Sunday, January 02, 2011

Dub Eno

On your last album, on Bowie’s last few albums, and on Kraftwerk’s last two albums, there’s danceable yet advanced music. Do you think about breaking through to the discos?

Oh yeah, I do. What I would really like to do, if I could have a sort of kingship for a short time and organize the group of my dreams - I would make one group which was a combination of, say, Parliament and Kraftwerk - put those two together and say “Make a record.” Something like that would be an extraordinary combination: the weird physical feeling of Parliament, with this strange, rigid, stiff stuff over the top of it ... What I like about the Parliament/ Funkadelic people is that they really go to extremes. There’s nothing moderate about what they do. It’s very extreme music, quite as extreme in some ways as Kraftwerk is. What I’m interested in doing is getting these two extremes and gluing them together, seeing what you have to do to make them work together.

The other thing I’m interested in doing now is robot reggae. I’d like to get together with some reggae musicians and deliberately try to subtract the feel from what they’re doing so that they play in a kind of really stiff white way.

Dub is a step in that direction. Some of it is quite abstract.

That’s right. Again there’s an incredibly extreme and interesting and sophisticated use of electronics that nobody seems to notice. They don’t notice that it’s electronic music. They always focus on people like me who use synthesizers, right, which are explicitly electronic and therefore obvious. “Ah yes, that’s electronic music.” But they don’t realize that so is this concept of actually taking a piece of extant music and literally re-collaging it, taking chunks out and changing the dynamics and creating new rhythmic structures with echo and all that. That’s real electronic music as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got plans to do a dub album actually..."

From "Eno at the edge of rock" by Glenn O'Brien, Interview magazine, June 1978. Full interview is available online here.


Chad Taylor said...

Good find! A solid prediction in 1978 if consider Moroder et al. More surprising for me is how many bands now sound like the Gang of Four and how every damn pop single in the UK sounds like Roger Troutman and Zapp.

Peter said...

Cheers, Chad. That comment re Gang of Four is very true - surprised to hear about uk pop singles sounding like Zapp. Could be worse.

Bill Bennett said...

The amazing thing about this is Eno was talking in 1978 - four years before Afrika Bambaataa started mashing Kraftwerk.

It's like the man had traveled to the future and back.