Australian Musician
July 2006

You have appeared on some huge, genre defining compilations both as a 'techno' and a 'trip hop' artist. How did this come about? How did you come to be in the right place, at the right time, to be recognised as one of the pioneering figures in the 90's electronic music revolution?

I wish I had a simple answer, a recipe for success as you might say, but it must be a accumulation of things - I chose to create work that meant something to me, that refused to address various trends in music and arts, so I learnt to shape -shift and take risks in my practice. As such I didn't become recognised for one voice, but for an approach which could then lend itself to various genres. At the same time I ran The Electronic Lounge, a very influential London club for 5 years at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), where I not only met countless other artists, labels, etc, therefore establishing a wider network of arts related people, but performed on a regular basis, and supported numerous other artists too. I've maintained a physical presence in performance, speaking, lectures, writing, gallery installations, record releases, remixes, production, etc that hasn't done any harm.

What is your most outrageous/funny/memorable gig experience?

There are many - how about two body builders in skimpy outfits posing for me in Brazil, or my performing 16 gigs in one night in 1999 to promote my Lauwarm Instrumentals CD, using lookalikes to be me, or a man dressed up as a giant chicken on stage with me and DJ Spooky a university in the USA, that ran at such a speed to join us (he was the uni mascot) that he flew across the stage and completely off the other side!!

What is the lowest point or most frustrating music experience?

Very few actually, but mostly relating to people failing to pay. Once I played in Sicily where I sensed there might be an issue with being paid - as such I asked the promoter to pay me BEFORE the show, otherwise I wouldn't perform, and he smiled back a broad smile and said 'Okay, then we break your legs, yes?" I didn't want to take the risk so happily obliged and performed!!

Tell me about the incident in the Adelaide hotel where you injured your back, a scene truly worthy of a Carry On film played out. In fact tell me about any hilarious things like that!

Wow, there are many indeed. I was performing in Adelaide and had arrived the night before. Waking up I decided to take a shower but suddenly remembered I needed my shaving foam. I knelt down to pick it up out of my suitcase when my back completely locked up. Then I could hear knocking at the door - there I was on all fours on the floor, naked, holding a canister of shaving foam in one hand and a very pained look on my face, waiting for the cleaning woman to walk in on me and report me as pervert!!! In the end I very painfully pulled a pain of trousers on and they had to break down the door to get access to my room!! It was quite outrageous.

I also got locked into a public toilet before my debut show in NYC some years ago at a very funky location called The Cooler. I couldn't unlock the door, nor work out how to get out, until a sweet girl heard me hammering at the door and slid it open. I hadn't realised it was a sliding door! Walking on stage feeling like a clumsy idiot wasn't the best start to the show.

I once fainted at a show in Oxford England. Standing on stage I couldn't work out why on earth the table was floating up towards me and it began to utterly freak me out. It's not as if David Blaine was my stage manager, then I realised it was in fact me falling towards the table, not the other way round. I managed to catch myself but only just and in fact the audience just saw a stumbling man on stage so it had a happy ending.

What does your life consist of these days in general?

Goodness, a simple question for a very complicated answer. My work is largely experienced overseas and as such involved a high amount of travel. At any one moment I'm working on countless projects, rather than simply recording in the studio. At the moment for example:

I'm composing the soundtrack to Reverb, a new British horror film; sound designing a new BBC production called Night Email, a new project launched, www.nightjam.org.uk, where I worked with homeless youths making a music project, whilst I'm creating the soundtrack for Shobana Jeyasingh and Sue Davies, two choreographers in the UK. Most quirkily I've just completed designing six car horns for the USA.

I also collaborate with numerous other artists and have just returned from Brisbane where I facilitated a series of workshops for artists in a kind of laboratory situation, developing ideas and structures for ways of learning and speaking about creative work. In between I edit www.kultureflash.net, each week covering arts in London. We have 27,000 subscribers. Somehow I also get to see lots of exhibitions, films, and even eat the occasional meal.

Tell me just a little about how you make music, what you use and your approach.

I use a computer running Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Kontakt and Reaktor. It's a fairly improvisatory set up, working with samples, harmonies, always against a tough deadline, but thoroughly pleasurable and engaging. Most of my projects are commissioned works.