Interview: SNS Sensation

The Infected sat down in lockdown and caught quiet whispers from beyond the pale, from the makers of one of the songs that has been haunting us these last days: Small World, by SNS Sensation.

This game of chess

ID

I am many, but even though I embrace this multiplicity, I can’t say there’s harmony there. The inability to accept defines me, and my work. Tension, not relaxation, is my conduit (a bit like Gene Hackman’s technique). 

Still I dream of disco, with wistfulness drawn in by osmosis.

The OUTSIDE is the source. I find energy (and most of my energy is creative) in the outside of equilibrium, of balanced environments, and the outside of myself too! Some of the many I am are found outside what you would call “oneself”. My most honest disguises are a creation from without. 

Yes, I am missing out on inner peace. Still, what I summon from the outside must somehow work within the inside, it needs that tension to thrive. 

I have not seen the ending. But I’ve felt it. It’s heartbreaking. 

The need to understand consumes most of my power. Most of the talented artists I have been lucky to know and collaborate with are naturally instinctual, but I have always been burdened with this rational ambition, which is a losing battle.

But it isn’t a purely negative thing. By relentlessly fighting this losing battle where reason is crushed, new victories of the spirit arise. And they are imbued with the fruits of such thorough defeat. It’s treason by stealth, that enriches the instinct with further complexity, with new dimensions of the unknown. 

The more complex the unknown, the more passionate the dance.

Music

Before, I used to feel more playful about the cultural crisis we were experiencing, so the balance of the music I used to listen to and make tended more toward desire than wistfulness. 

But the climax of this crisis in the last few years have been a real postmodern disappointment, so now I tend to appreciate and reconnect with darker shades in music (even in disco, which still defines me). Records such as Joy Division’s “Closer”, that had such an impact on me when I started listening to music, have been coming back to mind.  

Small World

Small World came into existence during lockdown. I was playing chess with death (not that I was ill or anything, it’s just something death and I do every now and again -like cos play for an Ingmar Bergman comic), and I realized something: however tough lockdown is, it is also revealing a more permanent confinement -now, that revelation is hardly joyful, but it can help us make some sort of sense of this uncontrollable situation and its helpless fear. 

I wrote Small World in lockdown. The best time hearing it was probably in bed at night though, checking the master, fully believing… 

For the music video, I considered how the different objects and areas of one’s home take on an attitude of their own around the question of confinement. The stairs, the mirrors, the drawers, the doors and windows – they are all whispering something to you… and I chose to listen.

I hope people will approach my creation with love in their ears, and lust in their eyes. I hope they will feel the sadness undercutting the paranoid, claustrophobic fear. And I hope that, after that, they will feel somewhat empowered by the catharsis. 

The mirror’s lies

The world

Everything in the world is old, specially most of the new stuff. Now for the outside, that’s a different, much more exciting story.

People shouldn’t have to drive to work, they should do most of the jobs online (whilst developing greener online technologies). Similarly, the world needs to understand that communication is better, not worse, without the threats that physical presence imply. These are practical examples of how out of date with the status of our own technological being the world is; technology feels old, but it isn’t, it’s us that choose to be.

The world beyond the screen, life within it, used to be a pretty big deal. My experience working in TV and with film crews was the first step toward the dismantling of that fantasy. 

This eventually led to its substitution for that otherness within, a threshold that can never be crossed, a volcano permanently erupting with a sort of burning fantasy that is still a pretty big deal to me.

Also, and linked to this, time travel was a pretty big deal to me. It sort of still is, but it’s different now. For example, the 80s nostalgia is lived through today now -our current projection of it. It is no longer the actual day to day reality of the 80s, which was a big deal to me before I thought it through… 

Talking about something that was a pretty big deal to me… Dulce de Leche could move me.

Nowadays though, it has to be mint. 

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