Finding space(s)

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MNML SSGS was a collaborative project that lasted from the end of 2007 until the middle of 2012. When PC and I closed the blog its creative and critical potential had been largely fulfilled, and in some ways it had actually become more of a burden than a way of sharing our passion for electronic music. And with it gone I found, somewhat to my surprise, that actually I did not miss the blog so much. I discovered that the feeling of constantly needing to produce fresh content / mixes / enthusiasm had actually been inhibiting my own engagement with music. And so with the blog gone I began exploring more… Since then I’ve been spending much of my time digging deep into early electronic music, synth stuff, electro-acoustic works, a decent chunk of Muslimgauze’s exhaustive catalogue and anything else that has caught my eye. I’ve also been continuing my involvement in the scene in Tokyo, DJing some more (which I’ve been enjoying), and slowly building the motivation and purpose to return online. In December I contributed a mix to the excellent Secret Thirteen series. If you are not aware of S13, I’d strongly recommend checking them out – they have easily one of the best mix series / podcasts currently operating. Anyway, the mix I put together encapsulates a lot of the thinking and research I’ve been doing since the blog ended.

I’ve been thinking about commencing something new for a while now, but I have remained unsure about if it is something I completely want to commit myself to. To be honest, I still am uncertain. I guess there is just only one way to find out… In the end, the inspiration to start this came from my engagement with Ukawa-san (the man behind Dommune) over the last few months. As a result of playing for him a number of times, and discovering more about his approach to music, I received much of the fresh inspiration I needed to bring this project to life. 

I am not sure how long this new project will last for, what form it will take, or where it will lead. To begin with, Interstice(ssg) will probably be something akin to a longer, annotated version of the kind of things found on the MNML SSGS twitter – releases and mixes I’m liking, upcoming events in Tokyo, some occasional commentary, and whatever else takes my fancy. I’m also not sure how much I’ll be posting, but it will likely be less frequent than before. It’ll probably take a bit of time to get everything setup and running smoothly, as I remain pretty useless at internet stuff and I am new to wordpress, so please be patient. At this point I am not planning on a mix series or anything similar, but I may consider hosting mixes from friends and past / present collaborators. 

Right now I have very little interest in most contemporary techno and house music, so don’t expect too much of that, except for some (predictable) exceptions. If we want genres, I presume it’ll probably be more focusing on ambient, early electronic music, a bit of experimental stuff, some synth music and other related sounds that relate or fall in between these various categories. The soundtrack to writing this first post has been Kevin Drumm’s new drone album, “Tannenbaum“, which I have been really enjoying so far and is probably worth checking, especially considering his last release on Hospital, “Imperial Horizon“, is one of the best pieces of ambient / drone music that you will ever hear. So that might be an indication of where we are starting.

Ultimately the decision to commence this site was driven by a motivation to try to contribute again, to lend my voice to artists, labels and sounds that deserve attention, to question the bullshit and to continue to show the nuance and texture of electronic music that too often gets lost or forgotten. In this sense, it will be informed by the same aesthetic that defined MNML SSGS (hence the ssg in the title) and continues to guide my engagement with music (I am also still using MNML SSGS for Twitter and parties in Tokyo, but this is just because trying to change them now would be a bitch). 

Interstice(ssg) is meant to be a space in between – or a space in between spaces perhaps – where hopefully I can starting making a more sustained contribution to the music that I love. Let’s see how things go…

Chris

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10 comments
  1. rookas said:

    Great to see you back Chris!
    Cant wait for your posts to start, i might have not agreed with everything but ssgs really helped me a lot on my journey. Thanks

  2. Alt said:

    Welcome back!

  3. Umm said:

    Cool, Chris. I’ve been listening to a lot of Philip Jeck lately. His work appears mostly on Touch. if you haven’t heard of him, do check him out. You’d dig it I’m sure. A recent live set done on my friend’s radio show: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/47400

  4. Sam said:

    small typo in the last sentence:

    ” starting making”

    (feel free to delete this comment)

  5. Max said:

    dear chris, finding this today made seriously happy I only occasionally listen to electronic music, but mostly do it because of mnml sggs and the introduction I received from you. Next to the music, the criticism and reflections you offered on your blog – through text or through music – were what kept bringing me back, and what made your project so amazing to me: by reflecting on musics position in bigger social, political and economical contexts you gave music its rightful place and. I missed reading your thoughts from time to time. So thanks for this. I am looking forward to more.

  6. rubixhelix said:

    heyo!… just stumbled across this after gazing wistfully at the old ssgs blog, i am so excited, because once again i can read your musical suggestions and find music that even further alienates me from the edm generation i am supposed to be kin to… yay for ssgs!

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