Sunday, December 27, 2009

the Cranial Fishers

the Cranial Fishers

The Cranial Fishers are actually just one person, Ohio's Craig Chambers. He's been working as the Cranial Fishers for about twenty five years, and is an active participant of the online sound collage community, Snuggles. The group got its name from a Negativland song, and its start as a Negativland fan club, and has morphed into a productive online artists community. The cooperative has produced at least three compilations of their own material, including The Droplift Project and Dictionaraoke.

Chambers studied music and composition in school, and played in a band before turning his creative attentions to sound collage. You can check out some of his work HERE. The Cranial Fisher's online compilation site, "Snuggle This!", also hosts over three dozen different tracks by sound collage artists he's met online. Check it out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with the Cranial Fishers...

*Name: The Cranial Fishers

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

*Do you use a pseudonym? Just the Cranial Fishers, but I use CraigCo as a "corporate" name. I'm considering releasing some of my non-sample-based stuff as the CraigCo Aural Gratification Ensemble.

*Members: Craig Chambers, although I did use C. William Chambers for things I wrote in college. It sounded more "arty".

*Founding Members: I take full responsibility.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I consider it more digital reconstruction than deconstruction. Perhaps "media manipulation". I use a lot of samples from TV and movies.

*Another genre descriptor: When I try to explain it to normal people, I just call it audio collage.

*Is there a story behind your name? Someone told me that every time you learn something, it creates another wrinkle in your brain...cranial fissures. A bit of creative misspelling, and there it is. I never looked it up to see if it was true or not. The small "t" on "the" is a graphic choice. I just like the way it looks.

*Location: Dayton, OH, but when I started I lived near Rochester, NY.

*Original Location: Dayton, OH

*What is your creative/artistic background: High school band geek (trumpet), went on to study composition and marketing in college, dropped out, attended the Recording Workshop in Chillecothe, OH in summer of '76, spent some time as a roadie/tech/bassplayer at the lowest level of bar-banddom, now I make noise as a creative release from the real world.

*History: My first attempts at sound collage were around 1984-85. I started out with a couple cassette decks and a VCR, (you can hear me pushing the pause button on some of my earlier stuff), had a small 4-track studio for a while, but now it's all done on computer. My actual output is pretty small for 25 years, but I have lots of unfinished stuff. I don't play out or do anything live.

*Born: Dayton, OH, 1955

*Motivations: I've always had an interest in composition, and this enables me to make music/noise without dealing with other people’s opinions or egos. I got really tired of hearing "you can't do that" when I was in school or other groups.

*Philosophy: I'm not sure there is one, but I like to feel that it's entertaining, and possibly thought provoking at times.

*How would you like to be remembered: I had an answer to this, but I forgot it. (rimshot.wav). I would like to think I had some small part encouraging others who do this kind of thing, even though no one's ever heard of me. Sometime in the mid-90's, I'm not even sure when, I joined a mailing list called "Snuggles", a community of like-minded artists, and then put together a website to allow members to post a track for public consumption. It's called "Snuggle This!", and it's now up to about 40 tracks from various audio collagists, including many who have been featured on SAR. There is a track by the artist/group, a link to their website, and usually an e-mail address. Some tracks are available nowhere else, some people have since disappeared. I believe it was one of the first on-line compilation sites. There's a 10 year anniversary somewhere out there, but I didn't really note when it started (Quick shout-out to Pan at Sensory Research, who provides space for the site and moderates the list, and to all my fellow Snuggleers). I encourage anyone who is interested to join Snuggles, and to submit a track for Snuggle This! Snuggles members are also the people behind The Droplift Project and Free Speech For Sale, as well as Dictionaraoke and Deconstructing the Wall.

*Web address:

Episode 246, Some Assembly Required

Episode 246, Some Assembly Required

01 The Bran Flakes – “Autumn”
02 Douglas Kahn – “Chuck and Rona”
03 E-603 – “Lights Out”
04 People Like Us – “Guide to broadcasting”
05 Greater Than One – “Learn With Pleasure, Knowledge Is Power”
06 the Cranial Fishers – “Deadline”
07 DJ Danger Mouse – “Moment of Clarity”
08 Cassetteboy – “Clever girl”
09 Lasso The Moon – “Religion in the wind”
10 Bernard Parmegiani – “Du pop a l'ane”
11 Colatron – “Faithless Praise"

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Friday, December 18, 2009

December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

Seven of the artists in this week's show (Episode 155) have previously responded to the SAR Q&A... There are now well over 150 of these online artist features to browse at the Some Assembly Required website... Check out these seven for starters:

• SAR Q&A with Barbed
• SAR Q&A with The Evolution Control Committee
• SAR Q&A with Dickie Goodman's son, Jon Goodman
• SAR Q&A with Fortyone
• SAR Q&A with Kid Koala
• SAR Q&A with Rob Swift
• SAR Q&A with team9

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Episode 155, Some Assembly Required

Episode 155, Some Assembly Required

01 Push Button Objects – “Yambooze”
02 Duran Duran Duran – “I hate the 80's”
03 The Evolution Control Committee – “Spandau Filet”
04 Dickie Goodman – “Energy Crisis '74”
05 Dean Gray – “Novocaine Rhapsody”
06 Rob Swift - “Dope On Plastic”
07 Barbed - “Wedding”
08 Fortyone - “Life Is A Game”
09 Kid Koala – “Barhopper 1”
10 dINbOT - “Gay Paranoia”
11 Kid Koala - “Barhopper 2”
12 Doormouse – “Mathematics”
13 team9 - “The Money Song”
14 Mediatronic Research Laboratory - “DJ Rocks”
15 John Oswald – “More From The Case Of Death, By Agatha Smith”
16 Grandmaster Flash - “Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the wheels of steel”

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009

This week's episode features our 2009 interview with Stock, Hausen & Walkman's Matt Wand. Check it out HERE. We ran the SAR Q&A with Wand last October... In fact, you can check out our Q&A's with the last three artists interviewed on the program, linked to below, and over 150 more at our Interviews Page HERE.

• SAR Q&A with Wayne Butane
• SAR Q&A with Greg Carr
• SAR Q&A with Stock, Hausen & Walkman's Matt Wand

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Episode 245, Some Assembly Required

Episode 245, Some Assembly Required
Featuring an interview with Stock, Hausen & Walkman

01 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Pop Me”
02 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Instrumental”
03 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Tampooning”
04 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Sniffed Up”
05 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Untitled (track 7, Stop!)”
06 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Untitled (track 8, Stop!)”
07 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Lipgloss”
08 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Flagging”
09 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Skipper”
10 Small Rocks – “Stalacloose”
11 Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “IKEA”

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Friday, December 04, 2009

December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

Seven of the artists in this week's show (Episode 154) have previously responded to our ongoing attempt to profile the sound collage artists featured on Some Assembly Required... There are well over 150 of these online features to browse at this point... Check out these seven for starters...

• SAR Q&A with Dickie Goodman's son, Jon Goodman, HERE.
• SAR Q&A with Aggro1 HERE.
• SAR Q&A with Fortyone HERE.
• SAR Q&A with Speaker Freaker HERE.
• SAR Q&A with The Tape-beatles HERE.
• SAR Q&A with The Freelance Hellraiser HERE.
• SAR Q&A with Greg Carr HERE... Be sure to also check out Episode 154 for our radio interview with Greg Carr HERE.

