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An Interview with Pursey! Futuretech, and the Original Source of Power; Cassettes for Me May Release!

This article is from Analog Revolution Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 Summer 2022

He’s weird, he’s prolific, he’s the most talented musician Wesley Berrien knows, and futuretech is a genre of music he invented just now. This ain’t your grandma’s hyperpop, it’s Pursey, and he recorded a country trap song that predates Old Town Road.

Ryan Stoyer has known Pursey for many years now and was thrilled when he agreed to sit down for an interview and account for what he has done with his MIDI controller.

R: What gives you the right?
P: Hahaha, I do.

R: That’s super valid. What I mean by that is that you’re putting out some bold music and we appreciate it.
P: Word, I appreciate that perspective.

R: So where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
P: I actually grew up in Canton, Georgia, went to Woodstock High School, and currently I’ve moved back there.

R: Given the boldness and variety of your output, are there any artists you consider influences?
P: Yeah, probably people like Arca. In terms of like the total production brain aspect of it. That’s where I come from when I’m making a lot of the music– it’s more about how to make the sound crazy sounding. Arca is probably the biggest influence there. Then stuff I grew up listening to, like Death Grips.

R: What is Futuretech?
P: It is a genre I invented just now. That’s just what I was calling what I did at one point in time. It sort of ended up becoming hyperpop, but I just didn’t know that that was a thing. Then after I found out about Hyperpop I was like “wait, I can move into this lane.” I wouldn’t say I’m a Hyperpop artist, but the philosophies of that genre I’m certainly heavily influenced by.

R: What are some of the characteristics of Hyperpop that you would associate yourself with or relate to?
P: I would say the main thing is taking a bunch of different genre influences like electronic music and pop-punk, and then maybe doing something weird to the vocals, that’s Hyperpop. But I try to mix genres between each other, or just let my influences as a whole ooze into the music, so those are the parallels I would draw between myself and the genre.

R: Yeah I would say that’s very evident on tracks such as Country Rap Yee-haw.
P: Word! Aye, bro I recorded that song before Lil Nas X came out with that one country rap song, and I was like “Oh shit, I was doing the country trap thing first.”

R: Oh, that’s awesome. I love the high contrast of so many of the tracks, there’s definitely an intentionality of blending genres, and shoving things together and feeling the force of it.
P:I try to do whatever feels right at the moment. I find that I do my best stuff when I’m not trying to do one thing. Sometimes I’ll be like “I’m gonna make a rock song, or I’m gonna make a hip-hop beat.” But so many of my best songs are totally off the wall like “Alright I’m gonna put autotune on my acoustic guitar, pitch it up a little bit, and then do weird crazy vocal harmonies then make a drumbeat on the desk and my metal lamp. Stuff like that is what I try to go for.

R: Which song are you referring to, because that was very specific P: That is a song I did called “It’s been a chilly Decade” It’s an older one, if I can say that. I sort of can at this point.

R: Yeah, that’s on I am human and I love humans. Yeah, track two. P: Yes, that’s probably one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever done.

R: When did you start releasing music with this project? Was there a catalyst that caused you to start releasing music as a solo artist?
P: So I started doing the Pursey thing somewhere in 2016. As far as a catalyst goes, not necessarily, I just want to make sounds and put them somewhere on the internet, and no one necessarily has to listen to it, but at least it’s there for me and off my hard drive.

R: Can you talk about your creative processes a little more? It’s evident you have more than one approach, so where do you start?
P: Yeah I can have more than one. On the most concrete level I like to start out with either a rhythm idea or sometimes I’ll just play a melody on a keyboard and that will go for a song, but usually I’m starting out making a beat or trying to get some kind of rhythm going. That’s usually my starting spot. Sometimes I’ll record stuff with microphones, then manipulate that and that’s the recording, but usually I have a midi controller up and get the juices flowing.

R: Do you write lyrics beforehand sometimes? Or is it all off the cuff? What’s the ratio there like?
P: I would say 9.9 times out of 10 it’s off the cuff. The lyrics aspect is actually not something I’m super focused on, that’s just with me and music in general. I like songs with singing and lyrics more than just instrumental, but I’m not always paying attention to what the lyrics are or what they’re saying. So when I do my own music, I’m almost alway stream of consciousness. Or I’ll type something out and try to fit it into this music part, and if it fits, it fits.

