On Saturday the 3rd of April 2010 spring is in the air, as we bring a brand new edition of the massive indoor festival Vrijbuiters go Berlin Underground in Amsterdam. One of our esteemed headlining duos, Narcotic Syntax consisting of Yapacc and James Dean Brown from Berlin, have hooked us up with a 30-minute excerpt of their psychedelic effect-laden live set which will grace the stage during this marathon party lasting till 9 in the morning. Get your ticket, hear the drum-machines get wicked!
It’s been a while since those last releases on Perlon in 2005. Can you tell us what you guys have been up to in the last years?
Actually our latest release was the double 12″EP ‘Provocative Percussion’ on WIR Records from Cologne in October 2006, which we recorded while both of us were still living in Frankfurt. An A&R for Treibstoff and its sister label WIR, I am proud I’ve been actively involved in designing this label’s musical profile. Please check the following page for further information about ‘Provocative Percussion‘.
Still it has been a long time since this release. In the meantime we’ve been moving places, yapacc was involved in a lot of solo work and other collaborations while I was doing jobs as a copywriter and conceptionist. Three years in Cologne exile, I was able to meet yapacc to continue producing only during my regular job visits in Berlin. But now, re-united in Berlin, production processes are running smoothly again. We recorded a remix of ‘Edo Breiss’ by Italoboyz and a contribution to the forthcoming ‘Superlongevity’ issue on Perlon.
Here’s some information about another song we recorded in the meantime, except that there won’t be an album but just a 2track 12″EP [in 2010], preferably not on a club label:
Narcotic syntax has had a renowned and changing pool of band members [Markus Nikolai, Thomas 'Zip' Franzmann and Pink Elln]. Will it keep changing, or have you found a steady cast nowadays?
Here’s an excerpt from the Narcoweb that answers this question comprehensively:
Founded in 1996, Narcotic Syntax were re-boosted seven years later: Since April 2003 DJ/producer James Dean Brown and musician/producer yapacc represent the steady, diligent and meticulous production team for the future. During the initial years JDB had teamed up with the Perlon heads to accomplish premium production results: Zip [Dimbiman, Pantytec, Pile, Bigod 20, Second Voice] supplied great inspirational support several times, while Markus Nikolai [Morane, Pile, Bigod 20] kept the studiosphere vibrating once.
Since late in 2003 Narcotic Syntax are propelling the realisation of an exciting, sensuous concept of blending song and club formats in cooperation with Robert Conroy from New York City, known as chanteuse for the trans-Atlantic 21st century sonic glamour duo Misty Roses. His versatile, incredibly clear, yet powerful voice [which oscillates between the timbres of Scott Walker, Gary Numan, David Sylvian and an adolescent David Bowie] brings back the human factor to the mahogany dance floor. Actually Robert has become our third band member; a common album is in the pipeline.
Finally, Berlin-based guitarist Achim Treu has become the fourth official band member in October 2007, moreover known to be in the current line-up of famous German Neo-Dada pioneers Der Plan, in the ex Line-up of Mutter, and also performing with Fluffy Target [w/Richard Cameron] and as Dauerfisch.
Actually Narcotic Syntax can be perceived as a freewheeling ‘band project': in case there’s a need for incorporating essential skills, sounds or instruments, JDB and Yapacc invite artists of most different musical backgrounds to participate in the recording sessions. Up to now narcollaborations with the following – apart from miscellaneous vocalists – have been concluded successfully:
keyboards: Ash Wednesday [Einstürzende Neubauten, Modern Jazz; Melbourne/AUS], Max Loderbauer [Sun Electric, Chica and the Folder, NSI; Berlin/D], guitars: Alberto Andreoni [Signor Andreoni; Berlin/D], bass guitar: Thomas Barnstedt (Wahoo; Berlin/D), drums: Miguel Toro [Pan, Samim], marimba+vibraphone: Carsten Skov [Señor Coconut, The Herbaliser; Copenhagen/DK], production: Daniel Zelonky [Low Res, Crank, Sun Ra Impossible Space Circus; Milwaukee, WI/USA], Pink Elln [Sieg über die Sonne, NSI; Berlin/D], Tomohisa Kuramitsu [Baiyon; Kyoto/JAP], loops: Ian Andrews [Radioscopia; Sydney/AUS], Tom Ellard [Severed Heads; Darlinghurst/AUS]
And well, initially, the mission started here: http://www.narcoticsyntax.net.
Which artists have in influenced you the most over the years, and are there any recent acts that put a smile on your face?