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Episode 154, Some Assembly Required

Episode 154, Some Assembly Required
(Featuring an interview with Greg Carr)

01 DJ Shadow – “High Noon”
02 Buchanan & Goodman – “Flying Saucer (Part 1)”
03 Buchanan & Goodman - “Flying Saucer (Part 2)”
04 Aggro1 - “Let My Baby Scream”
05 Fortyone - “Not Clementine”
06 Speaker Freaker – “Fear N Speculation”
07 M/A/R/R/S - “Pump Up The Volume”
08 Jacknife Lee – “Get your 9lb **** on”
09 The Tape-beatles – “Joy and Power”
10 Greg Carr – “Spaced out sound mobile”
11 Greg Carr – “Remote viewing in an emptying house”
12 Greg Carr – “Funk dungeon dance lesson”
13 The Freelance Hellraiser – “Night Train '99”

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ruth Anderson

Ruth Anderson

Ruth Anderson is a pioneering electronic music composer who has also taught on the subject for many years. She is perhaps best known for the two pieces which we've played here on Some Assembly Required. Both "SUM (State of the Union Message)" and "Dump" are composed primarily of sounds found in the media environment, and were composed in the early 1970's. She's one of a very small handful of artists who were working with sounds found in the broadcast media, at the time, and she's certainly one of the first women to be working in this particular vein.

Anderson played with the Totenberg Instrumental Ensemble in the 1950's, and toured briefly with the Boston Pops Orchestra as principal flautist. In the 1960's she was an orchestrator at NBC, working on documentary films, and went on to found the electroacoustic music center at Hunter College, in 1968. She served as the organization's Director, and taught theory and composition at the College for over twenty years.

She has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts as well as a Fulbright Award, to name but a few of the organizations who have recognized her formally. Her compositions have been featured in festivals, on public radio, and at new music centers around the world.

Her responses below have been augmented by her partner, composer Annea Lockwood, and include a description of Ms. Anderson's 1970 composition, "Dump," which she wrote in 1986. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Ruth Anderson...

*Name: Ruth Anderson

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Ruth Anderson is my full name.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: It is a tape collage (analog). The media are “Dump”s topic and the "dump sounds" were recorded in a studio… Here's a description of “Dump” (1970) written in 1986: "Collage of folk songs, pop tunes and electronically generated "dump sounds" to form a social commentary from World War 1 through the sixties."

*Location: New York based

*Original Location: Kalispell, MT

*What is your creative/artistic background: Composer, flautist, and orchestrator for NBC (1960-66) and Lincoln Center Theater (1966). She designed and directed the Hunter College (CUNY) Electronic Music Studio (1966 - 89) where she also taught composition and theory.

*History: Her earliest compositions date from 1950.

*Born: 3/21/28 Kalispell, MT

*Motivations: Anyone's life at any moment is a collage.

*Philosophy: To be aware in the moment.

*Web address: Here is her entry at Wikipedia:

Episode 244, Some Assembly Required

Episode 244, Some Assembly Required

01 Greater Than One – “I Don't Need God”
02 Lenlow – “Morning”
03 Roc Raida – “X-Men Style Beatz”
04 Ruth Anderson – “DUMP”
05 Frenchbloke – “David Fischer”
06 Public Works – “Sudden impulse”
07 Go Home Productions – “GHP Goes Bananas”
08 Oval – “The Politics Of Digital Audio”
09 Negativland – “All Things Considered Edit”
10 Party Ben – “Machine Gun Shelter”

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009

Six of the artists in this week's show (episode 153) have previously responded to our ongoing attempt to profile the sound collage artists featured weekly on Some Assembly Required... The SAR Q&A will be heading into its fifth year in January, and there are well over 150 to browse at this point, so I thought I'd start pointing to a few of them weekly, to give listeners some insight into the artists played on each week's new program.

Check out the SAR Q&A with six of the eleven artists featured in Episode 153:
  • SAR Q&A with Jeffrey Sconce HERE.
  • SAR Q&A with The Freelance Hellraiser HERE.
  • SAR Q&A with DJ Qbert HERE.
  • SAR Q&A with Wax Audio HERE.
  • SAR Q&A with Girl Talk HERE.
  • SAR Q&A with Rob Swift HERE.

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Episode 153, Some Assembly Required

Episode 153, Some Assembly Required

01 D-Styles, DJ Pone & Snayk Eyez - “First Half”
02 Jeffrey Sconce - “Soul vulture”
03 The Freelance Hellraiser - “4 My Thrillers”
04 Mixmaster Mike – “Hydrolix Carpet Ride”
05 John Oswald - “Mirror”
06 dINbOT - “I'm Watching 4 U”
07 DJ QBert - “Electric Eye Beam Abduction”
08 Wax Audio - “A Day Of Horror”
09 Girl Talk - “Bounce That”
10 Rob Swift – “All That Scratching Is Making Me Rich!”
11 DJ Shadow - “Midnight In A Perfect World”

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009

This week's episode features our 2009 interview with Wayne Butane. I really didn't think I'd ever get the chance to interview him, when asking him to do the Q&A last year (You can check that out HERE), but he finally relented, and the more info the better! Check out Episode 243 HERE, for our phone interview with everyone's favorite cut-up artist, Wayne Butane.

That's the big news. Aside from that, I guess I could mention that last week's episode marked our entry into the last quarter of our 11th year, but I suppose those kinds of details are really only interesting to me. We've got another phone interview coming up - that should be of general interest. I wanted to get at least these two in before the year was up, so our 2009 phone interview with Stock, Hausen & Walkman is scheduled to air in about a month. Stay tuned...

I'll leave it at that. Thanks as always for checking out the show. Please drop me a line and let me know where you're listening, and what you're thinking. My contact info can be found HERE.

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Episode 243, Some Assembly Required

Episode 243, Some Assembly Required
Featuring an interview with Wayne Butane

01 team9 - “Belinda's freakin out”
02 Cassetteboy – “Reading Pain In The Face Of A Duck”
03 The Evolution Control Committee - “I Want A Cookie”
04 Wayne Butane – “Nut roll (segment)”
05 Wayne Butane - “Ride The Monkey Bus (segment)”
06 Wayne Butane - “Backwash (segment)”
07 Wayne Butane - “Dr. Entozoan And The Pressed Ham Caper (segment)”
08 Wayne Butane – “How Bazooka Joe Lost An Eye (segment)”
09 Wayne Butane – “Countdown For George (segment)”
10 Wayne Butane – “The Lup Of Laxury (segment)”
11 Wayne Butane – “Backwash (segment)”
12 Wayne Butane – “Country Doctor Delivering A Baby (segment)”
13 Wayne Butane – “Gorilla Drafted Into The Marine Corps (segment)”
14 Wayne Butane – “Nut roll (segment)”
15 Wayne Butane – “Backwash (segment)”
16 Wayne Butane – “Nut roll (segment)”
17 Wayne Butane – “We Smell Sausage (segment)”
18 Wayne Butane – “C.G. And The B.L.'s (segment)”
19 Wayne Butane – “Super trace (segment)”
20 Wayne Butane – “I TP'd Chick Corea's Front Yard (segment)”

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Kleptones

The Kleptones

The Kleptones are actually a single person, with a history of releasing concept based Mashup albums, such as 2004's "A Night At The Hip Hopera" and "24 Hours" (2006). He goes by the name Eric Kleptone, which sounds an awful lot like the name of the project, which is named after something other than Eric (read on for the full story), so I'm thinking there's probably not a large extended family of Kleptones out there... Too bad, as I'm sure they'd be a talented lot.

