Track By Track: Aphir fills us in on all the features on her excellent new EP, Dyscircadian
Her second EP is beguiling journey into left-field electronica.
Becki Whitton, under the moniker of Aphir, has been making some engrossing electronic music for a minute now, and June 11 saw the release of her fantastic second EP, Dyscircadian. The five-track release features a different artist on each track, who under Whitton's direction still manage to combine for an EP that flows in a manner that is utterly entrancing: "I’ve been subletting a studio from my friend for the past three weeks to finish off the new album I’m making, and on the first day of June I arrived to find that, overnight, someone (definitely a human) had literally taken a crap on the brickwork near the entryway. Obviously I had to clean it off straight away - I pray you never have a similar experience, but if you do then you’ll know why I needed to spend the next week of my life making a drone record."
Crap aside, it's a stunning EP, and Whitton was kind enough to give us a little insight into each of the features, which you can check out below while listening to it (just click anywhere on the embed):
1. Dyscircadian feat. alphamale
This song is about staying up late and driving yourself to the brink in pursuit of self-improvement, and Hannah De Feyter (alphamale) made a drone for it using viola and electronics that perfectly captures that feeling of anxiety building the longer you stay awake. I also made a synth for this called "Hannah E320" that I originally used to show Han the sort of vibe I wanted for her part, and it's still in the final version alongside Hannah's actual drone, trying to pretend it's a real viola.
2. New Form feat. KAIAR
The drone Karla (KAIAR) sent me for this EP is this very pure, angelic layered vocal sample that gradually distorts and degrades over time. Karla and I were both brought up in religious environments which we have since broken away from, so I wanted this song to engage with that part of our shared history. The trajectory of Karla's drone in New Form represents the moral trajectory our parents probably think we're on, lol.
3. I'll Fall feat. Arrom & Lack The Low
The way this song came together was so magic. Mel (Arrom) and Kat (Lack The Low) sent me these two samples that were exactly the same length and fit together in an absolutely perfect way, both conceptually and musically. Kat's was this tense, climactic string-and-organ drone, and Mel's was a series of chilled out synth chord "bubbles". So, Kat's drone is the musical version of the "anxious thread" the lyrics refer to, running throughout the mellow arrangement around it.
4. Generalisation feat. Freya
Tamara (Freya) explained to me that, with her drone, she wanted to see what she could do with just a guitar. She ended up making this whole dark, climactic world with just that one instrument. It was really exciting for me to build a beat and produce my vocals in a heavier/darker way to fit in that space.
5. Life Like feat. Alicia Sparkles
Alicia Sparkles is a new project by Sia Xray (who also makes music as Shoeb Ahmad). There's always a warmth to Sia's production, even when her songs deal with brutal situations, and the guitar loops she sent me for Life Like helped me conclude the EP in a gentle way. It's not an uplifting ending exactly but I think it feels like the calm straight after you've cried really hard over something.
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