Watch Lee Gamble’s constructivist techno come apart

Lee Gamble’s new album ‘KOCH’ strikes the perfect balance between brains, techno and ambience. Here, we premiere his hyper-modernist video to Motor Systems

In KOCH, his follow-up to 2012 releases Dutch Tvashar Plumes and Diversions 1994-1996, London-based producer Lee Gamble, fuses techno and ambience without overdoing either. Opener "Untitled Reversion’ and midway, "Frame Drag", are spacial, barely-there pieces of minimalistic electronic music. But it doesn’t take long for Gamble, signed to Bill Kouligas’ Berlin-based experimental label, PAN, to completely rethink the ethereal, haunting sound of "Head Model". Instead, replacing the near-silence with thumping techno beats in the albums heavier tracks takes a similar but more forgiving form. In "You Concrete", a solitary male voice repeats “what you got is a miserable subculture”, of which Lee says “I like language that makes use of itself – that can have an echo, to invoke different responses.” 

Today, we're premiering the video to an album highlight. ‘Motor System’ is brought to life by London-based artist and designer Dave Gaskarth’s visual accompaniment. Blocky cubes filter around the screen, splitting into, and out of one another; “the video is built partly around ideas of brutalist architecture, geometrics – Me and Dave have been friends for many years, and I think when Dave heard ‘Motor System’, he immediately thought on this angle. We grew up in Birmingham. Birmingham looks a certain way. It has certain angles to its structure.”   

Which styles, sounds and artists were you listening to when you were growing up? 

Lee Gamble: The Streetsounds Hip Hop Electro 11 cassette was the first thing I remember really being blown away by - Roxanne Shante, Def Fresh Crew, Mantronix. I had a couple of those tapes when I was very young that some older lads borrowed me, they were into BMXing and stuff. I wasn’t big enough to get involved, but they lent me some records and tapes and I leant them my football. 

I remember being into ‘electronic’ sounds early on. In my teens I found (and grew up with) Jungle amongst other stuff. I’d consider Jungle the first music I really felt was my own. It was a huge thing for me as a kid - the clubs, the record shops, radio stations, people’s bedrooms who had turntables, the areas you would hang. 

What are your other interests outside of music? 

Lee Gamble: I’ve always had an interest in cosmology, deconstruction, art in general … boundless space, vegetarian Indian food, time, cats, memory, the hyperreal, Francis Bacon, reductionism, sleep, robots, Jean Baudrillard, agnosticism, decay, hallucination, nothingness, religion, dinosaurs ... 

How would you describe your sound? 

Lee Gamble: I guess it’s based on a mixture of my history, influences, emotional disposition, interests, dislikes, geographical place, needs – it’s in flux: it’s important to keep what I do malleable. 

What’s the process of making ‘KOCH’ been like? 

Lee Gamble: It’s a move away from a more inflexible way of composing. It’s the longest record I have ever made. ‘KOCH’ is made up of music and sounds I have made over the last 3 to 4 years mostly. The process was a matter of pushing things around and seeing what emotional responses certain things suggested to me and seeing what they are or what I can turn them into. It’s more relaxing now to make music, I used to impose many rules on myself but now I’m allowing myself to chill and explore the more human aspects of my sound … 

‘KOCH’ is out now