I forget how I got a copy of A Night At the Hip Hopera, but as you can imagine, I was a fast fan. It mixes the mashup concept with other sampling techniques, which is what I personally love to hear. A mashup/cut-up extravaganza as spun on the wheels of steel... now that would be something I'd like to hear more of.

More recently, The Kleptones have released a new mashup concept album called "24 Hours" which takes the listener through an entire day, using nothing but samples to tell the story. There's a new album in the works, as well, so keep your ear to the ground, and check out his past projects, in the meantime, HERE.

He's also a live DJ, and has made a name for himself as such, putting on fantastic performances combining lap top destruction, dancers, live video mixing and music. The 2007 release, "Live'r Than You'll Ever Be," attempts to document one such performance. Check it out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with The Kleptones...

*Name: The Kleptones

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

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes!

*Members: It varies – has been as many as six, and as little as one, depending on the situation. I’m the only constant member though, and usually the only musical one. We have been embellished with video and live performance art from time to time, when budgets allow. At the moment, Eric Kleptone – I’m just finishing up a new album so the band members are all in my head, getting drunk and arguing long and loud with each other about basslines and delay tempos.

*Founding Members: Eric Kleptone!

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I wouldn’t, but if I had to, “Digital Deconstructions”.

*Another genre descriptor: Not really. Call it what you want! “Mashups” is a dirty word now, as it’s slipped out of vogue, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a tag, there have been ones before, there’ll be other ones sometime.

*Is there a story behind your name? Not the descriptor, but the name “The Kleptones” - We stole it, unintentionally I hasten to add, from a photo of what we thought was a piece of stencil graffiti – it was actually the logo of a label from a few years back. Vicki Bennett from People Like Us was one of the people involved in the label, and got in contact – she gave her blessing to our appropriation of their appropriation, which was very kind! The “Earman” graphic that accompanies the text was actually originally sourced from an old RCA stereo test record sleeve also, so it’s another multi-layered appropriation. I love the concept of sampling the sampled, visually or aurally – taking a break from a 90’s hardcore or hip-hop record rather than the original 70’s funk 45 – you get a layer of digital grit that wasn’t originally there, on top of the surface noise of the original vinyl, and the hiss on the master tape etc...

*Location: Brighton, UK

*Original Location: Somewhere else in the UK!

*What is your creative/artistic background: A lifetime of playing in bands, being a sound and lighting engineer, and being a DJ and Producer in my own right. Eventually got tired of listening to everyone else and thought I could do better. Also a lifetime of collecting music and odd sounds came in handy too.

*History: The Kleptones have existed now for six or seven years. What I created prior to that isn’t important to anyone that wasn’t there at the time. With The Kleptones there is always an ear towards creating something that will stand the test of time a little more than just soundtracking the moment, up till now anyway. It seems to be working though, as people are still discovering older things we’ve done, listening to them with fresh ears and mailing us to say good things.

*Born: (no answer – see above)

*Motivations: The need to communicate. The need for an individual, personal method of expression. The need for a soapbox on which to stand. The need to differentiate myself from all others. The need to create. The need to work. Motivated by stupidity, ignorance and the “chew it up – spit it out” attitude that is prevalent in modern attitudes to art and culture.

*Philosophy: I don’t think it’s fully formed yet. We’re still on the path to enlightenment – when we get to the end, we’ll know why we took this route.

*How would you like to be remembered: A national holiday.

*Web address:

Episode 152, Some Assembly Required

Episode 152, Some Assembly Required

01 DJ Tripp – “Close To Faith”
02 Brindle Spork – “Mommy Bomb”
03 Escape Mechanism - “Smoke Screen”
04 The Kleptones – “Break”
05 Steve Fisk - “Break On Thru”
06 John Oswald – “Case Of Death (Part One)”
07 Ros Bobos - “Very Truly Yours”
08 Invisibl Skratch Piklz – “Gimme My Goddamn Money”
09 Tristan Shout – “(Just can't get) enough music”
10 John Oswald – “Case Of Death (Part Two)”
11 Escape Mechanism - “Cycles”
12 People Like Us – “Repeat To Fade”
13 DJ Jay-R – “Close To Cassie's Cure”

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stock, Hausen & Walkman

Stock, Hausen & Walkman

Stock, Hausen & Walkman started improvising in the late 1980's, in the UK. The group very often worked with samples, so it's a shame I haven't found more of their records until recently. I first heard of them thanks to their Eerie Materials 7" (1998) and have been exploring some more of their work these past few months. You should, too.

Matt Wand spoke on behalf of the band, and we've got an interview coming up with him in the coming quarter as well, so stay tuned for that. He was a founding member, with Rex Casswell, in the UK, in 1987. Andrew Sharpley and Dan Weaver soon joined them, and eventually it was just Wand and Sharpley.

(pictured, left to right: Dan Weaver, Matt Wand, Rex Caswell, Andrew Sharpley)

The group was active, in various configurations, for around 15 years. Their last record was released in 2000, and there is as yet no news of a reunion. They released 7 or 8 albums, a few singles and several remixes for artists such as Buffalo Daughter and People Like Us. Check out their discography HERE.

They were the artists behind the Hot Air record label, as well (since 1991), releasing work by Otomo Yoshihide, Janek Schaefer, Dummy Run, People Like Us and of course Stock, Hausen & Walkman. Most recently, Matt Wand released a solo record on Hot Air, as Small Rocks. The CD was titled "Carbondating". Check out Hot Air on the web HERE.

As I just mentioned, Wand has continued as a solo artist, releasing things under different aliases (such as Small Rocks and Stahlgren & Ferguson). He's done numerous commissions for art installation and exhibition, as well, and is responsible for much of the artwork featured on various Hot Air releases.

Without further ado here's the SAR Q&A with Stock, Hausen & Walkman's Matt Wand...

*Name: Stock, Hausen & Walkman

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: The illiterate or lazy among us (and I include myself) sometimes put SH&W or nearer might be SHAW (pronounced Pssshaww!! with an emphasis on the skeptical and dismissive tone of that sound).

*Do you use a pseudonym? Despite how it may seem 'Matt Wand' is the name I was born with (well, Matthew actually) but I can own up to hiding behind the dubious Outfits 'Small Rocks' 'Stahlgren & Ferguson' and a few others that might seem obvious on closer inspection.

*Members: Well NONE since 2002 when the plug was pulled, but originally 2 (Myself & Rex Casswell) then 4 (Dan Weaver & Andrew Sharpley joined) then 3 (Rex left) then 2 again (Dan went to Germany and we willfully ignored him as he was getting too much girl action and generally having far too good a time over there.) [What are the full names of each member?] I think that’s been covered apart from middle names, which I'm not sure I ever knew apart from mine which is David. Oh! no... wait I remember… Andrew’s is Quentin which in some ways is quite an awful middle name, way too upper class and just begging to be mocked… but then again there is Quentin Blake whose illustrations for the Uncle Books I love… so maybe not so bad?

