Friday, 21 November 2008

Interview with DJ Ambientnun ( Matt Coldrick) of Pan Electric and absolute ambient records.

What was your original vision in creating your current musical act?

Pan Electric - was a created in name as a reflection of my eclectic tastes. The God Pan has associations with music. the "electric" for me is a reference to Uranian electric energy - the "spark" of ideas.

What led you to make your first album and how did your ‘sound’ take hold?

My first album was "Music for a busy head" and it was self therapy!
I needed to slow down after 5 years of being in the Green Nuns and I also wanted to explore how music affects our moods and state of consciousness
beyond the feelgood energy rush of a party tune . It’s deeply inward and designed to create inner calm.

What’s the story behind your current album?

“About time” is a collaboration with Matt Hillier aka ISHQ . Matt is an amazing synthesist and provides the most amazing and interesting sound "modules" or bricks for me to play with. I once said that we choose the big, universal themes that we do in the same way that a child uses stabilisers on a bike!
And this is no different. Time is such a great subject to work with as an artist and as a musician - nobody really understands it so it’s license to play!

Who would you say are your musical influences?

I've been through the a-z and can appreciate a Beatles song alongside Bach or Brian Eno. Its all about the uniqueness of each piece, not the artist and not even the whole album - each track. I’ve bought many albums for one track.
I remember hearing this song at Reading Rock Festival once when I was young - it had this amazing west coast , Byrds style 12 string electric guitar. The album it came from had some crazy name like “The adventures of Kid copter in Potato land"
- the track was called "turn to the right" I scoured the land to find it and when I eventually found it, every other track on the album was just totally mediocre, in fact total crap. But that one track.......

What process do you use to make music?

I have a machine that runs on dreams and wind. It makes the tunes for me :)
I find starting hard , that's why I like working with Ishq- he gives me the elements to start with.
My strength is arranging and working with a simple idea.
The trick/key to finishing a piece is to leave it for a few days or even weeks before doing mixes. You need to become un-attached from a track to know when it’s time to step off the process.

What music do you listen to for pleasure?

I love silence. I'm lucky enough to have lived on a farm for the last 3 years and it’s really helped attune my ears. Owls at night, sheep in spring, the sound of nature is the best track to listen to.
Most of my listening goes on in the car when I'm driving. I spin through radio stations to try and find stuff I’ve not heard.

Why sound and not another creative medium?

I’ve often asked myself that, I love to write and used to write a lot of lyrics. I think that anyone who is creative will have an appreciation and language for all art forms but an instinct that focuses on one.
I'm also into "Communication” and that doesn't have to be art but it can include all forms of art. I'd say I'm as much a communicator as an artist.

What do you anticipate might be the most exciting thing for the future of electronic music?

I think new instruments. I saw Neon Neon the other week and they were using those midi triggered drumsticks that you just move in the air without hitting anything. Great fun!
I think electronica is only just starting to find its relevance in art and will evolve hugely as the world at large accepts it more. Good times ahead.
I also think that as with all art - multimedia is the way forward.

How do you feel about performing Live?

I love to perform but its a paradox with electronica. My background is a session guitarist, so I know what its like to perform in a 11 piece soul band with no sequences or click tracks. Electro is hard to represent live ...but not impossible and I think the key is to allow room for hybrid performance between electro and acoustic. And to allow room for improvisation.

In what ways do other musicians work with you on your creations?

I work with other musicians as much as a can. I wrote and produced the music for "Crush” a PSP game for Sega and was able to use about 10 other musicians in total. They bring character and depth as well as talent and colour to a production. But most of all its about making it an enjoyable process and a team effort. Humans love to co-operate and muck in on any project. It makes us feel good.


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