Sharp FM 003: S&M for Centra Mono & Tarnac Sans


Hello from your friends at Sharp Type Corporation! We’re barely three weeks into 2023, and here we are at the tail end of Capricorn season. It’s our pleasure to sneak in a surprise mix for this hardy sign to set intentions—broadly for the new year, and specifically for Sharp FM. Our third mix has enough raw power to push a steamboat up a mountain and comes courtesy of S&M, the alias of Sam Clarke, a Brooklyn-based artist working within photography, design, music, and event curation who fittingly happens to be a Capricorn.

Sharp FM will now be a monthly series that we’ll publish alongside the changing astrological seasons. We’re thinking of each release as part of a greater whole, and a big part of the excitement is that not even we can see the full picture yet since we can’t be exactly sure what each DJ will bring to their mixes. One of our goals, though, is to begin bringing in guests who take a more immersive approach to DJing—whether they produce and write their own music, or, in the case of Sam and his DJ partner Julien Passajou, make use of live sampling when they perform as Spoil. Naturally, we believe our approach to Sharp FM and the guests we host should be reflective of the way we do everything else at Sharp Type. 

Sam Clarke
Cover concept based on diagrams for studying the strength of carbon fiber

Since we began Sharp FM, we’ve wanted to work with Sam. We first became aware of his photography work years ago through Eartheater, whose two most recent albums make beautiful use of Carta Nueva. More recently, Sam co-founded Dust Radio, a live mix series that originally streamed from a dark waterfront corner of Greenpoint, where he also hosted the now-defunct monthly rave series Nausea. Since 2018, he has been DJing under the name S&M, which distinguishes this mix from his more techno-oriented projects.

Sam managed to work within a very finite amount of time, and in keeping with the Capricorn traits of hard work, discipline, and perseverance—which is the unofficial title of this mix—he delivered. The sounds are bracing, cold, and ultimately tender. “Right now I'm looking for things with cold exteriors and warm undertones. I like mixes to explore darkness before unveiling their beauty.”

We saluted 2023 with a festive Winter Solstice mix by Bianca Lexis, which closes with a horned remix of Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever.” If you play this Capricorn mix right afterwards, the shift in direction is a waterfall. Bit-mapped sparks and hisses make way for a subdued martial beat before the rhythm drops out to reveal the true nature of this mix, which is something altogether more expansive and textural. Some of these bass tones are Marianas-deep, and the meditative feel is regularly punctuated by bursts of brass, white noise, and sampled storms. 

“I wanted to make something strong and cold that plays into the Capricorn traits, haha,” says Sam. “In thinking about the myth of the Capricorn, I playfully imagined myself to be a roughly bearded goat, scaling a massive and precarious mountain with icy wind scorching my face and reaching the peak above the clouds to finally see the sublime curvature of the earth.”

“Ultimately, though, this mix is about preserving your inner flame. It's about adversity and accepting the long road ahead, which is really what Capricorn season is for me. Spring is coming.” The final twenty minutes of this mix are truly beautiful, which starts with a live Arthur Russell track. The cello phrasings are almost vocal and couldn’t be more tender. Sam sums up it up nicely: we're hanging on to every syllable like our lives depend on it. This first mix of 2023 is a palette cleanser and a beacon for the new year. We hope you enjoy listening to these as much as we do. It's our goal to consistently impart both surprise and joy with our curation. More to come!



Apathism – Seven

Regis – Rise

Klein – The Haunting of Grace

Rose Kallal – Mobius Coil

Karim Maas & Stave – Track4

Truthspeaker – position

Space Afrika – yyyyyy2222

O Yuki Conjugate – 200ft Vertical Wall

O Yuki Conjugate – Gathering Shadows

Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Dead End Angels

Coil – Cold Cell

David Wojnarowicz & Ben Neill – Intermezzo

Kali Malone – The Living Torch II

Lussuria – Confused and Ill By Shadows

Arthur Russell – Sunlit Water (Live 6/24/84)

Pedestrian Deposit – What Can't Be Given

Tim Hecker – Incurably Optimistic!

David Wojnarowicz – Cross Country 2 Part 2