*Founding Members: Me & Rex Casswell, I put myself first as I thought up the name which is an atrociously bad pun BUT did kind of describe all we were about at the time... Firstly, we wanted to drag 'so called' high brow experimentalism down to the level of bad disco commercialism (Stockhausen represented and indeed still represents the most idiotic egomaniacal pompous facade to gloss over what is after all the kind of experimenting that anyone with a taperecorder and the luxury of free time & a brain can noodle away at and present the results now and again. It was hilarious when he popped his clogs and shuffled off to the lederhosen shop in the sky and every one started coming out of the woodwork saying how much they respected and admired him, in Manchester alone there was a deluge of performances of Stockhausen pieces in the academic establishments that did little but reveal the transparent silliness and pseudo-mystical conservative anti-intellectualism of the bulk of his work. Of course Those establishments didn't really touch his earlier (listenable) electronic works as that would mean calling in 'outsiders' with some of the long ignored (by them) knowledge of electronic music and they are only interested in giving a platform and work to their own so called 'Qualified' musicians not scruffy herberts that know their way around an oscillator… That’s how it is in the UK, always with the class war of some kind… Hope it’s better in the US). The Walkman bit was A) because we were poor and couldn't even conceive of having motor vehicles so our dream was to be able to get the bus to a gig and play with stuff that we could pull out of our coat pockets when we got to the venue, a dream of ultimate portability that is finally with us today which is a good job as I'm poor again and scrapped my car 6 months ago… plus B) Notoriety (and hence Fame) in those days seemed to come quickly from being sued by a big company and I thought that Mr. Sony might do that job for us..

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Any, All and much much more or less… We had no set way of manipulating sound, cassette pause button edits & 4 track layering had been the way for most (including myself) since the mid seventies… In the end, my own 'live' technique was 2 split channel cassette players that contained all kinds of turntable & pause button & drum-machine 'n' FX style manipulations that were siphoned thru a 4 button switchboard to re-cut-up the sounds into a 4 second sampler with the spring taken out so that further triggering, slowing down, speeding up etc could be done realtime to that live cut-up… Mr. Sharpley favoured fast forward/rewind button cassette scratching of prepared cutup tapes. Rex and Dan were more instrumentalists with guitar and cello but were no less interesting or 'Cut-Up' in their thinking/performing (especially Rex Casswell, where are you Rex?? Think he might have hurt himself with his cut-up thinking).

*Another genre descriptor: I think Vicki (Bennett) said it, when she said that the word Collage has been in use for this sort of thing for over a century, she's right and I think Sharpley with his slightly more formal 'arts' education is a big fan of the word and the act of 'Collage'. Myself, I'm more a child of the Grey Underground so I go with the Gysin/Burroughs term 'Cut-Ups' as a brief, I can't speak for them really but I'm betting Rex & Dan would just say 'Improvising' and I like that one too, especially if it’s applied to the thought processes rather than just the anti-formal musical act, you can go a long way (as Mr. Oswald has proved) by re-badging what you do with a nifty moniker but that’s really just glib journalism or perhaps having some fun at the expense of Glib/lazy Journalists. The works themselves are what is important when yr in the mood to listen to that sort of thing, hopefully there aren't too many people that claim: "I only listen to Plunderphonics!"

*Is there a story behind your name? (See the answer to “Founding Members” above)

*Location: 2 from Manchester & 2 from Louth (Lincolnshire), hence the continuous fluctuation between Pastoral Beauty and Industrial Horribleness in the music.

*Original Location:

*What is your creative/artistic background: I could really only inform you properly about my own background and I don't feel that’s so important or even interesting in this context.

*History: Well, it’s a bit vague, I think the start of it was sometime in 1989-90 but Me and Rex had been working together within the 'purist improvisor' tyranny of another group with 3 other people for a year or so before we made a break for it… So, it could be as early as 1987?? The early incarnation of Me & Rex was Called '23 Women Artists' before the SH&W name, because cynically I figured we would get a good arts council grant with that name! As for myself (and probably the rest of them) I'd been tinkering with drum machines, echo boxes, 4 tracks etc in various groups and solo bedroom things since 1979, most notoriously (and completely invisibly to the outside world) W2F, a fluctuating combo based around myself with various anti-musical mates popping in to get weird here and there, with 4 cassette releases to its name (chronologically: Rehearsing Punk Jazz, Art-Itch, Original Soundtrack to 'The Southern Vegetable Mystery, We Help!) none of which were in editions of more than 10 and hence destined to remain in the lost sock drawer of history where it belongs. Nevertheless I regard those early experiments in obtuse cassette packaging as the seed-bed for Hot Air's future fancy graphicsophilia. OOPS! I already said that’s not interesting in this context and then go all misty eyed with senile memories of teenage artsy-fartsy bedroom antics, oh well, if you’re reading this the chances are you too are or once were an artsy-fartsy teenage bedroom dweller and you'll indulge this old git’s ramblings.

*Born: Is this a Tax Form??

*Motivations: I think at the time it was 'Other Interesting People' and mostly, but not all, those making noises. Particularly those making noises that we thought we could emulate to some extent without spending a few years in college to do so OR those doing things close to what we were already attempting ourselves. You don't want to feel entirely alone in what you are doing even if you are looking for something 'New'. At that time there were only a few people (let’s call them DOTS) that we could be aware of that between those DOTS mapped out an area we felt drawn towards. These days of course it’s almost impossible to do anything or even 'Be Interested' in anything that isn't already Mapped out, Blogged up, Contextualized and downloadable on the internet. That sense of a 'private' activity or thought process is very hard to come by now. I want to mention the US grouping 'Meltable Snaps It' and David Moss's duets album 'Full House' because recently I've been listening to that old stuff and loving it and remembering how much those people pointed us in a certain direction way back at the beginning. Obviously with 4 people's listening habits contributing to the 'Influences' mix there is no one source of inspiration... but I'd like to give a shout to Mike & the long defunct Decoy Records shop because back then your musical education didn't come from the ether… it relied on independent record shops that were prepared to stock really obscure and potentially unsaleable records... and I guess another shout should go out to all those physical formats like cassette, vinyl, CD because it was the existence of those formats and the few interesting people that had used those Audio/visual platforms in such crazy belligerent ways that made us want to do it so desperately ourselves.

*Philosophy: OK, you want philosophy now... well, here's a thought that may or may not be relevant... "MP3 is a codec designed to remove 'redundant' audio information, to make a sound file 5 to 10 times smaller, in effect to create 'MUSIC-lite' - a kind of diet music in which all the sound information our ears supposedly don't need to hear is removed. What I don't understand is why this Codec hasn't been developed further... how much better would it be if the software truly stripped out all the redundant material, Beethoven’s 5th reduced down to its first 4 notes, a repetitive dance hit cut right down to the one repeating loop that is its main constituent? Think how fast these files would be to download & how much less irrelevant or banal sound would be polluting our ears."

*How would you like to be remembered:
As one of the often forgotten.

*Web address:

Episode 38, Some Assembly Required

Episode 38, Some Assembly Required

01 Lecture on Nothing - “Potato”
02 Negativland - “Jolly green giant”
03 Wobbly - “Recarrots”
04 Stock, Hausen and Walkman - “Broccoli”
05 People Like Us - “Bran mash and crushed beans”
06 Evolution Control Committee - “Rebel without a pause (whipped cream mix)”
07 Antediluvian Rocking Horse - “Rigorous doughnut”
08 Evolution Control Committee - “I want a cookie”
09 People Like Us - “Cream crackers”
10 People Like Us - “Sugar and splice”
11 Escape Mechanism - “Coffee cake”
12 David Shea/DJ Grazhoppa - “Tasty cake”
13 Lecture on Nothing - “The heimlich maneuver”

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eddie Def

Eddie Def

Eddie Def has been scratching/producing since the early 1980's, producing solo records under his own name, and as Eddie Def The Last Kreep. With DJ's Quest, Cue and Marz, he performed as The Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (since 1991), and has worked on a variety of other projects as well, including HempLords, The Good Scratching Record and DMT, to name just a few.

