Like you, Perc Trax producer Manni Dee is fed up of the state of the United Kingdom at present. Or, at least, we'd assume you shared the same anti-May. anti-Brexit, anti-everything-shit-about-the-country. We'd like to assume that, anyway.
Manni Dee's so fed up of it all, he's recorded an EP—Throbs of Discontent—about the whole thing, and you can hear a ferocious track from it below. You'll also be able to read a super in-depth interview with him carried out by our good friends at THUMP DE!
THUMP: First things first, what's your take on this week's Brexit plan as presented by Theresa May?
Manni Dee: I'd like to state, and I feel like this is something I'll be repeating, it's not the job of the artist to be didactic. I don't want an artist telling me how to vote, I'm sure many of your readers feel the same way. I encourage people to think for themselves and that's an essential caveat if you call a track "Cameron On a Guillotine."
Now that's out of the way, to answer your question, political developments have lost the ability to shock me as of late, which can be dangerous as the absurd can become normalised. I can't say I'm surprised by May's layout, it's simply reaffirmed my disappointment. I sensed an air of desperation in her speech. Certain phrases seemed to have the intention of appeasing and ameliorating from a position of embarrassment.
I assume that although you wanted to see "Cameron on a Guillotine", you weren't too relieved by his recent departure, were you?
No unfortunately not. I'm pleased I don't have to see his corpulent pink boyish face so often anymore, but the monster's grown a new head that pontificates the same ideology.
How have the Brexit vote and current developments affected your life so far?
The exacerbation and inflation of hate crimes following the referendum has increased my sensitivity to racial discrimination, but I can't say it's had any physical or economic affects yet.
As well as a lack of constructive discourse, there's the palpable sense of polarisation. The sectarianism on the left is also (and seemingly always) a problem. The referendum, which never should have happened, appeared to be a choice between austerity and austerity, especially when you consider the sanctions imposed by the EU on countries like Portugal, Ireland and more obviously Greece, as well as countries like Kenya and others in Africa. It's difficult to share the socialist sentiment of celebration due to the slight dismantling of state apparatus, when you consider the potential impact of Brexit on British workers and on institutions such as the NHS. Contrary to that is the mobilisation of those formally disaffected.
After the US election people started speculating on the possible impact Trump's presidency could have on the electronic music scene, and the queer one in particular. With the further surge of nationalist and isolationist attitudes within the UK, where do you think the local scene should develop to? Should it become more open and opinionated for instance, or more reclusive and underground?
Recently, on a global level, we've seen the rise of female and feminist DJ collectives. Long may this continue. What I'm not for is exclusion, whether that's Trump coming to England or certain speakers being banned from university campuses. Hate speech is one thing, but if you're simply unable to sit in the same room as someone you profoundly disagree with then there's a problem. It's our responsibility to right what we think is wrong through open debate and discussion. If you're a person of your convictions you shouldn't be afraid to have them challenged. Conversing with someone of opposing views often leads to refinement of your arguments, thus strengthening them, greater empathy and understanding.
The cover of the new EP shows what is presumably a statue, gagged and silenced, strangulated under plastic foil. A comment on the state of free speech in the UK or more on the situation of young people and creatives?
The image was included in the batch Perc sent over via his photographer James Guppy. It worked with the EP perfectly, as for me it represents the suffocation of thought, the parochial nature of supposed freethinkers, the suppression of political alternatives and the efficacy of algorithms that place us firmly in our echo chambers.
You are from industrial Wolverhampton and you live in London now. The idea of a counterculture has been an important motive throughout your work. Do you consider either the hyper capitalist capital or the rest of England as the ideal environment for such?
Both. The hyper capitalist capital consumes the countries resources leaving other parts of England emaciated and abandoned, while providing stark visual and actual antagonisms between the centre of London and surrounding areas. The poorer cities endure London's centralised opulence with a paucity of resources, almost an extension of London itself. The sanguineness counterculture provides is indispensable in both circumstances.
Currently, many British producers are living outside of the UK in places such as Berlin. How do you think the post-Brexit situation will look like?
Uncertainty is the only certainty at the moment. The elections throughout Europe in 2017 will add additional shape to the terrain. Having said that, we have a pro-austerity government until 2020 at least, unless there's a snap election and the opposition win and provide an alternative. Some people describe London as a sinking ship. If that's the case, which I'm not sure it is, I think it's important to attempt to prevent said sinking before deciding to alight.
Throbs Of Discontent is out on Perc Trax January 27.