Reduced By Ibukun Sunday

The soundtrack to a reduced frame of mind and an expanding resource to encourage better self-careExplore the archive.

Students of early hip-hop may be aware of the small print on the back sleeve of LL Cool K’s 1985 album Radio: “Reduced by Rick Rubin”, in homage to his pioneering minimalist arrangement. It’s with Rick’s same approach to musical minimalism that this series emerges: stripping sound back to its most transcendental, restorative and atmospheric textures to block out the noise and aid focus, attunement and relaxation.

Discussions have come a long way in recent years, but there still remains a taboo around not being okay. To accompany each audio presentation, we’ll speak to the creator about their experiences with self-care and, if they’re comfortable sharing, mental health. We’ll unpack personal processes, explore the nuances of self-care across cultures and raise awareness of charities with a personal connection. We hope this will grow into an evolving resource of knowledge and experience to provide solace, inspiration, reassurance and company in difficult times.

Lagos-based sound artist and violinist Ibukun Sunday has a singular take on ambient. He marries these meditative vibrations with the sounds of his West African home, using his synthesizer and field recordings from the natural surroundings of his native Nigeria to explore questions of existence, humanity and apocalypse.

Having released these soundscapes on labels like Syrphe, Noise à Noise, Sounds for the Soul Records and Mystery Circles, he now debuts on Phantom Limb’s offshoot Spirituals with his new EP The Last Wave, which ruminates on the beginning and the end of Earth, a subject which is incredibly relevant at the moment.

Recorded as a live set, his Reduced mix is made up of some of the sounds from his recent releases, crafted on his synth setup. He’s chosen to pair his mix with two charities: LPM Foundation, an NGO promoting mental health wellness and awareness among young people, and MHIN Nigeria, a social enterprise that helps provide practical intervention and services for those experiencing mental health difficulties.

The Last Wave is out now on Spirituals.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.

First off, what does self-care mean to you?

Self-Care means expressing oneself in an essential form of self-care, that’s body and soul.

What does your daily or weekly self-care routine look like?

Meditation daily and deep listening.  

Can you tell us about the self-care spot you’ve photographed and how have made it an optimum spot?

Three days a week I come out here and take a 40 minute break. Just to free my mind and soul.

What benefits has self-care brought you over the years?

Learning and listening.

Are there any specific techniques you favour or come back to more frequently?

Silence at night to listen to the sound of nature. I find peace.

Are there any self-care techniques that are native to your community or heritage and how are they viewed in the global context of the self-care movement?

Music, dance mostly, are common in my community.

How is mental health viewed in your own culture or immediate surroundings?

It not something we speak about here in my community/country and, to me, I think it’s something we should work on.

Do you think being part of the music industries has had any implications for your mental health. If so, what have you done to cope with it?

Yes always. I am grateful and happy that I am part of the music industry and thank God for the gift and my family and friends for their support always.

What advice would you have for anyone who is either skeptical about the benefits of self-care, or is new to it and feels intimidated by the wealth of options available?

My advice is to have someone who will always understand and stand by you.

Based on experiences where others have helped you, what advice would you give to those who are close to someone who’s suffering but doesn’t know how best to support them?

My experience nobody knows onto I reach out but it will be good if someone knows someone who is suffering from mental health problems, that is the way.

What was the idea behind your Reduced set?

While I work with the space I have, I love this setup. It makes me feel comfortable.

We Are The Same
We Live In A Litigious Age (A time of life)
There Are Here
There Been Here Before
Last Earth

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.

The Last Wave is out now on Spirituals.

Comments are closed.