Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Grafyte (aka Alex C)

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Just for the record, why 'Grafyte'?

Haha, there's actually a story behind it. It's nothing overly exciting, but you did ask...I started my website a few years back, & it was purely to display graffiti. Since I have branched out into other forms of art & design, but at the time it was just a graffiti showcase. I thought of "graphite" as it kinda goes with pencils, & because I do all my graffiti work on paper, the pencil work is the first stage, so "Grafyte" is a take on "Graphite". I was in one of those internet-nick-zany-spelling stages, & it's just stuck.

It's strange though, although it's my name on GYBO, & just about everywhere I go, I release boots under "Alex C" as I feel Grafyte's a little tack for the tunes. Strange reasoning I know, but never mind. I might have even released under the alias "Earsoup" as that's what my bootleg site's called. So there you go.

What are you up to these days?

Well, I'm coming up for the start of term now, & my 4th & final year of doing Computer Arts, which I hope to continue doing as a career (if the boots don't take off) so I'm preparing to put the head down & get some real work done. I've got a few boots on the go, but a lot of my boots get finished really quick, so chances are I'll not finish them. I'm working on a complete album re-work, with Music Has The Right To Children by Boards Of Canada, which is going ok, but I'm still looking for ideas on how to work it.

I've got a few clients who pester me every so often for graphic work & websites, so that's always running in the background, & I think with term starting soon, the fresher's events will be centre of attention for the next three weeks. I have a friend who's gonna be playing a lot of my boots at a new night in Dundee Union, so with any luck, that'll take off & I might even see about getting a strictly boots / remixes night up there.

What music are you currently listening to?

Well, I've just been listening to Sasha's Essential Mix From Radio 1, recorded back in 2000, which I was really enjoying, as well as his new album / remix project thing, Involver, that I snatched from CD-Wow for a good price. My flatmate's loving the new Prodigy album, so that's been on quite a bit in the run up to their December gig that I got tickets for.

In the CD player right now however is Dreadzone's album Sound which I haven't heard in a while, so I'm reliving the vibes from that one.

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album?

Push doesn't need to come to shove, it's by far Finelines: Between The Lines by My Vitriol. They're my favourite band, & the album just gets me in places that others don't. I got into it back in my 'Nu-Metaller' days, but I love the band so much now, I even have silly things like jigsaws, & dressing room door signs.

Do you still remember what's the first record you ever bought? Where did you buy it?

The first record I got was Children by Robert Miles. I'd say I'm pretty proud to have that as my first. It's still a good listen. I got it for the melody. The piano line in it is just masterful.

Which artiste, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?

I'd love to be Chino Morino. I think he gets a great deal of respect for his voice, & the Deftones are another favourite of mine. His side project Team Sleep should take off in a big way. He strikes me as a pretty cool bloke, although chances are he's a bit of a wank. Still...

What is the most embarrassing & bizarre thing that has ever happened to you while DJing? Tell us some stories please!

Well, having not done a great deal of DJing as of yet, only one moment springs to mind. After a good 2 hours on the decks, I was mixing in "random dance tune #36" & after refusing to take a request from her, this girl slaps her hand down on the record, causing the needle to skip a good chunk of the tune, & getting me a large gasp & stare from everyone in the building. Thanks for honestly...nice one. I guess that's about it. I'm not a very "live" type of person. I prefer to give others my tunes to play. That way I don't get blamed for the bad reaction!

The Last of Alex C:

Last CD you bought (or downloaded) = The 28 Days Later soundtrack, which I've yet to listen to.
Last movie you watched that scared the shit outta you = Em... I don't recall. Not seen anything overly scary recently. The best jumpy film I saw would be Event Horizonthough.
Last book or mag you read that gave you wood = Ha ha, I'd say any issue of ATM (Drum & Bass mag).
Last concert you watched that was awesome = Does T In The Park count? I enjoyed Orbital more than anything else. Even though it was the 3rd time I'd seen them.
Last bootleg you heard that was utter bollocks = Christ knows. They're all a bit shite aren't they?

You seemed to have not made any shit boots so far. How do you do it? Give us the secret ingredient behind the Alex C magic!

Oh, there's shit ones alright...I just tend not to release them. I'm not sure there's any magic involved to be honest. I've always had a bit of music in me. I played a few instruments when I was younger, & I'm really big into all sorts of music, from classical, to rock, metal to drum & bass, dance to hip hop. My boots just appear. I find instrumentals or tracks that would be interesting to boot, & acapellas that run relatively close to the same pattern or beat. After checking the keys of both, I just stick 'em together & hope something decent comes out. I'm trying to get more into producing tracks, as opposed to sticking them together now though. I'm on the verge of going back to remixes & original material, where I have free reign, as opposed to other people's tracks to use. I go through phases...

