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Neil LandstrummRefreshing the Rave
Is Bez from the Happy Monday's techno legend Neil Landstrumm's new drinking partner? And just what is this dubstep 'spraff' he's on? Spannered investigates
By Al Fresco
Neil Landstrumm set about rewiring techno music’s mainframe more than a decade ago when he first surfaced on Peacefrog Records. Brown By August and the Index Man EP were different to everything else around at the time – raw Chicago-influenced dancefloor tracks that captured the analogue bounce of bleep ‘n’ bass and the wild abandon of acid house. The releases remain a benchmark for the wonky strains of techno that followed in their wake, yet Landstrumm has never rested on his laurels, always open to new perspectives from which to hone his sound. After a lengthy sabbatical in New York, the native Scot is now settled back in Edinburgh where he continues to make music and operate his label project, Scandinavia. As news emerges of a forthcoming album on Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu imprint, he talks to Spannered about his current projects and influences, refreshing the essence of rave, and the time Bez gave him some nice hash.
Listen to Neil Landstrumm's Ravestep studio mix
So Neil, what's been going on?
Listen to Neil Landstrumm's Ravestep studio mix
So Neil, what's been going on?
Well, I’ve just finished this live session for Mary Anne Hobbs, which I’ve just sent it off. I think that’s aired on the 24th [Nov]. It’s edited, but it’s all recorded live – I’ve kind of spliced a lot of the new Planet Mu sound in with the more sort of abrasive, unorthodox techno stuff that I do. So I’m quite pleased with that because it bridges the gap. It’s not totally jumping on the dubstep ‘wagon’, just hijacking a few of the parts of it that really appeal to me and making them my own. What else… Just coming to the end of the Planet Mu album – I feel like I’ve got a couple of other tracks in me yet.
A few years back a Landstrumm album on Planet Mu would have seemed an odd proposition, for both you and the label. How did all that come about?
I’d kind of followed the label for a while and Si [Begg] suggested… I’d been working on this newer, more grimy sound and that was when he [Mike Paradinas] was starting to release the Mark One kind of stuff – he hadn’t really totally jumped on the dubstep thing yet but he was kind of going that way. So Si said “Why don’t you try him?” Because he’s been around and he knows a lot about UK old skool sound, I thought, well, it might appeal to him. So I sent him a demo, he got back and signed up the first EP. It just seems to be that my world and the Planet Mu world seem to be getting a bit closer; gig-wise, getting booked at this festival in Ireland – this Saifestival [Sliabh An Iarainn Music & Arts Festival]. It was a Planet Mu showcase and they booked me as well. Just seemed to fit really. I like the vibe of a lot of the stuff that’s coming out – I’m not a massive Planet Mu head or anything.
What do you make of the broad range of the label? Have you listened to much Venetian Snares for example?
The breakcore thing I always had an ear to. Me and Matt Consume… in the late nineties he was doing Trash and I was involved in that, and that was sort of a seed for the breakcore thing around about that time. It appealed to me because it was fresh and different, a bit of fresh air for the electronic scene, although it wasn’t popular at all then. It’s interesting how things turn around. The breakcore things blew up with Venetian Snares and all these different people, the tail end of Warp... I’ve felt for the last few years that the UK scene is really separate to what else is going on in the world – it’s very healthy. It’s like it was right back at the start of the electronic thing – it’s very much got its own identity. What’s big in Britain is definitely not what’s popular in Germany right now for example. Yeah, the Mu stuff is cool. I don’t like all of it – I like bits of it. I’m not so keen on some of the more avant-garde electronica stuff – it’s not particularly for me. It’s definitely filled a void where Warp were, as far as electronic stuff, and all credit to him – he’s putting out really, really quality stuff and he’s getting the sales for it.
