“Right now, I don’t want to hear music, I want to hear the world.” Last we listened to Berlin-based producer Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf in his image mix and accompanying interview, ‘the world’ was one steeped in the paralinguistic elements of phenomena like ASMR and a fascination with the role of timbral listening in shaping our sensory perceptions. It illustrated the Lithuanian artist’s disillusionment with music as both an artform and an industry, while producing a sound that eschewed any traditional notion of a dance beat in favour of “spoken samples and raps, as well as buried breaths and gasps”.
This time around Biberkopf presents Video. It’s a peg up from the static image of the former mix title and points towards a picture’s movement in the following. As he explains via email, it’s “exploring visuality, digital materiality/new matter/hybrid reality, certain cultures, emotions, collective behaviours etc.”, while a wash of growling loops spiral across a Portugese Fado a capella, porn soundtrack and windscreen wipers. Biberkopf declined to provide an image to go along with the mix, instead agreeing to a shade off white in its place and writing that any visual representation would be “trivial and somehow forced” considering its themes. He also pointedly notes that Malevich’s ‘White on White‘ (1918) was produced nearly a hundred years ago, a product of the abstract artist’s Suprematist movement that privileges “the supremacy of pure artistic feeling” over its visual depiction.
Biberkopf does however note an earlier aqnb interview with Nate Boyce as a major influence on Video – specifically its references to the concepts of new matter and hyperformalism – in what he calls “a pretty subjective (artistic) exploration of these themes”. Without making any defined statements on his intention, the artist stresses the mix – with its opening sample of motivational speaker Dan Pink’s 2009 TED Talk on ‘The Puzzle of Motivation‘ (“if you want people to perform better, you reward them”) and closing remix of Georgia Girls and Kelela – is more a speculation on “the function of sound in the digital” and how it affects the human condition therein. If the the repeating vox pops of “accelerate creativity”, “career anxiety” and a Steve Carell The Office tantrum are anything to go by, it’s being affected in rather strange and scary ways. **
Listen to the mix and see track listing below.
2. EA SPORTS
9. Impression V4
10. Fado 10
11. Piano Break
12. Waters V3
19. Construction V3 (Remix by Georgia Girls/Kelela)
21. Grey / Scream