Too Cool to Die 2009: Amorphous Androgynous Answers the Questions of Doom
We had Gaz Cobain (of Future Sound of London) in to talk about the musical experience that is Amorphous Androgynous, his selections for the astounding album A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding In Your Mind Volume 1 - Cosmic Space Music, and why the band, in its shapeless, genereless form, is a pure vision of music in today's marketing driven music industry. Hit up Gaz's thoughts on music and consciousness in one of the most enlightening and cool interviews of the year.
Interviewer: What are the secret origins of Amorphous Androgynous???
Gaz Cobain: The ancient civilizations and the mystics - Altantis, Lemuria, the arcane knowledge, the pagans, the shams, the covens, the enlightened being, secret societies, gurus, Tantra, yoga, meditation, healing, Naturopathy, and the rediscovery of this lineage from the standpoint of simply growing up subjected to the projection through history and education of a one dimensional universe. This illusion is presently breaking down as we are collectively wake up!
Interviewer: I find it interesting dance acts have been looking back, to go forward - in music, whether it be the reinterpretations of Dam Funk and 80s electro boogie, Zomby, with early 90s rave, and what you are doing?(and others Cherrystones, etc) with 60s and 70s psychedelia. Do you feel looking back, in order to go forward helps the music you are producing? And do you feel it is essential to understand where you are going to helps you to get where you are coming from???
Gaz Cobain We’re not interested in genre... we are shapeless and sexless... Amorphous and Androgynous. Genre is a marketing man and media tool and his killed the revolution of music! Music has always used technology whether it be the microphone or the amp, or the tape recorder, and now the computer! Yes, we use a computer, but it is just an instrument in amongst the songs and the orchestral and the sitars, but we are not looking back—music is timeless. And truly great revolutionary music merely suspends in either until collectively we pull it down for reappraisal. We are simply a few of the seeds entrusted (by ourselves) to filter the past and bring it into the future dimensions (on a deeper level it’s only your watch that tells you the past and the future exist?). If you hear something for the first time, what exists of this past and future we are so obsessive about?
Interviewer: What kind of setting would you suggest for those about to listen to the Amorphous Androgynous???
Gaz Cobain: I like to imagine a commune in nature sitting under an ancient tree with the sun beating down, but then in that setting who needs music, so maybe it’s a holographic memory of nature and freedom from the perspective of someone struggling to live and achieve balance in the unnatural experiment that is THE CITY. It’s largely a morning healing raga for sunrise for seekers wherever they may be! It just so happens city dwellers probably have more need of IT!
Interviewer: You have been steadfast in wanting total freedom and independence, do you feel the internet has freed music???
Gaz Cobain: Freedom? Yes! This is the most important word in the modern day. Are we free? What does freedom mean NOW! AA explores freedom from self from conditioning from society. From any restriction... it’s the continuing search for freedom! Yes!
Internet? Certainly it has freed distribution and ideas Where this freedom is leading to and who or what underpins or WILL control IT is a more interesting question. If it is as random as we like to think it is OR if there is a greater agenda is also an interesting question. On a mundane level - sure - we can undeniably find a huge resource of great music much easier than before. It is no coincidence that that A MONSTROUS PSYCHEDELIC BUBBLE, our compilation has surfaced at this time. We have been broadcasting the MPB ethos for a decade and releasing it properly as an album has until now been impossible in terms of tracking and finding the music, so yes, in lots of respects, yes, FREED... but also will great musical art of scale and grandiose concept be possible in a culture of DADD (Digital Attention Deficit Disorder?) which is the other side of the coin!
Interviewer: The artwork for Amorphous Androgynous is full of surreal, and unnerving imagery. Is their a connection between these scenes and the music???
Gaz Cobain: Not intentionally unnerving. We think a beautiful new visual dimension, exploring and unlocking hidden realms! Ha ha! Merely trying to capture the impossible - a dream of a new conscious explosion of colour - a new realisation of looking at the universe. Maybe unnerving in that (hopefully) it unlocks subconsciously from the three dimensional prison. Is there a connection... sure... it’s all from our fevered minds ... all our videos, art, writing, music, are an essential part of OUR struggle to capture and communicate the above - words, image, the mantra, the yantra, the tantra, whatever - unlock the doors of perception!
Interviewer: I find it interesting, in the dance world, there is no indie snobbery when taking on remix projects and a good tune, is a good tune, whether it is Rub’n'Tug remixing Coldplay and Zero 7, or AA’s almost 22 minute (and very cool) remix of Oasis’ Falling Down. What has been the reactions to this project???
Gaz Cobain: You must remember we AREN’T ensconced in any dance scene. We never were and never will be. Yes. Nor are we indie... we are Amorphous and Androgynous... genreless... shapeless. We have filtered and loved simply great music through our lives and yes, we might use a computer from time to time (amidst the orchestras, guitars and sitars!) but using a computer hardly classifies something as dance does it? Funny enough it seems to - is a film ‘dance’ because it uses special effects or everything on the ‘internet’ dance because it involves technology? Of course NOT! This, we feel is a very interesting juncture for music. Dance hegemony has ended (we predicted it would in 1997! (and we are at a crossroads for the song revolutionised with technology, and of course, the revolutionary message. It seems to us, that all our great music had innovation in the recording somewhere... the Beatles at Abbey Road for example why did indie bands become so opposed to technology? (probably because technology has been appropriated by dance music!). Anyways, these separatist days are over and we have tried to not get too embroiled in it’s limiting mindset. The day we spent 8 hours collaging a guitar solo in 1997, we knew were onto something because indie bands wouldn’t touch the computer to that level and dance bands certainly wouldn’t touch the guitar (1997 was a kind of nadir for music and open mindedness and was the beginning of a new realm for us!). We have no such limitation - we explore absurdism and freedom!