The forthcoming Planet Mu album covers a lot of ground – techno, electro, grime, hip hop, wonky house stuff…
I suppose I’ve just been ‘at it’ for a long time. With Cristian [Vogel] and that whole sort of sound we were pioneering something then, and I’ve been involved with the breakcore thing a little bit... The UK thing I’ve always held a flag for. I’m interested in all these kind of genres – it’s not like I’m just jumping around. I can do them all, and I’ve been involved in them all.
Album-wise, since Pro Audio you've always covered a lot of bases.
Yeah, it’s always been on a theme… Definitely bass heavy. If you actually break down the dubstep thing, it’s not really fantastically new – let’s be honest – to have a lot of bass in British dance music, but it was a new take on it. It’s just a theme; you get these recurring themes – just different tempos, different paces. A lot of the grime and dubstep stuff has similar sounds to early UK stuff, even though the people that are making it have never listened to a lot of that. They wouldn’t even know what a lot of Detroit techno is, many of them, or early Warp stuff – it doesn’t mean anything to them, which is great; I think it’s fantastic that they’re rediscovering a lot of these sounds.
The release of last year’s Life of Grime EP seemed an indication of a new theme for you, if not totally a new direction. Would you say the grime and dubstep scenes have been quite influential?
Absolutely. It was the first thing that popped up for quite a long time. I was like, yeah, that’s interesting – that definitely does it for me. The minimal [techno] thing, I just didn’t get it, I really didn’t. What, you mean ‘techno’ but you’re just calling it something different? And that makes it different? It was just emperor’s new clothes. The grime and the dubstep thing did actually sound different, though you’ve got to go out and hear it in the right place.
Have you had much feedback about your newer material from people involved in those scenes?
It’s funny – I keep kind of meeting them… Circles close don’t they? And you discover that you did actually know each other through somebody else or something. I don’t think people have ever pigeonholed me as being ‘straight-up techno’. I’ve never really blown up in Britain either – it’s always been more international than in Britain, but I’ve always played certain key underground events and stuff. I've purposely shied away from being in the media, because I don't really want to burn it out. I met The Bug a month ago and he was like ‘Yeah, I remember you. I bought one of your albums on Tresor and I like what you’re doing now’, kind of thing. There are definitely people picking up on it. With the Mu 12” … I think people have never really gotten over the LFO sound and it really refreshed that in people’s memories, so I got a few good pointers from that one. I think because I’m doing the live shows, and still dragging quite a bit of gear out with me – people seem to pick up on that.
You’re one of the few artists who takes a studio-load of kit out on the road with you when you play live. Do you think this’ll always be this way for you?
I think so because the sound quality you get is just much better. It doesn’t work every time – sometimes it gets a bit chaotic, or something breaks, but as far as marks out of ten for effort, it’s definitely there. If somebody’s setting up a laptop and they’re doing their thing, basically just playing audio tracks and fading one into the other, people can tell what’s going on – it doesn’t really stand up to when you drag out all the gear and are hammering away at it and you can really get into all the parts of it and EQ it out… It is a different thing. I’m kind of sad that the live electronic thing has fallen away a little bit. I think it’s brilliant that you’ve got performers such as Jamie [Lidell], but the people taking out gear thing seems to have fallen off because people do a lot of music on computers now.
Many DJs who swore they’d never forsake vinyl are now switching to Ableton…
Yeah, I’m really not down with that. DJs – you want to see them at least spinning a disc [laughs]. This thing with just beat-matching the tracks in Traktor or something… It’s just lazy really. Even when you hear it… You can’t beat hearing vinyl out on a system. The dubstep thing is good because it’s still dubplate culture and they’re still very much into DJing. I think people should keep these skills alive.
You went to the launch party for Mary Anne Hobbs’ Warrior Dubz the other week. How was that?
Loefah definitely stood out as the best that night. I think their sound [Digital Mystikz] is very polished – a cut above a lot of the other stuff. There’s a lot of copycat dubstep stuff now, which is crap really.
So, you'd say there’s already a fair bit of dilution in that area?
