Moiré on His Politically Charged Second Album, No Future

The UK producer talks about his new record on Ghostly International

Disguise + Sample&Hold

Moiré has never shared much in the way of personal details, but that hasn’t stopped the London producer from making a strong impression on the electronic landscape. Finding an early ally in the similarly reclusive Actress, Moiré released his first EP and album via Actress’s Werkdiscs label and has also put out music through esteemed imprints like Rush Hour, R&S and Spectral Sound.

With his sophomore LP No Future set to drop via Ghostly International, he joined Shawn Reynaldo on RBMA Radio’s First Floor to talk about the political turmoil the inspired his latest full-length and explain why he prefers to remain largely anonymous. Read excerpts from the interview below.

Listen to First Floor on RBMA Radio here every Thursday at 1 PM EDT.

Moiré feat. James Massiah - Façade

When this album was originally announced, it was pretty clear that the title of the LP, No Future, was meant pretty literally. Do you feel like the world is coming to an end?

I had this title for a while in my head. It was even before any of the things that are happening right now. I mean, it was before even Brexit. It was apparent that there were some things happening in politics that were changing the mood in UK. The UKIP started appearing on the horizon. All these kind of things, which before would have been totally invisible and then kind of marginalized. Also, with every kind of terror attack that was happening, you could see things were louder and louder with the right wing.

When [the] Labour [party] lost for the second time in the election, I was thinking, “This is not cool.” And a lot of people around me, my age or younger, they didn’t vote. I was always like, “Why didn’t you vote?” They would say, “Oh, nothing’s going to change.” That apathy was kind of depressing. I’m like, “If nobody’s going to be talking about it, nothing’s going to change.”

Also, I was wondering where this idea comes from: Why are people so disenfranchised about their position and what politicians do for them? The general perception is they do nothing for us, for people. That’s why, now, we see the effect of it. The big part of society doesn’t feel represented, and they’ve spoken in ways that we are seeing now, by not voting or by choosing weird candidates or by voting for something that’s really radical.

For some reason, I sensed the mood was kind of changing in Europe. On top of that, I had some other family issues that I was dealing with that affected my thinking about what is going on. No Future is not some kind of pessimistic view. I always read these futuristic books and sci-fi. I make techno, and it’s meant to be about the future and so on. I was kind of looking at everything and I’m like, “I cannot describe the future, as a term.” I don’t know how to describe it anymore, what’s coming. I felt that No Future sits perfectly where I am, from my point of view, observing what’s happening around me.

Still, there is an irony to making a techno album, because of all the electronic genres, techno is the most closely associated with ideas of futurism. Yet, you’ve made a techno album called No Future.

Yeah. It’s also the questioning of what’s happening with music from my personal point of view, and where this particular type of music should go. That’s why I was trying to challenge myself on the record, and not for political or rebellious reasons, to involve vocals or do things differently. It’s about the spirit of the record for me, not just the techniques. It has a meaning for me. It happened in a certain time and I was questioning many things when I was making it.

Listening to the music on the album, it could be categorized as dark, but it doesn’t really have an apocalyptic or end-of-the-world feel. How did you express those feelings through these tracks?

Well, even the idea that the music is against something or it’s about some sort of apocalyptic vision, that’s just a perception. I don’t see music that way. It’s a cliché that because I’m angry, I’m going to make really noisy and angry music. I don’t see it that way. I see music and sounds as elements that are just creating certain compositions. It’s only me that’s going to know how I felt the moment I made this track or that track.

I felt that making aggressive and noisy music would be the cliché that I’m trying to not be part of. If I call my album No Future that means it needs to be really dark and depressing? Actually, I wanted people to enjoy it and relax. What else is there? Everything is so fucked that maybe making music that’s slightly more positive is the right thing to do.

When you first started releasing music you made a point to keep most of your personal biographical details secret. Obviously this is something that a lot of artists have done, but what was your motivation for doing that?

I’m really interested in music mainly. If I have a favorite artist, I’m so not interested in any of the biography. I’m just interested in what it is, what he’s doing. Do I like it? What is the piece about? Whether it's a painting or a piece of music... I still think it’s just early days for me, so there’s still time to talk about everything else.

People always ask you these questions. I never ask anybody. I’m kind of like, “Hey. What’s your name? Cool. What do you do? This. Done.” I don’t personally need that much information to get on with someone or listen to someone or experience someone’s art. I like that when I go out and I see someone playing I don’t know much about them.

I always think about how to connect the visual elements in music.

Your artist name is a design term, and I know that you have some kind of background in architecture. What’s the role of visual design in your music or in the new album?

You know, that’s always been part of my life. I remember someone was making comments after one of the first interviews I did a few years ago, “Oh, he’s just another designer that is making music,” all this kind of bollocks. Which I found strange. I was like, “What’s wrong with that?” I’ve been using design to work, to pay the bills, and to live and invest in music. That was my day job. That’s what helped me to invest in gear or hire a studio. I’ve been making music whenever I had the free time, so in a way the design – which I love and I still do for myself and others – is a part of me, so I’m not denying it.

I have no idea how it translates to compositions or tracks. I used to skateboard a lot when I was younger and I was always doing my own t-shirts, drawing and painting. I don’t know how this translated into music, but definitely that street kind of vibe. I started from graffiti and then went on to become a graphic designer and so on. Somehow that stayed with me and, yeah, probably affects my music. But I always think about how to connect the visual elements in music. If there is any actual connection, because maybe there isn’t. Maybe they’re two different things, what you see and what you hear. Yeah, I have no idea what’s the connection really, but it’s just part of my life.

By Shawn Reynaldo on February 9, 2017

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