Before we go any further, you gotta get “Tide Out” right the fuck now. We’ve featured VSYC before, you remember that shit from my fucking spectacular DVLS NGT MXXXXX, but it’s a new year and another excuse to attempt to never do opiates, or opiate derivatives ever again, and a great fucking time to get this FREE “NAME YOUR PRICE AMAZING SHIT RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!!!
In another time and place, the oceans would have fucking parted for this band, I blame their lack of transcendence into the mainstream on a fucking glutted music market right now, but thank the sweet fucking dark lord for that, or what other reason would you be reading my shit right now. Anyway, fucking sweet of them to create this awesome as fuck mix for me, some great shit free for you. I’d tell you more about this shit but, why spoil the surprise of the interview below. Some dark props to Aural Sects for discovering this act and turning my shit on to them. SO THIS SHIT DROPS NOW RIGHT THE FUCK HERE!!!
Experience this track if you’re total fucking green to their shit:
FREE DOWNLOAD EXCLUSIVE MIX FOR IVIYH: IVIYH MIX 100113
1. Can you tell me a bit about your “Tide Out” release on AS, what are some of the influencing factors that inspired it?
TIDE OUT began exclusively as a remix project of tracks from our debut release but due to the number of artists involved it took a while in the making. Whilst those involved were working their magic, we came up with some songs that we were happy with and felt fitted in well with the overall feel of what we wanted to achieve. Since the remixes are so eclectic, the original tracks help give the album a bit of direction and allowed us to stamp our own sound onto it.
With Dougie living in London and Tom having recently moved back to Berlin, the new songs were heavily influenced by the cities we call home and how they’ve changed us. Even the record’s imperfections are a direct result of the environment in which it was made, with the final mixing and mastering being done in a sparsely furnished Berlin bedroom with a high ceiling and wooden floorboards. Natural images have always been very prominent in our artwork as we feel they juxtapose with our sound nicely and help emphasise its inherently unnatural qualities. Almost every song we have written within this project has been conceived within the box, the result of digital experimentation, and lyrics usually draw inspiration from life in an urban supercollider. As for musical influences, it was great to have some of our favourite and most influential artists on the release. Everyone we asked to be involved in the project has affected us greatly in some way and we were delighted with how receptive they were for this project.
2. Can you tell me a little bit about recording it as well?
I suppose the most unusual thing about our recording process is that we never actually record anything together. All communication is done via Skype and projects are shared via Dropbox. We have both collaborated with many musicians, but ultimately work best when alone and able to experiment with sounds without anyone to laugh at you if it sounds ridiculous. We had one recording session face to face a year or so ago but ended up recording a theremin for most of it. We usually work entirely within Ableton and a standard songwriting process involves Tom coming up with an initial idea before sending it over to Dougie to chop and skew as he feels fit. It’s then sent back and forth a few more times and the end result normally sounds nothing like the original track. On the EP, Where’s Your Love? was born out of recording and sequencing random percussion sounds and building the track up from there. Some songs took ages to finish and were difficult to stop working on, whilst others – such as Golden Armour – were written, recorded and mixed within a matter of days.
3. Can you tell me a bit about your first music project?
We grew up in two culturally devoid neighbouring towns in Northern England and both played in different bands heavily influenced by the then new wave of indie and electroclash bands that now seem crude and superficial. As immature and poorly executed as our music was, at the time it seemed like we were two of about twenty people (out of two-hundred-and-forty-thousand) who were even attempting to write interesting and original songs in our hometowns, and for that we both had a mutual respect for each other’s work. It seems like an age ago now and it’s crazy to think how quickly music technology has moved on since then. Tom would record vocals (often whispered, as his parents were asleep in the next room) either on a free computer microphone or via the integrated mic on his digital eight-track recorder and then import them into an ancient version of Fruity Loops. There were some nice ideas in there somewhere, hidden behind the layers of noise and god awful lyrics. You can probably find songs from our old bands on a gaudy online profile somewhere, hidden in the crevices of some forgotten music platform that was evacuated years ago. At such a young age, with a lack of knowledge as to how to actually do anything properly, you’re uninhibited to do whatever you feel like and you use your ears a bit more. We never seemed to be lost for ideas for new songs back then. Nowadays we both constantly have Ableton open and are obsessive about our sample libraries, but we sometimes simultaneously encounter writer’s block for weeks on end.
4. What other projects have you been involved in?
Dougie spends his days working as a freelance sound designer and composer, being commissioned to write soul-destroying dubstep tracks. During the evening he whores himself out to bands in London for cash. Amongst others, this involves being the token skinny white boy DJ in a rap ensemble. After moving to Berlin, Tom looked for musicians to collaborate with via ads on Craigslist and until now he’s been lucky in that he hasn’t encountered any axe-wielding maniacs, but rather some extremely talented producers with refreshing outlooks on music. He’s also currently learning to mix properly with the dream of one day confusing the hell out of the crowd in Berghain by dropping VS//YOUTHCLUB on their leviathan Meyer sound system.
We’ve also been talking a lot about forming a new side project ripping off our favourite dance artists for a while, but are both too busy to actually get on it. If all goes to plan, it might be up and running by 2017. We have a name though and that’s what matters, right?
