bedouin ascent >>

Generator 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 into it."
"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.
"I’m 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 affirms.
"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 aren’t 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. What’s in front of you and what’s 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!"

bedouin ascent

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