All Music Guide calls him a turntablist pioneer. He's released at least five of his own records and continues to work with The Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, under their new name, The Space Travelers. Now a five piece, the group features DJ Quest, Eddie K, Eddie Def, DJ Marz and DJ Cue. The group have about a half dozen releases, to date.

Eddie Def has made several appearances on turntablist compilations, including two of the Deep Concentration releases, Return of The DJ Volume 3 and the Scratch movie soundtrack. He was one of many DJs to be featured in that excellent 2001 documentary. The film features interviews with hip hop producers, scratch DJs and turntablists of all kinds, talking about the history and development of several different DJ styles, and the nature and creative potential of vinyl records. Check it out HERE.

Eddie Def and DJ Passion produce the "K.I.T.T.Y Radio Show," podcast as well, which can be found at You can also check them out at their Myspace page HERE.

Without further ado, here's this week's Q&A with Eddie Def...

*Name: Eddie Def

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Eddie Def The Last Kreep.

*Members: The Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters were Eddie Def, DJ Quest, DJ Cue and DJ Marz.

*Do you use a pseudonym?

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations:
I don’t use computers at all, for music. I use a lot of keyboards and drum machines and effects pedals and stuff like that. I use a multi-track mixer, a Roland 1880. I do a lot of bouncing tracks, overdubs and stuff like that. I prefer to just be called an artist, because if you call yourself a turntablist, you’re kind of limited to scratching. I kind of outgrew that. I still do it, but you kind of get bored of doing the same stuff. So, you venture out and do different stuff.

*Is there a story behind your name? It’s just an old school name. I’m 37, so I started a long time ago. I guess back then, those were the kind of names that were out, you know like Mikey Fresh or Funky Bob… something like that. I used to abbreviate it, like D. E. F., to make it like Eddie “Does Everything Funky.”

*Location: Oroville, California

*Original Location: San Francisco, California

*What is your creative/artistic background: I started out being a DJ, getting into hip hop, like any other kid, tagging and graffiti and the whole breaking scene, and rapping, and I guess I just adapted to the DJ more. Then I met Quest and Cue, then we did the first break record of its kind. You know, the first strictly scratch centered DJ record. We did that, and then I started working with Buckethead. Then I did a lot of that Last Kreep stuff, which is Trip Hop music, to try to separate the styles. I got into turntablism in the early ‘80s. I think I started DJing when I was like 12, scratching at home and then joining mobile mixing disc jockey companies.

We were the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (Eddie Def, DJ Quest, DJ Cue, DJ Marz) at first, and that came from a corny comic book background… like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We wanted a name that was far-out like that. We became the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, and then the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, they kind of jumped on the bandwagon of silly names, and then we wanted to change it, and we just changed it to Space Travelers. I grew up around Qbert, and that whole scene. Everybody grew up together. The whole Bay Area was like me, Quest, Qbert, Mix Master Mike, Disk, Shortcut. From this neighborhood to that neighborhood, everybody just kind of grew up scratching. Me and Marz released a solo break record called Sound Pollution, in 2008.

*Born: San Francisco, 1972

*Motivations: My motivation is always to try to give other people the first buzz that I got. Out of everything that I do, I love to do megamixes (mashups and stuff like that) to just bounce like nine tracks at the same time, with a bunch of mixing going on. I’m making music for everybody else, but I’m also really just trying to satisfy my personal urge, musically. So, I would say that I’m trying to give people that buzz, like “damn, I want to do that…” That’s probably why I do what I do – to get those reactions out of people.

As an artist, just as a musical guy, just to always have integrity. Your own kind of style, you know? Always do it the way you want to do it. Don’t let a guy from a record label tell you like, you should put a little glitter on it, or add more base, or make it sound like Little John. You know what I mean? That’s the kind of stuff I hate. You’ve got your own s**t, you’re doing your own stuff, and then you get brainwashed by the business and you kind of lose your true sense. You know, your music starts getting stripped down, you just kind of end up sounding like a clone. I would say integrity. Musical integrity.

*How would you like to be remembered:
That guy was, not to sound cliché, but like a true guy, a real motherf****r, who handled his business and his profession. That’s probably about it.

*Web address:

Episode 242, Some Assembly Required

Episode 242, Some Assembly Required

01 Wax Audio – “Enter You”
02 John Oswald – “Birth”
03 Cassetteboy – “Bring Back Cloaks”
04 Eddie Def – “Bobbafette (The Last Of The Gemini)”
05 Corporal Blossom – “Advice From God On Getting A Face”
06 Frenchbloke – “I Feel Kylie (again)”
07 Christian Marclay - “1930”
08 I Cut People – “I'll Be Back To The Future”
09 Mixmaster Mike – “Sektor Three”
10 Mixmaster Mike – “Well Wicked”
11 Splatt – “Mass Construction”
12 DJ Earworm – “Noone Takes Your Freedom”
13 Antediluvian Rocking Horse – “Chatterboxed”
14 Radar (1) - “Antimatter”
15 dj BC – “I'm Happy (On Sesame Street)”

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Friday, October 16, 2009



Spacklequeen is Rhode Island's Dan Vena. He's one of many artists featured on the Illegal Art compilations which launched the label, in 1998 (they were Deconstructing Beck, 1999's Extracted Celluloid and Commercial Ad Hoc in 2000). He was the only artist to have tracks on all three releases, in fact, and was extremely hard to track down, so this feels like a good week for the Q&A...

Deconstructing Beck was hailed as a "brilliant exercise in guerrilla art-making" by Steven Shaviro, who eloquently summed up not only the CD, but the art of appropriation in general, in his article for ArtByte Magazine. I think I'm going to just cut and paste practically an entire paragraph from that article, in fact... I could dig out one of my own college papers on the subject, or summarize for the umpteenth time, but I think Shaviro puts it much, much more succinctly...

...We live in a world of ubiquitous images and soundbytes. The electronic media are to us what ‘nature’ was to earlier eras. It’s the background against which we live our lives, and from which we derive our references and meanings. In such a framework, the distinction between high art and popular culture becomes ever less viable. For any cultural work must come to terms, one way or another, with the mediascape that’s always Out There. That’s why appropriation is the major aesthetic form of the postmodern digital age. It’s everywhere, from rap records, to film and video, to installation art. Everyone now understands what Andy Warhol was perhaps the first to enunciate: that our lives have to do, not so much with fruits and flowers, or rivers and mountains, as with cans of Campbell soup, and images of Marilyn and Elvis...

Spacklequeen's Dan Vena is also a comic strip artist and illustrator. He's currently moved away from sound and is working primarily as a visual collage artist. He's also a self described luddite, which is refreshing in this world of high tech creativity. Although, it's not as surprising as you might think, anymore. The fact is, the technology has been getting more and more user friendly, to the point where you don't have to be an electrical engineer (or a rocket scientist) to make this kind of music and/or audio art, just a creative person with your own perspective.

