To Shock the Sky and Shake the Earth is a process of searching. It sees the Berlin-based artist navigating spaces between conventions, cultures, pressures and sounds. This informs their decision to release the EP through Resonate and a handful of independent platforms. On this decision, xin says: “I don’t believe that there should be one way to do anything, or in convention for convention’s sake. I’ve been thinking a lot about the ethics of making and releasing music, and trying to find less harmful ways of being in the world.”
This statement points towards growing dissatisfaction around independent music’s reliance on corporate monoliths, from Facebook to Spotify. xin’s decision is made as one gesture in a much broader, quickly-evolving discourse. xin’s particular approach is also evident in their production, which lacks consistent genre signifiers for listeners to grab ahold of. Tracks such as ‘Black Light Blind Fire’ and ‘Sucker’ lean on dance music’s lexicon, while ‘Aedes Splatter’ is comprised of shudders, sputters and hums. ‘To Shock the Sky and Shake the Earth’ is an unusual synthesis of varied sounds.
1: xin is a homonym for many different things
2: in Japan, you can rent family members, wedding guests, employees/customers and more.
3: people born after 1995 are far more likely to experience mental health issues than those born before
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
what it can do
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I stumbled into it a few different times as a kid, but that was always with acoustic instruments. I only got into making electronic music a couple years ago, after watching my friends produce. I’d wanted to learn for ages but didn’t have the guts to.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire
Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
Holly Herndon – Platform
Nina Simone – Silk & Soul
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
sun, green, space, music.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Miles Davis’s Agharta
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
hard to say, I probably don’t know them yet.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
also hard to say, probably the first time I saw the Sun Ra Arkestra
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, they support it.