In the new February issue of Dazed & Confused, 14 of this generation’s most innovative producers were enrolled in a one-off 'digital seminar' with Radiohead/supergroup Atoms for Peace frontman Thom Yorke to ask him their most burning questions. Over the course of this week we'll be rolling out the Q&As between them and our coverstar starting with today’s electronic artists: Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer and FaltyDL (check out his exclusive mix for Dazed Digital below), with more to come from the likes of Actress, Fatima Al Qadiri, Caribou and Gatekeeper...
THE GASLAMP KILLER: Which band or producer has been your biggest influence to date?
Thom Yorke: I would still say old Richard D James. He burns a heavy shadow. I used to have this big hang-up when I used to DJ at college, and the most exciting thing that used to happen was when a new Warp record came out. That’s what I used to DJ, and the soundsystem would come alive. Aphex opened up another world that didn’t involve my fucking electric guitar, and I was just so jealous of that whole crew. They were off on their own planet. I hated all the music that was around Radiohead at the time, it was completely fucking meaningless. I hated the Britpop thing and what was happening in America, but Aphex was totally beautiful, and he’s kind of my age too. He’s a massive influence.
FLYING LOTUS: I’ve always been curious, what inspired ‘Pyramid Song’?
Thom Yorke: You’re obsessed! We were in Copenhagen, we just started recording the first session after OK Computer, and we were all deeply dysfunctional, especially me. And there was an exhibition, they had a whole Egyptian section where they went on about religious beliefs and stuff, and they had these figures in these little boats ready to go wherever it is they were going to go. We were having a really shitty session, but we got in the morning afterwards, sat down, played these chords and I just said, ‘That’s nice,’ made a note of it and then wrote words, and it was very quick. We recorded the drumming a few months later, and it sounded like something from a Charlie Mingus record. It was just one of those weird things of, when you make a record, eventually you get to a flow and that was just part of the flow. We were going through this bad period where nothing was going right and this was a big breakthrough. But I never expected it to be such a popular single. When we play it live people go nuts for it, and we’re like, ‘Really?’
FALTYDL: How do you deal with writer’s block?
Thom Yorke: Don’t be so complicated. Slow down, keep it simple, do one thing. When I’ve had writer’s block I’ve had to force myself to stop doing anything at all. It doesn’t matter how much you stop, things just keep going in there, but you become less worried about the results because you’re not doing it day-to-day. So when you actually do it again, it’s more of a sense of release, you get the excitement and the sense of being able to do it as a privilege back. When you lose it you realise how lucky you are that you can do this shit in the first place, and it’s really easy. My missus said to me, ‘Go back to drawing, put your energy where it won’t be judged for a little while,’ and it really worked. And sometimes when you think you’ve got writer’s block it’s probably the best stuff you’ve ever done, but you can’t even hear because your brain isn’t in the right place.
FaltyDL Exclusive Mix Tracklist:
1. The Chakachas - Jungle Fever
2. 4Hero - Universal love (Goldie Remix)
3. DJ Rap - Your Mind (Gimp and Steve C mix)
4. Codename John - Dream Of heaven
5. Drew Lustman - Fritz the Kat
6. Krome and Time - The License
7. Bizzy B - Strength
8. FaltyDL - Unknown Jungle track 1
9. 0=0 - You Are My Angel
10. Soundmurderer + SK-1 - Stylee
11. FaltyDL - Unknown Jungle track 2
12. De La Soul - Dinninit
13. Digable Planets - Jettin'
14. Bogdan Raczynski - Kimi Wa Tsumannai
Check back on Dazed Digital this week for daily updates of the Uni of Yorke project