Photo: Mega Wallace (Loraine James)
Loraine James’s album For You and I seemed like a quintessential Hyperdub record precisely because it didn’t quite sound like anything else the British label has put out in its history while also taking its cues from the UK musical traditions that are so central to its sound. Most of it however it provided merely a glimpse of what James is capable of. Having released an LP and some smaller releases before signing to the imprint, she has been steadily self-publishing her music through her Bandcamp page as a slew of “random EPs,” as she calls them – releases that each present a new side of her qualitities as a forward-thinking producer. And even though as a DJ, she’s been feeling a little “rusty,” her mix for our Groove podcast is highly energetic – a 30 minute tour de force through this year’s Bandcamp purchases. What’s not to love?
First off, how have you been doing these past months?
I’ve been okay – just been chillin’.
Already in March, you have announced that you are currently working on your third album. How is that coming along?
Yeah, I wasn’t planning on making it during quarantine but what else was there to do – I’m really happy with how the new album has turned out.
You have performed at a few occasions online, including Assembly 2020, for which you have composed a “spatial sound work” developed during an artist residency that has the users navigate through abstract colours while your music plays. How did you approach composing music for virtual space?
It was a process of taking apart bits from my music and rearranging it as well as placing it accordingly in a spectral setting.
Your latest EP for Hyperdub, Nothing, features Lila Tirdo a Violeta, Tardast and HTRK’s Jonnine on vocals. What motivates you to seek out vocalists with whom you want to collaborate?
I’ve been wanting to do more stuff with vocals for a while and thought this year was the perfect time to reach out to people and see what we can come up with together.
You also work with vocal samples occasionally. How would you characterise your approach to that – are you more interested in semantics and conveying meaning or is it about the sound for you?
I tend to use vocal samples on random Bandcamp stuff because they tend to be more about me having fun and seeing what I can do with random samples.
Besides Nothing, you have also released Bangers and Mash and Hmm directly through Bandcamp. Why did you choose a more spontaneous and DIY approach to putting out those “random” EPs, as you call them?
I’ve been putting out random stuff on Bandcamp for about 5 years or so – I love doing it and it’s also great was of just experimenting and a certain sound isn’t expected from you.
While you’ve been recording the occasional mix in the past months, obviously there were few chances to play in front of an audience. Would you say that the current situation has had an impact on your DJing?
I can’t DJ but I’ve been lucky to do a couple livestream shows – I definitely feel rusty but I’m grateful I’ve been able to do a couple streams.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
This mix features all music that I’ve bought on Bandcamp this year.
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
Stream: Loraine James – Groove Podcast 282
01. Misantrop & Splash Pattern – Same Logic
02. Modulaw & Xzavier Stone – Optics
03. Nazar – Rasga
04. Hyper9 – Paradise
05. Lil Asaf – Mbakal
06. DJ Polo – Doldrums
07. Galtier – Dancing On Ruins
08. Bone Head – Clover