Friday, December 26, 2008

I Cut People

I Cut People

I Cut People is California's Nicholas Smith. He has 4 records out on his own label, and several with a project called GITAR (with Ellipse Elkshow), including one on the way on the Seeland label, in 2009.

So far, I've only had a chance to play tracks off of his 2008 release, "Dumbed Downers," but the cut-ups there were dense and intense, revealing more and more each time you listen. His site features plenty of mp3s, so try them out for yourself, and take a look at the videos and visual collage while you're there. A sort of anti-drug video, titled "Todd Gamblin" was particularly amusing, I found. Check it out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with I Cut People...

*Name: I Cut People

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Nope.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes.

*Members: Nicholas Matthew Smith

*Founding Members: Me (Nicholas)

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: If I had to pick one, I'd probably choose "digital deconstructions.”

*Another genre descriptor: “Finger pointing music”

*Why you use this descriptor: Woody Guthrie said it about his own music. Also, I usually describe my audio as being more of a literary experience than a musical one. That's how my girlfriend describes it.

*Location: Santa Rosa, CA

*Original Location: Evansville, IN

*What is your creative/artistic background: I started playing geetar and moved onto traditional classical music composition at the age of 19. I studied under David Wyatt in Indiana until I moved to San Francisco, CA to study at the S.F. conservatory of music. After hearing the last track of the Soft Pink Truth's album, “Do You Party,” I was intent on creating a whole album of nothing but cut up voice. I really didn't like all the rules that went along with traditional classical music. I'm not saying that all those rules that I learned went to waste. I still apply a lot of them to the audio I create today. One rule I still use is to never lose the audience's attention. Using this rule causes me to spend the time making sure each sentence cut is important and meaningful. Since moving on from traditional western music, my friend Todd Huber and I have started an artist collective called, buildings building themsel(VS) media machine, that focuses on recycling media. I am also in a group called, GITAR w/Ellipse Elkshow.

*History: I Cut People has been around for about 3 years.

*Born: I was born 7-10-80 in Evansville, IN

*Motivations: I’m motivated by our mental environment. It’s hard not to rearrange all the media that is constantly barking down our throats.

*Philosophy: Unlike a lot of artists who do what I do, I don't really focus too much on copyright. The audio is more about exposing liars.

*How would you like to be remembered: As someone who actually cared.

*Web address:

Episode 222, Some Assembly Required

Episode 222, Some Assembly Required

01 Go Home Productions - “Kinky Madonna”
02 World's Worst Jukebox - “Say Something”
03 The Throw Up - “aug29b”
04 DJ Marvel - “Turntable Menace”
05 DJ Le Clown - “Sympathy for Sandman”
06 John Doe / 1200 Hobos - “A Knight's Tale (side B)”
07 Escape Mechanism - “Cycles”
08 I Cut People - “Patsy Credit Card Decline (With Ellipse Elkshow)”
09 Antediluvian Rocking Horse - “Long Sweet Dream”
10 Norwegian Recycling - “How Six Songs Collide”
11 Pop Chop - “Comp-elation”
12 DJ Earworm - “United State of Pop”
13 Splinter Test - “Untitled (Track 22, Electric Newspaper - Issue Four)”
14 People Like Us - “Millenium Dome”
15 Greater Than One - “The Ballet Of The 3 Feathered Sardines”

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stunt Rock

Stunt Rock

Stunt Rock is an electronic musician and publisher with about ten releases and a zine to his credit. After spending some time reading through some of his Betamax blog, I can also say that in addition to making music, he's a talented and insightful writer as well.

Here's a quote from his myspace page, about himself, which may put his work (and response) into perspective:

My name is [Billy]. I am a musician/performer/f***ing joke. My stage name is/was Stunt Rock. For a while I was also a stand-up comic and prominent illustrator. Most of all though, I am a failure and a worthless human being. I put pointless creative endeavors ahead of familial and financial obligations and used these endeavors to make mockeries of my relationships. As a result I have totally f***ed my life up. There was a time when I believed in what I was doing, I thought that in the end it would all pay off because I would be able to prove to my loved ones (family and women) that I was worth something. Unfortunately, the creative endeavors I ventured on were childish acts of selfishness.

