London-based queer musician and performance artist, Tsinder Ash, just wrapped their newest EP, Offerings--an independent project based on magic's ability to help resist the "heteronormative, capitalist, white-supremacist patriarchy."
Ash worked on this new four-track effort with an array of queer UK-based artists, providing a follow-up to 2016's 11-track album, The Ecstasy of Making Things Worse. Offerings will be the self-described "genre-schizophrenic" artist's second release this year, after dropping in January their Baby Tap-produced single, "Mango Juice."
OUT recently caught up with Tsinder Ash to discuss their forthcoming release and learn how queers can use magic as a means of resistance.
OUT: What message are you trying to send with Offerings?
Tsinder Ash: We're living in this really interesting moment where we're witnessing the long drawn out death rattle of the heteronormative, capitalist, white-supremacist, patriarchy, coupled with an underlying feeling that something is not right with our planet. The establishment is scared--people who are so used to having power are now finding that power slowly leaving them, and they are lashing out in retaliation.
What is different about this EP from your past work?
I am using lots of new textures on this EP: strings, brass, woodwind and a lot of really heavy guitars. Lyrically, there's a lot of what I suppose you could call "queer futurism"--an almost narrative storytelling. There are [a] lot of metaphors about resistance and escape, but also moments where we realize that escape is only possible momentarily. I see magic as a political tool for approaching the world, not a way to escape or control it. Eventually you have to come back to the fact that most things in the universe are essentially unknowable.
What does magic mean to you?
I became interested in certain magical practices, specifically pagan and voodoo, mainly for the way they approach the world. These practices allow for a suspension of belief about the known universe, and allow for different ways of connecting to our past, our ancestry and each other. They have been used throughout their history as tools of cultural preservation and resistance. I am not a magical practitioner, but I think magical practice is a great tool to subvert dogmatic behavior and systems. If you present the establishment with a group or movement that is seemingly dealing with things outside the reach of controlled capital and established boundaries of reality, you're gonna get people who seek to control you shit scared.
If you're not a magical practitioner, how are you creating magic?
For me, magic happens in creating music, through poetry and sound. I'm invested in creating new landscapes. This is how I escape, by creating possible futures. This is how I create a space for myself to exist in the world. Hopefully in putting these Offerings out into the world, I'm allowing others the chance to enter these landscapes with me.
Ash has created a kickstarter to crowdsource funds for the final production of Offerings. Watch the project's trailer, below, and click here to help them reach their $624 goal.