Like the music of many of his contemporaries, Ash Koosha’s sound exists in a world of collapsed boundaries. “I see the future as an amalgam of everything we once tried to define. Every line will blur, in gender, sexuality, genre, politics.” Koosha tells us. “We wont be able to hold on to the dogma that is ‘definition’.”
It’s an ambitious outlook, and one that fuels his output. The Iranian musician employs a destructive approach to production, similar to the likes of Arca or Angel-Ho, enhancing the physicality of his sound. This amorphous approach is driven by his intensely synesthetic mind. “Music is always presented as a wave line,” Koosha explains. “It’s as if it’s flat. That representation couldn’t be further from reality. Music in my mind has materiality and physicality. You can break it, throw it. I don’t control it obsessively, I direct the chaos.
This freedom to create, unfettered from reality, hasn’t come easily for Koosha. As a teen, he was briefly incarcerated in his native Tehran for hosting a gig with his former band Font. By the time he was granted asylum in the UK, Koosha tells us, the inability to perform had irrevocably shaped him. “The limitations either push you, or drag you into depression. In my case it made me more curious and dedicated.”
Koosha’s curiosity has pushed his work into new realms. His new, Ninja Tune-released album I Also Known As I, following last year’s debut GUUD LP, explores the duality of the self through glitchy bursts of colour and texture. A dizzying trip further into the rabbit hole of his sound, Koosha is also thrilled to be working alongside virtual reality.”It’s very similar to how I imagine sound objects,” he explains. “The wall between audience and sound is broken – you’re literally standing inside the music.” You can see why Koosha is enticed by the technology – it’s the full realisation of his approach, one entirely concerned with the new; designed to whisk us away from the rigidity of the physical world with exhilarating velocity.
Oneohtrix Point Never / Visionist