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Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

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Ross

 

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Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jun 25, 2019 1:55 pm

Next month. Watch this space.
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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jun 25, 2019 3:00 pm

Tell me it includes a 7" vinyl!
play this backwards and you'll hear evil messages
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Ross

 

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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jun 25, 2019 8:52 pm

No idea, but not that I'm aware.
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sigESANg5

 

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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostFri Jul 12, 2019 8:29 pm

Bought the digital copy of issue 55 just for the Humanoid review and short interview with Brian. So good to see Humanoid get some coverage!
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Ross

 

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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostFri Jul 12, 2019 9:15 pm

Any chance of a scan / write-up?
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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostFri Jul 12, 2019 9:39 pm

Would be happy too. Is it allowed here?
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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jul 16, 2019 10:50 am

Better than that - here's the full, unedited transcript, courtesy of Brian. It's about twice as long as the one in the magazine.

Just the 30 years for the second Humanoid album to land then, what took you?

ha ha, well kind of been busy doing other stuff.

So why now?

It never really felt right until a few years back.
2016 i started recording a whole bunch of 303 stuff which sounded very cool - kind of like the original humanoid type sound -
i sat on it for a while because i really wanted to try other ideas and push the sound further - so i scrapped it, although some of it can be heard on the Quantel Ep that comes free when the album is downloaded from our shop, bits have also appeared on various compilations.
( Touched music, DE-Tuned, Gasman Music etc )
This album is more the direction Humanoid wanted to go …, We did a track called fu*k it - which was originally music written for a japanese fashion show,
we later passed it to the Future Massive label - who released it on their Vol.1 compilation - this sound for me was the key - Acid 303 organic, but more UK Punk than chicago house, which was also the thinking behind the original project in 88.

If people are thinking ‘Stakker Humanoid’ part two, they’re in for surprise, right?

Yep, to an extent , maybe, to be fair theres countless versions and mixes and mash ups of stakker humanoid out there - if you want a part 2 then theres 7 8 and 9 to enjoy too, many cover versions including death metal - Brass bands - german hard house. i personally like The Osmonds/Stakker mash up - crazy humanoids - check it :)….
This album is about digging into the Humanoid sound further - not standing motionless - rather seeing what can be pushed, ripped and repieced, which is always a philosophy we adopt as FSOL.
Stakker Humanoid was essentially an Art piece, extracted from the Stakker Eurotechno long form videola 1989, ( now part of the MOMA collection NY ),
it very much reflected a time, a movement in culture,design, computer art, fashion, and sound.

It’ll also be an eye-opener for those who know you from FSOL?

Nah not sure thats correct - the ISDN album from 94 has a similarly heavy production, and some of the recent FSOL albums ( Environment six ) have been touching on pure electronica, also some of the side projects available on FSOLdigital.com delve into some pretty dark territories.
FSOL has an ever shifting sound Accelerator to Lifeforms to Dead Cities to the Environments albums.


How do you find working under different names. How do you separate them out, or do you even?

We have a subtle variant sound that kind of defines who, what they are , sometimes the sound travels between them all, but generally there is a difference in the recording process that shapes the sound and defines the project.

With that in mind, how much do you think FSOL has informed the new record?

Well i guess having worked under the FSOL moniker for so long its likely to have similarities - FSOL has a very defined production sound - echo-verbs-fx chains deep compression - and all mixed on an analogue 48ch desk - which is important to the final production sound - i very rarely mix inside the box, i like machines running live - the hum of poor earthing - crackles from desk channels - its all part of the final canvas , these techniques have been utilised on this album.

How would you describe ‘Build By Humanoid’?

Post Human Orfan Atmospheres. But seriously, Futurist concrète synthesis.

We like the idea of future acid, but this is dark acid! It’s a proper sonic assault, could you have made sounds like that in 1988?

i did consider this recently - i think parts of it perhaps - in 88 everything was fairly infant - and electronic music was pretty much still going down to tape - 16/ 24 tracks - smpte time codes kept things locked in time, but it was much harder to work it - once digital editors came along the game changed.
some of this album was written using an old Atari 1040, running C-lab software, which is what was used in 88 on stakker, and actually through most of the 90s with FSOL, However its what were using now in periphery technology, and especially outboard kit thats whats advanced the sound field.

You actually developed two new synths specifically for this album. Care to tell us a little about that?


