The fabric affiliated imprint Houndstooth will release a 12-inch from Vester Koza on May 27th.
The former Breaking Through star has released all his material to date via his Maslo imprint. He issued PRSN, a record that made subtle comments on Apple and Google policies via its track titles. RA's Will Lynch described the music as "beautifully drab" in his positive review.
Koza's new EP, OTR (short for off-the record, or encrypted instant messaging), has him moving to Houndstooth while continuing to pursue "an ongoing interest in security, technology and privacy," according to the label. We caught up with Koza on the news of his first 2016 release. You started your label, Maslo, out of necessity, but so far you've seemed to enjoy controlling every step in the process of making records. How did you come to work with Houndstooth?Tracklist
A1 OT_R~cord [4.10]
B2 Served_on_barm [4/3]
B3 ZRTP [P-Bass_special]
Houndstooth will release OTR on May 27th, 2016.
I just got fed up with dealing with it all myself! In the beginning I was just really motivated to get my music out, but eventually I got too self-conscious and lazy and couldn't be bothered anymore. I think once that mentality kicks in you have to accept you probably need some help with stuff.
fabric were asking me to do something, and offered me a deal to do albums with publishing. I'd still get total control over all aspects, same as before. Really with this record the process of actually making it was really similar because I just give them the tracks I want to release and Sarah Hammond has done the artwork and video.
Over the past two records, you've commented on security, privacy and technology in your track titles. Is it a conscious person's responsibility to be interested in these issues these days? Are you making overtly political music or just trying to reflect the current atmosphere?
I wouldn't say anyone has to be interested in anything, that's up to them. I guess I'm inspired by this stuff because I'm really into different types of computers and security stuff and there was a lot going on post-PRISM
leaks. I was getting into some Android tools on the modified AOSP stuff, and I was just referencing certain commands, playing around and adding ideas or just having an easy dig at Apple!
I think the last one reflects my negative mood at the time but now we have the positive developments from that. There's so much wicked open source software that is privacy focused, alternative mobile OS's, shit-hot encryption etc.
But yeah, I guess it's a chance to sort of say a bit of something. This way I can just reference something in an abstract way from afar without having an argument, which is nice! I'm not really into going on about why Google is evil over a cup of tea to be honest. If it stimulates a thought or it leads someone onto something then that's cool.If it stimulates a thought or it leads someone onto something then that's cool.
Do you feel more focused production-wise with this conceptual underpinning? How have your methods changed since your debut 12-inch?
Yeah, at times I'm really focused, but then I achieve a certain point with a style or whatever and then I just want to move on, change things and do something else. I want to evolve the sound, to make something new, so I rip things up a lot. It doesn't really feel like focus at times, though there's definitely an overall one to do the music.
I suppose I'm using more controllers now. Using buggy old software to control a bunch of old hardware, which can sometimes be a pain in the arse! There's a lot of SYSEX/MIDI stuff across machines. I'm networking different desktop's as some old things only run on XP, so I remote into that. I've got a Linux install, with some cool stuff on there.
I've just put these SCSI CF readers into my old samplers so now I can actually save things properly! I'm recording bits of analogues in those and doing lots of sound design via a CTRLR panel and building banks. My mate has made these wicked little sequencers in Max so I've been using them a lot to trigger stuff. It's still all going up an old '70s mixer. Everything's outboard. I'm routing things in different ways. I could do with a few more patchbays at the [moment] for things.
I've moved on quite a bit since back then, but that's just due to phases of interest with the music really. That's what drives things.