Taxman‘s new Creepshow isn’t to be taken lightly: tread carefully. Not just because it can be a pretty scary place, but because you must really expect the unexpected.
And it’s definitely one to keep your eyes out for.
First off, what made you want to go in on the horror front?
I just remembered one day this film I’d been wanting to sample for a long time; I watched it years ago and I could remember all the characters and storylines and so forth, but for some reason I got it confused with Tales From the Crypt.
I downloaded every single episode of Tales from The Crypt and skipped through every episode and got really pissed off when I realised that it wasn’t what I was looking for.
Then one sunday, I can’t recall how, but I stumbled accross the Creepshow and downloaded it.
My girlfriend was like “oh turn it off I don’t want to watch this” and then after five minutes she couldn’t stop watching it.
It’s just great 80s horror with dark humour, there’s no CGI in it and the soundtrack is just straight up 80s analogue synths which is one of the reasons why it stuck in my head I think.
Strange how that kind of stuff just stays in your mind till the day you end of sampling it 15 years later. But it’s not really a theme for the whole EP; it’s just the track that I thought people would like the most, and there’s got to be a theme for the artwork…
The ep has your signature sound, it can be no-one else. It goes for the jugular! This is pretty evident on the title track.
For this, I sampled the film. The guy talking to his son right at the intro to the movie is the bit I sampled. Some oldskool-all american dad is giving his son a hard time because he finds him reading these Creepshow comics.
He’s got a great tone on his voice which is always important for a good sample, then I processed it the way I do with all my other vocal samples.
Also the arpeggiated chord that runs through the beginning on the tune I sampled from the film also, but rather than just use the sample, I ran it through melodine, exported the midi notes and hooked up one of my old analog synths so it was playing the same notes as the sample.
And then soaked it in reverb, big chorus and a sprinkle of delay… I was quite impressed with how good it sounded.
I thinned out the orignal sample and ghosted it over the synth in the back ground to give it a bit more depth.
The ep is full of variety and Diane Charlemagne appears here on ‘All For Nothing’, a fantastic tune in all.
‘All For Nothing’ was originally on my Synthetic Visions LP. Diane and I recorded the ‘Rebirth’ vocals, and she asked me if I had anything she could vocal, so I showed her ‘All For Nothing’.
She recorded it in like one take. Just off the cuff like that.
She’s got an amazing voice, as you know, but just listening to her sing right in front of me in the studio was an experience.
Oh and there’s a cheeky Orbital sample in the remix that isn’t in the original, if you can spot it….
And take us through ‘Reprezent’, that’s a big fave. It’s got a great flow to it. Was there an era of D&B that you wanted to tap into for this killer?
‘Reprezent’ was a very simple idea to start off with, and ended up going through lots of different transformations, different drum tracks, god knows how many mixes.
It was originally supposed to be over an 808 drum track, but I suppose I kind of lost my confidence about being too different and then gave it a more dancefloor drum track, which also got binned… I just wanted the track to have lots of space: bit of a slower groove but still one for the dancefloor.
I’ve always loved those lowpassed resonant basslines, like the old Full Cycle sound that Krust and Suv used to push.
I’m glad people “get” the tune to be honest; I thought it was just one for me.
Some of this material is also the stuff of legend live: what inspired ‘Billy Big Bollocks’? Or who?
Well not naming any names, but every now and then, you meet someone on the road who thinks they’ve got special rights above everyone else or something, someone who carries their bollocks around in a wheelbarrow in front of them, making all these primadonna demands.
Or am I getting Viz mixed up with actual real life situations again?
Back to the horror ethos, I personally love how it evolves over time, even now things like ‘Slender Man’ via net myths and gaming, plus films like Unfriended, ‘found footage’ things like REC, VHS and of course the mighty Paranormal Activity. What do you like?
I do like finding a film that can genuinely scare the shit out of me. I’ll have to agree with you on Paranormal Activity. Yeah it’s simple, but it’s just the way it’s filmed and the way it escalates. And no music for any scenes: I think that always makes it just a little bit more disturbing.
The original Texas Chainsaw has got to get a mention: it’s just really warped and relentless, but the way it’s shot, and how raw it is makes it what it is, too.
I love the end scene when the girl gets away and Leatherface is just standing there swinging the chainsaw around with the sun rising behind him…
What’s next for you?
Taxman image by Chelone Wolf