GAUNT ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM BLIND AT THE AGE OF FOUR, OUT 18 AUGUST
SHARES LEAD SINGLES ‘SWEET’ AND ‘FAVOURITE MEMORY‘
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GAUNT has today announced his debut album Blind at The Age of Four will be released on 18 August via his own label 3ON (pronounced 3 OH EN). Along with the announcement he has shared the two lead singles ‘Sweet’ and ‘Favourite Memory’. ‘Sweet’ had it’s first play this morning on BBC 6 Music as Mary Anne Hobbs‘ ‘Near Future‘ track.
Debut album Blind at The Age of Four is the first full-scale entry into the anachronistic world of Jack Warne‘s GAUNT – a world of music, technological experimentation and visual art that has been building since his days at the Royal College of Art, where he first began to combine his talents as a designer and visual artist. Following early releases ETB I & II and ‘Raw Cartoon’ (which featured on Leon Vynehall’s fabric Presents compilation), Blind at The Age of Four is a bold and audacious introduction. The album is built from ever-shifting loops of experimental electronics and accompanied by surreal, uncanny visuals, all created by Warne through both analogue and new technology, across augmented reality, 3D Rendering, drawing and digital painting techniques. This is all bound together in a digitally rendered suit of armour.
“GAUNT is the empty vessel” the producer and fine artist explains of his simultaneously modern and mediaeval avatar. “The GAUNT character is the haunting of the music. It’s a visual embodiment of the cathartic process I get out of music. That’s why it’s a suit of armour, because something needs to go into it; you put it on.”
The album’s title comes from Warne’s experience suffering from a rare eye condition – Thiel-Behnke Corneal Dystrophy. “I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, and if I open my eyes too quickly, I can rip the cells, they tear off, and I’ll go blind” he explains of the hereditary dystrophy he’s suffered since he was a child. This condition led to a young GAUNT spending weeks at a time in bed, in complete darkness. It’s a period of his life he looks back on with slightly mixed feelings; of course, the pain was traumatic and having to stay home from school was isolating. But it was also during such an episode that he first connected with music with his father – who also suffered from the condition.
Today, Warne is frank about his relationship with the condition and its role in his art. “It’s crucial to who I am, and plays a large role in my work, but it’s not the defining factor,” he explains. While he didn’t set out to make a record about suffering from the condition when he began making Blind at The Age of Four, it’s an honest and authentic expression of how it affected him. “I’m escaping my current reality, and it allows me to focus on memories I can’t spend time thinking about in daily life,” he says.As a fine artist, Warne has a strong pedigree thanks to his scholarship at the Royal College of Art, and outside of his work as GAUNT, Jack has worked with galleries and institutions internationally such as Hannah Barry Gallery, Spiaggia Libera, YUELAI Art Museum, Collective Ending and Castor Gallery. This background has informed the project, which straddles the worlds of music, art and technology.
As well as a means of processing the difficulties of growing up with a chronic illness, GAUNT’s work is shaped by the impact of his late father. “GAUNT was my dad’s World of Warcraft character name,” he says. The two of them would play the hugely popular role-playing game together often when Warne was growing up. As a child, he became obsessed with designing characters and armour, customising his avatar as best he could. It’s no surprise that later in life he would turn to armour once again when looking for a visual moniker for his work.Pre-order Blind at The Age of Four here on vinyl and digitally:
Photo credit: Image created by Jack Warne
High-res images can be found here
Blind at The Age of Four tracklist:
2. Favourite Memory
3. Composition 001
5. Memories Talk
6. Reverse Landscape
9. Rear View Spectate-or
10. Lesser You
11. Because I