In anticipation of Loadbang~, we talk to Louis Sterling, a 2nd Year DMSA student who was in the organising team for the evant and who will be performing under his AUXX alias.
DMSA: Three words that describe you as a creative person?
LS: Observant, Exploratory, Technical.
DMSA: When did you start working with sound and music?
LS: I’ve been practically approaching music and sound from a very early age – around 8/9 years old. I’d been classically trained at the Bath Abbey under Dr. Peter King for a few years before leaving to explore my own musical interests. On early visits to Leeds, around 2010 – my dad and uncle still had copies of music production software from their contemporary electronic group from the early 1990’s, from where I naturally gained a curiosity in digital music and would persistently ask about their creative process. It was through an organic interest and drive for solving problems that I gained the technical knowledge and hands-on experience with composition, sequencing and sound design, with digital music technology now being is the center of my practise. This is through which I have progressively studied and self-taught different production techniques, and eventually settled with Ableton Live, occasionally dabbling amongst the MaxMSP and Gleetchlab environments.
DMSA: In what ways has the DMSA course supported or helped you to develop into who you are today creatively and professionally?
LS:The course here in Brighton has an incredibly strong community within such a thriving city for the arts. Back in my hometown the educational programs would section you into “academic” or “enterprise pathways, which is why I find it quite surreal to now be in touch with professionals such as Dr. Kelly Snook, formerly of NASA – who utilises the sound arts and her experience with digital music as the backbone to creating innovative technology, projects and scientific research. If it weren’t for these encouragements I’d assume the end-goal was to release more records and play gigs (which has been done in the past), as opposed to now planning for installations, composing soundtracks for films, studying projection mapping, programming computers or planning live events to name the very least.
DMSA: Can you tell us a few words about your AUXX project?
LS: Auxx is an exploratory electronic project I’d began back in 2012. The alias was created to express my conventional approach to music, through which eventually branched out to more technical musical production, sound design and experimental compositional approaches. So far the project has achieved a discography of 5 releases, two of which were released this year; entitled “Spirit Image” (7” vinyl) for record store day 2017, and 23/09 (10” vinyl) signed to URBNET records, North America – and since been supported by BBC music. Sonically speaking, I’m from a background of hip-hop culture, but later came the influences of Warp, Detund and Ninja Tune, which is why the recent work is relatively up-tempo, full of breakbeats/glitches and more recently remixed by artists such as Kidkanevil (Red Bull), Valance Drakes (Detroit Underground) and later distributed onto vinyl for DJ mixes, radio shows, not to mention great followers of (relatively weird) electronic music.
DMSA: What are your plans for the near future? projects, events, visions?
LS: As for my artistic direction, I’ve discovered new musical and sonic approaches, writing and drafting new projects and gathering together an archive of works to be sent out for the new year. Recently I’ve been bridging the influences of my older work with ambient, electroacoustic and industrial soundscapes – not paying as much attention to genre, style or scene – and quite literally going down my own lane. A few weeks ago I’d been talking to The Dedekind Cut (Ninja Tune/Kranky), and through studying his work, it has really encouraged me to showcase my new material and live performance through the unfamiliar, but always maintaining the roots of hip-hop and soul that had brought us up. Whether this is showcased through future cover art, installations/performance or just through aesthetic, I don’t yet know, but it’s an approach that I’m in the process of refining for the new year.
I’ll be playing in Green Door Store and Komedia (Brighton), as well as the Art House and Exchange in Bristol. These will be followed with some new live/radio shows in London for early 2018. I’ve recently been in touch with NTS Radio London and some guys at Radar Radio, but as always, it will be a case of feeling most comfortable to showcase and perform the new works to these new and larger audiences as and when.