‘Riddled Form' is Merci Jitter’s newest approach to the compilation format. Made up of various producers from around the world as well as some members with a physical installation created by Sophie Roqueta. (@coeurfleur) ‘Riddled Form’ presents a more emotive-form of club music , riddled with angst , anxiety , world conflicts and social media, it investigates how generation interacts and grows within this ambiguous environment.
How did Merci Jitter start?
The project originally came together end of 2014 when Daniel Ness and Kim Kate were both studying at Goldsmiths, University of London. Heewon (Kim Kate) had asked Daniel to remix one of his track’s for an EP and from there they put together 'Movements Vol. I' which was the first release to come out via the label back in January 2015. Further down the line, Kim Kate moved back to Seoul for his military service, HNRO joined and now here we are!
What made you arrive to finding this genre of music?
Each of our cultural and musical backgrounds are extremely varied so it’s kind of hard to pinpoint or understand how Merci Jitter came about musically. Throughout the years we’ve crossed paths with many individuals creating so many different genres it’s hard to say we’re pushing (or want to push) one type of music (especially as the music we put out belongs to a scene which is ultimately a melting pot of subgenres) but it’s more the thought process and general interest of blending fringe and alternative subgenres that got us here.
What do the songs within ‘ Riddled form’ have in common?
Texturally the tracks are harsh and industrial yet oddly beautiful and subtle in their own way. They all resonate the same sort of melancholic behaviour, whether it’s subconscious or not each piece is emotionally charged and holds a sense of urgency which we think, relates to some of the issues our generation faces. This urgency is what the concept tries to explore. All these different elements give the release it’s narrative characteristic.
Where do you search for inspiration?
As a whole, multiculturalism and odd-combinations are pretty recurrent sources of inspiration, however at the start the multicultural aspect was more subconscious than anything. Everyone involved in the project had different cultural backgrounds/heritages, we weren’t linked to the London scene in anyway, yet we all found ourselves in this city and weirdly instead of completely immersing ourselves into the local scene we looked elsewhere and found other lone creatives making music in their own bubble. As we’re primarily producers ourselves we tend to work with artists who have an honest approach to their creativity, one that we admire and that doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
Evidently we’re inspired by these people and treat Merci Jitter as a testing ground to showcase international artists that are either not represented or close to our hearts creatively. In doing so we create a healthy dialogue between cultures which leads us to really fascinating end products like our ‘Merci Jitter, 2018’ mixtape. Consciously or subconsciously, we always try to surround ourselves with multiculturalism simply because that’s what makes us feel safe. London is great in that way.
How do you explore the ‘ideas of hedonism, introspection and frustrations towards technology, artificiality and reality’ within ‘Riddled Form?’
The tracks itself don’t necessarily have the intent to do so but there’s subconscious level to the music that the artists might not realise, but it’s there. The project oozes a certain aura that sonically underlines the thematics of the concept - angst, anxiety, hedonism, introspection, technology, artificiality are potentially what fuels this release. ‘Riddled Form’ works as an audiobook but there’s no set narrative, you can interpret it anyway you want. Based on the concept and the general picture, each track holds an ambiguous meaning, for example Kim Kate’s track ‘XX73’ and Kombe’s ambient piece ‘Step Towards Nature’ present two very contrasting sonic worlds, one more metallic, the other more hopeful, which contrasts with the bleak and pejorative sonic landscape, ultimately this can be considered as some sort of comment or narrative device.
How does ‘Riddled Form’ tackle ‘the current state of things and reflects on a generation that is considerably at odds with itself. Riddled with angst, anxiety, world conflicts and social media?’
The project isn’t meant to tackle it’s more of an observation, a reflection. It’s a soundtrack that subconsciously stems from a number of these thematics in some shape or form.
In which ways does ‘Riddled Form’ evoke an ‘emotive- form of club music’ ?
Structurally and rhythmically, the tracks vary from your usual club track, they all feature a captivating and progressive behaviour. Melodically, the compilation’s sound world makes extended use of the minor-scale and dissonant sounds. All these characteristics evoke a form of melancholy which can be heard right from the opening track through Ghost’s eerie textures and vocal chops.
And how does this replicate in the club scene?
It’s quite niche as a whole so of course it applies to a niche audience but we think people’s threshold of leftfield sounds is becoming higher so these have the potential to fit in various situations but generally the tracks are very multifunctional.
How do you want the user to feel when they listen to ‘Riddled Form’?
It’s an ambiguous and subjective project but we’d love for the user to be affected in a certain way based on how they experience it. They can make anything of it, even make a story for themselves but the strong melancholic and emotive aspect of the tracks (we think) have the power to create a thought-inducing and mesmerising listening experience that applies to the whole project and tracks on it’s own.
Where do you see Merci Jitter going next and what are your future plans?
We’re definitely trying release more regularly (as opposed to a release a year like we usually do) and put out more specialised releases such as EP’s by individuals we value. We want to work towards more music videos and potentially expanding the Seoul-side of the label.
If you were to describe Merci Jitter in one phrase what would it be?
Quality not quantity.
courtesy MERCI JITTER
words CLODIE WORBOYS
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