Enigmatic electronic producer Octo Octa aka Michael Bouldry-Morrison's haunting, beautifully-refined debut LP arrives as his welcome return to the 100% Silk label founded by Amanda Brown championing the finest in experimental music. Creating hypnagogic atmospheres built up of crisp percussion layered with hazy synths, dark pulsating bass and softly uttered vocals, the Brooklyn-based producer's form of contemporary house music is a wholly personal endeavour. Revealing that it was his personal torments with anxiety and self-reflection that formed the basis of his record's introspective yet ambiguous titles (Fear, Uneasy, Who Will I Become), Bouldry-Morrison's subdued melancholic keys and hypnotic drum patterns result in the most subtle melodic concoctions. Here, he shares a half hour collection of previously unheard and unreleased material as a glimpse of his careful, mellifluous work.
Dazed Digital: What's the story behind the album title (Between Two Selves)?
Octo Octa: The album title is about me dealing with a nervous breakdown I had, the persisting ramifications of it and the realities I had to face about myself during it. It’s about working with anxiety, relationships, trying to be happy, and everything that comes with trying to be the person you want to be.
DD: Was your frame of mind a positive one in the construction of this somewhat dark album? / Is that something you are naturally drawn to?
Octo Octa: I want all the music I do to have emotion in it in some aspect, be that happy or sad. And typically the tunes I like most have a sense of darkness to it. So while the album is dark, I didn’t want to have the entire thing be a downer. I was dealing with a lot of emotions while constructing parts of it and mixing exaltation with darkness felt right. I think that working through things with music is a positive experience in general. Admittedly though once I finished it I kind of had to make a conscious choice to write some upbeat dancefloor tunes and be a little lighter.
DD: Your work is very atmospheric and at times melancholic, but being based around house rhythms, would you consider your music 'dance music'?
Octo Octa: I would definitely consider what I do is dance music. My favourite thing in the world is to dance and what I make has to make me dance or else I won’t work on it. This album overall is slower than previous releases I’ve had, so at times it can feel a little more languid, but I’ll still get on the dancefloor for it and I hope it moves others to as well.
DD: What are you most looking forward to next?
Octo Octa: Working on new tunes! This album took a lot out of me and I couldn’t really write anything for five months after. All I’m focusing on right now is singles and EPs to get out right now. I’ll probably start working on another LP by the end of the year, but albums are a tough thing to do and need to be cohesive, not sound like a bunch of singles tacked together with filler ambient things.
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