The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Overlapping Terrain: Richard Skelton's Favourite Music
Luke Turner , February 26th, 2020 09:18

Following the release of his new album LASTGLACIALMAXIMUM, the prolific Richard Skelton speaks to Luke Turner about the music that inspired his own work, from Thomas Tallis to Phuture, Nico to Sly & The Family Stone, The Stooges and Gorecki


Oval - Ovalprocess
The first thing that I put out on Sustain Release was called There Is No Cure. And if you listen to that, and then if you listen to Oval, I think you'll see there's a definite correlation in the texture of the sound. I was taking acoustic guitars and violins, but I was putting them through some quite serious distortion and digital manipulation. I was very inspired by Oval's ability to get this coarse, gritty, digital noise and texture. But what really fascinated me about Oval, and particularly this record, was the idea that this music was being produced algorithmically; that it was a process music. They were using compositional tools to bring it into effect. At that time there were quite a few interesting developments in computers systems music: there was a free open source version of the Max MSP software called Pure Data, and it was quite a strange way of making music. There was no interface – it was just a white screen, and you had to construct music from these really basic building blocks like sinewave generators. But you could get the machine to start making the music itself by feeding in parameters and randomness, and so the music starts to come alive in unusual ways. I found that idea really compelling.