Place one repetitive, semitransparent pattern over another and you result in what is called the moiré effect; it’s a visual phenomenon in which the fractional movement of these two similar yet slightly offset layers creates a third, interfering pattern. Beautiful, intriguing and constantly shifting, stare too long and your vision slowly distorts as you get drawn into this tripped-out, mind-warping pattern. Moiré - that is, the DJ and producer - achieves something strikingly similar with the music he makes - hypnotic, minimal, and featuring shuffling rhythms paired with deep and wobbly loops. With his stunning debut album Shelter released on Actress’ Werk Discs only two years ago, the London-based producer has more recently found a fitting home on Ghostly International’s Spectral Sound. His latest EP Lines + Colours is further emblematic of this attention to sonic shape and shade, with intricate inlays of minimal electronic points, washes of murky synths, and layers of rigid drum loops shifting and sliding over each other. Ahead of the Spectral Sound showcase as part of The Hydra series, we spoke to Moiré about the core elements which have shaped his sound.
Before releasing your debut EP and LP on Werk Discs, how were you making music?
I won 2 million quid on the lottery and I paid Actress to write all tracks… I wish that was true. I don't remember exactly, I started making music with my good friend, we’d been playing around with different off beats and then I got little studio set up in the flat I was renting. I would sit and work on the ideas whenever I had time, getting lost in the process, and then I realised I had my first release. I don't think it changed anything about my process of making music other than giving me the self-confidence to release more.
Has techno always been a strong influence? What other different sounds feed into the tracks you make?
Yeah of course, in some ways. For me, the great thing about techno is that it was started by people who didn't have much, and yet created something unique and authentic that influenced generations after without realising. I listen to a lot of music, I love jazz, industrial, new wave, disco, old hip hop, 90s dnb. I think I like deep music in general; I'm a huge fan of Paul Simpson - Easy Street etc. There is something about his productions and the dub edits of main tunes: I love this stuff.
In what ways has your music or techniques developed from these first released tracks to Lines + Colours?
I wanted to do something live on my sampler + some machines. This EP kind of happened in between records, I started working on something else (that I'm finishing right now) and I've visited my friend's studio in Hamburg. These tracks are basically live takes from sessions in that studio, samplers + machines, a computer was only used to record final mixes.
As a London-based producer, does the city environment also shape your sound?
I find London very intense. That’s probably why I'm here, because it’s like the magnet for my musical ideas.
The new EP has been described as ‘getting down to the basic elements - shape and shade’. In what ways are visual art and design important to your music productions?
It’s all about contrasts for me. A good art piece can be as inspiring as the good tune. I constantly go to exhibitions and viewings, it’s great to be surrounded by good visual art and discover new concepts and artists. I think visual stuff can provide a story for music and - vice-versa - music can influence a piece.
How do moiré patterns shape these productions? In what ways do you replicate the visual moiré effect in sound?
My music is about creating my own sound inspired by original MOIRÉ effect - but I’m not interested in replicating anything. My idea is more about interpretation of the original Moiré meaning and creating something new.
Is making music for a club environment, for people to dance to, something you prioritise when making music?
Making people react to my music on the floor has always been one of my main priorities. I mean Club = Home, and it will always be one the most important places to share the music with people and try new things.
There’s a certain enticing, tripped-out darkness to lots of the tracks you produce, how do your DJ sets replicate this? Are there certain artists or tracks you find yourself drawn to playing?
A lot of the time I play my music, and that creates that certain ambience. In other artists' tracks, I'm looking for the atmosphere that I can connect with. The list of artists I'm drawn to would be endless. Pretty much anything on Modern Love is great, I like Acid Test releases, Sound Signature, Clone , Trilogy and loads others like old Perlon or Planet E and some of the Omar S tunes or classic Berlin stuff.
What can we expect from the Spectral Sound showcase?
Abstract Dance Music.
Moiré joins Matrixxman and Audion as part of The Hydra’s 5th year celebrations, 22 October, Village Underground. Tickets can be found here.
Words: Josie Roberts