Keep Worrying, Details to Follow: An Interview with Bonnie Baxter of Prolaps — THOUGHT ROT

Prolaps’ Ultra Cycle Pt. 1: Vernal Birth is music to asphyxiate to.

A collaboration between Bonnie Baxter of Kill Alters and Matt Stephenson of Machine Girl, Ultra Cycle Pt. 1: Vernal Birth is the first of four seasonally-driven installments. The complete Ultra Cycle is eight hours of “auditory self-flagellation,” released in two-hour segments on the Vernal Equinox (March 20), Summer Solstice (June 20), Autumnal Equinox (September 22), and Winter Solstice (December 21), respectively.

“The eight-hour Ultra Cycle is a punishment for humanities’ crimes against the earth and the environment,” says Baxter, gravely. “We want people to get lost in it, resulting in spiritual enlightenment, madness, or both.”

So launches a schizophrenic circus of gleeful glitch and maddening itch. Ultra Cycle Pt. 1: Vernal Birth is aural indigestion, artful abrasion, a hiccuped sense of doom. “ PLUR Mud” conjures images of rapid mastication, the bounce of neon bubblegum. “ Internal Alchemy” is, meanwhile, the murmur of microbes, dancing in spite of their vessel in decay. “ Lizard Attachment “ is groping a doorknob in the dark. It is circuitry gone sick.

Of course, reducing music to language is always a shame. Baxter seems to know this instinctively. Nevertheless, we discussed her spiritual partnership with Stephenson, in service of the Ultra Cycle.

How did you two meet? What inspired you two to collaborate?

Bonnie Baxter: We met at a retreat on Hoclaros. We decided to collaborate because our frequencies aligned while in a deep astral meditation.

Can you tell me a little bit about the Ultra Cycle Keep Worrying, Details to Follow” is such a strong opening track. I’d love to get some insight into that opening sample: “If you’re destroying all life on earth, don’t you think a little guilt is appropriate?” How did you go about selecting samples for this album? series, and how that concept came about? What does the eight-hour Ultra Cycle mean to you?

BB: We had an abundance of improvised material and decided to release a bunch of it in large chunks to encourage a deeper listening experience. The seasonal theme came naturally when we decided to make it a series pertaining to the many layers of cycles in life.

How do you two interact and contribute during the recording process?

BB: The opening sample is from this YouTube channel called The Angelic Initiative, which is a mother-daughter led “church” that they run out of their house in Florida. We chose the opening sample because, to us, the overindulgence and relentlessness of the eight-hour Ultra Cycle is a punishment for humanities’ crimes against the earth and the environment. So we felt her statement set the stage for this auditory self-flagellation.

Who are your sonic influences?

BB: The eight-hour Ultra Cycle is meant to be taken in as a single massive piece of music. The length of the Ultra Cycle is a conscious compositional choice on our part. We want people to get lost in it, resulting in spiritual enlightenment, madness, or both.

Where do your individual visions for the series converge and/or conflict?

BB: All of the music was recorded in jam sessions, and then we later went through and cut out the parts we really liked. We started off jamming without limitations, but as we kept jamming, we started setting rules to follow, like no drums or percussion, or limiting the amount of sounds or instruments we could use. We recorded about 30 hours worth of stuff, and are going to record more before the final mix is released.

What can we expect from the next three albums in the series?

BB: We were inspired by Yamataka Eye’s DJ mixes, Autechre, Krautrock, 90s R&B, rave music, and sound collage music. We also discovered Legowelt samples, which were a lot of fun to work with while jamming.

Current obsession?

BB: There’s no room for conflict in the Ultra Cycle.

BB: It’s hard to say, exactly, because we still have so much music to go through. The next mix is done, though, and if you liked Vernal Birth, you’ll dig this one.

BB: We’re obsessed with birds.

Listen to Ultra Cycle Pt. 2: Estival Growth HERE

Discover tangible THOUGHT ROT HERE

Originally published at https://thought-rot.net on June 4, 2021.

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Lydia Sviatoslavsky is a San Francisco-based writer and research assistant. Find her latest work on her arts & culture blog, thought-rot.net. @rot_thought.

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Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky is a San Francisco-based writer and research assistant. Find her latest work on her arts & culture blog, thought-rot.net. @rot_thought.

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