The first shafts of morning light creep over the hilltop terraces, illuminating the ancient commune of Palestrina - David August breathes new air. Born in Hamburg in 1990, August composes and performs multifaceted electronic music with hopeful tones and a human aesthetic. “Creating music - the act of creating in general - should be free from rationalization. In the best case, relying solely on subconsciousness communication,” says the classi- cally trained multi-instrumentalist. Speaking with David, one immediately realizes the value that he places upon his well-earned artistic independence and steadfast sincerity. This hard-fought pursuit can be traced clearly through the producer’s recorded works; from a string of early dance singles and remixes (2010-2014), followed by his cele- brated debut album, Times (2013), to a handful of genre-defying outings on Ninja Tune sub-label, Counter Records (2016), the Tonmeister graduate (2017) continues to uncloak hidden inner paths yet to be discovered.
It is precisely this sense of conviction that has lured August to Palestrina, a crumbling, lesser-known, rural town, resting high in the peaks of Monti Prenestini, a colossal mountain range, towering across central Italy. The birthplace of his mother, this highland outpost has, as of recent, casted rays of inspiration upon the young musi- cian. “After 26 years, I suddenly feel the urgency to connect actively with my Mediterranean provenience and cul- ture. Although always present in me, I rather kept it hidden, private and absent from my creative work. These roots have always evoked the stronger emotions within me.”
While his live-show takes various shapes and forms, free improvisation lives at the core of the artist’s fasci- nation. Whether he performs solo for the Boiler Room (2014) or a Resident Advisor Live Session (2015), recruits trusted musicians as part of his Ensemble (2015-2016), DJ’s traditionally or explores collaboration with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2016), liberating moments of immediate expression remain a constant.
After a year of self-examination and introspection, August re-emerges with a vitalizing, advanced, personal language. Adorning the altars of his newly-founded label, 99 Chants, DCXXXIX A.C. (2018), the first in a series of offerings, basks in shifting, transcendental glow. “Finding the courage to have a true dialogue with myself has been a challenging process. A never-ending path, I hope to explore in the most honest way possible.”