Tomorrow night in London, Lucky Me’s Eclair Fifi and Clock Strikes 13 present an eclectic evening of electronic music at Shapes featuring Kindness, SCNTST, Joseph Marinetti and Lotic. Ahead of the show we met up with the Janus mainstay in Berlin to talk briefly about his latest mixtape “Agitations”, rising to independence and his appreciation of online spider aficionados.
Interviewed by Mateusz Mondalski
"DJ Sprinkles is an amazing pillar for the community. But there’s also been DJ Rupture, GHE20G0TH1K, and countless others."
In 2015 we saw a vivid and very clear turn in the aesthetics of modern club music through the appreciation of its queer roots. This was possible thanks to the output of artists such as Arca, Colin Self, Mykki Blanco, Elysia Crampton and amongst others, your works as Lotic. – This change was also vastly fueled by the eye-opening writings of Terre Thaemlitz. Are you satisfied with this course of development? Or do you think there is still much left to break the apparent domination of white straight males in the club scene?
I think it’s important to note that this perceived turn in aesthetics has always been happening in the background – it just so happens that this year my peers and I have been a bit louder, and have been speaking at the same time. You know, if you hear something enough times, you kind of internalize it. DJ Sprinkles is an amazing pillar for the community. But there’s also been DJ Rupture, GHE20G0TH1K, and countless others.
I’m definitely happy that people are not only noticing the problems with club music and its culture but are also being more vocal about their reservations, grievances and their hopes. I actually don’t believe we (queers, people of colour) can ever fully reclaim clubs as our own, as safe spaces. The monster has grown too powerful. But I’m noticing a resurgence of underground, independent spaces, and that’s promising. Extremely comforting and inspiring!
Your mixtape “Agitations” conveys a vibe of anxiety and isolation. This piece clocking in at 30 minutes involves a wide palette of sounds such as crows, sirens, bursts of noise and insects set against frantic metallic soundscapes. These associations work perfectly with the skeletal artwork for “Agitations” and earlier the cover for your “Heterocetera” EP. You seem to be truly fascinated by the world of insects. Do you treat them as a personal symbol?
Thank you! I’m definitely into entomology. I’m in a Facebook group where people post photos of various insects they come across, in hopes of identifying them, and there are always several people that can immediately respond with total accuracy. I suppose I’m more fascinated by the fascination?
"I think I’m somewhere between insect and serpent. Alien and strong, but slick and unpredictable. Off-putting but seductive, haha."
It’s pretty impressive to me that someone who I assume is not an entomologist can have such a vast knowledge of such a massively diverse set of creatures. And yes, somehow the diversity of creatures itself is fascinating. I suppose this is somehow related to my ideal club environment? Personally, though, I think I’m somewhere between insect and serpent. Alien and strong, but slick and unpredictable. Off-putting but seductive, haha.
"This year, in every way, was the separation of the child from the adult. I mean, I’m still a baby. But I’m a very confident baby, haha."
As we arranged this interview, you mentioned to me that you’re in the middle of a move. Are you staying in Berlin or are you think of relocating?
I’m staying in Berlin, but finally moving into a flat of my own. For me, it’s a very necessary and gigantic step. I moved here being completely dependent, which is definitely not in my nature, it just happened to be necessary at the time.
This new flat for me really symbolizes how independent I’ve become since being here and in general how much I’ve grown as a person, as an artist. It’ll even be the month of my four-year anniversary of moving here. It’s very symbolic and emotional for me. This year, in every way, was the separation of the child from the adult. I mean, I’m still a baby. But I’m a very confident baby, haha.
Meanwhile, I’m working on my LP for Tri Angle and a few other things, trying to be sure to dedicate enough time to each project. Everything has to be perfect, haha! But I don’t want to say too much about my future plans. I’m very impulsive anyway, can’t trust anything I say ;}
Tomorrow night you’re playing at Shapes for the Clock Strikes 13 event curated by Eclair Fifi. It’s quite the eclectic line-up. What sort of music have you been digging lately? Is it something close to Lotic or very remote from the sounds you make?
Everything is close to Lotic, and nothing is close to Lotic. I’m just going to do my thing and all will be explained during my set!
Lotic plays in London at Shapes on Friday 18th December 2015, tickets available via Resident Advisor.LoticJanusSci-Fi & FantasyTri Angle RecordsAbstractExperimentalGrime