Discover

Bruce Smear | “Junktion”

2 PRESS FINAL Bruce Smear web

Introducing Bruce Smear! A New York-based producer with more gripping pop energy than a Sprite celebrity basketball tournament. We were lucky enough to get a premiere and free download of his brand new track “Junktion” off of his forthcoming EP. We also sat down with Smear to find out how he keeps his music so lively.

Chlorine EP:

1. Intro
2. Pick & Roll
3. Junktion
4. Touchy
5. Rodeo

The EP has some subtle references to each track’s subject matter and some very literal ones. How important is sampling to you in telling a story?

The practice of sampling is crucial to my songwriting process, which in some cases may the take form of a narrative. Every Smear track is assembled from found sounds and snippets, all coalescing into a textural blob. Occasionally the aural fragments used are literal, and occasionally they are abstract. What is most important is how they twist around one another – this is what creates the song titles. In “Rodeo”, you have all these off kilter vocal and percussive elements manically wobbling around one another like a drunken cowboy on a bull, and on “Pick & Roll” the beat kinda gets twitchy and dodgy like you’re trying to juke Kobe. Smear is about squeezing samples into physical motion.

These literal references seem to imply a visual element to the music that doesn’t exist yet. What are the plans for that?

To me, the Smear universe has always been a vivid one. The way it looks is equally important to the way it sounds, and it has to be tangible and believable. When I’m writing new tracks, both senses usually augment one another to bring the overall aesthetic into focus. In order to bring this visual world to life, I’m currently working with a few designers and directors who will be unveiling more material in the upcoming months.

1 PRESS FINAL Bruce Smear web

Smear is a lot of fun! How does it relate to your music?

Thanks Finn! TOTALLY. Above all else, Smear needs to be fun. In the same spirit as pioneers like Mr. Fingers and Frankie Knuckles, I wanted something playful and suggestive. You gotta stay loose and sweaty; Smear fits that bill. From a literal standpoint, I’d say ‘Smear’ is sound collaging. Stretching and bending sounds into a new whole, like smearing colors on a painter’s palette. Oh yeah, and if you were ever curious about the origins of “Bruce”, let’s just say I’ve watched The Fifth Element more than a few times.

Every single one of the track titles on the EP refer to intense movement of bodies. Is music very physical to you?

Dance music is definitely a kinesthetic experience. At its core, I consider Chlorine to be a dance record. Each track has a distinct style which can conjure up its own specialized choreography. I would encourage anyone that listens to the record to break a sweat and experiment away. In addition, making a dance record boils down to me being a product of my environment. Beat driven music comes naturally when you’re power walking that BPM range all day in New York. Maybe I was subconsciously generating a subway soundtrack?

BRUCE SMEAR chlorine ep web

What about smell? The EP title Chlorine seems to suggest an interest with introducing an extra sense, or at least creating the idea of something harsh and substantial. Were any other smells or common disinfectants considered as titles?

In an attempt to make the Smear universe a more immersive experience, I wanted to add more sensory stimulation to the equation. I felt like the visual and aural ideas were prominent enough, but something more was needed for a listener wandering around the alien world of Chlorine. I loved the idea of this future world having a foreign atmosphere, one which was not dissimilar from our own, but with a minor alteration: an eerie chlorine smell in the air. Kind of like a bleachy sweetness that was ominous, yet welcoming. Almost like laughing gas. The more manic Chlorine becomes, the better.

Speaking of smell, do you listen to Perfume?

Just getting a whiff now, this kills…where have they been all my life?

Your sound world seems to be somewhere between the manic maximalist pop stylings of Max Tundra  and the club-oriented sounds of the Night Slugs boys. Do you have any plans to yank it out of club world by using vocalists on your songs?

Funny you should mention! Smear is very open to the idea…so much so that I foresee an adaptation of “Junktion” in the near future which may feature some vocal talent. I’ll keep y’all posted!

Chlorine is out August 26 on Joel Ford & Patrick McDermott’s label, Driftless Recordings.

