Brazil v France v Sydney: Angie Runs Us Through Her Global New Album
Written by Angie on 17th September, 2015
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Known for her fiery presence in a tonne of local bands such as Straight Arrows and Circle Pit, Sydney based muso-about-town Angie has just released her second solo album ‘Free Agent’. The result of a year of travelling, ‘Free Agent’ is a power punch of lo-fi grunge paired with stratospheric melodies and to celebrate its release we got the busy lady herself to run us through the three major locations that informed its creation.
In Brasil I was working on music at a residency surrounded by other musicians and artists – one, Bruno Trochmann, working with found tapes and loop pedals, alongside his playing of a lebanese bazooki – the other, Alexander Gwaz, making field recordings while on walks, intimating the time to me through his clockwork passings by the window of my studio.
My work space – a church only small enough to fit 5 people, dominated with a central stone vessel used for perhaps christenings. I sat around its base, and work on songs and musical utterances, sometimes making a lot of progress, sometimes none at all.
There were no clocks, no sense of the outside world, and the heat of the farm and the valley that enclosed the house and surrounding residents only emphasised its isolation.
Between working I would go on long walks in any direction, trying to feel out the parameters of how far I could go. One way would take me to intense jungle, the other, to a strange valley with tracks leading off in all directions. Dogs would follow, and run off, only to find me again later.
The mornings were slow, where work could really get done, and I rose earlier than most of my companions. The evenings were always collaborative, making music always improvised, in unison for hours at a time. Ideas formed during these sessions have stayed with me, and lived on in new forms.
It was a very prolific time, perhaps due to the set isolation, and the shipwrecked environment we found ourselves in.
Watch: Angie – Down For The Count
France to me is a period of almost pure silence and solitude. I resided in a impossibly small studio apartment on the outer reaches of the periphery of paris, the far right north – Stalingrad. I would perhaps spend 5 days at a time on my own, crafting together the songs that came to make up the record. I drew upon the expressions of the people in the metro, the occupants of the apartment building I was residing in. Small occurrences and interaction that were without language. Facial expressions, bodily movements and cultural events that were subtle yet unknown to me informed the music and thematic integrations within.
The French focus and work ethic amongst parallel relaxation informed the record, and I worked dilligently I would say, as I was cast off, estranged, and in an unknown landscape that quickly became familiar. The apartment block was 30 stories, and near the top it felt very unparisian, as it was almost like a parapet with my solitary glance staring out the window at the playgrounds and events of the day below.
I continually thought of the fiction of Georges Perec, notably the book ‘Life: A Users Manual’ where he examines the ins and outs of the apartment building and weaves in and out of the many lives and events contained within such a dense but private space. Myself also an omnipresent witness but with a different purpose and situation but these I drew upon.
I recall one day where I walked from the 19th Arondisment to the centre of the city. I could then envision the physical space from the centre of the city leading outwards towards my tiny apartment. When I think of the songs contained within the LP I imagine those spaces, which are somewhat lost to me now, and that apartment so informed the thematic space within the LP.
Watch: Angie – Out Of Age
Sydney, to me the opposite of exotic, seems like a place to work rather than a place to create or reflect. Where the majority of the music comes, but no words exist here, only the essence of my everyday and the continued cinematic continuation of other people’s lives in and around you.
Sydney is a continual landscape in this sense, evolving infront of my eyes, a place imbued with ideas of love and strangeness, and every single street and corner is saturated with a personal memory that has quickly passed over and now just echoes. The city is changing faster than I can document it, and I feel I can only reflect on it properly when I am away and can remember its streets and movements in my head rather than infront of me.
The intersection of city road and broadway exists to me as this stange looming sceptre, haunting my dreams when I’m away from Sydney as the pinacle of everything I’m sick of the place. So many bustop waits, a teary episode marked the place for years onwards, and I still can’t shake it. Its that particular spot, and many other geographic locations that mark Sydney in my mind and theoretical reflections.
Free Agent is out now, bag a copy of it here.