Body Complex is an elaborate expression of personal memories and visual metaphors as nuanced electronic music, and just like any fully realized body of work, it’s best understood from more than one vantage point.
A great interview of an ISO50 alumni Beamer went up on Urban Outfitters. The piece goes deep into his travels in his vintage Westfalia Van and includes a playlist that is near perfection.
You have a lot of personal affects on the dash…what always stays in the van?
Everything in the van got there on a trip…and never left. Some favorite items a Kachina doll from a roadside stop, some instant photos, and a little leather pouch full of my “spirit stones” that I got in Joshua Tree. The woman who was selling them picked out this assortment for me, one to help with sleep, one for stress.
Our 2nd installment of the ISO50 Colorcast Mix Series has been carefully put together by the lovely Berlin duo Evvol. Tons of gems in this one, just look at the tracklist below:
1. Harmony In Blue III – Tim Hecker
2. Holifernes – Grouper
3. B:/ Start Up – Blank Banshee
4. Do It Again (prod. NA) – Kelela
5. This Is What It Feels Like – BANKS
6. p u l l – Ricky Eat Acid
7. No Love – Evvol
8. Bunsen Burner – CUTS
9. Hiffle – Throwing Snow
10. The Way I Feel (Ana Caprix Mix) – Doss
11. Now And Forever – Massimilllano Pagliara
12. A Brain In A Bottle – Thom Yorke
13. Still Sleeping – Chrome Sparks
14. Gem Landing – Ellie Herring
15. Abrazo – Anthony Naples
16. Still Here – Claro Intelecto
I put some love into this one, as deep and Detroit feeling as I could, has a lot of new favorites as well, enjoy!
Jakub Alexander (aka Heathered Pearls) injects a heavy dose of distilled and audible imagery in his new THUMP mix, one he calls the soundtrack to an “Inner City Morning.”
The Polish-born is proving his experience with the ambient, yet desolate nature of a concrete jungle. “As someone who was largely raised in the Detroit area, this mix reflects my love for the world of deep and its roots in Detroit’s sound,” he tells THUMP. “From spacey to tribal and techno to house, everything is originally sourced in Detroit.”
Just announced summer shows in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, United States and Canada! Yes, Mexico, I know its been a long time coming, finally our first headlining show in Mexico!
TYCHO SUMMER 2015 TOUR
MAY 21-25 | Bradley, CA | Lightning in a Bottle
MAY 27 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Niceto Club
MAY 28 | Sao Paulo, Brazil | Beco 203 – São Paulo
MAY 30 | Santiago, Chile | Red Bull Music Academy – Centro Del Cerro
JUN 03 | Mexico City, Mexico | SALA
JUN 06-07 | Houston, TX | Free Press Summer Festival, Houston, Texas
JUN 09 | Tampa, FL | The RITZ Ybor
JUN 10 | Miami, FL | Grand Central
JUN 11 | Jacksonville, FL | Freebird Live
JUN 13 | Manchester, TN | Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
JUN 15 | Wilmington, NC | Ziggy’s By The Sea
JUN 16 | Norfolk, VA | The NorVA
JUN 17 | Richmond, VA | The National
JUN 18-21 | Dover, DE | Firefly Music Festival
JUN 19 | Baltimore, MD | Rams Head Live
JUL 08 | Ottawa, Canada | RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
JUL 09 | Quebec City, Canada | Festival d’été de Québec
JUL 10 | Montreal, Canada | Parc Jean-Drapeau
JUL 11 | Toronto, Canada | Echo Beach
JUL 14 | Headingley, Canada | Adrenaline Adventures
JUL 15 | Saskatoon, Canada | Diefenbaker Park
JUL 17 | Calgary, Canada | Prairie Winds Park
JUL 19 | Pemberton, Canada | Pemberton Music Festival
JUL 24-25 | Tulsa, OK | Center of the Universe Festival
AUG 06-09 | Darrington, WA | Summer Meltdown Festival
AUG 14-16 | Somerset, WI | Summer Set Music & Camping Festival
With a 3rd single dropping from the new Tame Impala album, I had to reach out to the graphic designer behind the beautiful madness, so tap in and get inside Robert Beatty’s head the man behind the cover art for TI and many others.
Name: Robert Beatty
Current city: Lexington, Kentucky
Pets: Mr. Smith (toy poodle), Blue Velvet (chihuahua)
Studio setup: In home, basically in my kitchen
ISO50: Share a childhood memory that might relate to your design? I drew constantly as a kid, but I was generally just very curious and wanted to find out how everything worked from the inside out, which is definitely the way I treat design and music. I remember discovering video feedback with the family camcorder when I was in maybe 4th grade or something. Circuit bending not long after that. I was always taking things apart and getting in trouble.
ISO50: If you couldn’t create music or design in your life, what would you be doing? I can’t really imagine doing anything else and being happy. I did a few years of renovation/construction work in the past and enjoyed that quite a bit even though it’s exhausting. I definitely can’t see doing something that doesn’t involve making something in some way.
ISO50: How did you doing Tame Impala album art come about? is this how most of your graphic work comes to you? Kevin was familiar with my work and got in touch. Usually if I don’t know someone or have mutual friends people just reach out to me after seeing my work elsewhere, I’m pretty accessible.
ISO50: Tell us about Tame Impala album art and the influences? Kevin’s ideas for the album artwork were all based on turbulent flow, the way liquid or air flows around objects. He sent over a bunch of images of diagrams that I took inspiration from. Everything was very open and they let me interpret things in my own way. It worked well with the kind of stuff I’ve been interested in doing lately. I’ve been trying to incorporate more op-art and moire techniques into the record covers, and this was the perfect opportunity.
