Transcribing is about a chore, but transcribing an account with Exploded View’s Annika Henderson abiding highlights the ‘trance’ part. It’s that voice; disembodied, husky, yet advantageous and eloquent. Henderson could apprehend from a phonebook and accomplish it complete like accurate poetry. No agnosticism her accomplishments plays a big part: built-in and aloft in England, but spending a abundant accord of time in Berlin. Aing to her activity as a artisan and complete artisan based in Berlin, she is a aciculate journalistic mind, one who’s concern added about than not gets the best of her. Though she initially capital to become a documentary journalist, she’s accommodated to an actuality of connected learning, experiencing, creating and traveling.
The appellation of Exploded View’s additional LP Obey ability advance addition hard-hitting, active babble exercise. That, in some ways, is still the case: ‘Dark Stains’ and ‘Come On Honey’ edge and clamber with fraught, claustrophobic anguish. But Obey teems with a lot of sweeping, free-form noise-scapes as well. ‘Open Road’ is absolutely attractive with its quagmire synth textures, cottony acoustic bombinate and Henderson’s aplomb delivery. The appellation track’s bouncing acuteness is like continuing in average of a balmy monsoon, with acid apprehension ablution the clay from your body.
Stepping abroad from added structured, babble bedrock leanings feels like a accustomed progression from the band’s self-titled 2016 debut. After all, Exploded View did activate as article of a knee-jerk, amoebic affair. Henderson was attractive for a abetment bandage in Mexico City to accomplish songs from her admission LP Anika, which she recorded with Geoff Barrow’s accouterments BEAK>. Musicians Martin Thulin Hugo Quezada and the now ancient Amon Melgarejo answered the call. The allure amid the four angry out to be actual and infectious, and appropriately the accord morphed into Exploded View.
Sacred Bones, who acquire a agog eye for headstrong, adventurousness artists, took a flash on the band. “They accord us complete abandon and they are so patient,” Henderson weighs in. “I mean, alive beyond Mexico, decisions sometimes booty ages. They acquire been so sweet, and never put any burden on us, never questioned the animal artwork (laughs). It’s declared to be the ugliest artwork ever, the aggregate of the close sleeve and the blush vinyl. But it’s acceptable anti-artwork.”
DiS: You afresh performed this activity alleged The Writing Robot. What did it entail exactly?
Annika Henderson: Well, I acclimated to alive with a computer programmer; one time I aloof alternate from this anniversary alleged Ars Electronica in Austria. This anniversary showcases a lot of cyberbanking developments over the accomplished years, and additionally organized a few alive shows. I played there in 2016 with Exploded View; accepting lived in Berlin for the accomplished few years, somehow you’re a bit cloistral from advances like apprentice technology. In England, they had these cyberbanking advantageous machines, so there’s a lot of a added automatic attendance there. Whereas in Berlin, I already saw a bombinate into a spa…
Very awful and actual actionable I’m sure… But anyway, his anniversary had all these crazy robots, and I was taken ashamed by how avant-garde this technology was. Afresh I went home and one of my housemates talked about the likelihood of her job actuality taken over by robots. I was alert to a lot of the blueprint music and accomplished it all articulate so the same. So I anticipation about the achievability of an artist’s job actuality taken over by robots as well. If artists abide to agitate out these formulaic things, a apprentice could acceptable do so as well.
People would say to me my aboriginal almanac was aloof a agglomeration of covers. But that’s not that abundant altered from all the bodies absolution music they didn’t abode anyway. So I was speaking about it with my computer programmer acquaintance Raoul Sanders; aback he was 13, he created a apprentice that could abode poetry. So I asked him if he could potentially acclimate this to accomplish song lyrics. So we concluded up alive for ages to accomplish this massive database of old hits from the accomplished thirty or forty years, and it works well! I mean, sometimes there was a bit of a glitch. I created some soundscapes during the aftermost show. It was affectionate of funny actually: some of them were composed in altered genres – like for instance, one rap track, aloof to advertise how a apprentice could abode for anniversary of them.
Makes me admiration if you could use the database to accomplish an accurate William S. Burroughs-Bot.
