Metamatic : The Official John Foxx Website...
2012 > June 21 > Scribble Media > Interview with John Foxx

I Dream Of Wires

On the 21st of June, 2012, Robert Fantinatto and Jason Amm visited MemeTune Studios in London to interview John Foxx for their highly-acclaimed documentary - I Dream Of Wires. What follows is an exclusive full transcription of that conversation - most of which doesn't appear in the final film.
IDOW (While the camera's being set up) : We interviewed Daniel Miller yesterday and he said to say "Hi!" to you.

John : Oh good yeah, great! (big smile). I love Daniel he's a good guy. One of the originals.

IDOW (Robert to Jason) : OK, well whenever
Ben's done, are we ready to go?

IDOW (Jason to Robert) : Sure (as
Benge passes in front of the camera to cut across the room).

IDOW (Jason to John) : So were you listening to electronic music before you brought that into
Ultravox?

John : Yeah, mainly starting with Radiophonic Workshop I think (laughs), it was on TV a lot when I was a kid and uh, so that was an early way into it. Plus American Sci-Fi which had a lot of theremin used (smiles), generic theremin which I loved as well. I didn't quite know what it was then until a friend of mine built a theremin in 1963... or 4 from a hobbies electronics magazine. A guy called Tony Bassett who's still building them now and he uh, that was his first one I understand and he wasn't sure whether it was a burglar alarm or a musical instrument (smiles) because it reacted to proximity and that was what really fascinated me about it. The fact that you didn't have to touch anything, that you could put your hand near this aerial which was the aerial of an old transistor radio that he'd adapted um, caused such a fantastic noise, a howl in fact that you could tune. It seemed like science fiction because it was a totally different way of operating anything that made a noise or anything musically even, so I was really impressed by that. I didn't know what to do with it at the time but it was really exciting.

That was about the same time as Joe Meek bringing out Telstar and Telstar orbiting the earth and Sputnik (smiles) and all that moment when science was demonstrated to have some real effect in the world... after Hiroshima of course, which was pretty horrific. So all those things combine into this scary Sci-Fi wondrous event where the future got demonstrated by this proximity field of a TV aerial (smiles), a radio aerial rather. So I thought there was something magical in the air then. Then of course synthesizers, there were all kinds of records that came out with synthesizer parts on them, Popcorn and a few others that you noticed because the sound was different. Then there was Switched On Bach of course which really changed things a lot... and that was about it. There weren't many things but it felt like there was a change in the air of direction and that science fiction was becoming not fiction anymore, but fact.


IDOW : So when you formed
Ultravox did you want to have synthesizers in the sound right from the beginning?

John : Yeah, but we couldn't afford it (smiles), because synthesizers were huge versions of this (pointing to one of the synths he's surrounded by in Ben's studio) you know like the Moog which are room fillers and you couldn't carry them around. Only Keith Emerson could afford that sort of thing then. We didn't want to play music like Keith Emerson and we didn't want to have to carry all that stuff around with us and we couldn't afford it 'cos we were kids on the streets of London literally. We worked in Kings Cross in a rehearsal room for free. I was an art student and we couldn't afford anything like that. Then suddenly everything changed and became... changed from modular synths to mini versions of them which we could just about afford. As soon as that happened I bought an ARP Odyssey and that's how it started, and the drum machine. And we worked with Eno on the first record and Eno had synths that we used as well and they were interesting because he had a few small ones that we got use to then. Plus I had one at college, the college had a small, Mini Moog (said with the American pronunciation). We call 'em Moogs (said with the English pronunciation) in England so it's hard to say (smiles)...

IDOW : You can say Moog (with the English pronunciation).

John : Mini Moog (said with the English pronunciation) and uh, I just sort of tinkered with it really to see what it could do and it was really exciting. Then some friends of ours Eddie [Maelov] and Sunshine [Patterson] who had a band called Gloria Mundi bought a Korg Mini synth and began to use that on stage and that was fabulous, really exciting. They made really violent noises with it and real speaker rippers. And I loved that so I thought we've just got to do this. So actually they were the first to do that in London, they were the first of that generation of bands to do that.

