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(1995-06-09) Coresect

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Ross

 

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Just a Fuckin' Idiot

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(1995-06-09) Coresect

PostTue Oct 22, 2013 9:17 pm

Future Sound Of London, Phone Interview, Roma. June 9, 1995

Interviewer: The ISDN experience: tell me how it all worked, in less than five minutes...

Garry Cobain: Well, you are limiting me to five minutes. I'm not sure if I can take that. I might have to give you a ten minute answer now.

Interviewer: Ok. Take as much time as you want.

Garry Cobain: Well, have you heard about me or something? Why did you try to limit me to five minutes?

Interviewer: No, no. I'm only limiting you to five minutes because I know it is a complicated subject and you could spend days trying to explain the ins and outs.

Garry Cobain: Oh, alright. OK. How did it work? ISDN is digital phone lines, are you interested in artistic reasons or technical.

Interviewer: A bit of both.

Garry Cobain: Basically we got lines set up, digital lines like you would get any normal line in the studio, we had to get three so that it could get the full dynamic sound, which is 10k. Then you get an encoder at our end which encodes the signal coming out of the mixing desk. Whoever we are sending it to needs a decoder and two lines. So they take the line signal and decode the signal which then goes through any audio equipment. That is the technical. It is quite common place in fact.

Interviewer: At the other end you need just a standard decoder?

Garry Cobain: That is right, there are only a couple of different kinds.

Interviewer: So for the performances you sit down in your studio...

Garry Cobain: What do we do? Well, different performances with different things. We viewed them as not really a performance. We view them as transmissions. I think, doing a performance to radio, like a rock and roll gig, assuming that's good radio is wrong. So what we did was, we tried to include the excitement of certain live sections of music whereby it would be random and hopefully convey some kind of excitement. We tried to combine that kind of sensibility with the knowledge that good radio is maybe sometimes a radio play, maybe sometimes is some kind of philosophical spoken word thing, so we tried to take into consideration the history of that medium, and not just being musicians who are bastardising it for their own promotion. So we definitely tried to do a transmission. So for Radio 1 we got the rock and roll element, which was us jamming with Robert Fripp in the studio. So we went into bits of free flow where we were improvising musically, but then we went into very definite bolted sections within the transmission where there was a voice within the environments which were, hopefully, as Orson Welles and War of the Worlds type stuff.

Interviewer: Why at the beginning of the album does the voice go "stop flashing the fucking lights!"?

Garry Cobain: That's a different performance. That's in New York at The Kitchen.

Interviewer: But did you play on a stage?

Garry Cobain: No no no. We just played through whatever rig was sat there and sent images. The person flashing the lights was at our end. We just basically had that as a weird introduction, because we realised that maybe we should speak, to create a weird sort of illusion about what was happening there. We didn't want it to be muzak. We didn't want it to be just the sound coming through at a very tasteful level. We had heard that it was an art gallery, and that it might be a bit respectful so we thought we would shake it up a bit.

Interviewer: Why are you doing this? Artistic expression, exploring a new medium or to avoid clichéd live performances?

Garry Cobain: We are trying to work towards a new dynamic form of entertainment. We believe that lies within a kind of merger of applying our philosophies to television broadcasting, which we are now moving into. We've got a new television show called "Teachings from the Electronic Brain" which is applying the same philosophy. If you view our music as being an electronic soup, it is basically us reinterpreting the history of music through our equipment, through samplers, technology, whatever. However we can do it, we do it. Whether that is as musicians, or whatever. It doesn't conviniently ignore the history of music, in fact it reinterprets it, and we bring it all in to the soup. We are now applying that philosophy to television broadcasting, as we have been doing for radio broadcasting. It is us trying to learn, technically and artistically towards a leaning of a new kind of merger of entertainment. We believe that we can hit millions of people world wide without going the rock-est route and that purely is by doing good broadcast, and approaching it from a new set of criteria.

Interviewer: And from the comfort of your own home.

Garry Cobain: Yeah. To a certain degree anyway.

Interviewer: Is it now possible to do multiple links?

Garry Cobain: It is possible technically, but as I think I put in the liner notes on ISDN, it is politically that is the problem. Because most of these station don't want to converse with each other and don't want to have to deal with each other. Which is quite funny. This is one of our strong points really, we use any station we can and we don't feel that we particularly have to be owned by a station. In terms of our radio we did a thing called free-programming which is a bit of an anathema these days. To do free work is incredible. We did work and then we moved on, we were rather like a promiscuous partner {laughs}. We sort of move on with free love. Which is kind of like anything that's the kind of notion of ambience that I was always disappointed with. I found that most of the people that advocated this ambient free cosmos kind of thinking were incredibly het up about things, and I always found it really amazing that at the end of all this creativity, if that is what it's supposed to be, the end product was a CD or a piece of vinyl. So we what we have gone now, into the realms of, is producing free transmissions, free broadcasts, music that is only made for transmission and broadcast and a lot of the music never actually comes out. I think that is a good way to be, because we are foraging, we are trying to find something that is more dynamic than our music. Or we are assuming that our music isn't good enough in a way, because A) although we have been very successful in this country now I still look at a lot of bands that are using a very traditional mechanism without even thinking, being very lazy, and they are doing far better. It is not that I want to achieve for the sheer hell of achieving, I want to achieve a modern piece of entertainment, and I think our mode of thinking could do that.

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