Words by:

Manchester-based DJ, producer and illustrator Murlo builds his own alternate realities.

Since his debut in 2011, he’s inhabited a fantastical pocket of electronic music, weaving shimmering R&B hooks, misty textures and baseline futurism to commanding effect. This year saw him release his long-awaited debut album Dolos, an audiovisual odyssey following a lone protagonist through a bleak, dystopian metropolis. We spoke to him about the records that inspired his otherworldly visions.

A soundtrack that made me fall in love with video games

Ridge Racer on PSP [Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, 2004]. It got me crazy-hyped and made me realise that video game soundtracks are a work of art. A lot of tracks on it are inspired by jungle. I used to play that video game mainly so I could hear those songs again.

An album that had an irreversible impact on me

At the Drive In’s Relationship of Command [Fearless Records, 2000] left a massive imprint on me. I was completely obsessed with that album. It’s funny, actually, because I listened to it recently and it’s aged so well. A lot of music I grew up with makes me slightly cringe, but this holds up. I wasn’t very sociable in school – I was totally introverted and just used to stay in my room drawing, so I think I was drawn to music that sounded angry. I haven’t connected with an album as intensely since.

An album that helps me escape reality

Glass Swords by Rustie [Warp, 2011]. There was a moment in time where I used to listen to that album everyday because I was working in a t-shirt shop. My days were really slow so it helped me escape mentally. I was just folding t-shirts all day and was slowly going crazy.

The first club track I ever connected with

Where I grew up in the Midlands, every night revolved around chart music. When I went down to university I started going to clubs. I remember hearing Heartbroken by T2 [All Around the World, 2007] and was instantly obsessed. It was a bassline song that got really huge and ended up in the charts. I was constantly requesting it at clubs, and being a DJ now, I realise I must have been really annoying.

An album with a visual aesthetic that struck me

First Opus by Sinjin Hawke [Fractal Fantasy, 2017]. The roll-out for that was incredible. It had a website where you could go and alter this CGI head into different light. I’ve never seen visuals like this that worked really well on different platforms. In the last few years, it’s definitely the one release that struck me as really confident and complete.

If I could only ever listen to one song ever again, it would be…

Green by Hiroshi Yoshimura [Sona Gaia, 1986]. I came across it randomly on a YouTube playlist a few years ago and then it opened this whole new world up to me. I’ll put it on while I work or any time I’m overwhelmed. It’s just amazing.

Dolos is out now via Coil Records