Out of the warehouse and into the gallery
Dark basement with eye-frazzling visuals – check. Shadowy figures operating unstated musical gadgets behind a desk – check. Beats, bass and samples – check. Alcohol – hic.
The ingredients, on a superficial level, are the same as a million nights we’ve spent in the capital. But even though we’re being treated to a secret set by Lost Souls of Saturn – they’re playing Fabric the following night so it’s all a bit hush hush – this isn’t a rave or an afterhours party. It’s a private view. Which would at least explain why, scruffy music journalist or two aside, the crowd looks more like bankers and models than ravers.
This is all the doing of Seth Troxler and Phil Moffa aka Lost Souls Of Saturn, whose new album Reality is released on February 16 on Holoverse Research Labs/Slacker 85 Records. Where some acts are content to celebrate a new album by putting on a free bar for an hour or two, or promote it with a tote bag and some free Rizlas in rebranded packets, this lot are holding a month long multimedia exhibition at W1 Curates in the Flannels store in London’s Oxford Street.
Once the album’s out they’ll release an augmented reality comic book, which when viewed through a tablet screen or AR headset/glasses, comes to life in animated 3D. The book will synch up with the LSOS album perfectly, with the music fully integrated, looping and layering as the reader follows the panels of the comic itself.
It’s the way things are going. Two of the biggest and most celebrated London exhibitions of recent times were Electronic at the Victoria & Albert Museum – a show designed to feel like a night out in a club – and the hugely successful Beyond The Streets, a history of grafitti staged at the Saatchi Gallery (with a bit of help from Juno Daily – and we’ve been dining out on that ever since). So who can blame dance music culture for reciprocating a little and cosying up to its arty cousins?
They’re not the only ones, either. Last summer, Los Angeles gallery The Geffen at MOCA staged a Carl Craig-created ‘immersive environment’, Party/After-Party, 2020, described as “a visceral sound and somatic experience that evolves with each new iteration. Drawing on Craig’s 30-year career as an internationally touring DJ, Party/After-Party guides visitors sonically through a club night from the perspective of the DJ. Starting in those moments before the crowd arrives and the DJ spins alone, before reaching its crescendo with the party’s pulsing apex, and finally slipping towards the melancholic embrace of the after-party, the work evokes the collective ecstasy and desolation found only on a club dancefloor.”
Juno Daily favourite Gazelle Twin, meanwhile, staged an audio installation featuring actor Maxine Peake at Somerset House at ‘The Horror Show’ exhibition (pictured above) and has just released an adapted version of its soundtrack. ‘We Wax. We Shall Not Wane’ is an incantation of grief and defiance in lament to women lost to violence through the centuries until the present day. The narrated texts – read by Peake – are an amalgamation of historic text and literature, including; Agnes Sampson’s Healing Charm (1591), excerpts from Ben Jonson’s ‘The Witches’ Charms’ from ‘The Masque of Queens’ (1609) and Gazelle Twin’s own words.
So don’t be surprised if we see a lot more of this kind of thing happening in 2024. Gabba night at the Tate Modern, anyone?!