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Ren Schofield aka. Container ("Sent from my iPhone")

Container's techno noise is the outside looking in

Pitchfork editor Brandon Stosuy selects the Providence-hailing outsider musician fusing noise and dance in new ways

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

The Warm Up at MoMA PS1 takes place in the gallery’s courtyard every Saturday – but for one day only, the live outdoor music series is bringing the party to Dazed. The curators have selected their favourite music artists to come out of the US right now, and resident DJ Maria Chavez has made us an exclusive mix to bring a little MoMA magic to your speakers.

Next on our MoMA-curated mystery tour is techno artist Ren Schofield: aka. Container – as selected by Pitchfork's senior editor, Brandon Stosuy. 


"Ren Schofield, who grew up in Providence and came of age in the early 2000s noise scene that included the likes of Lightning Bolt and various other Load Records mind-blowers, has spoken about how he doesn't necessarily listen to much techno, and started working in the realm of electronic music because his girlfriend (Val Martino, aka Unicorn Hardon) happened to play a version of Daniel Bell's "Losing Control" during a 2009 iPod DJ set. This is a positive: Schofield's an outsider creating his own path, and Container maintains a glued-at-the-seams feel even when his fusion of noise and dance is perfect."

Tell us about where you grew up – what was it like, and how did it influence you going forward?

Container: I grew up in Providence, RI, where I also live currently. It was definitely a cool place to grow up and a huge influence on my musical interests, as discovering the local scene here when I was in high school in the early 00’s exposed me to a lot of damaged music at a young age. 

Moma PS1’ s live shows take place every Saturday all summer long. How do you warm up for the weekend?

Container: My internal clock has been all messed up recently, so it’s usually a Wednesday or something when I’ll feel like raging weekend style, and then Saturday I’m watching a movie at home and going to bed at 11. I feel like there's really no way to prepare yourself for a truly epic weekend, it’s all about what you do to recover from one. 

How’s your summer looking? What do you have planned?

Container: This weekend I’m going out to LA for a show. It’s also my 30th birthday and the venue is right down the street from Tiki Ti, so that’s probably going to get a little sloppy. Later in August I’m going up to Canada and down to North Carolina for some shows. Aside from that though it’s been a relatively mellow Summer, hitting up occasional BBQs around town, just hanging out, etc...

When you make music, what other artists do you look to for inspiration?

Container: I don’t know if there are really any artists that I would specifically look to in hopes of inspiration, it comes from various places at various times. Some things that have made me feel positive about music recently would be…well, just a couple weeks ago I played some shows with this guy Max Eilbacher. Recently I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to get some type of computer music program just to mess around with when I’m bored instead of goofing off on the Internet. And Max was playing primarily computer based sets, which sometimes I’m not the biggest fan of, but he really pulled it off in a great way and brought out some amazing sounds that I couldn’t even begin to imagine how you’d replicate with actual gear, so that was an uplifting moment. That same weekend at the Fleshtival in Far Rockaway, another Providence guy, Brown Recluse Alpha did a really great, casual style cassette based set, which had this really amazing transition in it where he took the music from an extremely minimal point where there was basically almost nothing going on, to full-on crushing mode, without any type of build up. In writing it might not sound so good, but live it was very effective. 

What’s your perspective on the American underground music scene right now, as you inhabit it? Where do we go from here?

Container: Since the majority of touring I do these days is as Container, that actually really limits the amount of music I get exposed to in other cities. A lot of these club nights like there to be just one live act and a bunch of DJ’s, so I don’t get to see anyone play at those, and then a lot of the festivals or ‘bigger shows’ just book people who get written about on blogs a lot. So I might not be as well versed on the current state of underground affairs as some people I know, but from my perspective it seems as though things are going quite well and the musical diversity factor within the scene seems to be at a particularly high point, which in my opinion is pretty exciting. 

What's an electronic musician from Manchester got to do with the United States? Check out Imogene Strauss (Cool Managers) and her selection, ultra-fresh artist Boothroyd.