R: It’s clear that you definitely use your voice as an instrument, the sound, the texture, and the quality of it.
P: I try to, yeah.

R: In what ways did your time with Extrania influence your approach to music.
P: Almost all of it. That was certainly a pivotal moment in my musical journey, I call it the nexus point. I feel like I was one way before it and then after it I was completely different in terms of writing music. It helped me further figure out how to write a song. Before then I sort of knew how to write a song, but after Extrania I was like “This is how you write songs.” In any genre, you do what you want with the structure, but I understood how to make a bop at least.

R: In what ways has your music evolved in the six years since you started this project?
P: Trying to become more of an appreciator of different kinds of music. During Extrania I was mostly into just metal, with a couple exceptions here and there, like Crystal Castles or something like that. I was like “Metal is the best thing and I’ll never not love metal the most of all time, forever.” That changed over time as I got into pop music, jazz, electronic music, experimental music, and music from around the world. I think that’s the biggest factor in the evolution of my music. Specifically music from around the world is what I’m most fascinated by. Anything that’s outside conventional western music, I want something else.

R: Do you have a track you would say you’re most proud of?
P: Definitely that song I mentioned earlier, It’s been a chilly decade. I like a lot of the newer stuff that I’ve done. I took a hiatus from some point in 2018 until like 2020. A lot of the newer stuff I’m fucking with. I think I came out with a song called No and then in parenthesis, there’s something else.

R: No (Stress at All)! With Sustainable Indemnity
P: Yeah, that’s a song I’m pretty proud of. On that track I actually was trying to make a hyperpop-type song. It ended up sounding a little weirder, which is just fine with me.

R: On that note, have you ever considered doing a greatest hits compilation, or a distilled Pursey if you will.
P: I’ve thought about that if I were ever to put my music up on spotify, just so there’s not like thirty releases by this Pursey dude. I have thought about it, but there’s no definitive “I will or I won’t.” because I might just upload everything I have on spotify, who knows.

R: I was talking to Wesley Berrien yesterday, he called you the most talented musician he knows.
P: Oh my God, that’s insane!

R: Who is the most talented musician you know?
P: If I can give you two, then probably Dariush Mirsajedin and Noah Estrella. They blow my mind every time they pick up instruments, so I’d probably say those two.

R: Have you been listening to Cozm and Naught?
P: I’ve seen them play at least twice, every time that stuff’s crazy.

R: The one they put out January 28 this year is really good, it is dirty. I will say, Noah came up to the Ellijay Makerspace last December and helped me with the soundtrack to my short film The Prophet of Cohutta. I just posted on instagram asking “Who wants to help me make a soundtrack?” and Noah responded, so I hit the absolute jackpot with this.

P: He’s been building up his repertoire even, he can bust on the guitar and the drums now, he’s gone full on with it.

R: It’s been incredible seeing his development since 2015 or whenever I first met him and started seeing Delphinium play. P: He’s always blown my mind and he still does.

R: I’m really stoked to see him play at the Gilmer Arts Playhouse this Saturday. I’m really grateful he agreed to play for us.
R: Do you have an arch nemesis?

P: Nah, I like everyone basically. Even people who have wronged me in the past, I’m like. “Oh, it’s okay, it was just that time that place when that happened and it’s cool now.”

R: Why do you make music?
P: It’s just something I gotta do man.

R: I think that’s really evident.
P: That’s probably the most cliched answer, but I’ve found over time it’s the most accurate. I just like to noodle around on my instruments, and sometimes I’ll just be noodling around, and I’m like “ooh that was a good one.” but I’m not very good at remembering what I just did on the instrument to then go record it. At whatever point I started doing the Pursey thing I was like, alright I have to do this. This whole music project was basically just an attempt to capture those ooh moments. If I wasn’t recording the songs I’d still be messing around going ooh, so it’s something I’m always going to be doing to some capacity.

R: Have you performed since the Honey I’m Sick show on September 19, 2018?
P: Oh my god, he’s going Nardwuar on me. Nah I guess I haven’t. I did an open mic night one time, but that was on my 21st birthday, which is before that. Sorry I keep declining to do a show at your guys’ place, but especially doing the solo stuff, it’s a little too much of a thing I obsess about beforehand.

