David Rudnick: We Live As One
For David Rudnick, there’s a dialogue that oscillates between music, images, sound, textures and spaces. Having created visuals for producers such as Evian Christ and Nicolas Jaar, over the years Rudnick has consistently fused his visual practice with sound, each informing the other in perfect symbiosis.
Rudnick is also the designer behind our latest merch collaboration, which captures the intensity and euphoria of the jungle genre. Accompanying the merch is Rudnick’s We Live As One mix, a cross-genre exercise which ties vintage and contemporary sounds with the thread of exhilarating jungle beats, celebrating the genre’s heritage while restoring its future-facing ethos.
While the genre is considered by some to be a quintessentially 90s movement, for Rudnick the sound is more potent than ever today, mirroring the current climate of political unrest in a digital age. “We live in a quite chaotic time of ruin and bloom,” he says. “The world is being reshaped visually around us in quite extraordinary ways, building an entirely new social model, re-picturing faster and faster the way that images work, music works and culture works. And that’s made jungle more and more relevant to me.”
An embroidered patch of Max Ernst’s masterpiece Europe After the Rain embellishes Rudnick’s collaborative collection with Crack Magazine. A desolate landscape of twisted wreckage paints the scene of the post-apocalyptic image, and it’s “this idea of epic verdant ruin, of some sort of blinding beauty out of the chaos” that Rudnick sees in jungle. The ways in which the music is formed from samples and polyrhythmic snippets, layered, re-cut, and “smashed into some kind of fusion reactor to create music for the future” reflects the idea of hope rising from the wreckage – envisioning the future by remixing the past. “For some people, fluorescent yellow will be strongly identified with rave and 90s aesthetics,” Rudnick explains. “For me, it’s the idea of pairing a Roman-esque inscription – something that might be thousands of years old – with something blinding, ultra-bright. It’s a representation of how jungle sounds to me. It’s this idea that jungle is always new.”
In Rudnick’s eyes, this look isn’t purely destined to live a damp life between warehouses and clammy after-hours. In fact, he would rather it was worn anywhere else – “Family dinner. Violent protest. Co-ordinated robbery. Christenings” – and he hopes the collection will retain a pure sense of wonder and discovery. “Throw it in the bin. Take it down to the charity shop,” he jokes. “I don’t think there’s a more beautiful, pure way to encounter something than to see it on a thrift store rack and have no fucking clue what it is or where it came from.” They belong, he says, in a “disregarded thrift store somewhere in the middle of fucking nowhere… For a designer, that’s the highest I can hope for.”