Words: Rene Shellis
Over the new year, New Rhythms travelled to Beyond the Valley to get a glimpse of the action. In between the festivities we managed to catch up with UK artist ABSOLUTE. who was in the middle of his Australian tour. So far, ABSOLUTE. has an impressive track record after releasing two EPs on Tigas record label, Turbo Recordings, and boasts an impressive collage of achievements under his events brand. During our drive to the Dance Stage I managed to ask ABSOLUTE. a few questions to dig deeper into his growing career as an artist.
NR: You have run some events under the brand WUT? Club. What is the concept behind your parties?
A: Initially I started the party with a guy called Larry T, who is an old school New York club kid, he’s one of the guys who started Disco 2000 which was in the film Party Monster. It’s a mixed gay underground dance party which became a hot-bed for people who came and got super dressed up, with all of the club kids and loads of drag queens. A bit of a riot for the colourful and queer which was missing in London at the time. It then evolved from small underground parties to becoming the official party for pride in London. We took over the Milkshakes Festival Main Stage, which is the biggest mixed gay festival in the world. We grew from an underground weird queer concept but always with incredible music.
NR: How do you think your events have shaped you as an artist?
A: I guess being able to play what I want and being able to test out my own productions. We have two rooms with one which was always underground music, which I would always play in. In terms of shaping me as an artist … just really being able to test out my productions on a regular basis. I don’t really think it shaped my sound as much but it became a platform for me to experiment.
NR: Any Highlights from WUT? Club this year?
A: I’ve actually pushed my events back and put more emphasis on my music. That’s where my main passion is at the moment. I’ve had such a fantastic year with so much support from people that I idolise, people like the Black Madonna, Anne Mac andTiga have all been super supportive. I’ve pushed all my events aside and my main focus is music for the next six months. I’m going to focus on touring, putting a live show together and making an album. I’ve ticked so many boxes with my events, it’s been amazing, it’s been so good to give people a platform to express themselves in a safe space, which is why I’m lacking some drive to continue on with the brand. I’m thinking about starting another party next year which will focus more on the music.
NR: You have released your second EP on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings called ‘Malfunctions.’ How did your artistic process differ from your previous release? Were there any particular elements you wanted to explore? Did you have any themes in mind, or thinking processes?
A: It was kind of the same, it just moved on from the last EP. I’m always evolving and pushing things forward and trying new things. The sound was a bit different in terms of the set up, I used the same analog equipment and platform, I did everything through Ableton but with a bit more experimentation, I used the Moog Sub 37 a lot on that release so digging deeper into the equipment was the main element in the EP.
NR: Who have been your influences as of late? Which artists resonate with you?
A: Mostly the people I’ve met and had a really amazing connection with, people like Tiga have been a big influence and also a person I really adore so we’ve just kind of really hit it off when we mix together. I felt like I was a part of the family so that was really nice. Every time I see Black Madonna she is so lovely and super supportive and amazing which I am super grateful for. Also Maya Jane Cole is a good friend and another artist which I adore, both as a person and as an artist.
NR: Has your work process/ethic changed since your signing with Turbo Records?
A: Just more pressure. I want to do a good job for myself mostly and make music that I love but also all these amazing people believe in me and I want to make sure that I keep this opportunity and actually give it justice. I put a lot of pressure on myself but working with management has been absolutely lovely and to be given the opportunity to play all these amazing gigs, touring Australia and playing after Peggy Gou at Beyond the Valley which is an amazing festively is a dream.
NR: What was one piece of advice with production that has resonated with you ?
A: If I was giving advice to anyone it would be try and write everyday, even if its 5 or 10 minutes and just finish as many tracks as you can. When you start it will probably be shit, but the more you do it and the more you keep going, your production level will evolve and then eventually there will be stuff you don’t mind sharing with people and eventually there will be stuff you will be happy with so just keep going.
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