Category Archives: Interviews

Groovement Interview: YOSI HORIKAWA // June 2013

yosi

 

Yosi Horikawa first came to my attention a couple of years back with Letter, which eventually saw release on his debut EP for Leeds’ First Word Records, Wandering. Have a listen to that here:

YOSI TOUCH
Yosi’s debut on Eklektik Records, Touch (April 2010)

 

First Word are about to drop Yosi’s debut album proper, entitled Vapor (which is a work of beauty, pre-order here), so I thought this would be a good time to hit him up with some questions over email. From Chiba to Manchester to you – read on, it’s one of the most poetic interviews I’ve had the pleasure of doing.

(If you want to find out a little more about Yosi, hit up this nice interview with Max Cole over at RBMA, in which Yosi was a 2011 participant).

YOSI LINKS // SOUNDCLOUD // FACEBOOK

What sparked your interest in recording sounds from your environment? Have you had any unusual experiences while trying to capture sounds? 

It just depends on the situations.
Sometime when my idea flashes, I run to record.
But sometimes I come across the nice sound by chance.
Though it’s so hard to tell how “nice” it is.

 

Was it a conscious decision to use found sounds to distinguish yourself from others, or is this something you’ve always done? Do you feel that you MUST always use a found sound now?

I don’t think I must use the found sounds always.
Actually you can hear that I use only normal musical instruments in my album.
I think the originality is very important for everyone.
So I’m always looking for something unique.
Actually when I started to make music, I started to record many non-instrumental sounds
because I didn’t have musical instruments, but one day I found the style is mine and it’s unique.

 

Stars single, First Word 2013
Stars single, First Word 2013

What equipment to you use to record sounds and then make music? 

Usually outside, I use the digital portable recorder and external microphones with a handmade wind screen.
After recording, I go back to my lab, and make a library.
Then start to make with Protools.

How did you get to be released on Eklektik, out of France, back in 2008? (Yosi was featured on this EP then released Touch.)

The boss of Eklektik, Alexandre Dallant found me on Myspace.
I thought it was incredible situation, but he told he love the incredible situation.

 

vapor
Vapor, released on First Word Records 2013

Please tell us a little bit about Vapor – a very, very beautiful album. Is there a concept driving it or is it separate pieces that have come together?

Thank you so much!
Concretely, I wanted to express many things in my life.
Many emotions, many sceneries, many materials,
but at the same time I wanted to tell how uncertain the expression is.
How much can we speak what we want to tell, and how much can we understand what people want to tell.
We might be able to speak a half of what we wanna tell, but I think the remaining half is important.
It might not come out forever, but we can imagine the existence.
That imagination is most creative I think.
I think it’s like to catch the vapor.

Why First Word?

Kidkanevil introduced me to join First Word.

Whose idea was the vinyl postcard?

My label boss Aly Gillani’s.

We hear in the news that vinyl sales are up, but record companies are sometimes finding it hard to afford to produce a vinyl versions of an album until it’s been out a while. Vapor is a case in point. Do you think people are interested in a vinyl version? What do you think about the record buying climate?

To be honest I don’t have any special feeling for the vinyl.
When my friends were dying to dig wax I was dying to dig something new stuff for the recording.
But I have good memories about vinyl.
My father was cleaning the vinyl so carefully every day before he played.
I loved to watch it.

Finally – is there anywhere in the world you would like to go to record a specific sound?

I just wanna try to go everywhere I’ve not been there.
Amazon, desert, North or South Pole – the places where it’s different so much from Japan.

Vapor is available on CD and digi from 24th June 2013 on First Word Records.
The deluxe version contains the CD album, 7″ of Whispers Of An Angel featuring Jesse Boykins III, and a vinyl postcard of the track Letter.
Available on Bandcamp.

Groovement Interview: CHALI 2NA // June 2013

photo

Here’s a little interview with The Nicest Man In Hip Hop, the giant handed Chali 2na of Jurassic 5. Chali was in town a day early to play an intimate gig for Will Not Be Televised – who also recorded a dope interview soon to be broadcast on their channel – before hitting the Parklife stage with J5.

