Dollars to Pounds: Holy Other

September 16, 2010

Back in April we publicly asked Holy Other, "who are you and could you please be a little less mysterious so we can congratulate you for making this song." Today we finally got to speak to him and now he is a little less mysterious, but still quite mysterious (no photos!), which is exactly as it should be. We also had to congratulate him for a few more songs. Between then and now he's made indelible remixes for How To Dress Well and Mosca, and on Monday the scamps at Transparent will release his hot and haunted new single. Listen to the hyper-masculine, violent "We Over" and "Yr Love" below, then find out why we describe them that way.

Download: Holy Other, "We Over"

Download: Holy Other, "Yr Love"

How long have you been making music for?
I'm actually fresh to making music—I began writing things collectively a short while ago, and now I'm (currently) alone... But this project is fluid. We began with an obsession with sensuality, and that still stands. The two tracks on the 7-inch are effectively breakup songs.

You sample R&B artists in your work. It feels like R&B is inspiring a lot of different sounding artists at the moment.
I remember being totally indifferent to R&B during the '90s and '00s. I've basically spent the last few years discovering and obsessing over insanely popular tracks ten, 20 years too late—and now it's what I've mostly been listening to. There was nothing more satisfying than listening to slow jams for the first time and realizing that shit tends to sound better at a fraction of the speed. But yeah there's definitely a trend right now—but maybe that's because R&B has rarely been bastardized? Definitely wouldn't say that R. Kelly's 12 Play has inspired a new generation of artists or anything. Or maybe it has?

Tell us about the video for "We Over." Who are Butzmann & Kiesel?
Frieder Butzmann and Yvonne Kiesel, who made this short film back in 1979. I was watching the Berlin Super 80 DVDs from a couple of years back and noticed that the video seemed to perfectly fit the mood. SUPER good DVD set!

Though you are based in Berlin, you are originally from the UK, right? The name of your Mosca remix ("Mosca Shits Bricks") gave you away.
Yep, I'm actually from Manchester, but I've been living here for the past few years. A weekend became a few weeks became a few years. I mostly appreciate how easy it is to live over here, but sometimes I find it unnerving that I barely have any problems with the city. Weird to say this, but I definitely feel more at ease having a limitless number of things to complain about.

You said on Twitter you plan to move to Japan. How come?
Done with Europe? Actually I'm feeling far too comfortable in Berlin, and Japan isn't Berlin. Missing the unfamiliar, but soon I'll definitely be missing the comfortable.

A friend described your music as "ornate and ambient."
That's fairly accurate—or at least it fairly accurately describes most of the tracks that have been made over the past year. I don't disagree with any adjective that I've seen thrown around because I rarely attempt to verbalize sounds, but I'd also be happy to read something really unexpected like "hyper-masculine" or "violent."

What do you think of the terms drag and witch house?
Honestly? I totally enjoy how creative and absurd genre names have become.

From The Collection:

Dollars To Pounds
Dollars to Pounds: Holy Other