Ultra-modern rhythms in a timeless mould.
Five years ago Beatrice Dillon told The Wire, "The kind of dance music that I like tends to be made by people who sound like they're not strictly listening to that, but that's what they want to make." Although she was referring to the music of others, she couldn't have described her own sound better. Her new album Workaround's fascination with pure rhythm and studio ambience speaks to what Dillon derives from dance music. But her subtly shifting drum meters, ease with acoustic sounds and a minimalist tendency born from careful listening speak to a broader musical purview. Although her work can be described with the language of dance music—say, the dubwise rhythm and space of Mark Ernestus or the warm but rigid rhythmic studies of SND—her productions teem like live music.
RA.706 sees Dillon fusing inputs that "fed into the development" of Workaround. The mix flattens out the distinctions between the rhythm-and-sample kinetics of an ANZ or Loraine James and the sound study of a Hecker or Ben Vida, reflecting Dillon's acute yet inviting vision.
What have you been up to recently?
Live shows at MIRA Barcelona, Laurel Halo’s MODE festival, a PAN Showcase at c/o Berlin, a sound installation for Somerset House London, NTS showcase in Moscow etc and announcing my album Workaround out in February on PAN.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Using Logic on my laptop.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
It’s a selection of some of the music I've enjoyed listening to and playing in DJ sets across 2019. The beginning is a mix of fragments from tracks I love but didn't quite fit in the mix, so there's DJ Nigga Fox, DJ Haram, Cameron Shafii, Mosca, Jlin, Maria Chavez, Flora Ying-Wong, ANZ, Serwed, rRoxymore, Dale Cornish, Loraine James, Emptyset, Jay Mitta etc.
The main mix starts with one of my favourite records of the past few years, "Maromba 3K" by Martel Ferdan and Superficie. Followed by a really nice Otim Alpha vocal track, lots of fresh computer music from Kindohm, HMURD, Calum Gunn and Church Andrews, including a stunning unreleased Rian Treanor & Ocen James collaboration from Nyege Nyege Festival. Mixed in with a few deeper, dubbier, spacious club records from Traxman, Cop Envy & DJ Plead, Bakongo (Roska on Livity Sound), leading into a fantastic '80s UK bhangra hit by Heera Group, which features Kuljit Bhamra who played percussion on my album. Plus a few current favourites: a '90s minimal Penthouse riddim, a 160bpm Viola Klein Mbalax track forthcoming on Kassem Mosse's Ominira label, some beautiful saxophone music from Kadri Gopalnath, and ending with "Workaround Two," the first single from my album.
What are some of the inputs shaping Workaround's rhythmic character?
DJ sets, working with different software and instruments, listening to different types of music, reading, continuing to work at 150bpm.
Workaround has been said to "speak directly" to a range of literary and visual arts references. How did this theoretical framework influence the music?
I just enjoyed reading a lot about rhythm, pattern and colour over the past few years, which inspired the process of making the album.
What are you up to next?
Touring and promoting my album, working on some exciting international musical projects, DJing, finishing new solo music, voting Labour.