5. Can you tell me about some of your current favourite artists, local or elsewhere?
As mentioned, we’re big supporters of all of the artists on our most recent release: Koda, Daterape, Funerals, Pe† Ceme†ery, Kkoee (now releasing under the alias Privacy) and ∆AIMON. Our boy Koda has an angelic voice and is a truly prolific songwriter, churning out a crystal clear production every week, at least. 2013 looks set to be his year, along with the other (equally hard-working) members of the online micro-scene he’s a part of, such as Stumbleine, Coma and Bijou.
Aural Sects and Fluorescent Records are two labels doing great things for unknown artists and we’re delighted to have been able to work with them both. The AS back catalogue is particularly immense and some of the material they’ve put out has been avant-garde to say the least, but a few of our favourite releases have been those of Rachel Haircut, MADDEN, Psychic Rites and Peachblack. Collectively, they serve as great examples of Aural Sects’ mission statement and are good artists to begin with before trying out the label’s more experimental cuts.
There are also artists we’ve been following for a long time and we’ll never stop listening to. Thom Yorke, Nicolas Jaar, Crystal Castles, HEALTH and Julio Bashmore, etc etc. You hear them all the time, but that’s because they’re Gods.
6. Do you have any strange addictions?
Tom is insanely addicted to Chocolate, but that’s about it.
7. Can you give me an example of a song you consider perfect?
This is a really difficult question. One of our most loved electronic tunes is Trentemøller’s remix of Flamingo by Tomboy and that’s probably as close as you can get to perfect. The vocals, the pacing, the crescendos, that kick drum… Trentemøller has a Midas touch and we love his remixes even more than his original tracks, even when he’s remixing his own songs.
It’s difficult to see past beautiful classical compositions, such as Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings (Op. 11), Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Schubert’s Sonata in A Major (D959 – II. Andantino). Dougie has also always loved Schubert’s Impromptu For 12 Fingers (Op. 90, No. 3), as played by Michael Nyman in the Gattaca soundtrack. Also, Yann Tiersen’s Summer 78 and Elliot Smith’s Between the Bars rank pretty high for us.
8. If I were to vacation in your hell what should I expect to find there?
Unfortunately, we had to confront our notion of Hell quite frequently during our youth. It involves a rain-battered Northern English town on a Friday night and features an Akon soundtrack, blue-coloured alcoholic drinks, bouncers who think they’re working St. Peter’s gate, paralytic women wearing too much fake tan and dresses that show off their cellulite, and equally wasted macho men wearing equally too much fake tan and t-shirts that show off their pecks. The evening ends with mulch in a greasy fast-food shop and an overpriced taxi home. We put ourselves through this many times during our teenage years and are all the better for it.
9. Have you had an experience with the supernatural that you’d be willing to share?
10. If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead who would it be?
Living: Nicolas Jaar. Dead: Elliot Smith. We’d love to work with Thom Yorke but we’re a bit afraid he’d be a bastard to us.
<em>11. What are some of your favourite films, and a favourite line of dialog from a film?
It’s not a line of dialogue, but Oldboy is one of the best films ever made and the scene where Oh Dae-su eats the live octopus whole is breathtaking. The scene is entirely unsimulated and it had to be shot four times, using four different octopuses. A Buddhist monk said a prayer for each one during filming. I don’t know why America feels the need to remake every great foreign film, but it won’t be as perfect as the original.
Dougie: Pontypool, “Now, in our top story of today, a big, cold, dull, dark, white, empty, never-ending blow my brains out, seasonal affective disorder freaking kill me now weather-front, that’ll last all day”.
12. Can you describe your most emotionally moving moment involving music? Or, the moment of live music that has had the greatest impact on you?
Film music holds massive emotional significance for both of us. Dougie studied it for four years and Tom has always been interested in it. We’ve both said we’d love to do a soundtrack at some point. As for a particular experience, the burning down of the cinema in Cinema Paradiso is pretty huge. As for live music, seeing our friend Kate play sax for the closing of M83’s set in London at the end of their UK tour was incredible. Their music is very emotive and it’s been with us for as long as we’ve been into music.
13. Some are saying this is the greatest era to exist as a musician, others say it’s the worst, what has your experience been like?
It’s the greatest. We don’t see what people have to complain about: there are more tools to make music and more ways to promote the end product. Sounds that would have been impossible thirty years ago can be done in a matter of seconds, simply by twiddling a few knobs. Those moaning that anyone can have access to everything these days just seem to be bitter that they don’t have the imagination to put their technical expertise to good use. It’s still those with talent and/or experience that actually get noticed and do well (discounting vacuous major label popstars, but they’ve always existed). Also, thanks to the Internet, music tastes are becoming much more varied. It’s much easier to discover new artists from different genres and countries, and that can’t be a bad thing.
14. Have you ever been to a psychic, would you be willing to share that experience if so?
15. Do you feel things happen for a reason, do you have an experience that would be evidence of this?
We both subscribe to the idea that things occur at random and generally patterns are nothing but coincidence. We like to speculate on unusual occurrences and believe that it would be great to know how things work but we don’t and that’s fine.