I think so, but it’s kind of inevitable. I think the upside of it is that it’s a collecting ground for a lot of disparate kinds of musicians that – myself included – that are coming from electro, techno, jungle, hip hop, whatever, and being drawn in by it and influenced by it; they’re not really wanting to do straight-up dubstep stuff, they’re just wanting to fuse it with what they’re doing. I think you’re going to get really interesting genres coming out of it. I’m not convinced it’s really the saviour of British electronic music, but I definitely think it’s the freshest thing that’s popped up. One good thing about it is it’s quite welcoming for all sorts of people to go to. It’s got much more of a kind of rave atmosphere, which I like.
You’re playing a wide variety of gigs in the UK at the moment. Are you drawing much inspiration from the club scene here these days?
Yeah. I keep saying that I think the British scene is very healthy. There are lots of really good nights out there. They tend to be one-offs – there are not so many regular things, which is probably a result of much of the youth population being more into indie music. There is less support, less people going out regularly… but I’m playing a real variety of gigs at the moment. The Numbers thing in Glasgow, these things in London, where it’s like one room of reggae and dubstep, another of techno and breakcore stuff… Like that Soviet gig – it was me, Milanese, Ardisson… It really all worked, because everyone was bringing something different to the table. You’re not just hearing the one beat all night. There’s a bit of everything, and I love that. It’s what attracted me to that kind of music in the first place.
In Pure and Sativa Scotland had some of the best techno clubs in the world in the nineties. What’s going on up there these days?
Well, Edinburgh’s kind of fallen off a bit. It’s been pretty dry to be honest. I’m not really one to be out on the scene in my own city anyway. There’s a lack of venues in Edinburgh, because of a lot of redevelopment, and just the cost of things – I think a lot of clubs have been squeezed out. It’s not like in Germany where people drive to a venue, whether it’s a factory or whatever – it has to really be in town. It’s almost gone the way of how it was before the original rave scene kicked in, where it’s very general clubs playing studenty music and the specialised clubs don’t really get a look in. I mean, there’s the odd one-off, but I think as far as Scotland goes, Glasgow definitely has the edge. There’s this dubstep thing, Electrical Eliminators – I’ve been to see Mystikz and Loefah there and that was really good. The Numbers guys do their thing at the art college. There are still a lot of people passing through.
Are you happily settled back in Edinburgh these days, following your few years sabbatical in New York?
Yeah, I feel comfortable that I can get back into the countryside easily, which I like. My family’s here, and I’ve got a lot of mates here, and it’s a good place to hop around from. This year’s been really busy, though it’s settled down a bit now. I was in Manchester three times, and Leeds. I seem to keep going down to the north of England. London’s been really surprising – the last few things down in London have been really good. The Werk party at the end of last year – that was blinding; again, a good variety of music and a good location. The Soviet gigs have been really good – the Seed Records things. And Bristol’s always pretty healthy. And Manchester.
When you were down in Manchester didn’t you end up hanging out with Bez?
That was such a highlight. If I ever could have imagined that moment would have happened… It was just brilliant. I did that Happy Mondays cover and the Joy Division thing, which was a very personal record for me – perhaps a bit out of the blue for some people, and not everybody likes it, but I’ve always liked Happy Mondays and that whole Manchester thing was what brought me into the rave scene. I’ve always wanted to do a remix of Hallelujah, so I finally did it. The record got a bit of attention and I got invited down to a kind of Factory revival night, and low and behold, I end up having a smoke with old Bez. He was dead sound – a really cool guy. I met Tony Wilson, said hello to him, and Jon Da Silva, the guy that hooked it up – he used to DJ at the Hacienda. 808 State were there… It was just one of those nights. If I could have ever have imagined that would happen. And then Bez gave me a bit of really nice hash [laughs].
What’s next up for your Scandinavia label?
