On Thurs 7.07, a cosmic summation of metaphysical introspection and corporeal isolation awaits as Ian Kim Judd, conjuror of NTS Radio’s Fifth World show, gathers his fellow sonic mystics. Judd will be joined for a B2B by Beta Librae for an extrasensory meander across dub, disjoined ambient, and delirious downtempo. Akanbi brings us to earth with a bouqet of divine selections from the depths and to complete the intergalactic expedition, the trio Purelink make their NYC debut with a nosedive into a pool of hypnotic breaks, juicy rhythms and hazy loops. Ahead of their Sound Room takeover, Ian sat down with Akeem, Ben and Tommy of Purelink to chat process, influences and midwest pride.
Introduce yourselves .. and maybe tell me how your year’s going so far.
We are Purelink. Akeem, Ben and Tommy are besties, roomies, and bandmates (in that order). Overall a chill year for us so far, got some cool shows booked for the 2nd half so we’re looking forward to those.
There’s a real cohesion to your sound as a trio, but you all have very distinct styles of your own.. how often do you find yourselves influenced from playing with each other into your solo work.
Tommy: Ben pretty much taught me how to use Ableton and Akeem introduced me to a whole new way of looking at arrangement. I’d say they are probably my biggest influences when I think about it.
Ben: Before Purelink, I normally steered away from producing more traditional styles of dance music. Once we started jamming and sharing our influences more, over time I started to realize ways we can fuse it in interesting ways. Akeem instilled in me a new way of thinking about rhythm all together, while Tommy often is taking ideas I may have shown him to depths I would never think of.
Akeem: I’m very influenced by the ambient sensibilities that Ben and Tommy excel at, I definitely try to bring that into my own production now whenever I can as opposed to focusing just on a beat.
And vice versa – what do you take individually into Purelink as a whole? Who plays what in this band?
A: We all contribute in different ways each time we jam / produce etc. I personally like to lead the percussive / rhythm parts of the tracks most of the time
B: I like to consider myself the research and development specialist in the group, I’m constantly testing new processes and forcing them to learn. Most of the time they literally could care less lol. Jokes aside, Akeem is really great at structure and composition in the mixing process, while Tommy and I tend to focus on the melodic/textural content. Though we are in constant conversation on the balance of it all.
T: Nothing’s set in stone, so we’ll take turns with parts. I do feel like we know how to play to our strengths.
You’re all from Illinois, Great Lakes, etc.. how does that sort of terroir influence your sound?
A: We definitely take pride in being from the midwest. The scenes and sounds that have been coming out of Kansas such us C minus, Huerco, Ulla and more is a big inspo for all of us, and it’s cool to be an extension of that in a way.
T: What Akeem said. I like it here in the midwest; it feels flat, a little slower.
B: I’ve lived in the midwest my whole life besides for a few years in undergrad. The suburban lifestyle, driving around listening to mix cd’s in between the woods and strip malls, definitely played an influence into my listening habits. Maybe the cicadas helped us get into drones? idk lol
Outside of club, ambient and experimental music – what influences all of you?
B: We definitely all are heavily influenced by realms outside of experimental/club music. I for one am heavily influenced by tons of rap, pop, country, lots of movies. I try to not box anything in too much. I’ve spent an enormous amount of time listening to babyxsosa.
A: influences are always changing day to day. At the moment I’ve been into some “guitar” music / shred-core ; Pantera, Joe Satriani, Durutti Column, Lush etc. Always listening to Dungeon Synth as well 🙂
T: Cello / Strings / Classical Music, especially baroque music was my gateway into all of this in a way. I’d also say books, movies, art in lots of forms.
Any contemporaries that currently inspire you?
B: Honestly too many to mention. We’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of inspiring friends in the last couple years. I feel really blessed to be taking part in this era of music, even in such a minor way. Beyond the normal b.s. I feel we are in really interesting times musically.
A: The list goes on and on; If I had to choose….. I’ll go with Priori & Forest Drive West – was fortunate to catch them at Movement in May and walked away feeling very inspired!
T: I also find it hard to name at the moment… I’ll say Strategy, DJ Manny, and OL.