El joined us at the festival last year for a live set which went off – the sun-dappled woods came alive with people dancing to their blend of bassy electronics, choral-like vocals, and sometimes spacey psychedelia.
The twists and turns of their sets can take you to unexpected places, which isn’t surprising as EL seems to find inspiration everywhere; previously noting themes from meta-ethics, cyberspace, and ecology as points of interest in their work. In recent emails, El has mentioned Ursula.K Le Guin & Todd Barton’s Music & Poetry of the Kesh (also a Brainchild favourite) as inspiration for upcoming work.
This beautiful mix they’ve made recently is so representative of El’s environmental advocacy. In the accompanying description El says that “a slower, attentive, less extractive pace is what is needed in the route towards climate justice” — making it perfect listening for us we venture out of lockdown and keep in mind the kinds of lives we want to lead moving forward.
We’re so excited that El has managed to narrow down their endless list of possible recommendations to these three for us to enjoy! Dig in –>
Akwaeke Emezi: ‘Freshwater’
In their novel Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi tells the story of Ada, who is an ogbanje, born as an Igbo deity’s response to her Catholic father’s prayers for a child. Told from the many perspectives of the spirits which inhabit Ada’s body, the book opened up for me the possibility of a non-fiction exploration (by a non-binary author) of how it feels to have many selves inside a body that doesn’t always feel your own.
Find reviews and places to buy on Goodreads
Lyra Pramuk ‘Fountain’
This record only came out in March, but I already know it’s one that holds a significant place of profoundness in my music collection. Described as exploring “a post-human, non-binary understanding of life”, the release is created entirely from Pramuk’s own manipulated voice. Alongside ambient music’s healing potential, I’ve always been particularly drawn to explorations of the voice as an instrument beyond language and lyrics, and its collective power when it is used chorally — perhaps as it allows us (particularly queer people) a space to both embody and redefine the sounds that come deep from within us.
Listen on Bandcamp.
One more thing
Practising tarot has done so much for me therapeutically and politically. I see it less as an act of foretelling the future, and more as a process that allows me to look at a situation in my life critically from different perspectives, by using archetypal imagery to tell stories and imagine possibilities. Nearly everything I learned about tarot, I did so through Little Red Tarot and a podcast called Between the Worlds (FKA Strange Magic) — who both take a queer, intersectional approach.