Roots and Influences invites our favourite artists, local and afar, to curate a playlist of 10 songs that have inspired their career to date. With the re-issue of lucid debut album 'Advanced Myth' this Friday, we chat with Dialect, the now long-standing project of British composer and musician Andrew PM Hunt. An enchanted exploration of unusual source synthesis, electro-acoustic arrangements and found sound, 'Advanced Myth' is its own cosmos expanding in real time. Andrew takes us back to when he first created the album 10 years ago...
Image credits: Marieka Macklon
“Since my first Dialect album ‘Advanced Myth’ is being reissued this month, I thought It’d be fun to try and get back into the mindset I was in when I started making that record around 10 years ago. At the time, I was listening to a lot of American minimalism and just discovering the sound of 70’s Kosmische bands, like Cluster through their work with Brian Eno. Both scenes were progressive but there was also something almost ancient or eternal in the music, which I felt really drawn to.
Before I started Dialect I’d been mostly making music in bands kinda taking the post-punk route - Talking Heads, DEVO, Roxy Music and Eno’s rock records - music that talked about the world around us. This music was trying to create whole new worlds through sound, and since I was working on my own for the first time and not in the social dynamic of a band, that resonated for me. Total control lol.
I was also discovering musique concrete and music which uncoupled familiar sounds from their usual context, making you hear them in a totally new way. I especially loved pieces that mixed field recordings of the natural world with electronic sounds, showcasing their shared energy.
Youtube was another big inspiration. This was around the time ASMR videos first started appearing online. I loved this unexpected overlap between experimental music and teenagers squishing slime in their bedrooms. I remember also being fascinated by all the ’10 hours of relaxing waves for your dog’ videos that started popping up.
The final piece of the puzzle is my fascination at the time with DJ mixes. This was the tail-end of the blog days and sites like Allez Allez and SkullJuice. This introduced me to lots of new tunes but, more than that, it influenced the way I structured my own album, blending between a range of disparate moods and trying to create something more than the sum of its parts."
David Borden - Esty Point
David Borden is a minimalist who worked pretty much exclusively with hand-played analogue synthesizers, mostly Moogs. His use of harmony and counterpoint is totally wild. I first heard of David Borden through his FRKWYS collab with OPN, James Ferraro and Laurel Halo on RVNG Intl, so it's pretty cool to me that Advanced Myth is being released on the same label :)
Cluster - Sowiesoso
I love Cluster and discovered so much music through this record. This one buzzes with such a peaceful glow. Like a psychedelic walk through the forest.
James Ferraro - Clear
James Ferraro was and remains a super influential musician for me. The way he brings this kind of pulpy anthropological approach to his choice of sounds and imagery is totally inspired. I hear this as his take on stuff like Cluster and Terry Riley, but pushed through his weird low-res early 00s DIY aesthetic. Ancient future music for sure.
Laurie Spiegal - Patchwork
I’d been listening to lots of early computer music, the kind made on a machine the size of a building and sounded like totally random bleeps and bloops. When I heard Laurie Spiegal’s music, something clicked. Its interlocking lines of melody sounded like listening to weaving patterns, or staring into a Mexican blanket and immediately resonated with the minimalism I'd been listening to.
Denis Smalley - Pentes
Denis Smalley was a very academic electroacoustic composer from New Zealand, who studied at the famous GRM in Paris. I think I was initially attracted to this because of its beautiful cover art. Perhaps it's because of the artwork, but I hear this as an exploration of the sound of liquid. This isn’t '10 hours of relaxing waves’ though, it feels more like a glimpse of water at a molecular level.
Terry Riley - Descending Moonshine Dervishes
Just the best record ever. I listen to this at least once a week, always first thing in the morning. It's a great record to let your brain wake up to. Terry Riley is a massive influence on me. A few years before making Advanced Myth i played in a performance of his piece In C, which totally changed the way I thought about music. You could almost say that piece was designed rather than written, since it gives the players these tiny fragments of melody which can be combined in endless permutations. This piece is just Terry shredding on the organ though, and it rules.
Steve Reich - Come Out
This was the first ‘tape piece’ I ever heard and is the inspiration for my piece ‘Developers’, which opens Advanced Myth. I barely recognised it as music the first time I heard it, but it perfectly encapsulates the idea of slow change over time, as well as music’s capacity to speak a message. The piece was spliced together by Reich for a benefit concert for the Harlem 6, a group of black kids who were arrested for the murder of a refugee only one of them had committed. Reich was given hours and hours of recorded testimony to use as material for the piece, and in the end uses a 4 second loop to stunning effect by slowly phasing it with a duplicate. The words are spoken by one of the youths, who is explaining how he had to ‘make some of the bruise blood come out’ to convince the police he had been badly beaten in jail. The inherent melody in the voice is amazing and the way the voice split is pretty mind-bending. Madvillain also sampled the Reich piece later on.
Steve Reich - You Are
One of my favourite Reich pieces. I could go on forever, but his style of suspended harmony and the way he shifts chords has had a profound effect on me.
Between - Devotion
A classic stoner kosmische track. As a teenager I'd been really into desert rock and 70s prog stuff, so this felt like a really natural extension of that. It's super repetitive and tbh, slightly hammy in its faux eastern vibe, but it summons an undeniable atmosphere.
Alex Egan - Lounge Mix for Durr (2008)
I’ve talked about this mix loads, but the way these tracks are strung together has probably had more of an influence on the way I make music than any other record. Incredible selection of tunes too, almost certainly something new in there for you.
Dialect - 'Advanced Myth' is out this Friday on RVNG Intl, both digitally and on vinyl - listen and pre-order below!
|| DIALECT ||