Oct 072019
 

David Boswell AKA Bozzwell has had a colorful and highly successful career in music spanning almost two decades, from his early white label rave productions through his years as vocalist, bassist, guitarist and keyboard player with chart-topping act All Seeing I to his recordings as Hiem alongside Nick Eastwood for labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Nang, and Eskimo. He has always let shine his passion for recording, producing and performing, working alongside Pop and Dance music royalty, including Jarvis Cocker, UK rap innovator Roots Manuva and none other than the Human League’s Phil Oakey, and also recording as Bozzwell for a host of international labels such as Relish, Throne of Blood and, most importantly, Cologne-based label “Firm” records which sits under the Kompakt umbrella. He released the international hit “In My Cocoon” alongside his critically acclaimed album “Bits And Pieces,” which was received with glowing reviews from a host of magazines, blogs and broadsheets including a thumbs up from Berlin’s “Speigel Tag” and The Guardian in the UK, where this quote summed things up perfectly: “Bozz is gestating a far more complex pop music. The latest wave of electro-pop acts poses as edgy, arthouse originals. Bozz is true to the spirit of 1982, actually producing music which challenges the listener.” He’s also played some of the world’s coolest nightclubs, attracted by his twitchy Techno DJ sets and the contents of his record box. 2017 saw the release of Hiem’s “Hotspace” album through Nang Records, which once again was received warmly. At present, he’s working on the next Hiem album with Nick and crafting some innovative electronic folk under his original David John Boswell name.
Here’s a chat I had with him.

Hiem on Facebook

Hiem

Chain D.L.K: First of all, I’d like to ask if you were raised in Sheffield.

Bozzwell: Yes, Sheffield has been my home for 22 years or so; I love it here.

Chain D.L.K: I wanted to ask because I was curious to know how you’ve been influenced by the Sheffield scene of the likes of Clock DVA, Cabaret Voltaire, Human League, Artery, etc.

Bozzwell: Oh yes, definitely. It’s got so much of a musical heritage with all them guys, plus I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with Phil Oakey a number of times. It’s a synth city. I guess the only scene that really differed from that was the Artcic Monkeys thing that happened, but everyone is still mostly here, of the old Electronic heroes.

Chain D.L.K: How was it to work with Phil and what do you think of his career?

Bozzwell: Oh, wow, Phil’s quite a regular guy really. I guess his image in the early days, with the lop-sided hair and makeup, gave him an enigmatic kind of vibe, but he’s great to work with, on stage and in the studio. Me and Nick from Hiem had loads of fun working alongside him. I mean, his career has been amazing, really, all those hits. It’s quite an astonishing achievement, what they did.

Chain D.L.K: I’d like to be able to give to our readers the idea of your musical path, so I’d like to start by asking this: How did you start with music and when?

Bozzwell: Well, I guess I started when I was about 10/11. I started playing the drums first in heavy metal bands, had the double bass drum kit with a million toms and cymbals. I sort of progressed on to other instruments and then started working with computers and sequencers later on. Instruments to me are just tools to get what I’m feeling over. I’ve never been that great socially, so music has been a great place to hide and also to be able to communicate through it.

Chain D.L.K: What year was that?

Bozzwell: Oh, that must have been 1980 when I started, a long time ago…so it was when New Wave was having its best bands as well when classic metal was going on…you know…AC/DC, Motley Crue…

Chain D.L.K: So you weren’t in Sheffield, then…

Bozzwell: Exactly that time for sure, I was totally into all that stuff. I went to all the shows, Whitesnake, AC/DC all them guys. I saw the Crue too. I guess I got seduced by electronic music later on down the line. I was living in North Wales, a little town called Prestatyn, though I had a lot of problems there when I was younger. I was bullied a lot and there were a lot of really mean small-minded people there. I was glad to get out, to be honest.
I’ve still got friends there, though, who I go and visit when I go back to see my mum and stuff. There are only about five people I talk to, though.

Chain D.L.K: How was the music scene where you lived?

Bozzwell: Pretty bad, really; there was nothing there, really. It was impossible to find the right people to work with; it’s just the typical British seaside town, not many opportunities at al. I moved to South Yorkshire to go to Uni/College to study music Technology, so that’s how I ended up here in Sheffield.

Chain D.L.K: So, you moved to Sheffield in the late 90’s, right?

Bozzwell: Yeah, I got here in ’95 and have been here since.

Chain D.L.K: So you got there in time for the whole acid scene blast that was going on the biggest cities of the Kingdom, then…

Bozzwell: Yeh, on the tail end of that. Warp records were there then before they moved to London, so after working with a lot of the guys here in Sheffield, that’s how I got going really.

Chain D.L.K: Is it when you started to produce your white label rave records?

Bozzwell: Ahh, I’d previously lived in Liverpool for two years prior to that. I was producing a few white labels then, which were definitely more part of the Rave thing.

Chain D.L.K: What kind of gear did you use back then, to make your music?

Bozzwell: Oh my, I was using back then an Akai S1000, hooked up to an old Atari ST with Cubase and a few bits and bobs, Synths etc. It was all so different then. Equipment was so expensive, as opposed to today, when you can make a great record on a laptop.

Chain D.L.K: The difference now is that even if you make a great record it’s really difficult to get it out there well promoted, etc…or maybe, was it like that also back then?

Bozzwell: The main difference then was, there was more of a quality control kind of thing, as there weren’t a million tracks released every day like now. I think the internet /downloads etc. has been great for people to get their music out there, though it’s almost like anyone can release a record now, so there’s a lot more really bad stuff to wade through, to find the gems. It was still hard then, though, to break something through though, but nothing like it is now. Everything’s so fast; you can release a record and it’s forgotten about in two weeks or so. It’s like a double-edged sword, the way things work now. I’m so glad that vinyl has had a comeback, though. I think people are getting bored with digital files and want something tangible in their hands.

Chain D.L.K: Vinyl is back, but when I read that well-known labels are printing something like 1000 records or not so small ones 500/300 it makes me think: what’s that? In the ’90s, losers like me were selling 300…
Also…it’s so nice to purchase used CDs for cheap prices and get good music for good money…

Hiem

Bozzwell: It’s the same now, really; most boutique labels will only press 100/300 at the most. It’s easier for the really big labels, as most of what’s released are reissues, like the Pink Floyds, Zeppelins. etc.: The major labels still have the whip hand, unfortunately, but it’s great for underground music, with more record distributors starting up again. It’s quite healthy again, I think.