The next one’s going to be Chevron actually, from the Wrong Music crew. We’ve got one side of the record done, and he’s just working on the other side. I met him at this Irish festival, along with Ebola – who I want to do a collaboration with but we haven’t quite got it together yet – and Shitmat. I quite liked their attitude – a sort of new, young punk rave crew. I stayed in touch with Jason Chevron and he’s been sending me up tracks. He’s got tracks which he’d done pre 2001, which are quite interesting.
What kind of stuff is it?
It’s quite emotional a lot of it actually, quite melodic, and some of it sounds quite old skool, but quite raw ideas. It’s not necessarily the best-produced stuff in the world, but raw ideas that definitely come up to the mark of being odd enough for Scandinavia. I think he’s working on newer, heavier kind of stuff that he’s doing for the other side. It’s going to be a six-tracker.
Haven't you also hooked up with Milanese?
Yes, I’ve just been on the phone to him actually. We’ve done one track and we’re working on a project together. I’m really keen to get him up here and get him into the studio with the analogues and actually work together.
You're both making dark, futuristic bassline music, but with him coming from a laptop angle and you with your love of analogue, what do you think will come out of it?
I don’t know. I think he’s got really interesting structures to his music. He’s a fantastic producer and he’s got really interesting beats. He was saying that he doesn’t really want to be associated solely with the dubstep thing – and to give him his credit he was kind of doing that vein of music a good few years before that blew up. If we could marry somehow his structure and production skills with a lot of my sounds and my kind of style I think we could really come up with something interesting. The first thing is like halfstep, and then it goes more into a UK rave kind of thing, but that was doing it remotely. It was cool, but it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. When I was down in London recently I worked with Si Begg on a dubstep kind of track – well, a dubstep influenced thing; it was like these lungs, just breathing – like horribly asthmatic lungs, then just putting beats and bleeps and stuff over the top of that. It just worked well because I was sitting next to him and we could buzz just off each other’s ideas. I could get a bit of hardware out and say ‘how about this?’ You miss that when you’re doing stuff remotely. So yeah, he’s [Milanese] going to come up once I settle into my new place, and I’m sure we’ll come up with something quite interesting. He’s not that involved in everything – he takes his time over things and doesn’t get all excited. I prefer the long-term approach.
Any other collaborative projects in the pipeline?
Well, definitely the Ebola one – I want to pick up on that. I should really give him a call… Toby Smith – Tobias Schmidt – I’m still writing stuff with him; he’s a long-term partner. And Si Begg. I said to The Bug that it would be good to hook up with some MCs … but in the same breath, there are millions of MCs, but not that many really good ones. I just kind of bash on myself and every so often stumble onto something. When you said about the Life of Grime record, for me, about that time, I was stumbling around for something new, like a new style, just recording the stuff I work out live. It works, but maybe not quite, and then over the next year or two I gradually hone it down to really what I’m after, which is refreshing that UK bass 'n' bleep rave sound, but then splicing it with other things. It’s a creative process that’s never finished. I think at the moment that an album is going to come out of it that does represent what I’m trying to do.
What’s forthcoming on your release schedule, other than the Planet Mu album?
I’ve got a 12” coming out on a Germany label called Fienwerk – which is [a label run by] a mate of mine in Germany who’s still kind of flying the flag for slightly wonky techno in amongst a sea of absolutely mediocre minimal music. That’s Sugar Experiment [Sugar Experiment Station, with Tobias Schmidt] – not us together, but Toby on one side and me on the other. That’s got a couple of more 4/4 tracks but really, really bass heavy. I was saying this to my mate Abe – It’s weird how times change, fashions change and music changes. I don’t really see anything different in what I’m doing today and what I was ten years ago. I think when you have a bit of success with certain sounds, such as with me and the Peacefrog thing, it always follows you; and it can be kind of frustrating because you get people saying “Why don’t you just do Brown By August again?” or whatever. But it’s not as simple as that, because I couldn’t do that again because it just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I remember thinking that about artists I was really in to – ‘Oh, why have they changed? Or ‘why have they done this? But I’m sure the artist doesn’t really see anything different in what they’re doing.
