Track By Track: Awe Kid – Body Logic
Awe Kid’s new album for Atomnation blurs the lines between a kaleidoscopic spectrum of genres.
This could be said of his entire music output though. For the Sine Language Records co-founder, working with digital processes allows him to land on those ‘unexpected moments’ that lead to something taking a ‘tangible, organic form’.
It’s this symbiosis between digital and organic that makes for the beautifully mesmerising collection of music on Body Logic.
Over the course of 11 tracks he delves into ideas of trans-humanism, evolution and digital immortality, realised through a fusion of ambient, IDM, breaks and off kilter dance floor experiments. Utilising his arsenal of modular and analog hardware, samplers and field recordings, and applying different digital techniques and processes, he creates his own singular sound world that suspends somewhere between reality and surrealism.
Following the release of Body Logic we asked Awe Kid to break down each track on his LP, sharing the processes and inspirations behind them.
“prelude // transcend physical form”
I wanted to create the feeling of nature dissolving and melting into a digital space. The main drone comes from detuned harmonica samples, layered with field recordings, and processed through an excessive number of distortion and saturation plugins to create a crunchy, breathing soundbed.
It was incredible to work with media artist Maxime Lethelier on the video for this one. He’s super talented and took us all the way down the rabbit hole with the concept. He’s also doing visuals for the live set and has come up with something completely bonkers which we can’t wait to share.
“ancient pathways // synaptic imaging”
This song evokes something primal for me. I was going for this dub feel, and had a lot of fun throwing different synths and samples through delays to create moments of drama. I also cracked open the pigeon samples for this one.
“interstellar cruise // data streaming”
Before I started writing anything for the album I spent several months obsessively experimenting with breakbeats, playing with different kinds of source material, tempos, and processing techniques to see what was possible. Planar grew out of one of those experiments and is one of my favourite breaks on the album. The track is a bit of a sci-fi acid jazz trip, strangely only 120 bpm but the slower tempo gives the beat space to shuffle and groove.
“persona // assimilate”
I think this was my attempt at writing a pop song, but in hindsight I probably need to listen to the radio more often. For some reason it also reminds me of riding the 192 bus in Manchester on a rainy night.
“evolve // memory fragmentation”
This feels like an emotional pivot point half way through the album. It was a collaboration with my mate Ewan Fisher, who also mixed the entire album, and co-runs Sine Language Records with me, Ant Gregson and Joana Sobral. He’s a true artist and you can find his fingerprints all over this one, subterranean ambient density and emotional heaviness. Check out his album Ellipsis under his Ose alias for more of that!
There’s a moment during Sublimate where, if you’re listening with headphones, you get the physical sensation of being submerged into water as the tonal balance and ambient space of the mix shift. One of my favourite moments of the album.
“peak civilization // higher states”
After exploring the depths with Sublimate, I wanted this physical sensation of uplift in Zenith. It’s also the fastest and rowdiest track on the album. I love the lead sound in this and ended up using variants of it all over the album. Created by mixing sine waves into distortion with feedback loops, it has this unstable, fragile quality like it’s perpetually just on the edge of completely falling apart.
“motion // proximity”
Proxi Vector and Eve were the first demos I sent to Atomnation, and they ended up defining the album’s aesthetic of layering ambient textures with downtempo breaks. Originally this track was super long because I got carried away with the atmospheric intro, and ended up having to cut it down. For the live version I’m definitely going to rinse that though!
The blown out bass synth really makes this track for me, I think if you make everything too nice and pretty then it quickly feels homogeneous, and you need some rough edges to be able to appreciate the beauty.
“stasis // journey”
This is another collab with Ewan. He’s basically my go-to when I’m stuck on an ambient tune, and I lost count of the number of incarnations this track went through before we landed on this. The second half sounds like a slow motion explosion to me. I really enjoy how ambient compositions give you the freedom to create very specific, evocative imagery like that which could be difficult to do within the confines of a beat.
“form // function”
I wrote this with my old friend and long time collaborator Ant Gregson. We grew up playing in bands and discovering electronic music together, and back in our school years he taught me how to produce using Fruity Loops and a bunch of pirated plugins and samples. It’s really special to still be making tunes together all these years later, and having those shared formative years and influences means we’re usually on the same page in terms of where a track is going.
The main synth lines were made with the original Massive vst, which must be 15 years old by now, but for some reason we always go back to for some basic synth programming. It almost sounds unintentionally lofi but that just adds to the character by the time you’ve run it through some tube saturation and reverb.
Throughout the album I tried to create moments of tension and release, and this track feels like the emotional payoff for following that journey. The ending is probably as close as I’m going to get to writing some sunrise rave euphoria.
“reprise // eternal”
I wanted to end the album on a more reflective note, and tie in some of the earlier ideas. This track is the most personal for me and I want to leave it open for you to find your own meaning in it. It sounds like it could drift off to infinity.
Body Logic is out now on Atomnation.
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