Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual. This week we chat with explorer of the experimental, A.A.X’T! Also member of duo ‘Phantasy’, their monthly show on MDR honours those discarded recordings that have been desperately waiting to be heard again. We find out more about A.A.X’T’s musical journey so far…
Hey A.A.X’T! We love your residency on Melodic Distraction. Can you tell us a bit more about the ideas behind it?
You charmer, well since you asked so nicely… I had wanted to make something layered and knotted. All tangled, but familiar with the growing collection of records that rebelled against and misfitted my other projects, which I could also spend time indulging and housing in a narrative. The beton library came to be that luxurious story.
‘The beton library is an outpost of knowledge for an intelligentsia who have retreated from society. They have effectively confiscated all remaining knowledge and closed themselves off from the wastes and informed loss of the other classes, who have been forced to resort to building an entirely new oral tradition from scratch. They duel in fits of dreams and nightmares for who among this elite wields the most knowledge – I host the recordings of those vicious duels.’
Why do you think it’s important to give a platform to old, neglected records?
To practice dignity, to dignify them and those who made sure they were pressed. I feel a care for them and for the people that made sure they would become playable resources, with the majority having been such small pressings, with extreme target audiences and no desire to be popularised. They are a prosperity I understand and feel fortunate to be able to share as well as push, in ways that would not have been imagined by their makers. They are our awkward oral traditions that should be cherished.
How did you first get into music?
As a non-verbal babby (brummy for baby), sounds were used to coax and then wrench language from me. Using animal noises my voice was found. Romantically, I want that to be why sounds, and then music, have always been such close allies to me.
What’s your involvement with the industrial music scene?
My involvement has been to be carried and elevated by its already established and formidable actors, players and makers. Gratefully treading on their coat tails and wide eyed for their advice and stories, enjoying the great fluidity of the industrial and experimental scenes – performing in no fixed way, but committed totally to it.
Can you tell us more about the music/art scene in Todmorden? Do your surroundings have much of an impact on the music you make and consume?
Todmorden has my heart, it is a capable place that is motivated to make so. The surroundings seem to give a sanctuary to those who are convicted in what they make, and offer a communal site to do that. That type of convicted capability means that nothing is deterred for the sake of a self, but encouraged to ensure that all selves can stay convicted. This is importantly queered and permanently aligned with natural spaces – thank you, Tod.
Aside from music, what other projects and/or hobbies keep you busy?
I am a druid and for me that means being dedicated to making or practicing as thoroughly and thoughtfully as I can. The majority of that practice is working in and with symbols and sigils, which I predominantly use to realise others’ identities and representations.
What was the last record/tune you bought?
It was ‘Croeso, Christine! : Learning Welsh”, featuring wonderfully soapratic conversations ‘At the Restaurant’, ‘At the Hairdressers’, ‘At the Hotel’ and ‘At the Architect’s Office’.
What else do you have planned for the next year?
Next year, would you believe it, is a UK and European tour with the band I play in ‘Phantasy’, which has me bashful at the thought! But I cannot wait all the same.
Join A.A.X’T for their next episode on Wednesday 9th November, 21:00 – 22:00. In the meantime, listen back to October’s edition below:
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