IDOW : So when you started actually introducing synthesizers into
Ultravox I guess you were kind of, it was kind of the years just leading into punk? I guess you were even playing some gigs that were punk oriented?

John : Yeah, we were beginning...

IDOW (Robert interrupts to adjust the mic, while Jason continues) : I'm just wondering how, how a synthesizer was sort of greeted in punk culture?

John : Oh it wasn't liked at all because it was associated with Pink Floyd and there was this stupid prejudice against psychedelia. That's understandable, it wasn't stupid actually because we were trying to get away from all that stuff because it had become more abundantly dull and everyone was trying to pull away from it. But I figured that synths were actually more revolutionary than guitars because you could play them with one finger so you didn't need any musical knowledge at all and you could make much more violent noises in a much greater range than you ever could with a guitar (smiles). So it just seemed important for me to get grips with these things. Plus you could be more romantic than a guitar as well with a synthesizer. They cover, they cover the whole spectrum that I felt hadn't really been explored. I felt also very strongly that um, that in England we'd taken a wrong turn into prog rock and it'd become English stodge, whereas the Germans had taken it and made something exciting of it. Bands like Neu! for instance and Kraftwerk a bit, well a bit earlier actually, but Neu! was the one because they'd, they'd got guitars and drums like conventional instruments but they were combining them with synths and integrating this into a new sound and I felt that was the sound that I was really interested in. But I wanted an English version of that with English song-writing because that was very different to European or American song-writing. So what I was trying to do was allow us some identity.

Until then we'd, before the Sixties England had become swamped by American culture. I'm not anti-American... I loved it as much as anybody or more in fact, it's a cornerstone of culture really, but I also wanted to find what we might have been like if we hadn't been completely overtaken by that culture. Throughout the Sixties even bands like The Stones were imitating American forms and The Beatles were the only ones who varied that, and The Kinks maybe, and then Pink Floyd made something that was sort of English. But then at that moment it sort of lost its real drive and became um, sort of dreamy and a bit drug-sozzled and not so interesting.

Whereas in Germany it took on a new life, they took hold of the origins of psychedelia, the Tomorrow Never Knows, the beginning of it which was really exciting, and mixed with avant garde and derived from the avant garde by George Martin. He was listening to Pierre Shaeffer and [Karlheinz] Stockhausen and ideas about randomizing and tape loops and backwards sounds and so on. He introduced that into The Beatles. I think he's a real under-sung genius George Martin and revolutionized the whole music scene from that moment on as far as I was concerned anyway.

And then we made this tedious journey into prog in England while the Germans took all the good ideas and developed them because they had synthesizers and they developed them into something really interesting. Plus Stockhausen was in Cologne and it's no accident (smiles) that music scene took off in Cologne and that more radical more interesting sort of view of music took place there. It's because of several things. Germany had to remake itself after the war, you know there'd been an awful war, there'd been fantastically awful things, ugly evil things happening there. The next generation wanted to remake themselves away from that by totally rejecting that past. So they had to remake a whole culture and that was their job they felt, they were very serious about it too and very dedicated. So there was an energy there that wasn't present in Britain at that time or anywhere else really, it was the centre of Europe it was a whole remake, necessary remake of an entire culture.

I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires

IDOW : You worked with Conny Plank with Ultravox. He produced some of your records... did you have any access to modulars during those experiences? Was he using any modular equipment?

John : No, he used mainly ARPs and the same thing that we had. I think because he felt they had been made more efficient and, sort of affordable and condensed into this much more easy to operate form. Of course some things were lost because with huge modulars you know the fine tuning you can do along the way is greater and you have greater access. So it's been interesting for me to go back to Ben, to work with Benge who um, loves that form of synthesizer above all others and has what is now I'm convinced one of the best synthesizers in the world which is that first Robert Moog um... model. The room filler model (smiles) from 1964 I think. It's actually got the wood around it from Robert Moog's garden. I don't know if Benge has mentioned that but he had the cabinets made from wood grown in his garden so uh, it's a really homemade unit. They're all hand built and the sounds are fabulous really rich, deep, powerful, infinitely mutable noises. It's a glorious machine so I'm entirely convinced about the worth of that as opposed to some of the other things we use which were much cruder in some ways. But they were necessary because you had to travel all over England and Europe and you couldn't, we couldn't possibly have carried a modular with us at that point, would have been absolutely impossible.

