mardi 29 décembre 2009

interview : Ethernet (Tim Gray)

Tim Gray has released his new record on Kranky as Ethernet. With 144 Pulsations Of Light he wants to "apply trance-inducing sonic effects to drone-ambient music". For us he applies rich answers to our questions.

1. Your first musical memories?
Apple IIC and Nintendo music, and my parents' cassettes of Crosby Stills & Nash, James Taylor, The Eagles...

2. The best record you received as a present? / The worse one?
I remember being really excited when I was given Morrissey's new Vauxhall And I CD for Xmas at around age 15, we got home from the Xmas eve party after midnight, but I stayed up for another hour listening to the whole CD, blown away by the lush, mellow, sad sound. Also, a cousin gave me her old Skinny Puppy Cleanse Fold & Manipulate LP around the same time period, that was a thrill. Worst record... hmm... nothing memorable.

3. The first record that you lost?
My signed copy of Skinny Puppy's Too Dark Park LP, and my gatefold 2xLP of Coil's Time Machines, were lost to poverty and the need to pay rent in the SF Bay Area. I regret that.

4. The name of your imaginary band?
Deprivation Chamber.. an industrial band with my friend Jocko, in highschool. We made beats with MOD tracker software and had a Roland Juno-106 and guitar pedals. We almost played a show, but we just couldn't get it together...

5. In which environment do you like to record music?
A small, spare-bedroom studio, natural light if its sunny, candles, Japanese incense, by myself.

6. What will music sound like in 50 years / 5000 years?
We'll be able to instantly mix and generate our own personalized sonic experiences at will, with an infinite library of music at our fingertips. It will either sound extremely pleasant or extremely crazy, I should think... At 5000 years we will be creating multi-dimensional music via interaction with solar systems and cosmic energies, I reckon.

7. Which underrated album will start a new musical genre?
That is a good question........ I'm not sure what qualifies as an underrated album, as I really don't pay attention to music magazines or discussion forums anymore, although I like reading the new release blurbs on Boomkat or Forced Exposure.

I have been excited by the sounds coming from the dubstep genre since I heard Burial's first CD from '06, loved 2562's debut Aerial, Headhunter's Nomad... they take the classic dub techno sounds that I am just nuts about from artists like Basic Channel/Rhythm & Sound and Deepchord, like the chord stabs and echoing textures, but put them in a much more dynamic rhythmic context, rather than just a deep, meditative 4/4 throb. That was really exciting to hear, and I feel like it is has still not been totally perfected/explored, it has raised the bar on techno, for sure.

The only problem I find with dubstep is that many of the tracks get kind of tedious after 2 or 3 minutes, in spite of the intricate programming. But a good DJ can handle this, you just have to switch things up a lot more frequently than in a house/techno mix...

8. Which album should never have been made?
A lot of the new pop music, since the late '90s but definitely since the early '00s, I just can't find anything redeemable or exciting about it. Its as though “the formula” was perfected and there is no more “experimental” sound in pop music, its all just derivative from decades past. Even mainstream pop from the '80s and early '90s still had an experimental, “not quite sure if people will buy this..” sound, in my opinion.... Auto-Tune has also ruined singing, everyone has perfect pitch now and it sounds robotic. But I love what people do with it when they tweak the effect, like Burial on his Untrue album or even Auto-Tune The News on youtube..

On a totally different note, I have never enjoyed a Merzbow album, or many of the other so-called “masters of Japanoise” (I hate to name names!). It sounds like music for ritual torture to me, and after years of collecting and listening to thousands of albums, I realize I am almost NEVER in the mood for so-called “noise music”.. it is way too easy to make, and it hurts my ears. Why subject myself to that? I assume it is more about the artist's individual creative process, but I really question if this sort of music deserves to be released commercially...

9. Your favourite album to have a drink?
'80s new wave music is the best for drinking, but in the past year I have all but stopped drinking...

10. Your dream collaboration?
Probably Steve Roach, Rod Modell or Wolfgang Voigt... how about that for a super-group? With guitar textures by Windy & Carl... and beats by 2562...

11. The record that freaks you out?
This question reminded me of how much I am annoyed and perplexed by “noise music” and what artsy-fartsy people call “non-idiomatic improvisation”, which I went back and added to question #8. But an album that properly freaked me out? Probably Coil's Time Machines, that is a genuinely transcendental and bizarre listening experience.

British Murder Boys freaked me out in a cool/spooky way with their All The Saints.. 12”. Burial's CDs will freak you out real good. Godspeed You Black Emperor A# F# Infinity freaked me out... I can't think of any records from this year that really freaked me out...

12 . The record you would like to listen to right now?
I just got a bunch of Brainwashed CDs for $1 a piece in the mail, so I am listening to the Brainwashed 2008 compilation currently

13. The film that tickles your creativity?
David Lynch was a big influence growing up, also Cronenberg's Videodrome. Don't watch much media anymore, I read a lot of books...

14. The little-known track that everyone should have heard of?
Oh, just one?? Who knows..... Torn Open by Sophie & Peter Johnston is a euphoric '80s synth pop track with fantastically miserable lyrics that I get stuck in my head regularly, I don't think anyone outside the UK ever heard that one.

I like making mixes of unknown '80s new wave/minimal/synth/electro/mutant disco tracks for my friends, there is just so much great, essentially-unknown music out there, especially from that era... Has everyone heard the unreleased original full version of Is It All Over My Face by Arthur Russell's Loose Joints? OK one more, everyone went nuts over Deepchord's re-release of DC10/Grandbend, but have you heard the DC11 suite? Utterly epic..

15. An album or an artist you wouldn’t want to be?
I wish independent musicians could make money from their music, it is damn near impossible, but even so, I don't envy the celebrity pop stars, from any era, really. I think there is a lot of badness in the business at those higher levels of fame, and it looks like a nightmare to me...

16. The cover version you would love to do?
I wish I could sing and play guitar, because I would cover a lot of '80s and early '90s pop tunes. I tried to make an ethereal deep rework of James's Blue Pastures, but it doesn't sound right, it needs Tim Booth's voice and a real bassist. I also wish I could learn to play moody, jazzy, melancholic bossa-nova-tinged piano improvisations, my piano chops are really weak, even after years of “practicing”...

17. The mashup you would love to do?
I am more excited by instrumental re-edits of old disco and '80s underground dance tracks than pop mash-ups... not sure if I would ever be interested in doing a mash-up.

18. The text you would like to produce a soundtrack for?
Matrix III : The Psychosocial, Chemical, Biological and Electromagnetic Manipulation of Humans by Val Valerian

19. Have you ever had auditory hallucinations?
Yes but I knew they were hallucinations, I did not fall for them, and they did not freak me out.

20. How would you like to die?
Instantly and unexpectedly, thank you very much. Currently my plan is to ascend to 5th density by the end of 2012, so whatever comes first, really.

Ethernet - vaporous

Buy Ethernet - 144 pulsations of Light on Kranky, go to Tim Gray's Blogs and and listen to his myspace.

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