Daniel Miller, founder of Mute, and Gareth Jones, legendary producer, engineer and artist, have been friends and collaborators for four decades. They have worked together on a plethora of projects, including Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again in 1982. Back then, after the day sessions would finish, the pair would carry on working on their own material. They continued this practice, and Sunroof came to life first as a remix project, reworking bands like Can, MGMT, To Rococo Rot, Kreidler and Goldfrapp. Miller and Jones met before a György Ligeti concert at London’s Barbican in 2019 and spent a couple of hours improvising with modular systems, which they recorded and decided to finally make a record together. “We decided to get together to do a bunch of improvisations,” explained Gareth. “We said we’d work in a number of different physical spaces but always together, in the same room. We were keen to do shorter pieces because we were both very inspired by Chris Carter and Martin Gore’s electronic music projects, where the pieces were very concise and compact.”
Come May 21st, Sunroof’s debut album is finally materializing with the release of Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 1 on the Parallel Series of Mute. The album is a collection of eight improvised modular pieces which the two recorded as live performances in several studio spaces across London in the spring and summer of 2019. As for their approach to the sessions, they were set on differentiating an improvisation and a jam session as Miller explained:
“With modular systems, you can just go on and on forever and never actually complete anything. Sometimes that’s okay – part of the joy of a modular is that you can just keep going indefinitely. But with this we were keen to actually finish something, so setting that timeframe became a really important rule for us.”
An edit of opener ‘1.1 – 7.5.19’ serves as the first enthralling taste from the upcoming Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 1. It comes with an accompanying video with visual direction by Jeff Courtney.