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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[DJ Set]
Text. Chamberlain Zhang

Welcome back to our new mix and feature program. CSS072 features Detroit, Pure Rave. Pure Rave, a collective based in Detroit, Michigan, is an ongoing experiment in "chance dance". Using various prepared turntables, "damaged" records, the occasional drum machine, the effect is an indeterminate arrangement of patterns and rhythmic sonic collage. Real-time experimentation with the goal of hitting your pleasure center for whatever your brain thinks is interesting. This 90 minute mix is composed by using various records on two prepared turntables and one cdj to create asynchronous loops and mixing those down together to make the "tracks" you hear on the mix.







Your mixing style is very unique, it seems like more than two tracks warp together interestingly, almost like inventing a new language. Can you tell us the  process of making this mix?
Pure Rave: The style is certainly unique, as a member of the Pure Rave collective we derived a set of techniques for mixing over the past 5 years. We then compiled the best ones into a  manifesto to guide our recordings and performances. In a sense it is a bit like a  language, or more accurately the pieces of one. I tend to be drawn to a theme with my  mixes, not a “mood” necessarily, but I think about specific records I’d like to use. This recording was inspired by copies of Ink Spots records in my collection. Their songs have an ethereal quality to them, especially working with them in this way. The vocals when skipped create this abstract quality to the tracks that is both recognizable and foreign. It’s as if your brain is simultaneously encoding and decoding meaning from it. It creates this space where it seems almost like something you’d recognize and then devolves into something completely unintelligible and it’s up to the listener to put the  pieces together. In a sense that defines the ethos of Pure Rave. 

Can you explained the idea of "prepared turntables"

Pure Rave: “Prepared turntable” comes from the 2008 installation from Yuri Suzuki. Yuri states that a prepared turntable is “A turntable that focuses on actively composing and playing  music…This is an analogue answer for the digitalized DJ”. Where Yuri’s prepared  turntable has 5 tone arms, each which can have its volume controlled by its own fader,  we have taken inspiration from his work and applied our modifications a bit differently.  The biggest difference is that we use multiple turntables instead of a singular turntable  with multiple tone arms. Since we don’t use multiple tone arms on a single record to  create our loops, we instead turn to household implements. Mixing bowls, pieces of  tape, matchboxes, beer cans, bobble-head dolls, anything we can find that can sit on  the record or manipulate the tone arm into replicating a skipping pattern on the vinyl. The reason behind this is that Pure Rave is meant to be something anyone can do with  standard DJ equipment, so we tweaked Suzuki’s formula and applied it to the club  booth. We started with very simple applications, yet we’ve continued developing new  techniques. Such as physically manipulating the records by melting them into unique  shapes. We’re even modifying the turntable technology itself. We now have three  turntables that have been modified with MIDI input, allowing us a whole new set of  techniques to explore. 

From the tracklists/albums you provided, it seems like you compose with a  diversity of music genres. It seems Ornette Coleman's Skies of America fits so  seamlessly in the mix. What did it take to master your composing/performing  techniques? 

Pure Rave: Utilizing a diversity of genres is a primary component of Pure Rave stemming from the  way in which we source our records. Because our compositional techniques stress the records, in some cases completely destroying them, we tend to rely on donated and  trashed records which offers a lot of variety. With composition I look at it as taking these
simple techniques and applying my musical influences, creativity, and style to elevate it  to a level of artistry. I like to link it back to previous innovations in DJing like extending  the break, the crossfader, the scratch, and how using these techniques created  completely new genres of music. I view the techniques we employ in much the same  light and it serves as an inspiration to keep pushing in new directions and taking risks  with compositions. Because our techniques are quite varied relying on our manifesto is  a great help in mastering how to utilize them. It helps to keep a focus on something that  can go in endless directions, so I tend to rely on it quite a bit when composing. So much  of this process employs the Deep Listening aesthetic developed by Pauline Oliveros.  The loops generated through the Pure Rave techniques are often asynchronous and  abstract, you have to really focus on the sounds and use your intuition to mix them into  something cohesive. 


Released September 4, 2020
Released November 27, 2020

Model Home x Pure Rave LISTEN HERE Released July 3, 2020
Radio Set, Netil Radio LISTEN HERERecent release on Air Waves 

What are some of your early musical influences? What is the first record that  speaks to you and inspires you to make music?

Pure Rave: My earliest musical influences come from my parents. We’d listen to a lot of soul, funk  and pop music on road trips and just driving around. Pretty typical stuff James Brown,  Funkadelic, Prince, Sade. I started forming my own tastes in middle school, I was a big  internet kid and I’d spend hours after school downloading music, mostly 90s era NYC  hip-hop and UK bleep techno. I started delving deeper into electronic music after I went  to the first DEMF in 2000, it fundamentally changed my understanding of what music  can be and from that point forward I sought out the most interesting and challenging  sounds I could find. More than that it was the entire atmosphere of the festival that really  left an impact on me. DEMF, for those that may be unaware is the Detroit Electronic  Music Festival, now known as Movement. In 2000 Detroit was a very different place,  and so was the festival. Today Movement is known for being one of the largest  international electronic music festivals but in 2000 it was essentially just a big outdoor  freak rave. Going there for the first time at 16 years old was like discovering a whole  new civilization. The music, the dancing, the fashion everything about it was completely  new to me but felt like what I had been looking for all my life.
I really enjoyed the slightly "out of phase" moments in the rhythm patterns from  this set. What do you think of the idea of "chance" and "Imperfection"

Pure Rave: “Chance and Imperfection” would make the perfect title for a Pure Rave album, I think that  really embodies the project and definitely describes our live performance. We actually like to  categorize our music as “Chance Dance” in that so much of what comes out is completely  determined by chance. The loops we use to construct these pieces are completely random. The  challenge comes in taking these disparate sounds and fusing them into something that resembles  a kind of minimal techno. The sounds are constantly shifting as the records skip and we’ll even  intentionally introduce stimulus like nudging the turntables or shaking the table to change the  groove of a track. Our approach to producing is similar, we’re continually developing new  techniques, introducing new technology into the setup, and collaborating with other artists to  bring in diverse viewpoints. In that way we can never truly attain anything other than  imperfection as Pure Rave is constantly evolving

DJ SotoFett - Noldus
Yanni - Keys To Imagination
Plastikman - Artifakts (bc)
Cylob - Loops & Breaks
Kraftwerk - Computer World
The Temptations - I Wish It Would Rain
Ornette Coleman - Skies of America
Beretta Grey - Love Bezerker
Master Wilburn Burchette - Psychic Meditation Music
Psychick Warriors ov Gaia - Exit 23
The Art of Noise - (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise
Francis Lai - A Man and A Woman OST
Olatunji - Afro Percussion
Laurie Anderson - Big Science
B. McCarthy & Rasoul - Deep Excursions Vol I
Derb - Derb
LL Cool J - I Need A Beat
The Ink Spots - Greatest Hits Vol 2
The Ink Spots - The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots - Vol 2
The Ink Spots - 10 of the Best Ink Spots Hits
Various - Trance Pacific Express (comp)
Madlib - Shades Of Blue
Jeru The Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East