Arp: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
Following the release of a new album on Mexican Summer, Arp aka Alexis Georgopoulos showcases leftfield electronics on this mixtape.
Arp is a critically acclaimed, experimental electronic music producer with a penchant for exploring Fourth World and New Age influences in a fluent, abstract fashion. Over the years he has released a plethora of material, predominantly long form albums, on the likes of Rvng Intl, Smalltown Supersound and Geographic North.
However, it is Mexican Summer of which he has become most closely affiliated as of late, having released three consecutive albums with the Brooklyn based record label.
Earlier this month marked the release of ‘New Pleasures’ – an album designed to challenge the concepts and notions of the records that have come before, opting for an all out dystopian vision whilst still being influenced by the roots of which all of this came.
When asked to describe the strange, alluring sense of familiarity and dislocation the new Arp album evokes, Georgopoulos says: “sometimes the most alien thing is simply seeing what we take for granted from a slightly different angle.”
This mixtape is perhaps a further exploration of where the Arp project and mentality sits in the present.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you, what are you?
My name is Alexis Georgopoulos. I’m a composer, producer based in New York.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
I took the title as literally as I could [laughs]! I suppose I imagine the mix as a kind of interior experience of someone on a typical Monday in a digital work environment — starting with the moment they gain consciousness, moving through various stages of the morning, through transit, sitting down at their desk, or in their cube and moving through various stages of the afternoon of a work day.
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
Perhaps a series of frames from a film. A bed. An alarm clock. Someone coming to. Shower water running. A kitchen. A toaster. Coffee. A subway ride. People flowing by. Numerous escalators. An office space. Cubes. Modems. Windows. The click and clack of keyboards. Interruptions. Coffee breaks. Smalltalk. Clouds. Thought bubbles.
If it were a food what would it be?
A kale salad [laughs].
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
The 3rd dimension.
What should we be wearing?
Sensible business casual.
Where was it recorded?
In my home studio.
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
I prefer Thursdays.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Oh wow. Too many to list… Eno, Sakamoto, Grace Jones, Chopin, John Adams.
The longterm goal is to create a 24-hour song cycle. A track for every part of the day. A long arc. I try to push myself to try new things, to explore different geographies.. Each album/project offers new opportunities to do that.
What were your original aspirations as musicians and how do you think you’re shaping up?
It’s funny. I was a pretty serious Anglophile as a teenager. When I started making 4-track cassettes in college, I tried my best to write like Syd Barrett, Nick Drake — sad, soft, stoned boy type stuff [laughs]. So, yeah, it’s been a long, circuitous path so far [laughs]. Maybe it’ll come back around at some point.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
It would’ve been on the radio. Probably Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” Made me feel great. Adrenaline, desire. All kinds of new sensations.
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
When things are flowing in the studio, it’s as if my brain is on autopilot, not conscious of itself. Just “on”. Hours disappear.
When I’m not? Oh, well, then there’s consciousness — the need to think — and all that comes with it.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first record was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I was 10.
The most recent? Natalie Beridze’s “Of Which One Knows”, a lovely, haunting record on Room 40.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
My obsessions tend to shift all the time. But as I’m trying to learn to play the piano properly, there’s been lots of Ravel and Debussy happening.
If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?
I think a good party would be nice. Maybe Mudd Club, Danceteria, Paradise Garage. The New Dances show. Club Blitz? Le Palace? Any of those sound like a good time.
Buy the new album HERE.