Monday, 15 February 2016

factor X vs. Family of Noise (1995) C90+


I started writing to Shaun Robert when Carl Glover and myself were doing the Dada X cassette, to which Shaun contributed in some capacity. In 1993 we decided to undertake another collaborative work, something Shaun had done a lot with a number of noise artists, Odal, Mlehst, Sudden Infant - and others. By this point I was recording my own shite as Family of Noise, not because I considered myself a noise artist by any stretch of the imagination, but because I was still obsessed with both the Italian Futurists and the first Adam & the Ants album. Anyway, the idea was that Shaun would fuck with a load of source material I had originated so as to create new music, or at least sound; and I would do the same with his material. I liked the idea of producing music where all of the sound had been generated by the other person, then arranged by myself, so I was present in the recording only as an organising influence.

The first eight tracks here are therefore me looping and sampling bits of Shaun, excepting 120 into 10.29 which was two hours worth of factor X songs - possibly the entirety of the Weird album plus some other stuff - all played at once, just like the young people do these days with their YouTubes and every Beatles song ever recorded - I got there first, shitheads. I could have sworn it was ten minutes and twenty-nine seconds in duration. Maybe time just ran faster in the nineties.

It took Shaun fucking ages to come up with his tracks - nine through to sixteen here, by the way - and when he did he ended up taking an entirely different approach. I was a bit pissed off by it at the time and I remember thinking something along the lines of, he's just played a load of my backing tracks and added some funny noises, the lazy bastard. Around this time he had done a track called V.Gen, similarly credited to the both of us, which turned up on the Pornography compilation from BV Tapes, and it was just the instrumental of Illyana Rasputin's Musik in My Gasmask with Shaun talking about his todger over the top of it. This niggled me a bit. I had sent him a load of tapes, including backing tracks for existing pieces of music, assuming he would pinch, loop, or sample bits of them rather than just do karaoke numbers over unaltered instrumentals.

Anyway, it took Shaun fucking ages to come up with his tracks - I think it was 1995, although I could be wrong - by which time I'd lost interest in the idea; and so the finished tape never appeared. In fact it was never even a single tape, and what you have here comes from the various cassette masters from which I would have assembled the tape, had I been arsed to do so. Shaun's material came on a C90 with an audio letter recorded on the other side, and I've also included that here as an afterword of sorts because it relates to the project as a whole and gives Shaun's side of the story (seeing as you've had mine).

Ironically, after all this time, I realise Shaun's tracks work a little better than mine. They have more personality somehow. Conversely some of my own more heavily sampled efforts represent such abstractions that the source of the original material is reduced to an irrelevance. Oh well. You live and learn.

I eventually fell out with Shaun for boring reasons, but you might like to check out more of his stuff on his Bandcamp page. The Pornography compilation I mentioned is available as a freebie download from somewhere or other, but I'm not going to link it because the artwork is all cocks and arseholes and fannies and I wasn't that knocked out by the music, personally speaking. I'm sure you'll be able to find it if you look hard enough.



Tracks:

1 - Loop Guru
2 - Hawaii 15
3 - 120 into 10.29
4 - Open Your Eyes
5 - In the Shed
6 - A Woman's Clothes
7 - Pussy Actually Gash
8 - The Man with the Child in His Eyebrows
9 - Computer Game
10 - untitled I
11 - untitled II
12 - untitled III
13 - untitled IV
14 - untitled V
15 - untitled VI
16 - Devil Music
17 - Afterword by Shaun Robert

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