Without trying to sound like a bitter old shrew, there’s little mystery left around modern musicians. Access to every part of their lives is now the norm. Forgoing press intrusion or paparazzi, a lot of electronic musicians consistently use the internet to up their profile – and quite rightly so, it’s an incredible promotional tool. Whether or not I really need to know how long they waited in the Post Office or how long they’ve spent landlocked in an airport cafe I’m still not sure, but in this climate, when someone doesn’t go for that approach – and I’m obviously overzealously generalising here – artists like Burial or Zomby, people who avoid all those “LOOK AT ME” type tactics in favour of a work ethic, that is a news story in itself. Inactivity, it seems, still stokes the fire.
An artist like this week’s SR mixer, Nochexxx, is a case in point. Other than the fact that he resides in Cambridge, a fact I know because he was included and interviewed in a scene report on Cambridge in the WIRE a few issues back, I don’t really know a damn thing about the guy. Internet research tells me that he’s an avid MPC user, shunning in the box production for a more hands on, warts and static type approach, but it’s his music that really speaks to me. Having released work on Werk Dics, his awkwardly warped take on a 4×4 hip hop featuring emcee Sensational on the ‘Smashing Your System’ 12”, and RAMP Recordings, who just released the second 12” of Nochexxx’s music, he’s created a wholly shabby sound palette that’s admittedly as crumbly as it is punchy.
When reviewing his latest 12”, ‘Savage Herald’ b/w ‘Charro,’ I lamented that Nochexxx held a place in my mind akin to Shackleton and Mordant Music – two artists whose flaunting of any kind of convention has produced discographies that whilst brittle, are incredibly worthy of extended listening. And I stand by that, because he’s just as rugged and stoic in his vision as those namechecked. Nochexxx makes warped music for dark dancefloors; crackly DJ tools that veer through melodic passages with gusto, sounding near broken and like nothing else out there.
We’ve always been keen to showcase artists who do things a little different and after watching the pomp apocalypse in the video for ‘Charro’ for the umpteenth time, we asked him to curate the 97th mix in our ongoing series.