An interview with Neil Landstrumm... by Gar Browne
For futher information and track previews check out the following...
Gar : Your myspace page lists your genre's as Dub, Grime & Techmo. Dub, with it's origins in Reggae, Grime, primarily a development of UK garage & hip hop and Techno with emerged from Detroit (and now has many sub-genre's). That's a big pot of potential influences. How would you describe your sound and what would be your major influences.
Neil : Major influences are wide but with an electronic core. Sheffield Bleep, Happy Mondays, acid house, leo anibaldi, dutch techno, uk rave like Njoi, chicago house and ghetto bass stuff , bit of punk, Spacemen 3, heavy dub reggae, dubstep, 90s free parties, human league, hip hop, odd avante garde bits n pieces, The radio and films.....The new sound is a development from my last LP "Restaurant of Assassins" but nods more toward the new aqua / turbo krunk sound that is coming out right now.. UK bass in a nutshell splintered off from grime and dubstep. I've always been associated with the sub_bass rave styles in electronic music over the years so this is just it all brought bang up to date and pointing more to the future. Joker, Rustie, Jakes_Hench,Zomby, Starkey all these guys are on the same tip.. My version is just more punishing.
Gar : Techno is somewhat underground in Ireland, clubs tend to favour a more commercial sound (shame on them!), although we're seeing a lot more Techno artists gigging in Ireland recently. Would you say this is typical of the countries you've been in or is Ireland a little behind in terms of techno appreciation?
Neil : No Ireland is right up there with the top in my opinion for overall atmosphere, people and quality . Promoters take risks and work hard, which is difficult when you and are up against , as you say a commercial majority mainstream. I loved a festival called SAIF or Leechrum to me in 2006 and 07. Had a memorable time both years in Co Leitrum/Roscommon and both the raves are up there with some of the best gigs i've ever played. Just add the right people who want to party and have a laugh. Dublin also has been superb with the Electric City chaps the last few times I played for them. Cork, Waterford, Galway have been good gigs also. Love coming to Ireland and always feel instantly at home. Must be the celtic humour you share with us Scots. Slagging your mates off to their faces for everyone else's amusement. You can keep New York, Tokyo and Paris Im all about Roscommon.
Gar : And how about the UK scene? It seems to be utterly dominated by Hard House and Hard Trance. (from an Irish point of view anyway)
Neil : yeh its a false impression created by the misrepresentative mainstream media , particularly the radio. Disinformation in a way to perpetuate personal agendas and business portfolios. Its shit. I play all round the UK and Ireland and what I hear on the radio doesn't represent the reality of what is actually going on which is sad... There are some good radio shows, dont get me wrong, we all know which ones in the evening but the peak ones are crass, out-of-date and the perpetrators should be cleared out with a broad brush... My impression from being out and about in the UK and Ireland is a scene that is massively healthy, diverse, inclusive and extremely innovative. The other side is actually having a good time and showing it in appreciation of the sound system, event and music.
Gar : You also spent some time in New York, was it a big change from the UK and has the experience shaped, in anyway, the music that you create today?
Neil : yeh its was more of an enviromental change I think that fed into my music. I have always been into New York electro, hip hop and freestyle so it was interesting what mix of cultures and people that caused these genres to develop. New York left a mood definitely with me , both positive and dark but extremes of either. I always knew I would come back to Edinburgh though .
Gar : 2008 is almost at an end, do you have any highlights for the year?
Neil : I really enjoyed playing in China this year. I was invited to visit Shanghai and play VOID @ The Bunker a venue run by a chap from manchester. Shanghai wasn't what I expected at all and was really bright, cosmopolitan and incredibly consumerist. The city really reminded me of New York in lots of good ways. I enjoyed the food and general vibe of the place and didn't see much evidence of any overbearing Communist heavies or police. In fact if I was 10 years younger I would think of moving out there and grasping the massive opportunity there is over there. Other than that The UK is for me the best country to play right now music wise. The raves are really like nothing else on the continent mixing up dubstep, grime, techno, rave, jungle, house, garage....whatever goes, cracking atmospheres and with some of the best Hi-Fis out there where you can see the bass in your eyeballs vibration. The West Indian Centre in Leeds is my favourite venue at the moment. One of the last lawless UK venues where the security run 'tings. I played Exodus which is the dubstep/ electronic night there and i am a regular paying punter at SUB Dub which is run by Iration Steppers and is more traditional dancehall/dub/reggae.
Gar : How about highlights for the career?
Neil : Doing a session on the John Peel show as Sugar Experiment Station with Tobias Schmidt was a definite high point in 1998.. Meeting Bez and Tony Wilson...I still get the same buzz from playing raves and gigs really ...its a difficult question to answer.
Gar : Your playing in McGruders in Dublin in the 20th of December. What can your fans expect to hear?
Neil : A live clash of bits of the new Lord for £39 LP, some previous works. classic rave and techno, ragga, electro and dancehall. A bit of the old dubstep n grime also;. nae doubt. a total mess
Gar : So, the future! Any major plans for 2009?
Neil : yeh being a father in January will be a nice rude and good awakening for the 09. Lets get through that first. There is a new Scandinavia record coming in late Jan though. A co-production between Scandinavia and Stuff records who put out that killer Rustie 12"Jagz the Smack. Not settled in the E.P name as yet but Godfather's 560 and The Race tracks are on it and my remix of Rustie's jagz The Smack. Its not a fast record by any mean but heavy pulsing subs, 808 beats and Jupiter 8 melodies in a early Def Jam soft of style. Idea is that this 12" is the single for the LP. Im just working on a video for the "£20 to get home " track from the LP also with a Glasgow video artist called , Konx-Om-Pax. He did Jamie Lidells last video and a couple others for Warp.