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Karl Steven + Ché Fu Share Single 'Utterance and Inscription' + Video

Karl Steven + Ché Fu Share Single 'Utterance and Inscription' + Video

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Paul Taylor / Tuesday 25th January, 2022 9:36AM

Award-winning composer and electronic guru Karl Steven's musical journey sees him reunite with fellow Supergroove member Ché Fu in a whole new way on fresh drop 'Utterance and Inscription', also featuring a key contribution from Aotearoa hip hop icon King Kapisi. Steven ruminates on the topic of "language and what it carries with it" in spoken word fashion as Ché Fu flexes his mastery on the decks, laying down a bed of mind-scrambling scratches including the sampled line "lifestyle's in the speech" — drawn direct from King Kapisi's classic 'Screems from Da Old Plantation' with the rapper's stamp of approval.

The latest tune to emerge from the Pārāwai (Thames) artist's forthcoming solo debut album All of Human Emotion on Microfiche, launching on February 4th via Sunreturn, listen below and experience the spellbinding visual accompaniment co-created by Steven and Mindfulness For Machines (Marcel Bellvé of Crap Date and Lipsink). Steven unpacked the philosophical themes of his genre-imploding latest release (fun fact: he has PhD in philosophy from Cambridge) and shared his excitement about working with Ché Fu again...

"'Utterance and Inscription' is a song about language and what it carries with it... It's something I find particularly interesting as a child of an immigrant to this country, and living as we do in a place where language has been and continues to be so overtly a locus of both oppression and renewal.

The words are a series of quotations from the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose ideas were one of the things that first took me to university, and whose work I was lucky enough to study under Professor Rosalind Hursthouse. The song is dedicated to Hursthouse, who is herself an amazing philosopher, and who comes from a lineage of outstanding thinkers and writers from the (then) women's Somerville College, Oxford, where Wittgenstein's thought really took root.

As I was working on it I realised I had encountered some of Wittgenstein's ideas before, in King Kapisi's 90's hit "Screams from da Old Plantation" where he states the "lifestyle's in the speech", so I asked him whether I could include him saying that in the song, which he graciously allowed me to do.

The track also features some amazing turntable creativity by my old friend and colleague Ché Fu, so it was really fun to work with him on something entirely bizarre and unrelated to our old stuff together."

'Utterance and Inscription' is out now via major streaming services.


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