Best Available Technology
Kevin Palmer weaves a world of sound into being with humble machines and ritual production and documentation as Best Available Technology – his intuitive blend of atmospheric sound collage, abstract and dub techno, hazy recollection and dreamed hip hop homage finding homes in labels like Styles Upon Styles, Astro:Dynamics and Opal Tapes, as well as his own imprint, Working Nights. His recent offering, Enginetics & Plasmalterations, presented by 12th Isle is our November feature, the most recent piece of the MoM puzzle. In honor of this release, and our long-time respect for the artist, we invited Kevin to make a SIDES mix: our first in many months. To complement this mix, Kevin partook in our customary one-question interview, which you can read below.
BOA – ProtoFND exerpt
Commend: I like this phrase you used about having a similar approach to live sets as home experiments: “construction and deconstruction on the fly.” Can you trace this idea back to any moment or moments in your musical (or otherwise) life? And do you have any rituals or ways of getting into this frame of mind, both at home and in a performance situation?
BAT: I guess you you could trace it back to my life long love of taking things apart and seeing how they work (rarely putting them back together or actually understanding/figuring out how they work either) and then, you know like discovering samplers/sampling and figuring out that they are tools for de/reconstruction of sonics; and from there figuring out how to use them to do sonics in a way that works for my supreme lack of musical talent/expertise. I don’t have the attention span to learn instruments or practice songs and stuff (other than the shit I taught myself over the years, so I don’t have to sample other people’s shit ya know? Like I only have a couple rules and that is one, remixing doesn’t count but a good remix is a collaboration anyway isn’t it?) so the machines that I use are based on how well they support my musical hack’ness. I say hack cuz it’s true, but I do love what I do and enjoy and am as proud of it as a person can be of their own shit, I guess. As far as rituals or ways of getting into that frame of mind go, just doing sounds everyday is my ritual, really. I get up at 4am everyday, make coffee and sit down with the machines and sounds and just work/zone out on finding interesting ways to string things together and layer/blend textures. The way I have gear set up I can grab snapshots of the session and either deconstruct in the moment or just save and keep moving, so for live/performance stuff I have found a way/machines that I can use to do the same thing but on a way smaller, more portable scale.