Monday, October 31, 2011

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Plaid

" acoustics, minimal haunting atmospheres, classical tones, and sparse "post contemporary" beats.."

Cultivation Via Mechanism

Plaid Bio:
Although Plaid preexisted the association, the duo's Ed Handley and Andy Turner spent most of their early recording years with Ken Downie as the dance floor-confounding Black Dog Productions. Meshing well with Downie's vision of heavily hybridized post-techno and obscurantist thematics, the pair brought several nascent Plaid tracks to the Black Dog table on the group's debut, Bytes, a collection of tracks recorded by various iterations of the three members. The group recorded several albums and EPs throughout the early and mid-'90s, helping to forge a style of dance music one step removed from the 12" considerations of the average faceless techno act; Handley and Turner's mutual love for early hip-hop contributed BDP's more bawdy, street-level grit.

The pair split from Downie in 1995, and began re-channeling their efforts full-time with an EP on the Neo-Electro Clear label before signing to Warp. (The pair also recorded an album with European techno figure Mark Broom under the pseudonym Repeat, two tracks of which also made it onto the South of Market EP, released on Jonah Sharp's similarly located Reflective imprint.) Both of Plaid's first two full-lengths, 1998's Not for Threes and the following year's Rest Proof Clockwork, were issued in the U.S. through Nothing. Once Warp set up a home on American shores, however, Plaid made the natural switch with the long-awaited collection Trainer, a retrospective including much of their early, pre-BDP work. The proper third album, Double Figure, followed in spring 2001, and the handy Plaid remix collection Parts in the Post was issued in 2003 by Peacefrog. The end of the year brought the duo's fourth proper LP, Spokes. Plaid were quiet on the recording front for several years, returning finally in mid-2006 with Greedy Baby, a mini-album that found the pair co-billed with visual artist Bob Jaroc. Two years later, they made the small leap to soundtracking an official film, Heaven's Door, a Japanese film directed by Michael Arias. In 2011, they returned with 'Scintilli', released on Warp.

Hello, how are you?
We are well, a little weary but happily so.

What are you currently listening to?
Earth, Wind & Fire, its been too long. So lovely.

How does it feel to be back?
Back releasing an album? It is actually pretty exciting after such a break from it. We have been contentedly busy in between but it is good to be doing something with Warp again.

What, if any, is the theme behind this 'Scintilli' album?
Vaguely, the idea of sparks, internally and externally.

Are you looking forward to touring?
A mixture of anticipation and dread. Once we get going its a lot of fun but the idea of it can be intimidating. Its the front line and demands commitment and energy, the adrenaline really helps.

I LOVE the soundtrack you did for the anime Tekkonkinkreet, when/where were you approached by the director to do this?

We received an e-mail from him in 2005. He had seen us play in Tokyo a few years before and thankfully remembered us when it came time for the soundtrack. We hope to work with him again soon.

Got any new side projects on the horizon?
We will probably do some more things with Felix Machines and hopefully record the south bank Gamelan collaboration at some point. There are also some game related things bubbling.

If you guys could collaborate with any artist of your choosing whom would you choose and why?
The Santoor player, Shivkumar Sharma because it's a beautiful instrument, he plays it so well and it could possibly work well with electronics.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?

Impossible to choose, no single album is varied enough. Today it would be Satie's 'Piano Works' but probably not tomorrow.

Are you living your dream?

Yes but only when we sleep.

Thanx Josh, Ed & Andy!

Plaid are currently wrapping up a European tour with a lengthy US tour to follow right after (check for dates HERE)...

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