Microhm is an alias of Leslie García, an experimental sound artist associated with Static Discos, where she released her debut album—oscillating between noise, minimal wave, ambient, and techno—last year. Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, she went on to study integral design, a strange hybrid of industrial and graphic design, but left the career early to begin working in the media arts domain.
Garcia's work sits at the intersection between art, science, and technology. Alongside Paloma López, with whom she also works as Logar-Decay, she forms Interspecifics Collective (meaning "arising between species"), giving sonic shape to different species, from bacteria to human brain waves, to create unearthed ambient soundscapes. At Mutek 2017, Interspecifics performed "Space data and noise," an eerie ambient arrangement of NASA radio transmissions and other sounds from space, and followed it up a year later with sounds from organisms and physical phenomena that typically go unacknowledged.
In contrast to García's club-focused Latam Tapes DJ alias, Microhm is more experimental and wide-reaching. The project sees her developing electronic music from a perspective of abstraction and improvisation to create a changing and dislocated sound. Besides last year's debut album, as Microhm she's also released Inmaterial Energy Waves, a 25-minute live ambient mixtape aimed at exorcising negative energies.
Her XLR8R podcast, at one hour in length, was recorded live in her Mexico City studio. It's choppy and in-your-face, made of "timeless" tracks and with a melancholic slant. In there you'll find music from Microhm, plus Croatian Amor, Zuli, Jlin, and many others, some much lesser-known. "...it will be helpful if you listen to this with open hears, not trying to find something you are familiar with, but rather looking for the beauty of the unexpected unfolding in front of you," García says.
What have you been up to recently?
I’m the in production process right now, working on new material as Microhm and also as Logar-Decay with Paloma López.
How did you find your way into music?
I started as a sound artist, making sound out of DIY instruments, soundscapes, code, and any experimental source I could find. I’m still producing this kind of work as part of the Interspecifics collective, using bio signals from living organisms, brain waves, and all kinds of signals that can be interfaced with electronic music instruments. But I’m also playing around with the rules and structures of mainstream music, trying to exercise intuition as a musician.
Where was this particular mix recorded?
This was a live session recorded in one shot at my studio in Mexico City, so it’s just what it is, no retouching, no fixing, just a serendipity of events. And some mastering by my friend Yaka.
What can we expect?
A lot of mashups, a broken narrative, and key mixing, but it will be helpful if you listen to this with open ears, not trying to find something you are familiar with, but rather looking for the beauty of the unexpected unfolding in front of you.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
These are melancholic tracks, from different genres, but they maintain in many ways this feeling of something that is new but old at the same time; for me, these are timeless tracks.
Is there a wider vision behind it?
I was thinking a lot of the radio, but as a time-traveling machine, and going back and forward in time using this sonic tool that is capable of taking us to places that don’t even exist, but make us feel like they do.
How does the podcast compare to one of your club sets?
My club sets are more focused on beat-matching and maintaining the energy levels, although this depends a lot on the context. I use another alias for the club, Latam Tapes, which focuses on music produced under the umbrella of Latin American diaspora. This mix is more contemplative; it has different energy labels but is more focused on the concept and the narrative.
Speaking more generally, what are your larger goals in music?
I want to continue exploring the possibilities of creating new sounds, and the emotional psychoacoustic implications of music in the human cognition. Perhaps being able to produce something which can create an empathic response in the listener.
What’s next on the horizon?
The second release of Microhm on Static Discos, a new EP from Logar-Decay, and some presentations from Interspecifics in the VNM Festival in Vancouver, plus a series of presentations in Berlin for this winter.
I’m also part of Oris, a new all-female label from Mexico City that is about to release its first various artist, so you will hear fresh new music from us really soon.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Efrim Manuel Menuck "Kills v. Lies" [Constellation]
02. Debit feat Zutzut "Anamnesis" [N.A.A.F.I]
03. Andrea Belfi "Spitting & Skytouching" [Stroboscopic Artefacts]
05. Huerco S "Marked For Life" [Proibito]
06. Oli XL "Stress Junkie" [W - I]
07. Croatian Amor & Jonnine Standish "Dark Cut" [Posh Isolation]
08. Microhm "Espectral" [StaticDiscos]
09. Aisha Devi "Genesis of OHM" [Houndstooth]
10. Gazelle Twin "Belly Of The Beast" [Anti-Ghost Moon Ray]
11. Colin Self "Story" [RVNG Intl.]
12. Soda Plains "Treadstone" [New Triple Gold]
13. Zuli "He’s Hearing Voices" [UIQ]
14. Kid Antoine "Proximity" [Her Records]
15. Doon Kanda "Crinoline" [Hyperdub]
16. Sky H1 "Hybrid" [Codes]
17. Mark Pritchard "Ems" [Warp Records]
18. Deena Abdelwahed "Tawa" [InFiné]
19. Ninos du Brasil "Noite Atrás" [Stroboscopic Artefacts]
20. Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones "God" [Planet Mu]
21. Jlin "Nyakinyua Rise" [Planet Mu]
22. Bosque sin arboles "Valparaiso" [T R R U E N O]
23. Lanark Artefax "Voices Near The Hypocentre" [Whities Records]
24. Aggromance "Rotas cadenas" [HiedraH Club de Baile]
25. Astrosuka "Glotkka" [T R R U E N O]
26. Microhm "Stargazers" [Static Discos]