That's just a segment. Check out his myspace page to read more.

Most artists have probably had more than their fair share of dark days, and while most people just struggle privately, Stunt Rock has chosen to incorporate these feelings more directly into his art. Read on to learn more about how one artist is mastering the art of self righteous, self loathing...

By the way, his sound collages are pretty good too!

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with the very talented... Stunt Rock...

*Name: Stunt Rock

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: REGRET™ Instruction Manual, although that's not really a moniker or name, it's more of a parallel project I work on that sometimes seems to garner a little bit more of an audience. I'm almost thinking I should delete my reply here and move it to the question above. Technically, I guess I would call the whole project Stunt Rock and REGRET™ Instruction Manual. Perhaps I should move this reply to another section altogether. It seems to me the very nature of a fill-in-the-blank interview would pose problems for many people/artists, especially when your primary focus is less traditional forms of expression. I guess I'm losing focus. I make music under the Stunt Rock name. I also produce a very sporadic book called REGRET™ Instruction Manual, of which I am way more proud. Both of these projects are very near and dear to my heart and I'm not good at explaining them to people.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Sometimes I use my real name in the hopes someone would attempt to destroy my credit report, but so far this hasn't proven effective.

*Members: I more recently have begun working with a few friends, but "Stunt Rock" is me for the most part. And it's just me that does the book, except for my proofreader/editor who is also my guitarist when I need it… Hey, I get it! This is neat! It's like those emails my aunt sends around in which people answer by-the-numbers questions to tell you things you didn't know about them. Do you need to know my social security number, as well? That guy from that bank in Nigeria needed it and when I gave it back to him I never heard anything back. [Billy] is me, but I'm kind of in a predicament here because in the previous answer I clearly indicated I have some friends with whom I occasionally work, but I don't really want to list them and give them too much credit, you know?

*Founding Members: Getting back to me, it's seriously really just me. I'm starting to think maybe I should skip this question or delete it, but I don't know if there's some type of strict format I am supposed to be following. Like, does this go into a PHP style sheet, or is it just CSS? I'll assume I need to reply. I, [Billy], am the founding member, but I wouldn't say I really set out to start some type of band, or anything. Initially I wanted to embarrass my family and spurn people I didn't like. That's not really a "founding," though. Man, can I change the question a little to suit my answer better? I really wish I was more popular/mediocre so I could qualify for a telephone interview like DJ Spooky.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Uh … something to do with me, my Betamax, my drinking problem(s), isolation. That's not really a term, though. You're looking for buzzwords, I can tell. This question is probably only here so you can try to coin new music terms before anyone else. Can I just go with "Betamax?" Sounds like: Betamax. I always thought the term "ear-rape" was funny, but I realize a majority of the people into obscure electronic music usually have some type of issue with rape, stemming from either guilt about being involved in some type of unmentioned sexual encounter with a questionably coherent partner, or as a victim of something similar at the hands of "that uncle I haven't seen since I was child." Regardless, I try to steer away from such things.

*Another genre descriptor: I was seriously just going to copy and paste replies from your website into each of these questions and see if you noticed. Get it? That would be like Plunderphonics! Instead of typing my own replies, I Mash-Up other artist replies! I f***ing hate my life. More than that I hate people trying to justify their s****y music with artistic words they make up.

*Why you use this descriptor: I really have never even tried to articulate what it is I am making. In fact, I can't even really stand when people try to do this, let alone have a four question section trying to get me to come up with something. I hate it even more, though, when people call it "art." I just thought of a new question idea: Ask people how they came up with their name. I don't have an interesting story about that, but I just thought of it and maybe it would be good. You don't even have to give me credit, which is a common thing amongst artists making obscure electronic music.

