As Serious As Your Life

July 30, 2011

Hello there everybody. To promote our debut EP, Ranting & Raving, out now on Tirk Records, the lovely people at Brum Notes interviewed us. Below is the full transcript. You can ask us the same questions at more at our EP launch at Digbeth’s  finest hostelry, The Rainbow on August 19th 2011. Facebook event details here. We can’t wait to meet you………..

So, first things first, what are Free School all about?

We’re about making beautiful, timeless electronic dance music. We work on something until it turns into a piece we can listen to forever, it’s really important to us and we are our fiercest critics. We get so enthusiastic about our music because we love listening to it, rather than because we think it deserves praise. We’re not concerned with fashion or trends; you can stifle and sacrifice the things that you do best just to be on the cutting edge.

For those who haven’t heard you, how would you describe yourselves? And who would you name as your influences?

We’ve been variously described as ‘Cosmic Disco’, ‘Synth-wave’, ‘Balearic’ and our current favourite ‘Synth Molesters’! Our music is lush, melodic and bewitching, epic in scale with a strong nod to the dancefloor. Among our influences are Lindstrom, Orbital, Fuck Buttons, Kelley Polar, The Orb, LCD Soundsystem and early Autechre, when they made tunes. There, I’ve said it.

You’ve had some nice support slots so far – what’s been the highlight?

We’ve been really lucky, our debut was with Fujiya & Miyagi, of whom we’re big fans, really really lovely guys too, a real privilege. Mark E as well, such a talent, there may well be something further to report on that soon, watch this space! We DJ’ed at the launch of the Out Of Bounds House label run by The Discomendments guys, they’re pedigree Birmingham House producers. The real highlight has been meeting the people who run the shows in Birmingham, there’s a lot of heart and integrity in what they’re doing, a real credit to the city.

And what have you got planned over the coming months?

Our debut EP ‘Ranting & Raving’ came out on Tirk Records in July so we’re pushing that at the moment and we have an EP launch show at The Rainbow on Aug 19th with the excellent Arc Vel and Greg Bird. We’ve done a remix for Discomendments which will be the first release on the ‘Out Of Bounds’ label, it’s called ‘Tales From The Bunka’ and we’re very very pleased with it. A few of the guys have been playing it out in Croatia over the summer and it’s gone down really well, we just wish we could have been on the beach with them!

We’re just finishing the tracks for the album so we might have another EP out then the album later in the year. Beyond that we’ll be taking our live show to as many places as possible, with the occasional DJ slot in-between.

What are the main ambitions for Free School?

To keep going in the direction we are and not forget why we started doing this, which was to make music that we adore.

Why should we come and see you this month?

We’ve handpicked the acts for the show so it’ll be a fantastic night, Arc Vel creates beautiful, soulful electronica, like Flying Lotus being covered by Boards Of Canada. Greg Bird is Prince meets Ultravox and the wonderful Archmix DJ’s will be in support to glue it all together in their inimitable style. Free School genuinely are a sight to behold, live, and you don’t get a reputation as ‘synth-molestors’ for nothing! Our set up is augmented with a powerhouse of a drummer and we indulge in a fair bit of percussion too.

Anyone else we should look out for in Birmingham at the moment?

Seams is making some amazing music at the moment, Sigmund Frued is well worth checking out, he’s only 16 which beggars belief considering the quality and quantity of his music, you can catch him DJ at the awesome Fantastic Damage nights every month. Sam Redmore is keeping up his eclectic DJ side of things, he’s bringing out more and more production and edit work, which is very exciting. Mark E, goes without saying. Band-wise there’s Victories At Sea and Malpas, they’re both making waves beyond the city at the moment.

Advertisements

Dark Intervals or Keith Jarrett >>> Free School

June 28, 2011

I want to talk about Keith Jarrett. The man who (reluctantly) helped Miles go electric.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. Responsible for the most popular solo piano recording of all time, the Koln concert, he is a huge inspiration for our track Lemon. His ability to improvise and use the well of music within him to produce a blend of gospel, classical, film music, blues, improv and (almost) pop is mindblowing.

So when me and Andy sat down to improvise (coming from a much different place, obviously) for what became Lemon, I tried to get to a similar place that Mr Jarrett gets to. I AM NOT COMPARING US TO KEITH JARRETT. (I am comparing us to Keith Jarrett)

Mr Jarrett also likes one of my favourite booksBut Beautiful by Geoff Dyer. Go read it if you haven’t already. It’s (But) Beautiful.

So let’s talk….. Do people get the link? Here is Mr Jarrett’s Americana from his 1988 album Dark Intervals and below that is Lemon, taken from our forthcoming EP release on Tirk.