IDOW : So
Ben was saying that you guys met through I guess, was it that Synth Britannia interview? You were brought here and they figured it would be a good backdrop for you or something?

John : Oh, no, no, no, we met long before then. No, I think Gary [Numan] came here to do that one but I'm not certain. No, we met before because Benge had made a record called Twenty Systems that was reviewed in a magazine. The same issue as one of my records and I just noticed it and thought; "That sounds interesting." And then I spoke to Steve [Malins] who's our sort of manager, but he's really a collaborator he's not so much a manager, and he said; "Oh yeah I've got one, have a listen it's great." So I did, and it was great. What I liked about it is Benge was allowing the synths to sound as they sounded. He wasn't pushing them into any other form, he wasn't shoe-horning them to sound like anything else. So there was a sense of liberation about that I got again from listening to it. It reminded me why I started using them because that's what I wanted to do. I didn't want them to sound like orchestras or imitations of other noises. I wanted the synths to sound like themselves, that was a big intellectual challenge I guess.

There's a whole set of reasoning around that which is whenever any new technology appears our instinct is to try to use it like the previous wave of technology. So the instance in my mind is Formica (smiles), where Formica was made to look like wood when it, when it came out people didn't know what to do with it, so Formica became wood. Of course it couldn't do that and then later on some bright architects realized that actually you could make huge uniform coloured surfaces, white, blue, purple, any colour you wanted and any pattern you wanted with this material. So it then had its own intrinsic value which was recognised after a while and all technology tends to be like that.

You know the internet was going to be many things from a nervous system to um... the most revolutionary um, communications device ever but it was all those things of course. It will develop more finely but in the beginning there was no understanding whatever of how it was going to do those things and what forms those things were going to take and what was going to be the dominate um, element of all those changes. Synths were the same. That we had these machines that could make marvellous, unlimited noise and the question was what do you do with them. And I thought the answer was you find what they can do that other things can't and that's what they do. That's how you interrogate all new technology as far as I'm concerned. You find out what it can do that other stuff can't and then that's its unique property and that becomes its form and the form of your investigation afterwards. So that was my art into theory moment, you know where we got these new instruments and the challenge was devise a new language for them so that's what we had to do. I thought; "This is fantastic (smiles)." I'm so lucky to be in that moment I couldn't believe it. It was like The Beatles getting their first electric guitar or something like that... it's one of those moments. Leonardo Da Vinci getting the first oil paints you know, what to do with these things? It's, it's fantastic. I'm not saying I'm Leonardo or The Beatles... of course not (laughs), but I mean that you're very lucky if you can have access to the first moment of any new technology unbridled by any kind of prejudice you know it's, it's a fabulous situation to be in. I just couldn't believe my luck.


IDOW : So I guess what you're kind of exploring now really does explain this transition from
Ultravox into Metamatic. I guess this is you kind of realizing this and going; "I'm gonna take away all the rock parts and just do something that really represents what this instrument should be?"

John : Exactly, yeah that's what I wanted to do with it. Plus a kind of song-writing that came from England as well which is quite short and terse, we were quite good at making short songs. No one else seemed to be doing that with synthesizers. They were extending the length of the material and I just thought why not condense it into small, almost like... I had in my mind an idea of small film scores where you describe an event and you have a theme and some characters introduced and there's a resolution and so on. So in my mind they were like small movies that described the music, if that makes any sense at all (laughs). Like small film noir pieces or something like that that weren't necessarily explicable, or easily explicable. It was great film, I really enjoyed immersing myself in this sort of world and all these sounds that I'd heard when I was younger from, from all those cheap science fiction films and film noir and terrifying things on television like Quatermass on British TV was a huge event... and all that imagery came back to me. Plus there was another, another element from America that leaked into the um, the sessions which was Bernstein's music which I always loved. That very angular form that he invented really out of jazz and European music. I think there's an element of Stravinsky in it. So he brought that sort of European avant-garde music into orchestration in the Fifties . When I heard West Side Story and songs like You're A Jet and Play It Cool there were really unique jagged angular melodic lines in those songs I'd never heard before and I was really excited by them. Then I found out they had a European origin and that was really interesting so I applied that to Metamatic. So a lot of those melody lines in there particularly on things like On The Plaza for instance, Plaza came out of that influence via European music. So it was a kind of a mix of influences although I pretended it was very pure and looking towards Europe, there was quite a bit of Americanization in it. And Moog and ARP are American instruments anyway so I couldn't avoid that (laughs). But it was just trying to discover what we might sound like, 'cos we'd forgotten, we'd all forgotten what Europe can sound like I think.