The interview was recorded at the Black Sheep store in Manchester, big shout to them!

Become part of Chali’s Against the Current project right here. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Have a listen to our recent chat with Akil right here.

Watch/listen on YouTube.

INTERVIEW: CODY CHESNUTT // MARCH 2013

Photo: Naho Taniyama http://instagram.com/ponahontas_

 

“A bit of history,” says Cody ChesnuTT as I switch off my recorder and ask him to sign my Gridlock’d soundtrack (Cody contributed Deliberation, the final track). ‘Snoop actually chose the track listing for this. Suge (Knight) was in jail at the time. He came in to the studio and went through the tracks. He chose Deliberation as the final track, to round off the album. It was actually recorded for a Tupac tribute, but when that fell through we put it on this album.” The track’s credited to ‘Anonymous’ on the back cover because Cody didn’t want to be too pigeonholed  into the Death Row sound, but those who actually read liner notes would have found full credit on the interior.

 

The Headphone Masterpiece, 2002, Ready Set Go

And that’s only one aspect of Cody – however you’ve come across him, whether it be from the hand drawn 45s he dropped off in record shops, his debut LP The Headphone Masterpiece, hearing him on The Seed 2.0 with The Roots or being enchanted by his brief appearance in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, there’s no denying he is soul embodied.

He’s currently touring in support of his recent album Landing On A Hundred, released on One Little Indian. Tonight’s show saw him focus on music from that album (more on that in the interview), delivering a heartfelt and frankly jumpin’ performance with his full band, obligatory helmet and odes to Mrs ChessnuTT. The highlight for me was a quarter-hour version of Love Is More Than A Wedding Day, singing thoughts and stories to the crowd on improv and even singing a “please don’t talk when I’m singing, it really puts me off” to a couple in the front row.

Landing On A Hundred, 2012, One Little Indian

Below we talk about the band, pushing his music in 2013, playing instruments and Manchester. Also catch below that an interview with powerful support act Thabo & The Real Deal.

Cody ChestnuTT Website Facebook

INTERVIEW: THABO & THE REAL DEAL // MARCH 2013

L-R Clockwise: Thabo Mkwananzi, Emmanuel Allert, Ali Mac, Aron Kyne.

To call Thabo & The Real Deal ‘acoustic soul’ is to do them a diservice. They’re much more layered than such pigeonholing may suggest, delivering headline quality performances in support time slots for Leon Ware, Omar, Anthony Hamilton and in this instance, Cody ChesnuTT (catch our interview with him on the same night here).

Hailing from Leeds and Huddersfield (much to the surprise of the audience tonight), the band consists of Fender Rhodes (Aron Kyne), percussion (Ali Mac), acoustic guitar (Emmanuel Allert) and vocals (Thabo Mkwananzi) – good songs alone would probably garner this lot a solid following, but Thabo’s onstage dynamism at this gig had the audience 2-stepping from side to side, singing along after five minutes and smiling for a full half hour.

Below we chat about their EPs, support slots and ambition. Here’s the mix from Andrea Trout I promised here we’d plug, featuring TATRD’s Revolution as the first track.

New EP World War Free is out now.
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World War Free out now

INTERVIEW: PAUL WHITE // MARCH 2013

A brief album discography to start off with… click each cover to have a listen to the album. Check his Bandcamp for EPs.

The Strange Dreams Of Paul White (2009)

Sounds From The Skylight (2009)

Paul White and the Purple Brain (2010)

Rapping With Paul White (2011)

Rapping With Paul White {The Room Below Versions} (2012)

Paul White’s popularity seems to spread in tsunamis – first with the fans acquired through his One Handed Music debut The Strange Dreams Of…, then people who jumped aboard subsequent releases (not least with Stones Throw cousin Now Again being involved from Purple Brain onwards) and finally the explosion of fandom that followed the release of Rapping With…

Even through all this, Paul has remained a fairly elusive individual. One Handed Music’s Alex Chase has been a guiding hand throughout, but it appears that’s all changing as of now. As OHM put it recently: “after years in the shadows, Paul White has come out fighting. Not only is he posting vintage beats on Soundcloud, he’s also giving away a free download of his remix of Seaming To’s ‘Vertigo Billy’. Put in your requests for beats from the vault on Paul’s Facebook page or chat with him on Twitter. His Soundcloud stream is here.”

