Swiss artist Wildlife! may be best known to the Mixpak audience as a producer adept in exploring the outer fringes of dancehall-tinged club music, but his larger story is one deeply rooted in a wide-ranging, lifelong exploration of sound. After years of touring his own soundsystem and studying audio engineering, he turned his hand to production, making leftfield riddims with Jamaican artist Terry Lynn, straight-up club productions as Wildlife!, and releasing two full albums under his experimental electronic music moniker, Young Palace. In 2015, hefinished up his MA in contemporary arts practice (where his concentration was acousmatic music and sound installation), and has since had sound installation work featured in gallery exhibitions worldwide.
“Patterns” is Wildlife!’s first official release for Mixpak and undeniably his most uncompromising record to date. It is a 7-track examination of the principles and constraints of club music – a series of experiments with divergent ideas of rhythm, bass and sound design. Often dark and unsettling, “Patterns” is made up of untrustworthy rhythms, a heavily industrial sound palette and machinic melody evocative of dystopian sci-fi. It is club music broken down into its various components and then deliberately reconstituted into something new. His process here is like that of a delicate sculptor crafting intricate interlinked pieces, yet the results assault the senses with blunt force. Ultimately, “Patterns” is a carefully considered sonic world that encapsulates Wildlife!’s interests and ethos – dexterously testing the boundaries of where sound becomes music and music dissolves into sound.
As part of the album release, Wildlife! invited guests to experience the record in a physical space, by translating “Patterns” into an immersive sound installation at SIGNAL Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The site specific installation was in collaboration with artist collective Nitemind (who have previously worked with Korakrit Arunanondchai and Tim Hecker). Watch an excerpt from the installation below.