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Stoned Immaculate


title Stoned Immaculate
author Philip Sherburne
publication Alternative Press
date 2002/05
issue Vol. 166 (May 2002)
pages
Stoned Immaculate by Philip Sherburne was an interview published in Alternative Press magazine Vol. 166 (May 2002).

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Four years after their classic debut album, these scottish IDM stars return with a new downtempo masterpiece, Geogaddi

What took so long to record the new album?
Marcus: 'We took a year off writing after Music Has The Right To Children and did a bit of traveling and filming. Then we spent a year or so changing and rebuilding our studios, and we had a lot of technical problems that took time to settle down. We where doing favors for people like remixes and so on. Most of the work for Geogaddi was done in the last two years. I guess we work slower than other bands, but were not interested in churning out record after record. The next one will come out a lot sooner.'
What do you feel is the major difference with Geogaddi?
Mike: 'We recorded so much music over the past couple of years, hundreds of tracks. A lot of what we've done that hasn't been released yet is totally different from what anyone might expect us to sound like. But we decided that we weren't finished exploring the kinds of sounds we used on Music. We'll be releasing records in the near future that will probably surprise people, so it was important to us to come back right now after this gap with an album that sounded like a partner to the last album, to reinforce the foundation. No matter where we go next, we want people to know that we'll keep returning to our roots, because we love our early records. There is a difference though between the themes of the two records, because Geogaddi has a more layered, darker sound. [It's] just a reflection of the mood we both had while writing. Maybe it affects some of the incidents that affected us in this time, because there have been some deaths of people close to us and other personal traumas. We had a loose idea to make a record on the themes of art, geometry, mathematics and religion, and that was it. It just seemed like the tracks that went well together turned into Geogaddi.'
You're clearly indebted to psychedelia, and your cover photographs point to a certain pastoralism. Now that Bucolica (Fridge, Manitoba, etc.) seems to be making such strides, how do you position yourselves with respect to that particular sound? Do you think there's a reason listeners are lapping up this kind of electro-organic sound?
Mike: 'Our sound probably comes from the fact that we listen to music from all time periods; in fact we're not influenced by much current electronic music at all. We just try to do our own thing. If people are lapping up those bands it's because the organic thing is refreshing against a backdrop of very urban-sounding electronics. There's a tidal wave of laptop kids making music at the moment, which on the one hand is a great thing because it's a whole new generation being encouraged to create. But on the other hand, it seems to have become a bit of a pissing contest between non-musicians who are more interested in computer components than art, all trying to elbow each other around to create the most impressively detailed clicky sci-fi sounds. [But] at the end of the day, emotional melodies are going to last a lot longer than impressive drum programming. For us it's not a conscious effort: If there is a pastoralism or whatever in the music, it's because we're not urban people.'
Marcus: 'We don't sample old tunes or soundtracks as some have suggested, we just make our own melodies and then try to get them to sound like recordings from 25 years ago. It's so easy to use technology to make clean, well-produced music, and we're not into that at all. We came to the electronic thing from the direction of having used real instruments on multitrack tapes for years. But the technology, like samplers, for instance, allows us to play our melodies on real instruments or synths and finely craft the sound in bizarre ways, and we set ourselves the challenge to make old, damaged, dirty-sounding music.

--Philip Sherburne

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