‘Sample Fear[ory] & The Ark-Hive’ is a multimedia mixtape, an ode to TDK C60’s, passed among friends, added to, erased, re-recorded on, lost and then found again. A visual document of a sonic exploration of the digital archive, littered with the ghosts of nostalgia and sonic triggers that activate the collective memory. It is a mixtape that serves as a time travel device, celebrating the wow and flutter of a cassette tape, the crackle of a needle on a record, and the tracking on a VHS. The work investigates sampling as a form of communicative re-creation, marrying cultural artifacts left in the digital realm to create a broken narrative for a generation born into the digital advancements of musical and visual production. It is a fragmented historical record. It is the frantic scrawls on the producers track sheet and the songwriters notebook. The work raises questions of appropriation, copyright, copyleft, and cultural and intellectual property. It looks at music of black origin and the influence it has had on the artist and on the art form. Without being explicitly political, it is attached and observant of the politics it belongs to. And though it is all of this, it is also a disregarding of the intellectual and conceptual context that can be attached to it, hailing back to the DIY ethos that the likes of Grand Master Flash put into use at the birth of Hip Hop and the turntablist culture; to take a “break” and make it their own. Repetition with a difference, as 9th Wonder calls it. Copyright was never considered, permission never sought, the objective was to make something new of what was to hand with limited resources and make it fresh and exciting.
The artist leaves the first side of the cassette half finished. The batteries ran out in the portable boombox, or perhaps the FM signal has become nothing but static.
‘Sleeves’ is a series of spontaneous rhythmic records that were activated and informed by the soundtrack of the studio during a period of sonic exploration. They are the blank TDKs tracklist, the liner notes, the 808 kits and the sax solos. They are “…the frantic scrawls on the producers track sheet and the songwriters notebook.”
A performance of three individual improvisational components, each piece performed and recorded on a separate day to the other, then fused together to capture happenings of chance, and later affected one way or another in the mix / edit. All three elements are spontaneous reactions to the environments and artworks informing them.