The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Tome On The Range

Powell's Books: A Baker's Dozen Special Edition
Adam Lehrer , August 22nd, 2020 08:03

Electronic music producer Powell picks favourite books by Baudrillard, Derrida, Kafka, and Susan Sontag


Peter Sloterdijk, Bubbles
I got recommended this book by a friend of mine on the internet. He started sending me music and it happened that he used to study under Sloterdijk and recommended this to me when we were talking about Deleuze. This book has a lot to do with zones of intimacies, and the bubbles that we live within. He writes about intimacy between two people, and how that forms its own kind of bubble. I think these zones that define relationships and groups are very relevant right now. When I started working as an artist my bubble rapidly expanded. Suddenly I was making connections all over the world. And I think, in these last few years, I find myself more comfortable and content when I reduce the size of my bubble. My wife. My dog. My good friends. people I actually know rather than those I converse with on the internet. When I was young we used to go to amazing places that were instrumental in building dubstep and jungle. Feeling part of that space was amazing. But I feel more alienated than I did then. I don’t feel a particular sense of community around the things I do. I prefer to find that space over being thrown into it. 

I find that I don’t have much in common with people in the spheres that I’m in. Especially the art world. Lesser extent the music world. Do you find that you don’t have much in common, intellectually or politically, with the people in the culture industries?

Same, I don't really have any music friends anymore. I have a few, but I used to have hundreds of them. I’ve found that the biggest leaps I made in my work came when I really cut myself off from these bubbles. 

Was it a mostly good experience when you worked with Wolfgang Tillmans?

Wolfgang is a really close friend of mine now. It was an amazing experience to work with someone who is so talented within a different sphere. He’s a beautiful man. Tender and emotional. I’ve always had a bit of a front as a musician. He brought me into an emotional space. He’s such a successful artist but he found himself out of depth moving from art into music, so he was often leaning on me in ways I didn't quite expect. It was nice to be able to offer him something as well.