Vena has gone out of his way to keep a very low profile, over the years. Perhaps this little feature will get the ball rolling in the other direction... Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Spacklequeen...

*Name: Spacklequeen

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: It's been shortened to "cklequ", to make myself even less accessible. An extra shot in the foot, if you will.

*Members: Dan Vena

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Just deconstruction. Not so digital these days, but everything involves taking apart someone else's work.

*Is there a story behind your name? When I was just starting to DJ I needed a name. Everyone had a catchy name. I was just spouting nonsense ideas one night, looking for something that said "I am in no way serious about this", and for some reason Spacklequeen stuck. I don't know where it came from. Maybe it had a deep hidden meaning back then. But I doubt it.

*Location: Currently stuck in a rut in Providence, RI.

*Original Location: Ridgefield, CT, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY, Northampton, MA

*What is your creative/artistic background: I make it all up. I have no training aside from an art class in high school, and certainly no musical training. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Somebody had let a friend of mine know about this upcoming release of remixes of Beck's music thinking he would be interested and he passed the information on to me. I ended up sending a few different tracks. I don't know if I had even included my real name when I sent them. I never thought they would use it. I had no permanent address at the time, so had used my parent's address and phone number. Months later my mother got a phone call from somebody looking for Spacklequeen, which confused the hell out of her. After that I just signed up for the illegal art mailing list. Every time I heard of a new release, I'd send in a fistful of tracks. I know I never was able to send the format they wanted. Technology and I don't agree. Back then, the best I could do was cassettes. But for some reason they kept putting the tracks on the albums. Maybe it was because I sent so many…

As long as I can remember I've been trying to create in some form. I got into working with sound I guess around the time I was pretending to be a DJ in mid/upstate NY. That would be in the mid/late-nineties. At the same time I was doing some comic strips and illustration type drawing, and these days I work with visual collage. The music aspect was short lived, but never entirely abandoned. I never really seem to have the proper equipment for what I'm trying to do. Which may explain why that didn't last. I was working with nothing. Now I've moved on to simpler more readily available materials, like scrap lumber and a stack of old magazines. Even I can figure out how to make that work.

*Born: 1975, Connecticut

*Motivations/Philosophy: If I don't do something I will quite literally lose my mind. It's therapy. I have to do it.

*How would you like to be remembered: As a halfway decent human being.

*Web address:
Currently offline

Episode 37, Some Assembly Required

Episode 37, Some Assembly Required

01 Negativland - “Perfect scrambled eggs”
02 Laso Halo - “Stanley”
03 Spacklequeen - “Eggs eggs, arms legs”
04 Wobbly - “Do not milk or touch me”
05 Invisibl Skratch Piklz - “Invasion of the octopus people”
06 Evolution Control Committee - “Yakaroni and cheese”
07 The Tape-beatles - “Number one cheese spread”
08 People Like Us - “Caciocavallo”
09 People Like Us - “Sardines”
10 Mag Wheels - “capt. outside/I know you Peanut butter Jelly”
11 Peanut Butter Wolf - “The chronicles (I will always love h.e.r.)”
12 Negativland - “A nickel per fish sandwich”
13 The Tape-beatles - “The human machine”
14 The Tape-beatles - “Byways of ghostland”

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Saturday, October 10, 2009



ATOM is Connecticut's Matt Inconiglios. He's an artist, designer and DJ whose mashups have been featured on many a Christmas themed Bastard Pop compilation, as well as the recent Muppet Mashups release. There are over 50 MP3s available at his website HERE.

As a graphic designer (working with everyone from Philips Electronics, to Timex and Volvo), he's created logos, corporate identities and design for apparel (check out fusionTHINK). He spins regularly at places such as Barcelona SoNo, in Conneticut, and runs his own record label, specializing in House music. Check out Cotopaxi Music HERE.

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

*Name: ATOM

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: ATOM aka Precious Roy aka Matt Inconiglios.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yup - see the first two questions above.

*Members: My full name is Matthew Adam Inconiglios.

*Founding Members: Just me, and the voices in my head.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital deconstructions.

*Is there a story behind your name? The story behind "ATOM" is this... way back since I was a little kid, I used to draw pictures of techy things like jets and cars, etc. I figured my projects should have a name of some kind. While thinking of names, I thought my middle name, Adam, might work. It didn't look techy though. But then I realized when I said "Adam" it kinda sounded like "atom"... and there you have it.

*Location: Stamford, CT... about 40 min. outside of NYC, USA.

*Original Location: New York

*What is your creative/artistic background: Artist: sonic & visual. DJ/music self-taught. Graphics via Paier College of Art.

*History: About 10+ years now.

*Born: Mineola, NY. My birthdate is 04MAY72.

*Motivations: Because I hear wiggly bouncey sounds and I need to get them out of me.

*Philosophy: Make something interesting and have fun.

*How would you like to be remembered: An impatient perfectionist, with a penchant for all things fun & odd.

*Web address:

Episode 241, Some Assembly Required

Episode 241, Some Assembly Required

01 ATOM – “Pinball Number Count (ATOM's Math Problem Mix)”
02 Wake Up and Listen - “Ray of light”
03 DJ Tonk – “118th Hustle”
04 Buchanan & Goodman – “Buchanan & Goodman On Trial”
05 Jason Forrest – “Under Covers”
06 The Evolution Control Committee – “Darwin at Fifteen”
07 Go Home Productions – “Return Of The Weather Episode”
08 Negativland – “You Must Respect Copyright”
09 Ruckus Roboticus – “How To Handle Grownups”
10 John Cage – “Radio Music”
11 The Bran Flakes – “I Have A Friend”
12 Pedro Rebelo - “...Just Cartoon Music”
13 Realistic – “Music In The Round”
14 The National Cynical Network - “Snapshot in Time”
15 Norwegian Recycling - “Radioghost”

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009

No new Q&A this week - although I did try (as I always do). Stay tuned for next week's Q&A with Bastard Pop artist Atom, not to mention features on Spacklequeen and Eddie Def...

While I've got your attention, I really feel I must inform you of two very big, recent happenings... The first is that KUOM, the radio station which was the first to allow me to experiment with this programming, has just this past week broadened the scope of its influence by adding two new FM signals to its already influential (and historic) AM signal (the much loved AM 770). You can now access Radio K at any time, day or night, on the radio in Minneapolis at 104.5 FM and 100.7 FM in St. Paul. Congratulations to all the individuals who have worked so very long and hard on this project, over the course of many years...

The other big story recently, is that Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly) has uploaded the third installment of his series, Variations, chronicling the history of the sample in music and audio art. It's been very educational, even entertaining, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been waiting anxiously for each new installment. Check out Variations, Episode Three, HERE.

Tune in again next week for a brand new episode of Some Assembly Required, along with our Q&A with Mashup artist, At0m...