So, 2013 looks set to be Paul’s biggest year yet – hopefully he’ll continue to step forth into the limelight, and probably won’t have a choice once the next Danny Brown album Old drops (which he contributes another few tracks to – see XXX for previous form on Adderall Admiral, Fields and Scrap Or Die).

I chatted to Paul both as a follow up to our 2009 talk (streamable below) and in anticipation of his forthcoming Manchester date at Kraak on Good Friday, made possible by the combined might of our good friends at Mind On Fire and This City Is Ours. Here’s the poster – click it to find a ticket link!

 

Hello Paul! What are you up to right now?

Studying this crazy fascinating life….apart from that just finished off the new EP, Watch The Ants, finished off a few remixes, one’s just come out called Vertigo Billy by original artist Seaming To, done ones for Azymuth and The Ipanemas too. Been busy with Danny Brown’s album, just finishing a crazy little live 12″ project. Been working with some musicians and singers, writing avant-garde, trying everything!

Last time we spoke (May 2009) you’d just dropped your debut ‘The Strange Dreams Of…’ – how do you regard that as a piece of work now?

I was just so happy I could put that out the way it was, like little film clips, little emotion clips, because life changes pretty fast. That album is like a diary of my life at the time. It represents a time in my life, and I’m so happy I got to put that out purely like that!

You seem to have come a long way in terms of collabs since then… some of these were simply hopes at the time.

PAUL WHITE x GROOVEMENT 2009

PAUL WHITE // MAY09 by Groovement Interviews on Mixcloud

Have OHM continued to be good pilots of the good ship Paul White? How hard is it to balance raising awareness through giving away free music and making a living for the label – and indeed yourself?

I mean, I do this because I love music so much, like toooo much. I love being able to share my music, it feels like an honour to be able to do this, on my own and collaborating. I totally owe that to One-Handed who have been amazingly supportive, its a beautiful label where you can just be pure, which is what music should be 200 million billion percent. So One-Handed has been a great ship to be on! I let them arrange that balance though mainly, you have to go with the times. Connecting with people is the magical part for me!

Have you changed the way you make music to suit certain vocalists?

Ive never done that once, never tried to make something for someone, it just doesnt work, you never know what people are going to like and pick and want to use! Thats whats beautiful about it, the unpredictability, wouldn’t have it any other way! People might pick the weirdest craziest track you never thought they would just because of how they felt that day, I love that, truly connecting with someone without saying shit!

Have you modified or changed your music making methods in any way?

I kinda always tried to go with different ways and approaches anyway, but yeah of course for sure, you listen to new types of music, get influenced by different things, your life changes, so everything changes all the time, you cant try and hold a constant, that will be painful, its like Bruce Lee says “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless……. Be water my friend”.

 

You’re playing a live set with Mo Kolours in Manchester. How did this set up come about and what does it entail?

Mo Kolours

About a year and a half ago I had a gig set up for Switzerland and needed a live show, me and Mo have been friends and musical partners in crime for years, so thought lets get 2 of us and learn some instruments, so I borrowed a little drum kit set up some keyboards and went through loads of my beats and found ones I could re-create live, because a lot of them I couldn’t. And it just turned into so much fun and inspiration doing it that way, which then obviously breed into different ideas, with Mo aswell were both on the same page so it fit together real easily, we both see music as the same thing. I mean Im still learning these instruments, now I also play with a musican/producer called Tenderlonious on Saxophone, percussion and other toys, so there’s 3 of us now, basically we all swap around all over the place instrument wise, its real free and loose and just energy and fun and a quarter just improvised with a rough outline. I want the feel and the vibe and the energy and emotion to come through the most more than anything, so you cant get too rigid with that, its got to be loose and free. Now I try and play as much as I can on the show, marimba, drums, percussion, keyboards, sing, I wack just a tom drum for one, its fun man, but I wanna take it somewhere, got ideas!!

