Berlin based genre-defying producer. Think Laurie Anderson and Prince overlapped with Arthur Russell and Aphex Twin
It isn’t easy describing the music of Yosa Peit, the genre-defying producer. Her album ‘Phyton’ (set to be released November 2022 on Fire Records) was hailed in some corners as “warped lo-fi meets glitchy electronica”, elsewhere as “craggy interdimensional pop hits”, when it first emerged in limited numbers on Tax Free Records two years ago.
“I started making sounds on some free music software. I always liked the approach of using tech intuitively. My way of working is quite idiosyncratic”
Yosa began singing and producing, her distinctive vocal style matched by experimental productions, a union that blossomed in 2015, when she debuted with ‘Constellation’, a scatter-gun of glitchy soul on Brandt Brauer Fricks’ label.
“I had an absolute fascination for anything that sounded different to what I had heard growing up”.
Holly Herndon sought her out to sing on her 4AD release as Proto, an aside that further enhanced the intrigue. She experimented with her voice then created ‘Phyton’, a multi-faceted beast; beautifully soulful, simple, but complicated nonetheless… of course.
“There’s a ticking on the record, it’s the hi-hats; they reflect restlessness and the changing political, social, and environmental climates. I saw ‘Phyton’ as a strange growing plant. I reached outside of music and I played it to different artists who all had their own vision and ideas from it.”
It was an organic process that fed off itself, something that’s replicated in Yosa’s project work on her award-winning Error Music, an initiative funded by the city of Berlin, providing workshops for girls and non-binary kids where they learn to code, build synthesizers or theremins and perform free from any expectation.
“Embracing errorism means nothing can sound wrong. It gives kids the chance to work with their hands, become self-confident as they explore electronic music and technology in a playful way”. And that’s something that’s central to Yosa’s own growth as an artist.
“Music has always been a space where I could play by my own rules. I go from something in a sound that I feel quite deeply about and take that feeling on a ride”.
That concept produced an album that defies categories; think Laurie Anderson playing chess with Bjork, while a soulful Lorraine Ellison aches and alien messages flutter through an old cathode tube. Think Prince arm-wrestling with Arthur Russell overlapped with the hum of Blue Velvet, its ambience and jarring sound effects splintered like Aphex Twin with a hangover. ‘Phyton’ is the roots of the experience; now nurtured, a new album is already in the works, Yosa’s music is set to bloom.
A LITERARY NB: Phyton is ancient Greek for “child, plant, tree, creature”, a multi-faceted term that embraces the ever-changing boundaries of Yosa Peit’s music.