Global Communication Interview


Hi Tom, 

Can I first just say, 76:14 was one of my true rights of passage into the wonderful world of electronic music and ambient soundscapes. At an impressionable 15 years old and just getting into taking acid, someone handed me a tape with it on. It opened my ears to the likes of Eno et al that my dad had been banging on about for years. Thank you for that.
Can I just ask how you’re going to go about distilling 76:14 for a dancefloor tho?!

Not an easy task, but there are key themes and motifs that we can extract on a granular level (atoms of sound) using some very clever software to reverse engineer new treatments.

Tom, I used to call you up/email when I used to work at a DJ promo company and ask you about records all day. What struck and inspired me was your amazing love and breadth of musical taste. From hip-hop to weird beat to banging peak time house and techno records via drum and bass. Back then this whole cross-polination of music wasn’t nearly as rife as it is today. Dance music favoured the purist if you like. Can you describe your early muscial influences that got you there… and indeed here.

Have to thank my Dad, the biggest inspiration and my main music guru, then Sunday Night Radio 1 DJ’s and mid week sessions with John Peel. Mid 80’s Capital Radio’s Mike Allen Hip Hop/Electro sessions, then DJ Paul Guntrip and The Aphex Twin. 

Detail :

From sitting me in the stereo sweet spot between two massive Tannoy speakers and him playing me records such as Tomita’s out of this world synthesizer reworks of classical music, to the Stones, Beatles, Cream, ELO, Jazz, Blues, Reggae.

Learning to play the Piano and joining the local Orchestra as a Cellist. 

Around my 11th/12th Birthday he bought me and my brother the first recording Sony Walkmen WA-55’s with built in FM Radio’s. That was it. I was addicted to making compilations.

Sunday night Radio1 Top40, Annie Nightingale, Robbie Vincent, Ranking

Miss P.

Weeknights Jon Peel.

Then it was bodypopping and breakdancing, graf, 80’s Electro, Hip Hop.

Got into this lot in a big way; Prince, Police, Kraftwerk, New Order, U2, Duran Duran, The Cure, Led Zepp, Pat Metheny, Talk Talk, Brian

Eno, Vangelis.

Messing around on Synthesisers and Simmons syndrums in the local music gear shops.

Dancing until dawn to the legendary late DJ Paul Guntrip who imported the sounds of US Acid, House, Techno and Euro to Cornwall. 

Meeting Richard D James, hearing Analogue Bubblebath for the first time and rewinding it about 100 times.

Your back catalogue is incredible, one of my favourites being Blood Music, your album’s worth reinterpretation of shoe gazing also-rans (that’s a bit harsh I know, just trying to contextualize it for people!) Chapterhouse. You swerved in and out of ambience, drum and bass (w/ your remix of Gorecki) and through house (The Way). How did you approach production back then?

The production process was by trial and error, and using our ears, neither of us had any sound engineering training. We’re both lucky to have the gifts of musicality, both have a keen sense of Rhythm, and we both have The Funk! It was, and still is about emotional purity and integrity and communicating feelings through sound. We both grasped the notion that the world around us is full of free sounds, that anything you can hear has the potential to be recorded, sampled and manipulated to make music. It was always great fun jamming, making grooves, tweaking synths and getting experimental with the sound design.

Working with the limited kit we had, learning the ropes really quickly and picking up tricks by observing local pro engineers and producers in action. There was no real agenda in the early days, other than exploration, the desire to make and release music like our contemporaries and inspirations where doing. Carl Craig, Derrick May, Warp, Rephlex, B12, R&S.

Why the reunion after all this time? Have you secretly been working together for ages but just kept it quiet?!

With nearly 20 years in the biz, just felt like the right time to re-evaluate the repertoire and present it live for our existing fans and for a new generation. And we started getting interest from fans like Rob Da Bank who really wanted us to play live at Bestival.

Tom, you co-produced one of the tracks on the seminal Aphex release Analogue Bubblebath which I only found out a few years ago. Do you still speak to Richard?

Yes, we have sporadic chats and bump into each other at festivals. He got in touch having spotted I was selling one of the legendary EMT gold plate reverb units through a vintage electronic gear auction.

Why all the pseudonyms? 

Initially it was for anonymity, and to appear to be a US production outfit as opposed to a duo from the South West of England! Then it was to simply to separate the styles.

What other pseudonyms should we know about but don’t?

Everything we’ve done bar a few releases is on… the fans just don’t miss a trick!

Describe the Global Communications experience at Cable this weekend.

An anthological trip through our catalogue using state of the art digital sound processing software to deconstruct, re-build and remix tracks on the fly, interspersed with sound bites of our favorite inspirational tracks. Nick Harris NRK, who just released our Global Communication Back In The Box compilation will be warming up for us.

Wish I was about for this weekend, hope it’s belter.

Global Communication play Cable this Saturday… all night!


Check their recent FACT podcast here:

FACT mix 278 – Global Communication (Aug ’11) by factmag