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When the kings of babble bare addition to add a ball music bite to their cyberbanking dronescapes, there was alone one man for it: Andrew Weatherall.
“We capital that added ‘four-to-the-floor’ sound,” says Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power. “He had a advanced history of alive with that stuff, so he helped advance us in that direction.”
“It was a ablaze idea,” says adolescent Button, Andrew Hung. “His assignment on albums like Screamadelica had that mix we were after. And our administrator drank in the aforementioned pub as him as well, so that helped accepting him on lath [laughs].”
Armed with a scattering of prewritten tracks, Hung and Ability descended into Weatherall’s cavern studio, The Bunker, accessory with army applique and war memorabilia, and started to beef out their additional album, Tarot Sport.
“At that point anniversary clue was alone fabricated up of bristles things,” says Hung. “With keyboards on a brace of tracks, afresh some beats, adornment bits, and actuality from a microphone. Weatherall was like, ‘Where’s the blow of it?’ [laughs].”
The acclimatized ambassador and his architect hunkered down, fleshing out what Hung and Ability had accustomed them, and zeroed in on any sonic issues that came with the raw material.
“It would booty them a brace of hours aloof to get rid of the nuisance frequencies,” says Hung. “It was so innocent, that time. We didn’t apperceive how to address or almanac music. We didn’t apperceive anything. We had to accept advice to do that.”
Between them they all realised an album, abscess with emotion, mood, drive, passion, and power. Tarot Sport took the naïve and antic sonic abstracts Hung and Ability had dreamt up, and, through Weatherall’s bright stewarding, added a accuracy of beats and antithesis that hasn’t beneath to this day.
“It was a new affair for us,” says Power. “For a authentic babble band, we were one of the aboriginal to articulation a melody to it, and add ball music, to a assertive degree.
“We had Weatherall’s flat and things to blend about with, now. We hadn’t been presented with the befalling to comedy with all these aberrant and admirable things before. We were kids in a sweetshop, really.”
In the flat with Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power
(Image credit: Press)
Hung: “We recorded in The Bunker – Andy Weatherall’s studio. I’m abiding he acclimated Pro Accoutrement and a big Mac with the grate. Afresh Yamaha NS10s and a brace of ADAMs. It was absolutely basic.
“We were application toys – kid’s pianos, Casio stuff. Ben had an ’80s keyboard alleged a [Casiotone] MT-11. It had alternation circuitry. I had a Roland SH-32, and the [Casio] SA-5, which was one of the aboriginal affectionate of agenda keyboards. Afresh we had an EBow, and beats were fabricated on a Game Boy application LSDj. We additionally acclimated a ‘thunderstick’ bang tube to get cavernous sounds.
Power: “I had a Boss Looper, two Metal Zones, a Slicer pedal, a baby Fisher-Price karaoke machine, some adjournment pedals, a Jackhammer, and a baby mixer. Afresh an MFB Synth II and an Omnichord.
“We weren’t gearheads. I’m a close accepter that if you can address a song, you can address a song on anything.”
Benjamin John Power: “We had no ambition in apperception aback authoritative the album. It was aloof authentic exploration. Tarot Sport had already been accounting aback we went into the flat [with Andy Weatherall]. That was the aftermost time we went into somebody else’s space, with a producer, application their studio.
“After this anthology I kinda afresh congenital a flat for Fuck Buttons [called Amplitude Mountain]. Tarot Sport was the aftermost affair that we did alfresco of our own space.
“It was a absolute quick aeon amid the aboriginal anthology and this one advancing out, too. It was alone a year.”
Andrew Hung: “The autograph didn’t booty too connected to do. It never does, really. Anniversary tune we wrote in an afternoon. The absolute recording and mixing, and a bit of production, was done in three weeks.
“The aboriginal clue we formed on was Surf Solar. I bethink that it had a absolutely anemic kick! I bethink Weatherall brought in the [Roland] 808 and I was like, ‘Oooh!’ [laughs]. We’d additionally aloof bought a Slicer pedal, so we were slicing articulate samples. That’s what accumulating that track.
“We had a basal setup, including my keys, which was a adulterated organ. Afresh Ben had his organ, but that wasn’t adulterated until it kicked in, at the end of the song. Afresh I had a [Casio] VL-Tone, which did the aerial melodies. That was our basal setup. Afresh we’d accept beats, as well. We’d accept one aspect that would drive the assembly of that song. For this one it was the articulate slicing. Not abiding area the vocals were from.
“We were in the addiction of about recording things as well. We had a library of that. We were consistently mining that for sample sources. That was a big allotment of our process. We weren’t organised, admitting [laughs]. We admired actuality surprised.”
Hung: “This was the best abridged clue that we went into the flat with. We did all these songs sequentially. So, on the aboriginal day we did Surf Solar, afresh the abutting day we formed on Rough Steez.
“When Weatherall did Surf Solar we didn’t absolutely about-face up that day. He said, ‘Oh, aloof appear over in the afternoon because we charge to do all our actuality to get ready’. So we popped in afterwards in the day and heard what he’d done and went, ‘This is fucking amazing! We don’t charge to do anything!’ [laughs]. The abutting day on Rough Steez we came in and he had this glam bedrock leash boom affair activity on that he’d sampled off an old Gary Glitter almanac [laughs]!
“At the time I was gobsmacked…And afterwards a few hours I piped up and went, ‘This is not our track…’ From that additional day onwards, that’s aback we aboriginal started axis up in the morning [laughs]. I anticipate that Glitter exhausted is still in there actually, but low in the mix.
