I was approached, via Vimeo, by Stephen Garriques from the Galerie Project in New York to provide an animation for his podcast mix series, I think on the strength of IMPROVISATION 0001-DES which he’d seen there. So of course I said yes.
What I hadn’t said was how I’d made it – mixed live and projected on my wall and filmed with a camera that could only capture 10 minutes at a time, then spliced together later in Blender. When the audio mix by Dahlia through (all 1.4 GB of it – that was a lot in those days, shut up) I found out I had two and a quarter hours of work to do. Which wasn’t feasible with the way I’d been working.
I ended up using FRAPS to capture the video direct from the screen, only the framerate was quite variable even when set to be locked off and would occasionally grind to a halt completely – something, I expect, to do with reading and writing to the same drive which isn’t recommended, but if that’s all you have then that’s what you make work, also the FRAPS video files are enormous. Even when it was all mixed down again to h.264 I couldn’t get it below 6.2 GB. which presented a whole other problem – how to get the file to New York or online at all.
And just as I’m writing this I remember that my back had gone really badly into the bargain, and I was off work barely able to move. Deep joy.
Still despite all that I’m really pleased with how it came out and I’m keen to give OBS a crack for doing something long form like this again.
The video elements are a mix of Ralph Steiner’s Mechanical Principles, archive footage of radio and record production, New York and Detroit (mainly focusing on the World’s Fair and the car industry), some original hand-animated loops based on Zener card designs and of course photographs of Dahlias.
One other small note and it may be difficult to see in the mix: I found a black and white film of segregated dancing parties (Yes, I see what I did there, sorry) recut the video so each party was a separate loop and mixed them together so they were finally dancing with each other. It’s the little details like this that make this sort of work a lot of fun to prepare and create.
Video Description from Vimeo
This past February, Galerie Project invited NYC local Dahlia to record a DJ set at our Brooklyn studios.
Dahlia has emerged as one of NYC’s most recognizable names in the last few years holding a residency at Brooklyn’s Output nightclub and working as a buyer at the Halcyon record shop in DUMBO, both of which have become underground music institutions in their own right, though far cries from their 90′s NYC counterparts
Since leaving behind a career in fashion to pursue music, Lachs has performed regularly at underground events in Los Angeles, New York and Denver. Her musical acumen and mixing skills have won her coveted opening slots for internationally recognized producers including Anthea, Akufen, Oskar Offermann, DJ Qu, Franck Roger, No Regular Play, Marcellus Pittman, doubtingthomas, Maayan Nidam, Camea, Mikael Stavostrand, Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss, to name but a few. She’s also performed at events organized by internationally-respected promoters Droid Behavior, Resolute NY, Output Brooklyn and Detroit Underground’s annual DEMF afterparty.
Skillfully blending deep grooves with strong rhythms and a multitude of breaks, stutters, and effects, Dahlia delivers sets that reflect kindly on her early Latin and disco influences, yet consistently finds ways to interpret, re-invent or advance these sounds in new directions with often surprising and unexpected results.
Dahlia continues to hone her craft as a DJ by performing as often as possible both at home and with an eye toward gigs abroad, and while admittedly “dabbling in some production”, unlike many other DJ/Producers she continues to explore the possibilities involved in what some might call a lost art, that of mixing records, pure and simple.
The accompanying visuals inspired by Dahlia’s mix are from Adrian Giddings. He is a UK-based designer and multidisciplinary artist focussing on time-based media and book arts. With a background as a letterpress typographer his work often involves arranging small elements to create a greater whole, whether the materials are lead type or video loops.
He currently performs as one half of live A/V project temp0rary with Lee Chaos. Operating on the outer edges of improvised electronic performance, their work incorporates audience participation, immersive theatre, circuit bending, multi-screen projections, hand-built synthesisers and repurposed computer game hardware.
Their disparate body of work has seem them perform everywhere from art galleries to nuclear bunkers, exemplified by their most recent shows At Her Lady’s Pleasure, a collaboration with Kate Spence at The Wig in Birmingham, and Bunker Session 1 (Confidence Ticks) performed at, and broadcast from, the former Royal Observer Corps 28 Group HQ, in Dundee, Scotland.
Adrian’s previous work includes Fiat Lux, one of the first combinations of light writing and live video projection which debuted at the V for Venice International Electronic Music And Media Arts Festival in 2008, and more recently, with Richard Gallon, Kerosene, an artists’ book that has been purchased for the Tate Library collection.