The seventeen edition of the Electronic Directory podcast is an exclusive live set from Sheffield-based duo Edge of Infinity.
Edge of Infinity are production duo Matt and Paul from Sheffield, a city has a fairly unique take on electronic music. Like many artists, they make techno with such lush sound and particular atmosphere. They have their first record coming out soon on Glasgow’s Seventh Sign Recordings. (It’s hard to believe that it is their first release.)
Interview with Edge of Infinity (Matt and Paul) by Kazuumi Ishii
You guys describe yourselves as an assortment of old Japanese drum machines and synthesizers, what was the inspiration for creating Edge Of Infinity ?
It was a name we felt was apt, Infinity being never ending, and Edge, portraying the constant cycle of never ending ‘always on the edge’ of creativity, new sounds etc, pushing the boundaries, forward thinking.
Can you describe your studio set-up ?
Paul: Raw, no pretentiousness, and still using the machines that have been ever so loyal and stood the test of time, extracting the machines souls and fusing it with the human imagination..
Matt: Antiquated, disorganised and chaotic. Purely hardware, made in Japan. Each piece was designed and built to perform a specific function, and it will do its job perfectly, every time. The Yamaha TX81Z is a perfect example of this – a non-descript black box, conceived for one purpose: to mathematically combine a waveform with three others, and let you hear the result. That’s all it can do, but it does it superbly, and sounds very, very good. Warm, deep bass, direct from the soul of the machine. Each machine has its own character, and I do think they come together in the final mix and still retain their character.
What do you consider to be the most important piece of equipment in your studio set-up ?
Paul: Really each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the setup with the Korg M1 being the main brain.
Matt: I have to agree with Paul, the mighty M1 is the master controller and sequencer, and although it is very rarely used for its own sounds these days, and severely limited in its sequencing capacity, it is superb for capturing melodies that would otherwise float away into the ether. I have to give the samplers a mention here too. Many people still think a sampler is for stealing other peoples’ music, and often forget that they are synthesizers in their own right. The Akais, S3000 & S5000, always figure somewhere in the tune. Lastly, I cannot praise the MicroKorg highly enough, I just wish I had another one. Or two…
So how did you guys get into electronic music and music production anyway ?
Matt: When I was a kid, I used to listen to a lot of music on my dad’s great Hi-fi system, and I would try to figure out what instrument could be making a particular sound. Drum machines especially fascinated me. Looking at one old album, I saw the words ‘All drum programming by Roger Linn on the LinnDrum drum machine’ – how incredible that someone had managed to build a miniature drum kit into a box, with miniscule mechanical drum sticks striking the tiny drums, perfectly on time – and they sounded great. When I eventually discovered that these machines had no drumkit inside them, I was even more fascinated. A school trip to a recording studio and an encounter with a Roland TR-909 had me hooked. So, as soon as I had a decent wage, I was off down the music shop to buy keyboards. I had never played an instrument in my life but it didn’t take me long to discover that making tunes was the ultimate hobby. Creating a melody that existed only in my imagination, and making it into exactly the piece of music I wanted, was now possible.
Paul: I’ve always loved electronic music, it does for me what no other type of music does. Growing up listening to the likes of Kraftwerk, the early electro scene and then the early Detroit Techno and Chicago House scene. Then met Matt through work who coincidently was into the same music and the rest is history really.
How did your first record, Spiritual Reflection, on Seventh Sign come about ?
Paul: Well initially Matt resurrected the main riff from an old tape which was originally sequenced on a Korg Poly 800. I came into contact with a good friend of Graham (7th Sign) who liked some tracks he’d heard & said he’d forward them on to him if that was ok. Graham liked them and initially was going to release a project with some other tunes. We later sent an additional 3 tracks which were ‘Spiritual Reflection’, ‘Abstract Notions’ and ‘Coruscation’ and they went down well with Graham, and ‘Spiritual Reflection’ was given a taster at the ‘Sub Club’.
