as kagyrgyn restoration
i. mertvyy okean
mertvyy okean is one of the first forays i had into creating ambient music. it's mostly droney vaporwave-inspired synth music, a sprawling album lasting almost two hours. it was mostly made to deal with the anger and pain i felt at the dysphoria i was feeling back then, hence the dark, empty feeling of a lot of the tracks, and the strange repetitive and cyclical nature of the album. it was made pre-transition - i had barely come out to myself - and, to top it all off, i was crushing on a guy hard (now my boyfriend!). it foreshadows the basic style that a lot of jamie awakshidar tracks would have, from the atmospheric synths to the ethereal vocals.
darien is a strange, turbulent album. it's a recording of a live set i played to nobody in particular in the middle of the night in the middle of absolutely nowhere. it was made with a couple of cassette tape recorders with samples i had collected, a phonograph, and an AM radio (all in one machine, actually! very convenient!). as a result of this method, it sounds very very different to the rest of my live material. it contains samples of unidentifiable classical music - that just happened to spring onto the radio at the time of recording - the alexandrov ensemble, footsteps, synth drone recordings, and various old folk music records. nonetheless, it's a solid album, and by far the most commercially successful kagyrgyn restoration release. it nails the post-soviet atmosphere i always go for in my work, and i'd love to make something akin to it. (distant flash by valyri is another release that nails this atmosphere, despite being american.) this is the first release on the label hairs a-blazin.
flame is the most critically acclaimed kagyrgyn restoration album. it's ambient music tinged with bits of minimal techno and industrial drumming, mostly stuff i sampled from old tracks i had lying around. empty//apparatus, the leading single off the album, was the first song i ever had with a proper choreographed music video alongside it. flame ended up being a moderate success in the post-industrial, deconstructed club scene, and it's still one of my favourites. atmospheric synths on top of vaporised drums and noise results in something quite nice.
iv. no god
i had forgotten about this for over four years. this album is made up of material salvaged from my old production pc that bit the dust in early 2023, recontextualised to describe the mental anguish and turmoil of finding out that one of my romantic partners had committed unspeakable acts. despite the name, i don't actually believe that there is no god. i simply believe that he hates me. the sounds here are made from off-cuts of a valediction, as well as new sounds grafted on from a live performance at the pyramid club in wellington. combined with my grandmother's old radio recordings, this resulted in something i think can strike true terror into somebody's heart. the feeling i associate with this album is rage. (yes, those are self-harm marks. i hope i censored them well enough.)
ep/single, i. a valediction
a valediction is a highly experimental noisecore / black metal ep released in january of 2019. it was highly influenced by the work of fatima al qadiri and death grips. it's named after a poem and also a tattoo i have.
as jamie awakshidar
i. there is more beauty in corruption
there is more beauty in corruption was created from an idea i had - to abandon the 'vaporwave scene' and to create something from a genre i liked and respected. this album served as kind of a stepping stone in between the two. originally, this would serve as a precursor to wavecrash, showcasing production techniques i had learned through my time in the post-industrial scene but following song structures more analogous to classic techno or vocal trance. in collaboration with anna pakova, sic transit gloria mundi was remade from a demo by my old band mushroom spacemen. i improvised entire songs sometimes - in corruption, for example, was made from two samples being loaded into a daw and played at various speeds, time warp settings, and pitches. it was released by asura revolver in mid-2018 on a full-colour printed-shell cassette, and caused a really nice reaction from fans of hauntology, house, and techno.
wavecrash is probably one of my favourite things i've done. it's a gothic rock album produced during the hardest time in my life - i had just come out, left home, and was hopelessly alone, yearning, and jealous. half of the tracks are about the intense jealousy i felt about people in my life, who all seemed to be doing so much better than me in almost all respects. my favourite tracks are about crushes - that is, orthodox and jealousy, which are both about real interactions i had with romance, sexuality, and my newly-exposed identity in the world of newfound adulthood. the cover was made during a short stay at my best friend's house which ended up being one of the most artistically transformative experiences of my life, exposing me to the idea of fashion and music overlapping, and of expressing myself, my gender, and my sexuality, and teaching me about the most influential artists of the past and present in our scene: lebanon hanover, she past away, the cure, my chemical romance, and linkin park. this transformative time produced wavecrash, a journey through the oddities and curiosities in my head at the time.
this album is a swirling mess and i love it. i took a bunch of early 2010s pop music - gay anthems, lip sync classics, and anything that gave me nostalgia, and i fucked it up as much as i could without losing the soul of the songs. and the result was beautiful. it's intensely sexual, unlike anything else i have ever made, and it yells at god, which is what i've always wanted to do. aside from being a series of almost-covers-but-not-quite, it explores my heritage with extracts from old celtic songs, hymns, and anything else i could find that vibed with my ancestry. i felt like i was directly insulting them, sticking up a middle finger to their uptightness, and it was very, very cathartic.
i was working on this for so long, under so many names, under so many disguises. a lot of it comes from experiences that i had in late 2018 and early 2019, a period where i was essentially untreated for mental illness. i had a lot of heartbreak - some of it self-inflicted - and i was under the spell of recklessness, with a total disregard for my safety, sanity, or wholeness. out of austerity and heartbreak came the words to this thing - this beautiful thing. it's a mix of sarcastic pop music, gothic destruction, and ambient laments. i was heavily inspired by enya, the stereo bus, and imogen heap, and you can hear this in the relentless repetition, echoing, and synthesis in my voice, almaz's voice, the synths, and the piano. 'i will never be your daughter', 'love in the time of hypoxia', 'saints protect her now', and 'lies' are all direct breakup songs, and i think that if a certain set of people were to listen to them, i would be very embarrassed. the other part of the album deals with transphobia, and the dehumanisation that comes with it. i felt - and still feel - that cis people often regard us as less than human, and it, for a time, gave me comfort to think of myself as an unknowable cryptid, a siren, a mysterious, otherworldly being - hence, 'chlorine', where i characterise myself as a mermaid, and 'kriptobiologiya', where i'm a siren. i'm so glad this is out, now, without any input from anyone who tried to manipulate, to hurt, to influence me into being like them. i love this album.
v. the face of god is made of mirrors
i also worked on this one for a long time, and it has taken many forms over the years. i began work on it in 2019 in hanoi, vietnam, and completed a rough version of it in march of the same year, in a hotel in saigon. but this was not the version that you hear. the first version was a dark, experimental hip hop record, influenced by death grips, daughters, and $waggot. over time, i did not grow to love this version. it seemed fake, and the facade i had to put on to create it was unlike any mask i had ever put on before. so, it was rewritten. only one track (but darling you are able) remains from the original version, and it is hardly intact. now, you hear the real version; a mixture of shoegaze, dungeon synth, and neoclassical music that portrays the love between a woman and a god. between the start of this album's story and the end, i fell deeply in love with my partner (almaz, who'd have guessed?), and every single song about becoming deeply entwined with a dark, otherworldly entity is about him. i am so glad to finally be able to give this album to the world.
ep/single, i. heroine
two covers, one by dds.wmv and another by the cure. both were done with limited use of samples and an intention to change up the style of the pieces to an extent. it can be considered a precursor to kriptobiologiya, though neither of the tracks feature on it.
ep/single, ii. solstice ritual recordings
last christmas, i gave you my heart...!