QA : SHANE ENGLISH

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  1. Who are you?

Shane English

  1. What do you do?

I record, release and sometimes perform music by myself as S. English and together with Jonah Lange as Corporate Park.

  1. Where do you often create/produce?

Currently I record in my home studio in Austin, Texas.

  1. When?

I compulsively record in 3-4 hour sessions several times a week.

  1. Why do you play music?

Although my work is in no way autobiographical in a traditional sense, it gives me a feeling of documenting my life.

  1. When did you start making music?

I started playing percussion instruments when I was around 10 years old (I’m 31 now).

  1. How would you describe your own music?

Hypnotic, cybernetic, lugubrious.

  1. Any track of the moment?

I love the new record by JASSS, “Weightless”400PPM’s “Fit For Purpose”, as well as rummaging through the Muslimgauze back catalogue, which has been a constant for many years at this point.

  1. What influences your work?

Ancient mysteries, secret knowledge, altered states of consciousness, paranoia, remote viewing, early experimental music.

  1. Favorite book?

We by Eugene Zamiatin

  1. Favorite classic movie?

Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky, everything Maya Deren.

  1. Favorite music label?

Staalplaat, ADN, Permis De Contruire, Discos Esplendor Geometrico, Chain Reaction, Sound Of Pig, CoC, Touch, Vanity Records, Nekrophile Rekords, S.J. Organisation, Bain Total

  1. Your dream collaboration?

John Cage.

  1. Are you analog or digital?

Right now my setup is a hybrid of the two, but I’ve never concerned myself with this too much. I’ve done many recordings purely “in the box,” as well as plugging a wooden box into a tape recorder. I just use what is around me.

  1. Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play?

Very old rhythm box style drum machines, late 80’s digital drum machine, modern hardware sampler/sequencer, analog polysynth, smartphone field recordings, vintage multi-effects unit, tape deck, Ableton Live, rotary midi controller.

  1. Describe your creative process?

I almost always begin by building a rhythm, from there it’s very free-form and intuitive. Once I get to a point that feels right, I press record and perform live. Sometimes I may bring those recordings back into Ableton Live for additional processing and effects.

  1. When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

Nighttime

  1. Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual)

Recycled Books & Records in Denton, Texas / End Of An Ear in Austin, Texas / Vinal Edge in Houston, Texas / Material World (formerly Heaven Street) in NYC

  1. Any future plans?

Continue recording & releasing and hopefully tour in 2018.

  1. Any “mot de la fin”?

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” –Aldous Huxley

 

in depth/

 

Judging​ ​from​ ​this​ ​excellent ​ mix  ​you ​​did​ recently​ ​ for​ ​ NTS​ ​ and​​  ​ ​ Eris,​ ​ your​ ​ new​​  ​LP ​ on​ LIES,​ ​the​ ​range​ ​of​ ​influences ​​upon​ ​your​ ​music​ ​appears​ ​to​ ​be​ ​vast. You​ ​mentioned​ ​Sakamoto​ ​and​ ​Watermann​ ​as​ ​influences-​ ​did​ ​they​ ​inspire​ ​you​ ​for​ ​the formation ​ of​ ​ this​ ​ LP?​ 

 

Those artists are definitely influences. I’ve been an obsessive music collector for several years. I would say my biggest influences come from the initial bootleg music blog movement from the mid-to-late 2000s, particularly the ones that unearthed dark experimental and industrial music coming from the vast 1980’s underground. Back then I would typically download 10-15 albums a day! If I had to break it down to a few absolute favorite artists I would say – Wire/Dome, Esplendor Geometrico, Cabaret Voltaire, Muslimgauze, and Zoviet France.

 

What​ ​does​ ​Eris​ ​refer​ ​to? 

Eris is a mischievous/chaotic deity within the Discordian “religion.” Eris in the context of the LP was to be a code name for an imaginary (?) American intelligence black budget psychological experiment – performed on an unknowing public.

 

Could​ ​you​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​more​ ​about​ ​its​ ​compositional​ ​approach?

 

I usually start by building a custom drum kit with synths, samples, and sometimes field recordings done on my phone. I then experiment with different patterns and time-based effects – I love the syncopation and unexpected results of processing rhythms through several layers of (digital & analog) delay. From there I may go on to add droning elements and my own voice over the rigid rhythmic base. Trial & error and chance are always a big part of the process. Creating a hypnotic headspace with sound is very interesting to me- maybe a way of escaping reality.

 

Few​ ​weeks​ ​ago,​ ​we​ ​premiered​ ​‘concrete​ ​message’​ ​-​ ​we​ ​found​ ​it​ ​simply ​ brilliant-​ ​ it​​ ​kind of ​ reminded​ ​ us​ ​ of​ ​ many​ ​ great​​  experimental​ ​ sound​ ​ artists​​  ​we ​ liked​ ​ such​​  as​ ​ Otto​​  Luening,​ Else ​ Marie​ ​ Pade,​ ​ ​Halim​ ​El ​ Dabh..​ ​ and​​ ​made ​us​ ​ ​think ​ ​about ​ how​ ​ ​your ​ LP​ ​ is​ ​ actually​ ​ a​ ‘concrete ​ message’​ ​ -​ ​ sonic​ ​ fragments​ ​ not​ ​ tight​ ​ to​ ​ ​one ​ specific​ ​ ​genre ​ collaged​ ​ in​​  a​ nonlinear ​ way​ ​ to​ ​ deliver​ ​ a​ ​ ​message. ​ Are​ ​ the​ ​ ​tracks ​ independents​ ​ ​or ​ linked​ ​ to​​  each​ other?​ ​If​ ​so,​ ​what’s ​ ​the​ ​narrative? 

 

That track in particular was not a typical one for me. I recorded it while living in Baltimore, Maryland after taking a walk around the harbor and downtown area. On the walk I saw an original Toynbee Tile for the first time in person. Toynbee Tiles are a perplexing series of small messages of unknown origin burned into asphalt on city streets all over the world (literally “Concrete Messages”). I became intrigued by them after watching the 2011 documentary “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles” (which is available to stream in full on Vimeo). After the walk, I fired up my system with the intention of making an audio interpretation of one of those tiles- “Concrete Message” was the result. Else Marie Pade is the only artist that I’m familiar with on that list, and I absolutely love her work. As far as a narrative for the LP, I might compare it to a surrealist exquisite corpse – individual parts that make up a bigger picture- where the end product is very much up for interpretation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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