you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

28 April 2011

Guest Interview and Exclusive Download: Screen Vinyl Image Interviews Rude 66 and leaks exclusive first listen to their brand new split 7 inch.

Screen Vinyl Image, one of When The Sun Hits' most beloved acts, is Jake and Kim Reid, a husband and wife team who, along with their growing roster of ace releases under the SVI moniker, were formerly of the very talented and now-defunt shoegaze band Alcian Blue. They also run the independent record label, Safranin Sound and Design. Screen Vinyl Image have been with us from the very beginning - as one of the blog's very first band interviews and receiving some of the blog's first reviews, and later as friends, sharing exclusive material with WTSH, including first leaks of their new singles and the like.

This time around, SVI have conducted their own interview for the blog, with Rude 66, an amazing musician with whom they are about to release a split on the esteemed Custom Made Music label (whom we also adore). Not only that, but they are giving WTSH and our readers an exclusive leak of the two tracks on that upcoming split! We are excited to present to you the following interview, conducted by Screen Vinyl Image, with artist Rude 66 - you are getting information that no one else is getting, and how cool is that? Not to mention first dibs on two brand new tracks from two exceptional bands. Thank you, SVI, for taking the time to do this for WTSH. We love you! And readers, Rude 66 is a must check out, as you'll learn after reading through this interview and checking out his new track. Cheers!

Screen Vinyl Image Interviews Rude 66.

The first time we heard Rude 66 was when the Cybernetic Broadcasting System was still on the air. The CBS was a great place to discover not only the brilliant array of artists in the Netherlands, but also a vast collection of electronic music and much much more. We heard The 1,000 Year Storm by Rude 66, and out of all of the new stuff we had been discovering at the time, Rude’s music was dark, heavy, and driving and felt immediately familiar.

We talked to Rude about doing a split, and Dave at Custom Made Music was more than into the idea and thus we present to you the SVI / Rude 66 split 7 inch. You can pick up a limited edition silk-screened copy of this at Custom Made Music and once they are gone you’ll have to wait until the official version comes out next month. Rude (real name Ruud Lekx), was kind enough to sit down and do an interview with us and talk about his early Industrial days, Bunker Records, and of course some gear talk.

Rude 66. A. The 1000 Year Storm.

Can you tell us a bit about the first band you were in? What instrument did you play, and what sort of sound was your band going for?

My very first band was called Kamika6 (Kamikazes) and it was sort of Neubauten/Swans/Test Dept. type of industrial stuff. I played 2 synths (Korg MS10 and Poly61) going through a guitar amp and metal percussion. We had metal oil barrels, car springs, etc that we would use for beats. We did some demo stuff on 4 track tape and a bunch of live shows in our local squat circuit.

Rude 66 with wife Shauna on Vox.

Was there a natural evolution for you going from your old groups to going into acid and techno? Was there a record or moment when it kind of clicked in your mind that this was the sound you wanted to do?

I was always into both types of music, I liked loud guitar stuff and synth music. When I was 12, I was a member of the Kiss Army, but also had records by Jean-Michel Jarre. Later I listened to Swans, Sonic Youth, Foetus, Flipper, etc, but also was a big collector of New Order. The first time I heard acid in '87 or '88 I could definitely place it, unlike many of my friends from that time. looking back, I'd say the record that really did it for me was 808 state's new build album...I still find that a mindblowing record in 2011.

You were one of the first artists along with Unit Moebeus and I-F on Bunker Records. How did you get hooked up with that label?

I knew Guy Tevares from my high-school, a very conservative place where we were 2 of the small group of 'outcasts'... His band and ours shared rehearsal space in the beginning, and we played with them quite a few times. We were also both part of a group of people who organized hardcore punk concerts in our home town. We had both moved away and hooked up again a few years later. He just started Bunker and I was dissatisfied with the label I just made my first 12" for. I heard their music and found it very similar to what I was doing. I sent guy a tape of my unreleased tracks, and that became Bunker 012/013.

What type of gear were you using on the first Bunker releases?