Chain D.L.K: Yes, but to get a vinyl you spend much more than a CD, for the item as well for the post, really… It’s a tricky thing, it seems to me…

Bozzwell: Yeh, it can be a minefield with it all; prices have definitely gone way sky high for vinyl.

Chain D.L.K: So…end of the 90’s and we have All Seeing I. How did you start with them? Was it before the huge success they had with “The Beat Goes On”?

Bozzwell: What happened was I was working a lot with Dean from All Seeing I. They’d had two massive hits with “The Beat Goes On” and “Walk Like A Panther” at the time they were working on the album, so I was brought in to co-produce and sing on one of the album songs and also I went on tour and was the vocalist alongside a girl called Lisa Millet. I was also switching between bass, guitar, and keys onstage and tv appearances. It was quite a crazy time, as everyone like Jarvis Cocker and Phil Oakey was also involved a lot also.

Chain D.L.K: They used a lot of vocal samples. How did you balance that with live vocals?

Bozzwell: Well, most of the songs on the album were sung, so it was 80% live if I remember. I’d just sing alongside any samples.

Chain D.L.K: How did it end? You did only one album…

Bozzwell: Ha! I know, it’s crazy. To be honest, I think it just ran out of steam. There was talk about doing another album, but somehow it didn’t happen. I think though it was best in hindsight for it to end when it did. Also, everybody had different commitments, Pulp, etc., so maybe it wouldn’t have worked a second time. It was a great experience, though. I was never comfortable with the pop star kinda thing though, to be honest.

Chain D.L.K: What happened after that? Did you start to work on Hiem?

Bozzwell: Yes, that’s it. Nick, who works with me with Hiem, was at all the festivals with his band “Venini,” which Russel Senior from Pulp started. We hit it off and started working together, so we started Hiem and started releasing records with Crosstown Rebels around 2004/2005. We were getting a lot of press in the NME, etc. and doing radio sessions and the like, so it worked perfectly for us.

Chain D.L.K: The first Hiem album “1/2” was totally different from the stuff you previously did. It’s a mix of dance and synthpop with a bit of 80s touch…

Bozzwell: Yeh, it’s definitely that. We’ve always been a mix of a lot of stuff, really, and thankfully it all seems to fit together. To me, I’ve always thought Hiem has more in common with late 70s acts, but there is definitely a big 80s element to what we do. It’s difficult to get away from that sometimes using retro synths, etc. I think it’s a good album for an introduction to Hiem.

Chain D.L.K: What kind of 70s acts do you have in mind? I’m curious…

Bozzwell: Well, for me and Nick it’s definitely Sparks, Neu, a lot of the Krautrock scene, plus for the last 13 years or so, I’ve spent a lot of time playing records in Berlin and Cologne, so there’s a big influence there of the Bowie/Iggy Berlin period which has always fascinated us both.

Chain D.L.K: With your second album “Escape From Division Street,” you focused your style even more and collaborated with Phil Oakey and Roots Manuva. What brought you to that result?

Bozzwell: I think that album was more focused; it seemed to reign in everything we’d been listening to around that period, plus we’d started to work with Eskimo from Belgium. I’d met Rodney (Roots Manuva) in a pub and he said he needed a hit for Ninja Tune, his label, so I ended up working on some material for his album and also doing a couple of Hiem tracks. Phil just came in for a coffee and ended up singing on one of the tracks, so it all worked out like that. Sheffield’s a crazy place…you never know who’s going to walk in the door next.

Chain D.L.K: That’s crazy…really.

Bozzwell: Yeah, ha!

Chain D.L.K: Four years after that, we have your latest album under the Hiem moniker: “Hotspace.” With this, I hear Berlin of the ’00s, ’70s funk, ’80s pop as well some experimental moments, like for “SSRI”…

Bozzwell: Yes, that’s spot on. Yeh, I think it’s definitely a dark record. There are lots of reference points on there. I guess it’s an odd one, but we wanted to get away from the over-poppiness of the previous album; again there’s a nod to “Low” from Bowie and that period. We just can’t make functional dance music. It has to have some kind of character and some song structure, so maybe with “Hotspace” it was too experimental, but it can only be a good thing.

Chain D.L.K: Yeah, I like that! Also, it seems to me that you also wanted to cover different stuff lyrics-wise. Before, maybe, there was also a certain fascination with the nightlife or so, but with “Hotspace” we have “Monkey Office” or “Telepath”…

Bozzwell: Yeh, we wanted to tackle a different subject matter: anxiety, depression, alienation, etc., and prior to that, Nick was running a nightclub called Le Citrus in Sheffield, so we’ve both come from running nights, parties etc., so it’s always turned up in our lyrical ideas.

Chain D.L.K: What kind of experiences did you have with the nightclub adventure? Did you also have gigs?

Bozzwell: Good and bad. I’ve spent most of my life in nightclubs, venues, etc. With Hiem, it’s mainly a studio project, but we’ve had periods where we’ve taken it out live. Unfortunately, we seem to have rotten luck with booking agents, so we’ve never found the perfect fit for touring so to speak, but we’ve played some big shows before now.

Hiem

Chain D.L.K: In 2010, after Hiem’s “1/2,” you did a solo album titled “Bits & Pieces.” What made you feel the urge to work on that since you were preparing a new album for Hiem?

Bozzwell: Well, I’ve also put out a lot of solo material as Bozzwell and started working alongside Firm records in Cologne, which was under the Kompakt umbrella of Labels, so they warned me to work on an album, so that’s how that came out. Also, “In My Cocoon” was a really big record in Europe at the time, so we ended up doing a video for it, etc. I seem to be working on about 3 to 4 projects at the same time, so loads of stuff end up getting released ongoing through loads of different labels. I’ve also done a few collaborations over the past few years.

Chain D.L.K: How do you decide under what umbrella the different stuff you make is going?

Bozzwell: The Bozzwell stuff can be really dark, whereas the Hiem material can be a lot lighter. To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing, it just seems to come out ok, if that makes sense.

Chain D.L.K: What about your activity as a DJ?

Bozzwell: Yeh, DJing is fun. I haven’t played out for a while but it’s always nice to get a dance floor moving.

Chain D.L.K: What is the kind of stuff you like spinning as a DJ?

Bozzwell: I tend to play a lot of Techno. I guess I’ve been totally influenced by Kompakt and a lot of European labels. There’s always more of an emphasis on vocal tracks as well as big instrumental tunes, though.

Chain D.L.K: What are your future plans and what would you like to do with your projects?