ISO50: Can you list off a 4 song playlist of what you listen to while you do your graphic work? I listen to music constantly while working and it is always all over the place, but here’s some stuff I’ve been playing a lot lately.
Nuno Cannavaro – Alsee Brother Ah – Enthuiasm Bo Anders Persson – Love Is Here To Stay Dendo Marionette – Walts (For Lautréament)
ISO50: Something your fans might not know about you? I grew up on a cattle/tobacco farm. I also showed rabbits in the county fair as a kid.
ISO50: Do you collect anything? My collection of art and design books is starting to get out of hand. I’m kind of a pack rat, so I have small collections of a lot of weird stuff- keys, prisms/interesting glass objects (which come in handy for shooting photographs and video through), objects with brick patterns, plants. Obviously I’ve got some records and tapes too.
ISO50: What is the first album cover that pops up in your head and why? Pretty much anytime anyone asks me this question all I can think of Isadore Seltzer’s (of Pushpin Studios fame) cover to Bruce Haack’s “Electric Lucifer” LP. It’s got the perfect balance of 70’s illustration, geometry, crudeness, and precision that I love. Doesn’t hurt that it’s one of my favorite records too.
ISO50: What do you have lined up for the rest of the year? I’ve been working for a while now on an art book of all new material that will be out later this year. I’m planning some new work for a few exhibitions that are in the works. On the music side of things I’ve got a few Three Legged Race EP’s I’m finishing up that will be out this year as well. I’m also starting a new tape label to put out some of my music and some music by my friends early this summer. I’m working on some new soundtracks for a few short videos by Takeshi Murata right now. Lots of record covers and posters too as always.
Earlier in the year I posted Braille’s EP now we fast forward to today as we premiere a new single from his “Mute Swan” LP, enjoy the single “The Cats Gone Nuts ft. Seafloor” and the interview below.
2. The Cat’s Gone Nuts (feat. Seafloor)
3. Better Than Nothing (feat. Angelica Bess)
4. Insider Out
5. Ports (feat. Angelica Bess)
6. Ended Up In NY
7. It’s All Right (feat. Angelica Bess)
8. I Assume (feat. Jesse Boykins III & Throwing Snow)
9. Stop Drop & Roll
10. Everyone’s Crazy
12. An Oceanic Escape (feat. Olivia Sholler)
13. Gee Whiz
Braille Current city:
Ro aka Chunkers the Cat
ISO50: Dream gear set up:
Braille: What I’ve got right now works pretty well. Highlights are my Prophet 12, Rhodes, Laptop and Apollo Sound Card. I guess if I dream of anything, its having a proper piano around again.
ISO50: Dream gig line up to play with:
Braille: A Piano, Guitar and Vocal Mic
Granular Sampler with a pedal system triggering recording of each of the instruments individually
Controller to control the sampler’s playhead on each individual track
I’m gonna make this happen some day…
ISO50: Share a childhood memory that might relate to your music?
Braille: Every nightmare I ever had as a child where I was frozen by an unseen evil and couldn’t scream
ISO50: If the world lost electricity tomorrow, would you continue to make music and how?
Braille: I’d break out the acoustic guitar, find a piano and go to town
ISO50: How do you and Seafloor know each other?
Braille: We’ve known each other since our first releases during the good old IDM days. Seafloor was in a group on Merck called Landau which progressed through Landau Orchestra and Murray Flexor to its current incarnation as Body Language. He lives a block away from me in Brooklyn and has become one of my closest friends over the past 10 years or so. We’ve been working together more often the past few years, you can check out our first collaborative EP as “Rights” on Infinite Machine.
ISO50: Tell us about the album art for the EP and LP?
Braille: Anthony Ciannamea did an amazing job tying the EP and LP art together while still staying true to the vibe of the individual releases. The cover and back of the LP ties together everything from subject matter (a girl, swan feather) to instruments used (texture from a cardboard box I used for some of the percussion) without feeling too busy. Its been a pleasure to work with him and I’m looking forward to the stuff he’s still cooking up for the album release.
ISO50: Can you list off a 4 song playlist of what you listen to while
you head out for errands?
Braille: It varies but recently these four tracks have been on repeat lately:
Tim Hecker – Virginal I Kendrick Lamar – Institutionalized (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg) Sufjan Stevens – Fourth of July Flying Lotus – Coronus, The Terminator
Photo by Sean Maung
ISO50: Something your fans might not know about you?
Braille: I’m Indorican?
ISO50: Do you collect anything?
Braille: Not really. Music and Instruments I suppose, though I know thats a very boring, expected answer.
ISO50: What is your favourite sound and why?
Braille: The sound of a minor 7th guitar chord run through a granular sampler at a very slow speed with the density and duration maxed out. There’s something so beautiful about both the concept and the resulting sound. On one hand, its a beautiful, epic textural sound and on the other its a statement about the temporal nature of sound since you are exploding a single instant of audio into an endless, living soundscape.
ISO50: Is there any sort of emotional subtext, or something that inspires you to write your solo music?
Braille: Melancholic optimism
ISO50: Any tour dates lining up?
Braille: Some upcoming dates with label mate Different Sleep as well as my release party next month in Brooklyn!
15-Apr – Los Angeles, CA – Low End Theory w Different Sleep
16-Apr – San Francisco, CA – California Academy of Sciences Night Life w Different Sleep
22-Apr – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room w Different Sleep
23-Apr – Chicago, IL – East Room w Different Sleep
8-May – NYC – Mute Swan Release Party at Cameo Gallery w Seafloor & L-Vis 1990
Oswald Mathias Ungers was known for his architecture all around Germany, what I found even more interesting were these drawings and studies he did, some became a reality and some have just only lived on paper.