Discerning the Darkness: Wyatt Niehaus’s  ‘Lights Out’

“In post-Fordism, there exists a permanent disproportion between ‘labor time’ and the more ample ‘production time.’” — Paolo Virno1 Lights Out, Wyatt Niehaus’s first solo show, was held last Saturday evening at Retrospective Gallery, the relatively new venture between Joel Mesler and Zach Feuer (opening in January of this year). The space was filled with temporary transplants from New York City and the surrounding area, feeling like an emptied out Soho loft, a facade broken… [read more »]

Artist, Comic, Cult Leader: DISmiss Presents Casey Jane Ellison

Even if you tried to be Casey Jane Ellison, you couldn’t. She’s operating on another level, and that’s why she’s this week’s DISmiss. Casey Jane Ellison, aka Your Girl Case Case, is the only known comedian to reinvent herself into an avatar and launch her own cult, and that’s just the last few months of this It Girl’s career. Ellison has proved she was born camera-ready as star of the VFILES original hit series What… [read more »]

Not Your Average It Girl | DISmiss presents Stoya

Stoya is an adult film performer, feminist and writer. She has appeared in over 50 explicit films, writes a bi-monthly sex advice column for Refinery29 and is involved with the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, which pushes for better education and working conditions for adult performers. 178k people eat up her sass on Twitter, and yes, she has Instagram: “It’s all pictures of cats,” she warns us on set.  With DISmiss, we celebrate the It Girl—the cool, the uncool,… [read more »]

Constant Dullaart at Carroll / Fletcher

Remembering Jennifer in Paradise: Constant Dullaart at Carroll / Fletcher, London The Dutch artist Constant Dullaart investigates the infancy of the world wide web, in particular the specific virtual semantics and consumer climates that have arisen from its birth. Currently exhibiting his first solo show in the UK at Caroll / Fletcher Gallery, Dullaart navigates through and beyond post-net nostalgia (no comic sans and glitch aesthetics here), exploring the correlation between digital mediation and traditional,… [read more »]

Aggressively Chill or Chillingly Aggressive? Fatima al Qadiri’s “Star-Spangled”

It’s the Fourth of July and you’ve had three too many phrosties. Slip into Fatima al Qadiri’s sinister rendition of America’s National anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”: “‘Star-Spangled’ is dedicated to American national nightmares,” the Kuwaiti artist explains. “On one hand, dark dreams of suburban serial killers and mangled hitch-hike heads. On the other, a false hope of national greatness cooked by covert agendas.” Aggressively chill or chillingly aggressive? You decide. HBD America!

Decoding Rachel Lord’s ‘Documental’

Documental, the cleverly titled, debut solo show of Los Angeles-based artist Rachel Lord, features four large, colorful paintings that take on and manipulate the historical form of the document. Lord has made a work of the entire gallery, painting each wall from floor to ceiling in complimentary colors to create a vivid environment that feels a bit like a barn crossed with a church crossed with a children’s after school program.  The ongoing series of… [read more »]

buy it. live it. luv it: ebaE

After nine months of loungecore-ing in her elastic maxi dress, Net-A-Porter and her ex-husband eBay.com have finally given birth—and it’s a bae! Welcome to the world of ebaE, poster child for generation DGAF and global e-commerce platform for all your lifestyle needs. Start trying to make fetch happen in Issue 1 by copping Regina George x Abercrombie polos, hand-painted Louboutins and emoji-embroidered baseball caps. Shop the full look at ebaE.cheap and remember: buy it.live it.luv it. Life Hackers… [read more »]

Shut the F*ck Up! What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police.

This post provides tips for interacting with police and understanding your rights. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud. – You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home. – If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave. – You have the right to a lawyer… [read more »]

Eckhaus Latta & Beyond: In Discussion with Garmento Zine

In the third installment of “Beyond the Garment District: Perspectives on Craft and Technique in New York-Made Fashion” Garmento editor Jeremy Lewis joined contemporary fashion designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta in talking the clothes, vision and “accidental sexiness” that makes up the innovative universe of Eckhaus Latta. Below are excerpts from last night’s entertaining conversation.  Garmento‘s next talk, once again held at the Museum of Art and Design, will feature fashion designer Andre Walker, cover story of… [read more »]