cruft for the world.

August 30, 2005

Actual Interviews I / shima records

The following is the first half of our actual, non-fake interview with John Maddocks of Shima Records. Shima recently released the first album by Tachikoma in the U.K.


1. When did you start Shima Records? And why?

According to my domain registration details 3rd November 2003.
The reason I started is because I am far too lazy to go and get a deal so I gave myself one!

2. You're a musician as well as a label owner. Before
you "officially" began to make music,
were you a musical person? Or did you have a musical upbringing?

Not at all. I progressed from a crazy cool sneaker wearing breakdancer to DJ. Started Djing hip hop but after ruining far too many needles with the scratchin' technique I moved on to techno in the late 80's. After getting fed up Djing clubs and radio I collected some equipment and started to annoy the neighbours with very loud strange analogue noises.

3. How do you see Shima Records' music as different
from that of contemporary music by artists working in
similar genres? Which genres of music does Shima focus

A good combination of sounds and rythmn. The sounds are the most important thing, must be unique and make my ears stand up and ask 'how on god's earth has that being created?' When I get this feeling I am hooked, if I hear the same typical simple analogue sounds/beats I turn off.

4. How do you think the music released by Shima will
be changed by the development of technology in the
future? Or will your music remain the same?

Good question. I am really split between nice melodies and totally mental crazy random noise. I think this is a nice path to walk, sweet melodies that make you smile, then suddenly weird sounds to make you sweat in fear of the makers sanity. Technology wise it will probably become all virtual in a few years, with everything dowload only, or even released on some sort of memory stick in mp3 format.

5. Do you feel that an early exposure to video games
led you to become an electronic musician?

Definately. After playing Yars Revenge for hours on end it can really mess your brainwaves up. The crazy 8-bit sounds of the Commodore64 will always live on inside. I have a sid player on my PC and listen to C64 video game music often, my cellphone sounds are all old video game music. Even early gameboy games (like Dr Mario) had great sounds that can't be matched by modern technology.

6. If you could compose music for a musical ensemble
from another culture or historical period, what would
that ensemble be?

Medieval times. I could be Robin Hoods backing band, instead of flutes I'd follow him around with an analog modular and a laptop making crazy breaks. Imagine the atmosphere you could create at a medieval banquet using just one nord modular and a tamborine. It would also be nice to see the looks on the faces of cavemen if you just walked in their cave and started playing some electronic music...

7. Which natural (or environmental) sounds do you hear
that you would like to record?

When I visit Japan I always hear an insect singing away in the trees, unfortunately can't remember it's name. The sound is so beautiful but very random, sounds almost like a sample&hold effect on a synth. One day I will get it.


Tune in next time for more tasty interview content from John Maddocks of Shima Records!

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