It was an embrace of emotionality and subconscious communication that prompted David August’s artistic evolution. The Italian-German composer, DJ, label owner and multi-instrumentalist has been releasing music since he was a teenager in Hamburg, but it took self-evaluation and a re-examination of his priorities for August to lean towards the future and follow his most experimental inclinations.
August picked up steam in the early 2010s, gaining global acclaim when he performed a dazzling solo session for Boiler Room. But he still felt some emotions remained hidden in his work; his artistic language was still in development, even if his aesthetic was seemingly well-defined. A turning point came when he established the 99CHANTS label, an open-minded platform that has offered him the opportunity to work with esteemed artists like Lena Platonos, Ron Trent and Giulio Aldinucci, simultaneously promoting lesser-known figures such as Louis Sterling or post-minimalist heroine Bunita Marcus. 2022’s ‘Imaginary Landscapes’ non-profit compilation was a particular high-point, asking artists KMRU, Kareem Lotfy, Yu Su, Liila and others to consider the concept of movement and change.
A spell in central Italy gave August the opportunity to dive into study and experimentation, exploring ancient philosophy, mysticism and quantum physics while he attempted to map these ideas out sonically in his home studio. He began to see himself as an observer rather than the protagonist and attempted to tune in with the unexplainable through sound, instead of merely using established language to tell his stories. Plato’s words “everything is becoming and never is” gave him the foundation for his ambitious latest undertaking ‘VĪS’ (Latin for “energy” or “force”), a sprawling multi-disciplinary chronicle that imagines an alternative evolution of mankind through sound. With its own ‘Imaginary Alphabet’ (created by Moroccan artist Hiba Baddou), an interactive website, an art book and an audio-visual live show featuring choreography from Franka Marlene Foth and stage design by MFO, the album is far more than just music, suggesting that it’s movement and imagination that drives us forward.
In the past, the composer has worked alongside the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and remixed artists such as Max Cooper, Bunita Marcus and many others. He’s performed across the world at headline shows at London’s Roundhouse, Berlin’s Columbiahalle, Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Amsterdam’s Paradiso, and has appeared at Primavera Sound, Sonar, Dour Festival, Montreux Jazz and more.