Friday, April 02, 2021

Angus McNaughton profile

L-R: Angus McNaughton, Joost Langeveld, Stinky Jim (Unitone Hifi), 2017.

By Peter McLennan, April 20201

Angus McNaughton, aka Mo Delay, started out playing round with audio as a 13 year old, working with two cassette decks and hitting pots and pans in his bedroom. He told NZ Musician’s Rachel Shearer (December 1991) that “I got a four track not long after that. Basically, I’ve always had a home studio, and from there it’s just been developing it, upgrading and building up knowledge. I started doing it with experimenting with my own music, or sounds.”

He first made his mark in music collaborating with Mike Hodgson as Christchurch outfit Tinnitus, beginning in late 1983, adding other members as they went along. Their early sonic experiments utilised sound collage and tape loops.

They shifted to Auckland in 1988 and continued working as Tinnitus, releasing 13 cassette albums and staging live shows and performance events, but by 1993, their own projects started to take precedence, and they mostly ceased performing. Hodgson had developed his own dub-electronica as Projector Mix, before pairing up with Paddy Free in 1997 as Pitch Black.

McNaughton’s interest in sound led him to set up Incubator Recording Studio in Symond St in 1990, with fellow sound engineers Anthony Nevison (of Headless Chickens) and Gordon Rutherford (ex Nocturnal Projections, Muttongun). Their 16 track studio also had an Atari ST running C-Lab sequencing, giving up to 64 tracks, and they also had several samplers, like an Akai S1000 which offered 10 megs of memory.

He worked as engineer on recordings by Flying Nun acts like Headless Chickens (of whom he was briefly a member), NRA, and Dribbling Darts of Love, and crucial early NZ hiphop releases from Deepgrooves artists Urban Disturbance, and Three The Hard Way, on their hit ‘Hiphop Holiday.’.

This evolved into McNaughton working with numerous dance-focused acts, from artists on the Deepgrooves label, including Sound Foundation, of which he was a member, alongside DJ Dubhead, Danny D of Dam Native, and Tuffy Culture, on to DLT, and Che Fu.

Prior to working on DLT’s landmark local hiphop album The Trueschool, featuring the hit single ‘Chains’, he had collaborated with DLT, when he (DLT) was a member of Joint Force, alongside MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave - they christened him with the nickname ‘Mo Delay’.

He says the name “was coined by the Joint Force boys while we were mixing. I was applying liberal amounts of dub delay: positive feedback on a desk channel fader with swept desk EQ applied. No responsible quantity was ever enough, whenever I tried to mix the delay in sensibly, the boys would shout ‘Mo' Delay’, leading to seriously dubbed-out mixes.”

McNaughton shuttered Incubator in the early 2000s and worked as an audio tutor at MAINZ music school for a number of years, and runs a mastering facility called Auralux.

He records music solo under the name Mood Unit. He collaborated with Stinky Jim and Joost Langeveld as part of the musical ensemble Unitone Hifi in the mid 1990s, and then worked with Stinky Jim as the duo Phase Five in the late 1990s/early 2000s, recording for Jim’s Round Trip Mars label.

McNaughton has also been involved with mastering many of the releases on Round Trip Mars. Unitone Hifi kicked back into life after a 12 year tea break in 2008 with new material, and performed a one off at Laneway Festival in 2017.

1 comment:

Globalmitch said...

Interesting profile - thanks for sharing Peter. Joost would be another great guy to profile if you're in the mood!