Bozzwell: Well, we’re working on the next Hiem album at the moment. It’s a long way off at the moment, but I think we’re looking at late 2020 for that. There’s some remixes coming out, one for the Cologne label, and also there’s some acoustic /electronic material which should see the light of day this or next year, so hopefully there will be a few new shows and some new music.

Chain D.L.K: Is there something you think I didn’t cover that you’d like to say?

Bozzwell: Ahhh, maybe the Microdosing single with Manfredas!

Chain D.L.K: Tell me about that…

Bozzwell: Well, Manfredas and I got together and collaborated on a track called “The Mind Machine,” which was part of a new label called “Microdosing,” curated by Julliene from The Fantastic Twins, so that was recently released with Kompakt distributing. It seems to have done well. I’ve always had a lot of time for Manfredas’s music; it’s totally left-field from functional dance music, as is The Fantastic Twins’ material, so it was great to be part of that. It was quite crazy writing a song about Crazy Cult leaders.

Chain D.L.K: Well, that’s an unusual theme for dance music…

Bozzwell: Ha ha, sure is. It seemed to have worked.

Also, there is an album released with two of my Bozzwell tracks, vinyl/digital through Society Recordings Sheffield, which is in conjunction with Sheffield University which covers the elements on the Periodic table. It’s called “Elements (A SpectralVoyage).”

Bozwell
Sep 232019
 

“The Greek word daimōn derives, through the Persian dēw (…) from a probable Sumerian original *DA-IA-U-NA , meaning “having power over fertility”. The demon thus had the power of affecting, for good or ill, birth and death and the various stages of health in between. The medicinal drug had similar powers, and the Hebrew word for ‘be sick’, dawah , and its cognate noun in Arabic meaning ‘medicine’, come from the same root. So the demon of health and sickness and the drug are radically one and the same” . This is the interesting explanation of the word DAIAUNA by John M. Allegro in his essay, “The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: A study of the nature and origins of Christianity within the fertility cults of the ancient Near East” (2009). A word that has been chosen by composer, DJ and producer Hüseyin Evirgen aka Magna Pia as a title for his recent album, recently out on Berlin-based label Feral Note. Let’s check why and let’s discover this interesting sound artist through his own words.

Chain DLK: Hi, Huseyin! How are you?

Magna Pia: Thanks, I’m fine. I hope you are too.

Chain DLK: Can you talk to us about the way you started getting interested in electronic music? Any eureka moments or inspiring artists or scenes that sparked this love?

Magna Pia: I think my interest started around 1988 with Acid House. I was a 10-year-old kid back then. I used to love to dance to this music, and I was really curious how they made the sounds. I started playing the piano with 7, and I was always interested in different genres. I played in a metal band as a teenager, and that later on turned into free jazz. My taste in music became more and more abstract. So I think that’s why I eventually got into electronic music. Artists like Goldie, Photek, Aphex Twin and Autechre influenced me a lot in the 90s. At some point, I realized that techno is one of the most abstract forms in the music.

Technical side of the story: I didn’t grow up with a computer. I bought my first computer when I was 17 years old. A friend told me that I need to spend a lot of money on the audio interface. I got a Roland Rap 10 audio interface and this came with some DSP software. A few of my friends who played instruments would come over to my flat to hang around and I used to make them play some sequences, record them with a cheap mic and process the sounds later. I think this is how I started making electronic music. Later on, I studied composition at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg and there we had a very professional studio and lots of courses to attend.

courtesy of Gözde Güngör

Chain DLK: What are the images, the thoughts or the emotions that electronic music manages to render against other musical genres or styles?

Magna Pia: For me, electronic music is not a genre or style, it’s rather a medium. As a young artist, my comprehension of abstract music was not fully developed yet. It used to be easier for me to comprehend the content if I imagined massive landscapes. With the acoustic instruments, you are always limited to the physical surrounding and the skills of the performer. I’m not saying it’s better or worse; both mediums have their own plus and minus. As I got into electronic music production, I somehow realized that I’m finally not limited to the room around me or the human performing skills as much anymore and I can create those massive landscapes just as I want. I think this is the first difference that comes to my mind among many others.

Chain DLK: According to your discography, your debut came out on Ed Davenport’s imprint, but it’s pretty different from what you do now… Can you tell something about that release, your expectations after that output and the meeting with Ed?

Magna Pia: Well, it was the first release as a solo techno artist after years of producing, releasing and touring with Cassegrain. Alex and I made so much music together over the years that I had the need to get back to solo production, make my own individual techno and play it alone on the stage. Ed is one of our dearest and closest friends. It seemed like a good idea for me to give it a start within the family.

I don’t really agree that it’s so different from what I do now. My focus is still in techno. Daiauna is a very special album for me. But I don’t necessarily see it so differently than the techno music I make normally. It might not include any straight bass drums but it’s still full of techno aesthetics. It is definitely not the music for the peak time in a club and also not for after hours. But it’s maybe the music you could listen when you get home with your lover after a long club night.

Chain DLK: Your interest in ancient cultures and myths is even clearer on another output, Artemisia… How do you pour such an interest into music?

Magna Pia: I think many aspects of the way I grew up made me feel different than the surrounding people. I always needed to imagine about the ancient and the far future to be able to understand, embrace and fit into the reality of now. Also, we all carry thousands of years in our DNA and we still have no clue what we are, how we ended up here being so different than the rest of nature and how we used to live even a couple of thousands of years ago. The more I dig into history, the better I understand the society we’re living in.

I also worked a lot in the theater; I wrote and directed several pieces which were combining ancient practices and futuristic science fiction ideas. Maybe this is where the idea behind my alias comes from. Magna Pia is a fictional character for me. Definitely female. Maybe living sometime between 1000 BCE and 1000 CE, possibly an amazon warrior or a shaman. 🙂

Chain DLK: What’s the origin of sound or music according to all the myth of your studies or readings? … And according to your beliefs?

Magna Pia: Nature.

Magna Pia “Daiauna” cover artwork

Chain DLK: Let’s finally focus on Daiauna… Before focusing on single tracks or some technical aspects, can you tell us something about the source for inspiration? Did the myths and deities you mention relate to personal events or feelings that occurred during the making of the album?

Magna Pia: I made the album in a very emotional phase of my life which I’m still not fully out of. I had limited time to make it; I closed myself into Feral Note Salon pretty much 24/7 for two weeks due to my residency there. I barely left the studio. I decided to make the music only for myself without caring about my stance in the techno scene and my background as a new music composer and pianist. I wanted to be honest to myself. I also limited the gears I was working with and I remember that the first thought I had in my mind was not to touch the drum machine. I somehow managed to get really high over two weeks by only diving into the music very deeply. I spent a long time on the post production but almost 100% of the musical material was made within those two weeks.

