5 August 2010
Brassica is TEH TITS. He (Michael) makes wonderous Italo influenced techno and disco, as well as being one half of the very-hot-right-now synth-punk band Gold Blood. We pinned him to ground (foaming at the mouth) to do one of our little minterviews.
Where are you right now and how is it?
I'm at home n West London, it's grey and muggy. I'm waiting for my housemate to finish watching an episode of The Wire - we're mixing new Gold Blood tracks together through his lovely big analogue mixing desk. That's where they write and produce their epic Hungry Ghost tracks. I can't express the painstaking love and care those guys put into that music.
How did you come up with your name?
I can't remember exactly. I think a girl I was seeing told me I don't eat enough Brassica. I must have liked it and used it. I hate the responsibility that comes with making music of thinking up names, track titles, etc. I'd rather just make sounds.
Could you live on cabbage for the rest of your life?
I've thought about trying the cabbage soup diet until I actually smelt it whilst it cooks. I opted for a miso soup diet instead. No, I don't think you could unless you added gravy, potatoes, carrots, beef and horseradish.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Ozric Tentacles. I fucking love them. I was a bass player when I got into them around 14 and they sparked my interest in OTT, bubbling, swirling electronic sounds. I nearly cried with joy the last time I saw them live. I don't care how unfashionable they are. Their music has EVERYTHING.
Have you got any releases lined up for the near future?
I have the New Jam City 12" due out any day soon, on Nocturnes records from Berlin. Apart from that, a couple of remixes which I believe are getting a vinyl pressing. Mainly working on Gold Blood these days, it's almost a full-time job at the moment. I'm well into it.
What is your current studio set-up?
Right now, not an awful lot to be honest. I buy gear when I have cash and sell it when I'm broke. My Nord Modular Classic serves me well though - I can never exhaust it. I'm enjoying using software synths more and more. Not to emulate analogue synths but to design really tacky sounds you often hear in modern pop music. I was watching some interviews with Red One who produces Lady Gaga. He uses nothing but Logic soft synths on an old powerbook but claims he never uses presets. I tried doing the same and of course the first preset I open is THE Lady Gaga synth sound, ya know that big, bright sawtooth mother-fucker with no filtering, all sustain, no release. I used it heavily on a new Gold Blood track called Saturday Nights. Watch out, Red One!
How did Gold Blood come about?
Emile used to come around to my old house a lot, I didn't know him so well then. My old housemates would get pissed and jam on their guitars and he'd always join in with totally spontaneous, weird vocal shit. I'd never met a vocalist who does that without it being in some bullshit art gallery context - it was more musical than that stuff. I asked him to play a gig with me, a cellist and guitarist one night. A heavily edited recording of the rehearsals for that night is what became 'The Centre' - the Brassica record on Dissident. We couldn't ignore how well it worked and decided to start a full-time project.
Done any exciting gigs lately?
Been playing a fair bit with Gold Blood lately. I guess they're all fairly exciting until a technical problem occurs on stage, then you wonder why you put yourself through it so often.
Got any coming up?
Yes! This weekend. Playing with Mr J.D. Twitch on Friday at the Alibi in Dalston. Then playing a mate's garden party on Saturday in Kent with various hardcore bands. Manchester and Newcastle in a couple of weeks too - it'll be nice to play outside of London for a change!
Who do you think will win Big Brother?
You're asking the wrong guy. I'm more of an Apprentice man.