You mention Peacefrog, who you first released with – they are now putting out the likes of José González and Nouvelle Vague. Would you say such dynamic shifts in output are natural as the tastes of people behind labels change?
Yeah, and once you’ve done it once, you don’t really see why you should keep doing it. Any artist or label that’s worth their salt thinks that. Otherwise you just repeat and repeat yourself, which ultimately is pretty short-term. Some people get away with it with remarkable luck. I strongly believe that you’ve got to think long-term. I’m sure you can think of loads of artists which have blown up – and where are they now? There’s definitely something about staying a bit out of the limelight, something about being the underdog. I feel a bit like that about dubstep stuff – perhaps just need to turn off the media attention for a while. Milanese was just saying, it’s going to go one way or the other – is it going to go the way of jungle, where it’s on daytime TV shows, or…?
The Scandinavia back catalogue is now available for download. Is it important to you that people can access what's gone before?
Yeah, I think if people are really serious about music… but I’m not sure how many people really are any more. It’s a shame music has lost perhaps its number one spot in defining youth culture, certainly for our generation.
What elements would you say are more defining in youth culture these days?
It’s a real mixed bag. There are a lot of distractions for people now. Broadband is definitely a big one, video games, DVDs. The crosspollination of media has meant that that band that you were into and that album that you went out and bought no longer defines what group of people you associate with. It’s not as simple as that anymore. It’s a sweeping generalisation, but I don’t think people place as much importance on the album. It’s like ‘these three tracks off the album, I’m going to download them’. Its fair because it gives you a choice, but at the end of the day you’re not really getting the whole package that the artist intended – perhaps that journey or that education. I think that’s a shame. Music is just at one of these points where it went through a massive correction when downloading came in, and I don’t think there’s any point in fighting that or moaning about it – that’s the way it is, the genie’s out of the bottle. But it’s a shame that music is perhaps not as important due to its massive over-availability. There’s almost too much of it now – it’s hard to make a choice. Basically what’s happened is you get a little bit of music on loads of channels now. It’s not like it’s gone away, it’s just spread itself much thinner.
MySpace exemplifies this – just a quick click about on there and you’re deluged with music. Is MySpace something you’ve embraced?
Yes, I do use it. I think it’s a really good promotional tool but again, it suffers the same thing as everything else on the internet in that it’s clogged up with a lot of shite as well – and there are gems among the turds, aren’t there? It seems harder and harder and harder to do your record label and justify the money that you’ve got to put up to press a vinyl release now, but still for me the ultimate connection with the music is the magic of putting something on to vinyl. You know, getting the labels back from the printer, putting it in the jacket and everything else… It’s that indefinable ingredient X which keeps you doing it whether it makes money or not. Scandinavia has never been run on a… It has made money, but that money goes back into it. Sometimes it doesn’t but I still want to do it. I don’t quite know why.
Are you still involved with many animation and visual projects?
Yeah, that’s more just a bit of a job really that’s contract based, so it takes up a few months of the year depending on how much work comes in. I’ve not really done anything in a sort of art way, mainly just commercial work. I still have a big input into the label graphics, and if all goes well with this Mu thing I’m going to some kind of motion graphics presentation to go with the live show that I take out, because the technology is there now. I’m still very keen on doing art for the distribution of music – the two together is very potent. I’m still interested in the art of it, definitely. I think that’s something that people should hold on to.
Quite a few artists are shutting down their own sites and using MySpace instead. Do you think this culls creativity and breeds complacency? Laziness even?
Yeah, I’m not that into MySpace – I just think it’s another tool that probably won’t last that much longer really.
I think it’ll be around, but it’s like anything on the internet – they don’t have a very long lifecycle do they? Like you say, if people are giving up their websites, I think that’s kind of sad because MySpace, for all its benefits, every page pretty much looks the same.
