UK techno producer Surgeon lends his clinical touch to this week's RA podcast.
It all started for Anthony Child back in 1994. He found himself in the tiny studio of ex-Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris (AKA Scorn). The two had become friends, exchanging ideas and opinions about music and film, resulting in Harris encouraging Child to use his studio to produce his first tracks. His instructions to Child? "Go mad." And that he did: The toughened industrial psychedelia of the Surgeon EP was released the following year to widespread acclaim in both the UK and Detroit techno scenes.
Further releases on Downwards, Soma, Tresor and his own Dynamic Tension and Counterbalance imprints followed, and Child continued to wow audiences at his House Of God party in his Birmingham hometown, which is still running today. His other residency during the '90s was at Berlin's now legendary Tresor club, where he'd often be found playing back-to-back with Hardwax's DJ Pete (AKA Substance). Nowadays, he's using a fully digital setup to realise his vision, and his deft selection and mixing talents are fully showcased in this week's RA podcast, which was taken from a recent live performance by the man. He'll also be playing at this month's Bloc Weekend in Minehead, where he'll be joined by fellow electronic luminaries Carl Craig, Robert Hood and Aphex Twin. We caught up with Child by e-mail to ask him about the mix, his current DJing set-up and the recent split of his British Murder Boys partnership with Downwards boss Karl O'Connor (AKA Regis).
What have you been working on recently?
Last year was only remix productions, this year will be more of my own. I just finished a new track called "The Crawling Frog Is Torn and Smiles" and I'm about to release four tracks from a live show I did in Norway last summer.
Where and how was the mix recorded?
This set was recorded at Room 237's night at Wire, a small basement club in Leeds on 13/2/09. The sound was just right for the space, loud and punchy, with strong bass where you needed it.
This is the first set I've recorded using a new technique which combines the direct recording with a binaural microphone recording to give a much better sense of the sound as it was when I played this set.
Can you tell us a little about the mix?
I felt relaxed as I played that night, just letting the set flow wherever it wanted to go,
and the great crowd there flowed with it. It's the ideal mixture of styles for my intention as a DJ.
There seems to be some confusion about why you and Karl O'Connor split your British Murder Boys partnership. Can you clear that up at all?
The world can be a confusing place, just relax as you take a deep breath and go deeper.
Do you have any plans for another Surgeon album?
Yes, I do. If it's this year or in ten years time that won't be dictated by market forces. I can feel a wealth of music waiting to burst the dam.
What sort of setup are you using to DJ with at the moment?
Laptop, Ableton Live, MIDI controllers, audio interface. I've played like that for about 5-and-a-half years now, adjusting and changing the setup to keep it fresh.
How did the recent House Of God party go?
Yes, it was great. Always a treat. 16 years is a long time. If House Of God were a person, it would be a petulant teenager!
What are you up to next?
A lot more music to make and busy DJing inside and outside the EU, also with tours in Brazil and Japan.