A deep dive into LABOUR and Hani Mojtahedy’s stunning work, nine-sum sorcery.

As LABOUR, Berlin-based multidisciplinary artists Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander combine their experience in molecular biology, sound art and post-tonal theory to create works that interrogate existential questions and the power structures that form our collective reality.

Together, the duo have premiered two major projects at Berlin Atonal. In 2018 they performed next time, die consciously (بیگانگی), which saw them fill Berlin’s Kraftwerk building with drummers and wirelessly controlled LEDs that augmented the duo’s electronic tones. This was followed in 2019 by nine-sum sorcery, a collaboration featuring Kurdish singer Hani Mojtahedy that drew on two seemingly disparate traditions: traditional Kurdish/Persian vocal and instrumental musics, and contemporary computer music and avant-garde sound practice.

Earlier this month, LABOUR issued nine-sum sorcery as the first release on their new label, Studio LABOUR. The new label will operate as an extension of their existing practice, and aims to “contribute toward spaces of non-conforming social practices and identities”, while revisiting “the nature of work as a potentially transformative activity.”

For this week’s Fact Mix, LABOUR and Hani Mojtahedy offer a full listen of the project in two parts, alongside music that that offers context for the aesthetic and compositional ideas behind it from artists such as Iannis Xenakis, SUNN O))), Sote and Mohammad Reza Mortazavi.

nine-sum sorcery is available on limited edition transparent 180g vinyl exclsuively through Studio LABOUR’s Bandcamp, together with black vinyl and digital formats. You can explore LABOUR’s practicve further in their recent Fact Residency.

Tracklist:

LABOUR feat. Hani Mojtahedy – ‘nine-sum sorcery side A’
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – ‘Rebounce’
Iannis Xenakis – ‘La Legende d’Eer’
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – ‘Floating in the Now’
Iannis Xenakis – ‘La Legende d’Eer’
Florian Hecker – ‘Bsf-tyk 5’
Hani Mojtahedy – ‘Kurdistan’
SUNN O))) – ‘Aghartha’
Hani Mojtahedy – ‘Besse’
SUNN O))) – ‘Aghartha’
Sote – ‘Plebeian’
Iannis Xenakis – ‘Persephassa’
LABOUR feat. Hani Mojtahedy – ‘nine-sum sorcery side B’