Q&A - Cavern of Anti Matter
Cavern of Anti Matter (COAM) is the new project from Stereolab founder, Tim Gane. Labels and definitions were thrown at Stereolab as frequently as left hooks at a Donald Trump rally and the birth of COAM should see this trend continuing. Incorporating influences from Krautrock to synthpop to rock to electronica to … how long have you got? This Berlin based three-piece span the musical spectrum for your delectation and we caught up with them ahead of their forthcoming performance at Liverpool Psych Fest to discuss their latest album release, politics in music and collaborating with Deerhunter’s, Bradford Cox.
Q. As part of your 2016 tour you will a be playing at the Liverpool Psych Fest this September, what can we expect to see from you?
A. Psychedelic mumbling.
Q. ‘Psychedelia’ and ‘psychedelic’ music has morphed and evolved into something more layered than (perhaps) the more recognised form of 1960s psychedelic rock. Please discuss in relation to your own musical identity and what has influenced the music you make.
A. When I was a teenager, psychedelic meant the music would be strange and probably a bit deranged. Non-Mainstream, non-Blues with an explosion of freaky sounds, echo blasts, shrieks and screams, breathing and moaning. My favourite record that sums up this type of psyche for me is Brainticket’s Cottonwoodhill. That it is only one type of psychedelia and there are hundreds more. I think all psychedelic music should be a bit alienating though.
Q. Cavern of Anti-Matter include two members of Stereolab. Would you say that there is a thread of continuity throughout these projects (in terms of your ambitions and inspirations) and can tell us how collaborating with different musicians (in each project) influences this.
A. I look at COAM (Cavern of Anti Matter) as a very specific thing. I don’t really think it is a continuation of what I did with Stereolab. I’m open to anything new that will come along and knock my block off.
Q. Stereolab referenced a number of socio-political themes resulting in some reviewers categorising the band as ‘Marxist Pop’. What do you believe drives the impulse to come up with such labels and (perhaps more pertinently) would you say there has been a general depoliticisation in contemporary music?
A. If “political” means “party political”, like in the 80’s, then it’s definitely better there’s less of it. In general I don’t think music is a good medium to put straight political points across. Music needs to be abstracted and unknowable for it to truly be powerful and life changing. The emotions it can generate are too unconstrained to be neatly boxed up and if there is any political message music will bend it all out of shape. Stereolab were never “marxist pop”. That’s for sure.
Q. You released new album, ‘ Void Beats/Invocation Trex’ this year. Can you tell us the
aspirations and intentions behind this work?
A. Something primitive building to complex melody cells.
Q. You collaborated with Bradford Cox (Deerhunter) on the single ‘liquid gate’. How did this come about and how was the experience of working with Bradford?
A. Bradford Cox is someone I first met in 2000 in Atlanta and we’ve met each other quite a bit in the meantime. He helped me out recently when I needed a vocal recorded super-fast for a soundtrack I was doing. The song he sings on the LP was originally recorded for a soundtrack but I liked his vocal so much I wanted to re-record the music again for the COAM album.
Q. Liverpool Psych Fest aside, what have you got coming up and what are you working on?
A. Just done an EP called “I’m the unknown”.
Q. What other bands/musicians are you looking forward to seeing at Liverpool Psych Fest?