Over the summer, while attending the PAN-ACT festival in New York, I sat in a boiling hot Goethe Institut watching Triple Canopy founder Alexander Provan conduct an hour-long interview with Berlin-based musician Steven Warwick. Ostensibly, Provan was trying to get the story behind the loop-based, dance music deconstructions Warwick makes under the alias Heatsick. But the conversation ended up revolving around an old science fiction paperback about a team of scientists that goes and colonizes a new planet, and begins building up a new civilization using very rudimentary technological devices from this one. It seemed to relate to Warwick's use of old school technologies in his own music (for example, the casio), and I remember being struck by how music that felt so simple and euphoric to me could be such a streamlined marriage of form and concept. Last week, Heatsick announced a new record on PAN, and the addition of a spoken word poem on the title track—repurposed from an art exhibition he did in Berlin last year, and read-able here—makes his work's navigation of the man-machine dance even more explicit. RE-ENGINEERING is out November 26th on PAN. Below, Warwick waxes abstract about the thinking behind the poem:
"Re-engineering is a referential minefield mapping the emergence of fluid topologies reflecting today’s tastes and attitudes. Quoting William Carlos Williams “a poem is a machine made of words” the text can be viewed as an ecology, shifting in state, both moulding and being moulded by the viewer in a symbiotic exchange. Language is here sculptural (or can be viewed as a set of tools) envisioning a space of potentiality, whether it be the dancefloor, the pavement, self organized populations, birdsong or the metallic escalator."
Stream: Heatsick, "RE-ENGINEERING"