Juno Plus Podcast 141: Huerco S.
To celebrate the arrival of his delightful second album, the New York resident turns in a superb hour-long mix.
This month saw the release of For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have), a loftily-titled second Huerco S. allbum on Proibito that sees the New York-based artist strip away drums to focus on a more meditative approach. As Tom Faber poetically put it in his review of the album, “the nine songs are bathed in shifting tides of ambience, illuminated by bright melodies like shafts of light through water.” As a whole, the album is a confident statement of creativity from a producer who has really progressed musically since his emergence in the ‘outsider house’ boom of 2012.
It is the Proibito label overseen by Anthony Naples that has been the willing facilitator of much of his friend’s recent music across a number of aliases including Royal Crown Of Sweden, Independence Ave. Orchestra and various iterations of Huerco S. If For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) is the result then long may this relationship continue. Having run a feature with Huerco S. back at the turn of 2013, we felt enough time had passed to add him to our ever-growing list of podcast contributors and we couldn’t be happier with the mix he submitted.
Delivered with the subtitle of ‘Cool Cool Summer Mix,’ the 61 minute-long session breezes through all manner of styles in a way that gently whispers into your ear, “you’ll always remember me.” It is up there with the Porn Sword Tobacco and Charles Manier mixes in our personal favourites. Huerco S. – or Brian Leeds to friends and family – was also kind enough to answer some questions regarding his new album, working with Naples, his open house parties with DJ Wey and what else we can expect from him as the year progresses.
Hi Brian, how are things?
Alles gute, just woke up…staying up way too late playing video games. Doing real good though, thank you.
Thanks a lot for doing this mix, was there a specific theme behind the selections?
My pleasure. I really wanted to do a mix that showcased some longer songs and really let them play out over each other, and as always I include music from my friends and people I admire on artistic level. Thematically it’s kind of like my “trippy cool tribal hot summer festival mix” haha.
Your new album has just dropped (in digital form at least) have you been pleased with the responses to it so far?
It’s been kind of unbelievable. The response has been great, truly heartfelt. Especially touched when people tell me about their listening experience. Man, this one review this guy wrote in Spanish is basically just a poem about him cruising his bike, enjoying nature and life, never really mentions the record. Lovely stuff that.
How long did you spend recording it and what was your intention when sitting down to make the album?
It took the course of two years, with 2015 being the most intensive. At the start my only intention was to make music sans drums. The inverse side of a DJ tool if you could call it that.
Where does the artwork originate from?
I was going through old images from the New York Public Library and was particularly drawn to the botanical illustrations. Ambient music and nature in my eyes are practically one at this point, so the image only continues that idea.
There is naturally quite the long title to the album, which we have learnt you took from an old soul record – but where there any other titles you considered?
I thought it was maybe too long or worded a little strange, and considered renaming it but i just never did. It’s the only title the damn thing ever had.
Remaining in this realm, where does the name Huerco S. originate from, and what does the S stand for?
The “Huerco” bit comes from everywhere at this point. “S” obviously stands for “Sweet, Smart, Sexy.”
Considering Proibito has carried much of your material under various aliases, does Anthony Naples tend to be your first recipient for any new material?
First and last. Sending music to labels is not something I really enjoy, so this just simplifies things. Of course I’ll send whatever I have to the homies.
We spied an Instagram shot of you and young Anthony digging for records at A1 in New York, is this something you both do together regularly?
If our conflicting schedules allow it! Shout out to A-1 and Toshi aka DJ Monchan who is running one of the hottest labels in NYC, Dailysession Recs!
You’ve started an irregular radio show and ‘open house party’ with DJ Wey called Brian & Brian’s – how is that going? What would you say the particular vibe is there?
It’s the best, that’s my boy…a true connoisseur of sound that one. Usually we have guests joining us and as the name suggest it’s an open house party so everyone is invited and encouraged to come play records. Musically it’s everything from dub, musique concrète, house in all its forms, soul, indie rock, whatever. The particular vibe as of late has definitely been: at ease, although previous vibes include, but are not limited to: respect to all global citizens worldwide, many blessings, and très fabu.
How do events like Brian & Brian’s compare with some of the festivals you’ve played this year like Weather Festival and Lente Kabinet?
The difference between an apartment in Queens to a park outside of Amsterdam or an old airport north of Paris are pretty big haha. At most we have had like 25 people at an open house party. Low key to say the least.
What is the most ridiculous thing that has happened to you whilst on tour?
Still pretty amazed every time I land after being hurtled across the sky at 500+ miles per hour.
What’s been your favourite record released so far in 2016?
That Don’t DJ record, Authentic Exoticism, has gotta be up there, and although not a record this tape by Nerftoss on NNA is very nice as well.
Can we expect further Huerco S. material this year or are you hoping to let the album settle warmly in people’s affections?
Maybe a remix or two as H.S., but I have some other things under aliases. Did a 12” on Proibito with a very nice Irish man, should be out later this year. As well as an appearance on this very lovely tape called, “bblisss.” Respect to the Chicago crew and to Terry Radio.
Finally, your Tumblr has the one post about Happy Wheels, how many hours have you spent playing that?
I had to look that up, haha never played it and haven’t used my tumblr in years :/
No tracklisting was provided