My turntable rumpus room as a child was mostly underground save two meters of windows looking into native bush. During Wellington storms the trees would wallop away at the glass threatening to break through. I would duet with the wind, rain and thumping plants – scratching in time or playing drones across the grain of the storm. We went off together!
I have finally found a musician to take the role of the thunderstorm. Ben Michael Knight has all of that same sound, fury and unpredictability. Improvising together can be a cacophony with our two entities seldom intersecting. However, when our playing does converge much to my delight Ben knows my next move even before I do!
Last year we recorded an album at Scumbag College; a noisy, carpeted box under Wellington airport. During the session the room was an ear crushing pressure cooker of cymbals and drones. Ben is not a quiet drummer. Everything was obliterated except for the bass and rhythm. After playing for 45 minutes straight, and with a severe bout of ear fatigue, we retired to the control room. Listening back at low volumes on these super-sweet monitor speakers we were flabbergasted! Everything that had seemed so loud and brutish during its creation was nuanced and restrained. Save a few minor tweaks and overdubs we decided to release the recording in near verbatim form.
Our self-titled debut album documents our first incarnation as a turntable and drum duo. We have since added a fantastic throat player who brings a third reality into the mix. The themes of our songs are, among other things, assembly-line production, neuroscience, biomechanics, childlike exuberance, science fiction and occult rituals. The album artwork was painted by New Zealand artist James Flynn. I’d be over-the-moon if you could give it a listen. xAlphabethead