The latest guest mix comes courtesy of Michael McGregor aka M / M.
The American producer has put together a shimmering mix of ambient treasures for Structure 013. McGregor, the absolute saint that he is, was also cool enough to answer some of my ultra mundane questions and put together a photo journal, a little visual day in the life of M / M. So yeah, you can listen to the mix, read our little q&a and peep McGregor’s exquisite photography skills below.
Riccardo Sinigaglia “Riflessi”
Keiko Abe “Dream of the Cherry Blossoms”
Georgia Kelly “Chinese Sunrise”
Broshuda “Vanilla Sneak”
Keiko Abe “Wind in the Bamboo”
Marion Browb “Sweet Flying Part 1”
Visible Cloaks “Moon”
Haroumi Hosono “The Truck on the Sea”
Michal Genest “Crystal Fantasy”
Don Muro “island in the sky”
Cluster “Es War Einamal”
Yutaka Hirose “In the Afternoon”
Barry Cleveland “Aeon”
Richard Burmer “solarsex”
Gary Burton/Pat Metheny/Mick Goodrick/Steve Swallow/Bob Moses “Jesus Maria”
Paul Motian Band “Yahllan”
Coil “the Dreamer is Still Asleep”
Sylvan Grey “Dreamlight”
Yoshio Ojima “Flius”
Claire Hamill “Spring: awaken (Larikrise)”
I Am Just A Pupil “Sunshine. My Heart. I Lay You Down.”
So many thanks for recording the mix, it has helped eased me through a few sleepless nights!! For the uninitiated out there, tell us a little about yourself? And, how long have you been making music for?
I’m Michael McGregor. I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, before spending most of the mid00s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. For the past 2 years I have been based in Mexico City, where I make music and paint in my bedroom. I’ve been making music since around 2007.
When you sent me the mix you named it “Dream Frequency Theatre”. Why did you name it that? What is the mix about?
I wanted to assemble a sort of night-time tone poem. A mix of relating frequencies and tonal qualities. The name is a play on The Theatre of the Eternal Music, who later became The Dream Syndicate — the troupe of LaMont Young, John Cale, Tony Conrad, Jon Hassell, and a bunch of other sensory trippers I can’t recall off the top of my head.
I’m a big Steve Roach fan so my initial thought for this mix was to take the sites name as literal inspiration. I’m also a notoriously poor sleeper so I spend a lot of nights awake watching movies, painting and listening to a lot of quite, tonal music to try to get me into slumber.
You also mentioned that you had just become a father (congrats!), and many of my good friends are new parents as well, so I know the sleeplessness you must be experiencing and I figured this mix could hopefully help out in those quiet hours.
What was the last record you bought? And where is your favourite spot to by records?
Fav place to buy records is probably Lighthouse Records in Tokyo. Amazing selection of ambient, outre pop, city pop, and baeleric japanese tunes.
What was the last book you read? And does literature influence your music at all?
I usually have a few open at once — recently i’ve been carrying Vestoj, a literary journal on which explores critical thinking in fashion. The latest edition is called “On Masculinities” and presents great essays on everything from Beard culture, to the Grey Suit, to fiction by Mark Twain and visuals from JeongMee Yoon’s dazzling “The Pink and Blue Project”.
Last year I started reading manga for the first time in my life and got really into it. Especially Inio Asano’s “Goodnight Punpun” a 13 volume series which is a a child who is, inexplicably, presented in bird form. (No one ever acknowledges his bird form. Everyone else is ‘human’.) Over the series it follows him from Elementary school to early 20s — through divorces, death, first loves, first sex, etc. Hilarious, devastating — the most accurate representation of adolescent angst, curiosity, anxiety, etc I’ve encountered.
I studied Literature and Writing in University so it’s a deep foundational apart of my life — so in that way, I don’t think it overtly influences my work, but it certainly is enmeshed in the mainframe of my experience — mushed up with travel, and movies, and food, and interactions — to me, that’s all apart of the human experience which is what influences me most.
What is your favourite film score of all time?
Really hard to say because I love so many but Joe Hisaishi’s score for A Scene at the Sea (directed by Takeski Kitano) has been slaying me lately. I had heard some of Hisaishi’s solo work, and was pretty familiar with his collaborations with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, but didn’t know about his long-running collab with Kitano.
A Scene at the Sea is about a deaf couple and surfing and life in a small town. It’s more or less silent, so Hisaishi’s score provides a lot of narrative structure and movement, alongside being smooth and bubbly and elegiac at once.
Whats yours favourite dish to cook?
The only thing I’m pretty good at cooking consistently is Gumbo. I spent some time in Louisiana in 2005 and developed a love for it. Making the roux takes forever, like 45 minutes of careful, consistent stirring to avoid it from burning. If it burns, it’s ruined so you have to pay a lot of attention. But then after all that, you can kinda chill and let all the other ingredients boil in the stew. Great in the winter, and for watching movies on Sundays with friends.
And finally, what you got planned for the rest of 2017?
I have my first solo art show in early August in Mexico City. Paintings and drawings. Other than that, not too sure — exploring the idea of moving somewhere new for a bit but just going where the wind blows at the moment.
** Shouts to Pablo Picasso + shouts to my new baby boy Teddy who seems to love this mix as much as I do.