Frenchbloke discusses Improv free jazz: Interview Pt 1
After the interviews with Soundhog (here and here), I thought I’d get the thoughts of other key GYBO mash up players. And another original bootlegger, Frenchbloke (Stuart McLean), who was with Soundhog in the late lamented (by me at least) Tauchseider.
1. How the devil are you? And what’s the weather like in Wigtown?
>currently it’s cold but sunny. It’s not raining for a change.
2. How did you get involved in music?
I was given a Casio VL-Tone for Christmas in 1981. I was a natural at improv free jazz. An Atonal auteur. Then I worked out the notes to Dare! by The Human League. Then Computerworld by Kraftwerk and everything by Depeche Mode. I was in a synth pop band in 86/87 ish. It was awful but I did get to met the brothers Paul & Robert Marshall (who went to the same secondary school as me) who had (and still have) a synth collection that would make a grown man sob quietly. After that I was in the legendary Three Daughters – there were two of us. lo-fi sampling, noise with shopping trollys, road signs and all manner of metal percussion. We weren’t that good. Decided to study Music Technology & Electronics (with a bit of Music Industry Management thrown in) for three years. The next bits will be answered in the next bits below.
3. I know you’re not very keen on mash-ups these days. But how did you get involved in doing them?
It started when I was doing the (don’t laugh) plunderphonic beat poetry with Innes from Cnut. We performed at National Poetry Day a few times and Optimo twice. Basically Innes would perform things by Ginsberg and specially written, not-very-serious poetry about Volvos all set to a backing track made on Acid Pro 1. It was very silly and a great laugh to mix Thelonius Monk with Beck and the Vengaboys. I used to do the Optimo website and was asked to generate some traffic, So I stuck Britney singing along to a Mount Florida track which started life somewhere after the Vengaboys but before Miles Davis.
4. What role, if any, did Boomselection or GYBO (in any of its various guises) play?
It filled a gap. Boomslection was a noticeboard – people went there to see what tracks were uploaded by the_dr
GYBO was where they talked about them.
5. These days there’s all sorts of software but what did you use back then? I assume it wasn’t scissors and tape?
The first lot were done using Acid Pro 1. No mp3 support, no beat-matching. And SoundForge 4 to cut tracks up into looped sections. Then Acid 2, then beat-matching and mp3 support came in the shape of Acid 3.
6. Are there any bootlegs of yours that you think have withstood the test of time (don’t say, none)?
very very few I would say. Most are of their time and deserve to stay there. The one with Yazoo and Vitalic is probably the easiest on the ears now.
Part 2 of the interview tomorrow.