You might know US artist Stuart Argabright, particularly if you’re familiar with late 70’s, mid 80’s post punk industrial no wave New York, and bands like Ike Yard, Death Comet Crew, Dominatrix and Black Rain. His work feels like its from the street, a place where everything is dark and gritty, noisy, electric and occasionally funky, imbued with an austere brutality. If you’re a fan of William Gibson (Neuromancer) you may have even heard his music on the audiobooks, though he has also had his music licensed to Nicholas Roeg’s Insignificance and Jonathon Demme’s Married to the Mob as well as composing for TV and theatre.
He has a forthcoming work on Room40, a strange woozy world of cassette dementia. It’s best if he explains it:
“I had gone to LA in early summer of 2021 to help produce a mix tape for Stefan. The tracking went well and I began thinking we might get in some time to do some cassette based work while we were hot. This worked out too, we recorded across three or four days. I had brought a selection of tapes with voices on them and Stefan had at least 6 or 8 different decks. Almost all of them could playback slower too. Once we had our tapes loaded we would take off into something else new and in the moment. The result sometimes drifted and blurred, becoming like a kind of pitched down or screwed Lower Broadway jam.
Blue Dream…Blue Agave, blue neon path, to Whole Foods.
We went to Japan Town. Drove across town one evening to the ocean drive up to Malibu and waves were coming in, through a haze. North to Encino and stayed some nights in Toluca Lake. Then McArthur Park and somewhere else we heard Venice Beach chimes. The Bradbury was in the neighbourhood – that classic set for the interior of JR Sébastien living quarters in the cyberpunk classic Blade Runner … as well as for the Outer Limits episode starring Rau Culp – The Demon with the Glass Hand, written by Harlan Ellison and aired 1963-64-65.These memories haunt the tapes going forward.”
LA Drones will be released on the 29th of March 2024 via Room40. You can find it here.