“Did You Hear That?” – perth Daijing Interview

Music interviews: often they are nothing but boring walls of text meant to promote albums and/or artists. Sure, we at Soul Feeder also wish to give the spotlight to artists we believe deserve it. However, we also wish to get to know the artist. By sharing 3 random tracks with the artists, we wish to ignite interesting discussions regarding relevant themes, lyrics and the songs themselves. What does the artist think of the tracks we love? This episode: Anonymous electronic duo perth Daijing. What are their thoughts on tracks by Captain Murphy, Kojey Radical and object blue? Also, what song would they recommend themselves?

Can music acts get any more mysterious? Two highly talented DJs met during Björk’s Vulnicura tour decided to gather forces as perth Daijing, creating incredible music under an anonymous name. Their live shows are carried out by another artist of Perth Records and their Instagram is merely used for stories. Several theories have already been created yet, so far, no one has figured out who are part of this highly gifted duo. Either way – their music is fantastic and it’s an honor to interview them. Naturally, the interview was also done in an anonymous fashion. In order to distinguish between the two members, they will be referred to as Boot 1 and Boot 2 throughout the interview. At their own request, of course.

2018 has been a very successful year for Perth Records so far. What have been your highlights so far and what are you looking forward to most?

EEK! I feel like connecting with a smaller audience than we are used to has been a mad highlight. Also as Sam (bloodvessel) kindly took on doing our sets to keep our faces/bodies hidden, we’ve been able to be in the crowd and enjoy our own sets – on its own a highly bizarre experience. We’re looking forward to release at least one more EP this year as perth Daijing as well.

Who are we currently speaking with? According to your bio, perth Daijing consists of two members. I assume we’re speaking with just one member?

We happen to be together now, so both of us! It’s a rare occasion – even when we write our tracks we are usually on different sides of the world.

Song #1:

As an anonymous project, the two of you provoke a lot of questions. Just a few days ago there was even a thread on Reddit that proposed that perth Daijing was a collaborative project between SOPHIE and Arca. In 2012, Flying Lotus had an anonymous alter ego that also provoked a lot of attention (albeit on a slightly bigger scale). This rap alter ego, Captain Murphy, had its own EP but his identity didn’t remain unknown for long.  

First off, what do you think of this song? Have you heard it before?

Boot 1: I found out about this not long ago as I’ve become obsessed with this guy from Flying Lotus’ label called Iglooghost. I’ve been stalking Flying Lotus ever since, haha.

Boot 2: I mean, even if FlyLo shits in a cup, I’m going to buy it anyway so I’m really enjoying this, haha.

Long before Captain Murphy revealed himself, many people already suspected that it was an alter ego of Flying Lotus. Is it hard to remain anonymous in the internet era, in which info can spread incredibly quickly and in which nothing seems to be private?

We believe it isn’t. Just like anyone can create a fake identity on the net, like all those kids pretending to be super “flow bow bam bang” and all that bullshit, it is possible to stay anonymous as an artist. Everything you want to keep private will stay private, if you choose to make it available for the world instead than it just won’t.

Is remaining anonymous in a sense also some sort of “protest” against how the music industry, even in the more “alternative” genres, has become more and more about visibility and aesthetics rather than the music itself?

Bull’s eye! We are not looking for commercial success with this project as we both happen to be pretty well-off in our normal artist lives. The whole point is that this is a project purely for the music, purely for the sound and the vibes that are felt in clubs. We even decided to do ‘stories only’ on Instagram as our point was talking directly to the audience to see what they felt, heard, hated, loved!

Also, what’s the point of aesthetics if everyone looks the damn same? It’d be amazing if underground musicians actually had the balls to bring something different to the table instead of trying to all be a copycat of each other. We would much rather enjoy a personal world than some generic bullshit, sad faces on mirror selfies, egocentrical teenagers and gothic typefaces … like that’s done and overdone.. gone, bye.

If the “mask” ever comes off, will perth Daijing still be capable of continuing in the way it’s been functioning right now?

