Software signee Tallesen explains how Constructivism influences his work, and we premiere a remix from his latest EP.
Along with Recondite, Tallesen (AKA Cayman Johnson) is one of the most profound musicians we know. A few months back, the New York-based visual and audio artist released his debut LP, Stills Lit Through, via Oneohtrix Point Never’s abstract Software label, which situates him in the company of a host of intellectual producers like Huerco S and Tim Hecker. We became infatuated with his hypnotic loops and asked Tallesen to explain his influences in what would have been a column-slash-interview about his visual and theoretical inspirations.
He sent us a list of artists, philosophers, and YouTube videos, along with some often abstruse explanations of how they’ve influenced his productions. It spiralled into a didactic dorm room-style email exchange about Constructivist artist Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, architect/stage designer Adolphe Appia, and YouTube videos of Kobe Bryant. “Constructivism is a school of thought that holds art accountable for serving some practical use,” he wrote. “Maholy-Nagy’s creations were display pieces as well as constructions for some sort of imaginary function. To me, using a work to imagine some desire that humans haven’t experienced yet is stimulating advice for creating abstract work. For instance, I think about music as an accessory in different settings which serves the function of engaging human response.”
It took us a while to digest and process everything Cayman sent us, but now that we’ve heard Dreamcrusher’s remix of “Glenticast,” it feels like it’s all coming together. The rework marries Tallesen’s penchant for the esoteric—blurry instrumentation, grainy lo-fi production—with the dance floor functionality of a careening kick drum that underpins the shifting layers of sound. In that way, perhaps the track stimulates a desire for gritty textures and conceptual sonics that might seem impractical when it comes to making your average clubgoer dance.
“Glenticast (Dreamcrusher Remix)” is out this Friday on Software, along with reworks by Thug Entrancer, Lord Raja, Best Available Technology, and Kanyon.