Ask artists in the Bay Area for their local musical recommendations and Gayphextwin's will name crop up quite a bit, although word of her work is only now beginning reach the wider world. The lady behind the rather tongue-in-cheek name is Brooke Keller, a rising musician now based in San Francisco, California. She began producing music 14 years ago and releases under various other aliases, including odi me, djcheaplocalgirl, and Patience Waining; there are several others that are yet to be attributed to her. "I mainly listen to alternative rock and play video games so my sound is the intersection of those two things," she says.
Important in her progress has been Doc Sleep, who signed Keller to Jacktone Records, the label she runs with Darren Cutlip, and coincidentally notified us of her. Keller first surfaced as odi me with two full-lengths in 2015 and 2016 respectively, exploring techno, ambient, noise, and jungle, before becoming Gayphextwin for her third album, Spiro, in 2018. It's an album of spectacular precision that forges rough and ready compositions from icy pads, voyeuristic samples, and whip-crack percussion.
Keller's XLR8R podcast is much like this: recorded live in one take, it's full of original material made on the fly, with no other aim but to make us dance. It's wistful and introspective but at its core lies razor-sharp edges and crackling in-the-moment grunge energy. "I think the questions were a bigger time sink than recording the mix," she says.
What have you been up to recently?
Trying to teach myself how to sing and play guitar at the same time so I can record the rock album of my dreams. Also working on another album full of dancing music as well as some smaller EPs. I think I'm simultaneously working on like four collections of music right now.
Talk to me about your background in music. How did you get to where are you today?
I've been at it for about 14 years. I don't think I'd be anywhere close to where I am today without Doc Sleep and Experimental Housewife's constant love and support.
You also release as Brooke Keller, odi me, djcheaplocalgirl, and Patience Waining. How do you distinguish between the projects?
The main thing that sets my projects apart from each other is that the songs are different. Not to mention my cosplay wouldn't be complete if I didn't have a million aliases, would it? There are tons of others floating around the internet but I'm ashamed to mention them. I think more than anything I like for my releases to feel cohesive, so I'll change my name to create new threads in my discography so that it doesn't feel like I'm rambling.
What’s the story behind the Gayphextwin name?
That famous photograph of Richard (D. James) for "Windowlicker" is what my real body looks like, not to mention I'm a bit of a windowlicker. I figure if Richard can use my identity to sell records I can use his as well. I'm also very gay.
What do you consider to be the key reasons behind your sound aesthetic?
I mainly listen to alternative rock and play video games so my sound is the intersection of these two things.
What other artists are really exciting you on the Bay Area scene right now?
Piano Rain is forever my muse. So much of what I do is only possible because of what she does. Russell Butler is constantly setting the bar higher and higher. Jasmine Infinity doesn't live here anymore but their energy is unparalleled. Erica Mar's music is hauntingly beautiful. The Creatrix makes music that might save us all someday. Club Chai and everyone associated with it are a treasure. Lizard Bitch is just too cool for words. There's so much talent in the Bay, hopefully we can all secure housing and make rent next month.
When and where was this mix recorded?
This set was recorded in one frantic take on my bed soon after you people asked me to provide something. The whole thing is just me going for it on one monomachine. Well, except for the last track, which is a recording from a live set I performed last year.
How much of the material that you make do you release?
Almost none of it! Nobody needs that much content from me. I've probably recorded hundreds of hours of music in my life and its almost all trash. I released three albums and an EP last year and I think it was mostly filler. I'm trying to be better at getting to the point and not rambling in my music.
What’s next on the horizon musically?
More guitars, more screaming, higher tempos, blown out speakers, tears, even higher tempos, lower tempos, me singing, me sobbing, emasculation, and maybe some other things but I'm really just winging this whole music thing all the time.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.