Tuesday, 25 March 2014

"The UK is a Nation of Cunts" BLACKNECKS interview for Thump UK

I interviewed the mysterious, reclusive techno duo BLACKNECKS for Thump,. Rally nice guys, so down to earth, really nice guys, so down to earth, really nice guys, so down to earth:

If there's one thing I know about techno it's that techno is serious business. Nobody knows this better than Blacknecks; the enigmatic, previously anonymous dons of serious techno. So serious and mysterious are Blacknecks that rumours about their real identities have been rife in techno-land for a while, inspiring raging debate and some epic forum threads. The press release for 2013's 'Untitled' called them "The new, anonymous side project of two prominent UK garage producers & remixers, known for remixing a string of top 40 singles, as well as having their own minor hit in the late naughties."
Word on the street was that Blacknecks were Skream, or Burial, or Disclosure (thanks Mary Anne Hobbs) - or even the dark lord himself, Cliff Richard. With that in mind, many serious techno heads crammed in to see Blacknecks live debut at Brimingham's legendary House Of God club recently - and were shocked to discover they were none of those people. 
Blacknecks are in fact two white blokes, Gary Diablo and Salso Fontes, accompanied for live shows by a cross-dressing, ginger bounce MC called Joyce. 
In this THUMP exclusive, I caught up with members Gary and Salso to get, as they call it in serious music journalism, the "low down." And it turns out that they're serious fellas alright - seriously lovely, that is, great to chat to and really down to earth. 

THUMP: Who are Black Necks?
Gary Diablo: We are. And it's Blacknecks, not Black Necks.
How did you meet and start making music?
Salso Fontes: It's quite funny because we actually met in Wycombe in 1997, at some awful short lived drum 'n' bass club in the suburbs. I wasn't a drum 'n' bass DJ, but the fee was enough to buy two hours' worth of records for the gig, and have enough left over to pay part of my council tax bill for that month. We had a good chat about musical integrity - which I said I was in favour of, and he agreed. We hit it off. We started working on a project together that day. Gary dealt with the technical and engineering details - the arrangement, the mix-down, the musical ideas and so forth —and I oversaw the whole thing. There was a real chemistry from day one.
GD: Symbiotic.
SF: Yeah, symbiotic. And I knew a guy at Sony. All the ingredients were there.
What are your formative musical influences?
GD: I was never really into music much in the early days. It's something that just found us. In that respect, you could argue that we've had more of an influence on music than it's ever had on us.
SF: I remember growing up, when pop music in the UK was at its most cutting edge: Kraftwerk, Afrika Black Mambazo, Del Amitri just released 'All I Ever Wanted.' I remember my dad being a big fan of Slik. It’s pretty much circling the toilet bowl now. It has been ever since we started making music, anyway.
GD: Gary Numan…
SF: He wasn’t British was he?


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