As he prepares to present his Oceans of Noise showcase at the Unsound Festival New York on Saturday, we thought it might be an opportune time to have a quick catch-up with Carlos Giffoni.
The No Fun Productions boss has long been a bastion of the noise scene, but in recent years has been making serious incursions on FACT’s world thanks to his increasing interest in analogue synthesis. This interest has yielded innumerable riveting performances and releases i – including last year’s beautifully droning, groaning Severance LP and the various acid techno experiments grouped under CG’s No Fun Acid banner.
The Giffoni-curated Oceans Of Noise kicks off at 5.30pm on Saturday 9 April at New York’s Littlefield venue. Carlos will perform live, with further sets from CoH, Marcus Schmickler, C. Spencer Yeh, Robert Piotrowicz and Instant Coffee. More information and tickets here.
“Releases planned for this year include a split LP of myself with Oren Ambarchi, a solo CD from Incapacitants’ Fumio Kosakai, something new from Oneohtrix Point Never, Pulse Emitter..”
It’s been a quiet year so far for No Fun on the release front. Anything in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
“Yes, we’ve been in a transitional period with the label, and my life has got substantially busier with other more pressing matters, but we still have a few great releases planned for this year, including a split LP of myself with Oren Ambarchi, a solo CD from Incapacitants’ Fumio Kosakai, something new from Oneohtrix Point Never, Pulse Emitter, and a few more surprises I can’t talk about yet. Hopefully I can get them out sooner than later.
Any other solo/collaborative works of your own forthcoming?
“Besides the split with Oren, I am going to be touring in Japan with Jim O’Rourke beginning April 11 – we’re doing solo and collaboration sets, and we have a tour CD we made for the tour, so any left over copies after the tour will be amde available. I’m also very early on in a new solo release; it hasn’t really taken full shape yet, just a few tracks and a few sketches. Between the No Fun Acid releases and Severance (which came out on Hospital Productions last year), you can still get a picture of where my music is at right now.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of surprisingly pop electronic projects with a little edge, like Mount Kimbie, Pantha du Prince, stuff like that.”
Are you still producing music in the No Fun Acid vein? Or have you drawn a line under that project now?
“I have been back to performing under my own name while adding some of the No Fun Acid elements to my set. If there is a request for a No Fun Acid set at a ‘party’ gig or festival where it makes sense I’m willing to make it happen, but as far as touring with the project goes I’m done for the moment.
“I’ve introduced some of the equipment I use for the No Fun Acid sets into the setup for shows under my own name and re-purposed some of the more abstract or mind-expanding aspects of the project into it. For example, there was this longer, rotating, slowly building piece I always played at No Fun Acid sets that I’m still incorporating somewhere in my solo sets.”
What have you been listening to and enjoying recently?
Yesterday I was playing classic techno track, Ping Pong, with a co-worker and that was fun. I’ve been listening to a lot of surprisingly pop electronic projects with a little edge, like Mount Kimbie, Pantha du Prince, stuff like that. I always listen to Robet Wyatt too, but that’s just something I always do, not a new thing. What else? In the last few days: Crystal Ark, Bohannon, Acid Spain…”
“Every act playing will have something very different to present, from the cutting edge of advanced laptop electronics, to minimal drones, to ferocious analogue electronic attacks, imaginative improvisations and even some old school experimentation with sequencers and acid sounds.”
We remember you talking last year about plans for some Conrad Schnitzler reissues? Is this still on the cards?
“Still on the cards. The project is on hold due to lack of funds, but if we get someone interested in investing in it we can make it happen. I basically need $15,000 to make it all work; the money will definitely come back I just don’t have the cash flow right now to make it happen in one shot.”
What’s the curatorial thinking behind Oceans Of Noise at Unsound NY? Is it just a programme of artists you like, or is there more of a unifying theme to what you’re presenting?
“It will be a night of inspiring and unique electronic music, mostly improvised, that will include artists from all over the world. I feel like every act playing will have something very different to present, from the cutting edge of advanced laptop electronics, to minimal drones, to ferocious analogue electronic attacks, imaginative improvisations and even some old school experimentation with sequencers and acid sounds. Is going to be a wild night. Very excited about every act playing.”