Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blip Nation Interview: Meet wahwahwah

Blipper since: May 27, 2009

"My mind works in pictures (duh, I'm a painter), so I tend to create visions of music subconsciously in my head while I'm listening to it."

Pete Dulin: What part of the world do you live in?

wahwahwah: Boston, Massachusetts. Have been here since 1997 (except for one disastrous year in NYC, from 2003-2004).

Dulin: Why do you blip music on Blip.FM?

wahwahwah: It's fun. It's really addictive, and I have an addictive personality. I love music. I love sharing things I'm excited about with friends. This includes music. I'm sure I post way too many "tracks du jour" on my Facebook page - I'm sure my non-music friends get annoyed by this.

Dulin: Do you remember the first music you ever purchased? What was it? Format (record, tape, CD, mp3)? Why did you buy it?

wahwahwah: Ooof. Maybe a New Kids on the Block tape? I was really into them when I was younger. I also had Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" on cassette. Knew all the lyrics and sang them often (I think I still know all of them!).

Dulin: Do you tend to listen to a particular genre or music from a specific time period?

wahwahwah: Lots of early-to-mid-'90s shoegaze (Slowdive is my all-time favorite out of that genre). Lots of electronica, especially early '90s, like Sasha, Underworld, The Orb, Orbital. Can you tell I was born in 1980? A lot of sounds really struck me in adolescence (my high school years in particular) and have stuck with me since. Underworld's "Dirty Epic" never fails to bring me crashing back to my high school angst. In a good way. I also have undying love for P.M. Dawn. I can't really explain that one. And I love '90s/early '00s industrial. I'm not ashamed!! (Well, maybe a little.)

Dulin: How does music, whether playing/listening on Blip.FM or elsewhere, affect your behavior, reflect your mood, or express your personality from day to day?

wahwahwah: My mind works in pictures (duh, I'm a painter), so I tend to create visions of music subconsciously in my head while I'm listening to it. Also, it's pretty straightforward: If I'm feeling angry, I will blip something angst-filled, like Jesu's "Silver," which blip DJ @tversio turned me on to; if I'm feeling feisty, I will play something with a lot of crackle and heavy beat.

Dulin: As a visual artist, do you listen to music while you paint? Does it help your creative process?

wahwahwah: I do listen to music while I paint, but it really has nothing to do with what I'm painting. I like listening to Public Enemy... something raucous like that while I'm painting. Something with lots of energy usually works well.

Dulin: Boston has been home to many emerging local musicians and bands over the years. In the past, I've heard that competitiveness made for a music scene that had its cliques. Do you know or feel that's the case now?

wahwahwah: I have no idea. Probably. I used to be in several bands and then dropped out of the music scene in 2007. It was pretty cliquey then, and I'd imagine it is still now. If I ever create music again, it will be a solo shoegaze electronic project, and I probably won't live in Boston. I've burned several bridges in that scene here in Boston.

Dulin: What song do you hate to hear at a wedding?

wahwahwah: I don't think I've been to enough weddings to answer this! I've only been to a handful. Maybe 5-7 in my entire life?? But the song that I absolutely cannot stand right now is Train's "Hey, Soul Sister." It literally makes me cringe.

Dulin: What three songs would you want played at your next house party?

wahwahwah: The Rapture's "Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks"; The Prodigy/Enya "Orinoco Flow" mashup that's been going around for a while; and the Phil Davidson speech remix.

Duiln: Favorite local/regional musicians, bands, or DJs?

wahwahwah: December Sound (Boston, NYC). I also like Andre Obin.

Dulin: What makes for a good remix?

wahwahwah: I am not sure. I think it's always good to really stretch the limits and take the song in an entirely new direction. I love the Massive Attack "Paradise Circus" remix featuring Hope Sandoval. One of my favorite tracks ever, probably.

Dulin: When you're feeling sad or depressed, do you have a "go to" song or artist to help cope?

wahwahwah: I usually listen to something cheerful. But honestly, when I'm really depressed (which doesn't happen too often these days, thank God), music, like everything else, loses its color for me. That's how I can tell when I'm truly depressed –– I don't really feel like listening to anything in particular.

Dulin: Do you have any thoughts about the anonymity of a social medium like Blip.FM and how people connect and/or get to know each other in that online music community?

wahwahwah: I know some blip DJs outside of Blip.FM (@fastfood, @tversio, @endorser, @tarakmeads, and probably some others), and I've been a pen pal with @SnailKid for a good year now. We don't plan to meet in person ever, but it's really rewarding and fulfilling for me to have that kind of relationship. It adds an extra dimension to life. I also enjoy exchanging blips/replies with some DJs I'm "friendly with" online –– @TheNewYorkChimes, @dronnoisseur, @WunderTwinPowersActivate, @kattegat, @Seigo. It's also amazing to hear new music and fall in love. I don't think I would be aware of half the bands I'm into now if it weren't for Blip.FM.

Dulin: What musician, singer, DJ or band would you most like to meet? Why?

wahwahwah: I would to meet Genesis P'Orridge. What a creative, amazing, intelligent, and twisted person –– at least as far as I can tell from all of his project. I would also love to meet Ulrich Schnauss and Shawn Foree of Digital Leather. Ulrich because I believe his music is truly spiritual, and Shawn F. because his music leads me to believe he would be pretty hot, in a scramble-y, messed-up kind of way. Also William Basinski and Roky Erickson because they seem like they'd be pretty interesting to talk to.

Dulin: If you could Blip.FM one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?

wahwahwah: Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls." OK, that was a joke. I would have to say Aphex Twin's "Rhubarb," as long as people were listening with headphones.

Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?

wahwahwah: I'd like to start a mail art project. If anyone is interested, email me at julyfawn@gmail.com or reach me at  http://www.jessbarnett.com and on Facebook.

Pete Dulin is the co-publisher and editor of www.presentmagazine.com and writes freelance for magazines, websites, and newspapers. Always looking for the next great song, he can be found in the Blip Nation at http://blip.fm/slipperydistortion. He unleashes profound non sequiturs at Twitter.com/petedulin and publishes creative work at www.petedulin.com.

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