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Soulenoid

Author: Andrez
Sunday, 1 January 1995
Soulenoid is one of those names that crops up at various Australian events. Since establishing himself under this alias early in 1995, Adam Raisbeck has performed live at numerous times in his native city of Melbourne at Club Filter, Global Warming and the Punters Club as well as larger one-off parties like the Omniglobe raves, Technofest, The Big Day Out, Be Strange and Earthcore - along the way supporting international drawcards Derrick May, Stacey Pullen, the Aphex Twin, Biochip C, Cylob and the On-U Sound posse. Yet in spite of critical acclaim surrounding his performances and the music he's released through Melbourne's If- label and Belgium's Nova Zembla imprint to date, Soulenoid remains as unfathomable and elusive as the day he began.

These days Adam Raisbeck is searching out new directions in both sound and the technology he uses to make that music, and while he's recorded tracks for Melbourne's upcoming Club Filter and 'Zeitgeist 3' compilations he's also started his own venture called Eat At Joe's and is currently putting together a release for Thomas Barnett's Visillusion imprint in Detroit.

Meanwhile the Soulenoid live electronic music experience is something that's both intangible and unpredictable; he's also been one of the more consistent live performers in this city over the past couple of years - so what's the experience been like- "It's alright," he enthuses, "although it depends upon the open-mindedness of the crowd. I don't always place stuff that's dancefloor-oriented; what I'd really like to do is just play some fucked-up soundscapes. Everyone seems to want to do that but no-one really does." Here he shrugs. "I know people like to dance and so on, but for me personally I think there's a higher expression of the music than just dancing. Sometimes I like to just sit there and listen to it and take it all in, you know- And for me there's not all that much difference between making music at home and making music in the live situation - I don't mean to be rude, but I don't really get into looking at what the audience expect; you've probably noticed that when I play live I hardly look up at all!"

Adam's work veers across a range of contemporary electronic flavours. His more recent recordings of freestyle 'techno' - if you want to call it that - captures the spirit of his own development over the years as well as the style of contemporaries like Zen Paradox, Voiteck and Robert Hood. "Yeah, I've been making quite a bit of different music," he agrees. "I don't know what you'd call it and I don't really have anything to compare it with - perhaps it's a bit like Steve [Law] and especially his more experimental stuff. Then there are other local producers like Voiteck and Honeysmack - I really enjoyed his set at the last Zoetrope gig; I thought that was great and he really rubbed it!"

Given his acknowledged tendencies towards the acid side of the scale in the past, what acidic techno influences continue hold sway over Adam's own psyche- "Hmmm . . . maybe the older stuff, the sexy acid stuff from around '89. People like Underground Resistance and X-102, Chicago Trax, stuff like Steve Poindexter's 'Work That Motherfucker' and Richie Hawtin's work - but as FUSE rather than Plastikman. Definitely American style. I dig that sort of stuff."

Soulenoid would appear to be a creature of extremes, especially if you compare his contributions to the first two 'Zeitgeist' compilations where he veered from hard, crunchy acid on the track 'Ra!' then resorted to a more abstract, slowed-down ambience on 'Snowdropper'. "Yeah . . . ," he ponders, "but you have to realise that on the first track 'Ra!' I worked with David Thrussell on the final mix, and that altered the mood of the track quite a lot. On 'Snowdropper' I was just beginning to use some new equipment, which was the K2000, and I wanted to make some really fucked-up shit."

At this point Adam approaches the subject from a more personal angle: "When I'm act

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