LISTEN UP ALL YOU SYNTH LORDS,
all you downright fourth-dimensional sentient waveform-creatures, lend me your ear buds. Theres a new name in the Detroit collaboration world, and they’re looking for YOU. (Yes, you!).
Let’s back up. I accidentally almost knocked over a listening booth set up in the middle of Outer Limits during HMF and got into your standard attempted-slash-semi-shouted-conversation with the genius behind the booth - Mere Maya, who was there hunting down her next collaborators for her current electronic shoegaze project 'Holy Caves'. To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure what to expect since I don't dabble much in the electro-world, but when we got into it on the phone a few days later she started talking some GAH DAM SENSE when it comes to cutting through the jungle of tangled music industry bullshiz - COLLABORATION. The picture she paints for Holy Caves is not of your typical band or solo project. While there is a loose expectation visually and musically (when isn’t there, tbh), the project is COMPLETELY about collaboration and the PROCESS of making the fuckin thing with any number of artists at a time - six, ten, twenty, zero(?), I don’t know, the sky is the limit and its super late (early) and my eyes burn.
Maya frames Holy Caves as 'an experiment’ - one that I think could shake the etch-a-sketch of how a music group is ‘supposed’ to work. Holy Caves is one of the NEW BREED of modern creative groups, much like modern marriages, where boundaries are MUCH blurrier (again, to that guy at New Way, I'm sorry). She talks about giving space to the MAKING process with a free-flow between the artists involved, with tracks and releases serving more as side-effects or proof of collaborations instead of boxes to be checked off a to-do list. She nods to her role as ‘spearheading’ the project, but rejects any idea of being a ‘band leader’ and HAILS SOCIALISM AS AMERICA’S TRUE DESTINY. Not really (or maybe, I dunno, it didn’t come up) - but for any and all future members, they CAN rest easy knowing they enjoy 100% of the ownership of Holy Caves and the stock-option yachts that come with it. Yep - every current, past, and future member owns 100% of the project. MATH. Its like the Coca-Cola guys if they had just fuckin’ gotten along and didn’t have to tear the recipe in half in order to trust each other or however that shitty branded myth goes. A basis of trust & communication, a place for creative play through music... sounds fuckin' cool to me, but what do I know.
Having made her Los Angeles pilgrimage in 2016 and returning with a 'theres-something-missing' need for reconnecting to the people and places she had worked with, Maya talks about returning wanting to FEEL again - to feel the flow of music, to feel the keys of her beloved synths, rejecting the packaged feel of DJ-ing as a profession and looking to maintain relationships with her music, but also with her PEOPLE. As you can see in the Mere Maya music video below, there's a plethora of creatives to get involved with wherever you are. You could easily be fooled into thinking this video was made on some soundstage off the 405 and not in the Ypsilanti Experimental Space. If you've got a vision, you can get shit done anywhere. Period.
And what better place than Detroit?
So if you can get on your surfboard to her thicc analog synth waves and consider yourself a Jack//Jill-of-All-Trades when it comes to instrumentation, you best break out the flip flops and send your creative//music resume to Mere Maya (you don't actually have to wear flip-flops, it's called a 'metaphor'). What do you have to lose?? In fact, you got nothin but GAINZ to make, so go on n' GAIN some shit for your dang self!
“This Industry is ruthless”, "the Industry will chew you up and spit you out”, “a third example you can read in a stupid know-it-all voice”, well, maybe it doesn’t ALWAYS have to be the that way, maybe we’re FINALLY seeing that there’s ways to getting around the business of the industry and back to the MUSIC that’s SUPPOSED to come before it. In a time where the industry is freaking out over falling profits and tour merchandise sales and our knees are bleeding from begging for Spotify plays, Maya and the future of Holy Caves reminds us that we the ‘unexperienced’ and 'naive' may actually have the best tools to get somewhere in this newly-reshuffling music world sitting right in front of us:
YEAH ITS A CHEDDAR END TO THIS ONE BUT GODDAM IT FEELS GOOD.
GO MAKE YOURSELF SOME SHIT, HOMEBISCUIT.
FFO: Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Allen Parsons Project, Talking Heads
A direct note from Mere Maya:
"While I currently have a stable of creatives who revolve in and out of the project, I am looking for 2 primary musical members to collaborate with on a regular basis.
Experienced multi-instrumentalist/vocalist who may or may not replace our drum machine :)
[ nø experience ]