Hybrid label and collective, New York.

Cultivated Sound is a hybrid between a collective and label in Brooklyn, New York. We are focusing on showcasing artists locally and internationally. Our mission is constantly evolving as we strive to integrate programs with collaborators and residents. To cultivate music as sound and introduce new music breaking genres.

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CSS065: False Witness
[DJ Set]

Text. Chamberlain Zhang

This time we have False Witness aka Marco Gomez who curated a special mix CSS065 before he resides in Berlin. We asked him a few questions we have been discussing lately in the studio. We thought the idea of “creating a soundscape for listeners and dancers to reflect on instead of taking them on a journey” is very interesting to us as performers and creatives in general.

Arising from Brooklyn’s underground, Faslse Witness has been brewing a globally minded, aggressive approach to Techno. Marco first made contact through the art scene: they are a founding member of the KUNQ collective and have made contributions to DIS Magazine, the 2013 Venice Biennale and Nick Mauss' Frieze Project in London in 2014. Since then, they’ve shared the stage with acts like SHYBOI, Hector Oaks, SPFDJ, MCMLXXXV, Cem, Tzusing, Remco Beekwilder & Juliana Huxtable. In addition to their solo production work, they are also one half of FALSEBOI, alongside SHYBOI.

Before they left NYC in 2019 for a brief stint to study in Los Angeles, Marco helmed their own event “In The Dark” at underground destinations like Bossa Nova Civic Club and Mood Ring. There, they focused on bringing artists from across disciplines and mediums to the DJ booth. These parties brought people from all walks of life, and quickly became a monthly favorite amongst dedicated club goers and queer artists.


False Witness has made notable contributions to the musical landscape with EPs for labels like E-Missions, GHE20G0TH1K, and singles for compilations like Discwoman & Allergy Season’s Physically Sick 2 and Gays Hate Techno Vol. 2. Over the years, they have toured all over North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia with major headlining slots: Herrensauna at Tresor Berlin, Hyperreality Festival in Vienna, SXSW in Austin, Texas and Warm Up at MoMA PS1 in New York City. They hold a MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College. They are currently based in Berlin.

How did you get into djing and making sounds in general?

False Wintess: There was program called Mixmeister that I had on an old Hewlett Packard PC, maybe around the year 2002? Felix da Housecat's 'Kittenz & Thee Glitz' had come out the year before. It was a truly beautiful record, I listened to it on repeat a lot. I tried in vain to blend that with Reggaeton mixtapes and a Real Mccoy cassette and burn it onto a CD. Very rudimentary attempts at blending what would appear to be a juxtaposition of sounds. It made total sense to me though. Since then, I haven't really stopped tinkering with sound or technology. DJing professionally came much later, in my mid 20's.

What do you think of the performative aspect of djing? To make a composition in real time by crafting the music in your own ways. 

False Witness: I saw Juana DJ at Nowadays once and during her set I just felt like her tracks would swirl through the room in streaks of bright green. Their lighting system couldn't do what I was imagining and I was particularly sober that night. Sort of a type of synesthesia, maybe? Sound to me is a type of ephemeral sculpture: it takes up space in many dimensions and activates a space uniquely. I'm very particular about samples and synths and the construction process of producing, keeping in mind that I want it to activate a multitude of spaces, not just a quadraphonic club set up. When it comes to playing that for an audience, the challenge is to introduce it with other works in an interesting, compelling context.                                               

People coming together, dancing and listening to music is very powerful. You started your Fourth World set last year with Steve Reich's Come Out, a very important piece of music that is political. What do you think of the social/political side of the music that we do?

False Witness: Opening up with 'Come Out' was inspired by the seminar week I had at Bard. We were reading Malik Gaines' 'Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left' and the song was part of his lecture. It's particularly gruesome, where that sample originally comes from; its poignant and unnerving and heartbreaking. The oppression of Black individuals in America is inescapable. Steve Reich knew it. Opening my set with that song is a gesture towards injecting a politic before returning to the dance: a reminder to reorient your mindset from the visceral to the global and back again.

What's you relationship with the listener? Do you try to deliver a message when you play a set?

False Witness: There's that line in the Chemical Brother's song 'Star Guitar': "You should feel how I feel". That would sum up how I consider the performer to listener relationship. Its almost authoritative and unidirectional: like you now are in my headspace because I control what's coming out of the speakers. That's the danger of any social practice. I think because of that danger I avoid using terminology like "narrative" or "world building" or a bromide like "taking you on a journey". I prefer a Thomas Hirschhorn approach instead: give the audience material that they can reflect on. There's also the dichotomy of DJ vs performance artist that arises from this. Do you A. Keep the audience happy at all times at the expense of taste or interest or B. go deep and maybe play something totally leftfield at the risk of losing a fully captive audience? My friend Josue Hart recorded a track on the mix that maybe answers all of that: "What makes an icon, an Icon?"


Next Releases>>
Music For Playrooms EP - Jack Dept NYC>(Sept 2019)
Red Curtain Daybreak EP - E-Missions > (feb)



                                                       What's your take on being a creative/musician living in New York/US in general? 

False Witness: Not for the faint of heart. Living in NYC was tough; it took me about 2 years before I could feel totally comfortable navigating the city and make it work for me. Lots of euphoric highs and some very depressing lows throughout. There is no where on Earth quite like it though. I'm humbled and appreciative of my time there, and thankful for the people who left their mark on me. I was born and raised in Boston, MA. But if anyone ever asks where I'm from, I say New York.

Patti Smith, Kevin Shields - The Coral Sea
Adam X - Bimini Wall
NET GALA - Quarrel
Bergsonist - La Rave
Dan Snazelle - Insect Treatment
Rageous Projecting Franklin Fuentes - Tyler Moore Mary (Banji Bite Mix)
Ben Ritz - FM Roundabout
False Witness - A Suspended Tarp Divides Us
Tymon - Eternal Return
Ciarra Black - By Design
._ • / _. EON - ⍛ ˚ |† ⍛. (A Feeling)
Siete Catorce - Canto
Isa Genzken, Total Freedom - Fuck Them All
Paula Temple - Miyako
P.Leone - What’s The Password
Marco Gomez - Movement 1 - Outside/Protest
Ledef feat. Wherm & Josue Hart - Pu$$Y Demand$
E&F - The Void
VIA APP - Extraction
Anetha - Leftover Love
Julian Muller - No Lord For Me
FALSEBOI feat. Martine Syms - Threatmodeler
False Witness - Never Fake It
Björk - Lion Song (Juliana Huxtable Remix)
Der Kindestod - Everything & Nothing

Text.  Chamberlain Zhang