Luke Cohlen’s 7 poetics, through sound
Luke Cohlen is an Utrecht-based DJ and programmer whose mixes and sets tread a variegated landscape, from quiet introspection through trippy and rhythmic terrains. With a knack for curation and an inherent drive to spotlight artists worthy of new eyes and ears, Luke’s latest chapter marks a natural segue in his career: the launch of his own record label, aural conduct.
In celebration of his new imprint, we asked Luke to put together a mood list. His resulting picks reflect the path towards aural conduct – a distillation of poetics in sound.
‘’aural conduct paves the way for a new personal era after a decade of finding, loving, and playing music. I want to support and highlight projects that have a compelling story to them. If the context and elements are in harmony, then I believe a certain beauty can stretch far and wide. In the introduction of my label I wrote to seek ‘…music evoking dualities: zeitgeist and timelessness, melancholia and optimism. Poetics, through sound.’
I realize such words can be interpreted a tad too strongly, as taste remains a subjective matter. In the end it’s personal, while seeking resonance with the collective. So I thought for this mood list to simply share a few pieces that inspire me on this journey and embody what I find beautiful.’’
David Toop – Hot Pants Idol
Hot Pants Idol is a gem on Utrecht’s illustrious Barooni label, which was active in the 90s mostly. The album is by musician, writer, and academic David Toop, with his words layered over Scanner, Jon Hassell, and many others. Wonderful package too, full of written passages and imagery, designed by friendly local figure, restaurant owner and lifelong music fanatic, Hans Althuis.
Zoë Mc Pherson & Rupert Clervaux – Plafond 5
Always hesitant to use the term, but I’d coin this Zoë Mc Pherson and Rupert Clervaux as avant-garde music. It’s part of the Plafond mini-album series on the dear BAKK records, for whom I have written liner notes, including this one. They always match interesting artists for Plafond, contrasting and complementing. Writing for them has been one of the processes fuelling me to start an own label.
Nohno – Longitude and Latitude
I stumbled upon Longitude and Latitude by Nohno last summer. This has been a strong favorite ever since. Nohno are Clock DVA/Sector’s Dean Dennis and musician/photographer Jose Snook. The extensive album is so lush, forward-thinking, and cohesive. It smartly nods to the past, whilst not drowning in nostalgia.
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti
This Cosey Fanni Tutti record is so refreshing, and a bold move from such a renowned artist. Starting off at full intensity, slowly the record dissolves and abstracts into a fictional ether, making it a masterwork of musical suspense. It’s this in-between state that’s reached, a certain effect music can have on you. Beautiful.
Kode9 & The Spaceape – Memories of the Future
‘I wanted to include at least one album from my formative years. When I was 18 I went all-in exploring the early era of dubstep, and its unique, sparse sonic world has had an influence on me to this day. Hyperdub always remains a front-runner for futuristic sounds, and the title of this album shows they were already onto that.
Osamu Sato – Objectless
Brilliance by Osamu Sato. The way the sounds shift, rhythms enter, and the near anxious tension that keeps building and building. “Circuit Training” is the track I always turn back to every once in a while. It never truly gives in, and that’s what makes it so immensely good.
Arto Lindsay – Mundo Civilizado
Such a unique combination of influences on this one – with a firm highlight being the first track, “Complicity.” The totality of that piece really sets it apart from many things I have ever heard. It’s a blessing to find those sweet spots and complementary moves within music. The great Arto Lindsay in full effect, sampling the visionary DJ Spooky in the process.