Relying solely on MySpace also means Rupert Murdoch has you by the balls to a certain extent...
Yes, and I’m definitely pretty weary of that. I was always into websites – not that I’ve every had a fantastic one myself – but I think when you visit a good one, particularly one that archives things… I put about a month into doing that with the Scandinavia one – scanning old flyers, reviews, bus tickets, photographs – so people could look at it and see where it had come from. I’ve always been into history – without history you don’t know where you’ve come from and definitely don’t know where you’re going, and where you see repeating themes. Websites are great for that – being able to look at something and really drink in all the information, sounds and visuals, and make a judgement on something.
Have you heard about the Wayback Machine, where some guy is busy archiving the internet?
No, I haven’t actually.
Go and have a look – it’s at Archive.org
That’s amazing, that someone’s bothering to do that … it’s interesting actually, because you know what I read again recently? For probably the third time, but it really struck home with me, was 1984. It’s just scary how much that guy predicted. Not necessarily bang on, but just ideas – and certainly of today’s international picture, as far as information and history and this thing of rewriting history according to the current political situation, and rejigging and spinning… Things like telly screens in every room, flat panels in every room. The guy at the Ministry altering photographs… it’s like, fucking hell. Constant war, consumer goods being kept at a certain level in order to increase military spending and keep these massive companies going. It’s all so scarily kind of poignant to today. I read it eight years ago and remember thinking, a lot of this has come true, and then I read it again and even more has come true. It’s like, fuck.
And so, anything you’d like to get off your chest?
Well, there’s the current state of how electronic, well, I don’t like using the term, but ‘dance’ music is represented in the media. I just think that part of the problem now, and why this decade’s popular thing has been the indie revolution. I think it’s a natural cycle, in that this decade’s indie kids, last decade would have been ravers kind of thing, but it’s Pete Tong, Judge Jules and all that lot… Get rid of them – they don’t represent what is going on in the clubs in Britain, certainly not the good ones. I wish that that was redressed and that there was a clearing out of a lot of the hangover from the nineties. I just think it’s essential to get new blood in there and move things on a bit and get them talking about what really is happening. All the good stuff being shunted into the evening… because a lot of the evening DJs are great on a lot of the mainstream channels. They’re really doing a lot, like 1Xtra, and the pirates too, but as far as the main players, they don’t even touch on what’s going on. They don’t represent one percent what’s going on.
Do you check any of the UK’s music magazines?
You know what? I haven’t even picked up one of those magazines for about four years. It just does not interest me at all. I’m not interested to have my name in them, or record reviews, or anything. It’s embarrassing even being associated with them. I think forums and websites have just replaced all that. If people want information on whether a gig really was good or not, or whether a record is good or not, they just read online reviews. It’s a shame, because I think magazines had their place in time. There were certainly really good ones that have come and gone. Even the style mags to a certain extent, they did kind of cover new things. Vice I think is worth a read, it’s pretty funny – they’ve got this pisstakey attitude, but at least they’re covering more alternative kind of things. I think it’s just that there doesn’t seem to be an alternative – it’s part of the problem with the homogenised new century, where you’ve got this awful crosspollination and cross-advertising of albums. If someone’s got a new album out you can bet your fucking arse they’re on Jo Whiley and then they’re on Chris Moyles and then they’re on Jonathan Ross, and then there are mini adverts for it on TV. Even NME, it’s like Smash Hits… You might as well call it some kind of PR fucking release, because there’s no journalism in there.
Is it important to salvage the printed format?
Absolutely, I think it’s very important, because the beauty of the printed format is that it lies around on people’s tables, in their flats and houses; it gets kicked around… ends up in someone’s toilet. Electronic and internet stuff is there one minute and gone the next; it’s not so permanent – well, maybe it is now with this guy archiving it all [laughs] but… There’s something about picking up a book and curling up in bed with it, or going on a train journey and reading a magazine. It certainly still has it’s place, but I don’t think there’s anything out there particularly – though I could be wrong as I’m not a massive magazine reader – that makes me want to gravitate towards a newsagent every week, which NME and Melody Maker used to do, so...
