Behind Rian Treanor's debut album, ATAXIA, out now via Planet Mu, lies nearly 20 years of considered refinement. The rising UK artist spent the majority of his childhood years totally immersed in music, whether it be collecting rave and speed garage tapes, making music, or DJing around Rotherham, the small industrial town in the north of England that he's called home for much his life. But it took him over a decade to release his first record, and even more time to feel ready for an album. "I'm not a perfectionist, but I wasn't making something that I thought was my own thing," he explained to Resident Advisor last year. "Rather than replicating stuff that already existed, I was trying to work out how to do something that had my own character in there somehow."
Given the vivid impression made by his early material, it was a patience that paid off. His sound bore great reference to his father, Mark Fell, with its experimental construction, academic foundation, and fractured, glitch-like aesthetic. But it was also fluid and groovy—club-ready, abstract, and cerebral all at once. His 2015 debut, A Rational Tangle, and his scintillating second EP, Pattern Damage, captured the attention of Warp, who relaunched their Arcola sub-label with Treanor's bold Contraposition 12″ single.
So there was much anticipation around his debut album, even more so when news broke that it was coming through Planet Mu, filled with half-stepping bleep-bass mutations, hyper-chromatic UK garage, and pointillist footwork. In celebration of the release, Treanor has compiled a mix for the XLR8R podcast series, serving up a snapshot of the mind behind the music and the sounds that inspired it. Across 70 minutes or so, you'll hear Sheffield bassline from the city's Off Mi Nut collective, bleepy grime, and abstract drum & bass that formed a large part of the soundtrack to Treanor's youth. Grab it now via the WeTransfer button below.
What have you been up to recently?
Working on things around my LP release, doing some live shows and collaborations. I was in Venice last week running a series of workshops that explored sound recording, algorithmic composition, and developing a collaborative performance within a 24-channel installation at DK Zattere.
What can we expect with this mix?
Sourdonk, Sheffield bassline from Off Mi Nut, and Keg1, some bleepy grime, weird computer music, absurd bits, some of my own unreleased tracks, music from friends, and some drum & bass that I used to listen to loads.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
Kind of tangents that overlap somehow, with music I’ve been listening to recently or stuff that was a big influence on me growing up. At first, I wanted to do a mix of old tracks from when I was a kid, like speed garage, niche, baseline, and drum & bass. I put together a playlist but it just sounded really straight-forward, and it didn’t actually reflect what I’m into currently, so I added a load of other bits and bobs, and now it’s just a collection of all sorts.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
I chose the tracks by making some small playlists, like separate sections, and then finding bits that could link them together, leaving some bits that could be interchangeable as I was recording it. I asked friends to send me some music, including some things like Kindohm, Daniel Katinsky, SDEM, and Church Andrews. I included some new things I’ve been working on, as well as some unreleased music from the same time I was making ATAXIA.
What’s next on the horizon?
I’m just about to do a few shows in Italy with Nakul Krishnamurthy whom I collaborate with, we will play at an event organized by OHH-Sounds. I have more live shows coming up this summer and will just be working on new music.
Treanor will be playing live at this year's Semibreve Festival alongside Alessandro Cortini, Avalon Emerson, Deaf Center, and more. This year's edition takes place Braga, Portugal between October 25 and 27, with more information and tickets available here.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Hard On Yarn Sourdonk "The Rite of Donk"
02. RKSS "modern EDM tracks in such styles as_ electro house, progressive house, bigroom, dutch tracks!..."
03. Errorsmith "B1"
04. Rian Treanor "Unknown"
05. Kindohm "Unknown"
06. Church Andrews "2.1"
07. Rian Treanor "ATAXIA_D2"
08. Shimano "Blues"
09. Patrick Brian "Fake ID"
10. Rian Treanor "Unknown"
11. EVOL "True Pink"
12. EVOL "Dale Framed Forgeries"
13. KegOne "Are You Dumb Blud"
14. Phatworld "Northern Don"
15. Astrosuka "Ya No Sos Igual"
16. Kindohm "It_s Not You, It_s Me"
17. Xyn Cabal "wh.ht"
18. Daniel Katinsky "Partitions"
19. Jim O'Rourke "Side B"
20. Rian Treanor "Unknown"
21. SDEM "Kaelie"
22. Ed Rush & Optical "Unknown"
23. Poor Man's Deal "State Of Play" (Konflict Remix)
24. Future Cut "Whiplash" (Lemon D Remix)
25. Dom & Kemal "Moulin Rouge"