It’s a curse: Frenchbloke interview Pt 2
The second part of the interview with bootlegger (mash up) Frenchbloke. We discuss his conceptual progeny, broadcasting to a forest and the role of his siblings.
Sonof, (Graeme) sent me some tracks to upload to the Optimo site. He didn’t have a name to go under so Son Of Frenchbloke stuck. We recently had our 10th anniversary, well, 2 years ago playing in Oxford. It was great. Seed Records put out our 10th Anniversary double cassette housed in a hollowed book / wood with usb stick package which
sold out. Paid more in postage than was earned from it, but that wasn’t the point.
We played our second London gig at Bastard. We were on after IDC. Which meant we couldn’t leave early. Soundhog came to pick me up that night in a ’59 VW Beetle. Think of the biggest cupboard you’ve ever been in. Now think of over 100 people in that cupboard with you and a pa system that was really far too big for such a small cupboard. It was great.
the desire to make money from them sucked the fun out of it.
Bootlegs were rebranded by the Americans as *shudders* mash-ups. Mostly it’s a case of sticking something popular with something trendy with little or no imagination. It may technically work, but the imagination is what made it enjoyable back then.
The project (The Dark. Outside) is part of a collaboration between Frenchbloke and artists, Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges, who are the first artists in Residence in the Dumfries and Galloway Dark Skies Park. I was asked to come up with a piece of music celebrating the Voyager Space Probes and the Blind Willie Johnson track that is contained on the Golden Record it carries. I had a few other suggestions for radio such as transmitting tweets sent to a specific account converted into Morse Code and broadcast for a specific length of time. Then I had the idea to broadcast peoples music that nobody has ever heard to a forest where possibly nobody will hear it. it’s taken on a life of it’s own as the idea seems to have resonated with a lot of people. If it were a festival, the line-up would make it a very interesting one.
I can’t ever recall a time in my life without music. My brothers and sister all have large record collections, I was introduced to (and subjected to) many genres and artists all throughout my childhood. This continues. I still make music, nobody might ever get to hear it, but it still gets made.
I only do bootlegs in my head these days. I hear something and then the brain fills in the blanks with something that will accompany it. It’s a curse.
If you want something that’s withstood the test of time, here’s a long mix Frenchbloke &Son did for XFM (66 tracks in 30 mins (see here))