Entrevista sp00

spoo-moufs.gifWe did the following interview with a Venezuelan reporter, and it was to be translated into Spanish. We never heard back, and I’m not sure if it was ever published in any language (other than Klingon, in which all of our published writings are archived). If anyone sees this interview floating around on the net, please send a link! -ramen

Part 1 (spoomusic.com, the label)

*Hi guys, what is spoomusic.com (genres that you work with) / since when exist / where are you/ which acts you represent

Ariel Gross: Spoomusic.com is an indie record label that caters music of various electronic flavors. I think the general term for the style on our label would be IDM, but other buzzwords that apply are Ambient, Synthpop, Minimal, Techno, and Space Funk. One aspect of spoomusic.com that I think is greatly appreciated is that we have built a foundation of free music. You can go to the web site and there are 26 albums that are available to listen to completely free. You can even download the majority of them in their entirety as high-quality MP3s.

Dave Benjamin: Like many folks out there, I think, we really don’t care for the term IDM, since it stands for “Intelligent Dance Music”. It seems to suggest that IDM is produced by an elite class of brainy musicians for an equally elite and brainy audience, in contrast to all other genres of electronic music (or “dance”, since all electronic music is, of course, dance music). In addition, as our own Neti Neti pointed out to me recently, the whole concept doesn’t make sense. The point of dance music is to shut your brain off and just move. Feel. Dance music is visceral. Intelligence just gets in the way.

DB: That said, everyone I know considers our band and label to be IDM. At some point, you just have to stop fighting it and accept it. It doesn’t matter what it stands for. What matters more is that people know what we mean, we can communicate with our fans, and they can communicate with each other. So, we grudgingly accept the term, though we prefer to call it “Intelligent Dunce Music” to obscure the fact that we are, in fact, elite and brainy.

*How’s working with someone called ANgR MgMT, i imagine him punching guys in the offices and making scenes a la Axl Rose…

AG: You know, despite his name, he’s actually a really wonderful person. He has punched me in the testicles a few times, but then again, who hasn’t?

DB: I cannot confirm or deny that I have punched that man, Ariel Gross, in the testicles a few times.

* Where comes that name sp00, from the Babylon 5 food?

AG: Well, this is a tough one. Dave said the name first, and I agreed. I think it may have been my idea to make the 00 into zeroes, which may have been a mistake, because when people Google for ‘spoo’ and not ‘sp00,’ you get that food from Babylon 5.spoo-live.jpg

DB: It really just started out as a nonsense word. We wanted something short, since we had previously been going by our combined individual stage names of Ramenboy and Funkymuskrat, and this was just getting too tedious. I think there is a tendency to be very individualist with electronic music, since you really don’t absolutely need other people to produce a track. We had been working together for years when we finally decided to stop using our individual stage names and start focusing on a more collective concept. And I think the spoomusic.com label is a continuation of that line of thought; rather than just promote our own individual identities, it was time to engage the community and start bringing out other musicians under a single umbrella.

DB: “spoo” is “oops” spelled backwards, and we discovered this right away, to our amusement. It also rhymes with “groo”, who is a musician we both dig a lot. He wrote 4-channel MOD files back in the early days of the PC Demoscene, and his music had a great sense of humor to it. The connection to Babylon 5’s stomach-turning worm-food is completely accidental, but we think it’s pretty funny anyway (when we’re not afraid of getting sued).

* Tell us a bit about your catalog and some releases coming soon

AG: Well, right now we have about fourteen different artists on our label, and we’re always looking for more talented people to join us. We have several releases coming up, including a highly anticipated first compilation album. We have a bunch of our own artists as well as some really amazing guest artists that have released on such labels as m3rck and Phthalo. We also got the brilliant artist, Acampante, to create the artwork for the compilation album, which I’m really excited about. You can check out his work at miacampante.com.

* Are you really like Aphex Twin without all the talent?

AG: That was actually a catch phrase that our artist Insik Sate came up with. It’s a way of poking fun at ourselves, but in reality, our cup floweth over with talent.

DB: I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Twin. I consider him one of the “punks” of electronic music. By refusing to conform to popular styles, emulate other artists, or allow his art to be pidgeonholed, he has literally invented many radically different genres of electronic music. His unconventional ideas in music have been a major factor in the great diversity of styles we have today. And after all these years, he’s still going, and still putting out great beats.

