Oliver Coates is a London-based cellist, composer, and producer. The music that he makes is a seamless confluence of those three trades, and it’s a combination that’s garnered collaborative opportunities with people like Jonny Greenwood, Actress, and Steve Reich. On May 13, Coates will drop Upstepping, an eight-track LP on which he electronically processes cello sounds and then transforms them from unsettling collage into cohesive, beat-driven music.
Today EARMILK is premiering the upcoming record’s opening track, “Innocent Love”—named after an Agnes Martin paint series of the same name. A high-hat rhythm—which Coates says is the equivalent of “a distorted, compressed and heavily EQ’d horsehair-on-steel stroke"—opens the piece. Cello flourishes, an affected vocal sample of the titular phrase, and various other rhythmic fragments soon join the mix. Over the course of seven minutes, Coates assembles these pieces into a halfway woozy collage that finally lands on steady ground with the emergence of dazzling bowed chords. "Innocent Love," in short, is art music for the dance floor, and it's got us dancing.