On 15th March we hosted an inspiring Live set at Phonica from UK legend Nathan Fake. The event was streamed via FACT Magazine’s Facebook live, check the recording below:
From the seminal “The Sky Was Pink” to his breakthrough debut album “Drowning In A Sea Of Love”, the British electronic ace helped developing the sound of the highly influential Border Community imprint in the mid 2000s. Fake recorded two further albums for the label before establishing his own label Cambria Instruments in 2014 alongside Wesley Matsel. Throughout this time, he has also built an impressive and diverse catalogue of remixes, from Radiohead to Jon Hopkins to Clark, working for labels such as Ninja Tune, Domino, Warp and Kompakt.
Hi Nathan, great to have you at Phonica. What have you been up to lately?
The event at Phonica was amazing, was a really good vibe playing in there. I’ve just been touring Australia and Europe, and making a bit of music in between.
After a couple remixes in the past, you return to Ninja Tune for a full album. Can you tell us a bit more about this project and how you got involved with the label?
Yes I basically built up a relationship with them after doing the remixes, I was working on a new album and they were into it – not much more than that really. I always had a lot of respect for Ninja Tune and they keep getting better and better as a label I think, so I’m really happy to be working with them.
You have a big tour kicking off soon, how do you approach performing live versus writing music? Do you leave room for improvisation or prefer planning things in advance?
There’s quite a big crossover for me with live performance and studio work I think. There’s a lot of improvisation arrangement-wise in both contexts and they both influence each other. Live improvisation and jamming has always been an integral part of the way I make music.
What kind of equipment did you use to produce the album?
Very little really: a couple of synths (Korg Prophecy, Roland Jupiter-6), a few drum machines (Casio RZ-1, Boss DR-550), a laptop and some tape recorders/preamps etc.
Could you name a few records you have been listening to lately that may have influenced the sound of this LP?
I barely listen to stuff whilst working on albums really but I’ve been influenced a lot by early 90s techno like Kenny Larkin, I’m really into the kind of synths he used then. But mostly I try and stay away from listening to music that may influence me as I like to just let ideas fester in my head and come out in whatever form they may.
What is the concept behind the album artwork?
It’s kind of an organic virtual reality landscape – the classic meeting of machinery and nature imagined through a Windows 95 aesthetic.
Lastly, what colour is the sky these days?
It’s pretty blue today.
Thank you Nathan!