Filed under: Interview
Interview : Kei Tajima (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : I guess last time you came here was March 2004…wasn’t it? How many times have you been here all in all?
Coldcut : Yes. 15 times, all in all.
HRFQ : This time, you’ll be playing at Electraglide, one of the biggest dance music festivals in Japan.Have you heard anything about it before?
Coldcut : It has a reputation for being a large, successful and forward-thinking festival. Hexstatic played there last year and had a great time.
HRFQ : Many visual, and visual & music mix artists such as Tomato and Hexstatic have played at Electraglide,are you going to perform visual mixed show this time? Can you tell us a bit of your live set up?
Coldcut : We have been using visuals in our live set for 15 years. The show for our new album will be a full audio/visual show. We aim to set a new standard for electronic music visuals, as the ‘Let Us Play’ show did for the last 8 years.
HRFQ : Do you use DVJ-X1? What do you think about it?
Coldcut : The DVJ-X1 is a great interface for audio/visual-scratching and mixing,which complements VJAMM very well. We’ve found it is best used in conjunction with our custom built audio/visual-mixer.
HRFQ : You are one of the pioneers who tried to integrate Music and Visuals,and also, you are well known as pioneers of sampling.How did you come up with the idea of sampling in the first place?
Coldcut : When we started,it wasn’t called sampling. Decks were the only instruments we used on our first records. This followed in the tradition of sound collage,from hip-hop eg Double Dee and Steinski, but also going back to avant-garde music like Steve Reich and various musique concrete pioneers.
HRFQ : What was the funniest stuff you’ve ever sampled before?
Coldcut : My girlfriend and I having a row.
HRFQ : Can you tell us your recent studio set up?
Coldcut : I work here in the Spacelab, my studio. It is full of different bits of equipment which can be bolted together in various configurations. However, more and more is done today just using my laptop and midi controllers. I like working that way because I can make music in my van wherever I like.
HRFQ : You are releasing (22/10) new EP, “Everything is under control”.Can you tell us a bit about it?
Coldcut : We were originally inspired by Francis E Dec,who I first sampled for Ninja Tune’s website more than 10 years ago. It was more usefully inspired by the writings of Robert Anton Wilson,the great American psychedelic head and free thinker, who may be said to have invented the conspiracy theory.The track puts the view that behind seemingly mutually exclusive pet conspiracies, e.g. of David Eich, with his reptiles or of Dec himself, with his computer-gangster-god, lies a unified and horrifying truth:control of Us by Them.
HRFQ : You featured John Spencer and Mike Ladd on (Everything is under control), what’s the story behind that?
Coldcut : We needed some vocalists,we contacted them,it happened,everything is under control.Mike Ladd is well known to us from his Big Dada exploits as the Infesticons. Also we thought John Spencer deserved better than his outing with James Lavelle.
HRFQ : You are releasing a new album next year,can you give us a sneak preview on that?
Coldcut : I’ll sing it to you in text:
“Heads stay locked to those plastic gods…She don’t really need that brand new nose. And he don’t really need slave shoes and slave clothes…His play gun pointed at real targets”
It’s a glitch-soul album.
HRFQ : You’ve done quite a lot of collaborations with Japanese artists so far ; with Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius), Rei Harakami and DJ Kentaro who is a Ninja Tune artist. Do you think Japan is musically brimming with talent?
Coldcut : I think every human person is brimming with talent of all sorts,it is just a question of unlocking that divine creativity.But I do feel a close connection with Japan and the Japanese people. I am fascinated by the love affair between soul and technology which is clearly felt in Japan.
HRFQ : Do you have any plans on collaborating with Japanese artists in the near future?
Coldcut : We’re in full album promo cycle at the moment, so not currently. In due course I’m hoping to so lots of collaborations certainly involving Japanese artists.However, everybody can join us in a collaboration at http://www.nowthemovie.org We are making a film out of all the contributions.
HRFQ : Are there any releases coming up from Ninja Tune?
Coldcut : There are plenty of new funky Ninja Tune releases,including the Cinematic Orchestra,Fink, and our new signing Zero dB, which I eagerly await having DJed with Chris Zero dB at a couple of superb parties.
HRFQ : Do you have any message to your Japanese Fans?
Coldcut : Thanks for all your support over the years.Because of that I feel our best work is still to come. Love is the message,so get on the love offensive, oh you heads!
End of the interview
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