bedouin ascent >>

Ben Willmott
| Raising a desert storm

Feeling a little bit lazy this morning? Can't face getting up and out of bed - ever? Then lt’s time to meet Bedouin Ascent and the Stone Roses of techno.

Thank God for The Stone Roses. Not for their rather potchy 'Second Coming' of course, but for the knock-on effect their high profile re-emergence has had. Faced with the prospect of being dubbed lazier than the great icons of slackerdom themselves, lounge lizards from LFO to Depth Charge have finally got their acts together and released LPs undoubtedly worth the wait.

But wait before you cost BEDOUIN ASCENT - who's finally delivered his album debut for Rising High after just two EPs in as many years - as a budding Ian Brown of techno. He's not been skinning up and settling down in front of Neighbours for all that time; no, he's that other scourge of record companies, the perfectionist.
"Rising High were really keen to market me as one of their main artists,” says Bedouin's mastermind Kingsuk Biswas, or Biz for short, as we chomp our way through a packet of chocolate Digestives in the South London flat we've chosen for the interview. “They wanted me to release as much stuff as possible, but you can't release something until it's ready."
Like, for instance, his sparkling debut LP 'Science, Art And Ritual'. Full of rolling, percussive electronica that gives the barriers between techno, electronic jazz and ambient a serious kicking, it was actually recorded way back in autumn 1993, with a good year's tinkering to follow. But then Biz is not your average bash-'em-out-and–collect-the-cash techno bandit, ready to jump ship when the next fad comes along. For starters, you won't find him sneakily searching through the latest techno releases for ideas to steal - Biz takes his inspiration from for more abstract sources.
"There's a certain route I often take when I'm on my way home," Harrow-based Biz explains, "just walking down that path musical ideas come out from nowhere and when I turn a particular corner at a particular point in the path, when I pass a particular tree or brook, the tune changes direction because of that. It's a living and breathing music like that."

Sounds suspiciously like beardy weirdy stuff. But as Biz, a relatively average looking, puffa-jacketed twentysomething, stokes another spliff with another unfeasibly long roach end, everything becomes predictably clear. He doesn't really nip out for a quick stroll every time the going gets tough in the studio; it's his way of explaining that it's not just other people's records, but other people, noises, surroundings and, well, just about anything that can goad him into musical action.
But if there is one major force that Biz hangs his works around, it's that all important groove. "I collaborated with David Toop recently. The results were a primitive kind of funk, quite intense and I'm really on that tip at the moment," Biz says. "I'm a self-confessed groovaholic, always hove been. When I'm doing a track now and the groove really takes over I end up living in the groove for days and days. Living it out to see which way it goes and feeling it from the inside."
Strange then that his outings so for have been more suited to chilled out head-nodding sessions than serious rug cutting manoeuvres, but then that whole classification lark -house vs techno vs jungle vs ambient - doesn't appeal much to Biz either. "It's dangerous because it's control; classification's the way the mind controls the world," Biz explains in his best conspiracy theory tones. "It's the way oppressive forces control the public opinion for example. If you split something up you can deconstruct it, overpower it and control it."

Phew! Take Biz in verbose mood, add a few 'strengthened' cigarettes and you do tend to end up talking the global, moral or metaphysical when all you really needed to know was how many sugars he takes. That's not to say he's pretentious - for from it - he's just simply got a few more brain cells than the average 303 basher. And while he operates mainly in isolation and wants his music to stand apart from the new fashion for ultra-complex electronica, there's no denying he's part of a new breed of technobrots like labelmate Wagon Christ (who he'll also be collaborating with), Mu-Ziq, Global Communication and Autechre, who've freed themselves from clubland's restrictions but remained faithful to that all important head-shaking groove. Funk's not dead!

bedouin ascent

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