The prolific music producer Procrastinatrix hails from the Upper Swansea Valley. From the year 2020, he has released 14 high-quality albums and more than 333 tracks on Soundcloud. Using Ableton and synthesizers and samplers, he creates genre-defying, moderately experimental, catchy electronic music. He broadcasts a bi-weekly radio show on www.empireradiouk.com in which he plays two hours of self-produced music; he frequently produces the entire show from scratch each time. Given his work, the moniker Procrastinatrix takes on an ironic tone!
Procrastinatrix has released a new album titled Holding Pattern. It is a sensitive analysis of the stages of grief and a musical response to his mother’s terminal sickness. Emotionally resonant, it was created in two weeks of furious escapist composition, with synths and samplers mixing to produce a catchy but solemn stew of passion. Check out the album and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
PROCRASTINATRIX: I was born in Oxford but have lived in Wales most of my life. I live in the Upper Swansea Valley, a beautiful neck of the woods, at the foot of The Sleeping Giant Mountain. I have always been interested in music, forming the post-rock band Teriyaki in the early 2000’s in Newport. I started with Ableton when I lived in Hackney, immediately in awe of its potential as a tool for raw creation. Procrastinatrix started at the beginning of lockdown as a way to reach out to friends during the lonely times.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
PROCRASTINATRIX: I am entirely self taught, finding my way by experimentation and some informal lessons in music theory from friends. I feel my way through a tune, intuiting melody and riding the glitches until something new and engaging manifests.
3. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
PROCRASTINATRIX: The juxtaposition of emotionally resonant, sometimes catchy synths with driving, glitchy beats. Each track has its own encrypted emotional field, a condensed state of feeling. Music is medicine, the music is designed to be a cathartic channel whereby the listener feels heard. Someone else out there feels the way I do. I don’t really believe in genre, preferring to remain fluid and let each track speak it’s own truth.
4. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘PROCRASTINATRIX’?
PROCRASTINATRIX: Post-rock was the first genre to make a deep impression on me; bands like Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Later I got into experimental electronic music and of course the GOAT is Aphex Twin. Matmos, Floating Points, Four Tet, Bonobo, Add N to X; there’s so much inspiring music out there it would be exhausting to list them all. The name Procrastinatrix means ‘a female procrastinator’. Something of a target audience. I identify as a Procrastinatrix but the name takes on an ironic flavour when measured against my torrential output.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as IDM?
PROCRASTINATRIX: Originality is important to me. I enjoy a diverse range of music but I listen to my own work alot. This creates something of a feedback loop of personal development. I have to remain prolific or my ears get stale. I try not to let influences get in the way of the creative process… everyone has their own sound and it seems to me fruitless to attempt to emulate others. I am inspired by the tools themselves, what is possible within the software, constantly learning and pushing myself.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative, and entertainment?
PROCRASTINATRIX: Music is a vehicle for social change as well as spiritual development. My personal mission is to catalyse a mainstream appreciation for human time travel. This is more of a spiritual concept than attempting to teleport matter to the past; I believe it is possible to meet yourself in the Future and navigate accordingly. The music is a tool for time travel, it opens pathways and allows the mind to make the leap.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
PROCRASTINATRIX: I feel incredibly fulfilled by the process of making music, finishing a track gives me the dopamine hit I need to get through the day. The hard part of the job is self-promotion. I founded a record label with some artist friends, to help with that side of things, it’s called Not the Final Vinyl. I am optimistic about the future. I’ll be taking the plunge and start playing live in Cardiff in the coming months because Cardiff has a special significance in the memetics of Time Travel. Check out the Time Travellers Guild on YouTube for updates on that.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
PROCRASTINATRIX: I love collaboration! I’ve worked with such artists as Taran Burns aka Transmitstatim to help produce his album ‘The Empire of the Makeshift God in the Soul of The Machine’, an exploration in music of the implications of Ai. I am half of the Drum and Bass collective TORS with Ed Martin of Raising Wolves, we have a five track EP out soon on San Francisco label Geomagnetic. I’ve worked with Coppe’ Sweetrice, the Godmother of Japanese Electronica, Kelfin Oberon the fairy poet, Nicusor Florea the London based Romanian rap musician, and lots more collaborations on the way. I find working with artists particularly rewarding.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
PROCRASTINATRIX: My new album, Holding Pattern is about the terminal illness of my mother. As the title suggests, I use music as a tool of catharsis, it’s literally holding me together during the most difficult period of my life. It explores themes of pre-emptive grief and loss while remaining steadfastly optimistic. I hope it helps others who are going through emotional times themselves.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
PROCRASTINATRIX: I am proud of my output. There are 333+ tracks on my Soundcloud, and I have produced over 10 albums. So I pride myself on my prolific nature. But I’m planning on slowing down, releasing less often, spend more time in the process to further develop each track. Every time someone buys an album on Bandcamp I get a sense of acheivement, luckily its happening more and more regularly now! Check out www.procrastinatrix.bandcamp.com and follow to keep abreast of progress.
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