Mind on Fire and This City Is Ours, who are putting you on in Manchester, are both promoters (and record labels) who put on performers they love. I consider Manchester to be musically healthy at various levels, from hip hop to woozy ambience. Do you have a feel for which parts of the country have what you’d consider a vibrant music scene – or is there a particular hotspot of producers anywhere that you keep an ear on?

I suppose a little yeah. I think there’s probably amazing music scenes all over the world, its just some you hear some you don’t, some might be real small, that’s why you gotta really look. I mean I feel I’ve been lucky growing up in somewhere like London, where theres music scenes everywhere, Ive grown up going to the Barbican with my dad and places like that, seeing all types of people through different genres, then growing up raving a lot as a kid, now there’s all these producers and musicians in London doing their thing now, and were all connecting naturally that’s whats nice, just the universe doing its thing it feels like, so its always felt there’s such a music scene here, throughout my life, always all around me. But I love music from everywhere, I suppose I don’t really focus on scenes just good music, you don’t wanna miss anywhere or anything out!

Saying that… do you think it’s possible for music ‘scenes’ to still exist or is that restricted to online movements now? Do you make your music imagining what it will sound like in a club?

People always come together, similar minded people, just naturally I think, so there will always be scenes and groups of people, hopefully a lot more I think we need more people coming together, the internet can be dangerous in the sense you can connect without actually meeting which is always better, so the internet changes things I suppose, but also can enable those scenes to cross pollinate more maybe too, or go the total opposite way, depends how you take it, but I guess its also got the potential for scenes to grow and connect, its up to the people at the end of the day not the technology. When I make my music I don’t think about anything, in fact I try to think as little as possible and just do what my heart tells me and not my brain, I think thinking too much can distract you, second guessing stuff, I try and get my feeling and energy in there, that’s about it, turn your brain OFF, and see where else it comes from. A lot of the best music out there is one takes, certain jazz musicians and I’m sure many many others too wouldn’t ever do a third take when recording, ever, some probably never even did a second take, that frees you, not limits you. Never limit yourself by only thinking one thing, that’s why you shouldn’t think at all.

Paul, in a car.

When I spoke to you last we were discussing Myspace as your main social networking tool. How have you found this changing in the last four years?

I mean I’ve only just got myself on twitter and facebook properly, so I’m just seeing how similar that can be to myspace in the way of connecting with people from all over the world. Its just shifted over to different platforms.

I know you’re a modest person, so how do you feel about the internet buzz about your work? I haven’t heard a bad thing.

Well much appreciated firstly. Obviously it makes me very happy to know people enjoy it, it gives me inspiration and a fire to do even more, to give back, but I don’t focus on that, strongly, for a reason, I only wanna do this because I love it, not for anything else, its like Leon Ware says, the success you have will depend on how much you truly love something, rather than focusing on any rewards. I love music and the feeling it gives me, sharing that is amazing and if people feel what you feel, that’s really magical!

Cliche question! Tell me some good music you’ve heard recently.

Been obsessed with Moondog lately, his more unknown stuff, that’s got me into all this crazy counterpoint music! Love those dudes Tame Impala too, their real psych stuff like Mind Mischief…. been listening to too much good music to mention! But saying that I still need to listen to so much more out there too, its hard when your trying to make it all the time.

I look forward to seeing you again at the end of this month. Will you sign my pillowcase please?

Fo shizzle. Cant wait myself! Thanks!

It's not just the room below that appreciates Paul's music.

Paul White plays in Manchester (with Mo Kolours on drums) on Good Friday 29 March 2013. Grab a ticket here.
Support comes from Danny Drive Thru and Ape Cult.

Groovement Interview: KILLER MIKE // FEB2013

Bedos (In The Loop) x Killer Mike

Agent J sits down with Killer Mike at the Roadhouse, Manchester to talk chicken, beef, family and records. Bedos (our host at In The Loop) is giggling in the background and in the pic above.

