Zoë Blade\'s notebook

The Future Sound of London


On sequencing

We've also been going into a live mute situation on Creator, and recording all the mutes, 'cos that can give you a really weird structure. It can get quite messy, but it has something to offer. You might have written a hi-hat pattern which is quite continuous, and you can just drop-mute it at weird points, which gives it quite a scatty feel, so things are always different through the track.

— Garry Cobain, 1992[1]

On sampling

When we started, Brian and myself in the mid eighties, the sampler was very new. We sold drum machines and guitars to get a sampler, and so our ears were tuned to becoming experts in the two second snip, not how to lift a chorus that big, so from that I then realised twenty years later that when I listen to musicians, I'm kinda going "OK, boring, boring, boring, OK, that's boring... OK, interesting, I would sample that." In the beginning, it was, like, play as you want, and when you go I can just take what I want, but gradually it was like "well, actually that's wasting my time as well, and yours, 'cause I can help you. Let's get somewhere more interesting. Let me tell you what I would like you to be playing," and then I'd collage a bit and then I'd bring it back to them and I'd say "OK, now play this again, the way I collaged it," so you'd get into a bit more of a Frank Zappa way of dealing with things.

— Garry Cobain, 2014[2]

I'm not confined to loops. If I want to reduce it to loops, I can, but if I can get a great musician in, that's a virtuoso violin player, and I can be 50% happy with his performance, and the rest of it, tweak it, so I'm 50% happy as if I'm listening to a sample track, then that's very new. That's the next thing, really, and that's, I think, what's happening now. It's not as purist anymore.

We did one of the singles with Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, and at that particular point in time we were seriously up against the limitations of where we were with the technology, and Liz Fraser brought the whole thing collapsing down because she gave us, like, two hours of vocals, and we couldn't handle them. Because although we had, like, seven samplers, it was all about snippets. So if somebody performs a vocal that's great for a minute and a half, and then not good for a bit, in other words, big chunks of samples, how'd you do it in, like, '91, '92? It's very difficult.

— Garry Cobain, 2014[2]

Equipment list

Circa 1992:


  1. Past, Present and Future Music Technology, Aug 1992
  2. Garry Cobain interview, Sverige Radio, 2014 (to be verified)

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