Assembling ideas through modifying rhythm and texture, Robin Buckley terraforms the terrain of contemporary dance music, pulling from YouTube clips, EDM sample packs, vibrators, Euro-pop hits of the 90’s, and computer music—to reframe relationships to sounds previously thought to be familiar. Within immersive sonic worlds, Buckley’s rhythms serve as cultural critiques, crafting hopeful narratives while also implicating violently normative social orders, moving through different mediums, narratives, and even Venga Boys edits to impart meaning.
While Buckley’s early releases such as 2012’s Basement EP show an uncanny knack for skeletal, zig-zagging techno textures, their later releases move towards more abstract electroacoustic composition, commenting on cultural values within the sound art community. Brostep In The Style of Florian Hecker began to draw a through-line between modular-synth obsessed sound installations with the maximalist, “make the biggest bass drop imaginable” brostep culture of contemporary EDM. DJ Tools, released on Lee Gamble’s UIQ label, playfully interrogates the relationship between pop music, originality and authorship, twisting samples from an EDM sound-pack into demonic oscillations and rhythms—imparting a feeling of being completely sober at an EDM rave when the beat drops. An accompanying series of illegal edits of 90’s mainstream dance hits show a nostalgic love for Alice Deejay, Freddie La Grande and DJ Sammy—the series plays with buildup and release, twisting club staples from Buckley’s youth into mantra-like reflections on the emotions contained within. From serving as an Artist in Residence at London's Call & Response sound agency, to their disseration on Modes of Queer Resistance in Electronic Music Production, there’s an equally thick body of theoretical knowledge that Buckley’s work is informed by—but however deep you want to dive their live sets are fluid, reactive, and immediately gripping.
For rkss’ MUTEK debut, expect a dynamic performance mulching loops into new textures and shapes, and a sonic narrative that explores their transition, while navigating public space and institutions—using text from Octavia E. Butler's Imago, as well as hardstyle screeches and euphoric melodies.