It won’t come off we think … unless someone takes our phones and goes into our Gmails or whatever, hahaha. This project purely for the enjoyment of the music. We don’t matter here and we don’t want to matter. If we did, we’d just make this music from our personal projects (which would be quite fun honestly, haha)

Song #2:

In an interview with LCA you stated: “London used to be this open space for artists to go mental and be creative, though now with trends, Instagrams and egos it has become pretty much restrictive.” A London rapper that goes by the name of Kojey Radical, in my opinion, has in recent years created his very own sound, thereby often mixing elements of trap and grime with lyrics and visuals that you usually wouldn’t expect from these genres. Whereas perhaps not the most “challenging” music in terms of sounds, it is an interesting mix of mainstream music with a layer of “artsiness”.

What do you think of the song?

LOVE THIS GUY! We actually DJ this track so this is pretty much love. Our point, however, wasn’t about the creators as much as it was about the audience. If you are not in the Dazed type of world then the London audience won’t take you seriously. This is something we both experienced at the beginning of our careers. Until there was an article about a track/EP/album on Dazed, people thought we were amateurs. It’s actually ridiculous, mate! Dazed is dead. It has become the safest magazine out there. Get some taste you people!

Back in the day you’d go to a rave in Hackney Wick or whatever and go see a DJ that your mates enjoyed like: “this person DJed last weekend and I tripped the shit out on his set” or “I had the time of my life at this show” and that’s what’d make you go see and check it out. There was a relentless search for whatever provokes an emotion for you. It wasn’t like: “Oh, this person is in Vogue and has 10K followers on Instagram – we need to check them out.” Well, good for them. Their music might be shit though, haha.

London is not only changing from a music perspective – with the dramatic increase in the amount of stabbings, a degree of political division and terror attacks a lot has happened in the past few years. Can you notice major changes personally?

London has ALWAYS been a very racist/homophobic/ xenophobic place though it’s just being highlighted more lately. For example, last week there was an acid attack in Dalston and the news portrayed it as “HOMOPHOBIC ACID ATTACK AT DALSTON SUPERSTORE” though the club had closed already and it happened like a mile away from the club. Newspapers people love drama and in the end they need their clickbait in order to make cash.

As Kojey rapped on AFTER WINTER: “Adele was chasing pavements, I was busy ducking sirens.” Street culture (and rap) have been a major part of the London music scene for decennia, but with the increasing popularity of hip-hop (and especially grime in the UK), gang culture on the rise and huge wealth inequality, London seems to be the capital of hard-hitting street music. What are your thoughts on this type of music in general?

 First of all, Adele is from Tottenham – she ain’t a posh bitch either, haha. On a more serious note though: we love grime. It gives a voice to all these communities with a sound that perfectly mixes a US influence with real UK sound. We love it even more when grime artists do some crazy stuff like this rapper called Trim whose song Before I Lied was produced by James Blake. This is some mind blowing stuff.

Do you think the situation on the ground has had a major influence on the rise of “street music” in London or do you think its increase in popularity is more caused by global trends?

Something that really annoys us is that lately it has become cool to act like you’re “hood” and that really makes me want to vomit. If there’s a genuine story behind those lyrics – like the many stories that happen in London – then it makes sense for this music to exist, but otherwise? Nah, fuck that.

Is the gaining prominence of hip-hop also pushing “underground music” deeper into the underground? 

We don’t think so! There are amazing underground hip hop/trap producers like Sami Baha or even Merca Bae that create these new rhythms which might become the future of mainstream so I feel like it pushes it out of the underground rather than even deeper into it. Even stuff like SOPHIE producing for Madonna is quite an example of how newer sounds can take you out of the underground.

Do you think a part of the restrictive nature of London is caused by external factors such as political and social developments?

I mean, you’ll always struggle in London. The rent is high, food is expensive, indie promoters pay almost nothing because they are a bunch of disorganized kids … The struggle is real. We feel like this situation creates some sort of filter for creators though – a fly or die type of thing. If your shit survives all of these struggles then you deserve to exist.

