Claire Morgan has been honing an extensive record collection since starting out in her native Australia, where she began her musical life as a composer before going on to study orchestral composition and work as a film and TV composer in Sydney. Now based in Berlin, her home for nigh on six years, she's continued her techno explorations, drawing on her deep affinity for melody, harmonic progression, and moody soundscapes. Her mixes have a cinematic quality, with narrative arcs and a sense of drama, blending slick, dexterous techno, acid, trance, breakbeat, electro, and Detroit soul.
After a breakout 2018 that saw her close Berghain twice (she also closed Panorama Bar in 2015) and drop her debut solo outing, Inexorably—a teaser for a longer-form project on the way—she's established a reputation as one of Australia's most promising exports. She's now set for a stellar 2019, with production work on the way and a jam-packed touring schedule that's taking her all across Europe and the world. And what better way to start it than an XLR8R podcast?
Morgan's podcast, as she explains below, was recorded last week in Berlin, acting as a cathartic release following a tough start to 2019. Using Efdemin's latest album, New Atlantis, as a starting point, Morgan takes the listener on a volatile ride through deep and pensive dub, gritty breaks, and searing, emotive techno.
What have you been up to recently?
I’m back in Berlin after my beloved annual Aussie Summer tour. 2019 got off to a rocky start but things are rolling nicely now and it is looking like a super year ahead.
When and where was this mix recorded?
Last week in my studio in Berlin. I was completely pissed off after KLM lost my suitcase and basically all my material possessions. Gone forever. KLM is not liable and I, unfortunately, fell through a loophole in my own insurance. Zero compensation from anyone for all my lost belongings.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
My initial intention was to reflect the new year and the fresh energy that brings. Life had other ideas though and 2018 (very tough year) held on for a bit longer than anticipated! So the mix opens with a "new dawn" vibe then grouches around some gritty breakbeats for a bit, gets emo, has a tantrum, and then heals itself with some soaring good stuff at the end. It’s better and more honest for me to simply express what’s inside, even if that is not necessarily a smart choice, or good for "business." I was feeling like a Zen master at the end of this mix. Thank you, music.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
My starting point was Efdemin’s new album, New Atlantis. I am a fan of all his many projects but this album struck a chord with how I was feeling. Seeing as this is XLR8R, I also included some US artists I love—Fugal, Matrixxman, D.Dan, Kyle Geiger. I like that a lot of the artists in this mix are kickass new talents, alongside legends Kirk Degiorgio and Random XS.
What’s next on the horizon?
This weekend is the release party for Efdemin’s aforementioned album in Berghain. Looking forward to some great club shows over the coming month at Blitz and De School, and it's my first time playing Awakenings and The Crave festivals this summer. Studio-wise, I have been writing mostly classical/electronic crossover stuff and composing on piano for the first time since I was in school. It’s feeling natural and I’m looking forward to releasing this music later in the year.
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