The possibility of the word “Daiauna” being the origin of the words “demon”, “remedy” and “drugs” has a very personal meaning for me. Maybe the demons inside us are made of the same substance which can help us to get rid of them. And I came across this while I was researching and reading about fertility, sexuality and the use of drugs in both ancient and still existing religions. So if you would like to look for some special meanings in the titles, you need to look carefully into every myth and the deity using these keywords. And this, of course, relates to my personal events and feelings just like everyone else’s.

Chain DLK: I noticed the almost ritual use of percussive elements along with the whole album… Did you use traditional drums or percussion?

Magna Pia: There’s absolutely no recorded drum sound in the album. There are two sound sources for the percussive elements: One is the noise generator of the module called “Warps” by Mutable Instruments running through lots of effects, and the other one is the muted strings of the piano.

Chain DLK: Did you try to mediate elements from ritual or folk music in any of the tracks of Daiauna by chance?

Magna Pia: No, I never do that. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested immensely in the non-western musical traditions. I think what you hear is a general influence of that, combined with my microtonal ideas and the ritualistic elements coming from techno.

Magna Pia “Tocharian Love” from DAIAUNA (2019, Feral Note)

Chain DLK: The title of one track quotes the mysterious extinct Indo-European linguistic and ethnic groups known of Tocharian… What can you tell us about them? What did you try to render in that track?

Magna Pia: My mom’s origin is Uyghur, coming from Kashgar which is now in Xinjiang, China. I have a strong connection to the culture and the history of this region and the Tocharian culture is still a big part of the cultural influences there. I also believe the separation between east and west as we learn at the school is something made up artificially somewhen in recent history.

But if you would like to know what I really wanted to render in this track, we would need to down several shots at a bar first.

Chain DLK: The track named ‘Giants’ and its mysterious halo let me guess you believe in the theory of Annunaki, ancient cosmonauts and Nibiru, don’t you? Would you say that your music somehow mirrors the disquieting question that many men keep on not asking to themselves about the origin of mankind and the manipulation behind religions?

Magna Pia: No, I don’t believe in those things. I’m just aware of them and I’m interested, but I’m generally a skeptical and curious person. I pay attention to the esoterics and the conspiracy theories, but I never fall into those blindly. I see those things rather as artistic inputs. I do love the ancient Mesopotamian aesthetics and the whole sci-fi aspect when you dig into their religions. And I believe many civilizations had some kind of connection with them in history. But there’s no way that anyone could know what really happened back there. I’m just trying to read between the lines and try to make the connections between eras to make some sort of sense of the world we live in right now.

The track “Giants” is a trip in a tunnel. It’s just me trying to reproduce musically what a portal might be.

Magna Pia “Giants” from DAIAUNA (2019, Feral Note)

Chain DLK: How do you recommend enjoying your release?

Magna Pia: Completely up to the listener. But some people told me that it’s good to listen to it when you travel.

Chain DLK: Are you going to turn Daiauna into a multimedia experience? Did you bring it on live stage?

Magna Pia: I already played two debut live gigs this summer in Berlin. First one was a peak time techno set only with hardware at Berghain. The second one was Feral Note’s release concert at St. Elisabeth Church with a grand piano and electronics. Both really different experiences. With techno, you need to open yourself to the crowd, but to play the piano in front of an audience, I needed to close myself completely. I would love to expand this setup for Daiauna with a visual artist in the future.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Magna Pia: I will just concentrate on making more music in the next months, for both Magna Pia and Cassegrain. I’m also looking forward to having more Daiauna gigs with a piano.

Sep 232019
 

Her recent aural appearance on Touch Records by Genera, a live recording grabbed by Mike Harding at Salon AB in Brussels on May 3, 2019, aroused our curiosity, so we posed some questions to Saudi Arabia-born sound artist Bana Haffar (currently based in Asheville, NC), whose attempt at snazzing some aged schemes in electronic music composition sounds fascinating. Check it out!

Chain DLK: Hi, Bana! How are you?

Bana Haffar:Doing well, thanks.

Chain DLK: Biographical words introduce you as a lifelong expat. Roots are important according to many people, but is the idea of a motherland strictly necessary in your opinion?

Bana Haffar: The Arab diaspora has estranged me from my motherland. I see myself as a sort of airplant, who’s learned to survive wherever conditions permit. I identify culturally as an Arab and will always carry that with me, even though I live in the West. I think the idea of a motherland can be something internal, accessed through maintaining one’s language and cultural connections wherever they are. Whether it is necessary is, of course, personal; to me, it’s a matter of self-preservation.

Chain DLK: How did you get closer to music composition during the childhood you spent in Gulf countries?

Bana Haffar: I was classically trained in piano and violin as a child in the Gulf. I wasn’t actively composing at that age, but I was internalizing international music through osmosis. I was exposed to a lot of Indian and Pakistani music, Khaliji (Gulf) music on the radio, and my parents listed to Western music at home. It was all over the place and I’m sure these early musical surroundings are embedded in my consciousness, peeking their heads through my compositions today.

Chain DLK: Mere curiosity… Is there any school in that area of the world for whoever wants to study or get closer to electronic composition as far as you know?

Bana Haffar: To my knowledge, there aren’t any dedicated electronic composition courses in the Middle East. But, I’ve been living in the US for 14 years now and wasn’t in the synth milieu when I lived there, so I could be wrong.

Chain DLK: How did you fall under the spell of modular synths?

Bana Haffar: I bought my first synthesizer during my bass-playing years, a Moog Voyager. I started tinkering with it and quickly found that the synthesis part was much more interesting to me than the keyboard bit. I told a friend about this, and he recommended I check out modular synths and alternate (non-keyboard) controllers. I started researching Buchla and Eurorack and eventually invested in a small modular system. This separation of sound design from functional harmony tied to the black and white keyboard was monumental for me. It was a chance to begin again and re-define what I wanted out of sound and music.

Chain DLK: Before studying modular synths, you studied other instruments… What’s the distinguishing element of synths that other instruments have besides the hermetic charm of walls of mysterious (for people who have no idea of what they are, of course…not my case!) wires, knobs, LED lights and controls?

Bana Haffar: Yes, I studied piano, violin, and bass before switching to the modular synthesizer. The modular synthesizer can be seen as a deconstructed synthetic sound generator and processor that is not tied to a keyboard, freeing it from sounding like anything else. There are no pre-made connections under the hood, nor are there presets. The synthesist becomes the arbiter of sound from its inception, patching anything to anything, as opposed to being bound by fixed synthesis chains pre- determined by marketing teams and engineers.