Not much. I had an Atari ST with Cubase, a Yamaha DX100, an Ensoniq Mirage Sampler, a Korg MS20 and I think that was it. I borrowed things like a 303 clone from the guy who would later become Syntecno, I had one which was basically a yellow tupperware box with 5 green knobs. eventually I upgraded to a better sampler (a Yamaha TX16w, disastrous machine) and found a cheap 909 in the US, and got things like the SH101, TR606, etc.

Reading about Bunker, it seems like there were a lot of notorious parties that went all night long and seemed very DIY and underground. Would you say the music was born out of this or was the music happening and the parties were an outlet for the new groups forming?

It sort of went hand in hand, but I think the music was there before the parties. They were about the only place where you could hear this stuff though, and from the original acid planet parties a lot of offshoots and new collectives formed that did their thing from then.

Unit Moebius, Circa 1995.

Was there a point with Bunker when you guys knew it was getting big and people were noticing or did it always just feel like a lot of like-minded people just loving like-minded music?

Well, it was certainly never 'big' here. There were 1 or 2 guys on our national radio who liked Bunker, and played our tracks on the radio. But most distributors, labels and shops wouldn't touch it. by then the Dutch 'House' scene was already a pretty commercial business, and they couldn't quite think of what to do with these guys from the punk scene with their weird attitudes.. So it was left to ourselves to make sure we had places to sell the records and to do the parties.. It was DIY because of principle, but also because no one else was interested in what we were doing.

Was what was happening with Bunker in The Hague spreading through the Netherlands or were there other pockets of electronic scenes going on that all started to come together?

There were small scenes everywhere, but I think Bunker was the first one on this non-commercial squat party punk DIY type level that inspired a lot of others. Years before there were more initiatives like that in the Dutch house music scene, but they'd all grown pretty big and commercial at that time, 1991-1993. Bunker was sort of a 'back to the basics' thing.

Do you have a favorite release you did from Bunker over any other releases you put out on that label?

Not really, though 012/013 will always have a soft spot with me because it was my first Bunker release, and it contains so many different styles..

Bunker Records 012 - Rude 66. A2. Untitled.

You have a radio show called Cosmic Overdrive. How long have you been doing your radio show? You play an amazing assortment of music on the show, was this always your original goal, or did you have an initial idea for the show that evolved over time?

The original idea came from all this slow disco stuff called 'cosmic' that was all the rage a few years ago. I was telling people that the term 'cosmic' was used years before for a lot of the Krautrock stuff. i originally wanted to do only a mix of some of this music, but talking with I-f he proposed doing a weekly radio show. the show was originally called 'Cosmic Space' and it evolved from Krautrock/Psychedelica to basically anything that’s not played in the standard IFM programming. I remember people loving it if i played obscure 70's hard rock, grindcore ... So, the name of the show changed to 'cosmic overdrive' to match the new broader view. These days a lot of the more dark wave stuff is now in the IFM database too.

You also were in a group called 303 All-Stars. Who else was in that and how did the group form?

The idea was originally a one-off live show of 5 or 6 seasoned Dutch acid producers on stage together with their 303's, we did several shows, but it was never intended as something to release records too.. The band was the 2 guys from the acid junkies, cosmic force, zero one from Random XS, Drifter and me.

You play live quite often. Do you find electronic music is more accepted these days than when you first started? Did you ever get hassled showing up with a synth and drum machines at a club?

That used to happen all the time, especially playing in clubs where they usually had bands. The sound guys would look at our stuff, grunt something about 'this is not music' and leave. ;-)
It is a lot more accepted now, and PA systems are much more equipped for electronic music too. A lot of places had really crap sound because they were used to punk bands playing there..

Your live sets have been described as loud, intense, rocking, energetic and more. Are there any groups that you grew up with and saw live that inspired how you approach playing live?

