Ross Devlin

§    Selected Pieces

 Features

Eli Keszler
[Tiny Mix Tapes]
“Sure, I make plenty of mistakes, and I’ve learned to use mistakes. Maybe that’s something that comes from improvising. Sure, I’m limited by my technique. I’m also just limited by physics. You want something to happen on your instrument; you hear something in your head, and you find out it’s impossible. So, you’re interfacing with the limits of a resonant body.”

M. Geddes Gengras on Hawaii Island
“The work of writing music tied to a specific location became what Gengras referred to as “a world-building exercise.” Within the confines of one world, you create another, he said. “It’s creating an environment — there’s colors and textures and tastes and smells. For me it’s best when it’s environmental, it’s something you can be inside of.”

The Body
[Interview Magazine]
“To grow up in the American South is to be exposed to divisions of wealth and race, of urban and rural life. As Lee Buford of experimental metal duo The Body puts it, the South offers a “more utilitarian way of life than anywhere else in America.” Comprising two best friends, Buford on drums and Chip King on guitar, The Body have sharpened their Southern Gothic view of humanity over 20 years spent releasing brutal music that touches on metal, industrial, and more. Their latest—I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer, out this Friday, May 11 on Thrill Jockey Records—is their most focused, skeletal record yet.”

Mary Lattimore
[Bandcamp Daily]
“I like layers and things. I like abrasive sounds, but I wouldn’t say I’m groundbreaking in doing things that have never been played before,” she says. She contrasts her melodic style to that of other innovative harpists, like Zeena Parkins, who “modifies harps, and makes unusual sounds.” Instead, Lattimore aims to insert the harp into a “vocabulary of normalcy,” and use it to perform melodies that may normally be suited to other instruments—in places, “where a piano could go… a guitar could go… a harp could go here!” Her aim is to make music that is “glittery… pretty, accessible, but interesting.”

August Rosenbaum
[Vinyl Me Please]
“He imagines music as a necessary force, invisible in life’s essential moments. “The way I grew up, listening to artists like Air, for example, I had a very clear goal that this music could be a soundtrack to your life, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a theremin or an 808. We didn’t give it much thought whether we were playing experimental music or whatever. It was whatever felt natural to do. You don’t have to have 16 bars and then the pre-chorus. It was a very open landscape.” He also recalls riding bikes...”

Bored Lord
[Bandcamp Daily]“Two years later, in a shack in an abandoned lot in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, Bored Lord went through a sort of genre metamorphosis and shed digital nativism for a Southern Gothic aesthetic. She performed her first vocal album, 2015’s Omens & Sigils, accompanied by a live band.”
Ash Koosha - Artist in Exile
[Loud & Quiet]“My music serves ideas. My music is a projection of many ideas that come with it, which is to say: designing sound in a space, virtual reality, the new world we live in, augmentation, all of these ideas that will lead to the future. I’m not only playing with samples to enjoy myself, I’ve always thought beyond the form and aesthetics. It’s important that we share that with people.”

Space Dimension Controller
[Tiny Mix Tapes]“Like the best of the Irish, Hamill is a straight shooter, but a friendly one, warmly touching on how his high school days in Belfast influenced Orange Melamine, now available on Ninja Tune. All the tracks on Orange Melamine were recorded by Hamill at age 18, before Space Dimension Controller’s debut, Unidentified Flying Oscillator. They’re presented in their original form and fit eerily well with all the lo-fi house and hardware synth music dominating the experimental scene. One could say that, by looking behind, Hamill was ahead of his time.”

Deconstruct to Reinvent: Public Memory
[The Student]“We plan parts where we’ll improvise. We know where it will happen, but we don’t know what will happen. It took me a long time to start on this album, because the whole time I wondered how the fuck I was going to do that? I’ve been in larger bands; my old band, Apse, A-P-S-E, had six people. We toured six people and it was ridiculous, not very efficient environmentally. Why do six people need to do this? But I can’t just play this off a laptop, and play a synth with it, I need to figure this out as I go...”

