From Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Miles Davidson, better known as MUTO, signifies a unique style of electronic sound, embodying experimentation and the art of the instrumental. July this year has seen MUTO bring synthy atmospheric creations alongside stunning songwriting into the form of his July-released EP, Arcane, and begin a nationwide tour of the seven track album with his next show at Mr Wolf in Canberra on Friday 7th September.
Now over halfway through his nine show tour (ten including a killer set at Splendour in the Grass), MUTO generously took a minute from catching up on sleep to speak about Arcane and how the tour is coming along.
“It’s been like totally wild – like I can’t sort of fathom how crazy it has been to be honest.”
Though it took about two years to bring Arcane together the final product has been received extremely well, with five sell out shows out of six so far around the country. The audience reception at gigs has left MUTO in disbelief.
“There is no other feeling quite like it,” he said. “It is definitely the most rewarding experience you can have I guess when you see something you create whether it be art in any form, it’s good to see people respond to that positively and singing it back is one of the biggest things you can get out of being an artist – for me anyway.”
During Arcane’s inception, MUTO faced many speed bumps toward its official debut, such as sourcing the right artists to feature on the record. After much deliberation, the final cast consisted of Sweden’s Novaa, the airy soft vocals of Oliver Dibley on recent hit ‘Tessellating’ and Deutsch Duke on ‘Wildfire’, Melbourne’s smooth hip hop MC HVNCOQ, and the heart-wrenching rawness of Emerson Leif haunting the widely popular tune ‘Say Nothing’. Individually they had brought their signature flavour to MUTO’s hybrid sound and confirmed he made the right collaborative choices.
“You don’t want to compromise your work you want to just make sure that everything is how you want it to sound.It took a fair bit of time to get it done but I am happy that it is out in the world now,” MUTO said.
Though one of the most fascinating parts to MUTO’s catalogue is his incredible ability to compose an instrumental piece that captivates not only the audible senses but harnesses emotion, psyche and imagination. With musical journeys like Through The Fog that exploded him onto the map in January 2017, MUTO again brings the purely instrumental to Arcane with tracks like Rogue and Bloodlust. He believes sometimes the instrumental are the more rewarding:
“I think with an instrumental track you don’t have that natural element where people can just sing along, they have to find something else within the song to attach themselves to. You have to make something within that special enough to get someone’s attention.”
With over 11 million streams on Soundcloud and 7 million on Spotify, MUTO definitely is giving something special to his listeners. While he doesn’t hold specific intention for his work, he believes it can offer an escape, describing it as “something that can be shared but it also does speak to someone that’s on their own with headphones and that can really take that journey with it.”
“I have a friend that particularly likes listening to ‘Through The Fog’ before she gets on a plane. She just likes to listen to that song at that time. I guess people have their own personal experiences with songs and I am just glad that I can give them that.”
Inspired by big-hitters of the electronic scene like Flume, Jamie-XX and Kaytranada, MUTO holds great respect and aspiration to emulate their ability to represent a fresh and distinct sound. While exploring his creative depths to craft his own, the greatest challenge has been to find the right balance when producing something new and unusual.
“It is something that I have to think outside the realms of structure and try and be as weird as I can but also make sure that it’s not too weird for people. There is a fine line between going too weird and not weird enough and I am trying to find that sweet spot most of the time.”
Though the music may be delicately handled, his latest shows have seen the nights get a little wild. Tequila pouring into the front row has become a bit of a trick for his live gigs and Canberra can be sure to have something fun heading their way.
“I had a bottle of tequila on stage and I figured that would be a good way to start things off. I might have to be a little bit careful doing that [laughing]. My live show thing is so much different to my production. I feel like I just turn into a totally different person when I am on stage,” he said.
“I am excited for Canberra, I haven’t been back there for a very long time.”
MUTO will visit the nation’s capital Friday the 7th of September and will continue his Australian tour, finishing in Brisbane at the end of the month. You can purchase tickets here.
ARCANE (BUY/STREAM HERE)
- Tessellating ft. Oliver Dibley
- Cloud Party
- Say Nothing ft. Emerson Leif
- Wildfire ft. Deutsch Duke
- Lost ft HVNCOQ