Seattle-based experimental electronica artist Anomie Bell released her most ambitious project to date Flux two years ago. She is gearing up to release a remix album for the LP, with a slew of exciting new interpretations of the record coming. Today Blockhead and Antibalas released a pair of remixes for “Right Away” as Flux Remixed slowly gets revealed to the public. She has toured with the likes of Bonobo, Floating Points, Tricky, Little Dragon, Emancipator, Bajofondo and Ott and Cifika. Focusing on the upcoming remix album, which will be released on December 7, we got in touch to find out more about how it came together and her career.
How did you pick the artists to for your remix album?
Some are folks I know or had already been in touch with, while others are artists whose music I liked or whom I thought might re-interpret a particular song in an interesting way. I am really happy with the group of artists involved in the project, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know many of them as a result.
What do you look for in artists when they take on your work?
Ultimately, if the music they make resonates with me, and the way they do their thing inspires me, then I’m generally pretty excited about working with someone. It’s especially cool when we get along well in person and a musical acquaintance can turn into a friendship or yield more collaboration. I’m collaborating with many of these remixers on subsequent projects, which adds yet another wave of inspiration for me.
Is there a remix you are most fond of?
Ask a parent which of their children is their favorite and you’ll invariably get an equally evasive answer. There are so many things to like across this selection of remixes. It’s galvanizing to hear and feel the effort and artistic investment of these artists, and I’ve even adapted elements of a few of the remixes for my live performance. I love that performing offers the chance to continue to develop and shift songs after they’ve been released.
Your version of the “Good Life” sounds melancholic, but if you had to choose your idyllic day, what would it be?
Ha! Mmmm… Well, honestly I’d spend my idyllic day in the studio. But if I could control it, it would be one of those days when the ideas just come easily – almost like a waking dream transmission. It would be a day that I feel inexplicably happy, energetic, grateful, present – the kind of day when I feel it's easy to connect directly with my experience. Ideally I’d share the experience with a musical friend or two. Even though I often work as a solo artist, I am fueled and inspired by collaboration. Adding intimacy, new energy and the ideas of a different person to the mix adds a human element, and connecting in that kind of inspired space is one of my all time favorite experiences in life. I’d choose it over even sex or chocolate. I love it that much. ;)
Flux felt a lot different and more experimental than The Crush. What happened between 2011 and 2017 that led you to that point?
I have such a biased and subjective relationship to my own work. My solo albums end up feeling like the journals I kept from different chapters of my life. At the time, The Crush felt like a pretty experimental album for me – at least as far as playing with vocal style and exploring production that took me away from the more homogeneous foundations of Sleeping Patterns. However, I continued to experiment in more varied ways after The Crush – not just with my voice (though I also did a great deal of experimentation with using my voice as a production element on Flux). I took longer with Flux, laboring over the songs and their production, so there’s a lot of attention paid to detail in there. On a more personal level, I also put myself in situations that forced me to grow a lot during these years. We are holistic creatures at the end of the day, and I think our personal journeys can be felt and somehow known through art and music, even if they’re abstract mediums of expression.
Talk us through the production process on an album like this that takes so many different forms in one record.
I was driven to raise the bar for myself artistically with Flux, and I was stubborn and dogged about it. As a result, I took a lot of time with this album, and I think that is part of why the album takes many forms. I did a lot of experimentation along the way – tried things that I ended up discarding, changing, editing and revising. Creating Flux was more like writing a novel where the editing process takes longer than composing the initial draft. It was a slow, disciplined process, not unlike creating a mosaic mural over time. The result contains the richness and diversity of the different moods and experiences I cycled through over the period of years I was creating that material.
Flux came with an art book, will there be something similar for the remixes?
I’ll be releasing each of the singles and EPs on Diving Bell Recording Co. with different cover art from the Flux art show, including pieces by Marco Mazzoni, Mark Demsteader, Zin Lim, Januz Miralles, and Antonio Velfin. The Flux Remixed cover art is a brand new piece by Minjae Lee.
What else do you have coming up?
Along with the remixes and cover art, I’m also releasing a cover of Neutral Milk Hotels “King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1,” a new music video shot in Iceland, and a few collaborative remixes. I’ll also be doing some collaborations with the remix app 8Stem, run by Sup Pop founder, Bruce Pavitt, and some live in-studio performances of new material. I’ve got some bigger musical collaborations up my sleeve too, but that will take a little longer to reveal. Needless to say, I can’t wait.