David August
David August

David August

Territory: Italy

Performance: Live | DJ set

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It was an embrace of emotionality and subconscious communication that prompted David August's artistic evolution. The Italian-German composer, DJ, label-owner and multi-instrumentalist has been releasing music since he was a teenager in Hamburg, but it took self-evaluation and a re-examination of his priorities for August to lean towards the future and follow his most experimental inclinations. In 2023, his output is harder than ever to define, stretching across genres and disciplines to chafe the heart of the human experience, but it wasn't always this way. August had a rigorous academic musical education, learning the piano at age five and experimenting with electronic composition when he was a little older. And when he was dazzled by club sounds as an adolescent, he worked impulsively, training himself to DJ and produce lithe dance floor material without necessarily questioning why.

August picked up steam in the early 2010s, gaining global acclaim when he performed a dazzling solo session for Boiler Room. But he still felt some emotions remained hidden in his work; his artistic language was still in development, even if his aesthetic was seemingly well-defined. A turning point came when he established the 99CHANTS label, an open-minded platform that has offered him the opportunity to work with esteemed artists like Lena Platonos, Ron Trent and Giulio Aldinucci, simultaneously promoting lesser-known figures such as Louis Sterling or post-minimalist heroine Bunita Marcus.

2022's 'Imaginary Landscapes' non-profit compilation was a particular high-point, asking artists KMRU, Kareem Lotfy, Yu Su, Liila and others to consider the concept of movement and change. August minted the label in 2018 with his own beatless 'DCXXXIX A.C.', an album that revealed a new facet of his artistic identity. That same year, he put out 'D'ANGELO' on PIAS, showing his ability to balance between two distinct worlds, re-introducing rhythm as an expression of humanity rather than a stylistic necessity.

Then, when the world went on pause in early 2020, August had the chance to question the role of music and art during a global crisis, and develop his craft more holistically.
A spell in central Italy gave August the opportunity to dive into study and experimentation, exploring ancient philosophy, mysticism and quantum physics while he attempted to map these ideas out sonically in his home studio. He began to see himself as an observer rather than the protagonist and attempted to tune in with the unexplainable through sound, instead of merely using established language to tell his stories. Plato's words "everything is becoming and never is" gave him the foundation for his ambitious latest undertaking 'VĪS' (Latin for "energy" or "force"), a sprawling multi-disciplinary chronicle that imagines an alternative evolution of mankind through sound. With its own ‘Imaginary Alphabet’ (created by Moroccan artist Hiba Baddou), an interactive website, an art book and an audio-visual live show, the album is far more than just music, suggesting that it's movement and imagination that drives us forward. 'VĪS' arrives as part of August's commitment to collaboration, and follows work with jazz-noise vocalist and composer Cansu Tanrikulu as Aşa, and Carnatic vocalist Sushma Soma as Madrā.

In the past, the composer has worked alongside the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and remixed artists such as Max Cooper, Bunita Marcus and many others. He's performed across the world at headline shows at London's Roundhouse, Berlin's Columbiahalle, Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Amsterdam's Paradiso, and has appeared at Primavera Sound, Sonar, Dour Festival, Montreux Jazz and more.
 

Dates

02 August 2024 Siracusa Ortigia Sound 2024