LISTEN: Reissued Cavern Of Anti-Matter

Check out a track from the band below set to be reissued soon, as well as a chat with the band's Tim Gane

Cavern Of Anti-Matter are soon set to reissue album Blood Drums which was originally available in 2013 via Grautag and will now be given a new lease of life by Duophonic bringing it to digital formats for the first time.

The album was the first from the band having formed in 2012, featuring Tim Gane of Stereolab, and currently goes for vast amounts of money on the resale market. You can pre-order the reissue here.

With the record set for reissue in January, we caught up with Tim Gane from the band to talk about the album in detail and ask about future plans.

How did Cavern Of Anti-Matter initially form? And what is a ‘Cavern of Anti-Matter’?

Tim Gane: Yes, it’s a little murky the origins of the group. It kind of fell into place haphazardly when we were asked to play live at a festival organised by Grautag, the label who originally issued the Blood Drums LP. Before that there was no group. I was working on this electronic LP idea and Joe played drums on one or two tracks (which I re-used over and over again) and Holger was the Technical Advisor who helped set up all the electronic gear, which i had never used before and didn’t know how to play. I wanted to work to with all new equipment to try to get a different sound and Holger was the perfect person to show me the possibilities. He ended up doing some electronics and rhythms too so when I got asked to play live I naturally thought of Joe and Holger to perform this “one off” event.

Cavern of Anti-Matter was the name of the sweet shop i grew up round the corner from in Manor Park in the 70’s. I thought it was an odd name but only found out later that it was the name of an art exhibition. They also sold stink bombs and fart cushions and magic cards so maybe it has something to do with that.

Your first album as Cavern of Anti-Matter was Blood Drums that came out on Grautag in 2013. How did you approach this record, and how did that differ from void beats/invocation trex that came out this year?

TG: Blood Drums is a studio based LP performed mainly by myself, rather insular and introverted with a kind of small intimate sound. There wasn’t a band as such at the time, Void Beats is very much a group record with a group feel, with many of the tracks recorded live in the studio and edited down into the final tracks you hear. Consequently it has bigger, more expansive sound and tries to capture the dynamics of a live band playing (albeit with extensive editing and treatments later).

What connects the two LPs is a rather free wheeling approach to filtering and electronically treating sounds which is splashed across everything. The “songs” mainly came out of these rather spontaneous explorations into the texture of electronically produced and effected sounds. Two or three of the shorter tracks were written beforehand in the way I have done before.

What sources did your draw inspiration from when you were making void beats/invocation trex? And what gear were you using that enabled you to further investigate your sound?

TG: There are basically the same instruments on both COA-M LPs. Some more Modular electronic stuff on the second LP but other than that the same. A list of the exact equipment used is available on the sleeve of both LPs. A lot of inspiration comes from the sounds that we are attracted to when we come across them in our experiments and may lead us into a certain direction because of inherent possibilities we hear in them.

One thing that happened before Void Beats was that we were asked to make the test music for a film and the director wanted lots of different drum machine sounds so we went about recreating some drum machine rhythms that we thought had a distinct sound like those from early Human League incarnation The Future and Cabaret Voltaire (amongst others). The sounds were all generated by modular synths and other electronics to sound like drum machines. We didn’t use these on the LP but along the way we came across many of the core aspects of these sounds and why they sound so characterful. The beguiling nature of the components of these sounds did send the LP into a certain direction. Into a kind of primitivism that has some kind complex emotions which you can’t put your finger on.

How has working in this trio influenced your musical process compared to your years in Stereolab?

TG: It’s quite different inasmuch as when I said before that now with COA-M the sound texture comes first and when we have this landscape or sound world we can move musical impulses around within it. Stereolab ideas were simply constructed on a guitar (usually) and explored and often de-natured in the studio.

In one sense these are opposite strategies but with the same aim to try to find something unknowable. COA-M is more random layerings and found studio sounds that coalesce into a composition. Stereolab was more about breaking down and transforming a composition whilst keeping it’s essence intact.

Void Beats/Invocation Trex features vocals from Bradford Cox and Pete Kember. How did these contributions come about? What other contemporary artists do you follow, and would like to potentially collaborate with?

TG: Bradford had originally done this vocal for a soundtrack I had done but as it was hardly used in the film and I really liked his vocal I decided to re-record the music and keep the vocal. I like to have a short pop song on any LP I’m involved in it seems. I love his singing and phrasing and humour. Totally unselfconscious which is something I really admire.

I did ask Pete especially for this record. He’s another guy with a wonderfully charismatic voice and he does that great speaking-singing thing. He’s been a total inspiration to me since the late 80s and i thought that his voice would really the type of sounds we got for this LP.

How has this last year been for you, and what does Cavern of Anti-Matter have coming up in its future?

TG: Doing tours and festivals again, which is strange. Didn’t think I would do that again. Just starting to think about doing another new record perhaps for later on next year. No idea what will happen with that. In the meantime the long overdue re-release of the first LP will happen and I’m happy about that as I won’t get moaned at so much.

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