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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Disco Beard Interview

I uploaded the entire Disco Beard back catalogue to sendspace for someone to hear about a month ago - so if you haven't got any of this music now's your chance! Not sure how long more it will last up there, so if you want it grab it now. It's comprises the Beardism album, the Beardiality EP, and a couple of previously unreleased edits. So you get Giorgio Moroder, Bonzo Dog Band, Musique, Donald Byrd, JJ Cale, Claudio Simonetti, Stereolab, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rapure, Annie, Citi, Earlene Bentley, Clifton Dyson, Richard T Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Divine & Daft Punk. Click the pic above. Here's Stereolab's "One Finger Symphony (Re-Edit)":

STEREOLAB One Finger Symphony (Disco Beard Edit) by littlerockrecords

IDJ Magazine also sent through a list of questions for DB to answer for their special "Beards" edition. We don't know yet if this ever got used, but here are the answers in full:

You can’t tell me who you are, but are you known to the music world in your regular lives?

DB1: Not really - or maybe we just want people to think that.

DB2: Um, yes, in a word.

Disco beards: an institution since Mancuso. Do you have beards yourselves?
Who’s got the best beards in dance music?

DB1: Well, Mr Mancuso has set the template of course, he's rocked a beard since the early 70s. However the term "disco beard" started off as being derogatory - it meant a beard that was too well kept, not scruffy enough to be seen as truly "macho" or a rebellion against shaving. That was in the disco era, and it has a slightly homophobic undertone. Since then everyone from Danny Krivit to Balearic Mike has grown a beard, as a symbol of being musically "serious", which is kind of ironic!

DB2: We have been known to sport facial hair, yes. And we haven't seen it in a while, but Conrad Idjut Boy has had some proper gnarly bird's nest beards over the years.

DB1: Personally, I consider ZZ Top to be dance music, so I would have to go with them.

You’ve got a tongue in cheeky attitude to the tracks you’ve chosen to edit… Tell me a moment when you’ve surprised yourselves at the success/outcome of your editing.

DB2: "Surprise" hasn't really been an outcome, cos we only begin with tracks we really like and know we can edit.

DB1: I'd say the edit of Giorgio Moroder's "Utopia - Me Giorgio", as I could listen to that track for ever and ever!

DB2: Funnily enough that was the first track we ever edited...

And tell me a tune that just can’t be edited

DB1: Hah, not being able to edit a track hasn't stopped some people in the past! We've got a pretty old-school approach to editing tracks - for instance, we won't add anything to it that's not already there, because technically then you are creating a new version, you're not just editing the original. I mean fair play to Erol Alkan and Optimo and the like, but we're a bit more choosy about the terminology.

DB2: Yeah we like to keep it to the basics - as if we were editing tracks on a reel-to-reel tape like Greg Wilson or Danny Krivit or whoever. Sometimes the reaction to this can be funny, like "This sounds the same as the original!?" - um, it's a re-edit, what did you expect?

DB1: In terms of not being able to edit a tune, that comes down to the arrangement already being perfect. There's a track by Duke Ellington from 1920 we've got that is incredible, with a big dubby bassline and a swung 4/4 beat, and we've been thinking about editing it for years. However, the more we listen to it the more we reckon it's already perfect, so why bother?

DB2: Yeah, but we'll still probably have a go!

Does keeping your identity secret cause you problems getting gigs?

DB2: Well, Disco Beard wasn't started to get gigs, it was to make certain tracks more playable in clubs.

DB1: Yes, and to create new versions for the gigs we already had.

Beardism was released a while ago… can we expect another album?

DB1: Hmm, not in the near future, but it's not out of the question.

DB2: It depends on work really, and if we get the time off to do it. Cos it's all non-profit, it can take a back seat sometimes. Also, some tracks we would like to edit often get edited by other DJs before us. Todd Terje is a good example, he's pipped us to the post many times! :-)

DB1: Having said that, we do occassionaly do new things for friends - like the Niallist asked us to do an edit for his new night Menergy. We decided to edit Richard T Bear as we thought Niall would appreciate the bear reference!

DB2: Yes, and we all know that bears love their beards.

DB1: And the men who wear them.

Have you had any legal scrapes yet or have you managed to stay under the radar?

DB2: We've been under the radar so far... wait, what's the circulation of IDJ?!

Tell me about your next release…

DB2: There's nothing planned as Disco Beard unfortunately, but you never know. Although Little Rock do still have a few old things of ours that have never come out, so some of that might see the light of day.

DB1: And there has been very vague chat about doing a one-sided, limited vinyl run of Utopia - Me Giorgio for the relaunch of the Discopia site, but there's nothing definite there.

DB2: Yeah, we have been discussing this because the whole point of giving these tunes away for free in the first place is that we don't own them. We know a few label owners who have been screwed over by illegal re-presses of tracks they were trying to re-issue legally, and that's pretty snide. So we don't wanna add to that.

DB1: Discopia's a great site though, so that would be a good cause we think. It would be more a one-off than a series like Automan or whatever.

DB2: Anyway, we will have things out under other names. Unless we get busted for this!

IMO Arthur Baker has the best disco beard - because it walks the line of being actually a disco beard (neat, trimmed) AND a muso beard, all the while being totally woofy:

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