0035 // Acharne

  • Play:
  • Song Name: 0035 // Acharne
  • Artist: Stray Landings

The word Acharné comes from the French word for ‘fierce’, ‘obstinate’ or ‘intense’. Speaking with the anonymous artist who has adopted the word as his moniker, it becomes clear rather quickly the tag fits; interviewing Acharné sees more questions asked than answered.
”If ‘Berlin techno’ is reduced to white-noise washes and 40Hkz drones, where does that leave the story of the GDR? If hip-hop producers en mass are emulating Timbaland’s sampling of tabla-loops, where does that place the roll of Sufi music in our collective imagination? If half the top-selling ‘house’ tracks on beatport are marked by an ‘afro-Americanised’ male voice talking about ‘back in the day’ and ‘real Detroit techno’, where does that place the Detroit of today in our imaginations? What does that say about our relationship to gender, authority and the Black Male body?”

Although currently based in Berlin, Acharné travels extensively, and he explains his views on the idea of a ‘home city’ with a degree of scepticism. ”I’ve always felt ‘disconnected from any ‘dirt space’ in a fundamental way. This isn’t necessarily something I view as ‘negative’, but rather an inevitable part of a de-centralised work environment, and something I find really valuable to explore and embrace. Ultimately, its the human condition we all share - the challenge of forming identity and purpose beyond boundaries, which I guess are all ultimately just imagined.”

Sonically, Acharné is equally unwilling to settle, flitting between ambient, sound design, and techno with ease, as evident from his latest release on Seppku. Explaining how the EP came about, it becomes evident the chosen home for his productions was decided on with care. “I’ve been friends with the label-manager, Dan for some time. For both of us, I think, Seppuku is a tenuous ‘mark in the cultural sand’. Experiments – or rather ‘survival strategies’ for navigating through life in Berlin, through clubland, through the rise of EDM and the “meme-ification” of social media, short-form attention-deficit journalism. Both of us work in music and media, and these projects are counter-balances to the strange acid-seas we sometimes swim within – stuff I’d call “Big Pharma Techno”. So much once so-called “underground” music has been subsumed by high-commerce – which is totally fine, in once sense… but also polarising and utterly creatively stymieing for many producers who insist on identifying as ‘old school’ or ‘originators’ or whatever. 
My EP “Rooms Without Walls”was something of an allusion to this tension between transicence and settlment, which continues to fascinate me. Many of us here in Berlin are here are transient workers, migrant workers, sound and light and text workers – here for a certain time.

Berlin is traditionally the model city of temporality, becoming, yet never ‘arriving’.”

Coming hot on the heels of his Seppku release, Acharné’s contribution to our podcast series comes in the form of a recording of one of his live sets. When pressed further on the origin of the performance, Acharné reflects on the circumstances of the recording. “The live-set was recorded in an bunker space in Berlin, which I’m only going to refer to as “Quarantine”, as I was incredibly ill and feverish during the recording. Much of the base-material was actually generated in the preceding 48 hours – again, largely due to a sort of delerium I find myself in when I get ill – which seems to be more frequently in recent years. In situations of panic, melancholy, illness, I revert to a kind of primal insomniac mode – and tend to completely isolate myself. Hence, the genesis of this recording.”