I love the cover art of Skylon. It reminds me of old Soviet posters. I was wondering, is it original artwork or an actual Soviet poster that turned into a cover art? Did you choose that artwork? How was the creating process of that artwork and what were your contributions to it?
I'd finished the album and I needed some artwork. Twisted Records suggested a Romanian artist they knew called Matei Apostolescu. He sent over an idea which consisted of a huge and impressive 3D robot collage with another piece he did called 'Runway/Runaway' inserted down in one corner.
The robots were genius and very well done but at that time everyone was putting futuristic 3D renderings on their covers. The feeling I had for Skylon was that I wanted it to be both organic and optimistic so I asked him to zoom in on the grainy Soviet-era kids and aeroplanes, leaving the robot to encroach ominously from the side. What you see is what he did.
I love it. I love the grainy, dirty clouds and the beaming expressions on the children's faces.
Also, the Tupolev TU154 is an iconic plane.
The album is named after this:
First, I wanted to say I really enjoyed your live set at Ozora. The one at the Main stage was just magical. The one at the Dome was cool too but to see your whole band in person was something else really.
And the main question:
I have been thinking about getting a few Ott and The All Seeing I t-shirts (https://f4.bcbits.com/img/0014626287_36.jpg) but I wanted to know first which creature is who? The bottom right one is obviously you. The bottom left is probably Nick and with the top row I am just lost. Would you be so kind to clarify this situation? : )
Top left is Chris and top right is Matt.
There is another drawing in the set where it is much more obvious.
It's by an artist friend of mine called Scott Walker.
You have 24 hours to make a new track for an intergalactic competition using only an 80s casio sampler keyboard, a four track tape recorder and any 4 objects you can find in a b&q - what do you use and how might you turn it into music?
SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!
Firstly, for our non-British readers, B&Q is like a Home Depot or Mr Bricolage.
1. Water butt. That's my bass drum.
2. Length of strong elastic, to stretch across the opening of the water butt after I've recorded my bass drum - bass.
3. 112 piece crockery and cutlery set. Percussion.
4. Electronic multi-chime doorbell - Basic synth waveforms.
I would also attempt to steal a multipack of TDK C90 cassettes and a big bag of Dime bars from the checkout.
Because I need something to record onto.
And I love Dime Bars.
OH MY GOD that's fantastic.
I was able to identify most of them by sight before the caption came up. Didn't recognise some of the older mechanical instruments, pianos, etc.
Feel free to shove them down my chimney.
They pop into my head and I grab them before they evaporate.
They never sound as good as other people's [Boards of Canada - ROYGBIV and Olson, or Kraftwerk - Tour De France, for example] but I leave them there hoping they'll grow on me.
At the time they always sound crushingly naive and obvious, but later on I'll maybe find myself thinking "Oh, that's quite good...".
The essence of composing music is to create things which stir your soul. If what you just played gives you *that* feeling, you just made something good. Nothing else matters.
Yes, I'm having a lovely summer thanks. I'm mainly in my studio writing my new album, and rehearsing with the band at weekends, in preparation for our set at Ozora this year. The weather has been exceptional and I've been getting out on my bicycle, doing 20-mile rides around the countryside around our house, and throwing sticks into rivers for the amusement of our dogs.
We [Zoe, Daisy and the dogs and I] spent last weekend at the beach in Bude, Cornwall, perched atop a cliff in our van and occasionally scrambling down to the beach for a swim and a woof.
I also got to ride my motorbike round the coast road and through the amazing landscapes of Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor.
Mainly, though, sitting in my studio drinking tea and plugging synthesisers into each other until they do cool things.
You’re most fucking welcome. Thank you for fucking listening.
Odd question this, but hey, it's almost three in the morning here, (& a thunderstorm seems to be brewing), so here goes : What is the worst weather conditions that you ever performed a live set, and how scared were you?
It might have been the torrential downpour at Symbiosis 2006 which I played from under a tarpaulin, or possibly the quagmire of Infrasound 2016. Although, thinking about it, it was definitely the Hallucinogen In Dub Live set we played at Camp Bisco [2007?] where the stage nearly blew down during our last song.
Worst soundcheck EVER was Red Rocks with Papadosio, which I also played under a tarp but this time to shield me from hailstones the size of golf balls.