This was a really fun project to work on right the way through. It started with some glitchy beats and a couple of big basslines I was messing around with, with a general idea of a deep but almost overpowering feeling. Kathrin came to my little studio in London and we talked a little about the idea, before she just let go and free-style sang over the loops, using my crappy little test mic I bought for 12 pounds in 2002.
The plan was to lay down some melodic ideas for the vocals, which I could then select, and send back to Kathrin to write lyrics with and re-record properly. But when I ran through everything after I released she'd just nailed it right then and there! All I had to do was layer up some of the multiple instances of her voice, and add my reverbs and widening with some subtle EQing and compression, and it was there - she captured the pure feeling of the music and enhanced it a million times, and I love the free-flowing feeling of it, with it's imperfections and half words, and of course, he subconscious vocal of not feeling any more lead to the title and concise concept for the music.
We knew that we had to get a video made to match Kathrin's work, and I was really excited to find out that Henning M. Lederer, who I had been a big fan of for some time, could do the project. We discussed options together and decided to try a "numbed by the capitalist machine" theme, which he has developed into an amazing, detailed story with a twist. I love the result, I hope it works for you too!
I was really excited to get a chance to work with Andrew Brewer again, as we had done several projects together a few years back which had been great. His old work with me was under the name "Whiskas FX", whereas now he has the new moniker of "One False Move". While he's updated his technical capacity, I was really happy to find out that he still carries his knack for bringing a narrative into my music, and matching the video perfectly to the concept and feeling of the the work.
My concept for this track was to try and make something that represented a summer meadow, and the feeling of moving through it, with the beauty and warmth on a large scale complimented by a hive of natural activity going on at smaller scales. I also wanted to use interference patterns in the video, with the lines of blades of grass as a starting point.
Andy pulled of the perfect combination of my seemingly contradictory requests by using computational line drawings and Moire patterns to tell a visually beautiful story of a natural scene - a meadow in the wind, rain and sun.
BRAIDS are one of my favourite bands, so when I had the chance to work with them I jumped on it. The vocals were the starting point, which I layered and used to generate a general feeling also in fitting with the lyrics, which then defined how I built the rest of the tracks around them. The first one from the EP is "Pleasures", for which I wanted to make something positive and warming, with nice straightforward drums and nothing too harsh in terms of builds and drops, just a delicate flow to give a pleasurable listening experience, hopefully!
This remix marks the first time multi-million selling minimalist soundtrack composer Michael Nyman (The Piano; Gattaca; The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover) has allowed his work to be remixed.
For the video, animator and director Nick Cobby wanted to add a human element to his visuals for the first time, asking Max Cooper fans to come down to his London studio to be filmed.
"After listening to the track, I was aware of how important the vocal element is in the track, which added an emotional and human element alongside Max's sonic soundscapes. I knew that i wanted to include real people for the first time, but i wanted to change their appearance; making them something more animated and kinetic, and therefore bring them into Max's world."
Each participant was filmed individually, concentrating on their facial expressions and head movements. Incorporating Kinect camera technology, depth data captured by the Kinect was used to create 3d point data of the individuals filmed. This 3d map was then reconstructed to re-create the participants, utilising code and creative technology to create a generative outcome.
I had a modern classical/electronica mix from a friend (JamBon) which I had been listening to a lot, and after a weekend away the original of this track was really stuck in my head. At some point I clicked that it sounded just like the style of another friend - Hiatus, and on checking, it was him! So I got straight on email to him asking if I could have the parts, and I even got started on the remix before they arrived by buying the mp3 and starting to lay some ideas around that - When it's on I find it's best to go with it. It was a really enjoyable remix to do given how beautiful the original parts are, my mix is quite similar really, as I couldn't improve on it melodically, I've just tried to add some of my own flavour and twists.
For this one I wanted to make something soft and deep and enveloping, but still with that techno compatibility, so I went with a simple rhythmical structure and long drawn out pads and chords, with some singing of single notes which I layered on top of each other to make some sort of vocal texture.
Dmitry also added this about the video: "Life comes into being, blooms and vanishes. And where all life is built of smaller parts that form a living whole, in this video I created fractals of human body parts that are born, bloom to form a larger, more coherent whole, then die. They're abstracted hands, ears, and faces similar to Max's earlier 'positive mutation' visuals - tying a minimalist look in with abstracted shapes. Max often works with ideas around the aesthetics of science, and I wanted to connect the scientific idea of fractals to the experience of life itself."