As we all wait diligently, with our hands neatly tucked beneath our thighs to prevent ourselves from pulling out all our hair, Caligo is shaping up. The teasers are out, the tweets are flying, the buzz is spreading, there’s really nothing left to do besides twiddle our thumbs and wait for maybe one more single.
The first single, “As I Need You,” was premiered on Annie Mac’s show last Friday. Featuring bright and beautiful female vocals, the tune is a brilliant modern take on neuro that incorporates a heavy amount of liquid elements, as well. The piano backing track is a wonderful melody accompanying the dark and sinister bassline; and as the track moves back and forth between “evil” and “good,” it leaves a heavy impression on the soul. It’s difficult to say what the rest of the album will sound like, but it’s good to know at least that the musicality that Jon Gooch has cultivated over the last decade and more is still as strong as ever.
As for the rest of Caligo, well… it’s going to be first released on Bittorent, featuring a “pay what you want” option.
Proud to say the initial release of Caligo will be through @BitTorrent. You'll be able to pay what you like, or not at all.
— Spor (@spor) February 15, 2015
It’s an interesting move, but according to Spor, one that made obvious sense.
Bittorrent seemed an obvious choice. The way we communicate as artists is constantly being questioned, and the ground we live on is in constant shift. Having the Spor album live as a self-sufficient shared container via Bittorrent, something that’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time, replicating and spreading – embodies the nature of Spor. It’s my underground self.
Vinyl lovers needn’t worry – the album will still be released in physical form later on.
Other formats, both physical and digital, will follow at a slightly later date.
— Spor (@spor) February 15, 2015
It will be released on Bittorrent on March 9th and digital stores on March 11th. Physical copies are still to be determined.
As for what else Spor is up to, he’s got a huge mix coming out on BBC1 in the next few hours (1am GMT).
— Spor (@spor) February 16, 2015
Spor, Jon Gooch, Feed Me, however you want to address him, has made no attempt to hide his counter-culture attitude, and everything about this album is a testament to that belief system. It’s something to be admired, and it would be nice if others were to embrace it as much.
I’ve often been asked about my ‘Drum & Bass persona’ Spor, but to me this isn’t what it is. I use it to tag, to draw under, to leave a mark, It’s the character I became by running a double life in online communities from when I was 15, building experience and attitude that eventually led me to a music network that embraced me for being a counter-culture misfit. The way underground scenes operate can be dog eat dog, but politics is just scaffolding around the structure, the heart of any scene is in the people who live it.
In this sense it’s something I have always lived. When you meet creative people it’s often quickly apparent whether they live their art – did they fight for it? It isn’t something you measure against success or statistics. There are transparent, hollow pretenders at every level of creative status. I know some. You probably follow some on Twitter.
When I meet people who like and support my art or music I’m often humbled by how much they live it, there’s a lot to be taken from seeing that trust. When so much around us is diluted and intangible now, a strong community or symbol really can help centre us.
D&B required me to fight, strive to improve my ability, my conviction. For you my output might look like a row of items on a table, equal and comparable, available for reference, but for me the music I’ve released as Spor looks like a slow climb up a sheer face. Some parts look painful and frustrating, others smooth travel. Now I’ve finally made a Spor album, in my own time, by my own choice. It was still a climb, but it sounds exactly how I always wanted.
The things I learned I carried into my other projects, and now I’m truly immersed in the masks I’ve made for myself. Maybe it’s narcissistic to constantly live in your own creations, but I don’t get to clock off or go home any more, it was a one-way ticket. I wouldn’t change anything though, I love it.
My own imprint and brand in the form of Sotto Voce was a natural choice to release the album under, but I wanted to reflect the story and philosophy of myself as Spor in the medium it was released in too. Bittorrent seemed an obvious choice. The way we communicate as artists is constantly being questioned, and the ground we live on is in constant shift. Having the Spor album live as a self-sufficient shared container via Bittorrent, something that’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time, replicating and spreading – embodies the nature of Spor. It’s my underground self.
You’ll be able to pay for Caligo if you want, or not pay. It will be up to you. Other formats and outlets will follow. For anyone that’s expressed excitement and support towards me, thank you.