magazine. Vol 2, Issue 2. March 95
Text Carl Loben
"I used to collect weird noises and muck about with tape loops,
not really knowing where it was going to lead to. I've got boxes and
boxes of them now that I can plough into."
Kingsuk Biswas isn't your average techno-boffin experimentalist, living
out some Triumph of the Nerd tale. He was a Rude Boy, electro-head,
and came through a whole range of noise bands - ("while the house
revolution was happening, I was in Wales mashing up industrial-funk")
- before taking his own private set-up into the warehouses and garage
parties of the late eighties. "A couple of drum machines and a
bit of bass or congas, and it would basically be a monosynth, a TB303
and TR606. It was very open-ended, with people just coming in and getting
"I used to make music for myself and my mates," he explains
in an assured north London drawl. "After clubs people used to come
back, and at 5 am there'd usually be some nutter on my mic who I'd never
seen before, someone on my congas or whatever, and that was cool, it
was like a living party."
From such free-styling, Biz put out a couple of jungle tracks long before
the media jumped on board. But his Rising High output as Bedouin Ascent
has been about as prolific as a solar eclipse. Does he have a dislike
for a finished product?
"I like to take music into the realm where things can happen, where
anything's possible," he deliberates. "Leaving something in
a state of ambiguity is a much more magical power than obviously stating
something. When you have to say, 'This is a finished mix', it can almost
be like killing it off. But conversely it seems like you're always half-finishing
things, never having the gall to say 'Well, that's that, let's move
on'. So I've decided to be less precious, to let things go."
His anti-Namlook tendencies outlined, onto the genre-busting. Not-quite-chill-out,
he ploughs a more ambient, percussive Moody-Boyz furrow, rhythms punctuated
by Mu-Ziq-y electronic popcorning. Yet lorry loads of soul come wafting
through the machinery - ghostly yet positively uplifting, and so beautiful
that it defies categorisation.
"Im told that my music is intelligent techno, but I don't
sit there with graph paper and plot out logarithmic rhythms. Music shouldn't
be exclusively intelligent and I hate that kind of elitism. He
"If you want to do something intelligent write a book or do something
that involves the rational part of the brain, not music which is an
instinctive process. Saying something is intelligent techno
is also suggesting that other things arent intelligent which is
dangerous territory really."
Debut not-quite-chill-out album 'Science, Art & Ritual' is finally
out, and he's now delving back into his weird noise vaults and offloading
his earlier output. ("Some of my old stuff sometimes seems more
relevant than my newer stuff. I can go back 10 or 15 years but it doesn't
really make any difference to me. Music doesn't come with a timestamp").
He's going out live, too, although he's now amassed a bit more equipment.
"So I basically take my whole studio out with me. When I'm doing
stuff in the studio for vinyl, I'm usually jammin to tape as if
it's live anyway.
But does he now feel Isolated in his work? "Isolation is like a
frame of mind rather than a location. When you're on your own in the
studio, external considerations and demands become less relevant. It's
about knowing who you are and what you're doing. Whats in front
of you and whats on the computers. Having a clear vision as to
where the music's going and then doing it. I let the music take me in
whatever direction it's going, and it usually knows better than me!"