interview with international peoples gang
© em:t.cc February 17, 2003
First off, thank you to Martyn Watson of international peoples gang for answering our visitors' questions. Martyn is a professional musician, hard at work on different musical projects, and we are deeply grateful for the time & effort he set aside for this interview. Thanks Martyn!
who makes up international peoples gang?
international peoples gang are Martyn Watson & Ric Peet plus assorted musical / spiritual collaborators.
how did t:me recording ltd. start?
I approached a studio in November 1991 about the possible funding of a multi function / multi media environment that I had been conceptualising called 'space'... money wasn't forthcoming for that idea but they asked me to start a label which I named t:me (space / t:me... good eh?).
how did the em:t name come to be?
at the very first meeting I came up with the name em:t 'cos I figured it'd be cool for retrospective releases. geddit?
why is a starfish featured on the cover of your album international peoples gang 3395?
the starfish was chosen because chris and dave who ran em:t were resolutely anti 'rock and roll star' (unlike us) so, as I am a pisces, I just figured star + fish = starfish. we clashed continually and I just liked the idea of winding them up whenever I could. nice picture though and, graphically, very strong don't you think?
we sure think so! do you have any new stuff planned? and have you published other work since the demise of em:t?
ric and I are working on a new IPG album at the moment. IPG stuff has surfaced recently on Trunk Records' battle of bosworth CD and we've also produced 'draw' by matthew jay on Parlophone. the next beth orton single will have an IPG remix on it. ric is also a regular collaborator with bent.
how do you work? what instruments, gear etc.
we work on logic these days... as for instruments I'm a songwriter / guitar player first and foremost although I turn my hand to most things and ric comes from a synth / engineering background. between us we get most things done somehow and the only rule is that there are no rules. we'll hit anything to make a good noise and those of you who know our track pool will understand that we hear music in everything... particularly down the pub.
I just wondered who actually decided to start a new em:t?
I hated the way that em:t ended up (musicians not getting paid etc.) and dreamed of setting up a label that reflected the original t:me ethos that had been lost in the final days of chris and dave's 'dynasty'. my original idea was to form x2 (pronounced t:mes two) but I was approached by the folk who'd bought the label identity and we've taken it from there. my role this time around is purely A&R (Artiste and Répertoire.)
are there any new artists that you can reveal who will be featuring on the forthcoming em:t album - and are you one of them?
we will be appearing on the new em:t album... a tune called 'fireworks' in fact, featuring a lyric by strawberry girl and a vocal by parisienne chanteuse Anne Papiri.
will the Roland Sound System equipment manipulations still be apart of this new em:t output?
no RSS on our stuff, don't know about the others... these days there are countless psycho acoustic toys to play with.
is The Designers Republic working with em:t recordsŪ as before, or do you know if there are another set of sharp eyes involved in the design work – if so are you able to name the team?
the design team currently hard at work on ipg / em:t stuff are called Purple Om... we love 'em.
is there a particular sound or idea that you keep returning to in your works?
I had a most intriguing (very stoned) encounter with r.d. laing on a houseboat in 1985 where we discussed the possibility of doing some experimental recording together. he suggested using the last heartbeat of a human life as a rhythm source, saying that he had 'masses on tape... imagine the resonance'. it is to this concept of cosmic resonance that ric and I return time and time again.
check out the 'secret message' at the end of international peoples gang 3395 for the r.d. laing quote "imagine the resonance".
another inspirational example of this elusive 'universal frequency' can be found in pete townshend's 'lifehouse' project. so often in music we find that it's the little breaths, the stops before the chorus, the fragments of silence between beats and the repetitive pulses that pull us into infinity. we want to go there and find the lost chord.
the 'excepting one note' vocal sample on international peoples gang 3395 'still' is an (uncleared!) pete townshend sample from a song called 'pure and easy' the pivotal tune of his 'lifehouse' project.
what things in the human audio field of hearing would you like to omit forever – if you had the opportunity?
it'd be ace to never hear the word 'Arsenal' again. (Football joke). seriously though, there's a certain throaty vocal inflection / affectation that you can hear in the work of Dido, Dolores from The Cranberries and whatshername from M People that really gets my goat. horrible.
Check out IPG's official Web site, currently in construction.