Deepchild speaks out on the personal battle behind his new LP

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“I didn’t really want to write another album any time soon,” Deepchild AKA Rick Bull told inthemix, of the period that followed the release of his Destinations album on Australia’s Future Classic in 2008. “I’d done five previous to this, and it’s a pretty laborious experience. And then also, I was wondering whether the format is even valid any more.”

Speaking to ITM from his adopted home of Berlin, in the leadup to the release of his superb newNeukölln Burning album that’s due for out on Thoughtless Music next month, Bull spoke openly about his own personal dramas, which ended up feeding into the creation of the new album. The recording process took place during the depths of the icy Germany winter, which he spontaneously chose as the time to wean himself off anti-depressive medication; for the first time in nearly a decade. Extreme insomnia and personal distress resulted.

“I’m one to sometimes get moralistic about the necessity to not be reliant on anyone else, and that kind of backfired for me,” Bull laughed, referring to his decision to undertake the process without seeking any professional help or assistance. “Every week I was halving my dose, and I was OK for about three weeks. But then I plunged into utter panic, terror and disarray, a crazy meltdown suicidal panic attack, cold sweats… In the midst of which, I was trying to write music.”

Too emotionally exhausted to manage much of anything, Bull found solace in the creative process that ultimately led to Neukölln Burning. “A sort of stabilising thing was just to try to have at least one or two hours a day where I was actually trying to work; by which stage I wasn’t even consciously focusing on any idea of an album, I was just trying to write whatever. Then it became clear that as a body of work, the tracks that I produced would be reflective of this tone. The series of events dictated how it would turn out in the end.”

The end result is an album that’s decidedly techno in its aesthetics, though equally as personal and informed by the creative process; not to mention one of the most cohesive and sonically dense electronic albums of this year. The title is a reference to the bustling district of Berlin, where Bull was situated while recording the album, and which still calls his home.

“ Neukölln Burning, the name is obviously drawn from the fact that I love where I live,” he says. The ‘burning’ refers to a Buddhist quote, which captured Bull’s personal distress at the time. “I guess the paraphrased version is that everything is burning, the eyes are burning, the nose is burning… it’s the notion of being overwhelmed by your senses, the things that cause suffering, or by your own judgment of what these senses are telling you. It’s a funny kind of dovetail with what was going on with me; I was totally overwrought, everything was burning,” he laughs. Neukölln Burning is out on Thoughtless Music on October 9th, stay tuned for inthemix’s full-length interview with Deepchild.