Matt: We had never actively marketed our music, it was more of a hobby really – and the tracks were confined to our mp3 players. It was completely by chance that Graham Wilson at Seventh Sign Recordings got to hear some tracks, as Paul said, but I’m very pleased that he did. I was speaking to Graham about something unrelated, and he just happened to ask if we had done any tunes recently – well, we sent him the three tracks that now make up the Spiritual Reflection EP, and he was quite enthused about them! I’m very grateful to Graham and Seventh Sign Recordings, he said he wanted the tracks, and that was that – the tracks were released.
It sounds like it was made in Detroit rather than Sheffield. Can you explain this and who or what inspired you two ?
Matt: Thank you, Kazuumi, that’s high praise. Inspiration comes from so many different things, the David Bowie my Dad used to play, early electronic music pioneers like the incredible John Carpenter, New Order, Depeche Mode, and of course the masters of Detroit Techno and Chicago House. But Sheffield in itself is an inspiration, a paradox of the urban and the rural. I was brought up on an estate built right on the edge of the city – one minute you could be walking through the concrete corridors of urban decay, and literally a minute later you would be on untouched moorland, looking down from the top of this great hill, with the sprawl of the city in one direction and the ancient moors and valleys in the other. The contrast between the two only makes the urban decay stand out even more. Perhaps there is a certain fascination with urban ruin. Sorry, what was the question again ?
Paul: Well Sheffield has been reffered to the ‘Twin City’ of Detroit for a number of years regarding the Techno scene, and unfortunately has always been associated with the “Bleep Sound” through Warp records, which I was never a fan of. Basically if the music has emotion and warmth then it’s going to sound like Detroit. The inspiration for me has been people like Kraftwerk, early Sheffield bands like the Human League Cabaret Voltaire, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, UR etc., and most of all Matt.
What’s the scene like in Sheffield ? How does it affect your creativity ?
Paul: What was once a vibrant city of quality techno/house nights is no more unfortunately, although this hasn’t affected our creativity. In fact we’ve been more creative, and produced more music in the past year than ever.
Matt: Yes, the scene seems to have flown away, and it’s a real shame for the kids who are missing out on a whole genre of timeless electronic masterpieces. Still, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I live in hope that one day it will return.
Can you tell us a little about the mix ?
You might be able to tell, if you listen carefully, that we are not DJs… if we were, we’d be very hungry DJs ! So, there are seven tracks, all very different from each other. Some old, some, like track 3, so new it hasn’t even been finished yet.
What are your plans for the future ?
Paul: To make more music, and hopefully get loads of vinyl out.
Matt: May our quest for the perfect melody take us to uncharted regions of the human imagination. So yes, more music, for sure.
Edge of Infinity release their first record through Seventh Sign
Edge Of Infinity – Spiritual Reflection [Seventh Sign]
Fucking superb. Glasgow’s Seventh Sign Recordings go old-school with this lush Detroit flavoured masterpiece.
- 01. Spiritual Reflection
- 02. Abstract Notions
- 03. Coruscation
Download Electronic Directory 17 Edge of Infinity Podcast
- 01. Daytrip To Pluto [Unreleased]
- 02. Despair [Unreleased]
- 03. Urbane Jazz [Unreleased]
- 04. Echo Location [Unreleased]
- 05. Epoch Ten [Unreleased]
- 06. Last Disco [Unreleased]
- 07. Electric Ocean [Unreleased]
Download older podcasts below
- EDP16 Klaina
- EDP15 Solab
- EDP14 Trish van Eynde
- EDP12 Erell Ranson
- EDP11 Chuck Bleu
- EDP10 Esteban Adame
- EDP09 Chymera
- EDP08 Alan Smith
- EDP07 Arne Weinberg
- EDP06 DJ Bone
- EDP05 Trench
- EDP04 Rubsilent
- EDP03 Nomadico aka DJ Dex
- EDP02 Kuri Kondrak
- EDP01 Lee Holman