Goethebunker Interview #28 – Surgeon

Surgeon ist er einer der wichtigsten Techno-Produzenten Englands. Mit seiner Musik hat er wohl so ziemlich jeden beeinflusst, der sich ernsthaft mit Techno und elektronischer Clubmusik auseinadersetzt. Anthony Child erstes Album war so gut, dass in den 90igern unzählige Produzenten aus allen möglichen Bereichen der elektronischen Musik von ihm berührt werden wollten und er, bis heute, neben seinen außergewöhnlichen Eigenproduktionen, eine endlose Reihe an großartigen Remixen produziert hat. Heute gilt Surgeon als Mitbegründer einer britischen Schule, dem sogenannten Birmingham-Techno.

Er hat seine RadioShow auf RinseFM, die weltweit gehört wird. Er hat seine jährlichen Aufritte auf den TopFestivals elektronischer Musik und darüber hinaus. Hinzu kamen und kommen Projekte wie British Murder Boys und Trade oder die 1998 erschienene Platte (Live) unter den Namen Certain Beyond All Reasonable Doubt zusammen mit dem Sepultura-Schlagzeuger Mike Harris. Das er überhaupt noch in kleineren Clubs auftaucht, ist zu einer Seltenheit geworden. Umso mehr freuen sich Mike Rui als Gastgeber und der Goethebunker als Spielstätte über seine für Deutschland exklusive Residency-Entscheidung. Come on in Mr. Child, bring the Surgeon on …

 

Hi Tony, we are enthusiastic about your decision for “Untertauchen” at Goethebunker in Essen as exclusive residency for Germany. What has made you do so and what can we expect?

I played at Goethebunker for the first time in April 2014 and I really enjoyed it. I felt a really warm, openhearted connection to the audience and all the people involved with the night. That’s really important to me! The sound was really powerful and made it possible to really bring the energy up and down in my set without loosing the momentum for the audience. So I really felt like I could musically stretch out and experiment a lot more than normal. As for what to expect, I really can’t say. It will be purely improvised and connected with the moment it happens. For sure I will attempt to stretch musical boundaries and take everyone on a real trip.

 

When we were sitting together last April having coffee on the occasion of your first gig we were of course also talking about music. I mentioned your latest album (I had written a few lines about it) and I pointed out the special way in which you dissolved boundaries between seemingly different musical genres and in what way you have it merged into simple, good techno, or, putting it simply, in good electronic music. What role do concepts play for you though which do categorize music? And how would you describe the influence of genre terms on the one hand concerning the production of music and on the reception of music on the other hand?

Genre and category seem like an artificial constrain to me. The music I play in clubs has a very strong functional aspect. It’s very important to me to be able to physically move people with the music I play. The literally vibrate the people. That has a very powerful effect.

 

Art and politics are each very relevant environments for one another. In particular art can always be inspired by political issues. If one talks about Techno in this context Underground Resistance comes up for discussion immediately. Aside from this particular Detroit phenomenon, do you see a consistent political relatedness to Techno in general?

From my perspective I want to create a transformative experience with music. I want people to step outside themselves, and see the world in a different way, to open their minds to consider something in a way that they hadn’t before.

 

surgeon_gb

 

You have also had, for over a year (I mean to say), your own show on the legendary Rinse FM broadcasting channel. As a London pirate station it was possibly one of the most important institutions for the development of the entire British club music. I imagine a monthly program on the one hand quite exhausting, on the other hand also very exciting though. Tell us a little about it.

Having a monthly radio show is a brand new experience for me, it really came at the right time, a way of me stepping outside my comfort zone. I’d never done anything where I speak on a microphone before that. It keeps me really busy, sourcing all that new music each month and keeping the quality really high. It’s a great and different way to feel connected to music fans all over the world, interacting via twitter during the show, giving shout outs to their cats! It’s like a free service to give back to the people who support my music and gigs.

 

And what are you currently planning, what projects concerning new productions are you occupied with most?

I’ve been really busy recently building a modular synthesizer and I’ve been really enjoying working with that in my studio. At recent gigs I’ve combine it with my digital DJ setup to create something really new, a hybrid DJ / live set. It really expands what I can do and is very free to improvise with. It’s a lot of fun!

 

Earlier I mentioned the British club music. To discuss the phenomenon as such at this point would certainly go beyond the scope. I am more interested in your personal inspiration. Are there nameable influences which have left a mark on you and if so, how did they do this and are there any observable interfaces?

The very first releases from Aphex Twin and LFO were ones I remember hearing at the time. They really increased my interest and respect for techno as a form of electronic music.

 

You have the possibility to select a band with classical instrumentation (Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums) for an exclusive private concert (defunct bands included) – who would appear in your living room?

The Smiths (from ’85-’86)

 

So, your coffee you have gradually finished now and I’ve come to know your sole vice – which is coffee! Just tell a little about things that you like and those you don’t.

I am a very positive person so the thing I like least is small mindedness, not being willing to see things from another perspective.

 

And finally share with us one of your weirdest / funniest / craziest experiences while playing in a club.

Maybe about 15 years ago I was Djing at ‚The End‘ in London. There was a row of trainspotters in front of the DJ booth while I was playing and one guy who looked really wasted kept waving a £20 note at me. I just ignored him thinking that perhaps he wanted to buy the record that was playing as that’s happened before. He kept waving the £20 note at me and ended up throwing it at me, I threw it back at him. He started putting his hands on the records that were playing like he was trying to pick something up. By this time the promoter saw what was happening and pulled the guy away. Turned out that the guy was on acid, thought he was at the bar and was trying to order a drink. Made me laugh anyway. Apart from that, just the usual nudity, sex, satanic rituals etc, etc.

 

Thank you very much, Tony. I’m already looking forward to the 22nd of November, when we happily meet each other again (speaking ‘bout satanic muffins ‘n’ stuff in a club) – over a coffee of course.

 

I know it will be very special again

 

Interview: Mike Rui

Surgeon is playing and starting his residency at Untertauchen/Goethebunker, 22nd of November 2014 – come on in and join us. Event: www.facebook.com/events/1478851945733779