Chain DLK: Are there any electronic musicians (of the past or the present) that you consider as a sort of mythological entity for composition skills or just for charisma?

Bana Haffar: Autechre. I’m totally obsessed with Autechre. To me, they are the ultimate sound designers, ruthlessly pushing sound further with each release, crossing formats, mediums, genre, and still going strong almost 30 years later. I mean, are there any sounds left?! They’ve made them all!!

Chain DLK: I was checking your Soundcloud… It’s weird that you’ve made such amazing stuff, but most of it is unreleased… How come?

Bana Haffar: I often ask myself if Soundcloud didn’t exist, would I have spent more time working on those earlier pieces and forming them into an album? Maybe. Soundcloud makes it so easy to upload music and get immediate feedback. It’s become a sort of testing ground for new ideas. But, this is also dangerous because it can prematurely remove us from a trajectory that’s still in development, depending on whether the feedback meets our expectations and how much weight we give it. On one hand, feedback can motivate us; on the other, it can make us lazy, writing off material as “good enough” in response to instant gratification. That said, the positive feedback I got for my early Soundcloud works gave me a push of confidence in what I was doing. I’m now focusing on longer-term releases.

courtesy of Jeffrey Horton

Chain DLK: I also listened to Genera, a live recording released by Touch… really stunning! There are traces of Arabian traditional motifs mixed to old piano tunes and ghostly entities in the first of the five parts, sounding like an exorcism of cultural conditioning… Would you say so? Can you tell us something about the first 7-8 minutes of Genera?

Bana Haffar: The first “zone” of Genera is a microcassette collage of personal recordings. An out-of-sequence dreamscape of accumulated cultural shrapnel. The naay (Arabic flute) samples are audio examples from a book I co-wrote several years ago about Arabic music. The piano samples were of my father playing in the living room, songs he’s been playing since I was a child. There are samples of my mother bossing a cab driver around on a hot summer afternoon in Beirut, Qatari radio songs, Quranic recitation, and other jumbled field recordings. These were layered multiple times over and cut in and out of each other at different speeds on a GE 35383 Micro Cassette Recorder with a dying battery.

Chain DLK: The five parts of Genera are strongly interconnected by elements that appear in both of the adjacent parts…but besides resounding elements, what’s the glue keeping all parts together?

Bana Haffar: The glue is the system and the samples within in. I configured a relatively compact system to be able to travel around Europe with. This meant that I had to re-use the same modules and sounds in different combinations throughout the patch. The output chain was static, further connecting the sections. The samples I used were also limited and reused throughout, just played back differently and processed differently. That’s the technical explanation, at least. The esoteric connections haven’t made themselves clear to me yet.

Chain DLK: Even if you could consider traditions as a sort of cage, I have to say that you kept something of Arabian music…its hypnotic powers! The entities you forged (I was totally fascinated by the third part of Genera, for instance!) are really entrancing. Did you forge music with this feature on purpose or spontaneously?

Bana Haffar: The result was an interplay of pre-planned structures and the spontaneity of unplanned interactions with the modular synthesizer itself.

GENERA cover artwork

Chain DLK: How do you remember the moment when Genera was recorded in Brussels? Do you remember an audience reaction or some feedback of the lucky ones who took part in it?

Bana Haffar: The environment in which it was recorded was ideal. AB Salon in Brussels is a dedicated, focused listening space with an excellent quadraphonic sound system and a great pair of Genelec monitors. It also sits on the second floor, away from foot traffic and road noise. The room was intimate and the audience was quiet and focused. There was no clinking of glasses and side conversations like most live venues. It was dead silent and ready to receive. I’m very grateful to Touch and Mich Leemans for inviting me to play in that space. It felt like the ideal setting for this type of performance and listening exchange. I felt like both the audience and myself were able to immerse ourselves in what the synthesizer had to say.

Chain DLK: Any word about the fascinating audio equipment you used to forge Genera?

Bana Haffar: Genera was made using a eurorack format modular synthesizer. I used modules from different manufacturers rather than a complete pre-configured single brand system. The system I configured for Genera was centered around sampling modules with only a single oscillator.

Chain DLK:Is there any synth that you like more than others? If so, why (was it a particular gift or was it related to some specific memory)?

Bana Haffar: I’ve been using the Make Noise Morphagene module a lot these days. It enables the user to manipulate samples in highly creative ways and extract completely new sounds from existing ones. I’m a big fan of Make Noise music. They embody the experimental and speculative spirit of modular synthesis both in their hardware and aesthetics.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Bana Haffar: I’m currently working on a composition for Third Coast Percussion that has been commissioned by Black Mountain College Museum here in Asheville. The piece is going to be inspired by weaving, so I’ve been spending a lot of time doing research, studying looms, and learning how to weave. There are many parallels between looms and synthesizers / cloth and composition.

Sep 232019
 

Ryoko Akama (modular synth), Werner Dafeldecker (guitar), Bruno Duplan (chimes), Sergio Merce (microtonal saxophone), Antoine Beuger (flute), Kai Fagaschinski (bass clarinet), Jessica Evelyn (spoken word), and Lavinia Blackwall (soprano) belong to the impressive collective of sound artists and musicians who collaborated with Paul Baran (electronics, chapel organ, samples, Buchla) and Gordon Kennedy (electronics, organ, Mellotron, samples, keys), aka The Cray Twins, for the birth of their second album In The Company Of Architects (mastered by Ronan Breslin and produced by Fang Bomb), a very good act of acousmatic music. Let’s get deeper into it through the words of their authors.

Chain DLK: Hi, guys! How are you?

Gordon Kennedy: Pretty good. Nice to have the album out, and even the Glasgow weather is generous at the moment.

Chain DLK: Where does your moniker come from? No relation with the Kray twins, the famous East London criminals, I guess?

Gordon Kennedy: No relation. At least, not genetically.

Paul Baran: The name derives from Seymour Cray, the supercomputer pioneer and mathematician. We were fascinated by his engineering approach and I guess we see ourselves as engineers of sonic systems in the sense that we take time over each sound and how it relates to the composition.

Gordon Kennedy: The Cray-1 is what computers ought to look like, in our opinion.

Chain DLK: Before focusing on your last output, can you tell us something about the way you started getting interested in and approached sound art?

Paul Baran: My own background was in poetry, but sound art was already in the cards. My mother would play me wonderful music like Throbbing Gristle, Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian.

