samedi 16 juin 2012
Geir Helgi Birgisson has many names : Rabbi Bananas, Golden Line, These Fists and simply Geir Helgi. Last year we saw him live in Reykjavík during the Iceland Airwaves festival where he played an excellent gig. This year he remains Iceland's only Skweee artist. But he's definitely the best one.
1. Your first musical memories?
I have this photograph of me when I was a new-born baby and my father is holding these headphones up to my ear, playing me some jazz. He's a big jazz lover and I bet it did something to my mind when he did that, I'm thankful. Love you pops!
2. The best record you received as a present? / The worse one?
The best is probably the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Radio Station box set (with a friend), a near perfect blend of some fine 1980s, well produced "power-life" music.
The worst? Hmm, this happened a long time ago, back in 1993. I did not receive this one as a gift, but my friend did. I was at his birthday party and he got the soundtrack from Jurassic Park as a present. I was merely 5 years old and I tore it open and wanted to listen to it, but he wanted to return it. I put the CD down and later he saw the broken seal and went mad (back in the day when CDs were still quite expensive, well according to kids anyways). So he couldn't return the CD and I always felt bad about that, excellent soundtrack though, by John Williams.
3. The first record that you lost?
I've never lost any records per se, but I did buy a huge stack of records with a friend of mine and they reside in his home, could say they're kind of lost, eh?
4. The name of your imaginary band?
Jimmy James & the New Romantics, a romantic 60s ballad-pop band. All dressed up in suits with guitars and basses, drums and a smoke-machine. In classic, burgundy velvet suits of course…
5. In which environment do you like to record music?
I like to be completely secluded, preferably in the middle of the night. Surrounded by synths, cables and effects. I like mixing everything before and then I record a flat-stereo version of that. In my mind it's sort of an homage to the early black music of America, when, say a 9 piece band and they just got one chance to record/cut the song straight onto vinyl. Imagine the pressure and the ultimate perfection of that one take! But sometimes I multitrack as well...
6. What will music sound like in 50 years / 5000 years?
I'm actually trying to make music that would be from another planet, time-wise it would be a couple of thousand years from now. But like everything earth-bound it's got a touch of human society and traditions. I think the current format of writing classical music for example is quite old and out-dated. It's black and white for Christ's/Buddha's sake! Invented sometime in the 1600s or something where colored ink was not fully available to the public. The format of writing the actual notes and mood in a song will probably implement some colors in the future. I also think that the 12 key octave will be expanded to reach those in-between frequencies. Ever recorded a song in a high-frequency sample rate and then pitched it down by using the Hz values? Still sounds pretty damn good, it's just not in the regular tune anymore, it's somewhere else… Same with sampling vinyl on the wrong speed. It's fine. But basically, in 50 years; more 3Dimensional, more movement on some sort of a grid?
5000 years; We'd be deep on a path exploring how to use frequencies to manipulate the human mind… Hopefully in a good way. Sounds would be used to display images inside your mind. Future-sci-fi-tribal-Metropolis-underground-rave-plague-atomic-age-future-space-alien stuff...
7. Who changed your life?
Arnold Schwarzenegger (and the whole gang of people around him, the films he stars in, Total Recall, intergalactic-future-space-mind coolness. Crisp 80s flavoured film, the height (start) of the technical and digital advancements; everything perfect). Harold Faltermeyer in the 80s, the 70s California-Smooth-music scene: Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald and the whole lot of them. In arts I would say Eirik Sæther, a Norwegian artist friend of mine. Everything regarding theory, concepts, colors, bluntness and you name it. Lots of special and brilliant people I've been lucky enough to meet and sometimes work with; artists, musicians, film makers, designers.
8. Which album should never have been made?
Albums that are made entirely for profit and no musical, technical or philosophical values. But I wouldn't actually want them lined up for the firing-squad, there has to be something good that comes to life from those products. Like EXTREME compression, squashing stuff left and right for the radio. I like it for what it is.
9. Your favourite album to have a drink?
Waylon Jennings - Cedartown, Georgia or the soundtrack to Risky Business.
10. Your dream collaboration?
Harold Faltermayer, Giorgio Moroder, Jan Jelinek and Rutger Hauer (overviewing the project and keeping up the team spirit), all mixed together somehow.
11. The record that freaks you out?
Joe Zawinul - Di-a-lects: Totally amazing album, 100% synthesizers, the second solo album of former Miles Davis' jazz pianist. The whole album, excuse my french: swings like a motherfucker!! Just an amazing, other-worldy-style electronic future jazz.
12. The record you would like to listen to right now?
Joe Zawinul - Di-a-lect-s, gotta get me some.
13. The film that tickles your creativity?
The Hitcher by Robert Harmon and Blade Runner by Ridley Scott.
14. The little-known track that everyone should have heard of?
Has to be Clash by Logic System.
15. An album or an artist you wouldn’t want to be?
Michael Jackson right now, cause he's resting in the ground. R.I.P. brother!
16. The cover version you would love to do?
Wanna be Startin' Something by Michael Jackson.
17. The mashup you would love to do?
Yello (100% synthetic production, instrumental) and The Beatles (vocals, synthetically processed and layered), with some Prince thrown into the mix.
18. The text you would like to produce a soundtrack for?
The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke or some short story by Philip K Dick...
19. Have you ever had auditory hallucinations?
I've had some auditory visions of frequencies/waves as well as from physical stuff like light. I have a visual mind and I seem to be able to see actual visual patterns and formulas, especially with delays and rhythm.
20. How would you like to die?
I would like to explode (spontaneous nuclear combustion) or crucified like Jesus and then rise back from the dead! No in all seriousness, I would like to go out with a bang like the Pharaohs and venture into the land of the dead, sail down the River of Death… "Darkness lay over Egypt, but one red gash of sunset shone through the great pass in the mountains of the Western Desert, the Gap of Abydos. Through this they sped into the First Region of the Night and saw beneath them the Mesektet Boat in which Re began his journey into the Duat with the ending of each day. Splendid was the Boat, glorious its trappings, and its colors were of amethyst and emerald, jasper and turquoise, lazuli and the deep glow of gold. A company of the gods drew the Boat along the ghostly River of Death with golden towing-ropes; the portals of the Duat were flung wide, and they entered the First Region between the six serpents who were curled on either side. And in the great Boat of Re journeyed the Kas of all those who had died that day and were on their way to the judgement Hall of Osiris."
Funky Ooze (Audio 1#01 - December 16 2010 - Unmastered, Archived) by Rabbi Bananas
Geir Helgi - Live at Kaffibarinn 07.12.11 by Geir Helgi
Go to Rabbi Bananas' soundcloud and to Geir Helgi Birgisson's website.