What are the influences behind your bootlegs?

I tend to think that my audience is my influence. I always have the listener in mind. When I make boots, I want people to like them, as opposed to doing it purely for shits & giggles, so I usually think about what other people will say about them. A couple I've done just for the naming process, & a few I've done with the dance floor in mind, but in terms of influence, I'd say nothing stands bigger than the people who will be commenting.

Any boots you wished you've done but didn't?

My mate who I just introduced to the whole bootlegging scene (as if we didn't have enough people doing it!) has come up with the "Roses" acapella & "Lola's Theme". Although it might not work well, I had thought about doing this, & just got beaten to it. In terms of other people's stuff, I don't really hanker to have made any boots by other people. I think most people's booting styles keeps us all unique.

Will Mash-ups be the new pop? Discuss...

Well people now refer to bootlegs & talk about them because it seems to be the "in" thing to do. All the kiddies in the playground are more clued up because the Internet feeds them with all these tracks that they can put into their Samsung cheap imitation iPod-esque machine to show off to the other kids. Admittedly when I first got into bootlegs, it felt good to have these tracks & show them off to your mates. Like when your favourite band did a cover of a tune you really liked. It's that kind of familiar but different feeling. I reckon more & more people will get into bootlegging & amateur remixing. With that in mind, I guess that's the way it will go. Mash-ups very well might be the new pop. Artistes are embracing it, music channels like Q, & MTV are using them to their advantage, so it's all looking on the up. It's all good till we have to put up with terrible bootlegs every day, released by copycat artistes. I can see a "boot-idol" on the horizon...

Let's play word association. We mention a name & you give us your thoughts...

Strangely Familiar = Yeah...that salt or something. Heh...went to chat there a few times but nobody was there.
Eddy Morris = Who? (I've probably just insulted a load of folks)
Stardust = And Madonna
Eminem = I very much dislike Eminem, or Marshall or whatever he calls himself these days. He's got some alright production but it all strikes me as a bit wank.
Google = I love Google. It fuels my search for everything.
Eve Massacre = With Our Lips Glued Together, I seem to recall...
Kings Of Leon = I can listen to KOL, but I don't choose to.
Toshiba = We sell these at work.
Traci Lords = Em...
Michael Mann = He's famous, right?
XFM = The RemiXfm. The CDs were ok, & the radio show is a good listen when I can remember...

Which decade do you consider the 'dark ages' of music & why?

Erm, the 10s...because there wasn't really much music around back then. Wasn't it all black & white?

What do you remember about the following years:

1983 = I was born... what a day.
1985 = Em, I think I got this scar, back then...
1996 = 2nd year at school. Nightmarish.
2000 = New year! Threesomes!!!
2004 = GYBO is now my home-page. Yes...I'm addicted.

What's your favourite Saturday night record?

At the moment, I'm loving Vitalic - "La Rock" (or Poney Part 1 whatever it's called), it's class!

And your Sunday morning one?

Radiohead - "Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Remix)"

What are your plans for the future?

One day I will create a bootleg that will knock people off their feet. Everywhere it gets played, women will have orgasms & fall to their knees. Grown men will drop everything to dance, & people will see something spectacular that they've never seen before. It might be next year, it might be next month, it might even be tomorrow, but one day it will come to me, as I sit here at this computer. It'll be an inspiring moment, & from that day onwards people shall refer to me as "the bootlegger" or "that twat". The world will be a happy place, & there shall be much rejoicing.

Do you still see yourself doing bootlegs in, let's say, ten years time?

If I can still use a PC, chances are pretty good...yeah. I enjoy it, so provided I've got time to waste, it'll still be happening. With any luck I'll have slightly more credibility then than I do now!

What do you think the future for bootlegs / mash-ups / remixes would be like, given that being a home musician is so easy these days?

It's grim. It'll hit a high point (or maybe it has already) & there will be some brilliant boots, but after that I can see too many people getting involved. Too many Eminem boots being made, silly things like whole albums getting booted, & then chances are it'll fall into oblivion. Those fortunate enough to get out, will & the rest of us will be left watching Robot-porn, from our beds, with wireless keyboards & mouses...maybe.

You can check out Grafyte's site & download his boots here.