An eerie snapshot of New York City under lockdown, as well as a prescient reminder of the absence so many still live with.
During the early stages of the pandemic, producer and sound artist Significant Other found himself taking to the empty streets of his base of operations in Brooklyn, New York in an attempt to combat the intense loneliness of those first terrifying months of extreme isolation. “As a respite from being alone in the house, biking became a nightly ritual,” he explains. “I started to film some of the rides, it seemed worth documenting – I had never experienced the streets so empty and on edge.” It was from this documentation that became the inspiration for artist mon in creating the visual accompaniment to ‘Pendant’, a track taken from Residuum, his forthcoming album for DJ Lyster’s consistently brilliant YOUTH imprint. Combining this footage with video taken during the morning after the first CLUB NIGHT CLUB event that took place after the pandemic, a party that the artist runs along side Only Child, the video zeroes in on a tangible sense of loneliness that pervades the melancholy, reverb-heavy loops of ‘Pendant’.
“It felt like full circle in a way, to now be riding home at sunrise through those same streets,” he says of the footage. “The city is back to life but for all of us so much has changed, and the absence still seems present somehow.” Working from a contemplative space, the project sees Significant Other striking a reflective tone, borne out in delicate, dubby ambience. “Looking back, from all the time spent alone navigating the eerily quiet city, with constraints on human interaction, I see this footage as a document of a period in which I was forced to contemplate and cherish – like many – the individuals who really mattered to me,” he says. Years in the making, Residuum is a sonic translation of this kind of emotional honesty, as well as a touching snapshot of a very difficult period in the artist’s life. “The pairing seems a little overused, but for me the record is about love and loss,” he explains.
“These tracks were written over several years, but the thing that binds them together is a rawness – they all emerged in moments of extreme passion and pain, be that a good thing or a bad thing. The album came together via collecting these ideas and reworking them during a very challenging period. Many had sat on the shelf for some time, since most of the ideas had sort of just poured out during significant moments. When the pandemic began I was in a strange place, caring for a loved one who was very sick.” The gentle swell of ‘Pendant’ belies a steady tenderness that has become an essential part of navigating difficulty and uncertainty with empathy and emotion, providing us with a moment for reflection and stillness.
‘Pendant’ is taken from Residuum, which is out now on YOUTH. You can find Significant Other on Instagram and visit his website.
Watch next: LUX – New Wave of Contemporary Art opens at 180 Studios in October 2021