Luke Abbott likes mistakes. They give his music the additional depth of a human touch. He’s the type of artist who allows his drums to drift out of time. His notes are sometimes off, and you can often hear the hiss of tape noise in his tracks. Abbott once found the MIDI controllers he was using unsatisfactory, so he built his own. (He’s also fond of assembling synthesizers.) At the heart of his music is a modular system—Abbott values its versatility and unpredictability. On two albums and a handful of EPs, Abbott has brought all of this to bear, creating a catalogue of rich and unconventionally pretty music that’s best described as modern kosmische. It’s a sound him and James Holden, whose Border Community label has released both of Abbott’s albums, specialise in. Abbott’s latest album, Wysing Forest, which was released in June, was written during a musician-in-residence programme he completed at the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire. The record is mostly based on live recordings and improvisation, an approach that yielded nine deliciously freeform tracks that rank among his most unique and personal work.
Abbott has never been a DJ, but that hasn’t stopped him creating a strikingly beautiful podcast for Resident Advisor, blending his influences with some of his like-minded contemporaries.
You can listen to the podcast and read his brief interview with RA here.