Many thanks to Mike for his time, Siggy the tour manager and Todd at One Inch Badge.

Listen on YouTube

Groovement Interview: ALICE RUSSELL

Alice’s fifth album, To Dust, is due to drop next month. The single Heartbreaker preceded it back in November, with the frankly unexpected video below featuring everyone’s favourite Simpsons voice artist, radio guy and Godzilla-remake Harry Shearer. Here’s Harry in Tokyo, interviewing fifties Gojira royalty.

But back to Alice! Initial responses ‘pon Twitter are extremely positive about the new album, and it’s about time Alice’s was recognised as one of the strongest modern soul voices around, full stop. We have a chat about chilli, the new album, funk in 2013 and more. Also with us is Rosie from Tru Thoughts, a label who seem to have big things lined up for 2013.


To Dust is released February 25th 2013 on heavyweight double LP, CD, digi and 10″ too. 

Tracklist:
1. A To Z
2. Heartbreaker Pt. 2
3. For A While
4. Heartbreaker
5. I Loved You Interlude
6. Hard And Strong
7. To Dust
8. I Loved You
9. Twin Peaks
10. Heartbreaker Interlude
11. Let Go (Breakdown)
12. Drinking Song Interlude
13. Citizens
14. Different (Bonus Track)

Interview: ALICE RUSSELL // DEC12 by Jamie Groovement on Mixcloud

Groovement Interview: DJ WOODY x DJ YODA // OCT12

It was a night of audio visual devastation in Manchester – Yoda’s headline set and Woody’s Big Phat 90s show in one place at one time. Myself and DJ A-UP had hold of the bar downstairs thanks to the Hip Hop Chip Shop, but I managed to find time to grab a quick interview with both AV DJs post-setup.

Listen on Mixcloud.

DJ YODA x DJ WOODY

Interview by Agent J @ Sound Control, 19th October 2012.

Movement were the gig organisers.

Big Phat 90′s Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.

Groovement Interview: TERRY CALLIER

Photo taken at a BBC Radio recording session in August 2007 by Kevin Luckhurst.

Listen on Mixcloud

The passing of Terry Callier earlier last weekend made me really, really sad. I was put onto his work by my friend/housemate Chico back in ’99/2000, who played me Dancing Girl. Chico said to me, “This guy missed out the eighties but made amazing music before that and after that…”

I was captivated from the off. I’ve interviewed a lot of people for Groovement but rarely get star-struck – Terry was a different story, even though the conversation was over the phone while he was staying in Manchester (2nd October 2010 to be precise, for Band on the Wall’s 1st anniversary of its reopening).

We chatted about music, family, gun control and his beginnings… enjoy. Shouts to the amazing Mr Bongo for the hook-up.

Terry’s funeral takes place tomorrow, Saturday November 3rd, in Chicago. Keep an eye on the Mr Bongo Twitter and Terry Callier Facebook for details of a London memorial.

Check more Groovement interviews out here.

Interview: HIDDEN ORCHESTRA

Detail from the cover of new long player Archipelago - artwork Norman Ackroyd

 

Last time I caught up with Hidden Orchestra it was November 2010 and they were playing at Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club in Manchester. Their debut LP Night Walks had recently been released on Tru Thoughts, and around a fortnight ago the follow up, Archipelago, hit the physical and virtual shelves. We sent over a few questions to find out a little more about how things are going.

Big shout to Soundcrash who had Hidden Orchestra play recently (check a couple of snaps below) and have all manner of top shows coming up here.

Hidden Orchestra have a fair few European tour dates left too, check them here.

hiddenorchestra.com / fb / twitter / www.tru-thoughts.co.uk
Hi Joe! Jamie here from Groovement, we caught up last at Matt & Phreds, hope all is well!

Hello – I remember it well – my pleasure…

Tell us about the new album…

It’s called ‘Archipelago’, and is out on 1st October (yesterday as I write this) on Tru Thoughts Records.

