Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom The Days of Mars

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom The Days of Mars
Though the heads of DFA are known for their post-punk/disco portfolio, the roster they’re building on the label is becoming more and more diverse and intrepid and now they present their most interesting act yet: Delia & Gavin. A partnership between two multimedia artists (performance, video, dance and magic!), the team of New Yorkers Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom concoct a hypnotic listening experience that fails to assimilate with most modern electronic music. Boundless, mysterious and constantly in flux, the duo are continuously whispered in the same breath as Tangerine Dream, but in truth, there is more of a correlation to the horror soundtracks of Goblin than much else. "Rise” sounds like the wise choice for intro music to a zombie flick, with its intensely slow build of pulsating analogue sequences that never yields its creeping haunt. "13 Moons” follows suit with an ambience that is paralleled to and equally as magnetic as the theme music from Suspiria. "Relevee” lightens up on the spine-chills and explores more of an Aphex Twin ambient work, but it’s "Black Spring” that brings the comforting sounds, levelling out and ending on an appropriate and placid fade out. At 50 minutes in length and spread across four songs, The Days of Mars is a demanding listen, but its nebulous beauty makes this cosmic journey well worth the patience.

You’re both multimedia artists; how did making music together come to the forefront of your relationship? Delia: We both did music before we met — I danced to music and Gavin did these magic shows and he wrote songs for them. We started doing performances together and writing music and singing for the performances, and making videos and music for those. Music from day one was always an important factor in our relationship. It was a completely natural progression because we still make artwork together as well.

What made you design your own synthesisers? Gavin: The first one took about two years. I started from scratch etching circuit boards in a Tupperware pot in my kitchen for a while, though I’ve found better ways of doing it since. I was always interested in finding ways to make sounds that weren’t so dictated by what an instrument does, like modular synthesisers. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time and I had some books and sort of fantasised for a while about building things. I made some bizarre mistakes and blew things up and would light things on fire, but eventually I just started building the rudiments of a modular synthesiser. (DFA)