Light a candle. Draw the required signals. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low.
When I spoke to LA’s Bestial Mouths about David Psutka’s 2013 album A/B Til Infinity, we kept returning to his music’s transportive element. When you listen to Egyptrixx, there’s always some aspect of film and literary reference in his work that twists your mind down a certain path, and that path often leads to a dystopian nightmare. Psutka explained the source of his inspirations when we spoke. “I get a similar feeling from listening to a band like Sunn O))) as I would from a great, loud techno set,” he told me—”concussion plus tranquility.”
Two years later, he’s still compelled by the raw sounds of blackened guitars and throbbing bass. “I think there are amazing musical and non-musical ideas in black metal, certainly ones that can be lifted and used in club or any kind of music,” says Psutka. His newest LP Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] goes a step closer toward the dark side, replacing the futuristic outlook of A/B with a more experimental outlook, past the neo-dancefloors and into a wreckage of cold, crumpled steel. Far from tranquility, we’re left with something monstrous and beautiful: an aural avatar of mechanical sounds evocative of Ballard’s Crash.
“Thematically, I try to keep Egyptrixx records vague and open,” says Psutka, “‘Meaning’ is accidental or loose at best—unintentional. The music is pretty meandering and layered, which can conjure specific places and feelings, but I spend as much energy stripping the message away as I do putting it in. Generally and personally, this record was about extracting, providing, and internalizing power—human or otherwise. I was also thinking a lot about material texture when I wrote it: concrete, steel, mirror. Specifically, the precise moment that electricity first passes through power-grid infrastructure.”
As the premiere release from his new label Halocline Trance—his first foray as Egyptrixx outside of his old home Night Slugs—Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] is as much a statement of Psutka’s DIY outlook as it is an advance of sound. His CTM Festival set proved that, while experimental sounds and dance music may still sit awkwardly together, they’re getting closer to a melding of ideas than ever before. “I think club music has always been a totally open and organic world,” he said. “Music, sex, fashion and drug experiments are pretty basic elements of club culture and it makes sense that many spheres of club music have very strong avant-garde traditions which bubble up to mainstream music very regularly. There is a lot of overlap.”
Immerse your ears in the premiere of Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] above. It’s out next week, but I suspect its impact will be out for much longer.
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Published February 06, 2015. Words by Daniel Jones.