Call Super On Berlin’s Glory Days and His Exploratory House
The Berlin-based British producer returns with his second album of modern electronic music.
British producer Call Super's video for "I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Mirror" perfectly captures the early-morning randomness that comes with the search for the next party.
Filmed on an iPhone in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Prague, the video stars Call Super's younger cousin and friends at the end of a night out celebrating the end of school. As they hang from train straps and dance on railway platforms, the video seizes that fuzzed night to morning transition. Of being young, reckless and promised a half case of Heineken and tunes at a friend's friends apartment.
"I wanted something that I didn't get to go through in the summer after I finished school," explains Call Super aka Joe Seaton over Skype from his Berlin home. "There's something that changes as you get older and I wanted to capture something of that moment."
Call Super's upcoming album Arpo on Houndstooth, has Seaton developing the heady techno and house meanderings found on his 2014 debut Suzi Ecto. Though released on various formats, Seaton says that the vinyl pressing is the best way to experience his music. "On the a-side you go through every mood quite fast so it's almost confusing. But then you turn it over and the b-side begins with the same track the a-side started with. From that point it just drops into this world. It's like a collection of blurred images that are just wiped away and so the entry point is the beginning of the b-side."
Seaton was born and grew up in London but after finishing university was looking for something else. "I couldn't see much of a creative future in London. Anything creative would have been so built around making money and that becomes very restrictive. It pushes you in predetermined ways in the way you sell yourself and your work. So I came here to give myself freedom and grow. Berlin helped incubate that because it was empty and cheap."
Having lived in Berlin for close to ten years, Seaton has seen the city change with different waves of younger people arriving looking to both party and grow creatively. "Around 2006 it was still a very empty city. There was a lot of space and rubble. But in the era of cheap travel and mobility it's become a total magnet for young populations and that space has been filled in."
While he acknowledges that he too was once part of these young creative waves, the city's reputation resulted in a musical conservatism. "People come here with a lot of preconceptions, and people go out at night with preconceptions. So clubs operate with the same preconceptions. This engenders conservatism. I was first attracted to house and techno because they are the most undefined genres in a way. I don't hear them as 4/4 kick drums I hear them as a framework you can hang anything. You can play a BB King or reggae record and build it around a house and techno set and people will dance."
While it's been a while since his last record, Seaton says that he's enjoyed the flexibility of working as an independent electronic artist. "It's not like being in a band or having major label contracts. You can happily make club 12-inches your whole career and that's certainly what I did after Suzi Ecto. I waited until I had a clear vision as to how I wanted to follow the first album. The way I work is totally process led so once you have a cloud like and soft vision you can begin working on something."
The producer and DJ has created music under the names Ondo Fudd and Elmo Crumb, and released stuff on respected label Dekmantel and The Trilogy Tapes. Earlier this year he released the "Arpo Low" single that came with one of 200 ink drawings from his cover art project and in February released the Fabric 92 mix.
Seaton explains that Fabric was one of the first clubs he went to and that being to asked to be involved in their Mix series was an honour. "When the question was asked the immediate answer was "oh shit". Not only because the club had an influence on me but because the mix cd is now in the fading light of its arc as a medium. And this may be the only commercial mix CD I make as those days are kind of over."
Arpo' is available November 10 on Houndstooth.
Call Super is playing Pitch Festival 2018.