"There's so much good music forking out in different directions, it is hard to keep up. "
Xploding plastiX, are, in our humble estimation, theee best thing in dance music right now. Articlulate, funny, slightly wacky, and possessing a superhuman drummer, who cuts down trees with his teeth. We asked Hal, mixer and twiddler extraordinaire, to explain what goes on in the world of plastiX.
IN; Hell your drummer's good! He does take the music somewhere else, doesn't he? H; "Uh, yes. Erland Dahlen is a brilliant drummer, who has managed to turn his handicap - 7 arms - to his advantage. The dynamic he brings to the music is very delicate. Full on breakneck stuff when needed, more atmospheric percussion when suitable. Coming from a jazz background, he is able to develop the rhythmical section in surprising directions, rather then just double up a beat we drop. Also, he isn't an improvisation fascist so he's able to play steady when that's what the song asks for. Mostly its just feeding of each other, fuelling the energy and resulting in some interesting tunes". IN; What do you listen to? You obviously seem interested in a lot of music. H; "Basically it's a free for all. Electronical music, jazz, hip hop, contemporary music, country, whathaveyou. If you want specifics, I've listened to a lot of the stuff Cantaloupe puts out; the bang on a can stuff, Phil Kline etc. And the planet Mu label seems to keep quality levels high, through rephlex, warp; the list goes on. Lately that new Kylie Minogue single seems to have an agreeable effect on my nervous system. Go figure". IN; Is that a Norwegian trait? Norwegian bands don't seem to like being in any movements. Is that fair? H; "Ah, yes... I don't know. Small place, Norway, and it may be easier to see what's going on here from the outside. I would say Iceland have a fairly similar situation, with plenty of interesting artists and music, not particularly genre minded, with a "the best song wins" attitude. So maybe it isn't that much of a "national trait", as a "isolated-tiny-population-in-a-small-coldish-place" kind of trait. Eh no, I'll stick to my initial answer; I don't know". IN; What are your big musical heroes? H; "Musical heroes.hmm.Well, there are usually hundreds or none, depending on the time of the day you ask. Arrogant in the morning, humble at night. That being said, we've found much inspiration in the likes of Ennio Morricone, David Lang, Mike Paradinas..." IN; How do you see dance music in general right now? We hear a lot about the death of dance music, (not if you lot are any thing to go by!) What should we be listening to? H; "Well, to me it has been quite evident that electronic dance music isn't like blues music. It can't stay the same forever. But that is a good thing. It has got to evolve or become extinct. Maybe this also goes for the way we listen to electronic music. If the clubs aren't packed anymore, it isn't because the drinks are diluted. Maybe the technology stagnated in the late 90s, (I don't think so), maybe the Ipod killed it. I would say the music has gotten a whole lot more interesting, but a whole lot more dispersed. There's so much good music forking out in different directions, it is hard to keep up. And that's a fertile ground for electronic music, but not for filling stadiums.
IN; Thanks Hal!H; "Cheers!"
Interview by Richard Foster.