Sydney based electronic artist Anomie is a classically trained musician, composer, producer and media artist who creates what she calls ‘psychedelic bass music,’ with elements of hip hop, electronic and groove based sounds that often possess a political sensibility. With a background as an events organizer in Sydney’ arts and music community, she has performed alongside Martyn, The Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus, Harmonic 313, Kode 9 at events including St Jerome’ Laneway Festival, Peats Ridge Festival, Croatia’ renowned Outlook Festival, and the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. Cyclic Defrost first discovered her music under her own name Sofie Loizou in 2006 via her Magneta Incident demo, which featured “clattering drum breaks” and nods “to broken beat, disco and Detroit electro jazz.” In 2012 she released her debut 5 track EP under her Anomie moniker, Forward >>>< << Backward on the Sub Continental Dub label, which fused bass heavy sonics with elements of dancehall, jungle, dubstep, spoken word and world music influences, particularly on the EP closer Protest in Morocco. With such fascinating elements coarsing through her music and the recent release of her new single Rise Up, featuring Canadian beatboxer MC Shamik, we asked Anomie to discuss some of the musical influences critical to her development.
Pink Floyd – Relics (EMI)
I discovered Pink Floyd in my early teens, I remember begging my mother at age 13 if I could attend the Pink Floyd concert in Sydneyâ€¦ the answer was no. Growing up with all the more mainstream albums like Dark Side of the Moon and Wish you Were Here, it wasn’t until I was in my later teens I discovered their earlier albums, and “Relics (A bizarre collection of antiques and curios)” was my gateway to this discovery. I managed to somehow locate a copy of Relics on cassette, after hearing it one early morning chill out session in the 90’s with my extended raver family. It blew my mind because of it’s inclusion of many tracks that toyed with that psychedelic 60’s pop sound. I started to realise the important role that Syd Barrett played in shaping the band before they grew to be stratospheric. I was already leaning toward an interest in psychedelic music even before I really understood what that meantâ€¦although discovering a Carlos Castaneda book on my parents bookshelf around the same time had me drawing parallels.
Laurie Anderson – Big Science (Warner)
Being very much into electronic music from my early teens I was bamboozled by the lack of female presence in this realm, and as an aspiring artist myself I was consciously looking for mentors and role models on whom to base a precedence on the role of women like myself in electronic music. It was pretty bleak back before the internet for music discovery, and doubly so if you were looking for electronic music made by women. Luckily when I entered University, we had some open minded and gender conscious lecturers who introduced me to the work of Laurie Anderson. I was instantly obsessed, I had found my role model! I bought every book and record I could lay my hands on. The first song I ever heard of hers was “O Superman“. I bought all her records, and today Big Science still remains one of my all time most inspiring albums.
Cocteau Twins – Treasure (Capitol)
I remember being 14 and hearing the Cocteau Twins for the first time, sitting in front of my parents record player, my musical comrade of the time had brought over his vinyl copy of Garlands, and the music transported me into a sun drenched field of poppies. I could feel the sun washing over me and sense the insects buzzing as I lay in the warm grass. Music that has the ability to conjure up a whole other world, transport you to another place has always fascinated me. I spent hours listening to Treasure over and over, amazed by Elizabeth Fraser’s individual and unique phrasing and melodic sensibilities. The Cocteau Twins sounded like no other band I had ever heard, and I remember considering carefully, that finding your own individual voice in your music is something to strive for. This has been a driving force behind my desire to write and create music.
Drexciya – Bubble Metropolis (Underground Resistance)
It was 1993 when I was introduced to Drexciya properly, hearing it played on Skid Row radio late one night, luckily back-announced by the presenter. I had already been introduced to the world of Underground Resistance, who are pretty much my techno idols, but Drexciya resonated on another level with their solid bass, driving polyrhythms, curious experimental melodic/textures and impeccable production skills, their music had the ability to transport me to another dimension. They also have this ability to conjure up what I can only describe as â€œmusical narrativesâ€ in my mind, with very little use of words or lyrics. It’s this sensation that I wanted to try and capture in my own compositions.
Various Artists Mixtape – Def Jam Recordings
This cassette was a gift from my musical comrade around the age of 15. He was pretty much my music pusher, and kept me well fed on mix tapes of everything from new-wave, punk, acid house & hip hop. This tape has been well worn but still plays, and represents my introduction to hip hop. (Note EPMD “I’m Housing” is on BOTH sides of the tape). Every track on here is a classic to me, and I have a deep nostalgic connection to this sound. Being introduced to this early hip hop instilled a sense in me that hip hop was all about public service announcements and raising consciousness about our world, and I think I subconsciously have taken that on in aspects of my own music. My faves were instantly tracks like “Don’t Believe the Hype” & “Self Destruction” Politically conscious music has always been deeply inspiring.
As a kid I didn’t have the cash to buy music so I would record all my favourite radio shows onto cassette and then make mixtapes. Cassettes were my lifeline to music and I had a “ghetto blaster” in my room so I didn’t have to spend all my listening time in the lounge room. I used to check out the local record store every day after school to see what they had got in that week, even though I rarely had the money to actually buy something.
Dimlite – Grimm Reality (Stones Throw)
Akin to surrealist film-makers and painters, I think of Dimlite as a bit of a surrealist music maker. He and David Lynch could do great work together. His use of organic sounds, nuance, and his willingness to experiment with rhythm and texture has always been a fascination, and he’s very good at being at one with awkwardness, absurdity and asymmetry. Every time I listen to his records I feel like I hear something new. I listen to Dimlite both critically as well as for pure enjoyment, and it’s always a trip.
Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Early in my teens, and during a time when I was very much entrenched in learning Western harmonic theory and piano skills, it was this piece of music inspired me to want to write music.
Rhythm and Sound – Tikiman (Burial Mix)
I’ve always been really into bass music, and its many forms, but this album resonates with me on a number of levels, my love of warm sub bass frequencies, and my love of reggae. I appreciate the use of space and seeming simplicity leaving room for exploration of texture, and the expansiveness of this album is again something I find myself exploring again and again in my own music.
Georgia Anne Muldrow – Owed to Mama Rickie (Animatedcartunes)
Georgia is a huge inspiration to me, her skills and stage presence are impeccable. She balances family, spiritual and musical life, and does it with grace and passion. This was the first record I bought of Georgia’s, and have since bought many more. I am a massive sucker for killer harmonies and lyrics that resonate to sing along to. Georgia writes with clarity, consciousness and seems clear on her role as an artist. She isn’t afraid to express her unconventional views of the world through her music. All of these aspects of Georgia inspire me, and through her music I feel she helps me strive to be a better human and musician.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
My mother was a world record club member and as a result we had a large collection of jazz and world music in the collection at home, and although mum listened to a lot of classical, as I grew older I gravitated towards her jazz and world records. This was one of the many records I discovered in my mother’ collection that I remember playing when I got some time alone. I would light incense and listen intently to the intricate patterns of the melodies and rhythms, and close my eyes to let it take me away.
More details about Anomie can be found here