Meet the master behind Pugh’s audio architecture: long-term collaborator Matthew Stone on creating music for the London designer’s curious world
For his AW15 homecoming show, Gareth Pugh tapped in to his cultural fascination with the British Isles, joining forces with longterm sound collaborator Matthew Stone to convey an otherworldly, warrior-like vision. Having worked together since the !WOWOW! squat days of the early 00s, the duo have developed their own musical language, enabling Pugh’s shows to dominate the senses. This season, models stormed the runway with their faces smeared with a bloody Saint George's Cross – matching this sense of a strange, almost unsettling patriotism, Stone re-appropriated distorted football chants into music, pairing them with an agitated, strident beat.
Backstage, he explained:
“The Sunderland football chants were Gareth’s idea. He told me at one point he was worried that his dad would join in with the chant! The rest of the track I built from scratch and it was supposed to be something that was totally uncompromising. Over the years, I think that we've developed a language with the music that we’ve made. It's sort of this like slow techno, EBM and Belgian new beat infused thing. And so, in that sense, there’s definitely a mood to start from. In a way, tonight was so different to things that we’ve done in the past, and I think that was important. But then it's still this very serious show soundtrack, and then a really fun finale. I think that is very much part of Gareth's world and I think it’s a very good way of understanding his work, and a metaphor for his work, because it’s this big vision, and it’s otherworldly; it is Gareth’s world, and the music has to reflect that. But then also, there’s just this little reminder that he does have a sense of humour, and that he knows what he’s doing and he’s fully aware of what he’s doing. And I think that it’s nice to try and be able to try reflect that in music.”
Listen below, and head here for a full playlist of Stone’s Pugh soundtracks.
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