Q & A with Amoebazoid


Zuckung from Amoebazoid is the newest c74 music release.

Your music sounds both intricate and spontaneous. Would you prefer people paid more attention to your intricacy or your spontaneity? Or neither?

i’m not sure it matters how people listen to it. it’s complicated in parts, but mostly i think it’s quite accessible. i would also have to admit that the spontaneity is tempered by lot of paranoid editing. most of the stuff here was improvised but not necessarily in the way it ended up in the final recording, although my favourite parts are the unedited sections where the music just flowed that day for whatever reason.

My understanding is that you recently relocated to Berlin. What kind of a music scene is there for you?

Berlin has been very influential on me musically and opened me up to a lot of new stuff. in a sense though, that isn’t really reflected in this album as most of it was recorded in Ireland. the stuff that i’m performing is usually out of step with the stuff i’m trying to polish up in the studio. i don’t think i’m alone in this. i’ve done a lot of live performances in Berlin now and usually tends to occupy the improvised noise end of the spectrum, for better or worse.

Where do you imagine people will want to listen to this album?

i don’t know where people would want to listen to it. i would like them to listen to it on headphones because that is where it came together. also i’m a sucker for the stereo image. that’s not very subtle maybe, but neither am i.

One of my favorites on the album is “Zuckung” the title track. To me it sounds like a particular song from a Return to Forever album from 1974 put through a shredder, but I suspect that has absolutely nothing to do with what you were after. Have you even listened to Return to Forever? Could you talk a little about your relationship to “virtuosity” and “musicianship”?

heh, i don’t really know ‘Return to Forever’ per se but as a relatively recent refugee from the jazz scene i understand the reference. i guess i do have a grudging respect for virtuosity which no doubt comes from my days as a third division jazz guitar guy. i try to not let that get in the way of making something i like to hear, as opposed to something i should appreciate. being at heart a drummer, but never being able to do it, i think i’ve tried to emulate some of that Tony Williams style from the second Miles Davis quintet with Max/MSP. ultimately it hasn’t ended up sounding anything like that but i’m quite happy with the happy accidents it has produced. i also used Max/MSP as a kind of guitar steroid, which converts whatever turgid pentatonic cliches i input to something more interesting. at least i hope so.