R: You got any shout outs for any Atlanta musicians?
P: I’m very bad at actually keeping up with what’s happening around the city, so besides whatever Dariush and Noah are up to, I’d say Krista/Lil Heart Eyes/Mitaya. I find her stuff very interesting as well.

R: Yeah, Lil Heart Eyes just dropped a new song today, and she actually played at our show on April 23rd. She also played at the grand opening of the Ellijay Makerspace in your place since you declined, along with Michael Cera Palin.

P: I’m glad they’re still kicking around too.

R: That was their first show in over two years, and then they just put out a song they recorded in our studio in Ellijay as part of a split release yesterday or two days ago with Camp Trash, Weatherday, and Oolong. We’re bringing Analog Revolution Records back.
P: That’s cool, I respect that.

R: What are some of your favorite releases this year, from anyone? P: Do you know about that Black Country New Road? They just came out with an album called Ants from Up There. It’s super super good. It’s like post-punk chamber music fusion. It’s phenomenal. And then the new Big Beef album New Dragon Warm Mountain I believe in You. It’s a sick indie-folk semi-country album. Then the other one is Man Plays the Horn by Cities Aviv. Cities Aviv is a crazy abstract hip-hop rapper dude. Unfortunately they’re all kind of long, but I like that.

R: You’ve had five different releases this year alone, how many more are on the horizon? How far in advance do you plan your releases?
P: It kind of just happens whenever it happens, but in 2020 I wanted to release something once a month for the entire year so I’d have twelve releases. Back then I wanted to do entire albums and Iwas like “This is impossible.” So I stopped, but this year I realized I was sort of on track to do that without planning, so now I’m trying to at least do that. And I’ll probably just do a song or a couple songs every month this year, so hopefully I’ll have seven more releases this year. They’ll probably just be single tracks, or maybe an EP. I don’t know if I’m done trying to make a 13 track album, but that’s just a lot.

R: Or a 31 track album!
P: Word, those are honestly mostly compilations of things that are sitting on my harddrive that need to get off it. The I’m Human I love Humans album was essentially that, then I have done an actual archival album which was just dead beats on my harddrive that I wasn’t going to do anything with. Usually those super long ones are very sporadic, there was no forethought into what actually went on to those logistically speaking.

R: What do you have to say about your release The Original Source of Power?
P: Aye, that one is also one of my favorite releases I did. It might even be my last full length album I put out. That one is a super high conceptual album, I think the story is attached on the page for it as well.

R: Yeah, we just made Dan Wilson, former drummer for Like Mike read the description to that out loud about an hour ago.
P: Let’s go! The reason I made that album is that my friend was working on some kind of AI sound generator bot because he wanted some music to play while he and his friend played Magic: The Gathering for like five hours straight on a daily basis and I was like, “Oh I can make some fucking dungeon music and you can feed it into your AI bot.” But he was never able to get the actual bot running so I was just like “Alright I have this album of weird ass tracks now.’ That one I’m pretty proud of. I was like “It’s not gonna be a rock album or a hip-hop album.” I felt like a straight up composer, I was like “Boom! Hit ‘em with the bells, hit ‘em with the timpani, hit ‘em with the bit-crusher, shrieking sounds.”

R: That one’s definitely a stand-out. Very Dungeons and Dragons. P: I was trying to make Dungeon Synth basically. It’s like an off- shoot from Black Metal, but it’s ambient D&D-type sounding music. I wanted to do an updated version of that because I don’t really have the actual equipment you would need to make the lo-fi-grade, ‘correct” dungeon synth music. I was like, nah, I’m gonna make Dungeon-MIDI.

R: About six months ago you released a video for your song Fade In. Is there hope for any more video content for your fans?
P: Maybe, that was sort of just an experiment. It’s just random clips I assembled. I might not do another video again, but if I do I’ll try not to have so many cuts. I see myself doing a one-take and then putting a sound over it, but no immediate plans for video content, no.

R: Where can people find your music, where can people find you?
P: My Bandcamp is and then I’m on Instagram a lot @purseyswag.

Cassette Tracklist
sometimes i want to make it make me scared
get her down
metal gear
having fun on the internet
pythagorean hologram
1am adult swim
personality needs to be fire if you’re fire
sustainable indemnity
fade in ~ the nexus of desire
country rap — yeehaw
hardcore folk punk america is a naughty little country elon musk conducting twitter operations from hollow earth
it was lust

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