I’m rootin’ for this guy
DD: Melt Face, I was entranced by your show at SPACE in Seattle. How’s the tour been so far? What was Seattle like compared to other cities?
MF: Thank you Trevor! The show at SPACE was definitely a high point. The tour has been a magical journey, full of teeth grinding beats and sweaty girls and boys. We swerved through deserts, plains, hills, mountains, city’s and big nothings!!! I really can’t describe the presence that the American landscape prints in your mind; It is phantasmic! The slice of Seattle I was offered swung between an artist’s utopia of sorts and a drudgery of American labor. We stayed at an art collective called the Inn, which was hosting a music and arts fair. It was amazing to hear people talk about how they came so they could support this person or that person, and everyone was spending money to help out with bands or vendors. The place got fogged out pretty quick and we were surprised to see that the police really didn’t have a problem with it. No noise violations, no one was searched for drugs or paraphernalia. Kind of blew my mind a little bit. It seemed like Seattle had something going for the arts that was respected by the community at large. Seattle still holds a bit of mystery and darkness for me, so I am sure that I will have to return.
DD: You definitely must come back, maybe next time I’ll be booking you for a show! What got you interested in creating these crazy Melt-Face sounds?
MF: I am an outsider electronic artist. I was never a DJ, and I played in bands of all sorts before coming to electronic music. My experience with synth noise parties and sound art was my first foray into digitalism in a way that was not a standard four on the floor approach. Friends getting together and hooking up dilapidated drum machines to Casio keyboards and guitar pedals and just tripping out.
Sound in the art school scene in the Midwest is approached in very visceral ways; Being driven through a space by a high freq pulse or lulled in to a harmonious highrise of texture that creates a second realization of the space you are in. For me these sounds are the intellectual driving force behind a Melt-Face set; Digital atmospheres reaching people in a hidden part of their abstract communication centers.
I used to frequent the Chicago scene when Drum and Bass was big, so the pull of danceable music has always been there as well. The rhythms that I create for the music that will be featured on the HEAD WOUND album are all based on Mbiri tribal drum polyrhythms. Similar to the fundamental basis for Jungle. I have always been attracted to the magic of a drum, so when I found out about the voodoo drummers of the Congo and the Mbiri tribe in Kenya I was blown away by the complexity of space and texture with just drums. The Tenori-On midi synth controller helps to facilitate the sound of a drum circle and is recently one of the biggest assets to producing my live sound.
So in short Melt-Face is a way for me to bridge the gap between my techno western world and my sea of soul.
DD: I like your mindset. When will this “Head Wound” album be coming out?
MF: The album will be released digitally in August through Bandcamp.com and will also have a physical state (CD’s as well as one off vinyl pressings) with some original artwork by Daimien Weems and some poetry from Joe Savarino. There will also be a DVD documenting the Melt-Across-America tour. Facebook.com/melt-face for info on specific release dates and information on where to get it.
DD: Where do you feel your music going from here? Is there any sort of dream project you would love to see put into motion?
MF: I feel that my understanding of music is increasing with every breath and I see my music spiraling out in all directions; tapping unconscious toes into toe tapping. Reaching more people with live performances of electronic music!!
I have dreams of huge creatures with sound unit bodies crawling through crowds of people sampling, looping and generating sound with their motion. To this end I would like to design a few more instruments, more costumes for my dancers. I have seen some very interesting uses for MAX/MSP in combination with video cameras and acoustic drums. Also, i will continue my slow research in to the world of hand-built electronics and hopefully crank some neat stuff out in the next year or so.
I will be working on new music this year to tour with next summer and also creating a side project with a producer friend of mine out in LA. The project will be called Brother Lovers, and will be a purely strange orchestra of sound, look for it on http://fastboat.tumblr.com/
I would also like to create a freak out noise circus that travels non-stop like the band of Merry Pranksters.
DD: I’m excited for that shit! Any final words man?
MF: SEND ME YOUR SHOWS!!!!!!!!! Seriously I want to play as much as I can, and performance is where the magic is for Melt-Face.
Melt-Face on Soundcloud
– Jimi Jaxon