IDOW : I know a lot of producers, I've got a lot of friends that produce music in Detroit that they all have ARP Odysseys in their studios and it's because they are obsessed with the
Metamatic record. I'm talking bands like Adult and Perspects...

John : Oh yeah? Great, yeah I know those guys.

I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires I Dream Of Wires

IDOW : So you're definitely always associated with the ARP Odyssey. If maybe you can maybe describe your relationship, feelings about that instrument?

John : Um... yeah, it's one of the best sound tools I'd ever come... come close to. You can make anything you can imagine with it with a little bit of work. It's a beautiful instrument. It's very um, it's quite aggressive, the sounds can be quite aggressive and I like that because when I first got it we had to compete with punk which was erupting. You know, you had The Clash a couple of streets away. The Pistols and bands like that, that were, that were beginning to have some effect then. And, again I'd seen those guys around and know what they were about and knew what we wanted to be um... but we also wanted to compete in terms of sonic power and sheer sonic terrorism with those guys.

The synths provided a way to do that, but as I said they could also address the other side of that spectrum which those bands couldn't address. You could make endlessly romantic, delicious, sensual landscapes with synthesizers as well, and the ARP can do that too. You need a space echo which is a Roland Space Echo which we had, and a MXR Flanger Phaser. So with those few instruments you could make entire sonic landscapes that varied from earthquakes to seduction if you wanted to. It wasn't so easy with a guitar band and I realized then that version of punk would burn itself out very quickly because it could only address a smallest part of the spectrum. Which was really important to address. It was important to kick out all the previous stuff and you could only do that by focusing on that sort of aggressive kick out the jam sort of attitude which was really important and I was one hundred percent for that. But then what do you do? You can only stay angry for so long and then it becomes a sham and you have to, you have to pretend that you're angry. People can't when they're burnt out from all that anger, you can't do that anymore, so something else needs to come into play and that was our moment.


IDOW : So were you using modular synthesizers at all before working with
Benge or was that kind of your first time actually getting your hands on true full modular synthesizers?

John : Yeah, Benge was the first actually. I'd seen them around and...

IDOW : Was there a feeling? Was it something about that particular time that attracted you to them or do you feel like maybe if you know, one of them was in the studio in a session you were doing in the say late Eighties would you have been gravitated towards it or?

John : Oh yeah, we would have used it certainly. It's just that they weren't accessible, they were allied to laboratories rather than recording studios. It was more like sound laboratories, the BBC had systems like that, you know the Delia Derbyshire culture had them. The BBC could afford to install them and it did come down to money I think. But um, they looked so good and they sounded so good that of course it would have been wonderful to have been able to use one, but you also would have had to sit with it for a month or two to become familiar with the patching and to feel what it could do intuitively. You can't do that immediately with a modular, you have to work with it for a while I think. And that was also a barrier because sure you could visit them but then you think; "How do we patch all this?' I almost bought an ARP full system and I went to Oxford to a place that uh, had one to see if I could use it. I asked the guy who was demonstrating it to make a bass drum sound. It took about two hours to get that sorted and I just thought; "Well I haven't got time to do this" 'cos things were moving fast. You know we were doing two albums a year then (laughs). There was no way that would have been fast enough to cope with what we wanted to do.