With the internet rapidly changing the channels of music distribution, what do you predict will happen?
The distribution channels have definitely changed. Actual physical relations are less important, but I still think the ultimate mark of something being super-valid is definitely a proper release. It’s free to put something up on the internet and release it, at the end of the day, and that means there are not so many barriers to entry which would have put people off before. I was reading about Factory Records and when they first started it, Tony Wilson got money from a relative that died or sold their house or something… He got like twenty grand anyway, which was a lot of money back then, and basically spent it on releasing Joy Division and stuff. It’s fantastic that someone actually had the balls to do that. Now it’s just so easy to say ‘oh, I’ll put it on MySpace or whatever’; there’s no real initial cost or barriers of entry to whittle out stuff that isn’t so good.
Do you think people are put off running labels because it’s so hard to get decent distribution these days?
It’s very hard. Even for people who are established it’s very hard. You don’t make that much money – if any – off recorded output. I’ve always been into keeping up live performances. I still think that if you really want something to blow up you have to back it up with live performances.
Jamie Lidell says the performance is where it’s at, because you’re never going to recreate that – it’s a unique thing.
Absolutely, and he’s built his whole thing on that – and all credit to him because he’s a fantastic very talented performer. He hasn’t really put out that many records, but he’s very selective and very choosey, takes his time and puts a lot of effort into it, but without the live performances… That’s really what’s made his name. It’s that word of mouth thing – someone can be big on the internet quite easily by bigging themselves up, but to actually go out and perform and the next day have 100 people, 150 people telling all their friends about it… is worth its weight in gold. Word of mouth – you can’t email that, you can’t electronically create that. You can try, but then its just spam.
It’s very hard to predict the future of things like this. Music’s always going to have its place, but there was definitely a massive correction a few years ago and music buying just fell down the list of things that people do with their money. On a Saturday afternoon you used to go out, you’d buy a t-shirt, you’d buy a couple of records, you’d go and have a pint, you’d come home and listen to your records and you’d go out to a gig or to a club… People just don’t normally do that any more. Everyone’s sitting on the tube with their iPods… Mp3s are so shit; there’s no two ways about it – they just don’t sound good. They’re okay for most people, but not for an ultimate archive. I have a funny feeling that – you might think it’s incredible now – but in maybe ten or fifteen years mp3s might not even exist. It’ll be something else. It just seems too temporary. Those 100,000 mp3s that you’ve got on your hard-drive – when that hard-drive ceases working and you haven’t archived them, they’re gone. It’s not like a wall of records that are always going to be there.
And so, to sum up. Where do you feel you are as an artist at this point in time?
At this point in time I don’t really feel aligned to any genre. It’s just gone back to being just upfront electronic music, and whatever for. It’s not particularly techno, it’s not particularly dubstep. I think that is what is very interesting about what’s happening in the UK just now. People aren’t being picky about what it is – it’s just all-comers, all different types of music, and I think that’s brilliant. It’s great that it’s come back to that again. That’s really refreshing and I hope it stays like that for a while.
And finally, can you tell us about the mix you’ve done for Spannered?
I’ve done it in a few sections – I’ve still got to edit it together. So it’s not one live take but live takes edited together. I wanted to get a bit more experimental stuff in there, because it’s for Spannered obviously. The Mary Anne [Hobbs] thing is 30 minutes, and I wanted to make this an hour of stuff, so… I think it’s summing up the best of what I do live at the moment, with a bit of studio thrown in. And it’s recorded properly as well – it’s not just recorded at some fucking club somewhere and of shit quality. I hope it sells this whole spraff I’ve been on [laughs].