* Have you meet him? (Aphex Twin)

AG: Nah, but I would love to. He is an amazing musician.

* According to UrbanDictionary spoo is:

“The male ejaculatory fluid, especially when deposited somewhere other than the woman’s vagina” any comments on that?

DB: Thank you for pointing this out. We could not find a better summary of our cause and purpose as a band, a label, and as human beings.

AG: Sure. Why does it have to be deposited somewhere other than the woman’s vagina? I think that it could be deposited anywhere and still be called spoo. Deposit it in your fish tank for all I care, spoo is spoo.

* Make yourselves a question, anything you want, and answer it.

AG: Ok, I’ll ask Dave a question and he can ask me one. Dave, how do you put up with that Ariel guy? Didn’t he one time cover himself in blue paint and call himself Papa Smurf?

DB: The great thing about our modern computer age is that we don’t have to be physically located in the same place to collaborate on music. On the internet, nobody knows you’re a Smurf. (Snorks, however, are a different matter entirely.) For you, Ariel: How did you turn into such a songwriting machine? Are you an android with an embedded expert system trained on Beatles and Rush albums?

Part 2 (sp00, the music duo)

spoo-big-mixer-smaller.jpg* What does sp00 sound like? Give me one Biological/sexual/kids related/animal related reference.

AG: Biologically, we sound like hair growing. Sexually, we sound like someone licking your earlobe. For the kids, we sound like video game music with a hefty dose of funk. As far as an animal goes, we sound most like cats coughing up hairballs.

DB: We sound like the freedom rock blasted from the cell walls to ease the boring, mind-numbing drudgery of the daily and incessant replication of mitochondrial DNA. In other words, we put the funk back in your nucleus where it belongs. Animalistically, we are roughly 20% more tigon than liger.

* You music really makes me wanna dance, is that normal?

DB: This is a known issue, and though no solution is yet available, we are working to resolve the problem.

AG: Yes. It is also a normal reaction to remove your clothes and run naked through the streets while listening to sp00 on your iPork.

*You sound like you really have a good time making music, how’s that process? Who makes what?

AG: We both make everything, the melodies, the beats, the wacky sound effects. We do have a good time when we’re making music. One of our favorite methods of making music is what we affectionately call Hot Seat Tracking. This is where there are two guys, one computer and keyboard. One of us will start writing something, and then when the other person decides they have something to contribute, they say a key word such as “pickle” or “spelunker,” and the person who was making music has to stop and let the other person take a seat. There are no rules aside from trying to remember to save the song as often as possible.

DB: Another technique that’s worked well for us is to beat-match two computers together. One person will focus on beats and the other will do melodies. Sometimes we try to make a rule that each person can only play two tracks at a time, to avoid the “wall of sound” noise mayhem. We tend to break this rule. Minimalism is more of an ideal than an attainable goal for us. As complicated humans, we tend to make complicated music.

* Have you ever done remixes? To whom? Who do you wanna remix?

AG: Yeah, Dave and I both remixed the Pixie’s track called Where Is My Mind. We also both worked on a remix of a Terminal 11 track called Shelby. I’ve done a handful of other remixes, but I can’t really remember them.
DB: I’d love to do more remixes. This seems to be a subject we do much more talking about than actual execution, but we would very much like to collaborate more with other artists, to remix other people’s music and provide other musicians with source material so they can remix ours. We hope to do more of this in the future.

DB: By the way, if you haven’t heard it, definitely check out Neti Neti’s remix of “Rising Through Storm Clouds”. I love this piece. You can still hear elements from the original piece, but it’s so different from the original sp00 track. Very spacey and atmospheric.


* You have 6 records + 1 EP, right? Tell us a little bit about each one (concept, ideas, experiments when making it, etc)

AG: Actually, we have six full length albums, three Eps and a collaboration with the mysterious DJ Kluge available on our web site. Actually, the DJ Kluge sessions were interesting in that they are completely live with very little pre-recorded music. The three of us would just sit down, turn on three computers, and make music. Whatever comes out is what comes out! It is very experimental, and I am always amazed that the end result sounds cool.

* Best Hair Metal Band of the 80’s

AG: Does Queen count?

DB: I’m partial to Def Leppard.

* What’s the first thing that goes to you heads when you hear (or read, in this case) the word “VENEZUELA”.

AG: I immediately think of beautiful, lush, green foothills and palafitos. And of course, Hugo Chavez.



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