The Sonic Experience – Paul Morley interviews Jah Wobble

“Dub is music from another constellation.  When playing it’s like being in contact with a star many many years away, and that is where you come from.”

UK journalist Paul Morley looks at dubstep, what is is, where it’s going (who knows), and speaks with Ikonika, Darkstar, Magnetic Man the group made up of pioneers Skream, Benga and Artwork.  Morley also goes to one of the roots, former P.i.L. bassist Jah Wobble.  As you may know, while being the former, he is still present, putting out at least two albums in the last three years, collaborating with Chinese and Japanese musicians.  In this interview with Morley, Wobble talks about his bass beginnings, cheap heroin infested sqauts with Keith Levine, Sid Vicious, playing the bass against the headboard of a bed and checking out the resonance.  Can, Stockhausen, the German approach of needing to find out why things function, Miles Davis and tons more. Wobble Interview runs 50 minutes.

Also check out Dangerous Minds’ recent post on Jah Wobble, centered around his ‘Betrayal’ album.  Now I know why the album was called so.  I just started hanging around the radio station at York University in Toronto when I was introduced to this album back in 1980. Blueberry Hill was the track, ‘kin ell!

Autechre

At last years Clandestino Festival, I spent an afternoon with Leila and her tour manager brother (forgive me for not remembering his name, Ali, I think).  The previous night she performed a set which comprised of long vocal samples, her own tracks and those of others, presented via turntable, cd player, her own effects units and lord knows what else and manipulating it all sitting in front of a 24 channel mixing desk.

She started her set playing a dialogue carried by an arresting ancient voice. The subject was ‘What is art?’ or something like that.  Anyway the next day I asked her what was the dialogue she played.  Leila not only told me, but gave me about six cd’s of music and dialogues that she used in her set,  a million miles far cry away from dj’s who won’t tell you jack-shit when you ask “What track was that you just played?”

So during our afternoon taking in a bit of Gothenburg on foot, we talked briefly about Autechre.  “You’ve got to get their first album” she said with an abundance of enthusiasm.  I still haven’t got that album, but some of the bits I’ve got, they do it.  I think it was a remix of DJ Food’s Sexy Bits, then a remix of Soft Ballet Forms knocked me for six.

Apparently they’ve been about for over twenty years.  A new album is out on Warp Records soon.  Which brings me to say, Warp got it going on this year.  Also to come the follow-up  to the Los Angeles album from Flying Lotus.  Also the Gonja Sufi album which once again Mr. Lotus has a part it producing, mi madre!  Oh yeah, Mr. Lotus speaks of his new album over at Pitchfork, sez too he’s doing a Massive Attack remix, figures dunnit?!  I’m hoping it will be some of different tone that the remixes they’ve offered so far.  Anyway, back to the meat, catch up on Autechre  here:

Wh? aRe th(e)ir ti.tles s o crypt-ic andOR incomplete oRand a little tonginchikk-the driest sense of humour o/r a private game celebrating the necessarily vague and open-ended/a hygienic emptying of connections/typographical errirs3/spell check resisisting.

Paul Morley