Song #3:

Recently, Radar Radio, one of the London radio stations at the forefront of giving a platform to upcoming electronic and hip-hop artists, (temporarily) decided to suspend its broadcasting after allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation. One of the artists that the station supported was techno producer object blue, who somewhat ironically stated the following in an interview with the blog of the radio:

 “I am in such awe of all the women who are in the scene despite being groped, harassed, talked down to, you know?”

Her experimental club style has gained her quite some attention in the past few months and she just released her first EP.

What do you think of this song?

First of all – the fact that this YouTube channel is called MADJESTIC is genius. Object blue creates exactly the type of shit we love. Even though it’s “clubby” it still makes you think deep. It’s not some random track with no soul – this has a lot of soul poured into it.

Have you heard of the Radar Radio situation?

Of course we have and it’s a sad sad sad situation. I don’t understand how such a platform can just shut down instead of IDing the people that were being abusive and fire them. Radar has always welcomed Perth Records in general. For example, they brought Quay Dash, they’ve always been amazing with Sam and Jose (there are not many labels run by a gay couple so they’ve had shit from other radio stations before) and they’ve always been super welcoming to all our crazy stuff. Now, all of a sudden, the platform is gone.

The station quickly built up a strong reputation and was one of the main platforms in London for certain alternative genres. Do you think this gap can be filled and do you think the station had a positive influence on the development of electronic music in the city?

With Radar gone there’s a massive gap that can’t just be filled up. Of course there are NTS and Rinse though that’s about it. Radar has always been the go-to for many artists, especially grime artists that were eventually found by bigger labels because of their shows on Radar. There were endless collections of amazing mixes through all genres of music… It’s definitely a platform that will be missed. Also, both NTS and Rinse have a specific “theme” and a vibe. The cool thing about Radar was that it was open to everyone.

It also makes me think of all the pedophile cases at the BBC and all of the harassment at the office. All of that happened and the BBC just fired the people who did it and kept on running. If an individual or a group of people are abusing their power they should be fired and punished, but right now, all of the amazing people that had shows at Radar are screwed. Also, there were the same issues at NTS and there are the same issues at Rinse – we are saying this based on our own experiences –  though no one seems to speak about those. Radar just suddenly turned into some sort of “evil being” after years of bringing greatness to London.

Do you feel like the music world has become more intolerant towards women or other so-called minorities in the past few years?

Boot 1: Music shouldn’t be about gender or minorities, period. Discriminating negatively or positively against a human being for whatever they have going on down there is plain pathetic bullshit. It happens to be that London is a very white city though it also has a huge mixed community of people that create art. Women, men, trans, no gender – whoever you are shouldn’t be a factor determining your work opportunities.

Boot 2: In my real-life project I give a lot of attention to the queer community and I’ve been looked down upon many times for my gender though that doesn’t mean I want to create music uniquely for one certain crowd. Personally, I simply feel more comfortable playing in Heaven than playing at some BNP bar of course, though I must say that I have some very conservative fans as well. I wouldn’t want to delete my music from their computers purely because I don’t agree with their views though. Music is music and people are people at the end of the day. As creators we represent a crowd sometimes, though that doesn’t mean we want everyone else to disappear from our fanbases.

Electronic music has always been, at least from my outsider’s perspective, a genre that pushed boundaries and one that was at the forefront of progressive movements. Is this progressive reputation merely a mirage or is the Radar Radio case an exception?

It is a damn mirage. Society is not a fully loving place and our community is no exception. Life is tough and throughout life you are going to bump into people that you won’t like personally.  We can’t just pretend that we will get along with everyone! If my mates are showing me their tracks or whatever and I think they are shit, I’ll tell them. Would that make me a horrible person? No. We just disagree on stuff and that’s also a big part of what makes us human. How are we going to move forward if we all agree? It’d be impossible.

Finally, is there a song you wish to recommend to our audience yourselves? If yes, which song and why?

Sam (bloodvessel) has been playing a few tracks in our sets from this massive trap movement happening in Spain right now and we dig it like crazy. He explained to us that Spain has always been a very Eurovision-like country and that this is the first time where a genuine movement has been happening so we would totally love to share one of our favorite tracks from this movement:

 

Listen to perth Daijing’s Berghain Tools below:

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