“This was the clue we acclimated an EBow on, as well.
“This clue was consistently activity to go actuality on Tarot Sport, as well. With these albums we had a template. We acclimated the aboriginal clue as a banger. Afresh we acclimated the additional as a cleanser, afore acrimonious it aback up again.”
Hung: “Tarot Sport was area we hit our stride. We acclimated the average area of this anthology as momentum. Afresh we displace it again. Afresh we had the enders.
“I admired the exhausted that’s on this. It has that angry beat. It was agnate to Sweet Love For Planet Earth [from the admission album, Street Horrrsing], as well, as it had that delayed bassline, too.
“On this clue we alien the snares and the bells. It formed absolutely well. I admired the snares on this. It had a lot to do with Weatherall.
“Yeah, the advance mix into anniversary other. That was article we connected from the aboriginal album, too.
“In hindsight Fuck Buttons was kinda like this acme [laughs]. Aloof like the music, I guess. It was continuation, continuation, continuation. And afresh tweaking at the aforementioned time.
“We had a few $.25 and bobs that we had anticipation of putting in amid the advance as cleansers, or whatever. I bethink Weatherall had said, ‘Sometimes you aloof gotta drive the barter through the wall!’, so we absitively to chase The Lisbon Maru with Olympians.”
Hung: “The exhausted on this was accounting on the Game Boy, and that’s what accumulating that one. It was a absolutely adroit process. It was absolutely pure. I got absolutely into it.”
Power: “I acclimated the MFB Synth II on the addition to this and Surf Solar, as well. They accept that actual delayed out, arpy, aerial bombinate accuracy to them.
“I additionally had a [Suzuki] Omnichord, which had some dodgy boom arrangement presets congenital into it. And that was activity through a Slicer and Boss adjournment pedal, and that was aloof actuality manipulated on the fly.
“We consistently wrote in a actual alive sense. We’d set up as we would set up for a alive appearance aback we were writing. We weren’t alive with cool close layers. It was appealing bare down.”
Hung: “The London Olympics was in 2012, but they started architecture the stadiums and actuality way afore that. I had to biking amid West and East to area Ben was active to address music at that time. So I’d be activity on the overground, seeing actuality like that. The burghal was architecture up to the games. There was article in the air, which fed into this track.”
Power: “These beneath affected advance were added like fun jam sessions. We aloof approved to lock into a groove, and afresh maybe adorn on top of that.
“With advance like The Lisbon Maru and stuff, there was added of a adapted agreeable that we would try and body aloft and draw it out. But on actuality like Phantom Limb and Rough Steez we were added experimenting with the abstraction of canal here, and authoritative a aberrant groove. They’d aloof be jam sessions. They were a lot of fun, though.”
Hung: “We were adolescent at the time, but it was absolutely serious, the music we were making. We had a accustomed affection to do something… a bit bizarre. That would generally accomplish its way into some of the tracks, and added times you’d aloof accept a splurge of whatever you capital to do. Phantom Limb was like that. It was actual effects-driven. It was just… playing. That was, and still is, actual important. It has to be fun. This is a fun track.”
Hung: “We were application a Roland SH-32, which was absolutely arresting on the aboriginal two albums. By this track, I acquainted that I’d got absolutely acceptable at my accoutrement at that point. I bethink arena the SH-32, a little Casio keyboard, and the VL-Tone. So I was arena three genitalia on that [laughs].”
Power: “Andy acclimated to use the SH-32 added than me. He acclimated it on a few things. We didn’t abstracted roles, as such. But we’d accept our own little accumulating of actuality that we’d go to.”
Hung: “We had a adjournment pedal that we synchronised with the SH-32. There was an arpeggio activity on with that synth, so that was fun. Also, the exhausted wasn’t so pounding. It was added rolling. I bethink in the flat that they put a 4/4 exhausted abaft it to alpha with and I didn’t apperceive how to call what I capital it to be. I’d not learnt to ‘talk’ musically. I said, ‘It’s not this [mimes a abiding duke movement]. It’s this [mimes a added accepted one]’. And Weatherall instantly got that. It’s interesting. They angry it from a 4/4 into what it is now. He afflicted up the hi-hats and I was like, ‘Yeah! That’s it!’
“With this one I bethink activity like we’d fabricated the absolute loop. We were consistently attractive for the absolute bend and this was the abutting we got.”
Hung: “This was a song we’d accounting alike afore Street Horrrsing had appear out. We were arena that ages ago. We originally alleged it Bright Tomorrow Allotment 2. I anticipate this clue is the arch articulation amid Street Horrrsing and Tarot Sport.
[Surprised] “It’s absolutely fast this one, isn’t it? It’s like 140bpm, or something. The exhausted for this one was accounting on Cubase, which I haven’t affected aback [laughs].
“For me Tarot Sport acquainted like an achievement. We’d got somewhere. Street Horrrsing represents the alpha of that, afresh Tarot Sport is like, ‘Right! This is what we’re aggravating to do!’ It was so innocent, that time. We didn’t apperceive how to address or record, so we aloof focused on authoritative it. What we were accomplishing was aloof advice through sounds. It was fun. We didn’t characterization it. But as anon as it started get attention… the labels came [laughs]. Aback I accept aback to this, I appetite that again. Not the aesthetic, but just… to play!”
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