Night Walks seems to have gone down as a bit of a classic, do you feel the Hidden Orchestra name carries more weight since its release, or is it more about the live sets?

The studio stuff and the live show are almost two separate entities – I write the music in a studio for the CD albums, and the band then perform it live – and the two can be quite different experiences. But at the same time they are very much complementary, and both seem to be generating some nice word-of-mouth response.

What did you want to achieve with the release of the follow up? Are there vast differences between this and the debut as so much blood, sweat and tears went into Night Walks? Was this one easier or the traditionally ‘difficult second album’?

The writing of this album overlapped with Night Walks by about 4 years, even though it was finished two years later – so inevitably there are many similarities in style, texture and form… To me, it feels like a development of many of the themes and ideas of Night Walks, and I’m happy that I’ve given it my best shot… But still, now that it has been finished for months, I can hear it more objectively, and there may well be occasional self-conscious moments..

 

You’re quite a unique act in terms of how you make and perform music. Does that leave you feeling isolated or special?

Never really thought about it to be honest, certainly not in a negative way anyway. I think maybe you’ve summed it up in the question by suggesting that we are only ‘quite unique’… It’s nice that people seem to enjoy that we try to offer something different.

 

Are you friendly with others on the Tru Thoughts roster? Any plans for working with anyone?

Everyone we’ve met on the roster are nice friendly people – we’ve enjoyed doing various live shows with the likes of Anchorsong, Nostalgia77, Belleruche, Hint, and Alice Russell.. Also loved Maddslinky’s remix of ‘The Windfall’ last year… But no immediate plans for collaborations – I’m keen to get on with taking Hidden Orchestra in new directions, touring, and collating some of the other music projects I do into a kind of remixes album – as well as trying to keep a hand in the radio world, making mixtapes, and juggling various other interests…

 

You’ve got a special edition LP, limited to 800 copies – was something like this important to you? Is anyone in the band a vinyl head? Is this the best way to listen to the music?

Having that nice LP is a really special thing – to me it feels like the ultimate ideal presentation or manifestation of the album in physical form – I mostly buy and listen to mp3s, but even though I’ve paid good money I often don’t feel like I actually own those ‘records’…

People really seem to appreciate having something physical to represent/objectify/substantiate their ownership of or relationship with music that they care about – and so it’s nice to try and make this object as beautiful as you can, particularly as we frequently sell it to people who don’t even own a turntable – and all our vinyl sales come with a free 320kbps mp3 download version of the full release…


Tim and I both occasionally buy vinyl – and there are many great things about the act of listening to music on vinyl. In purely audiophile terms, CDs are always better quality sound, most faithful to the original sound that the artist/producer heard while creating it – as making vinyl involves all kinds of tweaks such as chopping off the high frequencies and shaping the bass frequencies into mono, and playing it back has many more inherent mechanical complications – but vinyl does also give you a more constant smooth waveform, and that frequency-chopping can give it a really nice characteristic warm sound that much music benefits from…


The best way of listening to the music depends most on nice well-placed speakers, with good bass – or a high-quality pair of headphones. 
Things like the difference between CD and vinyl are never going to have as much effect as people having one speaker at a wonky angle propping up a bookshelf, or listening to music straight off a laptop or phone…

 

Soundcrash Gig Sep 2012 Pic www.sugurusaito.com

 

You have lots of European dates coming up – what’s the reception been like out there?
Nearly all our experiences in Europe have been fantastic – and it feels like a real privilege to be getting to travel and work out there.

Broadly the audiences seem really well-informed, discerning, open-minded and responsive, and the treatment you receive as ‘artists’ can be overwhelming – we are always well looked after.

 

Do you attract particular crowds depending on where you are or would you say it’s a cross section of jazz, hip hop and/or classical audiences? Do you get pigeon holed in any way?

Yeah, there’s a huge variation – and whilst we often encounter really mixed crowds containing people enjoying a new kind of environment (sharply-dressed clubbers itching to dance in a seated jazz cafe, or bearded old boys itching to sit down and smoke a pipe in a loud sweaty club), the audiences are generally dictated to a large degree by the programming style of the venue or promoter.


