(Photography by Jakob Tuggener. From the Book “Fabrik”)
“My name is Katie Gately. This is my first remix. I had to google ‘remix’ actually, it’s that bad.”
Even in dark places there are occasional flashes of light. Within these most beautiful interruptions, things grow.
Schemawound’s Body Movements remix album is the most powerfully minimalist commitment to sparsesound we’ve come across in some time (‘powerfully minimalist’ in that it’s minimalist, and powerful). There are no songs or other hand-holding things. Instead the sound sounds like it was grown. Not intended. Crepuscular creations fermenting, dividing, and slowly achieving sentience.
In case it isn’t obvious yet, of COURSE we loved it.
Amazingly for a remix LP – so often disjointed, random, and kind of prone to filler – the entire collection works as one coherent journey. The slimed-out, burbling contributions from Lackthrow – who at seven tracks has repurposed the lion’s share of the source material, Schemawound’s They Want To Make Your Body Move, I Want To Hold You Perfectly Still – sounding telepathic next to the nightvision miasmas of The Icarus Descent.
Our favourite movement in this murk-symphony though is by Katie Gately. Incredibly, it’s one of the first pieces of music that she’s made. Holy shit.
When we played this track to people, we heard stories back of actual auditory and cognitive hallucinations – people perceived the room they were in gradually becoming smaller, or expanding.
Explaining how she arrived at her own unique take on the piece, Katie explains that she pulled all the tracks into Ableton, but intimidated by the infinity of possible directions, decided to erase everything except the first and last two seconds of each stem. She used these short bursts of data to construct the basic loop rotating throughout the 8 minutes of Hymncycle
“Once I had this in place, I took a look at the song titles and just started singing them out loud. To me, this worked. And I felt like a cute, smart-ass while doing it which made the process even more fun.”
The entire remix took Katie about 4 hours from concept to delivery.
“Overall, I want the track to be an ASL interpreter and a chest-opener; to bring a human voice to something written in code. I actually program every day but it’s also really fun to take something logical and light up the blow-torch.”
The most obvious comparison is XXJFG heroine Holly Herndon – whose voice manipulations inhabit a similar zone, if coming from a more forensic, academic place. Katie’s voice is a weird current, ebbing and flowing across a matrix of sound-cogs. Strange to invoke simultaneously tidal and machine-like things, but that’s what this piece does. It surges and grinds.
“I’d really like to thank Jonathan for giving me the opportunity to create something I am proud of and would never have made without his beautiful material. The process felt like a growth spurt as I only started making music this summer and have quite a ways to go before I can take over the world and remix Justin Timberlake for a lot of money that will buy me a house and 5-6 boats.”
In the dark matter that is Body Movements, Katie’s contribution is a rare sliver of something illuminating and fierce. Light as a liquid, but one listing in zero gravity and framed in beauty-enhancing darkness.
“I’d also like to state how in-awe I am of the whole record. The mixes are gorgeous and the content is badass. I’ve listened to it maybe 20 times and not just to navel-gaze at my own track. Although I did do that twice and once in the rain even.”
Get Body Movements from Bandcamp