“When I sit down to work I always try to come with a beginner’s mind,” Tristan Arp told DJ Mag back in 2019. “I’m always thinking, ‘What would I like to hear that doesn’t already exist?” It’s a mantra that rings truer than ever today for the Mexico City-based, Detroit-born producer, DJ and sound artist, who, over the past four years, has continued carving intricate sonic sculptures that explore the endless possibilities of synthesised sound.
His debut LP for Wisdom Teeth, 2021’s ‘Sculpturegardening’ is a delicate cluster of downtempo compositions inspired by flora and fauna, while his ‘Alternate Looking Glass’ and ‘Entangled Beings’ EPs conjure obscure and surrealist soundscapes through foley recordings, playful micropercussion, and lush, probabilistic melodies.
On his new EP for Martyn's 3024 label, ‘End of a Line or Part of a Circle?’, Arp continues to colour outside of the lines. Chronicling the producer’s ongoing experiments with biomimicry — the practice of making synthesizers sound like the natural environment — the 5-tracker uses intricate breaks and experimental club rhythms to build teeming ecosystems of sound. The title track feels like the soundtrack to a lively colony of ants at work, punctuated by mischievous clicks and kick drums, while cuts like ‘Branching Streams’ and ‘Panspecies Rights’ forage new terrain through stridulating synths and polyrhythmic structures.
Arp also champions unconventional dancefloor sounds through his Human Pitch label and bi-weekly show on The Lot Radio, which has featured guests including Siete Catorce, Darwin, Debonair, and DJ Lag. His insect-inspired contribution to the Selections series reflects these eclectic sonic and naturalistic influences, spotlighting hi-frequency movers, chirping rhythms, and floaty bass gems. Dive in below.
“A standout buggy number from one of my favorite albums of the year and one of the loveliest people I’ve met through DJing, Sam Goku. The track and the record are a calming rush — two qualities that don’t always come intertwined but so nice when they do.”
“The shimmering ‘Aphid Walk’ by Teqmun also calls to mind lightning bugs with its luminescent quality. Wonderfully jittery rhythms that have a tranquil and frenetic quality all at once.”
“Hyper-imaginative, stream-of-consciousness yarns with unexpected thrills every five seconds. Like racing down a river with wild twists and turns. Four of the album’s five tracks clock in at 10+ minutes, so to keep the listener on their toes like this record does is no small feat. For fans of fantasy and exploration. And yes, insecty sounds populate ‘The City’ and ‘Mira’.”
“Hi frequency chirps right out of the gate on Yushh’s ‘Siro Silo’, out recently on one of my favorite labels, Well Street Records. In a club music climate that often races to go harder and faster, Yushh has been a tear lately all while slowing things down, reminding us speed and intensity aren’t the same thing. The slowest track on the record goes the hardest. A cavernous, dubby affair with lots of micro sound candy.”
“This record’s from 2021 but a portal I recently fell into: equal parts headphone and club listen. My favorite is the second track, ‘Tru’, which sounds like cicadas are on hi-hat duties. I’d recommend this one on a foggy, misty day, with a cup of strong green tea, a bike ride, or all of the above in tandem.”
“I imagine an insect would be very happy to listen to this track. Lots of very high frequency content for them to dig into––well at least those insects who are known to hear, like grasshoppers and butterflies. They are said to have hearing up to 300kHz!”
“This track is just so sexy and weird and I love it. Best vocal adlibs of the year and in the words of the label Planet Euphorique, a ‘potent audio elixir and a signature special of hedonistic heat…. liquid drips and the delicious potions are stirred and shaken for your pleasure.’ Enough said!”
“Winding mechanical melodies on this soft club treasure have won my heart. Vibrant Matter indeed!”
“A pleasant little headscrambler that definitely works in the club + day-to-day life. Hits like espresso. Full-on insect breakdown at 2:10 that simmers nicely.”
“Mexico City’s Turning Torso on Nico’s Akita Club label was a link-up waiting to happen. Woozy mind-expanders and floaty abstractions run throughout, as well as cricket-like chirps in the case of ‘Full Spectrum’.”