Interviewer: Would you say that your music is influenced by cinema? And if so, what movies???
Gaz Cobain: We are influenced by all the senses and all potential of the hidden senses too.
We want to see the unseeable... the psychic... life is the greatest film without the passivity. We have made life painful though which is why the film and the story have become so preferable sometimes. We want to make life the movie again! "A sell out block busting real life show"
But yeah I guess and on the physical level yes films have gone through the eyeballs and been absorbed emotionally and any film that explores reality and consciousness and /or is absurd...
Earth Girls are Easy to Les Valseuses (with Gerard Depadieau in the 70s!)... to Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush.
La Planete Sauvage to documentary and mysticism etc...love the new crop of investigative journalism movies that expose corporate/ political agendas too!!
Interviewer: What is the greatest secret of AA???
Gaz Cobain: There are a couple of big looming secrets and not surprisingly (perhaps) we can’t speak about them! Generally though we pride ourselves on no secrets... you can ask us anything and we’ll reply... the opposite of the control the question culture of celebdom that we have seen in our media for the last decade. The "lets stage an interview with Pre- Madonna and she controls the questions school of NONtertainment!" The greatest secret... we contradict ourselves... you can’t ask that!!! We love contradictions!! Its part of the fun seeing it unfold naturally don’t you think?? OK... OK... our next album is our greatest secret... shhhh!
Interviewer: What is the greatest misconception of AA???
Gaz Cobain: That it is simply FSOL (Future Sound Of London) playing the alter ego game whereas in fact it is FSOL (Brian Dougans and myself Gaz Cobain) producing and conceptualizing a psychedelic cosmic rocktronic supergroup of many great musicians and collaborators. In that way it is very distinct from FSOL plus AA actually play live with (at points) ten or so musicians.
Another one is that it is RETRO (...RETROBUTION more like..) eternal truth is well... eternal and you know like reverberates forever so ignore the past if you wanna stay dumb and prop led on a future rocket to Armageddon! Ha ha!
Interviewer: I first got into AA from Pete Fowler’s Psychedelic Sounds of Monsterism Island, and fell in love with the track you gave him and quickly tracked down all AA material, how did your connection with Monsterism Island come about?
Gaz Cobain: We started work on a radio/TV concept in 1997 called ‘the Mello Hippo Disco Show’, a kind of a psychedelic space jamboree of music, mysticism and mischief with a character flying around the cosmos with an enlightened hippo meeting ideas and people and filtering music. Pete was brought in to illustrate the ideas we had. Unfortunately the company that was producing it folded and so the idea is now in incubation but we have kept in touch with Pete and continue to resonate with him on many levels!!
Interviewer: The reaction to A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind: Volume 1, has been overwhelmingly positive, have you heard any feedback from the participants involved???
Gaz Cobain: That’s because its an overwhelmingly positive project put together for the good of mankind!! It has taken 2 years to put together and release Vol 1 - Cosmic Space Music such is the bureauocracy of the music industry in accessing its vaults.
Yes actually communing with musicians is what has made the project so expansive! Forefathers and foremothers tracing through a spirit to the present has really reconnected us back to a simple fundamental realization about music again!! From Hawkwind to Noel Gallagher to Magic Carpet to Donovan to finding great new music without caring of its profile (how successful it is or isn’t!) and simply enthusing about music has given us a much needed expansion pill away from the corporate demographers that are ruining the industry and has brought us to a really uplifting healthy place. Most musicians welcome and recognize this quality in what we’ve been attempting... the idea that seemingly great music can be interrelated irrespective of genre to something more akin to soul OR spirit isn’t a difficult concept for open creative beings and whatever you think about musicians generally at least they are CONSTRUCTING something not destroying anything! We have tried to simply collect and show a lineage through 40 years of revolutionary music. We took our start as 1967 cos quite simply that;s when the sonic revolution began (although some visionaries had already predicated it in part earlier!). Most of the musicians are delighted to be involved in something which celebrates open mindedness to music... .cos funny enough most musicians hate needless genrification... it seems cosmic space music or psychedelic is the new liberation (AGAIN?!)
Interviewer: What contemporary artists would you recommend we pay attention to?
Gaz Cobain: Rocking Horse People, Shogun Kinotichi, Yellow Moon Band, Cranium Pie, Alisha Sufit, Turzi. But stop! Stop!! That’s the point I’m not playing your game!! Contemporary?? Pray what means this... if you’ve never heard it before and it blows your socks and soul away and flips you from your axis then its contemporary and this is part of the ethos of the Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble.
Past future present... meaningless... timeless... what revolutionizes NOW... it is a mixture of the present and the wisdom learned in the past. A lot of that stuff is incredibly relevant TODAY... we are losing so much knowledge in the present... whether it be about the universe, nature or wisdom of the body... included in this I include the music of the past. What we are told to listen to from the past is equally as insignificant... what about the unreleased albums form the past that were too way out even for 1967? Forget that past and you have no future!! You have been warned. Also though be under no illusion this is NOT simply a rehash of the past... only the messages from the past that can revolutionise and which are resonant NOW are being employed!! We have no respect for what history dictates as the treasure... we have no affiliation or agenda... we simply are children enjoying finding... some of it is known... some immensely popular... others it seem are largely unheard in the vast waste bins of time...
Multidimensional love to all!!
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