Beyond B12: In conversation with Mike Golding


B12's idiosyncratic sound was key to the evolution of British electronic music in the early nineties, and still remains an influence for many electronic artists today. During that period, the duo, made up of Mike Golding and Steven Rutter, were producing some of the most forward thinking IDM and electronica of the time, notably Electro-Soma, which was celebrated as one of Warp Records' essential early releases.

While Rutter continued to operate under their B12 moniker for a number of years, releasing a string of EPs on his own FireScope and others for Central Processing Unit, De:tuned and Delsin, Golding took a hiatus from music production. But following the anniversary of Electro-Soma's release, as well as a new studio for Golding to work in, he felt the time was right to make his return.

Delsin is the home for his first official release in over a decade, an audience he felt would be open minded to his new pursuits. Perfectly described by Delsin as "avant garde machine music with a very real sense of soul," across three tracks of IDM-tinged techno and classic electronica, Golding's sound feels stronger than ever. Here he chats to us about he approached his return to music production… 

Your new EP on Delsin marks your first official release in ten years. Why the return after such a long hiatus?

I have been busy. I moved countries and languages just for one, but now I have a dedicated studio for the first time since Electro Soma was made. The anniversary of which also played a part in wanting to create music again.

What have you learnt during that time that’s influenced or helped you evolve the way you approach production?

My approach to production was full on; 12 hour sessions, no sleep, hammer away unable to concentrate on anything else. As a result, finding those conditions was hard. If I felt there wasn’t time to be 100% immersed to the exclusion of everything else, then there was nothing. All or nothing.

When I decided to make music again, I spent a year just trying to learn how to create in a “compatible” manner. My “goal” was, if I can’t do this I will stop forever. “painting by numbers” tracks became easy but that was not what I wanted, painting by numbers is my phase for some kind of autopilot process that creates pleasant enough results but was unsatisfying for me. I wanted, want, to evolve, I always did. I was always trying to push the sound but I never went far enough.

Does this signal a move in a new direction musically?

I hope so and this EP is designed as a kind of bridge towards that.

Orbiting Souls, Steven’s EP as B12 landed on Delsin in 2015. Did this help to spark your relationship with the label?

No not at all this was all new.

Why did Delsin feel like the right home for your first official release in so many years?

Delsin is a great label with great releases. I also thought it would be an open audience who would be more likely to listen to a progressive sound and not just a familiar one.

Timeless is a word that many taste makers associate with yours and Steven’s productions, and that can be said of your Delsin EP too. What were the influences behind the EP? 

I guess I should say thanks very much, I get what people are trying to say. I personally find it very difficult to judge my own productions in terms of good or bad, but “timeless” has become a cliche of its own doing. Too many people nowadays seem to just release “painting by numbers” EPs in order to achieve some kind of “timeless” medal of honour. It doesn’t interest me at all, your EP might as well be “meaningless” as it is “timeless”.

In your opinion, how has the musical climate changed since you were last actively releasing music?

It is totally different, yet surprising similar. The thing I notice most is the unadventurous nature of many releases. There wouldn’t be a Pink Floyd, Sex Pistols, Aphex without someone being brave enough to commit and take a chance but as sales fall, playing it safe has become a norm. People are bored, change is coming.

What else is on the horizon? We hear there’s more new music expected…

I am thinking of building a three legged horse and riding it into the sunset. 

Buy The Beginning HERE