A few years back we made an album where all sounds were created entirely using an EMS Synth aks - sequences and drum sounds multi tracked up -( Synthi-A. Ignition of the Sun ). I became friendly with Steve Thomas of english electronics company Digitana after purchasing one of his add on modules - we discussed and drew up plans for a table top analogue synth. Development took several years but we now build and sell the finished version which have since been used on various productions including Hollywood Blockbuster SPIDERMAN ( into the spider verse ) - The Prowler sound is a combination of the SX-1 and the EMS synthi . Its also been used on national geographic documentary series One strange Rock and Netflix The innocents to name a few.
The SX-1 analogue synthesiser and the Halia digital synthesiser were not developed specifically for the Humanoid project although do feature heavily in the recordings.


We always like to hear people are still using their original 303s… are you?

yeah, i still use the original stakker box - still going strong - no mods - we use the 303 fairly often you will hear it popping up on FSOL stuff

Daft question perhaps, but what do you think the enduring appeal of acid house is?

Acid house courtesy of the uniqueness of the 303 audio design, creates a hypnotica in the flow that looses the listener in an undulating stream of waveforms .

What do you think Bruno Brooks would make of all this?

what did he make of it the first time round - meh - suddenly got a flashback to Smash Hits …..

He described ‘Stakker Humanoid’ as “mega”, which he also said about some George f the Michael single. Eclectic taste or what?

Brian looks off into the distance, remembering walking down a street in nottingham hearing stakker humanoid blaring out a car window followed by bruno brooks babbling the words MEGA ……

And you have another Micheal, Jackson, to thank for landing you in the charts first time round?

Well, eh, if you mean the Stakker Humanoid video premiered on BBC2 right after the new MJ smooth criminal video then maybe - the apparent viewing figure was big numbers, to be hit immediately with the audio visual onslaught that is stakker humanoid - must of turned some heads - ha ha

And you were living in a squat when you appeared on ‘TOTP’, that must’ve seemed surreal?

The Squat was in Kings Cross london, i moved in early summer 88, i got a 3 track demo deal with Streetsounds records - ( one of the tracks recorded was Stakker Humanoid ) - so times were good - loads of clubs - Mutoid waste parties - raves below a kebab shop in Edgeware Road - but then winter set in and things got bad - ha ha - and that was just when stakker hit the charts and TOTP - so yeah, taxi from the BBC - to the cold bleakness of the squat - was kinda weird.

You couldn’t make this stuff up could you?

Thats not even the half of it - the year that followed - many massive rave parties, John Peel session, European television appearances……
Disagreements with the label, illness from the squat, fatigue from touring - i left london and street sounds records.
The whole thing ended in court where i was awarded all the rights back.
Around that time me and Gaz Cobain built Earthbeat Studios in dollis hill London, where we created a whole bunch of releases, including The Future Sound of London, and I'm sure you know the rest …

And… you also hold three Guinness World Records, don’t you?

Ah yes very humbled and proud - last year Guinness World Records awarded us retrospectively for having achieved the First Internet Music Download, which was made available via new york based bulletin board SonicNet on 22nd 1994, pipping Geffen Records and Aerosmith to the post. Geffen concluded afterwards that it will never catch on.

The other 2 awards related to our unique live performances, which at that time 1994 were all performed live from our studio and transmitted using ISDN - down telephone lines to millions of people via Radio 1 and other radio stations worldwide as well as venues and cafes.
Guinness saw both these awards relating to the evolution of music distribution - download and streaming.


Are there any other world records you’d fancy a crack at?

ha ha, we weren't trying for any world records back then, we were trying to explore ways of performing our music other than standing on a stage, which we felt was a well trodden road by the rock'n rollers of yesteryear, added to the pressure of a major label breathing down our back, we stumbled onto a new technology and realised it could be manipulated to our advantage, - ISDN lines ( integrated systems digital network ) were installed in our studio and at Radio 1 london UK, Heavily advertised through out the mainstream media and music press as a unique live event - we suddenly had control of prime time friday night, broadcasting, unfiltered, from our studio to millions across the uk.
As a way of reaching a lot of people at once, in their homes, it worked. Back then we talked in the press about how this will be the future for music, piped directly to your home, and we were right , as guinness have authenticated.

Thanks for your time, best of luck with the record. We’re very much enjoying it in the office.

your welcome
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Rob

 

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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jul 16, 2019 12:48 pm

Great! This unedited one is way better than the magazine one. Thanks Ross & big thanks to the Boss!! (Of course our Brianboss!!)
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Re: Humanoid interview in Electronic Sound Magazine

PostTue Jul 16, 2019 5:13 pm

Yeah, this one is way better. Cheers for the post!

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