Consulate chats his new EP ‘The Pulse of Iron’ out now via Pure Space
Naarm (Melbourne) based artist Consulate has today released his new EP, ‘Pulse of Iron’ via Pure Space. The four track EP acts as the 10th release for the cult adored Eora (Sydney) based label, and all with all their releases, ‘Pulse Of Iron’ once again pushes the boundaries of what we understand electronic dance music to be. Consulate delivers four dystopian dance club tracks ready for our underground warehouse scenes to reopen, all glossed over with a slick DnB sheen.
‘The Pulse of Iron’, both through its title and sonically reflects the modern worlds progression, and obsession with industrialisation. The EP opens with the intense ‘Postrach’. A beating kick combines with jaggy saws and a half time snare to cut through the tracks eerie industrial ambience. Then hits ‘Spec 4’ a percussive pure dance tool, where a breakbeat kick pattern folds perfectly beneath subtle vocal samples. The B side holds the EP’s energy, with ‘The Fear’ delivering fully immersive rhythm via a dub style, electro tinged wobbly controlled chaos. The track list’s closer, ‘Warlock’ showcases his vast production skill, delivering fast paced jungle breaks, scattered vocals, and a gorgeous synth bass line.
To get to know the EP’s creator better, we chat to Consulate about the ethos of his project, his inspirations and balancing abrasiveness with listenability.
What is the ethos of your project?
I’ve never invested any conscious effort into designating Consulate a clear ethos, at least not in the way that it’s been deliberately constructed to convey a specific message, or to evoke a certain reaction from an audience. I guess it’s some sort of personal ethos that informs what I make, as I’ve only ever really made music with myself in mind.
What emotions or thoughts do you want your art to trigger when people engage with your music?
The same kind of feeling I get when I engage with any artist’s work and find myself wondering how they made it, and why. I remember hearing Source Direct’s Stonekiller for the first time and being totally floored by it. I kept wondering how they made a certain sound, where they’d sampled the sounds from, how they got the breaks to sound a certain way, why they named the track “Stonekiller”. Same with a lot of Shackleton’s stuff. Both of those artists have this synergy between their music and some implied concept that feels visual in the way that it affects you: it’s just as effective as headphone music as it is ruthless in a club.
My music is definitely not at that level, but I’m always trying to find some point where it all works as a cohesive unit and presents some kind of narrative.
Why do you think the overarching genre of “dance music” catered to your creative outlets? What for you makes dance music an attractive genre to create and engage with?
First and foremost, I’d argue that electronic music is the most versatile audio medium in history.
It’s an infinitely pliable landscape to work within, and the framework can be bent to cater to almost any style without the need to go and buy a new guitar, or pedal, or drum or whatever. It’s fairly simple to experiment with infinite combinations of sound in a manner far more direct and immediate than most other styles of music. I like the idea of traditional genre trappings being put through accelerated and atomised to the point that someone releasing a jungle track with a Pink Floyd sample or something on it isn’t seen as some kind of aberration.
I’ve always been inspired by artists who use the basic framework of electronic music to explore different kinds of zones – Muslimgauze, Basic Channel, Shackleton, Christoph De Babalon – they’re all artists who operate within a space that’s almost entirely electronic, but who each have their own distinct sound that makes them wholly singular within that space.
Where did the inspiration for the industrial elements of the music come from? What thematic concerns did you want it to evoke on the project?
I’ve never really thought of my music as being industrial, but there are definitely characteristics of it that find their way into most of what I make. I’ve always been fascinated by the effect of hearing non-musical sounds in a track (on this record I’ve sampled footage from an air-raid siren in Baghdad, sound effects from Diablo 2, footage from some Jamaican kid who’s supposedly possessed by a demon, to name a few), and by the use of drums or rhythm as a sort of framing device for other elements.
Thematically speaking, I couldn’t really tell you… something apocalyptic maybe? I didn’t have the club in mind at all, which probably gave me license to play around with all these disparate ideas that had been running around in my head during lockdown.
What song are you most excited for people to hear?
Postrac, or Warlock. I think they might be the only tracks I’ve finished that I’ve been more than 95% satisfied with.
How did you go about balancing harshness, abrasiveness, experimentation with listenability? Was it difficult to capture that dystopian feeling while remaining inside the confines of somewhat, traditional dance music?
I’d be lying if I said that most music I love is abrasive or experimental, but I think that the music that’s always strongly resonated with me (and that informs the sort of music I want to make) has a level of rawness, and hasn’t relied on being overproduced or polished for its impact. My initial introduction to dance music was through jungle and acid house, and I’ve always been influenced by how those genres managed to synergise this totally alien, psychedelic experimentation with music that was physical and never felt foreign in a club.
Words by Parry Tritsiniotis