Then, I got turned on to Stockhausen after a visit to a local shop. That was pivotal, as I realized it was time to make my own work, without falling into that trap of copying other people’s styles.

Gordon Kennedy: I’m told I started pressuring my parents for a piano shortly before my second birthday, so I’ve had an interest in sound since long before I can even remember.

As far as working together goes, we were friends for years before the Cray Twins were born. I think we both have quite strong intuitive and intellectual aspects to how we work, so neither of us gets funneled into being the practical one, while the other one has to be the unhinged poet. We flip quite well between roles, which helps keep it fresh.

“In The Company Of Architects” cover artwork

Chain DLK: Your debut as The Cray Twins came out on Fang Bomb as well, didn’t it? Any words about “The Pier”?

Gordon Kennedy: Yes, the Pier came out on Fang Bomb in 2016. It was based on field recordings of various coastal locations. Mostly in the UK, but also from Chile at the time of the Nazca Plate earthquake, the tsunami.

Paul Baran: The Pier was a metaphor for the entry into the Liminal through the subconscious. I believe that the pieces on the album mapped out interior mindscapes, which are precarious in the context of environmental decay and damage. This is a narrative that is best exemplified by pieces such as ‘Harbour’ and the ‘Duao’ trilogy of works.

Gordon Kennedy: We wanted to examine the furthest reaches of human extent. And the physical expression of that: remote dwellings and outposts; disasters at sea; us as humans, pushing ourselves further out into the wild face of nature.

Chain DLK: You grouped many renowned sound artists (such as Lucio Capece, BJ Nielsen, Andrea Belfi, and so on) for that release. How did you manage to involve them?

Paul Baran: Many of them are personal friends. People will work with you if they know that you are sincere with regards to the material. A lot of the performers have a background within the Wandelweiser movement, and that exploration of silence is something I’m increasingly drawn to in future projects.

Gordon Kennedy: In general, we just waited till we heard people were due in the UK, playing at festivals or whatever, and then bombarded them with requests. “Come to Glasgow. Come on, it’ll be really good.” BJ Nielsen was an exception: we got in touch with him after the album was recorded, to remix the Duao track. So he did his work remotely.

Chain DLK: Someone described your style as dark-ambient…do you agree with such a way of labeling your sound?

Paul Baran: Such a label doesn’t really describe or represent what we do. It seems casual to describe the work in this way, especially as it doesn’t take into account the complex processes involved and the harmonic shading of improvisers. For me, Ambient music is just a fractional element of the overall sounds.

Gordon Kennedy: It’s ambient in the sense that we use ambient sound, i.e. environmental recordings, extensively as raw material.

But ambient perhaps suggests an air of relaxation that the listener wouldn’t necessarily find in our work. Like the sea, it often resists attempts to settle into it. It repels the colonizing ear. Also, it’s probably more composed and directional, I mean structurally, than a lot of ambient music. A lot of attention to foregrounded small-scale noise.

It is sometimes dark; more by accident than design. Electronically processing field recordings of wind and waves often create a kind of sonic Uncanny Valley effect. We know these sounds in our blood. But something’s not quite right.

Chain DLK: In The Company of Architects doesn’t feature external collaborations besides performers, right? Or maybe ones by some architect? A reference to Freemasonry or their god(s)?

Paul Baran: The Architects signifies the craft of improvisation. How to build up a work from interactions from a molecular level to achieve the endgame of a new structure; the edification of which is helped along with the method of sculpting in the studio, without too much processing and intervention.

Gordon Kennedy: Well, the basic idea behind the album was to take the methodology we used on The Pier, and instead of applying it to landscape recordings, apply it to instrumental performances. In other words, to treat the instruments like found sound. Obviously that’s a direct inversion of traditional orchestral composition where the composer writes the score and then the musicians play it. Here the players were recorded first, and then the composition process started.

The Cray Twins – courtesy of Martin Lynagh

Chain DLK: Any words about the involved performers? How much time did you need to assemble the ensemble? Would you consider it an ensemble?

Paul Baran: Yes, that is an astute point. The performers were guided by listening to the material, before committing themselves to the recording. So I guess we created an ensemble through file sharing, and in extended time. Some composers have this annoying habit of over-egging the production pudding when it comes to file sharing. We aimed to avoid that and maintained the integrity of each contribution.

Gordon Kennedy: I guess it was a kind of distributed ensemble – a dislocated ensemble, even. Our methodology meant everything could be done at distance, inviting musicians in various countries to record themselves performing, in the location of their choice. Sometimes we would accentuate the locatedness of the performances – amplifying and processing the background noise, foregrounding unintentional sounds which had made their way onto the recording. But as far as performance went, we gave the players free rein to do as they saw fit.

Chain DLK: Can you tell us something about the composition strategy and approach? How did you “brief” your collaborators?

Paul Baran: We composed it like a chain. Bruno Duplant and Werner offered their contributions first, which were in the same key and gelled really well and through layering, we offered our own contributions to reinforce the structure of the composition. This included voices from a sample of a film I really like, the Colour of Pomegranates, and the voice of Armenian composer Komitas.

Gordon Kennedy: Not all of them were given access to what the others were doing. Some were given selective access – perhaps one other person’s recording to synchronize to. Others were given the entire piece to date, and yet others were given nothing.

We were deliberately releasing a lot of the control that’s normally associated with the process of composition. And we found, repeatedly, that the universe would reward this. It became an active collaborator in the process; things just seemed to fall in place. Musicians who hadn’t heard what each other were doing would be magically in tune. The timelines of the various contributions would come together at key moments, little sparks of miracle dust. That’s not to disguise the fact there was an extensive compositing and editing process, sometimes with individual musicians layered and re-layered with earlier or later parts of their own performance.

But happenstance was key. There were a number of occasions throughout the process where we just found ourselves looking at each other. “It’s happening again, isn’t it?”

Chain DLK: How would you “brief” the listener in order to make him appreciate your release more?

Gordon Kennedy: It’s hard to say. With ‘The Pier,’ we took a certain delight in subterfuge. Our basic method was to process and filter the landscape recordings to sound like ensemble instruments. We’d sometimes invert that, processing the instrumental performances to sound like landscapes. But sometimes it’s interesting for the listener to know a little about what’s actually going on, to see a bit of the wiring under the board. For example, on In the Company of Architects there’s considerable use of the Indesit WD12X washing machine – a fine instrument, much underused.

Paul Baran: Approach our work with an open mind and above all, listen to it actively, not passively.

