One of our favourite new artists delivers.
For all its futurist ideals, innovation in techno tends to inch rather than leap forwards. Every so often, though, an artist comes along to remind us just how far the genre's possibilities extend. Call Super is JR Seaton, a UK-born producer whose curious approach to composition has marked him as one of techno's freshest new names. Seaton, who now calls Berlin home, took a couple of years to find his feet. He started out making delicately poised, Balearic-style house tracks under his given name, releasing on labels like Relish and Nocturnes. Call Super, meanwhile, was started as a collaboration with Matt Waites—the pair released a couple of 12-inches together before Seaton took the project on solo. It's tough to say what happened in Seaton's studio around this time, but when he re-emerged near the start of 2013 on Houndstooth with The Present Tense, his music was a revelation. Detailed, dynamic and exploratory, the release was the first of three 12-inches for the label that each revealed another vibe or emotion. Given the range Seaton showed across this body of work, it came as no surprise that his debut album, Suzi Ecto, was a brilliantly executed extension of an already broad palette. Speaking to The Quietus recently, Seaton said the record was an attempt to work with the twin forces of bliss and paranoia, a method that reveals itself in extremes of both, often within the same track or moment.
Considering how much we've enjoyed his music recently, we couldn't be more pleased with the mix Seaton has recorded for us. As you'll see from the tracklist and the interview below, RA.435 is a deeply personal showcase of what makes him tick artistically, connecting the dots between his then and now.
What have you been up to recently?
This week, readjusting levels. More rest, cooking, reading. Less travel, internet and general rushing around. Last few weeks were busy with Suzi and so on.
How and where was the mix recorded?
On two 1210s and a Xone:92. I don't have decks so am reliant and grateful to be able to go to a friend's place and record a mix. It's annoying having to just bang these things out. At some stage I'll rectify the situation and be able to craft things a little more.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
It loosely highlights some crucial influences and links them to some new things. As the tracklist indicates, I wanted to show where these things have come from in my life. It is a note of respect to people who have introduced me to things that have transformed me.
It feels like people are drawn to the sound design in your work. Is this a part of the production process you particularly enjoy?
It's not the process I enjoy the most, but I try and approach every stage in a creative way. I enjoy the messing about stages when it feels like pretty much anything is possible. The further down the line you get, the fewer options you have for playing about.
Do you think the album format opened up new creative avenues for you?
The ideas around the album have been well discussed in some of the reviews, and for that I'm immensely grateful. My mind is fairly active in that regard, and there are a whole bunch of things in the record, but I prefer to only open up about odds and sods. For example, Suzi Ecto has various guises: she is the nurse who informed me and my mother that I was likely to die from the asthma attack I was suffering one night when I was 6 years old. I blame her for the strand of hypochondria that plagues me to this day, a constant obsession with death. Every day the fate we all share sits fat in my horizon, eating a goddamn doughnut. Funnily enough the solution to dying alone that my mother has decided upon is to simply set up one's own granny farm with all your friends as fellow residents, and everything is designed to one's liking someplace peaceful and nice. Coincidentally, she has appointed a lady named Suzi Ecto as the pharmacist.
The album format is such a rich one, capable of so many approaches, and it seems to be so often drably used these days. I felt, and continue to feel, it is a format that if you have any ideas is more important than ever, especially if we wish our music to surpass club disposability.
What are you up to next?
I'm in Spain and I'm not going to leave this place for a few weeks. Then it's Unsound with TJ [Objekt], and then I'm playing a whole bunch till the next holiday at Christmas.