Los Angeles Producer Anenon Made Us a Mix
And he plays saxophone all over it.
Sagrada, the sophomore record from tenor sax-blowing beatmaker Anenon, is out tomorrow via his own Non Projects label. To mark the occasion, he edited together an original mix called Every Day My Eyes Are Older, which takes its title from a line on fellow Los Angeles resident Julia Holter's 2013 single, "World." In addition to appearing in two separate guises across the 34-minute sample composition, the Holter track—with its robust strings and globe-trotting perspective—feels like a pretty good summation of the mix as a whole, which is equal parts analog instrumentation, deconstructed dance music, world melodica and negative space. Download the mix below, read a short interview with the producer and see if you can count the number of original horn melodies threaded throughout.
Can you tell us a little bit more about Non Projects? What's the label's mission? Non Projects was initally born out of frustration in not having a proper outlet at the time (2009) to frame the work of close friends whose work I admired as well as my own music. It has a strong tie to the freedom that making music in Los Angeles affords, yet always with an ear and an eye toward abroad. These days, I see it as a record label whose interests lay primarily in the work of solo artists who are interested in building their own worlds and who are not overly concerned with particular sound trends, consistently evolving their own personal voices. I tend to gravitate toward artists who ended up taking the long winding road to electronic music, people who come from a diverse array of musical backgrounds.
The title of your new album is a reference to Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. What's the connection between the music and that architectural construction? I'm glad you that you picked up on that, though to be honest it's not a direct reference to the building. I started recording Sagrada immediately after returning to Los Angeles from a trip to Barcelona where I played Sonar. I did do the necessary tourist thing and visited Gaudi's church. I was completely blown away, but this record was not some sort of attempt to represent it in sound. It was more the word itself that got stuck in my head. The title track was the first song recorded for the album and upon it's creation, it felt like no other song I had ever made. There is an energy in that track that I feel structurally supports the rest of the album's various sonic paths and so it felt right to name the record after it.
Tell us about the role that improvisation plays on this record/in your music as a whole. How does your study off jazz saxophone inform your work as a producer? Improvisation is hugely important to the way that I work in both studio and live practices. There is a certain energy born out of improvised music that I believe can't be extracted any other way. I see myself coming out of free jazz traditions but working within the context of modern electronic music. The saxophone is a great tool for generating musical ideas in a quick and inspired manner—it literally takes my whole body to play it so it provides a strong human component to my work and is a nice contrast to the more electronic elements. I work a lot with listening back to my own first take recordings and then pulling any interesting motifs or phrases that I find. A lot of times these become the basis for larger compositions, which are then layered with more improvisation, relating back to that initial theme or idea. A sculptural process of building up and chiseling away. On Sagrada this was the first time that I had worked with live recordings from various concerts as source material, taking site specific sounds and then re-contextualizing them with a studio based improvisational energy.
1. Group Home - "Supa Star" (snippet) / Julia Holter - "World" (snippets) / Keith Jarrett - "First (Solo Voice)" / the sound of Gerhard Richter painting in four parts (Netflix Rip)
2. John Roberts - "Ausio"
3. Julia Holter - "World" (Anenon Edit) / EN - "White" (two chords only at beginning)
4. Anenon - "Pollen"
5. Kim Hiorthøy - "Det Oläskiga Rummet" / Marcel Duchamp speaking, August, 1968 (YouTube Rip) / iPhone Field Recording at MCA Chicago - Paul Sietsema show, 12/22/13
6. Julee Cruise - "Mysteries Of Love" / Colleen - "Les Ondes Silencieuses"
7. Broadcast - "Minus 3"
8. DJ Shadow - "Mutual Slump" w/ first take tenor saxophone solo
9. Ryan York - "My Love"
10. Phoebe Kiddo & ChaCha - "Yu"
11. Charles Lloyd, Jason Moran - "Hagar Suite III (Alone)"
12. Anenon - "The Color White" (Afterhours Edit)
13. Susanna w/ Bonnie Prince Billy - "Jailbreak"