Godmode launches Faculty series

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Nick Sylvester discusses arbitrary aesthetic rules and breaking them.

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Blake Gillespie | January 19, 2016

Godmode has a new headquarters. Located in South Williamsburg, Faculty is the new home where forthcoming projects from artists like YVETTE, Courtship Ritual, Soft Lit, Alan Watts, and presumably Shamir will incubate. For Godmode godhead Nick Sylvester, Faculty is also a single series curated with the intent to challenge the expectations and the mores that come with the industry definition of artist.

“The Faculty series idea comes from my growing boredom with the idea of the ‘artist’ as an organizing principle,” Sylvester wrote in an email to Impose. In specific he cited the pesky expectations of lingering “music business” speak that require artists to “brand” as a step in the validation process, that “need for cohesion, an origin story” and “some core ‘brand promise’.” Basically the Faculty series aims to hose spray all the icky industry gunk off the creative process.

“The ‘artist’ tag is a creative albatross, and the arbitrary aesthetic rules artists set for themselves often keep them away from their best and most necessary expressions,” Sylvester wrote. “Nobody cares until everybody cares, and even then, nobody who’s encountering you in a streaming playlist really cares. You’re still not a proper noun, you’re just a peddler. That you have to be an ‘artist’ to make music is the biggest lie going.

So the Faculty series is an experiment. I’m trying to get people to abandon the artist as an organizing principle and make the music that the moment wants them to make, with no consideration for How It All Fits Together or whether it’s off-brand for them.”

Now three songs deep, the Faculty series has no discernible direction beyond its contributors being in contact with Sylvester. So far the series is a modular synthesizer improvisation, an infectious Japanese disco edit by a DJ/Episcopal minister, and a transmutation of a dance party into a Godmode in-house disco project. He said the process thus far includes meeting at the studio to work for a day or two and if the results interest him, then it makes the cut.

“I’m trying to get a variety of people in there, well-knowns and complete non-musicians, just to see what happens,” he wrote. “I present the finished piece without backstory, and if it resonates—great.”

This week is House of Feelings’ “Learn Your Science” a disco house cut that has transformed Matty Fasano and Mila Matveeva’s dance night into an official project.

Follow the Faculty series on Godmode’s Soundcloud.

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