Anxiety, tinnitus & the tube with Gaunt


There is a point just over halfway through Gaunt's recent track ‘Don't Trip’, when all of the carefully balanced anxiety and warmth of the last three minutes suddenly spills out and flows together, in a movement that the word 'drop' just doesn't cover. Listening to the track, released through THEM records, you can't help but feel pulled into Gaunt's world, particularly if consumed along with its mind bending video. It’s a world that we can’t help but continue to be sucked into, with the video for the A side ‘Say What’ intriguing us even more. It makes perfect sense that the release has been played out by djs such as Ben UFO and Randomer who specialise in brain-tweaks and make no concessions on audio quality.

Though he's relatively new to the scene, Gaunt - aka Jack Warne - is one of UK techno's most promising producers. A quick listen through his releases from the last two years shows off how he has quickly picked up a knack for precision-tooled industrial sound, with enough inherent anxiety to please techno purists, and ample dancefloor-heft to fit into the sonic milieu of his adopted home of Brixton. After hearing that Warne suffers from tinnitus, we thought it would be great to get his take on hearing protection.

How long have you had tinnitus for? What were the first few weeks like?

I’ve suffered from tinnitus since I was 14, having perforated my eardrum. It’s tolerable now as the anxiety has settled. Though I always have a fan on when sleeping to help drown out the sound.

Do you feel frustrated that you weren't made more aware of the risks, or provided better protection?

In my opinion the education on sound risks and pollution could be better. Often it’s when equipment is made poorly and can’t handle the output, throwing out grossly high dB levels, that damage happens. Reminds me of my tube commute to uni, between Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park is the most jarring sound experience; ear protection Is definitely advised on that one.

What was the idea behind 'Say What' and it’s video?

The video for 'Say What' was inspired by my experience of clubbing and my curiosities within it. It toys with nuances within this, such as the jumper left on the sub-woofer, earbuds left on the floor etc.

A lot of the tracks on your Soundcloud are radio rips, are you unsure whether to release them fully, or do you like maintaining a little mystique?

There’s music on the way! But a bit of mystery is always nice.

What are you working on nowadays?

Lots and lots of things. I’m finishing my first year at the Royal College of Art. It’s been a phenomenal experience which has stretched my practice a lot. New music is coming, 2018 is going to come through.

The thing that most consistently comes to my mind when listening to a lot of your music is anxiety. Is that deliberate, or just a natural result of your creative mindset?

I think it’s more of a natural response. Most of the tracks that are out and in the world were written a while back and at times when I was dealing with an anxiety disorder. Keep an ear out for the new stuff.

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Written by Will Soer