Emotionally charged electronica from New York.

Francis Harris has been making emotionally charged atmospheric soundscapes for just shy of a decade. Within this period, he’s released three exceptional solo long-players—2012’s Leland, 2014’s Minutes of Sleep, and 2019’s Trival Occupations—as well as two albums as one half of Aris Kindt. Later this week, he will return with Thresholds, a new album that’s inspired by the political upheavals of the present day. Whereas his previous solo albums have relied on a singular thematic drive, Thresholds aims to simply deliver fully formed psycho-acoustical worlds. We’re told to expect the work of a mature artist “fully in control of his powers.”

Harris’ music has not always been so richly-textured and moving. Up until 2012, almost all of his solo work had come in the form of loopy tech house, released as Adultnapper, but then something changed. With Leland, long gone were the thick, driving basslines and electronic sounds, replaced instead with nuanced music rich with organic textures, vocals, and jazz references. The spark was the death of his father, and 2014’s Minutes of Sleep was also deep-rooted in family tragedy, in this case, the death of his mother. Trival Occupations, its follow-on, documented Harris’ resultant battles with depression, and how he’d found comfort in meditation and running, allowing him to feel “much less heavy.” Though Thresholds pursues a similarly sumptuous aesthetic, it’s freed from narrative, the result of an improvised live soundtrack to silent films

We’ve been trying to rope Harris in for a podcast for some time, and finally, it’s here. Recorded towards the end of January in New York, it’s filled with the blissful sounds that have come to signify Harris’ music, coming from Khotin, Grouper, and Aleksi Perälä, among others. Much like the new album, there’s nothing conceptual about it: expect a warm collection of Harris’ favorite musical discoveries, sequenced to maximum meditative effect.

01. What have you been up to recently?
Mostly just working at my business, Public Records, and making some new records with Anthony Collins as Frank & Tony.

02. Your new album, Thresholds, is landing this week. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a sonic exploration of the conceptual work of Leibniz and Bergson through the lens of Gilles Deleuze.

03. How does it compare to your earlier, conceptual material?
My first three albums were conceptually tied to life events so they are more personal than Thresholds.

04. Thresholds’ was produced during the pandemic. How has this impacted the music?
Thresholds came out of a series of improvised live soundtracks to silent films that were aired on the Public Records Public Access channel when the venue was closed during the initial shut down. I then went about developing the music into more complete compositions.

05. Where and when did you record this mix?
A few weeks ago in the booth of Public Records.

06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I just included music that I’ve been listening to on my training runs, when I’m not listening to podcasts.

07. What can the listener expect?
Don’t really like to set expectations. Just can say there’s no shortage of astonishing music out there!

08. What’s on your agenda for 2022?
Take it day to day, put away my phone, and read more.

XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.

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Tracklisting

01. Khotin “WEM Lagoon Jump” (Ghostly)
02. Slow Riffs “Peace Arch” (Mood Hut)
03. Tomu Dj “Wild Woods” (Side Chick Records)
04. Francis Harris “Useless Machines” (Scissor & Thread)
05. His Name is Alive “My Thoughts are to Thee Dawn” (Home Recordings)
06. Aleksi Perälä “F13AC2263070” (AP Musik)
07. Ana Roxanne “Camille” (Kranky)
08. Li Yilei “CHU” (Métron Records)
09. Nueen “Centro Gris” (Good Morning Tapes)
10. Topdown Dialectic “A4” (Peak Oil)
11. Opto “Opto File 1” (Noton)
12. Deft “Cracks” (20/20 LDN)
13. Gi Gi “Tar Bae” (Theory Therapy)
14. Yutake Hirose “Old Dream Spell” (WRWTFWW)
15. Yarrow “Lover” (Self-released)
16. Grouper “STS” (Kranky)
17. Nueen “syn” (Quiet Time)





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