ondon-based producer Moiré may have a background in architecture, but if his music were houses, they’d be the kind you find in Escher paintings. The rhythmic foundation wobbles and shifts; flickering synths pulse in and out of time, and the blank space between the elements feels ominous and imposing. They’re also inlaid with hundreds of tiny details: deep inlays of electronics, gentle waves of sound, scuffed-up techno and low-light dance music, as much shadow as sound. Even his name hints at that contrast. A design term for the process in which one set of lines is laid, at a slight angle, on top of another set of lines, causing distortion, it hints at both the symmetry and the deliberate imperfections in his music. “One side of it is actually describing the process,” he said in an interview with The Quietus, “and the other one is mentioning that unwanted error which can actually turn into something that you want.”
Moiré grew up surrounded by music – his parents would throw parties, and Moiré would lift some of their cassettes, turn off the lights in his room and, as he puts it, “freak out.” As a teenager, Moiré would sit in his bedroom, using his cassette recorder to capture strange, distorted noises. Eventually, he began crafting songs with a friend inspired equally by the rhythms of Afrobeat as the music of Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan. Though he loved that music, he also longed to move into more dangerous sonic territory. He was encouraged when he saw Darren J. Cunningham, who records as Actress, play at a house party thrown by Flying
Lotus, because it solidified his belief that there was an audience for the kind of music he wanted to make (“weird shit,” is how he succinctly described it in an interview with FACT magazine). He released his debut EP, Never Sleep, on Actress’s Werkdiscs label in 2013 and, one year later, released his first full-length Shelter to instant acclaim (in between the two came the single “Roix,” on the Dutch label Rush Hour, and the EP BBOY 202). Recorded at Hamburg’s Synthesiser Studio, Shelter was the culmination of ideas Moiré had been developing over a period of years.
In 2015, he formed the collective Neversleep with longtime collaborator Disguise, and released a 3-song EP on Phonica Records. That was followed by the EP Gel in the fall of that same year. All of them dive deeper into Moiré’s trademark sound, full of slippery rhythms, impishly skewed synth patterns and weird, wobbly melodies that dip and vibrate. With each new release, he pushes the formula even further, working from a base of dance music but stretching and altering its shape and sound to make it something unfamiliar and distinct. His latest single, “Mirrors,” takes nearly two full minutes to start up, and even when it does, it feels alien thumping bass wrapped in strange, gauzy synths. It’s a strong continuation of Moiré’s musical themes, making mood music for the moment the party turns dark. “I think having trippy, fucked up parties is the best thing you can have when you go out,” he told The Quietus. “That’s what I always like, the good times. And I think good times are trippy.”