Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phase five....

Stinky Jim and Angus McNaughton are PHASE 5....
the artists formerly known as Soundproof)

Originally published in Lava Magazine, October 1998

Soundproof, the dynamic duo of DJ Stinky Jim and studio boffin Angus 'Mo Delay' McNaughton join HDU for their tour this month (Oct 98). Soundproof are the dub demons responsible for one of the remixes on HDUs latest Flying Nun release Higher++. Angus and Jim have worked together previously in Unitone Hifi. Peter McLennan dropped around to the Basque Liberation Front HQ for the lowdown ...

Go Angus, says Jim. You better say something in this interview. Angus agrees. Yeah, okay. What was the question?

How did Soundproof come about....

it came out of some of the songs that Jim and myself were writing together, and out of the demise of Unitone Hifi. We still wanted to work together. Im sitting with Soundproof, faced with the not inconsiderable task of discovering whats going on in the lives of two our our most illustrious beat merchants.
Okay boys, lets hear it. Whats the difference between Unitone Hifi and Soundproof?

Oh, about an orchard worth of fruit, Id say, laughs Jim. Well, weve moved on in the last year or two says Angus. Weve certainly dropped the emphasis on dub music Jim concurs. With Soundproof, theres still a huge reggae element, thats always going to be there in our music, and a dub element, in as much as the mixing desk is an instrument and is a part of the whole creation process, but with Soundproof I think were able to stretch it further, all over the place. Judging by the reaction weve had from Europe, the one thing people cant deal with is that the variety of what were playing is so wide. Were talking about people at labels who release music that I find unclassifiable, and they cant classify what were doing. Theres a lot more interesting tempo elements, and time signatures. Were not beholden to a four, four mentality.

Okay, so, what is the rhythm style?

Jim: Theres a lot of Bossa Nova in there.

Angus: It emerged on Box Juice, (which features Daddy Dom from The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist getting saucy on the Hammond organ). That was developed from a breakbeat we were chopping up, recycling (ah, so theyre greenies!), and it worked so well we tried it on a couple of other tunes.

Jim: And people love it. Its an instant head nod.

Ahhh, its becoming clearer. After the no-boundaries approach of Unitone, Soundproof have developed a fresh approach to writing, one thats less lateral, more focused.

Jim: In the time that weve been going, we could have probably released an album if we were working in the mindset we had with Unitone, which was get enough stuff together and chuck out an album. With Soundproof, were amassing the material, then well decide how well deal to it. Were putting down a track, then doing a rough mix of it, living with that a bit, then mixing it. Its a bit more of a considered approach. At the same time, were trying to avoid overworking a track.

So thats how they do it... when can we expect a Soundproof release?

Were going to put an ep out ourselves on 12 inch vinyl says Jim. Weve got a track on a compilation called Son Of Bastard Tracks, on Rockers Hifis label Different Drummer.
Theres a Digidub remix coming out, and theres another track on a French compilation called Wreck This Mess. Thats been the plan, to put out things on complations or remixes, that allows other people to go out and promote us without us having to do that hard work ourselves, and that is the hardest part, getting out there in Europe.
If we'd tried to just put out an ep out straight away, it wouldnt have stood a chance. Its the value of association, people pick it up and see Moody Boyz, Rootsman, and maybe read the small print and go, oh, a track from New Zealand, whats this? Getting your work alongside all these other people who we know of and respect, it gives you a level playing field to have a look at what you do.

Any response from the major record companies?

Yeah, which is odd, cos it never happened with Unitone, but were telling them to wait until were ready. Its really interesting, that when people cant have something they suddenly really want it. But, its not like were ever going to do a cd single and try to hawk it round the country, and do gigs in towns we don't even particularly want to visit, like Christchurch.

Oi! exclaims Mainlander Angus, rising from his chair, and for a moment it appears Soundproof are about to become a solo act.

Okay, enough tomfoolery, Ive got one more question. Whats Soundproof live all about?

Well, the plan is to emulate the studio setup... Its important or us that there are things we can manipulate live says Jim, that its not just a press play, sit back and skin up scenario, much as that would be quite nice, and if anyone wants to pay us to do that were more than happy! But there has to be some element of live music in there. Playing with HDU, that hybrid, cross pollination concept, will be great. We really enjoyed remixing their track Lull. We love that track. Im amazed that more people havent done it, you know, this sort of gig. People arent pushing it at all.

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