That’s a hard one. Having seen thousands of bands, the ones that stood out were the ones with a lot of energy in their shows. For electronic music, that would include things like Front 242 or Nitzer Ebb. Pure soundwise, my hero has always been Adrian Sherwood, I've been at many gigs he did with Tackhead, Gary Clail, Mark Stewart, etc and I was always in the small group that was not in front watching the band, but in the back of the club watching Sherwood at work on the mixer. He would completely go nuts sometimes, doing live dubs, EQ's, effects and I guess that was the first time I saw that that was possible in a live manner. Of course I do it on stage rather than off, but the mixer is still my main instrument playing live.

Rude 66. Magic Waves (live - Winter 2010)

Do you feel like there is a strong connection between psychedelic rock music and electronic music? maybe more specifically acid and techno?

Sure there is, especially the original idea of acid as hypnotic dance music goes right back to the days of 'tune in, turn on, drop out' and 1988 wasn't called the second summer of love for nothing. A lot of Shoegaze bands from the late 80's and early 90's also crossed over, anything from Primal Scream to things like Main, or listen to what Spacemen 3 and Pete Kember did and evolved into. I always found the boundries between electronic music and guitar music artificial, held up by purists who don't know any better.

You are well-known for using analog equipment to record from synths to drum machines to analog mixing desks and recording to tape. Why is this important to you?

For 2 things: the sound and the interface. Soundwise, analog equipment simply sounds thicker, fuller because it has basically an infinite resolution compared to digital, which can never match that. Also because most of the gear is older it has misadjusted parts inside, which can give old gear a unique sonic character. I guess its the same as why guitar players go for vintage amps or fx.

The same goes for the interface: its much more inspiring and musical (at least for me) to work with an analogue machine with direct controls for each function, that to scroll through menus or look at a computer screen. As my colleague Newworldaquarium said so rightly: "a computer is not a musical instrument". Also a lot of analogue machines are 'alive', like a good guitar or amp or drum kit. They have character, and this also goes for mixers and tape. A good analogue mixer does your equipment a lot more justice than a shitty 'in the box' recording, and tape is that magical glue that binds separate tracks together. Yeah, its all big and heavy and can break down, but that’s part of being a musician. It's only in electronic music that the 'smaller is easier is better' argument sticks, i've never seen a drummer show up at a gig with a toy drum pad because 'its easier to carry' .

In your collection of gear, do you have a favorite synth? Favorite drum machine? Favorite other piece of gear?

I guess of all my machines, the synth floating above all else is the Syntecno Teebee 303 clone. I use it in almost every track since the beginning, and its also a very good 4x midi to cv/gate converter for my old synths, and controls the 808 via midi-din sync. A real workhorse. As for drum machines, I'd have to choose between the 808 or the 909, very hard choice and very traditional, but those 2 still do it for me after all these years.

Other gear... Effects-wise I'm totally in love with my Lexicon Vortex, another machine you'll hear in just about every production i've made in the last 10-15 years. the D&R mixer is a real big contributor to my sound an a very inspiring board to work on.. And I still have to pinch myself every tme I look at my Studer a80 to believe that its actually mine..

You released a very awesome and very dark full length called Sadistic Tendencies in 2009 filled with creepy samples, heavy sounding machines, and haunting atmospheres. Have you released anything since or do you have anything coming out soon? Are you continuing down similar themes in the new recordings?

I just released the 2 Worlds: 1992-1998 2 LP retrospective on Creme, full of old unreleased tracks from the acid planet days, and I did a remix for a Dutch band called Staatseinde on the Enfant Terrible label. There are some more remixes coming, I just finished work on a new very dark acid 5 track EP and I'm working on some more guitar based material. I have an electric guitar and 2 fretless basses and I've been very inspired by the return of the Shoegaze sound combined with electronics... but that'll be a new project under a different name and very likely also on a different label than the ones I normally work for.

Theme-wise its definitely all down the same dark paths... I guess its in my DNA, I can try to write a love song or an uplifting trance track but somehow the serial killers, German WW2 battles, airplane crashes and generally the darker aside of the human spirit always take over..

Two Worlds. 1992-1998.


Screen Vinyl Image - Tomorrow is too Far.

Rude 66 - I am God.