Having previewed 'Justice Riddim' from Goro’s (formerly Mojo Goro) April release, 'White Dove', here on Clash, the producer returns with a reworked version of one of the EP’s more ethereal offerings – 'Pure Spirit Riddim'.
To accompany this, over the course of the last three months, he has created a virtual, audio–optical guided meditation drawing you into the heart of his creative process, and inviting you to stare into his mind, as he seeks to lead you towards an expansion of your own perception of his music.
Visual elements have long been regarded as vital to both the promotion and experience of music, an aspect of the artistry that has evolved in step with the technology that enables its perpetual re-imagination. It has since permeated through both the underground and mainstream spheres, as seen in both the cinematic marketing campaigns of artists such as Beyonce and Kanye West, and the immersive Layer 3 shows pioneered by LA’s Flying Lotus.
Goro’s project, however, undertaken within far tighter financial constraints, takes a boldly anachronistic aesthetic approach, reminiscent of the hyper–intensity of early pop–up based web pages. The musician curates an encounter that mimics the sensation of gazing into the dusted window of a suburban electronics shop as a semi-tranquillized passerby; fragmented images flickering across multiple screens. This is underscored by the bass-heavy force of Goro’s music, juxtaposing a fiercely futurist sound with the ancient precept of mindfulness.
What follows is a transcript of the discussion I had with him regarding the site, edited for clarity.
Can you tell me a bit about the inspiration for the project?
I have been meditating for a few years now and this has totally transformed my life and the way I experience it. Most of the music I create these days has been an attempt to share this experience.
How long did it take you to build, from concept to execution?
It took about three months – mostly because of the coding, for which Tony [Miller], who lives in Tokyo, had to find big enough patches of free time for.
Were there any particular artists or concepts that you had in mind when designing it?
I was actually inspired by what Dev79 released as an interactive experience to accompany one of the songs from his 'Smoked Salt' EP, but also a lot of people have been approaching this direction in the past couple of years. For example, Visionist did the first musical video for 'Oculus Rift', while Jimmy Edgar just released a page with his music video, where you can write your dreams for direct assertion to the universe. If you take Pharrell's 'Happy' video – in a way it's an interactive experience because so many people were creating their own take on it, across the world.
The same goes for 'Harlem Shake', even though that was outside of the original intention that Baauer had for it. So in this way I also see our page as being reciprocal, giving people the option to interact with it by following the meditation instructions, rather than clicking on, or moving things (although you could try clicking on the pop–ups to see what happens!).
The functioning of it, through pop-ups, gives it an anachronistic feel – can you tell me about that?
I wanted to kind of have this feeling that it's going outside and beyond the format – in this case the browser – in an attempt to connect with the audience. Also, everyone always hated pop-ups and I felt it might be cool to try to use and present them in a different light.
And in addition to its standalone purpose, is this something you’d also look on as a promotional tool?
Yes, the page is meant to gain more awareness of the EP, but it's also a thing on its own. I would say it's just an extension of the experience of the 'White Dove EP. The experience of a meditation or a profound spiritual state is definitely what I am hoping to share through my music and what I also feel when creating it. I feel like the instructions bring the page across a third format, more than audio and visual – into your own consciousness and being. I am sure this will be explored by artists more and more in the future.
So do you think that underground music in general is shifting towards becoming more immersive, as technology allows?
Art in general has always been about exploring new territories; you cannot just do the same thing for one century, right? We now have all the tools and the means to create fully engaging experiences, and so many people are gifted with a lot of different talents to express themselves, so I guess it's normal to head in that direction. I think there's also a lot of stuff coming up in the field where science and scientific research meets art and spirituality – such as this (and many more). I am aiming to explore that direction in the future too.
Try out 'Pure Spirit Riddim' HERE. NB: The site functions best using a Chrome or Firefox browser.
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The 'White Dove' EP is out now on Slit Jockey Records.
Words: Alex McFadyen