Baltimore's avant-luxe producer takes us through his elusive tastes via a thrilling new mix
Baltimore producer Co La's output of unpredictable electronic music works around elusive and abstract samples, making for a texturally rich collection of explorative tracks. This May, his new album on Software Recordings amalgamates his sounds via an emotional roller coaster, entitled 'Moody Coup', arriving as more a complex venture than its predecessor ‘Daydream Repeater’ (NNA Tapes, 2011). Co La, aka Matt Papich's previous record presented a more saccharine side, fusing abstracted elements of reggae, exotica, and 60s girl vocals, having been described as anything from 'new exotica' and 'Avant-luxury'.
"'Daydream Repeater' was an Exotica record, I wanted to make something that could transport via the generic. 'Moody Coup' works in the same ways, but the places it goes to aren't as bubbly. It's more descriptive, the details are richer and it unravels at moments. It's more also broken. I'm trying to move through a wider spectrum of feeling, so the sound is becoming less grounded, and less insistent. I want the listener to have questions as much as certainty. The approach for making Coup was careful and steady. I tried to do as much deleting as inputing, so the process was refined as it moved forward." says Papich. "Concepts motivate parts of the work in different ways. In a track like Deaf C, I think about formalizing the hysterical elements of 50s American pop music, but I can also think about how a resonant kick drum makes our bodies feel. I follow all the leads, the physical, the heady. the cryptic, the sonic etc…"
Uprising Ballad - Tomasz Stanko - Hamburg 2004
Departure - Makesnd - Equator
Undone - Phork - Entertainment
Nice Mullet - Bandshell - Caustic View
Poverty And It's Opposite - Arve Henriksen - Cartography
Irritant - Marcel Dettmann - Dettmann
Lucky Strike - Arnold Dreyblatt - Propellers In Love
Better Ways of Living - Peverelist - Better Ways of Living
Great Northern Diver - Dexter - Great Norther Diver
Grease - Vacants- N/A
Hydro at 14th Alder - No UFOS - MPC Tracks
Migration - Arve Henriksen - Cartography
The Fourth Quarter - Vladislav Delay - The Four Quarters
Dazed Digital: The first track, 'Sukiyaki (To Die For)' recalls the Japanese classic by Kyu Sakamoto. What fascinates you about the original?
Co La: I've always loved the melody of Suki. I remember the 4PM version from the radio. I kept coming across versions, in different genres, and followed the lead. I like these songs that get repurposed again and again. I knew from Dustin Wong about the title - it being re-titled for the American audience. The Japanese title would translate to something like "I Walk Looking Up". It's a sad song but it is also very proud. It got called Sukiyaki when it came to America, for radio, named after what I think is basically a hot noodle dish.
I liked the confusion that began with the re-title, and continued with each version of the song, I knew it would be a melody to extract for a Co La track. The American lyrics differ from the Japanese, I got a translation from Dustin but ultimately scrapped the words. Without language it feels more Deja Vu, it's also more basic and generic. You only hear it for a few seconds in in middle of my version, it's a precision entry point for the rest of the record.
DD: Tell us about the video for 'Deaf Christian'?
Co La: Depending on the circumstances I'll sometimes use stone fruit during performances - I'll crush one or eat some at elite moments during the set. It's a way to focus, because it shifts the perspective for the audience - because it's an odd gesture, it raises questions. The video took that gesture and fully investigated it. We tried to ride the song, which basically starts over - rewinds, four times. There is humor, but also moments of tension and unease. We were looking at the Aphex art - loving how punk the humour is.
Moody Coup is out 6th May 2013 via Software Recordings Co