feeder insider interview with F.GOD

feeder insider interview with F.GOD - photo by Shauna Summers

In this new and extended feeder insider interview with F.GOD, we asked him about his upcoming album “A Lever Long Enough“, released by the INTERNET IS OVER label. He explains the inspiration behind the LP, his influences and the process of composing the tracks. F.GOD told us about his love for computer music and his background in film sound editing, which helped him to create this experimental album.

feeder.ro: Hi F.GOD, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We’ve been spending time listening to your forthcoming ‘A Lever Long Enough’ LP on Arno Voelker and Simon Birkenfeld’s INTERNET IS OVER recently, incredibly beautiful material. For those who are yet to hear it could you tell us a little about the project and what it represents to you?

F.GOD: Thanks for having me and for the kind words.

For me, this project has ended up representing me overcoming my inner critic. I made it with the intention of pushing myself past my limits into new territory. I took it really seriously.

I set myself the goal of finishing the full record in a single 2 week non-stop session. This album is the product of that session, as is. Once the two weeks were up I sent the completed album to Arno & Simon, fully expecting them to have some more ideas or changes. I was really surprised when Arno called me and told me to stop working on it immediately because it finished. That was a relief.

The funny thing is that they only asked me to make an EP. When I sent them an hour-long finished album they were a bit shocked. Luckily they were into it. They think I’m a bit crazy though.

f: The title of the album is based on a quote from Archimedes, could you elaborate a little on this for our readers?

F.GOD: The quote from Archimedes is “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the earth”.

It illustrates nicely the principle of leverage where a simple machine made from a (long enough) rod and a correctly placed hinge point (or fulcrum) can move massive objects with little effort or literally move the earth. 

In the case of the album, I’m playing with the idea that a properly positioned piece of music could be a mechanism to move the world. Music also has a power greater than its weight. It’s a bit grandiose but I like the imagery.

f: We can hear many sonic influences when listening to the album but could you cite any particular artists or an era on a genre that has played a fundamental role in driving you to this creation?

F.GOD: This record is a bit of a hybrid of my interests. It has sections with heavy beats and complex rhythms, fluttering fugue-like synth tracks, and pure lo-fi ambient and musique concrète pieces. The thread that ties it together is me basically.

I am really into computer music. Computers are such a powerful tool for music. They allow you to do pretty much anything you can imagine. I’ve been into computer music since I was messing around in Reason-making tunes as a kid and I ended up studying music tech at university with a focus on computer music. That’s when I got into people like Curtis RoadsTrevor Wishart, Denis Smalley and Francis Dhomont and learned about sound transformations with DSP and other avant-garde music processes used in musique-concreté and experimental music in general.

I’m also really into ’90s/early 2000’s soundtracks. There’s this really weird record by Mark Motherbaugh called “Muzik for Insomniaks” which is a series of plasticky alien melody muzak made on a Fairlight. One of the tracks from the second album in the series ended up becoming the theme song to the TV show Rugrats (total masterpiece imo) which was a big influence. 

The balance of romplers with physical instruments fed through digital reverb can give 90’s soundtracks so much heart and soul while still feeling cold and serious. 

My rhythmic influences are straight from the early 2000s with bands like Slipknot, Deftones, Autechre, and Plaid. Also, I love 90’s chillout music. Cafe del Mar vibes.

feeder insider interview with F.GOD - photo by Shauna Summers
feeder insider interview with F.GOD – photo by Shauna Summers

f: Could you tell us a little more about the process of composing the album, what you used in terms of equipment or was it all made using just software for example?

F.GOD: My process is really intuitive. I use loads of different stuff as I get bored really quickly. I made some of the tracks on the modular, I made a lot of them on my Apple Powerbook G4 using a tracker called Player Pro and a proto-Reaktor plugin from 2001 by Native Instruments called Dynamo, the rest were just made in Ableton with some Max for Live bits. I did all the post in Pro Tools.

I love old computers. There are really interesting tools that will only run on Mac OS 9. I’ve gotten some really mad sounds out of them that I haven’t really heard anywhere else. This stuff isn’t really usable anymore unless you’re willing to use older machines. The pitch-shifting algorithms are so gnarly. The record is filled with stuff like that.

