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No, it was because I met a Bolivian in London and decided to get out and go to live in South America. I was working harder and harder and getting poorer and poorer and I realised the way it was going, so I decided to get out. I am glad I did.
Quelle est ta relation Ã la musique maintenant ? What is your relation to music now ?
My relation to music now is that I make it first and foremost. When I was younger I was more amazed by things contemporaries were doing but I rarely feel that, now because I want to hear things which have never been done before and few people seem to think they either can or want to do this. I spent a long time studying to understand exactly what I thought needed to do so I tend not to be blown away too easily when I hear new recordings. I decided to make a kind of moving picture music, the kind I had dreamed of hearing when I was younger, where a myriad of elements are all orchestrated to create the equivalent of a moving picture, which was why I called it filmsound. I also sometimes produce artists now and enjoy that hugely. It is often easier than making my own recordings because most people tend to record between 20 and 40 tracks in a song whereas my own recordings usually have between 200 and 300 tracks, hence the soft sound as the space and dynamic range tends to get filled up. Most modern music is about sparseness and loudness. Mine is not. It is about detail.
It was a band I formed at school with a couple of friends who made a new kind of guitar music and who sold very few records. I hope to get a bit of money back from it for all the years of hard work I put into making those records given how little we made and how I have struggled financially since but I am not too hopeful that will happen.
Difficult to say. I guess I am glad of it because the alternative would be to have been ignored. The other possible alternative which would have been to have been commercially successful never happened.
Larger labels have no interest in me. I am seen as too much of a misfit in various ways and the music I am making not on anyone’s agenda, just as we were in Disco Inferno. The only difference then was we had one label boss, Geoff Travis, who was a fan. Now there are no large label bosses who are fans of mine. I asked loads of well known labels and the few who responded – OLI never even responded to my request – said no thanks. I did make the Vertical Axis for a small electronic label but I was told it sounded too chaotic and asked to remix the songs to make them more commercial sounding, which I did, bringing out the vocals and the musical glue between the elements. When they heard it they then said it sounded too straight sounding and didnt fit in with their ‘ethos’ or something so that fell through. With The Song of Phaethon it only really got one main review and the writer was totally nonplussed about what he was hearing, which just made me sigh. It is only really worth my working with a label who could put me on tour and invest in me and the few who now have those sorts of resources are loath to spend it on a wild card like me whose music has to be explained in order for it to make sense to most people. And when the reviewers cant even understand the idea of a moving picture through time then I guess it really is a fucking lost cause.
I can’t speak about Godard as I have never seen any of his films but as for organic, yes. The idea is to try to make the mix an organic whole as much and as often as possible so the elements interact with each other in as many ways as possible, which has only become possible in recent years due to the huge power of music computers. This mimics the cause and effect we see around us in life and in our surroundings.
Well, the whole point is for the recordings to sit at the centre of 4 elements, 2 on the sonic side, 2 on the lyrical side: Verse; poetry; music; sound. I try to poise it so the musicality and poetry in the words and their images and structures fuses with the musicality of the traditionally orchestrated music and also the other sounds, so the whole thing starts to fuse together. Some elements follow rhythms, others play out their own internal dramas, tied to either the lyric or another element. They can last a second or several minutes depending on their natural character. It is a basic, pre modern approach to art as something pictorial and fluid, unbound by pseudo scientific theories. The form then materialises and it is the form of the world around us, it shifts and changes and contains solid objects and situations as well as abstractions.
I home in on the idea of the song, first. What is it about. I tend to be attracted to satirising things, which is the best way to criticise them. I then start to imagine the images and environmental scenes I’d like or need to create to realise them as I begin to write the lyric and home in on the detail of it which can often take a long time. I also sketch out some riffs which are then used as the musical glue of the recordings and give the main vocal, which is now usually the lead instrument, its tune. Then I spend a lot of time and effort fusing it all together so it sounds coherent. If you were to break the elements apart, track by track, youâ€™d find there is a pretty disconcerting level of incoherence in the individual parts. It’s like a huge mosaic.
I work exclusively on computer, often recording, mixing and editing freely as I go. So I can hear how the whole thing is taking shape as I am working. It felt more akin to painting on a large canvas than tracking and mixing, which is how conventional studio wisdom still tells musicians they should work.
I do actually still listen to both of those and those same recordings which blew me away still sound phenomenal to my ears. I think only one or two things Ive heard in recent years sounded new to me in the same way: Glass Swords by Rustie and some of Fennesz’ stuff, like River of Sand but there are other pop groups I love. I think MGMT for instance are utterly brilliant and have a real mastery over song writing and recording. Their first album is a hands down modern classic, I think.
Not much. I knew I wanted to make pictorial music by the end of the 90s but events took me away from making music and I also knew in order to make pictures of things I had to know what it was I wanted to make pictures of. So I sat and read for what turned out to be about 9 years. One of the few sources of interest outside of books came from analytical cubism, which excited me greatly due to its fusion of the pictorial and the radically abstract.
Concernant ton nouveau morceau Global pourrais-tu nous en dire plus ? Concerning your new song Global can you tell us more about it, itâ€™s meaning and all ?
It’s very simple and just throws a series of images forward of the nation states and the people in them reacting in the turmoil of a globalised world. This is the latest thing I did. I did it much quicker than my other stuff and it’s just a pop song.
Disco Inferno & Ian Crause mixtape by Full Moon Fuck
01. Emigre : Disco Inferno – Open Doors â€¢ Closed Windows 1991
02. Freethought : Disco Inferno – Open Doors â€¢ Closed Windows 1991
03. Summerâ€™s Last Sound : Disco Inferno – Summerâ€™s Last Sound EP 1992
04. The Atheistâ€™s Burden : Disco Inferno â€“ Second Language EP 1994
05. Even the Sea Sides Against Us : Disco Inferno â€“ D.I. Go Pop 1994
06. In Sharky Water : Disco Inferno – D.I. Go Pop 1994
07. When The Story Breaks : Disco Inferno â€“ Technicolour 1996
08. Itâ€™s a Kidâ€™s World : Disco Inferno – Technicolour 1996
09. Suns May Rise : IAN CRAUSE â€“ The Vertical Axis 2013
10. More Earthly Concerns : IAN CRAUSE â€“ The Vertical Axis 2013
11. Phaetonâ€™s Call : IAN CRAUSE – The Vertical Axis 2013
12. Global – Ian Crause