We love fresh new stuff over here at Magnetic. Sahy Uhns (aka Carl Madison Burgin) fits nicely into that category. He’s unique, super talented and isn’t afraid to indulge in experimentation by way of custom designed software, hardware, modified instruments and simply by the sounds he records everywhere he travels. Think a synthesis of hip-hop and electronic something akin to Wolfgang Gartner and Ratatat giving birth to a magical baby. His debut album An Tolerant Disdain of Underlings was released on October 18th via Proximal Records, both as an online digital LP and as a 5″x 5″ hardcover photo book with the CD tray in the back cover. Needless to say, we encourage you all to give it a listen. It’s a great album and we expect big things still to come from Sahy Uhns.
Sometimes when Im hiking Ill find a space that I like so I end up coming back to do field recordings and those often end up in my music.
Inform us as to your typical creative arc. Take us from alpha to omega with a project. What, if any specific environments, conditions, materials, etc. are required?
I like to lock myself alone in my room, turn off my phone and work for extended periods of time. Lately I've been trying to wake up relatively early around 10 and it will take me pretty much the whole day to warm up. From 8 pm on is when I'm feeling really productive and happy with what I'm writing. Once I'm in the right mood I'll keep writing until the early hours of the morning. I have all of my gear setup in my room so that it's just a natural extension of me because if my gear isn't convenient then I won't spend time setting it up because I'll lose my thought. I've spent many years fine-tuning my studio setup to make it as efficient and easy as possible. I'm still piece-by-piece buying the gear that I want but that takes time and money as well.
We all have certain things in our life that we devote special attention to—the finer things. What are the "finer things" in your life?
I have a collection of shaving tools—a straight blade, a safety blade, a brush and a leather strop for sharpening. The only reason I got into it was because my sister's boyfriend who is a chef is obsessed with knives and he was really into it and got me hooked. I also am particular about my hair so I drive down to Long Beach to get my hair cut (high and tight fade) at this really great barbershop called “Syndicate” and use hair grease.
How do you like to spend your free time/days off?
I like to hike out near CalArts where I went to school. Besides making/consuming music and art, hiking is one of my favorite things to do. I like the physical aspect of it because it's challenging and I'm not really into sports—also I'm very good at carrying heavy things for long periods of time. Sometimes when I'm hiking I'll find a space that I like so I end up coming back to do field recordings and those often end up in my music.
If you weren't a musician what other profession would you pursue?
If I didn't pursue music as a career I would probably be trying to get a career in industrial design. Back in high school I was actually working up a portfolio to try and go to college for industrial design. I love graphic design too and have done almost all of the graphic design for Proximal but I'm most interested in working in three-dimensions and spacial realities.
What was your favorite electronic album of the last year?
Room(s) by Machinedrum. I think it's a great, quality dance record. It's pretty stripped down and raw but also still hits so hard that it didn't feel lacking in any way. I hadn't really been a fan of his dance music until I heard this record. It's a great fusion of different types electronic music happening around the world. Definitely a party record.
What is your favorite non-music blog?
butdoesitfloat.com. It's an art and design blog that's really well curated and has an interesting and eclectic mix. You'll see completely different eras, mediums and styles back-to-back and that contextualization has a way of making everything feel modern. As bombastic as my music can be, I like to keep my design relatively quiet and minimal. I like my graphic design to be very simple and to the point, sometimes maybe over-simplified. My photography mirrors my music more literally because when I'm creating music I'm always writing to something I'm picturing in my head.
What kind of music is in heavy rotation for you right now? I've been getting more into tribal and electro-cumbia music. I've also been beefing up on my soul collection and transferring a lot of my soul records from vinyl to digital. I'm always digging for vinyl.