So if we are going to play at jazz festival, a rock festival, a late-night club with DJs, or a high-brow contemporary arts centre, we usually have a pretty good idea of what the majority of the crowd are likely to be like, and we try to tailor the sets to focus on a particular aspect of the music, as seems suitable to the occasion and place.


We aim to be inclusive, and welcome anyone. In the same spirit we don’t mind being pigeon-holed – though perhaps at times it has been frustrating that people have perceived us to be primarily a jazz band, as I have no background, training, or improvisatory skills in jazz… I’m just a listener who has incorporated some of the ideas into an aesthetic that shares greater influences from many kinds of classical, dance and folk musics…


But at the same time, it’s an honour to be bracketed with musicians that are considered serious and technically proficient, and sometimes granted attentive thoughtful crowds.

 

What can you tell us about Norman Ackroyd’s work?
Norman would genuinely be my favourite artist even without the extraordinary coincidence that I discovered his work through his daughter, my better half for the last ten years… Most of his work consists of vivid monochrome etchings of landscapes, and he is particularly interested in shorelines – the coast and islands of the British Isles.

Balmoral Forest Loch Muick http://www.normanackroyd.com/


His work chimes in somehow with what I aim to do musically, though in a different and greatly more refined way. I think it’s something to with the way that his etchings are incredibly vibrant and realistic, and yet at the same time somehow abstract. He’s able to create distinctive and recognisable features with broad brushtrokes, that leap off the page and yet still appear shrouded in mist…


www.normanackroyd.com

Study of Sunlight Co. Kerry www.normanackroyd.com

 

What do you look/listen for in found sounds and do you have any particular inspirations in this field?
All kinds of things – I like characterful soundscapes (such as the call-to-prayer echoing round Istanbul from dozens of rooftop speakers, or the traffic in Cairo at 3am, or the dawn chorus next to the stream outside the cottage in the Highlands where I spent a week working on the album) – repetitive rhythmic sounds which I can edit and program into loops (like the mechanical clacking of machinery, cross-country skiing, the song or call of an individual bird, an oven-timer or even a faulty thermostat) – and individual percussive or atmospheric noises (such as using an axe-chop for a snare, making beats from stomping and shuffling footsteps, or a synth-style filter-sweep out of a waterfall).


Inspirations include all my time working on location recordings and sound design for radio dramas and documentaries with BBC producer Matt Thompson, nature sound recordists like Chris Watson and Bernie Krause, and producers who made use of soundscapes in their work (DJ Cam’s night-time crickets and owls were a big influence for me). Also I found a session working with with Norwegian producer Jan Bang very inspiring, and his approach of treating all sound as sample-able audio, for making music…

 

Releasing music… You made Footsteps a free download pre-Night Walks plus had a pre-album mixtape and warmed up the new one with the release of an EP and video… What have you found works best in terms of getting people to hear your music, and are there any particular media appearances that stand out as bringing in a slew of new listeners?
The releasing strategy is essentially planned and managed by Tru Thoughts, who carefully think through what they think will work best with each release from every artist, based on both previous experience and new ideas.. Everything is run past us, but we trust in and approve of what they do.


The mixtapes are more something I’ve done off my own back – since the label first encouraged me to make a mix, since I’m not really a DJ I thought I would make a mixtape in the studio… And since I was doing it that way, I decided I should make it fairly elaborate and take advantage of various possibilities for long overlaps, mashups, remixes, re-edits, extra layers of beats and basslines, and adding lots of original material, sound design, and many forms of spoken word, from rapping and poetry through to interviews and audio books…


Each one takes me months to create, working on them mostly for sheer enjoyment in between other work, and they end up being almost like proper albums for me.


The response to them has been fantastic, across various sites such as Mixcloud, ParisDJs, and Soundcloud – I am working on the one to follow Archipelago at the moment…

 

Soundcrash Gig Sep 2012 Pic www.sugurusaito.com