Chain DLK: What are the main troubles in rendering a release like In The Company Of Architects on live stage?

Gordon Kennedy: Heh… That’s a question we’ve not had to answer yet. I guess if we were to do a stage version, we would start from the same basic premise as with the album, that the instruments are landscapes and our Materia Prima is the field recordings of those landscapes. So rather than use live instruments in performance, I’d imagine we’d double down on the concept and emphasise the recorded or found-sound aspect in some way.

If cost was no object, I’d quite like to put sections of the individual performances on analogue tape loops, and string them round the venue on capstans and rollers; turn the entire performance area into a tape echo machine, concert hall as Copicat. Mirror the process in the space.

Paul Baran: The logistics in getting the ensemble involved might be problematic, as they are scattered from Argentina to Berlin.

Chain DLK: How do you test your music by your ear? I mean… When do you say that a recording of yours is ok?

Gordon Kennedy: It’s a fairly intuitive process. For instance, if something in the studio starts to overload or feed back, we’ll often treat that as part of the work and foreground it. Or if something is buzzing, if there’s wind noise on a microphone, our instinct is to integrate it into the composition. That approach sets the stage for a more relaxed attitude to completion.

Of the two of us, I’m the one who tends most to perfectionism. And since I’m more hands-on with the production side, a track is usually finished when I’ve wrestled myself into submission. Chokehold, it’s done.

Paul Baran: We are both perfectionists and would only release something with mutual agreement. Gordon will add and I subtract to any given piece.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Gordon Kennedy: Not as The Cray Twins, but we’ve done a lot of work on Paul’s next album. Which he can elucidate.

Paul Baran: Well, I’m working on a solo album which I will release on Fang Bomb next year. It will be more rhythmically charged than my previous work.

Aug 112019
 

Formerly known by fans of drum’n’bass and breaks as Raiden, Berlin-based British producer Chris Jarman recently deployed “Dead Skin Cells,” his debut album in the guise of Kamikaze Space Programme (out on Osiris Music), after spreading some tracks on labels like WNCL Recordings, Mord and Mote-Evolver and tunes through regular sets, meeting the likes of Tresor and Berghain. On Kamikaze Space Programme, Chris managed to combine some sonorities of his DNB-driven age with contemporary techno (or post-techno) and rhythmical noise textures, but its creativity managed to give that plus to this stylistic hybridization. The release deserves to be checked out…particularly in possibly forthcoming suicidal space programs…

Chain DLK: Hi, Chris! How are you?

Chris Jarman: Hello! Good, thanks, trying to stay cool in this extreme heat, 98 degrees at the moment! I’m off work for the summer; just played at this nutty club called Berghain yesterday which is always crazy, and my new album was released on the same day. Probably going to take me a few days to get over all this excitement.

Chain DLK: A British DJ in Berlin…sounding like an American Werewolf in London? Jokes aside, even if I can imagine the reasons, as Berlin can be considered the real European capital of techno culture, music and parties, why did you move there?

Chris Jarman: Or a plastic cockney in Berlin! It’s certainly a cliche to move to here, but there’s no smoke without fire. I was once told Berlin is the graveyard of creativity by a particularly prolific artist and I can see their point; it is very easy to get distracted here, so you need some discipline. I kept visiting Berlin and being incredibly inspired, and each stay would become progressively longer until the point where I didn’t go home. I’m not so into the clubs these days. I’d rather hold court at the bar where I can sit down. I’m really enjoying the whole Audio Visual scene; there’s some utterly mind blowing events going on particularly at Kraftwerk, such as Berlin Atonal, Skalar and Deep Web. What keeps me in Berlin is my job as a university lecturer at dBs music in creative music production. I love my job and my students. There’s an incredible sense of community here. It’s a very inspirational city full amazing people from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe. But at the same time, Berlin has made me a lot more sensitive to my roots in the UK bass music culture as there’s very little of that here. Berlin could do with an extra octave of bass!

Chain DLK: A question that anyone who got in touch with your music maybe already asked…why did you name your project Kamikaze Space Programme? Just a way to describe your style or a slightly sneering statement on space programs?C

Chris Jarman: I originally took that title from a song on an album called ‘Curse of the Golden Vampire’ by Techno Animal, aka Alec Empire. It seems such a ridiculous concept; a space programme based on a promise of failure. I used this name for a Raiden EP on my Offkey label back in 2009. When it was time to make a new alias, I felt this name was too good for just an EP, not to mention it would be the largest name on any flyer, which has not yet been beaten. My next alias will consist of 2 letters or one syllable with the email to match.

Chain DLK: What’s up there beyond the clouds in your viewpoint?

Chris Jarman: Lots of empty space following the laws of physics that is hostile to life, punctuated with the odd bright, radioactive mass that is begging to be explored. Maybe a Dyson sphere.

Chain DLK: Besides bpm and drum patterns, I noticed a certain similarity of many tracks made by you as Kamikaze Space Programme to the style and the way of forging breaks by Future Sound of London… I guess you’re a fan of FSOL, aren’t you? Are there any artists that you could consider a milestone in the development of your music?

Chris Jarman: Ha! I’m a HUGE fan of the Future Sound of London, completely obsessed; is it really that obvious!? I have been listening to their music since they released Dead Cities, which is my favorite album of all time. I still buy every record they make on sight, which is a lot. I don’t know how they have such a prolific output, releasing multiple albums per year. For me, they are the greatest producers of all time, so any comparison I take as a huge compliment.

Aside from FSOL, other artists which have inspired me heavily in terms of my music production would be Mika Vainio, Dillinja, Emptyset, The Scientist, Mick Harris, Roly Porter, Matthew Herbert, Ed Rush, and Optical, lots of bands, I could go on…I’m a huge fan of many types of music, everything from Latin music such as Hector Lavoe and Les Baxter, to field recordists such as Alan Lamb’s Wire Music and Chris Watson. I just love sound.

Chain DLK: As an admirer of Renegade Hardware, I admit I knew you as Raiden before, but I pretty much ignored the project KSP. Maybe I heard some Kamikaze Space Programme, but I should have thought it was just a weird and vaguely fancy way to refer to a remix. What’s the bridge connecting Raiden and KSP?

Chris Jarman: I would say the connection between my aliases as Raiden, Dot Product and KSP have become quite blurred recently, particularly on my latest KSP album. You can hear influences from all my music projects over the years on this latest record. When KSP started, it was exclusively based around field recording, but this has opened up a bit over the last few years. For some time, I disregarded my past as a DNB producer, but these days I’m quite proud of it; it’s not easy music to make or operate in, but it has taught me a lot. I’ve recently built a studio centered around the equipment from the late 90’s, which Jungle was made with, gear I couldn’t afford at the time, merged with cutting edge equipment and homemade microphones. This clash of heritage with modern equipment makes for a power set up that links past, present and future.

