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Cosmosis Interview - Finland May 2008


By bagginz - Posted on 26 September 2009

Rapid fire style interview with Finnish trance reporter and artist Reetta Nykanen (Rita Skeeta)




1.Name of the band?

Cosmosis but I also record as Mumbo Jumbo sometimes

2.Members, name in full?

What is this, an interrogation or an interview? :) My name is William Bryan Halsey.  Shoe size is 42

3.which equipment you use in making music (studio/live)

Studio software is Cubase 4 and a bunch of plug-in synths samplers and effects plugs running on a PC that I built myself based around an Intel Quad Q6600 chip

I also have a hardware synth called a Korg Radias which has a great vocoder and incredibly pretty lights, but it's main strength is that it is particularly good at taking up desk space.

I have a generic 4 octave Midi controller keyboard with lots of knobs and sliders, a Novation Remote Zero for controlling all the VST soft synths inside the sequencer, a Frontier Design Alphatrack control surface which I use for for recording Cubase fader and other mixer automation movements.

Monitoring is switched between the main Dynaudio BM6a monitors and a pair of Altec Lansing self-powered desktop speakers which cost about 25 euros for the pair. I've plugged the bass ports on the back of the Altec Lansings with rolled up kitchen paper and they and sound lovely in a kind of naff, slightly distorted, hearing-the-overall-picture sort of way. Studio furniture is by IKEA of course...

For live shows I use Ableton Live 7 and a BCR2000 controller or sometimes an Evolution X-session box, depending on the gig...

4. Tell us which software you mainly use in your sound

I thought that I just did?

4.tell about the different things you're working with related to Psy culture(past,present&future)

Just music, performing and dancing with a bit of onstage party cheer-leading and rebel rousing thrown in.

5.your biggest achievement in the music/psy scene (dreams)

Earning my living for the last 20 years of my life from doing what I love to do, which is; create records, travel, laze about in hammocks, read interesting books, play guitar and play gigs.

6.Your latest album and who designed the cover?

The last Cosmosis album is called "Psychedelica Melodica," which is my 6th Cosmosis artist album and my 7th Trance album to date. While we're on the subject, I also have tracks on well over 100 international compilations. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Cosmosis er....and the cover art on the last album "Psychedelica Melodica" is taken from an original painting by Paul Heussenstamm

7.When did you start making electronic music and why?

In 1992 when I first became aware of early Acid House music and the whole sub-culture that went along with it. I was already a full time working muso and I became entranced by this whole new vibrant and creative dance music scene such that I dumped the whole playing in bands thing pretty much overnight and got into making electronic dance music.

It was an incredibly exciting time in London. It was a whole new cultural shift that exploded out from those days in the late eighties right up until the present day. Today it's a global phenomenon, this alternative global sub-culture that we're all part of.

8.what's your special spice for special music?

Once you get on a buzz, on a roll or whatever you call it, run with it and don't stop until the idea is down and the whole track is laid out as arrangement. You can always tweak the fine details later.

This way, the original inspiration comes out as a more complete and cohesive piece of music. I've found that coming back to an idea again and again with gaps between times makes for disjointed and incoherent musical expressions. In other words, dodgy tunes :)

9.what kind of an artist you are (how do you start working, where do the ideas come from, what about performing)

My ideas mainly come from listening to other music and not necesarily just Trance. A tiny fragment of an idea will present itself and with further imagination will be teased out in my mind into a complete idea. Then, er see 8 above

10.when did you start performing and where was your latest gig (next gig)

I played my first public gig in 1982 at an end of year college bash playing guitar with my 7 piece band at that time. The set consisted half of original tunes, plus a bunch of covers, which contained such chestnuts as: Black Magic Woman... House of the Rising Sun, The Time Warp - from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.... Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols and our slightly comedic Raga Rastafarian Reggae version of "Wild Thing... by the Troggs.

A couple of months later we did a small tour. We hired a van and a generator and drove down south and played gigs around Stonehenge Free festival every day for for about a week, as well as me wandering around the festival sitting in with other bands just jamming. We also played a couple of impromptu gigs at neaarby Glastonbury Festival...It was fabulous... My next gig (in three days time) is in Moscow

11.what has been the hardest thing on your career as a musician?

Loss of earnings from my recorded music through people not buying music on records cds and vinyl anymore.

Back in the early days I used to have two similar income streams; one from record royalties and records sales and one from live playing. The record royalties would cover the rent for the times when I needed to focus and concentrate totally upon creating and recording new material to tour. That's now gone.

12.what is important in music/what should it be like (perfect sound)

Does the music move the listener in any way? For me, emotional response is the real magic in music, it's the diamonds that all composers are mining for. Music is magical in that it can create an emotional response in a human being. For me production quality is secondary to emotional content.

In other words, I would far rather listen to music that moves me which is a little less polished than a perfectly produced, but musically (emotionally) dead piece.

15.Tell us about an incident/gig that you'll never forget...

Nah...

16. Future?

The resource that we as a species totally depend on for our lifestyle, namely oil will soon become more and more scarce and hugely expensive bringing huge changes in it's wake... The US dollar will devalue severely if not crash completely, the world economy will slow right down.

This is not necessarily a bad thing because if it were to carry on the way it is, we will pollute ourselves out of existence. But we are in for big changes and very interesting times not that far down the road

17. Piratism?

What do you mean by Piratism?

The violent military invasion and occupation of another sovereign nation in order to secure it's oil resources and build military bases to ensure your own global military dominance?

Or some kids downloading tunes free instead of paying for them?

In answer to the first:
As well as a tragedy, it's an international war crime pure and simple. It's deeply shameful that 1. it happened 2. That the people that ordered it are not being prosecuted.

To the second, 1. Pirate is far too strong a word. 2. Times change and one must adapt.

Analog or digital?

Digital

Full-on or chill-out?

Funky

Hardware or software?

Software

Water or beer?

Definitely tea. Specifically high mountain Oolong tea from Taiwan. I drink gallons of the stuff when I am working on a tune...

Dancing or talking?

Meditating

Beard or moustache?

A bit of both - in a designer stubble stylee or perhaps a handlebar moustache with waxed ends, or maybe even a Victorian moustache combination - that's when the handlebar moustache joins up with very long sideburns...

Pc or mac?

Whatever. I'm not idealogically attached.  It's just a tool like a hammer or a screwdriver.  I'll use whatever works and gets the job done.

Cosmosis Music Webshop: http://cosmosis.bandcamp.com