Chicago electronic noisemaker, RXM Reality returns for another stunning release on Hausu Mountain. Devil World Wide is a supercharged chunk of fragmented energy, pulsating through layers of microscopically sampled sound, cascading through eleven layers of grimy, scattered electronic whiz-bangers. I had a chance to spend a little time with RXM and delve into the creative machinations behind the music.
Gray Lee: First of all, Devil World Wide is a really cool release. Definitely a good fit for Hausmo. I was digging around looking for all your releases, are the Hausu Mountain tapes the first physical releases?
RXM Reality: Thanks! All of my releases this far have been cassette/digital. Prior to the Hausu releases, I’ve had two on the label “We Be Friends,” which is run by Justin Randal aka Reaches. One on Crystal palace, a cassette label based here in chi run by my roommate and friend Pat, and one on Pretty Alright, the label run by Tom Owens aka Potions. They are all pretty different sounding to me. I’ve posted a bunch of random stuff on bandcamp and soundcloud over the years.
Much love to max and Doug though. This newest one is my proudest release.
GL: Awesome. Each your releases seem vastly different. Even between your two Hausmo releases. I feel like Panic cycle could have been called manic cycle. There’s almost a jubilant energy. The new one seems more brooding and aggressive. Or am I just more brooding and aggressive and I’m projecting? What kind of role does mood/emotion play in your recordings?
RXM: Actually Panic Cycle was made during a much darker time. This new one was made throughout the winter and it’s been the best year of my adult life.
But, I think being more stable allowed me to get darker and weirder with the music itself because I was more comfortable getting into the dark stuff
There is a definite aggression though, in the new one. But mostly I’m chill these days
GL: Rock n roll man. I really dig the new thing. There are a lot of movements and changes in texture and style.
RXM: I’m super into tha texture
GL: For the gearheads who probably read my page,I gotta ask - What’s the equipment setup like these days for you?
RXM: This album was made mostly with the Elektron Digitakt and Ableton. I record tons of Digitakt sequences than cut them up and layer them In Ableton. The Digitakt is huge for me . I can play a whole set with just that. Everything goes through the Elektron analog heat for processing. There’s some MPC 1000 on it but not as much as the previous releases. I just got a Monomachine and a midi guitar system but that’s not on the recordings yet.
GL: The sound of Devil World Wide is so cohesive. There is a chaos to it, but I have no problem believing everything is happening in the same universe. Do you like to spend a lot of time crafting your samples and getting everything all set up and then just go wild and live record the mayhem?
RXM: Yep, I spend sometime working on the Digitakt alone. I sample myself a lot. I sample old clips from past songs of mine. I’ve got like a meta bank of samples that I’ve built over the years. For me the specific samples, however, matter much less than the sequencing and the processing. It’s super granular. I chop and chop beyond recognition. That’s what kind of makes it all seem like the same world because it all pretty much goes through the same process. But I’m like constantly distorting and manipulating everything in a similar way
GL: I’m really fascinated with that method of developing a signature sound bank for a composition or an album. I can certainly see a progression and a refinement of that process in each successive release.
RXM: Totally. It’s been building since I started this kind of music pretty much. I love how artists like Burial and Sophie have their signature sound. Like it could be no one else. Like a watermark. I want be like that more and more.
GL: Exactly. It seems embedded in the most minute detail, every stylistic choice leads back to the core aesthetic.
RXM: Yeah I wanna make like a radio style drop for my next album. Like a specific sample that creeps into every song.
GL: A pretty rad idea my friend. Where do you draw from when it comes to content? Do you have a loose concept in mind, or figure things out in the aftermath?
RXM: For me it’s so tied to learning production techniques either on the computer or on the sampler. I just get very studious and watch like dubstep production tutorials. It’s almost like I don’t view it as art but like a little building project I’ll start songs with a certain rhythmic or production idea I want to learn, and then build everything around that sketch. I took a bunch of notes and listened in my car, which I never used to do. I’m constantly editing and processing.
GL: There's definitely a sculpture aspect to the work. I can picture you hyper-analyzing mixdowns on the highway.
GL: I want to thank you for taking the time today, RXM Reality, to give me some insight on your new release. I’m looking forward to seeing it out in the world.
RXM: My first interview! I’m honored.