The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Mira Calix returns to Warp after a decade

The artist whose recent works have focused on war memorials and ultrasound looks to louche house parties for inspiration

Following various multiple installation and exhibition works, Mira Calix has returned to Warp to release the electronic EP Utopia, her first record on the label in over a decade.

In 2016 Calix launched an online portal of works that included her own back catalogue as well as projects from “people I admire”, she stated. “I’ve been fascinated over the last decade by objectifying sound, with the song as a place and the challenge of building environments.”

More recently, in 2018 she won a Lovie Award for her Ode To The Future project. She also presented the sound work Good Grief, Charlie Brown! and created the audio for Beyond The Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers.

The new EP is based on the film of the same name, written and directed by Adam Thirlwell and released on 6 December 2018. The film’s about a character called Renata who decides to set up a commune.

“The past few years I’ve been making mostly installations, which I find thrilling, but the nature of my practice means I tend to work with many hands, many speakers, many materials, many musicians over long periods,” explains Calix. “It was really refreshing to make this EP, to give myself a time limit, a strict set of rules, a tight sonic palette and be fully autonomous as a writer, producer and musician. In a way it’s going back to my roots. My first ever release on Warp was a 10”, but it also felt completely fresh, playful, to just build some tracks around a cinematic scene – something for friends to move to in the early hours of a louche house party!”

On the EP, Mira Calix uses manipulated and recontextulised vocals to expand on her concepts of the muse, the male gaze, nostalgia and modernity.

Check out the lead track “rightclick” below. Utopia is released on 25 January via Warp.