Arctic Sunrise is a Coventry musician who’s making an impressive impression on the electronic music scene. His widely revered releases on Airvent Media, his own rapidly expanding label, have acquired vast independent acclaim and now, pushing his creativity to new diverse limits, Arctic Sunrise is currently venturing into new unchartered visual and musical territories. Keeping it very underground, Glasswerk.co.uk caught up with the mince pie eating/offering man at his home studio for a most welcome cuppa and a chat.
ANT: How did you come up with the name Arctic Sunrise?
AS: I used to be called Second Angel when I was playing drum and bass, before I decided to shift the first letters around. I also love the cold and it’s pretty nice to see the sun coming up on a cold snowy winter day, the combo of being cold and warm at the same time. It’s a bit like my music really.
ANT: Your first release got Radio 1 coverage, how did that come about?
AS: I literally got my vinyl on the Monday and posted one to Mary Anne Hobbs the following day. Always liked what she does on her show and figured my stuff was different enough. Never figured that the following week she'd play it! She really loved it and that kind of support for a new artist is very exciting. She left great feedback on my MySpace too, which has helped gain some recognition.
ANT: Do your live shows intentionally vary and diversify as I believe them to?
AS: Yeah definitely. I like to think people come to see more than one man and his laptop. I’ve performed a few times with Yamahas new toy, the Tenori-On which is awesome and has attracted loads of different people, now I’m waiting on my Monome to be delivered too. I’m busy working with some creative visual artists on expanding the live show to keep it as fresh and interesting as possible. I feel that the sounds are always different and interesting, but how often can you go see someone stood behind a laptop and get all excited. I wouldn’t have it myself, so that’s why I try to push it. I’ve got an exciting art and sound installation due soon but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.
ANT: So, next years tour of Japan, will it serve up something visually impressive?
AS: Yes indeed. I’m going on a tour taking in venues such as Super Deluxe club in Tokyo and to work with a live painter in Chiba for his Trench Warfare event. Also while I’m there I’ll be electronically busking with the Tenori-On on the bullet train and in some Zen gardens too probably. The Japanese embrace technology and music, they get very excited about someone doing something different. I’m hoping to really impress them as it’s always been a dream of mine to go out there.
ANT: Who are you collaborating with/wish to collaborate with.
AS: I’m working on several Japanese connections right now; with 2 collaborations and 1 remix presently looming. Obviously I’d love to collaborate with someone like Autechre or Richard James but then again, there are tons of people like M2, Xingu Hill, Plaid, Hecq and Future Sound of London that I have great respect for and would love to spend 10 minutes in the studio with. I’d much prefer something completely crazy like working with Kate Bush you know, smash her vocals up and glitch out some beats behind them. Yeah…a remix of ‘Hounds of Love’ would be ace.
ANT: Best song/movie ever?
AS: Hmmm…Bladerunner for best film and song is very tricky, but one that evokes tons of memories is ‘Break and Enter’ by The Prodigy.
ANT. Are you for or against politics in music?
AS: I don’t care about others making a statement if they want, but I’m not into that. Music is music, not a way of getting your ideas into your fans heads. “Listen to my chill-out whilst I subliminally tell you that you have a giant carbon footprint” Utter bollocks to do that really and if you read anything from my music, it’s purely coincidental.
ANT: What do you do when not making music?
AS: Running my Airvent Media label, timeout with the wife ‘n’ kids and getting sucked into TV like Lost.
ANT: It must be hard in this current climate to survive as an Indie label, right?
AS: Yeah it is but I spend time on both the packaging and the music to hopefully appeal far more than an encoded file on your PC. I have an old school vinyl collector ethos and love to have a product in my hands. That’s something I’m trying to keep true with the label. Not many experimental electronic labels release a 7” for their first release, do they?
ANT. What’s next for Arctic Sunrise?
AS: Keep on making tunes and playing out sounds. You’ll have to keep an eye on my MySpace for details of my upcoming gigs and the interactive installation too.
Thanks for taking time out and all the best for the future for you and the acts you sign. You can find out more at – link