Interview: YACHT

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Los Angeles, California

YACHT is:

  • a musical band
  • post-internet mysticism
  • a multimedia dance sermon
  • a geo-specific iPhone app

The beautiful aliens of YACHT sat for a spell to talk to us about the sound the Universe makes and other real things.

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You guys have a predilection for getting to the bottom of things: “The earth is on fire, Put a beautiful thing in a container and it ruins it.” If you had to write some new laws of physics based on the everyday science of contemporary experience, what would you propose?

This is such a great question. These are the YACHT laws of (meta)physics: 

  1.  The Universe is completely indifferent to all human pursuits.
  2.  The Universe is infinitely expanding. Ergo: any human can lay  claim to being the center of the Universe.
  3.  You are the center of the Universe, but so is everyone else. 
  4.  That means nobody can reasonably tell you what you can (or can’t)  do. 
  5.  It also means you can’t dictate anyone else’s reality.

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What are your favorite sounds that are not musical in nature?

The crazy-making hum of overhead power transformers, the boing of a doorstop, the inquisitive chirp of a domestic cat. 

Is there a natural phenomena that you feel has the most bearing on the human psyche? 

The solar wind. 

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What is the best thing to see in the audience from the stage?

Faces lit up from below by an ocean of tiny screens.

I once read about a Light Chamber in the midwest or maybe it was Florida that was essentially a little box of meditative sounds and flashing lights that was supposed to cure neurological disorders. The man that built it was at least 100. Do you feel there are healing properties in an exacting combination of light and sound?

We are in the constant pursuit of the most physiologically pleasing music. There must be a frequency that is universally healing, universally enjoyable, on a neurological level that bypasses all individually subjective taste. There are many conspiracy theories and crackpot hypotheses about this kind of thing—many people believe that 432 Hz tuning is the fundamental “beat” of the planet, a kind of God note pushed out of conventional music by the New World Order. We don’t buy that, necessarily, but it’s a subjective idea. YACHT strives for universal, collective experience. That’s why we make music you can dance to. 

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What is your favorite city and what do you love the most about it? 

Los Angeles, because is it the seat of all myth-making in the West. There are qualities to this city — light, color palette, dimensions — that anyone weaned on cinema is already innately familiar with, which makes it always uncanny to new visitors. At the same time, it has no real or central identity, which means it’s pliable to any individual’s vision or experience of it. We also just really, really like tooling around on the freeway, taking in the visual language of Los Angeles. It’s endlessly inspiring in its simultaneous ugliness and beauty. 

What is your favorite new slang or the most common words in your lexicon?

You know that slightly resistant, mutely flocked kind of rubber that seems to cloak a lot of handheld technologies these days? We call that “shark-dick.” Discovering it in the world is a joy. 

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Is there an architectural or synesthesic element to song-making? 

Every song is different. At least for us, in process. Some are highly technical —they come together from meticulous piecing-together over the course of months. Others just happen, in a moment, with elements that emerge from nowhere and feel universally right to everyone in the group.  

How do you make the time to create/dream/ponder/wander/do everything/nothing/eat/sleep/love when you’re on the road? What is your time-management energy-font secret?

We have no choice. Being on the road is a state of being that you have to accept as a baseline before you can build anything else on top of it. Once you are accustomed to a perpetual condition of flux, then it’s just like regular life: you eat when you’re hungry, you seek out experiences that will make the whole thing memorable, you love and dream while the world passes by your windows. We support one another and bond closely while we’re on tour. And every night is different, an influx of people and their energies who are there to experience the thing we’re doing, which is really galvanizing. 

How do you stay so inspired on tour? 

We have each other. 

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Angelenos: You can download Claire and Jona’s app to your pocket television and see your city like they do. 

                                                        All photos of YACHT were found here.


The Gamelatron takes to the trees. 


Paco and the other men in the de Lucía family playing bulerías.


New York City

John Fahey made his guitar sound open as the American West, and with his hands he massaged an aural optimism from wood and metal that had seen the darkness, but decided to remain in light, as they say.

Tonight at Ace Outpost NYC Steve Lowenthal will be launching his biography Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey. David Fricke is going to say a little something. Music. All of it.  


Downtown Los Angeles
Are you a person, dear reader? Well well. Good news. Along with JD Samson, we’re throwing a Pride party for people. It’s the first leg of our four-stop tour to bring everyone we can together to dance and smile and love and sweat. If you can’t wait till this weekend, JD made a mix called — and for — All of Us. It just keeps getting better. See you on the dance floor. 

Downtown Los Angeles

Are you a person, dear reader? Well well. Good news. Along with JD Samson, we’re throwing a Pride party for people. It’s the first leg of our four-stop tour to bring everyone we can together to dance and smile and love and sweat. If you can’t wait till this weekend, JD made a mix called — and for — All of Us. It just keeps getting better. See you on the dance floor. 


Downtown Los Angeles

Last night in LA, Swedish siren Lykke Li enchanted a sold out audience at The Theatre, and we’re still basking in the glow of her spell. We’ve been waiting months for this moment, and L.L.’s command of the space was awe-inspiring — the elegant bluster of her voice convincingly taking over every corner of the house. Think we might have fallen a little bit more in love with you, Lykke Li. Is it too soon to do it again?

Photos by Makiko Wakita.


México / Palm Springs 
Festival NRMAL made an epic Desert Gold mixtape. Soundcloud it here. 

México / Palm Springs 

Festival NRMAL made an epic Desert Gold mixtape. Soundcloud it here


Chicago, IL

We thought you might like to know that Merge released the debut 7” by Ex Hex today. “Hot and Cold,” here, is the A-side.
Tonight they start off their tour in Chicago before heading east. 


London, UK
Throughout the ’90s and early ’00s, American experimental music treasure William Basinski operated a now-mythical avant-garde incubator beside the East River in North Williamsburg — a studio and performance space that played early host to Diamanda Galás, Antony and countless others. Arcadia closed its doors for good in 2008, but London’s Art Assembly brought Basinski out to co-curate a series of Arcadia-inspired music and live art events in London — including a host of pretty spectacular shows at Ace London.
The mini-fest kicked off tonight and continues through March 20. We’ll be hosting several shows Downstairs — Basinski and James Elaine’s Melancholia film shorts, Julia Kent, Paul Prudence and more — plus Janek Schaefer's sound installation Lay-by-Lullaby will be posted up in the lobby throughout. More details are available at our calendar.

London, UK

Throughout the ’90s and early ’00s, American experimental music treasure William Basinski operated a now-mythical avant-garde incubator beside the East River in North Williamsburg — a studio and performance space that played early host to Diamanda Galás, Antony and countless others. Arcadia closed its doors for good in 2008, but London’s Art Assembly brought Basinski out to co-curate a series of Arcadia-inspired music and live art events in London — including a host of pretty spectacular shows at Ace London.

The mini-fest kicked off tonight and continues through March 20. We’ll be hosting several shows Downstairs — Basinski and James Elaine’s Melancholia film shorts, Julia KentPaul Prudence and more — plus Janek Schaefer's sound installation Lay-by-Lullaby will be posted up in the lobby throughout. More details are available at our calendar.


Downtown LA
Now playing at LA Chapter.

Downtown LA

Now playing at LA Chapter.


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