Kata Rokkar Kuestionnaire 29th April 2009
Amorphous Androgynous is another name used by the members of the dance duo, The Future Sound of London, originally used to release experimental techno material on the album Tales of Ephidrina, which was released between Accelerator and Lifeforms. More recently they have used the name for a change in musical direction away from the pure electronica sound of FSoL to the use of real instruments and a softer more psychedelic electronic tone for albums like The Isness and Alice In Ultraland. This past February, Amorphous Androgynous released a double disc set entitled A Monstrous Pyschedelic Bubble, which is filled with atmospheric and super psychodelic music guaranteed to stimulate your senses and take your brain to places it’s never been before. The whole thing has been compiled by the band and has been praised by the likes of Noel Gallagher (Oasis). Highlights include Pop Levi’s "Blue Honey", Donovan’s "Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)", The Amorphous Androgynous’ "Light Beyond Sound", Miles Davis’ "Rated X", Tim Buckley’s "I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain", Devendra Banhart’s "Lazy Butterfly and many more.
Garry Cobain (sometimes styled as Gaz Cobain) was kind enough to take some time to answer this week’s Kuestionnaire. This is probably one of the most entertaining and best Kuestionnaires so far.
Interviewer: 1. Of all the bands/artists in your CD/record collection, which one is your most cherished?
Gaz Cobain: We try not to cherish anything... we like to remain healthily disrespectful of the whole history of music, favouring no-one. This way we can simply find what is 'working' for us, right now... revelatory, unexpected. This is the true joy of the discovery of music. We don’t want to be ‘experts’, we like being open-minded seekers. Also most truly genre defying music only happens sporadically... therefore the tracks we are choosing for A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble are one-off tracks on albums. In other words we don’t necessarily like the whole album or the artist over his or her whole career. We live in a truly DJ culture now... pick and mix...find the moments of genius, discard the rest.
Interviewer: 2. What have you been listening to lately?
Gaz Cobain: Hours and hours of potential music for Monstrous Psych Bubble Vol. 2... We’re getting sent a lot of music from new bands now as well so there is a lot of listening to do.
40 years of cosmic space music to catch up on... at the moment some pagan folk music and some Yugoslavian prog-rock... nice! Right at the moment like today... some Focus and some Melanie! 2 albums I bought this weekend in Glastonbury village!
Interviewer: 3. What’s your favorite local band?
Gaz Cobain: What does local mean these days... we’re global maaaan! I have psychedelic stuff sent from Germany alongside folk from Iceland but... I’m in France at the moment so local? Not very much here to be honest... although I like the accordian... if you mean UK... well quite a good few bands at the moment... but they don’t play in my local pub cos I don’t go to a local pub... hmm... confused by ‘local’ in a truly global time...
Interviewer: 4. What was the last show you attended?
Gaz Cobain: My own... we performed an FSOL concert via ISDN on Friday. Since then I hung out in Glastonbury for the weekend and listened to a harp player while I ate brown rice... so technically that would be the last show!!
Interviewer: 5. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to?
Gaz Cobain: Ananda Shankar in the 90s coming to the Uk for the first time having made his defining records in the 70s... that was triumphant and very moving and sadly just before his untimely death several years later. That was a pivotal moment plus Brian Wilson’s ‘SMiLE’.
Interviewer: 6. What show are you looking forward to?
Gaz Cobain: A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble 7 hour extravaganza at the Green Man Festival this July. We are curating 7 hours of bands and DJs! Should be kaleidoscopic to say the least!! Oasis at Wembley cos we’re Djing at the after show party!! Noel Gallagher is a huge fan of our MPB album and mixes and we’ve just done a Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble 22 minute remix of the Oasis new single "Falling Down" so it’ll be great to meet him and spin the tunes at his party...
Interviewer: 7. What musician would you like to hang out/work with for a day?
Gaz Cobain: Many actually... John McLaughlin (guitarist with Mahavishnu Orchestra), Hariprasad Chaurasia (Indian flautist), Betty Davis on vocals, Bob James on keyboards and Devendra Banhart.
Interviewer: 8. What four albums you would bring to a deserted island?
Gaz Cobain: MPB Vol 1/ Vol2 or any of our Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble mixes (available from fsoldigital.com download only)... cos they represent our philosophy of "anything and everything goes as long as it blows in the juxtapose"... albums normally bore us after a while apart from maybe classical music like Chopin/Debussy or flute ragas from India. On a desert island we would probably use it as an opportunity for absolute silence something we really crave. Yes we love music this is true... but maybe our new music on the desert island would be the tide and the air rustling through the trees and the moon turning to sun. All music would be annoying... we’d probably make our own instruments from trees and vines anyway and a sitar from a pumpkin!!
Interviewer: 9. Would you call yourself a music geek?
Gaz Cobain: I try not to be for the reasons given above. Purely by searching music and then buying it on vinyl though means that inevitably you do become a little ‘geeky’ about it, proud even. When I get like that Brian normally slaps me cos it gets in the way of just being objective and not caring beyond simply if its 'brilliant' or not! Does it move my heart and soul or not!! Simple... there is nothing else... hmm... let me see... who's on drums on this album?? ha ha... hmm... who's the producer and what year was it?? STOP IT...never be an expert!!
Interviewer: 10. Any favorite music-related videos/DVDs you own?
Gaz Cobain: Love all rockumentary stuff and fantastical music stuff really... from DIG to La Planete Sauvage to Yellow Submarine to Black and Blue the Stones documentary film.
Interviewer: 11. What’s the last book you read?
Gaz Cobain: Reading about 10 simultaneously... its not that I have attention deficit disorder I like it this way. One of them will become my priority soon. At the moment I have everything from a book called Weird Science and Bizarre Beliefs to Folk Medicine to Swindled (the dark history of the food cheats). You can see where I’m coming from!!
Interviewer: 12. Do you prefer live performances or recording in the studio?
Gaz Cobain: I love being at home but then live communion is very important so I value both. They are both meaningless without the other. I’m more comfortable in the studio though I suppose if you were to push.
Interviewer: 13. Any embarrassing moments on stage you’d like to share.
Gaz Cobain: Yes... we use some computer backing on certain tracks as Amorphous Androgynous which is a combination of the studio meeting some of the truly great musicians we have been honoured to collaborate with. On one occasion there was a problem with our monitoring on stage... we couldn’t hear the computer... we were playing the best jam we’d ever done but when we stopped triumphantly anticipating audience hysteria we heard the computer backing coming from the speakers that the audience were listening to (at a distance from the stage). To our horror we’d been playing to the wrong backing track completely out of time!!
Interviewer: 14. Any favorite tour locations?
Gaz Cobain: Anywhere where the people are friendly and open minded and open hearted. Yes if there happens to be a place of outstanding natural beauty nearby for after the show that would be a bonus. We like the diversity so we take good with bad, ugly with beauty, they give each other meaning. Its a great opportunity to see the world... our preferences are India/San Francisco and we’ve been very fortunate to have visited Russia on many occasions.
Interviewer: 15. Lastly, what have you done today?
Gaz Cobain: Fed the baby, changed the babies nappy and answered these questions, talked about music on the phone with friends and colleagues.
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