I spent a lot of my time editing everything in post to get all the transformations right. I have a background as a film sound editor, so my editing is pretty fast, and I can do a lot with it. I love zoning out and just working with audio files for hours and hours. The cool thing is that I can make those weird old recordings sound amazing with modern production techniques, plus I’m doing loads of processing, resampling, re-pitching, and sequencing to squeeze every drop of juice out of my sounds.

For this record, I was really focused on layering and details. I wanted the record to feel dense like you could hear something new every time you listened. I’m a big fan of late-night headphone listening sessions where you put on a record to just let it take you away somewhere, so having something that flowed from start to finish and had replay value was really important.

One thing I learned from the intensive approach to making this record was how to not overwork a track. It’s good to learn to move on at some point. You have to make peace with the fact that you can’t put all your ideas into one tune. Otherwise, you never finish anything.

f: You’re from the UK but currently based in Berlin, what Brough you to the German capital and could you share with us a few things you love about your adopted home? Has the move been an influence on your music?

F.GOD: I lived in Bristol when I was a student and saw the transition from dubstep and drum and bass to this kind of techno dubstep hybrid stuff. That was a really exciting time. Bristol is all about the cross-pollination of styles and influences. Anyway, through that, I got really deep into techno which lead me to Berlin. Berlin is kind of the polar opposite of Bristol in a way, things move slower, the sets are longer, the style is hyper-refined and things change more gradually. It invites you to go a bit deeper.

I think the biggest impact Berlin had on me was from my time working on the mixing stage at a film post-production house. I learned a more rigorous approach to sound. Pointed, precise and functional. I try to embrace that kind of rigour in my music. I still look to the UK for its madcap anything-goes-rip-it-all-up-and-start-again energy. That’s what’s in my heart really.

f: The artwork for the album is, much like the album, hypnotic and dreamlike, could you tell us a little more about the artwork and how that came together?

F.GOD: The artwork is by a friend of mine Sam Lubicz. He and I have a lot of parallels in our style. He constructs his collages from tons of different sources which he processes and layers to create these dense, abstract but beautifully composed pieces. I knew his work would be the perfect pairing for the album.

When he showed me the piece that ended up being the cover it completely floored me. It’s like he pulled it right out of my mind. I love it. It looks great on the vinyl sleeve.

f: How did your music end up on the INTERNET IS OVER label, did you meet Arno and Simon through the Berlin electronic music scene or you simply sent them a demo of the album? 

F.GOD: I met Arno in the park actually! We started chatting about music and stuff and he asked me to send over some tracks. I emailed him a load of demos and he wrote back and said he wanted me to put a record out on Internet Is Over.

It was a huge surprise, to be honest. At that point, I hadn’t really played my music to anyone apart from him, my girlfriend and my Mum. I had all this stuff which I had just kept to myself. 

Arno’s really looked out for me and his support gave me a confidence boost. I started showing more people my stuff. Since then, I’ve done a movie score for an indie docu-film called “In The Bunker” about Berlin’s Boros Foundation, which is a contemporary art gallery in a WW2 bunker. I was nominated for best original score at Nice Film Festival for that. Arno’s given me so much confidence in myself (thank you Arno!)

f: Lastly, could you share with us something that’s been brightening up your days lately as spring arrives? Doesn’t have to be music related, maybe a book, a movie, a place, a person or anything else.

F.GOD: I’ve been really getting into visual synthesis. There’s this really cool plugin called VS that runs in your DAW. You can route midi into it to build real-time reactive visual patches that run in sync with your tunes. You can write your own shaders for it too so you can completely customise the visuals from scratch. It’s so fun, I’ve been messing around with that loads.

Also, I’ve been trying to write a new track every day which is going pretty well. It’s pretty challenging to keep up with but making something new is pretty much the best feeling in the world so I’m into it. Finishing new music really lightens things up for me. I could make another 2 records with the stuff I made this year so far.

feeder insider interview with F.GOD - photo by Shauna Summers
feeder insider interview with F.GOD – photo by Shauna Summers

F.GODA Lever Long Enough LP is out now on the Internet is over label! Grab your copy at Bandcamp.

Follow F.GOD on Soundcloud | Facebook | InstagramApple music | Spotify | Deezer

About feeder insider

feeder insider is a series of interviews that explore the universe surrounding music and visual arts while connecting the local to the international creative scene.

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