*Location: Zion, Illinois.

*Original Location: I'm from unfulfilled promises, disappoinment, and resentment.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Did not complete 2-year degree in art.

*History: Mother's basement to present, so, approximately 10 years, but I only lived in my mom's basement for half that time.

*Born: Late 1970s. Zion.

*Motivations: I drink alone a lot. I don't actually like many of my friends and my dislike of those with whom I surround myself motivates my music. Also, fear of dying, and fear of being suffocated by debt. I guess that's what motivates me to go to my real job. I have no motivation when I make art. I used the word "art!" Hypocrite! For five minutes in 1998 I thought I might get a blow job out of it, so that was very motivating, but I almost instantly realized that wouldn't be happening. Sometimes, once in a great while, I get motivated knowing something I create might make the vast majority of my music peers jealous because they don't have enough talent to do something themselves. Usually they just steal (sorry, Plunderfy™) the idea and dumb it down for audiences that live in Europe or on either coast of the US. Then they get a PR person and go on tour and act like what they are doing is really profound.

*Philosophy: I ensure I can create and recreate all my music while in an alcohol black-out. I wish I could make popular music that got reviewed on blogs, but it just isn't going to happen. I wish I was a spoiled trust fund kid from Rhode Island who makes "noise," and stupid s*** like that. Then I could act like every system sound my computer makes is something important. I once saw these "noise acts" from Rhode Island and it just sounded like they were running spell check in Microsoft Word, coupled with some lame-ass drone behind it. These guys make money! I wish I lived on either coast where the standards for entertainment are so f***ing low you could make drone music or mashups or some combination therein and be well-regarded, but unfortunately I live in the Midwest, where people require a little extra effort out of their music because they are f***ing stupid and like Staind. This has doomed me to obscurity. Also, I live on peanut butter sandwiches; I just don't f***ing care.

*How would you like to be remembered: LIVE FAST DIE. I totally just ran out of Scotch. What the f*** is my problem? And for christ's sake, it's a Tuesday.

*Web address: Please tell people to buy my new album here:
and also make sure they visit my Betamax blog here:

Episode 134, Some Assembly Required

Episode 134, Some Assembly Required

01 DJ Broken Window – “This synth here”
02 Buttfinger – “Walking Bible”
03 Steve Fisk – “Government Figures”
04 Stunt Rock – “Someday you are going to have a party, and I will make a point to come poop all over it so you can know how it feels”
05 Lecture On Nothing – “The Heimlich Maneuver”
06 Tom Recchion – “A Complex Shape In The Sky”
07 The Tape-beatles – “Grave Implications”
08 T.D. – “Feelin' James”
09 Unknown – “Shame on you Mr. Bush”
10 Idiom Creak – “Obviously Trippy Ego”
11 Doormouse – “Swimming with the fishes”
12 RX Music – “KGBtv”
13 Jeff Sconce - “Lonely people”
14 The Tape-beatles – “Beautiful State”
15 CCC – “Go go go”

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Sunday, December 14, 2008



New Zealand's James Robinson has been working as notv since the late 1980's. He's worked with groups such as The Aesthetics, The Iceman's Equipment, Kerosene, Mig-21 and The Strap-ons. Lately he's been focused on work in the studio, creating music and video.

His website is a bit short on information, or it might have just been down when I went to look at it (he mentioned it's been under construction), so this Q&A might be the best source of information about notv, currently. I'm sure that will change, over time! Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with notv...

*Name: notv

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No additional names

*Do you use a pseudonym? I have in the past used different spellings of my forename; Jaemz, J-mz, Jmz.

