A few words with Gore Tech
Words by Mat Taylor
The Ruckuz had a chat with bearded breakcore innovator, Gore Tech, about modernism, Manchester, and of course his latest release. This man is one to watch. Read on below.
Honestly? I used to work in Millets. No joke, I like the bold font of the ‘GORE TEX logo’ (does this make me liable?), the phonetics of the word, minus the ‘X’ of course. But really I suppose it went some way to describe a sort of sonic aesthetic, it’s vague but still somewhat visual, Gore being the flesh, and Tech being the mechanical, Man versus the Machine I suppose.
It was, and to a certain extent it still is, though the struggle is still very real. It can be tough to get by sometimes, cold winters. It’s a city you could easily lose yourself in and drink away your focus if you’re not careful. I had intended on moving out there a lot sooner than I actually did, I first went out there in 2006 when it really was a little bit more raw and vowed to get my self back out there asap, but alas, life doesn’t always work out like that. I certainly got there towards the tail end of a really great movement. Highlights for me were: Burn the Machine, Subland and Ad Noiseam. Good friends and great people doing what they loved, it was a trip. It was a great city to use as a base to get out and play other cites in Europe for the weekends as well.
EXE has been a long time coming. Now we’ve settled back in Manchester (home to one of the most talented and diverse subcultures on Earth) we decided to give platform to some of the artists and DJ’s here. EXE will be very Manchester-centric, however we’d be daft not to sign artists worldwide. Our vision with EXE, with the Transmission Podcast series, the live events, the releases and mix series is to focus on rich, uninhibited and perhaps even more daring sides of art and music.
To be honest, it’s something Krafty PK and I have talked about doing for years. We’ve both run net-labels in the past and had a lot of fun doing them until our individual projects took off and left us with no time to contribute to them. We’re all also avid science fiction fans which gives a kind of narrative and inspiration to the work we’re doing, and Krafty has always had his ear firmly to the ground too, more so than anyone else I’ve met. He’s always playing me new music, along with our other friend Todd Robinson (Earache Records/Noize-Tek/Endyme) bringing his expertise and vast collections of “dude!-you-have-to-hear-this’ to the party. Essentially, we’re set to bring some real fury to the table. With the ethos of working-class Drum & Bass, Hybrid Electronics, Weightless, Techno and noise, to borrow a quote from Justin Broadrick, with ‘Council Estate Electonics’ we present: EXE.
For a long time I’ve sort of hopped around different labels trying to find a comfortable place to release my music. I’ve become rather accustomed to being a bit of an “outsider”, and I feel as if my music really only sits on the cusps of most the labels I’ve signed with – not because it’s exceptional, perhaps even the opposite, but at least that’s how I feel. I needed a home where I could trust the artistic integrity and values of those who represented Gore Tech and not dilute it with their own piss-weak agendas. I’ve been fortunate enough, for the most part, to have found that in the labels I’ve signed with. With that said, something has always been a little off kilter, like trying to find a comfy spot to to sleep in. EXE was born out sheer necessity, somewhere I could write music without being asked such questions about my output if that makes sense?
There has also been at least been some pressure to bend to a certain style, not by the labels themselves but by the wildly loyal followers of those labels and their expectations to a certain degree. In reality and without compromise, I try to write music that can be described as much by it’s ‘feeling’ rather than such superficial things as ‘BPM’ and ‘Genre’. I guess the above really is just a more pretentious way of saying the same rehashed things all artists would say, but I believe it, it’s not ‘Drum & Bass’ it’s ‘Tension’ it’s not ‘Industrial’ it’s ‘Claustrophobia’ it’s not ‘Dub’ it’s ‘Anxiety’. Let’s not simply write music but build environments.
Don’t laugh…I listen to a lot of music, but if I look over to my collection of recently played LPs you’ll find records by Lancashire folk groups like The Five Penny Piece (thanks Krafty PK), The Pougues and Afrocelt Soundsystem. For the most part I collect and adore Doom, Shoegaze, Stoner Rock, Prog Rock, Psychedelic Hard Rock and sludgy fuzzed out blues. Recent groups I’ve been listening to are Kadavar, Slabdragger, Om and so on. Also a lot of Kryptic Minds, The Bug, Mumdance’s Rinse FM show, JKFlesh and even some grime artists like RikoDan and Flowdan.
Yes, yes it does. This city is getting it’s skyscrapers quicker than Dubai it would seem or at least it feels that way. I suppose that’s the idea behind the aesthetics of EXE, it’s the future coming back to the past through sound and pictures. I’m besotted by the ‘futurphobic’ partly I guess because to some extent we all live in it now. Novels by William Gibson and Philip K Dick and documentaries on Vice’s Motherboard, Adam Curtis films and the need for Wikileaks fill me with a certain dread that I can’t ignore. There’s a lot of great music that comes from the connection between electronics, dystopian sci-fi novels and advancing technology. Throughout touring I’ve met many hackers and cyber-security experts, poets and paranoids alike at our shows, I’ve perhaps spent more time talking ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and Neuromancer with peers such as MachineCode and 2methyl than I ever have about music production. But the artwork used on the new release is a photo from the skyline of this very city, Manchester. Of course it’s altered but not much, not enough not to see it as depicted with the right eyes.
So much, I’m blown away by Dub Phizix, I’ve never heard something so menacing yet so minimal. Precision engineered dread! I’ll always try and play Chimpo, LVL’s, Skittles, Strat’s, Fox, DRS and even as far back as Virus Syndicate in my live shows. I love bringing that Manchester vibe with me in my sets. Broke but cocky, with an unapologetic swagger and some tongue-in cheek working-class bravado. Get meh!?
Robo-Thatcher!? Yeah we, the English, we get what we deserve. You find greedy selfish people will vote for greedy selfish politicians (or allow them to slip in). There is hope, you just can’t see it so well with the TV on.
You know, I think it can, I think that rave culture in England through the late 80’s and all through the 90’s for instance was as much an empowering counter-culture experience as the 60’s were for the previous generation. That pre-millenial tension was a real buzz, It was a push towards a better world through music, art and community. Utopia awaits! As much as the media tried to demonize and downplay the movement, the 90’s was our 60’s and it sends its shockwaves through our culture even today. Electronic music has always been integral in rave music and raving has always been associated with hedonism, gatherings, and communicating different ideas to that of the status quo. I think if anything can motivate people to challenge the establishment, 3000 people attending an illegal free party under a motorway bridge near Warrington is as good a proof as any.
More of the above, we’re currently writing my second EXE EP, I’ve been working on some sound design projects lately, working with Anaal Nathrakh again on their next release and generally more experimenting with music. second EXE. Soon come!
EXE001 Is available now as a limited edition USB stick or digital download, and you can grab it by clicking here. Check the Soundcloud below too for a listen.
Gore Tech’s set from this year’s Bangface Weekender is also available below.