The Sonic Aesthetic releases ‘New Districts’ on eponymous new label
After years of hiding behind multiple aliases and all too clever back stories, International Feel head honcho Mark Barrott finally slid back the curtain at the start of the 2013 to present his new moniker The Sonic Aesthetic, a blog and 12” (‘Tales From The Nocturn’).
This was no stunt or PR refresher; Barrott is a man who, both in music and life at large, sheds his skin whenever he feels it no longer reflects who is looking back at him in the mirror and with the announcement of new EP ‘New Districts’, comes the announcement of The Sonic Aesthetic label as an offshoot of International Feel.
The new EP continues the ‘Tales From The Nocturn’ mission to further the agenda of guerilla resistance and maverick thinking against what he calls ‘the sausage waveforms’ of overly compressed 21st century production & hermetically sealed life.
‘New Districts’ furthers that claim, consisting of three sultry cuts that move with an elegance and grace through mellow house and Balearic templates, the space between their components warm and immersive in spite of its dusky evocations.
Barrott’s decision to go with the new label is partially reflected in his current approach to music making and releasing… “For me right now it’s all about the Ginsberg philosophy – First Idea / Best Idea’” he explains. “It’s about having an idea and executing it as quickly as possible to maintain the freshness. My studio setup / mindset now reflects that approach and I wanted a new release mechanism that reflects that too, hence the separate identity. I love the intricacy and detail of a wellpackaged International Feel release, but The Sonic Aesthetic is about a looser feel and a quicker route to my own musical consciousness.”
Barrott’s new found freedom in music goes hand in hand with the impulsiveness with which he approaches his existence; growing up in Sheffield in the 80’s, gorging on a diet of the Human League and Cabaret Voltaire, he eventually moved to Berlin at the beginning of the new millennium, before decamping again to Uruguay – where he set up International Feel, putting out records & remixes by DJ Harvey, Todd Terje, Joakim and Quiet Village among others – and latterly ending up in Ibiza. Something he calls his “best life decision yet.” Bringing about a rich vein of creativity – the next EP is already on the way apparently – Barrott enthuses “I’m at my most calm when I’m sat writing music, so it’s more than a little sensible to spend most of my waking hours doing just that ! I’ve finally got a great studio setup that balances the old and new and it’s keeping it exciting for me – it allows for happy accidents I wouldn’t find if I was writing methodically, or solely on a Laptop.”
Citing the joy of living in Ibiza, as well as listening to the likes of Steve Reich, material on Ghost Box Recordings, Pye Corner Audio and L.I.E.S as influences for this new EP, Barrott insists International Feel isn’t done yet. However, for an artist whose been constantly re-inventing himself for almost three decades, The Sonic Aesthetic could just be his most alluring new skin yet.