*Members: James Edward Robinson

*Founding Members: Me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: If anything of the three it would be digital deconstructions as everything I do these days is mainly created within the confines of a PC. The occasional external sound is used here and there, but on the whole it is made from samples found on the net, sampled from streaming radio, or sound fx cds. These are combined with freeware drum machines and other freeware noise generators. They then go through the stretching, delaying, distorting, reverbing process. Then layered with other sounds. Then tweaked, moved in relation to the others, tweaked some more, a copy of a sound might be made, this might be stretched, maybe condensed, then put back into the piece. Then put aside for some time, while other pieces are begun. Then, it might be brought out again, listened to, tweaked, put aside. Finally I will say; this is enough.

*Another genre descriptor: I tend to like Noise Generator. I guess I like it because I have never learnt how to play any instrument properly, except maybe the kazoo, and so don't think of myself as in the same league as musicians. - Although it has been pointed out to me recently that, of course, noise is non-deterministic...

*Is there a story behind your name? The name notv came about as an acronym of a sign I used to see on trucks when I was cycling round Shepparton, Australia; No Overtaking Turning Vehicle.

*Location: I'm from Christchurch, New Zealand.

*Original Location: Before coming back to New Zealand I lived in Australia for eleven years - just over the eighties.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I guess I've always liked making stuff, and I've always like weird noises, so this is a good combination. Musically it all began back in the late eighties when, in a bedroom in a flat in Shepparton, where, drinking gin and listening Emerson, Lake and Palmer, we went to a local cafe and did a noisy gig as Brain Salad Surgery. Then, with another friend, the name notv was first used, I programmed loops into a z-80-based computer's speech synthesizer, he played guitar – a cover of PWEI's Can You Dig It. A couple of years later, in Christchurch, I met some people and played bass in a Goth covers-band, but it wasn't until Peter Wright, Richard Calder and I formed TMA-1 that I really got into playing with sounds. Peter had a Fostex four-track and TMA-1 recordings were full of samples and experiments and this is where I had the opportunity to start recording as notv. Also live music experimentation, especially with TMA-1, where we would go all out with feedback, sample loops, analogue synthesizer, drum-machine. During this period I played my synthesizer, a Roland Juno 60, for a band called C.O.D., synthesizer and guitar for Spastic Crunch, Bass in Placenta Cookbook, and in punk-industrial covers band, Brainlego. Also in this time the krkrkrk label was formed, to release material for most of these bands, and others. Moving to Dunedin for a year mid-nineties, I was involved with many projects; The Aesthetics, The Iceman's Equipment, Kerosene, etc. That was where I had my, first, successful, notv live performance. I 'perfected' a process where I would spend the time leading up to a gig programming my drum machine, writing lyrics, working out the various noises I could get out of guitars, keyboards, tape based samples, kazoo, etc. The day of the gig I would determine which sounds, which drum programs and which lyrics were to go together to form the songs. Back in Christchurch I was involved with krkrkrk 'super-group', Mig-21 and was a member of the ever revolving line up of The Strap-ons. Since about 2001 I have moved away from being in bands, playing live gigs and have just concentrated on notv; creating music and video-clips for the music, in my PC.

*History: I've been creating work as a recording, and sometimes live, group for about seventeen years now.

*Born: I was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. 23/06/1969.

*Motivations: I do it because I like making stuff; I like throwing sounds together and seeing what I get.

*Philosophy: My philosophy has always been; look, I can do it, you can do it too...
*How would you like to be remembered: "He made some alright stuff there..."

*Web address: My rather in-construction address is:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Episode 221, Some Assembly Required

Episode 221, Some Assembly Required
(Featuring an interview with DJ Qbert)

01 DJ Broken Window - “Hair, nails, percolator”
02 notv - “And Who Are You”
03 Evolution Control Committee - “Ritalin Ruckus (Track 13)”
04 DJ Qbert - “Scroll Of The Wrist Beam”
05 DJ Qbert - “Track Fourteen (Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik)”
06 DJ Qbert - “Track Three (Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik)”
07 DJ Qbert - “Movement 1: Quadraphonic Element Download”
08 DJ Qbert - “Movement 2: 6 Fingered Fury”
09 DJ Qbert - “Movement 3: Inside-Out Body Warp”
10 Christian Marclay - “One Thousand Cycles”
11 DJ Qbert - “Untitled (live)”
12 Invisibl Skratch Piklz - " Invisibl Skratch Piklz vs. Da Klamz Uv Deth"

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

DJ Riko

DJ Riko

DJ Riko is a Californian mashup artist, with more than just a healthy interest in Christmas, which I only mention as it's December and I don't have a Christmas mix planned for this year. DJ Riko, on the other hand, has at least a couple at his website HERE.

