Classical Mechanics Q&A


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1. You’re music resides in a world of glitchy electronic experimentation, creating a unique listening experience, what gravitated you towards this sound when producing your music?

I suppose I’m attempting to synthesize all of the apparently disparate elements I’m touched by in music made by others  into what I produce.  The uniqueness you allude to is an honest reflection of my varied experience as a listener.  There's nothing special about it in that every person's preferences are telling.

2. The name Classical Mechanics connotes to traditional classical music with an electronic twist. Do you have any background in classical music? 

As I have aged my appreciation of music has deepened.  I've always listened to all kinds of music but felt torn in my youth by attempting to maintain strong feelings between seemingly opposing styles.  I was genuinely disturbed by the scale of the range of my affinities, especially as I grew up in an era where one's identity with music was a tribal thing. Now I'm free of these constraints its all the same - its all just music.  To answer the question I have studied music theory formally & informally and will always continue to.

3. You’re debut EP on 20/20 Vision (Count Basis) features an outstanding remix from Simian Mobile Disco’s Jas Shaw, how did this come about and was there an existing relationship there?  

I wanted to improve my skills in mixing so originally approached Jas as a candidate for assistant mix engineer for SMD.  I sent him early versions of the tracks that are on the EP and he was very enthusiastic about them. Jas was an enormous help and, as anyone who knows him will tell you, is totally 'sound'.  I learned so much from working with him and we have further plans to fuck about with our machines.

4. What’s your process when creating your music and was there any specific inspiration behind Count Basis? 

The name Count Basis was suggested to me by one of my tutors - Phelan Kane.  He was at a presentation on Jazz where the speaker presented a slide containing 'Count Basis' - a mistyped 'Count Basie'. The whole audience found it hysterical and got the giggles!  I was getting heavily into Jazz at the time and wanted to connote a bastardisation of the form and counteract the tendency to take myself too seriously.  As far as creating music I tend to hear something I love and combine it with something else that I love imaginatively and get excited by that hybrid.  I'm also responding to criticisms I have of other people's music - like 'that would have been brilliant if only they'd done such and such' - so I try to do the 'such and such'! 

5. Do you have any plans to create a live performance and if so what will this entail? 

I would love to play live but reproducing the things I've recorded scares the shit out of me.  

6. We’ve been told you’ve recently got yourself a very rare TL Audio M4 Valve Mixer mixing desk. Can you tell us more about this? 

I used to have a Raindirk analogue console which was a Rolls Royce of a desk but extremely costly to maintain.  I have tried out a number of desks over the last year including the new Trident 68 which was a pleasure to use.  I was extremely fortunate to acquire the M4 in almost new condition which, for a desk that's been out of production for something like 10 years, is rare indeed.  Many Audiophiles are very sniffy about TL Audio but for those of us who don't have money for Neve they are a fantastic option.  The EQ is fantastic and its a real 'valve' sound - deep, warm and wide.

7. Count Basis also see’s you collaborate with groundbreaking artist, BR-LASER, who utilises a custom built analog laser system, creating artwork from frequencies directly inputted from the audio. What inspired this unique collaboration and is there any plans to develop this further? 

I saw the BR LASER show at last year's Superbooth in Berlin.  It was literally one of the most compelling experiences I've ever had of matching music and visuals.  The idea of collaborating with Bernhard makes me dizzy with joy!

8. What new music are you listening to currently? Is there anything you recommend we should keep an eye out for? 

I was at the Barbican last night for Joshua Redman - I can't recommend the album 'Still Dreaming' enough and would exhort anybody to see these guys if you can get a chance.   I really liked 'Mute Heart' by Matt Calvert from the 'Typewritten' album.  The mix below has most of the things I'm interested in right now on it.

9. What’s next for Classical Mechanics as a project? Is there anything in the pipeline you can share?

I make music all the time and have included a demo version of a new track called 'Toise' (pronounced 'toys' - don't ask!) which gives a flavour of the next EP which will be 4 or 5 pieces exploring a recursive approach to composition combining piano material from Jacob Lindhagen and my modular electronics.

10.  Your mix features a selection of classical music alongside experimental electronic tracks, was there any inspiration behind your selections?

Just things I find beautiful and wanted to share.  I love the way that placing these apparently disparate musics together only makes what's special about them even more appreciable.