Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Abstract Thought/Cisco Ferreira interview

Following on from the Arpanet show in Sweden in January Dopplereffekt have also opened their live account for this year with a show in France on 16/1/15. Dopplereffekt's next advertised date is 5th April 2015 at the Bloc Festival in Paris on a great bill with Carl Craig, Mad Mike and Moritz von Oswald.

Other than a fake Drexciya EP and album on Bandcamp (both very quickly removed and discredited by Clone) things have been a little quiet as far as official news is concerned so I thought it was a good time to revisit  this January 2009 interview I did with Cisco Ferreira of The Advent about working with Heinrich Mueller and putting out Drexciya's Abstract Thought album (part of the Storm series) on his Kombination Research label in 2002. Of all the series this album, Hypothetical Situations, could be argued has become the most obscure and hard to find of the seven. I have previously written about the album in more detail here and currently it's long out of press and is valued between £40 and £125 Sterling on Amazon (CD only) with just two copies of the vinyl available on Discogs at between £80 and £385. It would be so great for new and old fans if this album was ever to be reissued and I would imagine it could be licensed or whatever easily enough if some label wanted to pursue it. My original introduction and interview with a few updated links and Cisco's favourite track from the album is below.

I am very pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with Cisco Ferreira about his involvement with Drexciya/Heinrich Mueller. He is a man who within electro/techno circles needs no introduction but to give him the respect he deserves I‘ll give him one anyway. He has been involved in the UK dance scene, DJing and producing, since pretty much the very beginning (1986) and today is known and continues to play around the world on a regular basis. Solo and as The Advent (from 1993-1999 Colin McBean was also in group) he has been responsible for so many amazing tracks, many seminal, which have moved so many minds and dance-floors. In fact when I first started getting seriously into underground dance music and began buying 12 inches it was The Advent that helped educate me.

Q: I believe you were the first person to licence any Dopplereffekt material outside of the United States in 1997 on the Kombination Phunk compilation. Can you talk about how you first came across their music and what impression it made on you then.
A: I didn't realize that. I knew that those tracks were Hot and I needed them on this compilation and luckily we got two tracks approved.

Q: Was it an easy process to get in contact and licence the material?
A: Nope, we got our record company (BMG) to get in touch and go through the proper channels which all worked out perfectly.

Q: You added some subtle touches to these tracks, 'Pornoactress’ and 'Plastiphilia’, how was this done and why?
A: Yes I was into tape editing in a big way, back in the day's before DAT and CD, so I wanted to add the same analogue feel, so a Studer 1/2 inch tape was hired from "Studio Hire" for this whole Kombination Phunk project.

Q: Dopplereffekt of this period would have quite a prolonged impact on modern electro and on some other electronic music genres of the time. How influential were they, what is your opinion?
A: Very.. as they for me took off where Kraftwerk left off.

Q: Were you also a fan of Drexciya, how did you discover them?
A: Was always a big fan of all things electro that came out of Detroit. Doesn't get any better than Drexciya.

Q: When in 2002 your label, Kombination Research, released Abstract Thought's Hypothetical Situations album from Drexciya's Storm Series, was it a matter of it just being offered out of the blue or did you seek it. Had you maintained a continuous contact from before?
A: This I don't want to go into, but for sure it was a blessing to have this important piece of work.

Q: Did you deal with Gerald Donald or James Stinson?
A: Cannot disclose this information.

Q: The music on the album still sounds pretty amazing and timeless, when you first heard it what did you think? Any favourites? 'Galactic Rotation' is a bit of a monster.
A: They all hit me the same way.. 'Me Luv Womans punani' was the one that stood out for me, not because of the title. :-)

Q: I remember a friend of mine had this on white label for months before it came out, was there a problem or was this how you planned it?
A: I did have some drama with my previous distributor that put this out and I was disappointed they didn't do more to push this release. They were "ELP DISTRIBUTION" run by Corrado Izo. (he ended up shutting down just after I released it).

Q: The artwork is credited to Dimensional Waves Imaging and Oblivion Visual Concepts. Do you know if this was the group themselves or an anonymous outside party? Were they very particular about the details of the text, eg. ‘Music beamed through Dimensional Waves by Abstract thought‘ and the deep abstract thought email address? Did you or they include the 'Drexciya Storm #4' line?
A: What was given to me on text is what I put. Oblivion Visual Concepts is a company here in Portugal that did the final artwork, is run by DJ A Paul.

Q: How has it sold to date?
A: I didn't do this for the sales figures. I did it because I'm a big supporter of electro and to have a release like this I felt honoured to have it on my KR Label.

Q: As a record label owner and music producer that actively uses artwork and titles etc to tie all of your work together and give it depth, like Drexciya, in an age where collecting music has become for many reduced to file sharing and downloading how do you feel about this?
A: Well times have changed and we can't ignore this, with records/vinyl it had a physical identity, now an MP3 in your hard disk doesn't quite cut it for me, technology is changing.

Q: You worked again with Heinrich Mueller on your Recreations project in 2003. Mueller’s track is pretty phenomenal and very different to what he was producing at the time. Where you pleased with what he did with your music?
A: Very pleased, like I said I’m a fan of this music and to have top level artists remixing and doing releases, I’m very honoured to have.

Q: What are your own current artistic activities and plans for the future?
A: More music to release and started a distribution.

Since this interview Cisco's main web contact points have changed to Facebook and Soundcloud.