Thank for listening!
Jon Nelson

Episode 151, Some Assembly Required

Episode 151, Some Assembly Required

01 DJ Food – “Hour Glass”
02 Klarc Qent - “Stepson of word jazz”
03 The Tape-beatles – “I Can't Do It”
04 Lenlow – “To the Taxmobile!”
05 Wax Audio – “Bushbeats”
06 Beatrix*JAR - “Meany”
07 The Bran Flakes – “Dreamy Lore”
08 Beatrix*JAR - “Easy Monday Office”
09 team9 – “The doorbell encore”
10 Girl Talk - “Once Again”
11 Jeffrey Sconce - “Lady Charon”
12 People Like Us - “World Of Stereo’
13 DJ BC – “Mother Nature's Rump”
14 Girl Talk – “Hand Clap”
15 Myeck Waters - “Sex 'n drugs 'n elves”
16 The Tape-beatles – “Positive Will”
17 DJ Jay-R – “Michael remembers Cheryl”

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Saturday, September 26, 2009



Sparo is London's Virgil Howe. I'm familiar with his work thanks to the hip hop compilation, "Deep Concentration 4," but he's also a producer, drummer and singer, playing with bands such as The Dirty Feel and The Killer Meters, who have a new album due out this Fall (2009).

Howe also remixed an album of tracks by his father's band (Yes guitarist Steve Howe), in 2003. I was mildly interested, being a fan in highschool, until I read that the remixes were made using the vinyl LPs as source material, as opposed to the original session recordings. In fact, at least one of the tracks actually references over a half dozen different songs by the band, making this more of a Plunderphonic response to Yes, as compared to your typical remix. That adds a whole extra dimension to the project, from my perspective at least. Check out "Yes Remixes" HERE.

As a drummer, he's played with everyone from Bryan Ferry and The Pet Shop Boys, to The Future Sound Of London's super-group Amourphous Androgynous. He's produced a series of singles and mixtapes for independent hip hop label Scenario Records, in the UK, and recently joined the London based trio, Little Barrie. Check them out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Sparo's Virgil Howe...

*Name: Sparo

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I go by my own name, Virgil Howe, now when I produce. I changed from 'Sparo' at the end of last year, 2008, when an artist called himself Sam Sparro and went straight in at number one! I have used the name 'Verge' for certain projects; some remixes, including the Yes Remix album I did, and my piano tunes.

*Members: I also play drums with Little Barrie, Amorphous Androgynous, The Killer Meters and The Dirty Feel.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: See “History” below.

*Is there a story behind your name? The name Sparo was given to me by an alien being from Sirius, the dog star, who contacted me in my early teens whilst I was in the remote countryside. It came as a vision to me in the middle of the night. White light was streaming through the curtains and a voice told me that one day there would be only truth, that there were already efforts being made to ready earth for their arrival and that I would help them by creating music that would inspire interstellar communication. I hope they don't mind me changing it!

*Location: London, England

*Original Location: London, England

*What is your creative/artistic background: I have a live act which incorporates my production with me drumming and guest musicians. I call it a Psychedelic Disco Show as I've moved away from the Hip Hop scene and more toward the electro/disco side of things. I play drums with a backing track running from Ableton Live, my bass man Kerim Gunes and an array of amazing vocalists and Mcs; Jen Howe, Karime Kendra, Dave Sanderson, Foreign Beggars, as well as singing and triggering bleeps and sounds myself.

*History: I started playing pretty young, my parents told me my eyes lit up with excitement the first time I hit the keys of our Moog synthesizer at the age of four, so I suppose it all started there! My dad, guitar legend Steve Howe, always encouraged me to write music. Showing me chords and recording techniques in our home studio, so I've been very lucky. Brought up around the prog rock maddness of Yes, I've never felt restricted by genres, and the idea of having lots of different projects on the go seems totally normal to me as my dad's a complete workaholic. I love all elements of heavy metal, drum and bass, hip hop, electro, 60’s soul, funk, ska, rock n roll and psychedelic music. I started producing around the same time as drumming, the mid-90s, up till then I had been playing the piano. I dabbled with Jungle/Drum and Bass, cutting a few dubplates. But not really knowing how to break into the scene, I moved onto Hip Hop as my friend Barney bought an Emu SP1200 sampler. As we only had that and a small mixing desk and no Mcs, it all became quite experimental sounding. I then got a MPC200xl sampler, which I made the Yes Remix album on, in 2003, mastering the album in Abbey Road from Mini-disks! I now use Ableton Live, still with my MPC2000xl and synths, also doing some recording with a Roland 2480 hard disk recorder.

*Born: I was born and am still based in London.

*Motivations: I'm motivated by loads of things, I obviously want to impress people with my sounds (my wife Jen in particular!), but I also want to make music that I would like to hear. Whether I'm chilling out or travelling and want to hear something mellow, or I'm out in a club and want to hear something banging I want to be able to make that kind of music.

I know what I want to hear and I'm getting closer to knowing how to make it sound like I want. I think that is all you need to start making music, knowing what you want to hear. It’s just getting it to other people who hear what you hear, that’s the hard part!

*How would you like to be remembered:
I think music is the ultimate time capsule, it lives on forever. We still have all the great composers work being played by orchestras all over the world. The revolutionary sounds of the 60’s still sound just as fresh today. So I have no doubt that if you can make something special, it will live on forever.

*Web address:

Episode 240, Some Assembly Required

Episode 240, Some Assembly Required

01 Moby – “Natural Blues”
02 Invisibl Skratch Piklz – “Insect Mind Numb”
03 Voicedude – “Good, Good Thing”
04 Steinski and Mass Media – “The Motorcade Sped On”
05 Oval – “Mediation”
06 The Bran Flakes – “Van Pop”
07 Negativland – “A Most Successful Formula”
08 Bobby Martini – “I Can't Dance To The Policy Of Truth”
09 The Coherent Encoherence – “Burst Appendix”
10 Sparo – “Bullit”
11 Fatboy Slim – “The Rockafeller Skank”
12 Ground Zero – “Rush Capture Of The Revolutionary Opera – 1”
13 Ground Zero – “Rush Capture Of The Revolutionary Opera – 2”
14 DJ EZG – “Rockerfaction”

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aaron Valdez

Aaron Valdez

Aaron Valdez is a film and video artist working with sound and video found on cable television and the web. Since 2007, he's been working with a group calling themselves Wreck & Salvage (pictured, left to right, Adam Quirk, Aaron Valdez, Erik Nelson). The trio of film and video artists are scattered across two different continents, working together to help promote eachother's work of video appropriation. Check out Wreck & Salvage HERE.

Valdez has been involved with a number of film series in Iowa City and Austin, Texas. He's also the co-founder of a great, if short-lived project called Lost In Light. The website is still up and active, making available a wealth of lost movies, shot on 8mm and Super 8 film, by home movie makers for a period of over fifty years. The site offers an archive of home movies and educational films, showcasing everything from anonymous family portraits and vacations, to amateur travelogues and some more creative fare like the home movie about a trip to Mars, shot in 1968 by a group of young kids with a knack for homemade science fiction!

Valdez has worked with everything from found footage, to Super 8 and 16mm film, multiple projection performances and installation, as well as hand-painted film, video installation and video blogging. We're limited to playing the audio from his film collage, but you can check out an example in Episode 150, or visit his website HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Aaron Valdez of Wreck & Salvage...

*Name: Aaron Valdez

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Wreck & Salvage, W&$

*Do you use a pseudonym? No.

*Members: Erik Nelson, Adam Quirk, and Aaron Valdez

*Founding Members: Erik Nelson, Adam Quirk, and Aaron Valdez

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Appropriated video. I generally just tell people video remix though I've noticed in the video world people use remix and mashup more and more to describe editing in general without the implication of the material being appropriated.

