Chain D.L.K.: Since the beginning your activity as remixers has been the principal one because in four years you released only a couple of E.P.s. But now you have released a massive double album. Did it take so much time to make it or did you prefer to work as producers as your main activity?
Punx Soundcheck: In the beginning we released a couple of records on the Icon series. Out of the blue we just started getting a lot of remix requests, although we still intended to produce more original tracks; but the remixes kept coming in. We couldn’t say no to these artists as we had a lot of respect for them. Once we signed to Pale Music they wanted an album from us, so for the last year and a bit we had to put aside more studio time to come up with original tracks as well as the remixes. We only intended to do a 10-track album, but before we knew it we had enough for a double — it nearly killed us working on the album, but we did it.
Chain D.L.K.: The album is divided into two sections, “Home” and “Club”. The first one is really influenced by ’80s electro/wave and sees also a lot of collaborations with ’80s icons such as Marc Almond, Steve Strange and Boy George. I’m curious to know something more about how all this happened. Can you tell us the different phases of the process?
Punx Soundcheck: As you can guess by the artists on the album, they are influences from our past and it all just fell into place. What happened with Marc was basically that I met him in a record shop I was working in. He had a couple of our Icon series records, and he told me he loved our tracks and said he would love to work on one with us. Within a month we had Icon series number 5 finished, with the tracks “Neo Burlesque” and “Vanity, Poverty, Revenge”. We got in touch with Steve Strange through Princess Julia after we had done an official remix of “Fade to Grey” and George we met through a fellow producer, Kinky Roland. For us it was just a great opportunity to work with these guys and have them on our debut album. We are going to do more tracks with Marc Almond and we have our sights set on working with other various influences…. But you’ll just have to wait and see.
Chain D.L.K.: The “Club” section also has a lot of guests. How did you choose the people to collaborate with? Was it only a sort of mutual respect or had you already collaborated with them?
Punx Soundcheck: A lot of the tracks on the Club CD started off as instrumentals. Just by chance we would meet these artists and we would just ask them. For instance when we went to see Mujik live we really liked their girl singer’s vocals, and just thought she would be great…. With Avenue D, we had remixed a track of theirs called “Stick It In”. They started using our mix as the main version and even put it onto their album! In return, while they were in London for a couple of days we dragged them up to the studio and they came up with some lyrics for “You Don’t Know Jack”. One of the things we don’t really like is a dance album that’s just full of instrumentals, which is why we only have a couple of instrumentals on that disc.
Chain D.L.K.: At first you were mainly a duo but on WHEN MACHINES RULED THE WORLD I read that Kidrobot joined in. Has your way of working changed?
Punx Soundcheck: We did try and put a band together for the “Plastique” EP but it just didn’t work. I’d already had a fantastic experience in a band called The Droyds and thought we could do it with Punx Soundcheck. After that was finished we decided to just keep it as a duo, as we have a great working relationship anyway…. Working with Kidrobot was a weird one, we still don’t know who this guy is! He just got in contact with us via e-mail asking if we could send him a track to do some vox on. We sent him the track and a couple of weeks later we got the track “Robot” back, which we just loved. So we sent him some more. As you can see he’s guested on a number of tracks on the album, so we decided to make him a third member — which is cool for us as we have never met him, we don’t even know his real name, and the only time we have a conversation with him over the phone we never hear his real voice as he uses a vocoder to talk to us. For all we know he could be a she….
Chain D.L.K.: On the album you used mainly analogue gear. What do you think about the use of software keyboards? Sometimes I feel that the different approach could affect also the final result, but what about you?
Punx Soundcheck: We have always used analogue equipment when making music, the reason for that is the sound. Don’t get me wrong, some of the software synths are great; but we just can’t get our heads around the difference in the sound. Also we love spending hours on our synths just making sounds but with software we don’t really feel inspired to tweak and twiddle. So, yes. Anologue rules.
Chain D.L.K.: Now that your album has been released are you gonna tour?
Punx Soundcheck: I hope so, I’m always travelling all over the world DJing and we have been playing out more lately as Punx Soundcheck. Our label at the moment is putting together a tour. It’ll be more of a “dex’n’FX” live DJ set as it’s hard to put together a live show with so many guest vocalists.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the labels and projects you appreciate the most?
Punx Soundcheck: Without a doubt we’ve always been huge fans of Gigolo Records, which is one of the reasons we are doing what we do. We have a lot of influences ranging from Visage to Newcleus to Tangerine Dream. At the moment there is just so much good music out there — for instance, Digitaria, Black Strobe, Huntemann to name a few; and fantastic labels like Get Physical, Boys Noize and Fine Records. But the label we have the most respect for is Pale Music, for believing in our music. It’s so refreshing to work with a great bunch of people who are artists in their own right.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your next collaborations?
Punx Soundcheck: We’re not really sure yet. We do have a hit list which includes artists such as John Foxx, Prince, Annie Lennox and Phil Oakey. We would really like to collaborate with DJ Hell… that would be a great track.
Chain D.L.K.: Something else you’d like to add?
Punx Soundcheck: WE ARE PUNX.
Visit Punx Soundcheck on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]