Unknown to Known _ Interview with Casual Violence
There seems to be an outstanding amount of quality techno coming out of the UK at the moment, how do you see the UK sound differing to other countries that have well established techno scenes such as Germany, especially Berlin?
Man, there are so many high quality techno artists in the UK right now. I think the difference is that raw edge and energy. That’s almost always been a running theme in music from over here. I don’t want to talk too much on the subjects of class and politics but I believe that raw, almost rebellious streak that runs through the UK sound is borne out of society and the class system we have here. It’s a very working class sound, it’s kind of anti-establishment, it’s ant-everything. It’s sort of like punk done in a more measured way. There was kind of a lull in anger between the 70’s/80’s and now. The nineties and early “noughties” seemed placid in a way and everybody became emotionally unresponsive and comfortably numb. But now people are waking up and getting pissed off again perhaps. Anarchy in the UK and all that.
It’s always raining too! That tends to make most people miserable I find.
Ahaha, same in Ireland, Atlantis in the making and all that! Yeah, well said. Rebellious energy is right! A lot of people are really becoming more and more disfranchised with our current systems of government. Do you think this may lead to a more push for things to head back underground? If so, can you any evidence of this progression so far?
Definitely, I think people have only just copped on that they get lied to on a daily basis and are mostly there to keep the governing body in swine skin purses and silk stockings or whatever. Their reward for such subservience is big TV’s and a host of shit to watch on them. The majority only just seem to have realised that the dream being sold to them is hollow and of no substance. However, these days, anarchy UK style is usually done through art and underground movements rather than good old fashioned overthrowing of governments and beheading of kings. We may be pissed off at these luxuries we are given as a panacea to free thinking, yet we are far too accustomed to them to rock the boat too much. Being able to write raw “fuck you” style music can be done from the comfort of one’s own home if you know what I mean. We even managed to be convinced that the occupy movement was a bunch of trouble causing hippies who should be ridiculed, and that the rioters were just a bunch of kids who wanted to thieve from their local sports goods outlet. So yes, one could theorise that these reactions to the state of things get pushed underground, where they bubble and simmer away until they eventually make an impression on society.
The thing is, that once underground attempt at rebellion by way of art, music or whatever, eventually becomes diluted, and then made palatable to a point in which it is then used once more to pacify. And the cycle begins again.
Anyways… that’s surly enough theorising and politics from me for one day, that’s good music writing energy being used up right there.
Before you know it I will be blaming the government for the rain.
What has been your favourite gig to play to date and why?
Thats hard for me to say. Theres so many factors involved in what can make a good or bad gig. Sometimes the club and the atmosphere could be amazing, but then perhaps the sound system or the monitoring might be a nightmare. Or maybe I play a memorable set but there is nobody there to create an atmosphere or whatever. There has been times where everything has been perfect yet the promoters have been asses. There really are many variables.
The parties Ive played for Hemlock/TrusT are some of my favourites simply because the people involved are the best kind of people you could imagine. Its taking a trip to some great City with people that I love and us playing some great music, thats pretty hard to beat. I played a party for Geometrika FM and Scrapyard at Club Specka in Madrid last year and that was very special. The guys who hosted the party were just so lovely and looked after us so much. My partner who was something like eight months pregnant at the time came to the club and people were just so caring and lovely to her. These are the kind of things that make gigs stand out for me I guess – good people.
I’ve had some amazing musical experiences at Detatched in Leeds (a night that no longer exist sadly). That place has had the most significant impact on me as far as club nights go. The music there was consistently challenging and the crowd would let me play what I wanted. Leeds techno scene pretty much adopted me. Sometimes the place would be packed out with the most up for it crowd, and then some nights would be more intimate. I spent many of the earlier Detatched nights with my head down, lost in awesome music. It also helps that I’ve met the greatest of friends there.
So we’re nearing the end of the interview now. What have you got coming up in terms of releases/ remixes/ new albums and future gigs?
I just had a real nice extended break over December and January, so I’m just getting back in the studio again and taking on bookings for 2013. First booking of the year is in Madrid for Geometrika FM and Scrapyard, which is in a couple of weeks, on the 15th of Feb. I’m heading over to Portugal with TrusT sometime soon and just waiting for the date on that one. Then I’ve recently been asked to possibly head over to Belfast around March or April. I’m also going to be involved in a new night starting in Manchester around March. We have some pretty exciting guests lined up and excellent residents.
That’s going to be great and I’m really looking forward to being a part of something in my own City.
Production-wise, I’m still working on the album. I don’t really have a release date for that anymore. I’m just going with the flow. There’s an extended EP to finish also and both will be released on my own forthcoming label Maieutics.
I will be writing a new EP for Singularity that I’ve been meaning to do for some time now. There’s quite a few remixes to work on, including something I’m going to be doing with Lapse (who are awesome). Then I’m working on a bunch of collaborations and even a couple of anonymous projects. There’s a few interesting vinyl releases happening too. One is for The Unknown Precept, who are publishing some kind of book / zine along with a double vinyl. That’s out in a month or so.
Then I’m working on an EP for the excellent Irish (Drone and Noise) label Trensmat – I’m pretty excited to get the opportunity to write something a little different for them. The EP will still be techno/rhythmic based, but I do have a little more freedom than I usually would for vinyl in this instance. That’s out when it’s ready basically.
I also have a couple of podcasts that I’ve promised to people, so yeah, I’d best get my head down and get to work I guess.
Get to it Steve, get to it, haha. Thanks again for doing the interview, I thoroughly enjoyed it.