SXSW: Andy Stott

Andy Stott has always been a stylistically agile artist. His performance at Resident Advisor’s official showcase on Wednesday evening during SXSW was a dark and dubby representation of his techno-inflected approach, displaying much of his more recent remixes and Luxury Problem releases. Lo-fi production and dirge-like rhythms chugged along somewhere in the 100 BPM region, incorporating odd elements of existential dread that recalled old Joy Division records.

For those unfamiliar with Stott’s work, it is haunting and atmospheric. His 2012 album is laced with vocals from his old piano teacher, Alison Skidmore. In equal parts mournful and seductive – sometimes even operatic – she gives his music a sexy and haunting feel; her lyrics and Stott’s own applications of reverb and delay made his performance particularly wistful. While his melodic layering and deep basslines may not have been suited for everyone, those interested in techno (and experimental electronic music in particular) would have been taken with his live interpretations of his own work.

To fully appreciate Stott, it’s crucial to have subwoofers or a good pair of headphones cranked up to 11. The venue, Elysium, was perfectly suited to the artist’s visceral bass lines, and I was only able to garner a better understanding of his music by being immersed in that environment. That being said, listeners and newcomers to the experimental techno scene should still give him a shot. I recommend beginning with his remix of Blondes’ “Pleasure,” as well as his latest album release, Luxury Problems, which you can stream here: http://stereogum.com/1185972/stream-andy-stott-luxury-problems/album-stream/.

Post by Chloe Lula.