Archive for September, 2011
This week, Kompakt release the highly anticipated second album from Walls – ‘Coracle’. Walls are Alessio Natalizia (of Banjo Or Freakout) and Sam Willis (from Allez-Allez – who you may also know from our own Bleep podcasts). We decided to have a quick Q&A with Sam, about the sound of Walls.
Bleep: In your own words, how would you describe yourselves and your sound to any new listeners?
Sam Willis: Our music is a messy collision of guitars, synths, drum machines and ambience.. we create sound collages that aim to transport you to otherworldly realms.
B: You’ve mentioned before the way that bands such as NEU! have influenced your sound. Is there anyone else you cite as a big influence, and why?
SW: It’s hard to be concrete about these kind of things, as our work tends to be quite instinctive, hence why it’s often quite eclectic – we just follow the sounds and melodies where they want to go – with this album things have taken a more dancefloor orientated turn, which is totally fine with us! We’re more interested in looking outside of the musical world for inspiration…
B: There is a strong immersive quality to your work, that at once the listener feels involved in some kind of journey or narrative. Can you explain what approach you have to the writing process and any narratives?
SW: We’re definitely interested in taking the listener on a journey for sure, but again, it’s very instinctive to us, we prefer not to imprint too much suggestion on a track, other than the title obviously, and even then we try to leave things somewhat oblique. We’d much rather the listener be allowed to subjectively experience our music in whichever way their imagination takes them.. The hope is that this is rather freeing, and allows them to create more of a personal link with it.
B: Who and what are you listening to at the moment?
SW: Our label Kompakt co-founder Wolfgang Voigt’s recent box set ‘Nah Und Fern‘ collection of his work as Gas never leaves the stereo – a series of timeless electronic masterpieces – they’re so immersive and hypnotic. Also the new Motion Sickness Of Time Travel album has really caught our attention, it’s fantastic to have as a soundtrack to your daily chores.
B: Can you talk us through the production process behind your work?
SW: It really varies a lot, which is probably another factor in why our stuff sounds so diverse.. A track can evolve through an idea that Alessio creates via the guitar and his pedals, or it could be me manipulating a sample in the computer that we then bend other sounds around.. We use quite a bit of field recording from across the net, it can really help to add texture and atmosphere, and you can get some really unique and weird sounds that have been captured by oddballs from across the world! A key sticking point for us when working on a track is that it must have some weight or significance, we’re looking for emotion and depth of feeling, how we arrive there is immaterial.
Walls’ latest album – ‘Coracle‘ is out his week and is available to buy now on Bleep.
This week, a brand new label emerged. Promising in output and vision, the name of the label is Public Information. It is run by Alex Wilson (who you may know from our very own Bleep podcasts) and good friend and former colleague – Lionel Skerratt. We decided to speak to Alex about what we can expect in the near future…
Bleep: Can you tell us the story behind Public Information? From what den of esotericism did the label spring from?
Alex Wilson: Public Information started as a germ of an idea about eighteen months ago, sitting in the bowels of a global Sound Archive. Four million records, the nation’s collection. Many never heard of, never found, never blogged about, never released… sounds that had to rise again. We have some of these lined up. But we also love New Music, so I enlisted the help of close colleague – Lionel Skerratt…
We are thrilled by the possibility of a catalogue that sits electronic tape-loops from 1957 beside next-wave 4/4 techno. Sweet Somalian pop music from 1982 in a cat-number frisson with blackest sci-fi drone, 70’s Library Music nestled on the shelf with contemporary cut-paste disco… subconscious links across decades, continents, tones, textures.
Public Information Influences:
B: What statement of intent best sums up the Public Information music policy?
AW: A survey of electronics… noise… psych… industrial… house… dub… wyrd-pop… library… techno… art… design from the last seven decades… 1950-Tomorrow. New-Archive. Light-Dark. This may be a good starting point, but this is not the end. If it feels good, sounds right, genre means little to us.
B: How did the collaboration with Gatekeeper’s Aaron David Ross come about?
AW: We approached the brilliant Elon Katz of (Whitecar, Streetwalker) about reissuing a micro-run cassette he made called The Pylori Program (Catholic Tapes) a little while ago. During such discussions he hipped us to a record his friend from Chicago was making. Whilst we were fans of Aaron’s Gatekeeper material the stuff he submitted as ADR was much more suited to Public Information. Perfectly as it turned out…
B: Why the name “Public Information”?
AW: A long, long, arduous process in Hackney hostelries… torn up bits of paper… spilt beer…strange combinations of words… periods of gestation… terrible combinations of words… some more gestation….
Then one dark, wet Tuesday night… two words felt right / gathered the least laughter from our associates. Public Information.
It was either that or ‘Warboys’…
B: Were you in any way inspired by Mordant Music’s exploration into Public Information films from the 70s and 80s when choosing a name for the label?
AW: Labels and artists that we admire greatly such as Mordant, Ghost Box, Café kaput, Broadcast, are devout followers of that classic wave of Public Information films from the 70’s and 80’s. Undeniably creepy images, great soundtracks, a golden era of unease…
However we were too young to be freaked first-hand, inspired by these films. Youtube serves as our only portal, not memory. In all honesty, Prodigy sampling the Charly Says… Public Information film was probably more of a direct influence.
We’re personally more drawn to the images of a time longer ago, way before ours… the 50’s and 60’s of Lindsay Anderson, John Krish, John Schlesinger, the films of the C.O.I. To the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, The Philips Studio, Scott, Morricone, Ortolani, Moog, re-shaped, landcruising down a rain slicked Detroit highway.
B: Following on from the ADR release is an EP from Canada’s No UFO’s, can you tell us a bit about that release and what else the future holds for Public Information?
AW: No UFO’s is a young man from Vancouver who first piqued Public Information’s attention with his incredible Soft Coast cassette of 2010. Very much in a similar vein he presented 7 tracks of mixtape-concrete-wyrd to us… we fell in love. Mind Controls The Flood is set to land in late October… It’s like Madlib was raised on Kosmische.
The latter is to drop an EP in January 2012 for us, but before we have a jaw-dropping archive release from a peer of Derbyshire, Oram, Baker by the name of Fred Judd. We have been given full access to his rarely/never heard before life’s work. It is a truly special. Watch this space…
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