First published in Groove 159 (März/April 2016)
As a producer, Andrew Weatherall opened another chapter in 2016. Having been a part of what feels like a thousand releases, he has taken his time to release a whole LP under his real name. On Convenanza, Weatherall takes up where he left off with 2009’s A Pox On The Pioneers characteristic crossover sound. At the same time The Woodleigh Research Facility, his collaborative project with Nina Walsh, aims straight for the dancefloor. Anything else, Mr. Weatherall?
What was the best thing you have done lately?
Getting reacquainted with my record collection. I recently had to relocate my record library (which truth be told had become a bit of a shambles) and it led to the culling of 6,000 records and hours of rediscovery as I unpacked what was left. I have recorded some of these listening sessions and they will eventually be aired as a series entitled ” The R.G.C. Library Archive Hour”. I’m also quite pleased with the two new albums I’ve made.
What would you do on a day without internet?
Pretty much every day is a day without internet. I don’t possess an iPhone, rarely engage with social media and probably send one email per fortnight. Turn off and tune in people.
What is luxury for you?
Self doubt. Many people lead lives that leave no time or opportunity for self-reflection or pondering one’s choices. I thank Jah that the life I lead occasionally affords me said luxury.
Was there a book that impressed you lately? Why did it impress you?
My favourite read recently was a collection of short stories by Stefan Zweig called “Fantastic Night”. Humanity has always needed stories or some form of narrative to make sense of the world hence the popularity of religion. I prefer the secular approach and look for answers in novels and history books. I find that writers such as Hans Fallada, Robert Walser and Stefan Zweig, and their investigations into what it is to experience longing, passion, unfullfilled ambition and liberation extremely entertaining and informative.
What is your recent favourite TV series?
I don’t have a favourite TV series as such but I do have a favourite TV channel at the moment. It’s called “Talking Pictures” [Freeview Channel 71] and it’s a veritable smorgasbord of B-movie delights and oddities from the nineteen thirties to seventies.
Is there at the moment an upcoming artist that really blows you away? What makes him so special?
It’s not a him it’s a her: Kelly Lee Owens. And what “really blows me away” is that her music sounds like dark pop music from a parallel universe some time in the future.
Is there something that you rediscovered recently? For example an artist or a label or something else.
As mentioned earlier I moved my record library and when doing so discovered all manner of goodies I’d not clapped eyes on in twenty years, including a whole box of reggae 7″ singles that I’d totally forgotten I possessed. Among them was the truly wonderful “Prophecy Reveal” by Bojangles.
Is there a city you would love to see more of as just the airport, the hotel and the club sometimes?
The are in fact two cities that I regret having to leave more than any other: Dublin and Paris.
Is there a not so well known club you stayed or played at that everybody should go to once?
Why the hell would I tell you that?
When you think of the past was there a total crazy gig you had? Maybe something strange or totally fun happened or something went worse?
One of my first ever gigs springs to mind. Sometime in the early eighties. As I stepped up to the decks I noticed a smoke machine and immediately set it to “non-stop” and pressed start. I then proceeded to play the main theme from the film “633 Squadron”. The dancefloor emptied save for a few people imitating the fighter planes featured in said film, their arms outstretched and swooping in and out of the thick clouds. The same clouds that once dissipated revealed the angry shape of the club owner. The same club owner who sacked me and told me to fuck off out of the DJ booth.
What is always in your fridge?
A good quality cheddar or if I’m feeling a little more continental a nice comte. And several silver vials of laudanum.
Is there something you repent nowadays?
A shocking lack of self-awareness exhibited during some of my relationships over the years. To whom it may concern, I am truly sorry.
What is your biggest fear?
That it won’t be quick and painless. And that one of the major religions version of God turns out to exist.
What is your biggest dream?
To be allowed a long innings. In the words of Goethe “I have learned how to live; grant me, ye gods, more time”.
Following the release of The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories) from Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh also known as The Woodleigh Research Facility, Andrew Weatherall’s Convenanza was released on February 26th via Rotters Golf Club.