We absolutely did augment the apparatus a accomplished book –The Apparatus Stops by E.M. Forster – during this performance. It was all done alive – so we absorbed up the algorithm to a printer. On stage, it would aloof be spitting out lyrics we started improvising over the top of the music. Already in a while Raoul would change it to the Forster thing, the algorithm came up with these crazy apocalyptic texts about robots demography over the world. It was amusing, but a bit stressful, because I had never apparent these lyrics before. So I had to amount out the melody on the spot.
At its conclusion, it was about allurement yourself what your role is as an artist, what do you acquire to say yourself if you’re aloof repeating the patterns of the accomplished of these acceptable formulas? Afresh it agency you can aloof be replaced by robots! But in the end, it’s about analytic the role of the artisan nowadays. But it was additionally a fun project, a actual acceptable one to affected this abhorrence of lyrics as well.
You did a leg of abandoned shows aftermost year, and you played Exploded View songs as well. Did you analysis out new material, or played songs that were already written?
Doing abandoned shows is acutely a altered acquaintance than to actuality in a band. You are actual abundant on your own, if article goes amiss there is no one to t you. You aloof acquire to accumulate going. Especially if you are relying heavily on electronics. If article happens you aloof acquire to amount it out and backpack on. I already had a appearance area I had to do allotment of it a-cappella because my computer blew up.
Well, at atomic that’s article computers can’t alter yet: your voice. I consistently adore watching artists assignment about acrimonious abstruse problems in artistic ways.
There’s that accomplished ancient showman element, like ‘the appearance charge go on’. And at the moment in the music industry, I feel this is actuality questioned. There are so abounding artists abandoning shows these days. We aloof had it in Berlin with U2, there was a amount of columnist about Bono accident his voice. I anticipate it’s because artists are accepted to bout so much, there is a lot of burden on them to accomplish money for anybody complex in the machine.
We had to aish an Exploded View bout in its absoluteness a few years ago, because it became absurd to accomplish it work. We would’ve been in the red so much; that was about the time Amon couldn’t handle the touring and had to quit. I had to accomplish that decision. I usually would never aish a show. I acquire shows area I’ve befuddled up by the ancillary of the stage, absolutely casual out afterward. And one area I had absent my articulation for two days, and I managed to get it aback aloof in time for one of the Exploded View shows.
Well, you put a lot of accomplishment assuming in situations area you charge to advance your limits. You wrote a brilliant, acute allotment about a appearance you did a few years ago in Tehran, Iran. Those adventures tend to thicken your skin.
It’s strange, because I had such a abundant time. I met the best friendly, candied and affable people. I didn’t acquisition myself in any alarming situation, afar from aback I got this crazy fever. Which was aloof horrible, and the acumen why the Gate of Words affair angry into this awe-inspiring trip. I had seven canicule to compose this piece, and six canicule I was arresting with this acute fever. So I was aggravating to compose and accomplish beneath this fever, and it was bizarre.
But in the end, anybody does music for claimed reasons. One of the best important affidavit for me was to apprentice as abundant as I could. I acclimated to appetite to become a documentary journalist, you appetite to get this assurance of people, this admission to groups. And allotment that if you can. The acceptable affair about arena music is that you get this access; bodies are advancing to see you, and what you apprehension is that you’re not alive passively. I consistently try to accord aback as abundant as I can.
After one appearance in Iran, bodies would arise over to say, “I apprehend I can do that array of affair too, you know?” Especially in Iran, area they don’t get to see abounding alive shows. And sometimes actuality a artisan is this untouchable thing. So they put me in a bearings that gave them an awareness. That’s absolutely what I capital to show. To accomplish this a added animal experience, to brainwash a concern in bodies to accomplish them appetite to do it for themselves.
That’s auspicious to hear, because there’s a lot of allocution now about art and music aloof actuality article you either blindly absorb or allotment in a vacuum. Not as article that can change the apple alike aloof a little bit
I try to do it. It all depends on what your motives are. With the Iran trip, it was offered to me. I didn’t administer for it myself – I activated for lots of added residencies, but never got any funding. Afresh it’s consistently strange, because already in a while, out of the blue, things arise your way. It was cool. They said, ‘”Do you appetite to go to Iran for three weeks?” and I was about to go on anniversary for two weeks. They said I bare to alpha the acceptance action beeline away. So I was like “Okay, why not?”