Yapacc and James Dean Brown enjoyed a perilous musical socialization; influences are as manifold as extraordinary, including:
The autonomic nervous system, A Certain Ratio, Akira Ifukube, Alfred Jarry, André Breton, Armageddon, Ash Ra Tempel, Atom Heart, Battles, Big Band Blues Noir, Bill Lawrence, Blaise Cendrars, Boogaloo, Boris Vian, Brain-to-MIDI Conversion, Bruce Sterling, Casa Profunda, Cathedral, Chile, Chris Carter, Chrome, Claude Debussy, Click ‘n’ Rumble, Defunkt, Descargas, Disco Duro, Disco Psychotic, Dope Exotica, Earth, Electropical Storm, El Lissitzky, Eraserhead, Ernesto Lecuona, Ethio Jazz, Exotica, Fania All Stars, F/i, Fluid Fairyland, Fort Lauderdale, Fortunato Depero, Gentle Giant, Giacinto Scelsi, Godzilla, Gong, Harmonia, Haruki Murakami, Haruomi Hosono, Heavy Listening, Henry Mancini, Hypnobeat, Isidore Ducasse (Comte de Lautréamont), Jacques Rivette, Japan (the country), Jenji Kohan, John Barry, Joss Whedon, Juzo Itami, Kenyon Hopkins, Kryptofunk, Latinotronica, Led Zeppelin, Les Baxter, Lewis Carroll, Liaisons Dangereuses, Low Res, Magnetopop, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Mandingo, Max Ernst, Metal Urbain, Mistaken Alien Interpretations of Earth Music, Monitor, MX-80 Sound, Nils Petter Molvaer, Pilita, Polaroid SX-70, Pre Fix, Psychedelicacies, Raymond Queneau, Rhythm & Noise, Romeo Void, Rudy Rucker, Russ Garcia, Sabu Martínez, Scott Walker, Severed Heads, Shock Headed Peters, Sofia Coppola, Steamhammer, Stefan Hoenerloh, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Stu Phillips, Super Collider, Tackhead, Tango Recordings, The Brides of Funkenstein, The Happiness Boys, The Mothers of Invention, This Heat, Thomas Pynchon, Tikicore, Tito Puente, Tony Williams, Tuxedomoon, Umberto Boccioni, United Federation of Planets, Victory Over the Sun, Weather Report, William Gibson, Yes, YMO, and the flow of ‘The Party’ by Blake Edwards.
When I am infected by music, it hardly puts a smile on my face but rather tears of joy in my eyes. Highly topical, and independently from any current hype and general enthusiasm, I fell in love with Joanna Newsom when listening to her new triple LP ‘Have One on Me’. Furthermore my discovery of Hieroglyphic Being on Mathematics left me stunned, I didn’t know Jamal Moss before and thought, after listening to his latest release ‘The Mysteries of Life’, this must be some lost electronic archaeology from 1978…
You are performing at the Berlin Underground event on the 3rd of April in Amsterdam. How do you feel about making your Dutch debut?
Yapacc says: I like the Dutch club feeling, actually my live career started 13 years ago in this country – when I was playing my first live act. So I am happy to return every time.
James Dean Brown says: I didn’t DJ in Amsterdam before but enjoyed this town very much years ago when visiting it several times for cultural and shopping reasons. So I am also very happy to return again after years. Neither for me it is a Dutch debut; I’ve been presenting sound installations at media festivals in Arnhem (also playing live there) and Nijmegen in the late 80’s/early 90’s.
What can you tell us about the mix you provided for us?
Yapacc: master gear, James Dean Brown: 808+fx, Achim Treu: guitar+fx.
The mix is an excerpt from a live jam session at yapacc’s studio, rehearsing for a concert that should have taken place the day after at ‘Ritter Butzke’ in Berlin – which had to be cancelled after all because of a DJ’s death who has been a close friend of the booker…
The base of this live track is our remix for ‘Edo Breiss’ by Italoboyz that is planned to be released on Mothership. However in the meantime we think it would be a smarter idea to withdraw the remix because we think it would suit much better a Perlon release – featuring the live jam session edit on the B-side.
Any future plans we should know about?
Certainly. We want to expand our live plans as a trio, together with Achim Treu: private sessions and official live sets, all of which will be recorded. Further there are release plans – since years, currently evolving, or having put on hold:
The Creed of the Eternal Narcoverse, 12″EP, 2010.
A [partly retrospective] album entitled 4000 to the Floor will become due on Perlon.
An album entitled The Emotional Maximum, featuring singer Robert Conroy of Misty Roses, is expected to be released in 2020…
A Remix of the track Bacoa by Les Baxter for Bax Music has been planned [and started] long since, but it seems that the Bax Music rmx project has been put on hold.
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OTAM Mix 21: Narcotic Syntax – ‘Reuter Soul ‘