Moscow Times 27th June 2003
Future Sound's Cobain to Play St. Pete
By Sergey Chernov
"I've become a real hippie these days," said Garry Cobain, one half of the cutting-edge electronic duo The Future Sound of London, which rocketed to popularity as part of Britain's electronic dance music revolution of the early 1990s.
Cobain, who calls himself a "psychedelic collage artist" rather than a musician, arrives in St. Petersburg next week to perform with his other, less famous, band, Amorphous Androgynous. The outfit is currently a mere trio -- a sitar player, a guitarist and Cobain behind the DJ's mixing booth -- but Cobain plans to expand it to 10 members by next year.
Although the name Amorphous Androgynous was first used in 1993 on the band's debut album Tales of Ephidrina, it was last year's Amorphous album, The Isness, that marked a decisive move for the band from the dancefloor beats of The Future Sound of London to the 1960s-style psychedelia and Asian melodies of today's Amorphous.
"I'm calling the whole thing a Psychedelic DJ Experience. It's a step towards a Full Live Experience," Cobain said in a telephone interview from his home in London. Backing Cobain in St. Petersburg is renowned Indian classical musician Baluji Shrivastav and U.S. guitarist Gary Lucas, who has performed with both Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley.
"At the moment, I play a lot of my own things, and I modify and manipulate a lot of old recordings because, right now, I'm into a quite Eastern-influenced live drum kind of cosmic rock and rare groove psychedelia," said Cobain of his own role in the July 5 show.
"I mean, I play anything and put them together in a way that sounds interesting to me. For me, the word 'psychedelia' is a glorious excuse to play anything." Cobain's involvement with Amorphous caused a bit of confusion when The Isness was widely attributed to The Future Sound of London, a mistake to which Cobain said he objected ardently. He added that he hopes this year will see the release of two distinct albums, one by Amorphous and one by The Future Sound of London. "Amorphous Androgynous was going to be my live kind of big psychedelic band, and The Future Sound of London would continue doing what it does, which is a warped, organic kind of sampling," he said.
After a decade of immersion in electronica, Cobain said discovering psychedelia felt to him like an escape from a musical rut.
"I think there was a period when electronic music was really a way out -- it was [about] breaking lots of rules -- and then it's just became a set of rules," he said. "Most electronic music became very impressive sounding, but there's no soul in it anymore, so we started looking elsewhere and we found psychedelic rock. I think -- I always say this these days -- that innovation isn't just related to technology. How about innovating your soul?"
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