My album with Strië, Struktura Revisted, was released on A Strangely Isolated Place on 31 January 2022 and I thought it might be interesting to offer a little more context to the release.
Olga Wojciechowska is a Polish composer of great repute. I’ve long been an admirer of her productions, which embrace both a darkness and a lightness of touch at the same time. They can be introspective and melancholic, whilst building into epic soundscapes that soar over the rooftops.
Olga and I became friends some time ago and regularly continue to exchange playful messages about work and life in tandem. As they are indeed often the same thing for us both! We certainly bonded over a world where music and contemporary dance unite, since her compositions have accompanied works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Yabin Wang amongst others, and at this point in time I’ve scored 66 works for dance.
And like myself, she’s also an artist who enjoys exploring ideas of identity, having had releases out under a variety of names, including Strië and Iden Reinhart. Whilst I’ve also been known as Trawl, Teenie Semolina, Scannerfunk, and Radar, and others which it’s best to keep secret for now.
Her album Struktura was originally released on Serein in 2015 but only reached a few ears due to its exclusive physical nature, and back in 2020 we began a conversation where we somehow put forward the idea of reworking this album to reach a new audience.
I had no deadline, no guidelines, and decided to treat the recordings in a very malleable way, as if moulding clay. Olga sent me some stems and full recordings which I proceeded to sample and transform in the studio, mostly in a live scenario. It was entirely based on trust and intuition. It was less like one artist remixes another, and more like a collaboration.
I used some of my instruments with the most imaginative names, including the Ciat Lonbarde Cocoquantus, the Make Noise Morphagene, and so on. The weirder and wilder the name the more I enjoyed working, of course! They allowed me to process and treat the recordings and in combination with a few other tools, including the Elektron Digitakt and a few guitar pedals, I pretty much performed the works live to tape.
Well, not exactly tape, as it was a computer, but these were not tracks that could be reworked and rebalanced. What you hear today is pretty much a picture of how they came into life at the time.
And so, Ryan at A Strangely Isolated Place, who had previously worked with Olga, took on the challenge of releasing this, in the grandest manner too. The album is now available as a gatefold double LP in a grey/black vinyl edition, as well as digital of course too.
The artwork by Dutch artist Rep Ringel is outstanding. Rep creates astonishingly beautiful works that are directly connected to music. Indeed, perusing the titles of his works you may discover Joy Division or Loscil amongst countless others. Buyers of the vinyl also receive a 6×6” soft-touch heavy art card featuring his work, ideal for framing.
Instead of a world tour to promote the album and since Olga is too busy with modelling assignments and I have so much housework to keep up with, I made a single performance on Bandcamp Live, which you can watch an excerpt of here.
I tried to follow a similar approach to that of how I made the original recordings, and tended to dub things out more using the SOMA Cosmos and Hologram Electronics Microcosm to create space and live loops. It would be wonderful one day to follow this approach in a live situation on stage too, rather than directly from the studio on screen.
Reviews so far have been very encouraging too, and I’m truly honoured to have this out on such a prestigious label and working with such a professional team of people, right down to the mastering by my good friend Rafael Anton Irisarri.
Struktura Revisted is available on Bandcamp.