Now of course Benge can do it. When I'm working with Ben he can patch up a sound in five minutes. He's so quick, but it's taken him years to get to that point. That's the interesting thing I think with those instruments too, you get to know them intimately and that intimacy breeds a certain kind of skill, an artistry with that instrument. That's the valuable thing about it. It's like getting to know a piano or getting to know a violin, you don't think about what you're doing, you just do it. That's the point when you integrate with the instrument and that's really important and I managed to get like that with the ARP Odyssey when I was working on
Metamatic. That was a great experience to spend nine months working every day on that instrument. I never plotted scientifically what the sounds did or where they came from or how they were rooted. I think... I'm a great believer in intuitive play breeding excellent results because it's the way I work. I'm not an analyzer. I'm a visceral player if you like and through that you... afterwords you analyze, but you play first then you analyze what you've done so you can repeat it and you recognise patterns and so on. It's all pattern recognition and play as far as I'm concerned, that's how I work. I think Ben's slightly different to that, he's much more scientific then I am. I like that and it makes a good combination of work. You know we can... we both have the intuitive side working with the scientific bit as well so it's an interesting combination. So I think modulars are things you have to inhabit and that's the pleasure with them I think, that's the intrinsic beauty of them as well. You have to live with them, it's like being married isn't it? (smiles)

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IDOW (laughs) : So basically the reason we're doing this documentary is we're exploring the resurgence of the modular synthesizer so this is something that's happening, there's more...

John : Oh absolutely... absolutely...

IDOW : ... more people interested in them. Why do you think that is going on right now?

John : I think we've rediscovered what synths can do... Benge and I talk a lot about this and discuss this thing. The conclusion we've come to is that modular happened, they were rarified because they were so expensive and then they were suddenly replaced by first of all miniature versions of themselves, that mini Moog and the Odyssey and so on and then that was replaced by digital instruments. That whole culture if you like of analogue instruments was forgotten for a while. Then it began to be recovered because firstly in England people were making dance music and realized that the frequencies you could get out of some of the old stuff was far, far better and more potent than anything you could get out of the new stuff. So they began to integrate that into their um, systems and from that discovery came a lot of other discoveries as well about the power and the flexibility of those instruments. You weren't relegated to the sample that someone else had made and passed along to you from a record that had been made or generated somewhere else that you couldn't change to fit your track. You had to work around that, that stable thing whereas with the actual instrument you had an infinite, infinite grid to work on and from which was much, much, much more exciting. You could tailor, you could contour your sound completely from every aspect which is usually exciting and much more exciting than to work around a stiff sample. Also it was deeper, richer, faster, funkier, more pleasurable, more sensual way to work than, than working with digital means. Also the digital stuff had fallen into that trap of imitating analogue, it was still in the Formica phase in other words (smiles) and it still is. We really don't know what digital sounds like yet. We know it's an empty medium and it can take any sound into itself but we don't know what sounds it can generate properly yet. We're beginning to a little, there are glimpses, there are people like Autechre I think who are beginning to make... investigate what digital sounds can actually do but there aren't many others that I can think of who are really investigating that.

If I were that, if I were twenty now I'd be working with, with new digital stuff to see what it could do that other things couldn't and I think you might develop new instruments out of that. I'd go back to the proximity fields again and make that digital and see what I could do with all that because there's a whole avenue that hasn't been explored yet. But at the moment what's happening is that digital technology's seeking to imitate stuff, it's a previous generations stuff, it's at the Formica stage. It hasn't developed into that new stage, so why bother? Why not remake that stuff 'cos technology again has moved on and become cheaper so we can make modular synths, Korg are just beginning to make small non-modular synths, but they're based on those old analogue models and they are analogue for the whole new generation of users. Things like the Buchla have come along again and a number of other systems that are exploring that delight in couture sounds if you like. So I think that's what we're doing, we're recovering the potential of all that stuff.

The other factor is the speakers are better. You can actually hear what these things sound like for the first time because in the Eighties speaker systems, even in the studios were rubbish compared to modern ones. They didn't have any of the range that you can have. I got the best... I got Andy Monroe to design a studio for me. We had enormous speakers housed in concrete so we could get an approximation of what instruments could actually deliver and it still wasn't enough. We had to wait 'till the Nineties when rave came along and acid so that people built huge systems that really could radiate every, every spectrum of sound possible before we could actually hear what was being done. The precursor of what was being done. The precursor of that of course was dub, was West Indian dub because those guys really knew what they wanted to get. The West Indian guys built their own systems that were far, far better than any, any studio system or any um, uh... dance systems at the time, they were way ahead of everybody else. We learned a lot from them later on about how to make sound systems work. The sound system designers used to go to the dub sessions to listen to what, uh those guys listened through. So there was a whole revolution that took place there that allowed us to hear for the first time what Sixties modular synths could deliver. So we could hear it for the first time after about 2000 I think, it became possible to hear what a 1960 instrument could do (laughs) almost fifty years later. It's fantastic, it's a fantastic technological loop that we've been through I think.


