Nick Lewis 20/01/2010
In the last of our series of interviews with Tartargua label acts. Nick Lewis talks to electronic/acoustica artist and ace remixer Brassica whose 2008 'Microvictories' album sparked our interest.
Most of Microvictories sits with the more playful side of electronica - Minotaur Shock, Múm, that sort of thing: Mull (Until The Mind Beings to Blister) is very dark, how did that happen?
Microvictories is loosely based on my experience of growing up. I used a sequence of hazy past memories as a guide when writing each piece. I suppose anyone who writes music does similar thing but I was incredibly strict in its accuracy when it came to the sequence of events. Of course nobody knows the difference but I'm useless at making decisions unless I create a frame of some kind. Anyway, 'Mull..' is dark because dark events occurred at that point.
How did you get involved in Tartaruga? What does the label mean to you?
I studied for a degree and worked several different 9-5 jobs with Oli of Bleeding Heart Narrative. I don't remember exactly how but Oli mentioned his cousin Max was setting up a label and would I be interested in releasing something. Up until that point, I'd only felt comfortable taking the blame for music with someone else. It was a great opportunity to think of a name and start getting over this as there are so many benefits to producing music by yourself. I'll be forever grateful to Max and Oli for prompting this to happen.
I think there is probably more care, attention and depth-of-ideas gone into the few Tartaruga releases than most highly established record label's entire back catalogue. I'm not sure I can fully appreciate what Tartaruga means. I think its depth will keep people re-evaluating and investigating for many years to come.
Your music is easily the most electronic on Tartaruga - let's get geeky; what kind of equipment do you use?
All kinds of stuff really. Microvictories was made during a transition period in my approach. I used to use nothing but recorded sounds and various DSP and basic audio sequencing. I was beginning to lose the feeling I was a musician and wanted some of that great feeling back I used to get when I was a bass player. Synthesizers seemed to be the perfect balance although it took me a long time to get over how cliché they can sound. When I bought my first fully analogue synth I started actually enjoying the clichés. Suddenly a bridge was built between my more experimental sound design ideas and some of the music I love, such as Pink Floyd.
What is it that makes a man want to make strange noises?
Depends on the man. Some want to explore the intangible, some want to make money, some want to find peace, some want to offend, some enjoy making sounds like their favourite records, some want to extend the palette of ancient sounds, some want to get laid. For most its probably a mixture of these things.
Do you record in a home studio?
Yes, when I have a home that is. My current set-up is built around the edge of my bed on the floor.
Who are your favourite artists?
I'm not a big fan of idolising people. I do go through small stages of fascination with certain people though. I'm currently quite interested in Arthur Brown.
Microvictories was released over a year ago. When's there going to be another one?
I have a few 12" releases. Check labels Cyber Dance, Nocturnes, Dissident. I've been offered a recording contract with quite a nice label but I shouldn't speak too soon in case nothing comes of it. I've also been approached by a big electrical brand to use one of my pieces for an advertisement. Again, I will divulge once the money is in my bank account.
Standby for a final feature on the mighty fine Tartargua Records including a interview with the imprint's founder.