 Essays

Art Bots
[appearing in 10011 vol. 2]

Steeply Envy
[Nomad Magazine]

Reflections on the Past Two Weeks
[Morro, Asfalto, Mar]“Lives must resume. Struggles must resume. The Olympics is a sideshow, an aperitif, a commercial in between episodes of a decade-long novela. It was consumed by tens of millions. They cheered with national pride...cheered individual heroes who faced their trials in spite of their home country...The city spent money that it did not have. The tax payers will shoulder the burden in the years to come.”

Forecasting the Brands of Kanye West
“...the elaborate staging for the Yeezus tour was both a triumph for West’s theatrical impulses – there was a Greek chorus, a Yeti, Jesus, and an array of allegorical devices – and for his design aspirations. West fully committed to Margiella’s aesthetic of anonymity, allowing himself to be hidden behind masks fantastical and over-the-top. Artists have tried on multiple occasions to let “the music speak” by hiding behind masks...but the Yeezy tour saw West dismantling himself as a self-idolizing megalomaniac, a consumerist, and a man of extreme pride.”

Let’s all Chill the f*** out (and stop bashing cassettes)
[Tabs Out]“Both vinyl and tapes are successful attempts to create a more meaningful connection between the listener and the artist. Limited runs of vinyl records have become collectors items, and are a hit with techno, punk, indie, and classic horror movie soundtrack fans...Just look at the beautiful pieces curated by Auris Apothecary, No Kings, A Giant Fern, Phinery, 905 Tapes, Geographic North, Patient Sounds… the list is very near endless...A hand-numbered edition of 30, 45, 100 cassettes is a significant product in a consumerist world that values a user’s response to a product more than the product itself. A physical releases gives artists a sense of legitimacy.”

 News

Braveyoung prep Misery and Pride“Sometimes the most punk thing a group of musicians can do is meditate. For Braveyoung...the somber fury is there, in bowed guitars, collapsing columns of feedback, and decaying drone structures. So is the maudlin snarl and the acknowledgement that things will mostly be a lot worse for a long time.”

Gqom Oh! releases EP by Dominowe
“Although gqom as a culture is fiercely loyal to its home in the townships and taxis of Durban, South Africa, its introduction to European audiences has been swift and ravenously would seem that gqom speaks the international dance language: a solid, all-encompassing kick, sure-footed syncopation, and some ghostly vocal stabs to add humanity to those ghost-in-the-shell bangers.”

 Review

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
“Chock full of graphic glyphs and number codes, Bon Iver’s third album occupies similarly fragmented territory as The Life of Pablo; also Frank Ocean’s Blond, with a little Oneohtrix Point Never, Bob Dylan and Bruce Hornsby...At its core, the album is grandiose, 80s power ballads coated in Vernon’s signature falsetto whimper...”


Nadja, live at Bannerman’s Bar“It was my first time experiencing such transcendental , heavy music, and I focused on,..layered guitar, watching Baker’s hand move. Despite the incredible volume, his hands were very slight on the neck, gently tickling the strings. For anyone who has ever shied away from the aggression of metal, but enjoys ambient music and slow...Nadja is a live act not to miss.”

§ Past Editorial Work

Music Editor // The Student Newspaper, Edinburgh, 2015-2016

Editor/graphic design // Nomad Magazine, Edinburgh, 2014-2017

Editor // The Columnist, Edinburgh, 2014-2016

co-editor, graphic design // Bullseye Magazine, Edinburgh, 2015-2016


[16/2/17 19:46:00]
Divided Pines Elementary School

“After she found the young boys, tangled in the grass, two standing and watching as one threatened the other, she collected their names, notified the police. Still frazzled, almost without thinking, she turned a foot and beneath it found a black fabric patch, crumpled into the grass.”

[15/2/17 21:14:00] Arvore Seca –Early Education on the Salt of The Earth

“You know you have entered the favela because at one point, the road is blocked off by a DIY checkpoint, where you have to slowly weave through barrels while the from behind a wall. The police never enter the favela, and there is normally only one street entrance and exit.”