Scene 2006: Going Back to Go Forward
Garry Cobain from Amorphous Androgynous on turning his back on modern life.
Every now and then you meet a person who has an unusual intensity. Not the annoying irritating variety. No, the intensity I refer to is the captivating kind. The sort of intensity that leaves you hanging on every word. The sort of intensity that resonates in your brain long after you have gone your separate ways. Meet Garry Cobain.
"The problem is to the public, they don't have the time or the inclination to find out who owns what. The media corporations know this and rely on this. There is this kind of benign trust in the media. I find that amazing in the present climate. Having been somebody who explores for the truth in any form over the years, I know truth appears in many forms. It appears in music, in books, in mysticism, in politicism, it exists everywhere. When you get adept at exploring those areas you become skilled in feeling the truth," he explains.
"It's bizarre, isn't it? People know the media is a kind of mockery, people know it's tabloid, even the parts of the media that masquerade as being serious. Still people believe. It amazes me how deep the conditioning and belief in the media is."
You'd be excused for asking 'Who is Scene interviewing? A muso or a media theorist?' In all honesty, the more I tried to draw Cobain into a conversation about his music, the further away from music we found ourselves.
In the early 90s Garry Cobain and Brian Douglas formed the pioneering electronic music outfit, The Future Sound of London. Together they took the world by surprise with the ambient dubness of Accelerator, which features tunes like "Cascade" and, what has gone on to be one of the most remixed tunes of all time, "Papua New Guinea".
Through the 90s, the duo continued to produce groundbreaking music, including ISDN, the first record ever to be simulcast across the internet. After the 1996 release of their fourth album, Dead Cities, the pair were entrenched as part of the electronic music elite, headlining at all the significant international music festivals. Then, almost overnight, FSOL vanished off the radar.
"For FSOL, the future to me had suddenly lost its appeal, because I was not sure if I was going to live music longer because of my affliction," he says.
Cobain had fallen ill with lead poisoning. "I eventually came to the realisation that society itself was rather future-obsessed, a similar acknowledgement made many thousands of years prior by Yogis and spiritual masters who themselves sought answers and well-being through enlightenment."
Essentially, Cobain turned away from the day to day pressures of modern life in London, and faced India. And, in case you haven't noticed, it is India and his Indian experiences that shape his view of the world.
According to Cobain it is yoga, ayurvedic medicine and a vegetarian diet that saved his life - both physically and emotionally. It is these elements that Cobain says have enabled him to find the truth in modern life and the way our lives have been perverted by technology.
"Here's a thought. We are at a point now where we definitely and unequivocally make love by, make music, exchange all of our letters via, make videos on, edit radio shows on, make artwork on a network. How easy is it then, by a simple extension of thought, is it to control us? I'm beginning to think it is very easy.
"Look at it like this - the best way to advance the agenda is to basically give an amount of freedom. For example, allow people to download MP3s, porn and free software for a period, knowing that by the time they are totally hooked to the web the whole of society is brought into a game.
"The game is basically to have one huge control system where everybody is doing everything through the same network. If you think about it, it is very very dangerous. This is why when you look at my music I have gone back to go forward. I have gone back to find some of the knowledge that has been lost and trampled on," he says.
The result has been the albums The Isness and Alice in Ultraland, released under the Amorphous Androgynous moniker, which are a mix of psychedelia, folk, big band, orchestral, eastern classical and electronic.
"Basically, I am a big heart, an artist and a probe. This is my place in the order of things," he finishes.
By Richard Murray
1 post • Page 1 of 1