IDOW : One interesting thing that is going on with modular synths is there's a lot of exploration into introducing digital into it um, with this, this format that built for format that's up there. There's a lot of cottage industry um, you know small makers putting out really wild modules. There's a feeling among everyone that we're talking to that sort of like the most sonic innovation which includes definitely incorporating a lot of digital and maybe, maybe discovering this... what you're saying; "What is this digital sound?" is actually taking place in the modular world.

John : Yeah, I think it will. That's another part isn't it? How to integrate the best of both worlds and that's what we try to do all the time here as well. Instinctively we use digital as a control medium and as a vessel if you like. Whereas the sounds are generated always by analogue equipment, so you need that sort of perfect control of digital and perfect encapsulation of stuff. But you need to make the organic, interesting, unpredictable sounds from analogue sources. There's a whole movement throughout recording that's like that, people are recovering valve microphones like this one for instance (pointing) and finding out that they have their own intrinsic beauties that have been lost via condensers and transistors and so on.

So I think what happens is every generation reviews the past and takes the best from it and incorporates it with new technology each time this loop goes around. It is very much like the Formica era and the other one was colour photography wasn't it? Where everyone thought; "Oh, black and white's finished now isn't it? That's the end of it, we've got colour." Then about ten years later people began to think; "Actually those black and white photographs have a sort of beauty that we can't get with colour, there's something unique there" and started to go back to black and white film and it's become a form of genre or another way of making photography. In other words a recovery of something that had been lost and neglected and I think that's what's happening all the time here.

But you do need to intergrate it with the new technological forms as well, otherwise it just becomes nostalgia. I'm not, neither of us is, interested in that and anyone who's got any sense isn't really I think. Nothing wrong with nostalgia, it's just that I don't want to be nostalgic yet (smiles). It sort of means you might have finished and you're looking back at the past and I don't feel like that at all, neither of us does. So I think in order to move forward you might have to take the best of that previous generation, analyze what it is that is best and carefully analyze what is happening now without any prejudices and try to unify them, make them work together, intergrate them properly. It's quite a lot of thinking so you don't fall into Formica traps, or rejection of black and white traps (smiles), and that's interesting. I enjoy that, I enjoy the whole process and always have done, you know there's a... you can call it philosophical but it's actually just a practical analysis of what's going on that's really fascinating. Every moment is worth analyzing, every move you make in the studio you can think; "Ah, why did I choose that? What's that about? Where did that idea come from?" Just tracing these things back is really informative and useful.


IDOW (Robert) : I just need to switch batteries [in the camera] in a second...

IDOW (Jason to Robert) : We should, well like unless you have a definite question, I think we probably should wrap this up...

IDOW (Robert to Jason) : Well you know what? Let's squeeze it in right now.

John : You probably (bursts out laughing)...

IDOW (Robert to John) : I'm going to ask you a quick question 'cos...

Jason (Interrupting to speak to John) : It's just we have another interview to do...

John : I'm sorry, yeah, sorry, I can go on at length...

IDOW (Jason) : No, no apologies for that, it's great. I just have to...

IDOW (Robert interrupting to speak to John) : So when you do answer us though you want to speak toward
Jason even though I'll be asking the question...

John : OK...

IDOW (Robert) : As you said because we have, you know those of us that remember analogue equipment and we have some sort of historical experience with them and we're able to do the re-evaluation, that looking back. Why do you think it is that much younger fans in there twenties that have no precedence with any analogue technology? What do you think is attracting them to things like vinyl records, to analogue gear and its inherent uh, limitations or what people thought of as limitations even though they don't have a historical precedence with it? Do you think it's just some sort of dissatisfaction their feeling with the virtual world they've been born into, the whole digital thing?

