Following their excellent debut release on Phonica White a couple of weeks ago, we asked UK-based collective Neversleep to record a mix for us good folks at Inverted Audio. Rather than going for the ‘regular’ full audio format, the guys came up with something closer to their mutual concerns, something that would actually grow closer to encapsulating the very essence of their craft, lacing both darkling sound experimentations and finely-polished visuals together in what seems to be a post-modern, pop-culture blender.
Neversleep isn’t just your regular duo of talents though, it is a collective made up of two fascinating yet hardly-definable entities. On one hand, elusive producer and Werkdiscs affiliate Moiré makes for the best-known side of the two. On the other, fellow visual artist and newly attested producer Disguise completes the picture. Moving in shadows, the pair keeps going where you wouldn’t expect them to go, wrong-footing their listeners to lure them onto steeper techno grounds.
We caught up with Moiré and Disguise to discuss the collective’s raison d’etre, creative mechanisms and their wide range of influences.
Alongside their mix, Disguise and Moiré wanted to add a little extra for our listeners to enjoy. Here is a live jam they recently recorded. A pinch of jacking tech-house rhythms, some jazz-inflected accents and a couple of sliced-and-diced vocal bits to get the adrenaline going. Straight burner.
Hi guys, thanks for recording this special mixtape for us! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Where are you based? What does the Neversleep crew exactly consist in?
We’ve been around. London, Milan, Hamburg, Paris and loads of other places moving around – always moving.
London has the public image, the land of milk and honey. It has one of those images that’s completely and utterly removed from what it really is – like all great fantasies.
How did you meet in the first place? When was Neversleep created?
I don’t know. Sometimes when I go back I go, “oh man, I remember this”. But I don’t I think we met in some record store or bar – it was somewhere between rave, bar, store and Moiré’s studio in Brixton.
When we discussed the possibility of having you record a mix for Inverted Audio, you rapidly came up with the idea of doing a full audio-visual mix. What’s been your approach on this?
Yes some of us have passion for film and design so we figured that would be an interesting approach.
Where did you source these images? I recognised footage from ‘La Haine’ and ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ amongst others.
I’m interested in things when I don’t know what they are. Like “Hey, Ray, what the hell is this?” Oh, that’s lipstick from the 1700s, that’s dog food from the turn of the century, that’s a hat from World War II.
I’m interested in the minutiae of thing, of everyday life. Oddities. These films are like that – something I would watch when I have nothing else to do, spending hours and days and nights watching this stuff.
How did you proceed? Did the audio selection come first, then the visuals? Perhaps the opposite?
Kind of subconsciously – we saw the footage, dropped in the track and it worked … magic… same time it represents our thoughts. It’s like a dream sequence to everyone’s life.
First time we heard of you was on Moiré’s Shelter LP. You are credited as A&R. Can you explain us what’s been your exact role as a group in this adventure?
Collaborative – endless heated discussions about everything that has nothing to do with music and industry and then making suggestions / taking directions towards sound, art with regards to this record.
You recently released a debut EP on Phonica White. How did this opportunity come?
We approached Simon from Phonica and he was up for it.
Was this EP a one shot or do you intend to get more involved in music making in a near future?
WE CAN’T SAY.
Is every member assigned to a particular position in the crew? Like I know Disguise is responsible for Moiré’s record art.
No – everything reveals itself in a process.
Do you easily reach artistic consensus as a team or is it complicated to agree at times?
Purposely Highly Complicated.
The way you play with movements and edit sequences reminded me of Peter Tscherkassky’s work at times. Do you look up to some video artists or is is something you don’t consider much?
I’m not into video art, but I love a good film. Jean-Luc Godard, Herzog…etc.
I’m usually more concerned with how things sound than how they look – because I know they will look at the end the way we want.
Sometimes when you’re making songs you just make sounds, and the sounds slowly mutate and evolve into actual compositions and art that have meaning.
Where do you draw your inspiration from, visually and musically speaking?
It depends what the idea is. That’s a question I don’t know the answer for and I don’t wanna know. Sometimes we get in the car and drive around. Sometimes we just sit around the table – trying to get abstract deadlines, it tightens up the perimeters of the whole thing.
We work independently and we work together. If both of you know the same stuff, one of you is unnecessary. Hopefully we’re coming at it from different angles. But I don’t really know how it works. It’s one of those things where you can’t really take it apart.
What’s the last film you loved/hated?
Beware of Mr. Baker.
What record have you been rinsing lately?
Jolly Mare, his debut album promo, which is unreleased. Antonio Sanchez’s soundtrack from Birdman.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
A. Mouth Shut (Moiré Remix)
B1. Party Girls (Disguise & Moiré Edit)
B2. Mouth Shut (Disguise Special Mix)