He's known for his single, "Whistler's Delight," which has enjoyed not one, but two re-pressings in the UK, not to mention a host of placement on radio playlists worldwide, including here at Some Assembly Required. You can download that and many more of his mashups at his official website, along with longer mixes composed for The Bootie To Go Podcast, Solid Steel Radio, and XFM (both The Remix and The Rinse). Check it out!

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with DJ Riko...

*Name: DJ Riko

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Not really.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes. About 12 years ago, some friends were organizing a show with a bunch of bands and asked if I'd DJ between bands. They wanted me to give a DJ name for the flier and I didn't have one. I'd just left a gig writing for an alternative weekly to take a corporate job that paid a lot more, so I thought it would be funny to embrace my being a sellout and use "rico" which is Spanish for "rich." But I spelled it with a "k" because my real name is Erik. If I'd known the name would be used more than once, I might have tried to come up with something better.

*Members: It's just me, though I have worked with a few vocalists, including Gerald A., Marcie, and Katie Enlow.

*Founding Members: Just me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital deconstructions would be closest, as I make mashups using software. I do a little bit of turntable work as well, but almost all of the productions available on my Web site were made with software.

*Another genre descriptor: Bootlegs, mashups, cutups, re-edits, whistledelia and mishaps.

*Why you use this descriptor: Whistledelia is what I called the genre for "Whistler's Delight," which features samples from dozens of songs that feature whistling in them. It was released on vinyl in the U.K. and played on the BBC among other radio stations.

*Location: I live in San Diego.

*Original Location: Columbus, Ohio.

*What is your creative/artistic background: My father is a professional musician and bandleader, so there was always a lot of music around the house as well as a lot of instruments to fool around with.

*History: When I was in junior high I had a tape deck with a very precise pause button. I used that to make re-edits of songs like Asia's "Heat of the Moment." The first production I ever shared with a larger audience was "No One Can Match Me," which sampled Mike Tyson's comments about wanting to eat Lennox Lewis's children. I made that about 10 years ago using a Roland SP808 Groovesampler and it took forever.

*Born: I was born in Columbus, Ohio.

*Motivations: I started out making sample-based collages strictly for my own amusement. It's fun to put things together that don't make sense on paper but end up working pretty well. Like combining Malcolm McLaren with Simon & Garfunkel. When I put some of my mixes on the Internet and got very nice feedback from people around the world, that motivated me to do more.

*Philosophy: I try to make things that are clever, unusual, offbeat and/or fun, and sometimes you can dance to them.

*How would you like to be remembered: Vaguely

*Web address:

Episode 133, Some Assembly Required

Episode 133, Some Assembly Required

01 DJ Riko – “Buffalo Cecilia 2005”
02 People Like Us – “Yodel Bomber”
03 Lecture On Nothing – “Grab And Pull”
04 DJ Godfather – “On Da Flex”
05 Jabberwocky – “Unlisted”
06 Laso Halo – “Sleepy Time Jazz”
07 DJ Cal – “Seven Nation Es Foutu”
08 The Tape-beatles – “Really fine yoke of bondage”
09 Kid Koala – “Space Cadet 2”
10 Silica Gel – “Master Of The Game”
11 Otis Fodder – “My valentine (with Lee Edwards)”
12 Tim Maloney – “Thunderclock”
13 Sucking Chest Wound – “Mary Dear”
14 Pheugoo – “50 cent popcorn”

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