I had affairs laid out, I was declared to abstraction actually. But I canceled that and aloof went because I thought: This such a time area there is a abridgement of compassionate for added people, we actualize these caked evils, at the time Iran was absolutely ‘one of those’ in the press. Especially in America, Iran is portrayed as this big angry that no one understands annihilation about. I apprehend now how abundant of a lie the letters we get are. It’s one big lie basically, a absolutely adulterated account of reality.
Iran was amazing, it was such a affluent country in agreement of culture, the admirable colors. Afore I went I was account a amount of books and aggravating to watch a amount of films. It fabricated me beneath afraid of going, it fabricated me added familiar. It’s such an absorbing place. It’s so admirable there, all the attributes as well. I’m animated I could at atomic abode and abode a bit about it, to breach bottomward this wall. On the alternation I encountered these emo kids, cutting a continued covering and a headscarf, trainers, drainpipe trousers and alert to Blink 182. I mean, it’s all array of the same, you know?
Back to Exploded View: in the lyrics I noticed a lot added ‘you’. It seems added that these songs are acclamation addition or something. Is Obey maybe beneath of an alienated record?
It’s so funny, some bodies adapt the songs quicker than I do myself. During the authoritative of Obey, I was absolutely in this accord for the accomplished time. I anticipate we did three sessions that were advance out appealing widely, and this accord lasted through the beginning, the average and the end. So there are songs on the albums that are happy, hardly angrier songs and absolutely absinthian songs. So I assumption I am acclamation a accurate person. But that actuality additionally symizes what I was angry adjoin generally.
I’m absorbed in the blessed songs. Bodies tend to conflate noise-laden, antagonistic aural music with darkness, nihilism, and depression. But those elements can be acclimated to aback appetite and joy too.
Everyone in the bandage has got able emotions, and there’s battle and authoritative up. And alike aback talking about the band; we are all absolutely passionate. It’s like a family; you can asphyxiate them sometimes, but afresh already you are all aback calm it’s accomplished again. I anticipate ‘Open Road’ is declared to be about freedom, about escaping. Or maybe active away. ‘Letting Go Of Childhood Dreams’ is a liberation too, absolution go of things that ahead captivated you back. Things that you anticipation you had to be. And acumen you should aloof be blessed and yourself.
But ‘Letting Go Of Childhood Dreams’ doesn’t necessarily abode the absolute things, the things you aspire to be. And afresh acumen as you get earlier you don’t get to do it. No, it’s not that affectionate of thing. It’s added about the time aback I was younger, growing up in England, there were assertive imposed dreams,that fabricated you feel like you had to fit in. Amusing pressure, associate pressure, affectionate pressure. All these things that accomplish up a complete reality; you’ll be a success, you’ll be blessed if you accomplish a assertive affair at a assertive point. Like accepting a house, this accomplished job: “By the time I get to this age, I’ll be happy.” It’s added about absolution go of these ideals. The apparition that activity is abiding in this aboveboard formula, which is primarily affiliated to consumerism.
Generations are about like cycles, right? It’s added acceptable you’ll acquire added in accepted with your grandparents than your parents. Bodies arise absorbed to acknowledge adjoin foundations laid by the antecedent generations.
Yeah, that’s a funny one with my family. They are all absolutely eccentric, and advanced in a lot of ways. My parents, if anything, I feel like they are allotment of a assertive generation. But I additionally I feel like they could be my age, you know? They are probably, to some extent, as appropriately absent as my generation. I’m half-German, half-English so, I had German grandparents and English grandparents. And they were acutely different. My German grandparents were a lot older, they came from the war generation.
My English grandparents, my English grandfathering was hardly too adolescent to be angry in the war, so he was aloof active agrarian in London. But because he alone out of academy at age thirteen, he ample out his own path. He did all types of altered jobs; butcher, footballer, postman, boxer, cyberbanking engineering. It’s been aloof the accomplished few years that I absorb a lot added time with him, because I acquire now. You acquire to consistently amount out what you’re activity to do next. My parents’ bearing were about ashore in one job, they had a abode and everything.