Kamikaze Space Programme “Dead Skin Cells” cover artwork

Chain DLK: I had the chance to listen to your recent album Dead Skin Cells! Very interesting tracks on it! First of all, what’s its conceptual framework (if there’s any)? What’s the common aspect (besides the author!) of the tracks included in this album?

Chris Jarman: Thank you! There is a strong production aesthetic to this record. I wanted to pursue a more stripped-down, bass-heavy sound and work more with space and emotion. I asked Simon Shreeve if I could make an LP for Osiris and, as someone who has supported me for almost 20 years, he was into the idea and gave me total creative freedom; he didn’t even want to hear the record until it was mastered. First I wrote about 20 tracks, but something was missing and I hadn’t quite nailed the sound I was imagining, so I scrapped every song then started again. I built an all-new hardware set up to disrupt the habitual in the box workflow I had been using for the last few years and built a new room. From a production standpoint, the concept of the album is based around the many obscure field recordings I have made over the last few years such as tesla coils, rain, crickets (they are the hardest things to record, especially Greek crickets) and background ambiances from my various travels. These would be manipulated using E-MU hardware samplers then weaved together with hardware jams using many effect pedals, with lots of dub mixing techniques using a large vintage analog mixing console. I also explored glitch/data processing, and I recorded impulse response effects of unique spaces. I wanted to make something that captured everything I have learned in the 20 years that I have been producing music in one release. This LP is my latest invention.

Chain DLK: Can Derelict (awesome track!) be considered a reference to your work as Raiden? If yes, why such a title for this ring of the chain?

Chris Jarman: Absolutely. I find long, distorted bass tones in combination with melodic pads to be highly emotional, which many Raiden tracks also had. Originally, the track didn’t have any drums and it was intended as an interlude. As for the title, I wrote this track about a feeling of being numb and emotionally derelict. Many of the tracks on the LP have a reference to decay or bad weather, which is a metaphor for a being melancholic.

Chain DLK: I heard very well-forged breaks over the whole album…do you miss jungle sonorities, by chance?

Chris Jarman: Yes, for sure, but I also wouldn’t want to make music as I did 20 years ago. I wanted to take the parts of jungle I love, leave the bits I didn’t and make something fresh. After spending the last 7 years working with rhythms that were made purely from chopped foley recordings, I started to miss using sampled breakbeats and twisting them; the vintage samplers certainly helped. Breaks have a lot of vibes baked into them as it’s the recording of a talented drummer at the peak of their creative flow. Nowadays, I have a lot more knowledge in production that I wish I knew back when I was making DNB. I adapted many techniques on the drums that I adopted from top mix engineers such as Tchad Blake. For my next record, I recently booked a studio and recorded hours of live drums played by one of my students, which I’m currently mixing and editing. Aside from the breaks, I really missed making huge sub-bass that would test even the biggest sound systems; there’s something very physical and intense about low end when it’s done right. No musical movement did this as well as Jungle/ DNB (apart from dub!) and it’s forever in my heart.

Chain DLK: Is there any track that could be somehow related to your inner world (other than possible references to outer space!)?

Chris Jarman: I would say I’m more fascinated by inner space than outer, the atom, etc. So let’s say Stratosaatti by Ø / Mika Vainio!

Chain DLK: Would you say that Offkey ceased any activity, or are you planning to push something through your imprint?

Chris Jarman: I would probably say that it is finished. But I’m constantly contradicting myself, so who knows? Maybe one day it could come back. The catalog is no longer available; I quite like the idea that it existed in one era and that’s it. I like to move forward and not dwell on past glories. For now, I don’t have much desire to run a label as I’m so busy with teaching, so what time I do have left for music I’d rather produce, and I’m more than happy with the labels I record for…

Chain DLK: I saw your name on a split release on Ohm Resistance together with the one of Mick Harris (as Fret)! Any word about this split?

Chris Jarman: Mick Harris has been a huge inspiration to me since the early 90s. His recent output as Fret has blown my mind, particularly the Overdepth LP. Kurt that runs Ohm Resistance knew this and invited me to contribute a track to the Ohm Resistance subscription series, with a bait of sharing the record with Mick as Fret. Where do I sign??? I got to meet Mick recently, which was amazing. We talked about music for all but 30 seconds and spent the rest of the evening talking about coarse fishing; he loves it as much as I do.

Chain DLK:Any collaborative work in progress?

Chris Jarman: Yes, many. For me, collaboration is purely fun, a social activity, and if a track and a cup of tea come out of it, even better. I’ve been working on new music at various stages of completion with Simon Shreeve / MØnic, Cocktail Party Effect, Appleblim, Charlton, Boris Brenecki and Second Storey.

With Adam Winchester (as Dot Product), we have an EP out soon with Japanoise legend KK Null, and collabs in progress with Renate Knapp (Singer of Amon Dull ii) and Richard Thair (drummer of Red Snapper, Sabres of Paradise, The Aloof). We have a new member called Geso who’s a talented visual artist.

Chain DLK: …And as a soloist? Any forthcoming stuff?

Chris Jarman: I’m currently working on another KSP album, also for Osiris music. It’s still in its very early stages, so hard to say what the vibe is, but so far it seems to be an extension of Dead Skin Cells, slower with much heavier low end and more emotion, but we’ll see when it’s finished. I hope to release this within the next year. For the future, I’d like to focus more on albums rather than singles/EPs. I rarely listen to EPs myself, only albums, so I thought, I should be doing this too.

Chain DLK: Do you keep on performing on live stage? Under the guise of…? DJ/producer? Raiden/KSP/Chris?

Chris Jarman: I’m very busy playing as KSP all over the world with live sets and DJ sets, although nowadays I only do shows I’m really into. I’m currently working on a live AV show with an extremely talented visual artist called Geso. I’m about to do my first 3d Ambisonics live set in London next month, which I’m really excited about, and I’d like to do more of these concert type shows as we do as Dot Product. I tend to play the odd Raiden set once per year saying this is the last time; I’ve been saying that for the last 8 years. I still perform with Dot Product, and we have our first audiovisual installation at an experimental arts festival in Spain next year. I’d like to do more sets with Cocktail Party Effect in the future too, as we have so much chemistry as well as being one of the most exciting producers of the moment.