Elysia Crampton playing RBMA in NYC this month, Toronto’s Unsound fest in June (stream her LP)
That process continues with American Drift, and with her growth as an artist and performer as a whole. While she grew up playing in bands and enjoyed the high of playing live, the performance of her written and sampled electronic music has been “trial and error.” “I learned that clubs and bars are not necessarily my space,” she laughs. “I’m finally finding my place in this live setting that incorporates the use of spoken word as well as musical performance,” crafting a space that is part scholastic salon, part art venue and part club. “I never thought that I would have to create a new space like that, but maybe it’s part of queer experience,” she says. “You can’t do otherwise — your existence is curating a new space. If you don’t follow that through, you can’t live successfully or get the most out of life.”
“I’m hoping in the future, even in the next few years, we see spaces popping up,” pointing to what Ashland Mines (aka Total Freedom) was doing with his Wildness parties, the spiritual forebear to Venus X’s GHE20G0TH1K movement, as an example. “With new spaces we can engage with things in new ways and express new ideas and find a space for grievance to exit and make sense of life.” Beyond the complicated, complex questions of narrative, brownness, geology, politics, education, history or any of the things of which we spoke, that seems to be what Elysia Crampton is doing with her music, at her core: just trying to make sense of life.
The above quote is from a 2015 profile on sample/electronic/experimental artist Elysia Crampton that FACT published around the time she released her four-song debut album American Drift on Blueberry Recordings. As you can probably tell from that writeup, it's quite an interesting piece of work. If you're unfamiliar, stream the whole thing below.
Elysia has two upcoming dates at the moment. One is part of NYC's Red Bull Music Academy, which is currently underway. She plays the N.A.A.F.I show during the 'NON vs. N.A.A.F.I' night on May 20 at Tropical 128 (128 Elizabeth St in Manhattan) with Rabit, Gaika and Scraaatch. That's the late show, with the NON show happening earlier at New Museum with Chino Amobi, Nkisi and Angel-Ho. Here's the show description:
Following their revolutionary NON vs. N.A.A.F.I mixtape, Red Bull Music Academy teams up with the pair of genre-defying global labels for a night of radical statements in sound. The event kicks off with a joint presentation by RBMA and the New Museum, where NON representatives Chino Amobi (Virginia, USA), Nkisi (London, UK) and Angel-Ho (Cape Town, South Africa) come together for the first time ever in a special collaborative performance that folds the music of the African diaspora and next-level club beats into a fractured and hyperreal future vision. The afterparty will see NON joined by representatives from Mexico City’s groundbreaking party and label N.A.A.F.I (“No Ambition and Fuck-all Interest”). The crew will challenge the dancefloor with the latest missives from the Latin-American underground, alongside Tri Angle’s Texas-born experimental grime visionary Rabit, Bolivian-American sonic collage artist Elysia Crampton, London art rap wizard Gaika, and Philly duo Scraaatch.
Tickets will be available at the door for each show.
Elysia Crampton's other upcoming show is a set at Toronto's Unsound Festival, which happens from June 10-26 with Sunn O))), Evian Christ, Tim Hecker, The Bug, Jlin, Lotic and more. Full lineup and ticket info here.
Stream American Drift: