Recombinant Festival’s weekend begins with an exotic journey lead by cultural revolutionaries and spiritual sonic warriors. A evening filled with mysticism and alchemy, your guides Aïsha Devi, Drew McDowall + Florence To and Hiro Kone will be joined by their Bay Area based contemporaries.
No one on this planet sounds like Aïsha Devi. Her voice is her most powerful tool in a repertoire that includes thumping beats and rave stabs, seraphic and guttural throat singing, mystical linguistics and corporeal sonics. Her music is spiritual and her live shows are transcendent experiences. She is a rebel and a radical alchemist who is breaking down barriers and traversing dimensions with her art.
Born by the Swiss alps with Nepalese-Tibetan heritage, a transversal of cultural and spiritual identity was forged, guiding both her personal and creative process as a non-conformed seeker. Devi applies meditation techniques in her approach to production and performance, channeling metaphysical research, ritualistic practice and healing frequencies into an alternate club paradigm. Dislocating pop culture, also evident in her mixes for NTS, FACT, etc., is one of her foundational tools and stylistic signatures.
Hiro Kone is a New York based musician and producer: a multi-instrumentalist, who studied classical music as a child but abandoned her violin training to play guitar in punk bands as a teenager. Currently, she uses a combination of hardware, synths, and modular to cultivate her sound. She released her first self-titled EP, co-produced with Tim Dewit (Gang Gang Dance) on the since defunct label Bitterroots in 2012. Following this, she released two EPs back to back in 2014. “The Unmoved Mover” (Group Tightener) envisioned the factions and movements in the human psyche and soul from an indivisible prime source. “Fallen Angels” (Geographic North) sourced Mao’s earliest memories of childhood in Hong Kong, repurposing vibrant fragments of the past through a disorienting array of sonic imagery.
Scottish born, Brooklyn based electronic artist Drew McDowall was born and raised in Paisley, an area just outside of Glasgow, and came of age during a time when the city was one of the most dangerous places in the world. Caught up in the prevalent gang culture of Scotland’s destroyed industrial cityscape, McDowall found a way out of the daily violence as punk took hold of the UK’s disenchanted youth. In 1978, he formed the lo-fi post-punk band, The Poems, with then wife, Rose McDowall, who would later rise to mainstream acclaim as one half of Strawberry Switchblade. Though shortly realized, the Poems allowed McDowall to network and collaborate with other local musicians in Glasgow, such as Orange Juice, and granted him access to travel down to London, thus forming friendships with Genesis P-Orridge, David Tibet and countless others, bringing Drew into the fold of the experimental cultural revolution happening in England brought upon by Throbbing Gristle and executed by groups such as Psychic TV and Current 93.
Scottish Installation artist + audio/visual designer Florence To collaborates with Drew McDowall to present The Third Helix – a live performance project exploring rhizomatic threads from personal, psychotropic aural meditations – with the goal of connecting the escape from the internal constructs of self to a wider society. Florence To uses information in relation to vibrations including psychoacoustics, neuroscience research and understanding of computational methods to visualise the process in her work. In 2015 she also developed an acoustic instrument to create a highly resonant component working with multi-channel systems that could be used for live performance and installation.