Xqui is an intriguing artist I recently learned about through Bandcamp. With several releases available on that platform, all of the recent (in 2018), it would seem that to say Xqui is prolific is an understatement. We had a chance to chat with Xqui following the release of the latest ‘Nocturne’ EP just two weeks ago.
Hello. Thank you for interviewing with us today. Where are you located today and how has your week been?
Hi, thanks for having me! I’m currently based in Lancashire, England. It’s only Monday so the week is good up to now. The temperature has been incredibly high over the last couple of weeks, so it’s been a case of finding shade to sit in.
Here is a challenge for you – Please describe Xqui in 10 words or so. What would they be?
Hmmmm. Experimental, ambient, drone, noise, manipulated field recordings, fun, explorative, dissonance.
Please tell us about your Xqui project.
I’ve worked with other artists in the past and wanted to do something that was all my own work. I’d become incredibly enthralled by noise and sounds rather than conventional music per se and I wanted to explore the transformation of organic field recordings into something more acceptable. I’m not a musician so, I wanted a way of making music by methods that I could easily understand and produce. I tried out recordings via mobile devices and it all grew from there by manipulating those recordings through phone apps and laptop studios.
You’ve just released your debut album. What was the inspiration behind this music?
I was inspired to create a bunch of pieces from everyday things and make a sort of sampler album which would introduce the potential side of Xqui. I was inspired by people like Chow Mwng, Cahn Ingold Prelog and A Year In The Country who are very open-minded to sound and noise. There is also inspiration from the likes of Brian Eno, John Hassell and Laraaji from an ambient viewpoint. I was inspired by interesting sounds that we hear every day – car engines, kitchen appliances, walks in the park – and heard ‘music’ in them.
What was the recording process like for this album?
It was relatively straightforward to be honest. I collated multiple sounds that I then started to dissemble and rebuild. I soon realised sounds that worked and other that didn’t. I felt it was important not to rule anything out until I’d decided it wasn’t going anywhere. I have a bank of sounds that I have tried to use but may return to again in the future. The debut album, Dragon was a ‘no holds barred’ kind of thing where I wasn’t afraid to experiment. It was then all down to a vivid imagination to create what I wanted.
How has your album been received so far?
Dragon has exceeded many of my expectations. I’ve had some great reviews in the press and even had airplay on the BBC, so someone likes it! Ha ha. I’ve realised that there is a serious underground following of this genre and there are lots of likeminded artists each trying to explore deeper and deeper into sound. There seems to be a big family feel and I’ve already had six albums tracks remixed for the forthcoming Wyrmling EP due out in August.
Who are your favourite artists? Have any of them influenced the music of Xqui?
I recently took part in a compilation album put together by an English fanzine called TQ. Thirty-two tracks by thirty-two artists. It’s an amazing compilation and a superb piece of foresight. I’d have to say that I enjoy every track for varying reasons. Chow Mwng is a big source of inspiration – he doesn’t rule out anything and seems to make all sounds unbelievably interesting no matter what they are, supermarkets, car indicators and offices at work!
Now that your debut album is out there, it will be interesting to see what comes next. Any plans for the summer or the rest of 2018?
Yes, I have already released three 4 tracks EPs, Britannia, Kindness and Nocturne which are all available as name-your-price downloads on Bandcamp. I am releasing the Breaking EP via Vulpiano Records for NetLabel Day on 14 July and have Wyrmling due in August. I hope to release an EP a month until the end of the year. I have also collaborated with spoken word artist Equinox on his second album so, I’m keeping busy!
Can you recommend us a few artists you like for us to check out?
I can’t recommend Chow Mwng enough and for people to catch the TQ Zine thing called Covering The Covers on Bandcamp. Dementio13, Radio Europa, Deaf German, Halo Dragonfly is one to watch out for, Tim Held, Dan Friel, Portion Control, Cabaret Voltaire. I also like the new work from Neil Arthur (Blancmange) as part of Fader and Near Future, John Foxx, Grandmaster Gareth. In short, just don’t close your ears!
Any last words to share with our readers?
Live long and prosper.
Enjoy the sounds of Xqui