Instra:mental interview, Sept
I spoke to Autonomic dons Instra:mental.
Damian Bennett: Hello. How would you describe your music? dBridge refers to the music you both do as ‘adult’, inferring a more thoughtful, involved approach.
I: I can’t describe what our music sounds like. It’s all about catching a vibe. Also we’re inspired by different things each day, so the sound can change from week to week.
DB: Many would in fact equate you with dBridge because of Autonomic/Plus Ultra and would almost see you as a duo but you existed long before. Tell me about your history and continuing musical identity.
I: dBridge is our friend and collaborator on the Autonomic Podcasts, we have written music together and probably will again in the future, but as independent artists we are completely different.
DB: OK. Describe the difference between Exit and Nonplus in terms of releases and outlook.
I: Exit is mainly a D&B label and always has been, Nonplus is an electronic music label that releases D&B, House, Dubstep, Techno, Funk etc, etc. Nonplus is all about music that we like and want to be involved with our label and vision.
DB: You’ve released some amazing stuff from the likes of Actress and ASC. Tell me some of your fave releases and what you have in store?
I: I can’t really say that I have a favourite release, I like them all, although I (Bleek [aka Boddika]) like the Kassem Mosse and Actress ones a lot. Future releases will include another release from Actress, more from Kassem Mosse, Jimmy Edgar is up next for 009, Skream is 010 and Skudge are also writing us a 12 as well as ‘A Made Up Sound ‘.
There will be an album by an electronic band called LOL coming out before the end of the year which we are both really excited about, and then last but not least the Instra:mental album will be out for the end of March next year. We will be releasing a sampler from the album shortly.
DB: ‘Influences’ are huge in the Plus Ultra world. If I had’ve asked you about them 5 years ago would they be the same as now? Are they set in stone in other words or is there stuff about now that influences/royally fucks with you?
I: There’s always new music that is influencing us, but for me I think the best music and all the main influential music has been written, and everything thats being written these days is just a melting pot of things that have been done already.
DB: So what’s the most totally badass music you’ve heard recently?
I: Autechre’s ‘Move Of Ten’.
DB: dBridge said he has a love/hate thing with D&B when I spoke to him on the D&BArena blog. What about you? Do you listen to much D&B at home, in sets or out? What’s your fave D&B music over time?
I: Neither of us listen to any D&B, we both grew up through the rave generation. Hardcore and Jungle were a massive part of our lives, but D&B just doesn’t have the same appeal to us anymore. What we did with Autonomic was strip D&B back to a tempo and experiment with it, and we’re both proud and happy with what we did with it. But I feel the need to write more interesting drum patterns and play with grooves a lot more these days. When you’re writing at 170 you are very limited to what you can do in that area.
DB: Even if you have probs with D&B wouldn’t you agree that the recent insurgence (with you guys at forefront) has produced some stunning results, considering Jubei, Alix, Rockwell, Break etc?
I: It seems that we inspired people to think outside of the box, and it certainly has had good results.
DB: What venues in London do you like playing (apart from Fabric and Cable)? Outside London?
I: Club Love in NYC, Womb in Tokyo and Berghain in Berlin.
DB: Name your fantasy Club Autonomic night. It could be from any musical period and have anyone you like on the bill (think: Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra, Julee Cruise, Can, Nina Hagen whatever). Where’s the venue? West End, LA, Eastern Europe, you name it.
I: Neon Tokyo Club with sick sick visuals.
Prince (from the 80s)
DB: Do you work at home? External studio? Do you have your gear ready to record, so when you feel the need, you can just get in there and create? I find this the most compelling aspect of modern recording (ie it’s all available and free but sometimes the motivation can get caught up in snags such as software issues, unwanted text messages etc)
I: Our studio is located in 2 rooms on the end of a derelict building on an island on the River Thames. Having a studio at home wouldn’t work out for me because I’d never leave the house and that would drive me insane. Plus we have a lot of outboard synths and effects units and dynamics, so it wouldn’t fit into a bedroom, and we like to be able to play the music extremely loud when we need to.
DB: On the ‘Re:Call To Mind’ album you do a take on ‘Japanese Electronics’. What was your approach on this remix?
I: We really liked the vocal sample from the original track, and basically wrote a new track for it to be used in, a track that we thought was fitting for it.
DB: Do you find it significant that a D&B act like Commix releases a remix album with little that conforms to the popular notion of D&B? Or is this completely natural?
I: It’s a rmx album, so it really doesn’t matter what style or genre the rmxs are in my eyes, makes it a much more interesting project doing it like this.
‘Re:call To Mind’, the Commix remix album is out early Oct on Headz.