‘Electro Blues For Bukka White’ sparked an interest in me for blues recordings from the 30’s and 40’s. How did you come to use ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ and where could one find recordings of White ‘telling stories’ as he does at the end of the track?
My publisher at the time (Sonet) released a set of CD’s called ‘The Legacy Of The Blues’ which is where I found Bukka White. If you scout around you can find his recordings on other sampler CD’s.
I was wondering how you made the ‘synthetic’ speech thing in ‘The Defector’? Is it a specific sampler option / feature or have you created the sound using a lot of different tools?
During the mix, we put the original speech sample through a vocoder / harmoniser to create the ‘synthetic’ sound.
I wonder if you got any inspiration from ‘World In My Eyes’ when you recorded ‘Faith Healer’ – the bass part in particular?
There are similarities but that’s my style. Same snare sound as well.
I noticed in ‘The Defector’ that there’s a sound which sounds like a Kraftwerk sound. I guess you did that on purpose as a kind of tribute to them?
The whole track is meant as a homage to Kraftwerk.
I finally put my hand on the ‘Bloodline’ CD (it was a pain in the arse to find it here, in France). I noticed a funny thing on the disc itself: below the title ‘Recoil’ it reads ‘Faith Healer’ and not ‘Bloodline’. Is this a misprint by the French label or were all the CD’s printed like that? Seems a bit strange to me.
It must be a French thing since I haven’t noticed that before – these things happen more often than you’d expect, unfortunately.
How did you create that excellent throbbing base sound on the intro to ‘Faith Healer’? Which synth is it from – it sounds awesome!
I think it was a combination of Mini-moog and my Obei rack.
I heard somewhere that the sample at the beginning of ‘Faith Healer’ was some Elvis, all sliced and diced up – any truth to it?
No truth in this but now you mention it, it does sound like the king (ah-ha). It’s actually a man speaking in tongues, apparently.
I know you are a fan of reversing sounds so who is the little girl in ‘Bloodline’ (same girl as in NE’s ‘Sugarsweet’?) and was that a nursery rhyme backwards?
Yes, that’s Jeri McCarthy (Doug’s daughter) singing ‘Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf’.
On ‘Curse’, are Moby’s vocals pitched down?
Yes, well spotted – by about 2 semitones. And to pre-empt your next question, because I preferred them that way.
What digital synth do you use most often and where did you get that sample of those evil strings that you use in songs like ‘Edge To Life’?
The only digital synth I’ve been using recently, is the Korg Pro 1X.
What did you use to get the sound of the wailing voices in the background of the track ‘Bloodline’?
The sound was a combination of many tracks of Toni Halliday ad-libbing, sections of which were then sampled, manipulated and re-structured, before being placed back into the track.
What role did Diamanda Galas play on the album ‘Bloodline’?
I sampled her reciting the Lords Prayer and used it in one of the link passages between two tracks. She gave her permission to use the sample.
I really love the track ‘Freeze’. I was just wondering what, if anything, inspired it?
I don’t really know where the inspiration for tracks comes from, it’s a sub-conscience thing. It’s very difficult to pinpoint – one minute you’re looking at a blank screen, next minute you’ve got the start of something new.
Were you aware of some criticism you received in the press for having Toni’s voice too low in the mix on her two tracks on ‘Bloodline’? Was this intentional?
It was intentional to mix Toni’s voice more at the level of another instrument, rather than as a lead vocal. With hindsight however, I do agree that her voice is a bit quiet in places.
I have the vinyl of the ‘Faith Healer’ single which has a few good mixes, the best of which I think is the L.F.O. mix. In this piece, there is an ‘atmospheric’ sound produced by myself on some very old analog synth. Is it true or is it a sampled sound?
I don’t really understand your question – I had nothing to do with the LFO mix.
Why didn’t ‘Edge to Life’ come out as a second single from the ‘Bloodline’ album?
By that time, I had already moved off into another DM project so I didn’t have the time to promote it.
What made you want to record the Bukka White song and how did you clean up his vocal recordings to make them sound as if they had just been recorded, i.e. no hiss?
The original Bukka recording is virtually acapella – he is actually singing to an acoustic guitar but the guitar is just about inaudible. It therefore seemed to be a very interesting source of material to try and do something unusual with. I also loved the sound of his voice – particularly when he talks in his own unique language / babble. Certain lines were sampled, re-structured and then put filtered to eliminate most of the hiss.
Do you feel that ‘Bloodline’ is too commercial for your tastes now, compared to ‘UM’?
The two albums simply reflect my tastes at the time they were made. I obviously wouldn’t want to make a similar album to ‘Bloodline’ now but there are some good things about it and some which, with hindsight, could have been better. I don’t have a problem with the fact that it’s much more up-tempo and electronic. I’d like to think that the next album I make will be different from ‘Bloodline’ and ‘Unsound Methods’.
Do the two link pieces on ‘Bloodline’ have names?
I’ve been seeing white-label promo-only releases of the ‘Faith Healer’ single more and more lately. Any idea what that’s about?
None at all.
I read somewhere that ‘Edge To Life’ was planned as the next single from ‘Bloodline.’ Is this true and if so, were there ever any remixes done?
Yes, it was planned for release but for some reason this never materialised. We didn’t get as far as doing remixes.
Was ‘Bloodline’ recorded at your old home studio? What was it like compared to the Thin Line?
Yes, it was recorded at my house in London. It was just a small back room with too little space and too much equipment. It wasn’t anywhere near being in the same league as what I’m lucky enough to have now.