April Larson is an artist based in Louisiana who works in the field of ambient drone, to put it loosely. Her work, of which there is a lot (check her Bandcamp), is largely self-released, though she has appeared on labels such as Arell, Larry Crywater and Auditory Field Theory, the latter in collaboration with Matt Bower as Isobel Ccircle~. Her latest album comes on the internationally minded Tobago Tracks, a label (slash club night slash radio show) that primarily deals with the fractured edges of club music. That's not to say that their sole remit is in music for the floor. This release is more in tune with something like AF85's plazamayor. Long, exploratory drones give way to haunting melodies with almost unnoticeable subtlety. Each track represents an action of the heart, from growth to death. I'm thrilled to give you a first listen of this beautiful release, and on top of that April's answered some questions in great detail. Dig in!
Can you tell me a bit about oneironautic listening and how it fits into your work?
The term came from my dear friend and one of the people responsible for getting me into making music, Darren Bauler (https://delexnos.bandcamp.com, http://www.cryptonarrative.com/mpa). To me, it means the concept of hearing music in everyday sounds, like traffic, the rustling of leaves, water swirling down drains, what have you. It means being inspired by the dreams you have when you sleep, even (or especially) the nightmares, and creating sounds out of these dream images and feelings, bringing them physically into another reality.
How did the making of this album differ to your other works, or did it?
I was initially inspired by the human heart, hence the album title, and from a book quote I've kept in memory for almost twenty years now, which will be released with the album. The heart is something so vital, so powerful as an engine ("...and the heart under her shirtwaist a tough little pony-engine," as Stephen King once put it, another memory quote I've never lost) and yet so sensitive, an immense well of feeling that can cause both catastrophic pain and immense joy. My setup and process were basically the same as my other works: keyboard/field recordings > pedal(s) > computer, usually AudioMulch and Fruity Loops.
How did you connect with Tobago Tracks?
Tobago Tracks connected with me through my SoundCloud, where I was asked for some unheard tracks for their radio show, and I was invited to make an album for them, which I'm always happy to do, as I'm constantly surprised and heartened to hear that someone, even if it's just one person, enjoys my music.
You put together a Bandcloud mix two years ago – what are you listening to and who is inspiring you in 2017?
I've been listening to mostly familiar artists and bands for comfort this year, stuff from my childhood and teenage years like Bowie and Depeche Mode and Dream Theater and Chroma Key and NIN. Regrettably, I don't have a lot of time to just sit and listen to music all on its own, but I do enjoy putting on works from my friends, hearing what they've come up with over the course of the year.