luxxuryproblems‘ full debut centred around themes of information and sensory overload. Released on the the Philip Jondo co-founded SPA Recordings, the high-def amalgam heard on Inhale, Aerosol, Recovery (Non Sequitur) would strafe maximalist sound design, austere industrial qualities and beautifully aerated melody. In tandem with Gardland, the Lullabies For Insomiacs-affiliated duo that Jondo is also a part of, its followup would tread a familiar path.
Contributing to our themed Concept In Practice series, luxxuryproblems now demonstrates a side to his creativity we had yet to see. Unlike the original productions, which can oscillate between moments of crystalline beauty and squealing HD, the mix is thick with murk. Hints of light penetrate on occasion, but burying oversaturated sonic vistas deep in tape hiss, compression takes centre stage across its hour-long duration. He also answered a few questions on the recording process, where the music was sourced and more.
Hi mate, could you tell us a bit about the mix?
The mix circles around a triangle of compression, overdrive and the loss of dynamics. While trying to translate a process of emotional blunting, I also investigated backgrounds of my own current listening mood and the interest in strange atmospheres of noisy/raw textures. I aimed to create a forceful density of layers by stacking a bunch of tracks and recordings on top of each other.
When, where and how was it recorded?
I compiled it during 2 nights at home, using a DAW, to be able blend many files. After bouncing the mixture, I dubbed it onto cassette tape which l then, again re-recorded back into the DAW, adding extra saturation on top, to tighten the dynamic range step by step.
How would you recommend listening to it?
As loud as possible, best with in-ear headphones close to the eardrum. During a night walk, in low light situations, or eyes closed.
Do you have any process when it comes to sourcing new music? Any specific places you look or favourite spots to go digging?
The favourite “spot” is the exchange with friends. This leads to interesting discoveries from “old” to new stuff. Interactions with different circles of friends are an important source of our mutual education.
I always check things in Discogs, to learn more about each project. I really appreciate its interconnection of communities and cultures. A certain openness to learn about backgrounds of stuff and following crosslinks uncovers treasures for me.
How about the last records you bought?
Needed several attempts to get in the right mood to listen to it. It’s a truly powerful and rich album…
A surprisingly sharp and solid electro work…
Do you have any process when it comes to record store digging?
Not really. Just being curious about new perspectives through abstractions in any genre. I’m attracted by records, that evoke a certain world of thought or “listenable” image. In general I’m lead by combinations of word and image that draws my attention to have a trip.
How did you source the music played in this mix?
Files from: my library, recent purchases, file exchanges, forums/blogs, digitized stuff and both field and radio recordings.
How did you settle on the name Luxxuryproblems? Is there a story behind it?
I grew up being a competitive athlete. Practicing high diving quite successfully for 13 years, I was completely trapped into the professional sports system. A serious accident allowed me to quit sports and to emancipate. Years later, in a record store I stumbled upon ‘Luxury Problems’ by Andy Stott, showing a photography of a high diver in flight on the artwork. This moment was a paradoxical flashback and realization at once for me.
I think, that luxury itself can be seen as a mode of emancipation from purpose or function: a mental twist – a general challenge against the rational. I’m lucky to face such problems now.
Where have you been based throughout the pandemic? Any go-to coping mechanisms that you’ve relied on to cope with things like lockdown and quarantine?
Mainly at home in the web and on my bike. I started exploring the suburbs of my city at day and the Internet’s hinterland at night. Also I concentrated on book releases, print stuff and photography through which I could pause music making for a while to observe my own changing disposition.
And finally, do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Weaving the explorations I’ve made into a live set and a new release.