Malka Spigel and Colin Newman’s Immersion came into being in the early 1990s, against the backdrop of the European minimal techno scene. This offered an immediate context for them to pursue the instrumental electronic work on which they had already embarked, driven primarily by Spigel’s natural affinity for abstract, non song-based structures — a creative area she’d been exploring as far back as the mid-1980s in Brussels, on home recordings with Minimal Compact band mate Rami Fortis.
Energized by techno’s renewed DIY ethos, the couple founded their own label, swim ~, as an outlet for their projects. The first two releases were Spigel’s Rosh Ballata (1993) and Tree (1994) by Oracle — a collaboration between Newman, Spigel and Minimal Compact’s Samy Birnbach. The next swim ~ release would be their debut Spigel-Newman album but, rather than use their own names, they adopted a strategy that was very much of its time.
The duo’s first record, Oscillating, came out in 1994, followed a year later by Full Immersion, a collection of remixes by a diverse global cast of DJs and producers, including Claude Young, Mick Harris, Gez Varley, Mark Gage, Fred Giannelli and Trawl (Robin Rimbaud/Scanner). A third record, Low Impact (its title inspired by architectural design theory, not aerobics), appeared in 1999. Immersion hit their stride on Low Impact, particularly with epic, layered ambient dronescapes like “Days Under the Sun,” “Self Portrait” and “Expanded Now.” For Newman, such tracks best capture the essence of Immersion, encapsulating something of the broader nature of this synth-centric collaboration with Spigel over the years: “Immersion is the purest ‘version’ of Malka and me, because it’s not her project, and it’s not my project: it’s our project. And musically, it’s also got a kind of purity. You can’t tell who’s playing or what’s playing.” Spigel concurs, emphasizing the fluid set-up of Immersion: “There’s no fixed roles in terms of the instruments we play.”
Noriko Okaku was educated at Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, completing an MA (RCA) in Animation. Her work in various media often retains a collage art element. She borrows, adopts, copies and recycles existing images to explore the diverse avenues of perception. Her work explores the eclecticism and mystery/strangeness underlying everyday objects and actions.
A collaboration between drummer E-Da Kazuhisa (ex-Boredoms, Seefeel) and visual artist Daisy Dickinson, ‘Adrena Adrena’ cuts a raw blend of drums, noise and organic visual work. Adrena Adrena as a live performance features an 8ft white sphere with video mapped onto it. Kazuhisa plays drums while Dickinson live mixes visuals onto the ball.
Their debut was at the International Festival of Projections in early 2016 and have since performed at End of The Road Festival, Supernormal Festival, Fort Process Festival, Zorofest in Leipzig and other shows across the UK and Europe. The pair completed a short film in 2016. 'Man on the Hill', which features E-da playing drums on fire in the mountains. The film has since been featured on the British Council Film website and in 2016 was nominated for The BFI London Film Festival, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, BAFTA qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival, The London Experimental Festival, Vienna Independent Short Film Festival and the London Short Film Festival.
Karel Doing is an artist and filmmaker who is working across analogue and digital formats, inquiring the medium and its perception. His work includes experimental films, expanded cinema, installations and documentaries. He has screened and performed widely in a variety of venues ranging from established institutions like International Film Festival Rotterdam, National Portrait Gallery and Cinémathèque Française to numerous DIY artist run spaces in Europe, Asia and America. After being based in Arnhem and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) he is currently living and working in London (UK).