That’s a actual absorbing point, about the abundance the babyish boomers experienced. A lot of politicians in ability now are from that generation. So maybe there’s a abridgement of empathy, added disengagement appear bodies who didn’t acquaintance that aforementioned affectionate of banking stability? Our bearing appears to acquire appealing abundant accustomed up on the ethics imposed to us through announcement or propaganda.
I anticipate it’s additionally aloof about acquirements to be flexible. But already again, announcement and consumerism use this abstraction of adaptability adjoin us – whether it’s with ‘flexible’ affairs of work, which is basically aloof base people. But that’s not what I beggarly by ‘flexible’. I’m talking about adaptability in agreement of actuality beneath absorbed to altar or possessions. Aback I aboriginal came to Berlin, this was one of the best liberating things.
There acclimated to be no advertising; I bethink at Christmas for example, I wouldn’t absolutely apperceive it was Christmas. I lived in Neuköln, which is mostly Turkish, so there was maybe one Christmas timberline blind off someone’s balcony. And that was it. One night I flew home on Christmas eve, I landed in Heathrow, and they’d aback be abundantly banging Christmas songs on the airport. I had a absolutely agitation attack: “Oh bits I didn’t buy any Christmas presents! Oh god, what am I activity to do?” My sister’s kids would be adage “Where are my presents?” (laughs)
So it was liberating to arise alive in Berlin and be abroad from the English cycle, that accomplished hamster wheel. But at the aforementioned time, active in Berlin initially absolute this complete ache of not actuality able to awning yourself over with stuff. At aboriginal I had to absolutely attending at myself with annihilation – and aloof acquire it, which was difficult as well. But it angry out to be article absolutely advantageous for me in the continued run. Because you apprehend you don’t absolutely charge a lot of possessions. Not to deliver what is appropriate or wrong, but I anticipate that does booty abroad this fear. We are so eaten up by abhorrence now. A lot of announcement uses this capital address to alarm you into affairs something. “Don’t anguish you’re not accepting older, aloof buy this and you’ll feel adolescent again.”
Punk bedrock acclimated to be that force that mirrored that blazon of accent adjoin the oppressors. But it has now been usurped by consumerism as well. Alike aback bodies anticipate they’re absolutely against it, consumerism trickles bottomward subliminally. You alone apprehend the admeasurement of that about-face already you acquisition yourself in a absolutely altered environment.
Yeah, and I don’t absolutely apperceive what to action appropriate now as a counter. Punk has become this consumerist thing; you buy the T-shirt, the trousers. It acclimated to be a affair with assertive subcultures aback I was growing up. You had to go to London, to Camden Market to buy what you wanted, items and merch from a assertive subcultures. You couldn’t go online and adjustment it like mail commitment or whatever. There was a bit added of an “earning your stripes” balloon to acquire a affection for subculture.
Making the aboriginal Anika record, that was one of the things me and Geoff (Barrow) discussed. We talked about about this array of anti-project, and at the time we didn’t use a MySpace page, a website or had a amusing media channel. We had the shitties pictures done and the affliction artwork, as if it was a absolutely anti-album. And additionally with Exploded View, with Hugo and Martin, the way we’ve been recording and bearing doesn’t accommodate itself able-bodied to announcement or sync-deals. It’s so awkward, you know?
For example, the video I fabricated afresh for ‘Sleepers’; we had a borderline and none of us had managed to get together. There were two canicule left. I begin myself at the airport, on the even aback from Portugal, and I got a absolutely shitty camera, so I’m activity to try out this abstraction I consistently absolutely capital to execute, alone with no budget. I ran about Berlin in the average of the night, filming the U-bahn. A acquaintance of abundance has got a son, and the aboriginal affair he said was: ‘That not a GoPro camera, that’s some shitty 17 euro camera!’ And I was like: ‘Yeah, but that was the point!’ I mean, it wasn’t absolutely the point. The abstraction was artlessly added important to me than the result, and I capital to aloof accurate it. I anticipate money doesn’t accomplish an abstraction – it can accomplish an abstraction go further, sure, but if there is no money to be spent, I still appetite to actualize the ideas.
Obey is out now on Sacred Bones. For added advice on Exploded View, amuse appointment their Bandcamp page. To accumulate tabs on Annika Henderson’s abounding added projects, amuse appointment her tumblr-page.
Photo Credit: Exploded View
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