The Host’s extraordinary album arrived in our inboxes with very little warning. A totally new artist, his music is composed on synths, guitars and effects, making music of astounding shine and complexity. His mix, posted below, is a smooth collage of fusion jazz, immersive folk song and synth drifts, recalling the romantic modernism of the internet age that his namesake suggests.
Hi The Host! How are you?
Good thanks. You can call me Barry.
Please tell me a bit about the special mix you’ve made for Dummy?
I called it a mix of Electric Church Music, Jimi Hendrix’s phrase for music that reaches into the soul of the listener… Which is a fairly earnest description. But I hope it finds some receptive listeners.
What’s your favourite track on there and why?
It’s not really about stand-out tracks, it’s more of a collage, so it works by putting the tracks in a certain context (same as a good album). There’s a few places where there’s three records playing at once. I am listening to the album (Mutima) that the Cecil McBee track is from quite a lot at the minute though, so if pushed for a favourite I’d say Cecil McBee – The Voice of the 7th Angel.
With names like Angel Fire, Neo-Geocities and Internet Archaeology, your music seems fascinated by the age in which we live. Can you tell us about this?
Not so much the current age of online culture, moreso the earlier stages, before Google, Facebook, and social media in general. Webrings, lake gifs, “page under construction”, tracts about the meaning of the Matrix and the X-Files, Timewave Zero speculation, Erowid trip reports, RealPlayer streams, MIDI players, HTML millennial tension… The era of the web that coincided with my introduction to recording music on a computer (mainly my own guitar playing), and recording the results on to cassettes.
I love the album. Can you tell me something about the process of recording?
Thanks. Very little of it is sampled – only some of the drum sounds are sourced elsewhere, and some vocal samples, everything else has been crafted by hand and multi-tracked. Some of it doesn’t have a strict meter, and was recorded along to a Space Echo’s repeats. I always liked the sound of the drum machine you hear Mtume playing with on Miles Davis’ Dark Magus, so I wanted to give some of the rapid-fire drum stuff that kind of feel, more textural than propulsive. There’s some fairly open guitar soloing in places too, it was important that the record had a voice, and I feel like the guitar plays that role throughout the LP.
What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
Working on music, seeing how things change.