We get a lot of CDs in the post at Sandman. Lots of major releases, loads of promos and plenty of demos. Now, most of the demos have something going for them - at the least most of them are competent and sometimes they’re interesting. Sometimes (and it’s really not that often) they’re both interesting and very, very good. A couple of weeks ago we opened up an envelope and slipped the disc in - a three tracker called Hold Up Half The Sky by something / one called FEEDLE.
It was three lovely great slabs of highly melodic electronica. Without getting too Wire about it, it put us in mind of Steena Nordenstam records with a touch more muscle and a bit of the dry shunting bass of a Squarepusher. Then we hear this / these Feedle character / s are / is involved in the Dustpunk night in a couple of weeks - the media savvy electronic / rock bust-up at the Boardwalk It seemed a good opportunity to go and find out something about him / her / them.
As it happens Feedle is Graham, a tall and rather dry 25 year old who, in passing, mentions that, if the music industry was on fire, he wouldn’t stop to piss on it. Surprisingly the CD is the first thing he’s put out in this form. Surprising, not only because he’s been making music for a few years, but because nowadays you can “do anything you want to do and do it instantly and you can knock up your own CDs at 30p a pop.” “The music industry is falling apart.” He says “We can get our music out there without necessarily being a part of it.”
The ‘we’ Feedle is referring to are the Dustpunk crowd and a loose and geographically scattered group who subscribe to www.tefosav.co.uk and share their music and ideas. Digitonal is a member and will also be appearing at Dustpunk. Somewhat cryptically Feedle mentions that “Digitonal wants to live in Hoxton but can’t. He hasn’t got a fin.”
Incidentally Feedle isn’t particularly keen on his music being tagged as ‘electronica’, although to our ears it is a gentle and subtle variant of exactly that form..
He’s keen to avoid the elitism of a scene and says, “I truly believe I’m making Pop music. I want to get people dancing.” He firmly agrees with Pulp’s Steve Mackey who, in an earlier issue of Sandman, said “Making a lot of noise is an exciting physical experience and that’s what rock’n’roll is all about and a lot of electronic and house music is about getting in a space and having a physical experience with music. We all get excited by extreme volume and the artistic interpretation of that.”
At home you’re more likely to find Feedle listening to rock music along the lines of Pavement and the Flaming Lips than burying his head under wads of post-structural fluff and intellectualized maths as sound.
“Nobody listens to just electronica. Unless they’re stupid. If you use self-consciously difficult structures people will respond to it self-consciously. The crowds in London at electronica only clubs tend to sit on the floor. I like Underworld. It’s not just the 4/4 beat and the getting people to dance but it’s an important part of it.”
If rock’n’roll is urban then Feedle fits in with the more abstract approach of the countryside, growing up in Lincolnshire then ending up in leafy St. Albans before arriving in the ‘bit of both’ metropolis of Sheffield. On the day we spoke he’d just quit his 28th job since leaving university and he’s stating an admiration for Aphex Twin.
“He made some lovely, lovely music in the mid-90s. And he made lots and lots of money so he can now do what the hell he likes. Apparently the Lemonheads record company paid him shitloads to re-mix them. He couldn’t be bothered and when the courier came to pick up the tapes gave them something he’d done years ago. And they never knew. If it happened to me I think I’d fuck off to the Bahamas, live in a hammock and send polaroids of myself home to my mum.”
He’s excited by the prospect of Dustpunk as he loves playing live (he is coy about how live his set will be though. “It’s a state secret.) He feels it’s unique and something that could spread. He is less enthused about the Libertines playing on the same night.
“The Libertines? They just sound like Billy Bragg and we don’t need another one and The Datsuns, the Datsuns are having a laugh, it’s just rehashing.”
Sandman suggests an analogy: If you go a supermarket and buy a tin of beans you want to find beans inside the tin when you open them - anything unexpected is bad and generally unwelcome. Live music on the other hand is different, it’s good to be surprised. Feedle agrees and asks if he can claim it as his own. Sandman says yes but has since decided to reclaim it. Feedle’s probably to busy to care.
LATE FINAL: Sandman caught Feedle at Dustpunk (full report next month). Feedle, unobtrusively, rocks!
words: Jack Tractor