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Fila Brazilia - No Not Brazilian Trainers

Author: Will @ TranZfusion
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Fila Brazilia have been producing their special form of relaxed quirky grooves for about eight years now and in that time they've impressed many with their diverse musicianship. Recently they formed their own record label, Twentythree, and through it have released their eighth LP, Jump Leads, an album that owes as much to jazz and Latin music as it does to electronica. Steve Cobby favoured Tranzfusion with his reflections and peculiarly English sense of humour by way of the magic of electronic mail.

Tranzfusion: Hey, thanks for "talking" with Tranzfusion...
Steve: Sorry it's not live but we're super busy gearing up for a forthcoming live tour of the U.K., Canada and the U.S. and time is at a premium.

T: How did you get the name Fila Brazilia (seeing as you're from Hull, England)-
S: It's a South American mastiff dog. When we were looking for a moniker the hound in question was the subject of a commons debate on its complete ban from these shores. I was driving into work and misheard it on the radio. The correct name is Fila Brasileiro.

T: You use a combination of electronic and physical machinery on the album. Do you have any preference between using software (computers) and hardware samplers, sequencers and drum machines-
S: It's pretty much an amalgam of both. Plus the physical machinery of drums or guitars or saxophones or harps. They are still machines, just very crude ones.

T: You've produced a whole bunch of albums now. Do you have a process that you follow or is every project different-
S: We just simply try hard to avoid repetition.

T: How have you managed to produce eight albums when most other duos tend to manage to get between two and four before disintegrating or self-destructing-
S: The absence of repetition keeps it interesting. Also we're unemployable, "proper" jobs never transpired so we stuck at it.

T: When you begin an album do you have a specific idea or theme in mind, or do you just write tracks until you have enough to release-
S: This new one differed from the previous seven in that we new we wanted some warbling on it. Other than that it was as before. