Playing with distortion and unfiltered emotion, New York producer Sharp Veins takes crystallised grime, hip-hop and ambient and pools them together in unpredictable ways. In 2015, he was the man behind the fourth release on Irish grime label Glacial Sound. Titled Inbox Island, it was saturated in a raw and imperfect sheen – a different side to instrumental grime, which at the time was excelling in a high definition, smoothly crafted sound.
Nearly a year on and after releasing his all-originals mix 'The Earth Splashed' on cassette, he presents us with a Dummy mix which takes a few twists and turns. It’s a mix that whirrs like the droning noise of a powered-up projector, jarrs like a record being played with a faulty needle. Some of the moments feel accidental and improvised, partly because the mix is made with data that isn’t even meant to make a sound. A chopped up, distorted and crushed snapshot of Sharp Veins’ work running at just under 50 minutes, his Dummy mix sees him in his noisiest form.
Listen to the mix below and read a quick catch up with the New Yorker.
Hi Sharp Veins! How are you?
Sharp Veins: "Hi, I'm swell."
How and where did you make this mix?
Sharp Veins: "I made this mix in Alabama then took parts of it apart and added parts in other parts in central New York. It's built of lots of data not meant to make any sound turned into noise, feedback loops, field recordings and little stems from music of mine all stitched together."
What kind of headspace and environment do you recommend people listen to it in?
Sharp Veins: "Probably best to listen on your own late at night, a little sleep deprived and worried maybe."
You tend to go for noisy atmospherics, what attracts you to distortion and grit?
Sharp Veins: "Squeaky-clean sounds don't do all that much for me. I find that noisier elements let the head wander, and I like that. For sounds to go through some things and to be worse for wear sometimes is a good thing. Seeing how far the essence of a sound carries is one of my favorite things, and one way to do it is to see how much processing or degradation a sound can take. You get left with specters."
What are your plans for this year with Sharp Veins?
Sharp Veins: "I'm working on lots of new music, regular mixes and a live set in that order."