shaping up to be a banner year for Jay Bodley, who is perhaps better known to
Percussion Lab readers as the man behind the A Setting Sun and Sun Hummer
monikers. After a string of well received releases for the Ghostly-affiliated
Moodgadget imprint, Bodley is striking out with a clutch of new material,
including his debut release proper as Sun Hammer. Percussion Lab scribe Carl
Ritger – a recording artist in his own right, who performs as Radere – caught
up with Bodley to discuss his latest mix for Percussion Lab, their upcoming
collaborative release and the decidedly more experimental tone that the Sun
Hammer project has taken of late...
PL: Inquiring minds want to know: what did you
use to record the mix? Where was it recorded?
recorded the mix in Ableton Live, as I do all my mixes, in my home studio in
Ann Arbor, MI. Actually, if I could do it again with an unlimited amount of
time, I would structure the mix as if I were building a long-form composition,
using all of the individual tracks to make up elements in something larger. So
I would take smaller parts, loop sections, apply effects, take things out,
etc.; basically working with people's tracks as if they were my own samples.
This is a little bit like how I normally structure a mix. But the idea to even
do a promo mix for the album didn't hit me until a few days before the release
date, so I just didn't have the time.
PL: You've titled your mix the
"A Dream In Blood" prelude mix, which is a title shared by your
latest album and a new piece you contributed to the ongoing Disquiet Junto
project. What's the significance of this title?
JB: Those things share the title of the album only because they are coinciding in
time, really. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that the
title refers in a way to man's psychological / subconscious, as well as his
biological aspect. I am influenced greatly by the darker side of existence,
even though I'd say in general I'm a pretty bright and cheerful person. And in
a way I think that dreams are very real, perhaps sometimes even more so than
our so-called “waking life.” I know it's a very common idea maybe to the point
of being a cliché, but dream life is a huge inspiration for my artistic work.
PL: You don't seem to include any of the
nods to dubstep, hip hop or other more "pop" genres in this mix, as
you so often have before. What drove this move towards a more purely minimal /
right. I usually try to represent most of the different genres I'm into in my
mixes, trying to let different styles sit naturally next to one another, as I
was kinda saying before. For this one, though, I wanted stay very close to the
tone of the album. Ever since I was in high school and listening to early DJ
mixes by DJ Krush, I've been obsessed with the idea of a mix where every song
sounds like the guy who's mixing it. So I tried to do that in a way, but while
also showcasing a lot of songs that actually are my own, next to friends and
collaborators, labelmates and so forth.
PL: There are several nuggets included
throughout this mix that tease unreleased material and new projects, including
a couple of nods to our collaborations together. What can you say about your
JB: I love to
stay working on remixes for other artists I admire. Collaboration is something
I've come to realize over the past couple of years - and especially while we
were working on our album together - that really fuels me creatively. So the
remixes are going on more or less continuously.
Disquiet Junto communal music project is also really providing a huge creative
spark, in that it's really been pushing me to try something new for every song,
really developing certain production ideas and pushing my boundaries every
week. That's been huge. Also, the atmosphere of the group is such that I feel
as if it's okay if I make something that's ultimately not very good, which is
something that I think a lot of artists are afraid of. I know I have been for
many, many years.
As far as
releases go, I just put out A Dream In
Blood on Futuresequence, which I'm totally thrilled about. Michael [Waring,
Futuresequence’s editor] has been amazing to work with and he really gets it,
as far as the music goes, and with the label as a whole package. I'm also
really excited to be working on a release for Heat Death, a label I love, one
with a lot of extremely talented artists who make incredibly beautiful music.
Not to mention our A Setting Sun + Radere album, Lotophagen, which should be out this year on RJ Valeo's label, and
some follow-up material to that. I also have a compilation of remixes ready to
unleash on my Bandcamp when the time is right.
* * * * * * *
latest release as Sun Hammer, A Dream In
Blood, is available for purchase now directly from Futuresequence. To check
out his work for the Disquiet Junto project, please visit their SoundCloud