*Is there a story behind your name?: (Wreck & Salvage is) a play on the idea of the mediated world as a big U-pull-it junkyard. We all come from working-class backgrounds so we wanted a name that represented that. Owner-operated, fiercely American, get dirty and bang the hell out of it.

*Location: Valdez is in Michigan, Quirk is in Brooklyn, and Nelson is in Vermont/the Netherlands.

*Original Location: Valdez originally from Houston, Quirk from Evansville, Ohio, and Nelson from Pittsburgh.

*What is your creative/artistic background:
We all have creative writing, music, art, and video/film backgrounds in varying degrees that came together when personal episodic web video began around 2004-05. We all found each other through our work on the web. I was producing a video podcast just using re-edited cable television. Nelson & Quirk came up with the idea to use the growing pool of internet video to base new work on. That's where we began.

*History: Collectively as Wreck & Salvage since 2007. Individually, since the turn of the century.

*Born: 1975-79.

*Motivations: We make things because we like to play. I think there's an overall Dadaist sense of humor to everything we do. Pop culture and politics are big motivators, a lot of times it's just finding a single video that inspires you to manipulate it or expand on it.

*Philosophy: Go to work. Practice informs philosophy.

*How would you like to be remembered: Beneath of layer of static on a VHS tv tape between the Home Shopping Network and Highway to Heaven in a $1 box at a garage sale.

*Web address:

Episode 150, Some Assembly Required

Episode 150, Some Assembly Required

01 The Bran Flakes – “Step by step”
02 Beatrix*JAR - “French Binaural”
03 Aggro1 - “I'm in summertime mode”
04 Barbed – “Doubleclick Countryside”
05 Extrakd & Eddie Def – “Brain Confusion”
06 Jeffrey Sconce - “The Insect Year”
07 Aggro1 – “Depeche Mode vs. David Bowie vs. Beatles”
08 Kid Koala - “Roboshuffle”
09 Lecture on Nothing – “(Untitled)”
10 Steev Hise – “Slicing Up Amerika”
11 The Who Boys – “Tales of Townshend & Wilson”
12 The Tape-beatles - “I Can't Help You At All; Sorry”
13 Escape Mechanism – “Coffee Cake”
14 Aaron Valdez - “Big Screen Version”
15 Wax Audio - “Major Combat Operations”
16 Party Ben – “Computer Talk”

Use this address, for your pod software:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

David Morneau

David Morneau

David Morneau is a composer living in New York City. He's composed music for dance, chamber ensemble, nintendo gameboy and piano, winning the 2004 Ruth Friscoe Prize in Composition for his piano piece, The Rhythm Variations.

Morneau holds degrees in music composition from Cornerstone University and Western Michigan University and has been featured in music festivals such as the SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, in Minnesota, Electronic Music Midwest, in Kansas, The UK's Expo Brighton and SoundImageSound, in California.

His 60X365 project was a year-long exercise in daily composition. The result was three hundred and sixty-five works, each clocking in at exactly sixty seconds. For the next phase of the project, Morneau has extended an invitation to composers from all backgrounds and experience levels, to try their hand at reinterpreting these musical miniatures, in whatever style might strike the individual composers fancy. Find out more about 60X365: Re-Imaginings HERE.

Read more about David Morneau below, and at his website, HERE. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with David Morneau...

*Name: David Morneau

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

*Do you use a pseudonym? no

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations:
Since I do all of my composing using a computer, “digital deconstructions” is the way to go. Sometimes the techniques I use will resemble traditional tape manipulation techniques (reversing, cutting & splicing, looping, etc). Other times the techniques will be purely digital and based on algorithms and other computer-specific tricks. It’s important to note too that I also work in forms and styles outside of sample-based music. I compose a lot of music “from scratch” as it were. Many times I am composing for live instruments so there is nothing digital about the music at all. My background is fairly traditional, writing music for soloists and chamber ensembles. It is only relatively recently that I began working with digital music and exploring the possible sounds and ideas found in this realm. No matter what I’m composing though, quotation and allusion are important parts of my language as an artist. I don’t know why. Whenever I can quote, borrow, or otherwise reference a melody or theme or motif from existing music I will. When I began making the move into computer music forms I discovered that sampling was a quick way to get at whatever it is I like about quoting and alluding. Generally (though not always) I like to take one or two small kernels and explore them thoroughly rather than trying to cram as many different ideas into a single piece as I can. On the continuum between John Oswald and Girl Talk, I’m definitely closer to Oswald’s end of things.

*Another genre descriptor: I find myself using the word appropriation more than others. I think it’s because I like the conscious act of taking, the deliberateness, that it implies.

*Location: Originally from upstate New York. I’ve lived a bunch of different places, including the Midwest for 15 years. Now I’m living in New York City (Queens specifically).

*What is your creative/artistic background: I began composing in high school for a project with the Drama Club. After the first public performance of my music I was hooked and wanted to keep composing. I went to college and then graduate school to study composition. For a long time I had little or no interest in electronic and computer music. I was writing a lot of music for piano and various chamber ensembles. I played in a brass quintet for a while. We would travel to different churches to play music in their services. I arranged a fair bit of our music and loved to work in references to other pieces—particularly to things that probably weren’t all that appropriate for a church service. A confluence of events in graduate school at The Ohio State University piqued my interest in computer music. One of these was a series of collaborations with choreographers in the Dance Department who wanted original music for the MFA projects. This really pushed me into exploring digital music techniques of all kinds. One project in particular (Lifedance) was all about influential events and ideas, so I used it as a chance to work with appropriation (sampling music that was influential to me). I was just discovering mash-up and John Oswald and Negativland and had been looking to try my hand at these ideas. I ended up composing a 30 minute symphony of sampled music. After that, appropriation became another tool in my bag so to speak. The other major project that allowed me to work out some ideas about appropriation music was a podcast I did called 60x365. Every day for a year I composed a new one-minute piece and posted it online. One of my goals was to try out many different ideas and techniques as I went. Needless to say there are a lot of sample based pieces in that set. Some are blatant pop-music assemblages. Others are subtle beat samples. And still others are probably closer to musique concrete than anything else.

*History: I have been composing for almost 20 years.

*Born: I was born in 1975 in Oswego, New York.

*Motivations: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s fun. It helps me relate to the world around me. It helps me understand things about myself. I know it’s a cliché, but I compose because I don’t know how to do anything else.

*Philosophy: I’m fond of saying that the two core values in my work are eclecticism and collaboration. Neither of these needs much explanation. I like many different kinds of music and want to work with them all. I collaborate because working with others gives me ideas and pushes me in ways I don’t get from working alone. In the context of a conversation about sample-based music I should probably talk specifically about my philosophy for appropriation. Like many who create this kind of music I believe that the reworking of other’s ideas is essential to the growth and advancement of culture. Since a recorded sound can be viewed as the digital manifestation of someone’s idea, sampling that digital information can be the first step to transforming it into something new. The problem, of course, is that we live in a world of lawyers and money so using somebody else’s work in this manner is often a no go (if you want to be 100% legal). Like virtually everyone else featured on this program I’ve decided to appropriate anyway. I know that it’s illegal, but I don’t care. Free exchange of culture is just too important. Composing becomes an act of protest, which I’m okay with.

*How would you like to be remembered: It would be enough just to be remembered. Although if I can ask for more, I’d like to be remembered as someone who created interesting and exciting music and who was a cool guy to hang out with.

*Web address: