Friday, 4 February 2000Carrius & Bactus - Tooth is the joint project of Sydney producers Kevin Purdy and Sir Robbo, names you really should acquaint yourself with if you're in anyway enamoured with electronic music. I've caught Sir Robbo's DJing at the brilliant Frigid club (run by Luke and Seb from Sub Bass Snarl), and Kevin's new album Kevolution has just surfaced through Soft Recordings. It's for their striking Tooth album No Strings, however, that Zebra approached the duo and threw a few inane questions their way . . .
Zebra: How long have you both been producing sounds, how long together, what experiences have you had, and what keeps you inspired-
Kevin Purdy: "I've been doing music since the year dot, studying and playing piano, then I moved to drums; later on in life I got the guitar bug and wanted to play like all my favourite southern soul and rhythm and blues artists. This led me to Melbourne in 1987 which at that time had a thriving roots [scene] . . . I presented radio on PBS, which led to DJing and being involved with some very cool posses, with a heavy emphasis on dub, dope beat and hip hop styling. In 1995 I first started performing as Purdy at Global Warming and Uppah, and then I got my track Dope Thing got on the first Creative Vibes compilation; a year later I decided to go back to Sydney for the release and to feel it out back in the big bad city. I met Sir Robbo and he hooked me up with a show at Frigid and we ended up hanging out a lot and getting a musical thing happening; that worked very nicely and it's just gone from there. It's been pretty easy to keep inspired, 'cause the stuff we write is developing more and more and going in lots of interesting directions."
Sir Robbo: "I was involved in the ska and reggae scene in the mid to late '80s and began DJing in 1989/90 . My drum-kit became unplayable in the early '90s from dragging it half way round the country so I turned to my record collection for inspiration. I formed a soundsystem called Atomic Hi-Fi in 1995 incorporating reggae, dope beats and defunkt shit with live sampling, MCs, percussion, brass and keyboards. During this time I hooked up with Sub Bass Snarl and started Frigid, a weekly Sunday night chill event which has been going from strength to strength. During that year Atomic folded; Kevin and I started hooking up some loops from my record collection in Kev's studio and this evolved into Tooth."
Zebra: How would you define the Sir Robbo/Kevin Purdy style and how do you feel it's unique-
Kevin: "Well, it's combination of our collective pasts and interests, big on awe moments in the history of music, film, books and so on. We share a desire to make music that does some mad shit to the listener and ourselves and we love it when it comes out right."
Sir Robbo: "Our sound is a bit of a stew of dubbed out psychedelic soul music with hints of rock, hip hop, cinematic elements and an electronic playfulness that comes from not being afraid of using any tool or source to achieve an overall Tooth sound. I don't that either of us could really make this Tooth stuff alone without the others input. It's an interesting and unique fusion I guess."
Zebra: Imagine you're talking to somebody who's never heard your record or one of your live sets, and isn't up on electronic music in general - how would you describe to this person the kinds of sounds and/or moods you incorporate in your music-
Kevin: "Well, I work at Warped records in King's Cross and occasionally I have to talk to people about it with out saying it's got something to do with me and it depends on the person, I sometimes say its got lots of lush textures and melodies, seductive rhythms and lots of space to let your imagination run free, but I usually end up saying 'check it out - you'll probably like it', which is often true."
Sir Robbo: "[When playing live] we're working with John Maddox on bass and Petter Hollo on cello. We run backing dubs of our tunes, whil Tags