John : I think there is some of that inevitably yeah, there, there is a kind of um, dissatisfaction with not handling the actual objects and things and, of course when you have controls that you can operate simultaneously you realize how fantastically complex the moves you are making. If you had to do that with a menu system it would take ages, it would take hours in fact to do what you can do in a few seconds with actual, physical controls. And the sound is a similar sort of visceral understand... we... I've got a theory that, that there's a sort of erotic component to intellectualism (smiles) and music of all kinds and art of all kinds. That you can't really understand anything unless you have some sort of erotic bonding with it. It's a shade of um, intellectual activity that unless you enjoy it in an erotic way you're not really going to get involved with it completely. It will remain at arm's length like something in a digital world. So you need that, I think human beings need that visceral component. That's why we want to dance and so on as well, why we want to move 'cos it's so deep in us.

You know a bass drum is a heartbeat, it actually is a heartbeat (thumping his fist on his chest) and your heartbeat will attune itself to that speed of the bass drum. That's why we want to dance. And that all comes back from being in the womb of course and synchronizing our heartbeat with our mother's heartbeat. So this atom heart mother (smiles) that we've got that is still pounding out beats that we synchronise to joyfully and dance to it and feel free. Raves are like wombs you know, everyone goes into this place away from the world and synchronizes their heartbeat to the big mother beat on the speakers (smiles). It's a sensual, almost erotic, human, viscera event and we need that, that kind of connection. Even with equipment, and equipment is actually not separate from us. We make these things, we make buildings, cities, musical instruments, automobiles as a manifestation of our desires. They are a manifestation of our desires; they're concrete manifestations of our desires. That's why we do it. I think as human beings we have a lot more fun then we'd like to acknowledge in making all this stuff. It is fun, fun to make cities, automobiles, musical instruments and huge sound systems and we do a lot of things just for the pure pleasure of it. So I think when generations listen to previous generations manifestations they want to get involved too. They want to dance with it, use it in every possible way. They can't ignore it just because it was done forty years ago. They want to incorporate it into their scheme of joy (smiles). I think that's perfectly honourable and wonderful thing to do. I think every generation ought to be absolutely ruthless about stealing the best of everything from previous generations, it's their duty. They have to do it. It's a wonderful thing, it's what makes things move on I think really, it's vital (smiles).


IDOW : OK, fantastic, that was great! And cut...
The above text is copyright Scribble Media (2013).
Reproduced by very kind permission.
Original transcript by :
Joeann Pearson
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 RECENT RELEASES...
 Translucence / Drift Music / Nighthawks
Translucence / Drift Music / Nighthawks
September 2017
 The Machine
The Machine [Black Vinyl]
July 2017
 The Machine
The Machine
February 2017
 The Complete Cathedral Oceans
The Complete Cathedral Oceans
September 2016
 Ultravox!
Ultravox!
September 2016
 Ha! Ha! Ha!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
September 2016
 Systems Of Romance
Systems Of Romance
September 2016
 The Bunker Tapes
The Bunker Tapes
June 2016
 Ultravox! : The Island Years
Ultravox! : The Island Years
May 2016
 21st Century : A Man, A Woman And A City
21st Century : A Man, A Woman & A City
May 2016
 He's A Liquid
He's A Liquid
February 2016
 Burning Car
Burning Car
January 2016
 Blue Velvet Revisited
Blue Velvet Revisited
October 2015
 Nighthawks
Nighthawks
July 2015
 Translucence / Drift Music
Translucence / Drift Music
July 2015
 20th Century : The Noise
20th Century : The Noise
July 2015
 Codex
Codex
May 2015
 London Overgrown
London Overgrown
March 2015
 Nightingale Variations
Nightingale Variations
November 2014
 Metamatic
Metamatic [Black Vinyl]
October 2014
 Evidence Of Time Travel
Evidence Of Time Travel
October 2014
 The Virgin Years
The Virgin Years 1980 - 1985
July 2014
 Metamatic
Metamatic [White Vinyl]
April 2014
 B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica)
B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica)
April 2014
 The Good Shadow
The Good Shadow
February 2014
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 SITE LAST UPDATED...
 16 January 2017
 LINKS...
 Bandcamp
 The Quiet Man
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 Tiny Colour Movies
 Cathedral Oceans
 Ghost Harmonic
 Hyper Ballard

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