I go back a long way with ol’ Derek, having first heard his work courtesy of The Exhaustion of Emotion on Bridgetown Records damn near a decade ago. And then somehow I ended up releasing some music of his myself and referring to him in conversation as “Bugger D” for some reason (I was “Bugger Steve” – it was cute) before he took off to become a wine buff and his music was released less frequently and y’know… we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
They were heady days. I was drunk on the reg, staying up all hours to chat tape and formulate idiotic ideas (actually, that’s how I ended up releasing Derek’s music) and all our thinking was how fucking underground we were and it was kind of exciting, getting packages from Brad in Tulsa full of the coolest, craziest shit around. Heady, heady days.
And then, the most beautiful thing arrived at my home. It was Derek’s music, but not as I knew it. It was on vinyl for starters, released by Pete Fosco‘s Greenup Industries, and it featured the kinds of instruments I always knew Derek’s music evoked (dusky violin courtesy of Petra Kelly, mournful trumpet from Regina Chellew) but didn’t expect him to access. The format, the collaborators, the clarity, and the pride I felt for a long-distance pal – it all combined to take Saturations up several notches and become the quintessential Rogers release. I reviewed it in glowing terms for Foxy Digitalis, certain Derek was about to cement himself as a composer of global renown (he was already held in high esteem in my circle) and that further, equally expansive releases would follow.
Derek’s work rate never slowed, but the many releases between Saturations in 2012 and Immersions this month were tapes of older work exhumed, splits with artists such as Good Willsmith, and collaborations like the glitchy Circuit Rider project with Lee Noble. As good as they inevitably were, they nevertheless felt like a withdrawal of sorts.
But thanks to Texas label We Know Better Records, Derek is back on wax and damn does it sound good. The strings, the piano, the epic levels of granularity; it’s so good to hear Derek in this kind of form, and on this scale.
Stream Immersions‘ gorgeous “This Delinquency” below and pick up a slab from We Know Better Records forthwith.