Rabit makes night music. Not just, like, after dinnertime, either: his metallic, heart-pounding electronic productions are built for wee-hours mind-expansion, when the club's cleared a little, the fog machine's sputtering, and the streets outside are pitch black and deserted. One of the interesting things about MoMA PS1's Warm Up series is the way these sorts of artists, who you may never glimpse in daylight otherwise, are thrust directly into the summer sun. Below, Rabit talks prepping for a day party, the ideology behind his just-launched record label, and his own forthcoming Tri Angle Records full-length, which we can't wait to hear.
Are doing anything special to prepare for your Warm Up performance?
RABIT: It's during the day, which I've never done before. I'm probably going to play the sounds that I always play, but due to nature of the event, I might want to go off in some new directions. It's still going to be the pretty dark vibes I always have, but it's about showing a dark spectrum and letting a little bit of a different light come in. I like the idea of stuff being a challenge. You don't always want to play in the same exact atmosphere.
Do you play your own music in DJ sets?
I play a lot less than people probably would like me to. It doesn't interest me to play the songs I've heard 1000 times. The gratification that I get from DJing is by playing new things. I always try and play brand new stuff every set if I can. I have so many friends that are so talented that keep me updated with what they're making. I do play some of my own stuff occasionally, but it's a small percentage. It's kind of hard to not play all the music people send you when it's so good and creative.
I conceived the idea for the label a few years ago with this one guy, Myth. He's the first vinyl that I'm putting out, on August 21st. It came about because there were a couple people who were making really good stuff who didn't know how to penetrate the industry. Mistress, for example, is a really great friend of mine from New Orleans who makes really good, club-influenced, dark music. I was like, how can I help him present something in the best way? That's essentially the basis of the label: me putting out music by people that I think deserve to be heard. I've discovered that in the music industry, even in this tiny microcosm of scenes that I inhabit, the platform for releasing isn't really open to everyone, and certain people don't feel like there's anyone they can approach.
Are there certain scenes and sounds you hope to highlight?
I'll definitely be helping NON Records out. I'm planning to release an EP from Chino Amobi as well. Another release is by this guy Imaginary Forces. Chino Amobi and I are going to drop an original mixtape in the next few weeks as well. The more artists I talk to, I recognized that there was a similarity in their music. A lot of times I feel like it’s people that are really talented and have a lot to say, whether it's personal politics or social commentary. I think that might not be that popular with a lot of labels that are “in” or “hip.”
How is your album coming along?
My album's finished actually. It'll be out this fall on Tri Angle. Overall, it's pretty complex. The way it flows is important to me; I kind of listen to it as one piece. I feel like I've always wanted to try and sum up everything that I felt existing on the planet right now, and when you make music that doesn't have a vocal, it's always kind of a struggle to figure out how to say something. I definitely feel like on the album I really found a voice.
Warm Up Lineup: August 8th
Moritz von Oswald / Basic Channel + Maurizio / Berlin, Germany
Atom™ (Live) / Raster Noton + The Bunker New York / Santiago, Chile
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (DJ set) / Nice Age / London, UK
Jlin / Planet Mu / Gary, IN
Dorian Concept / Ninja Tune / Vienna, Austria
Rabit / Tri Angle Records / Houston, TX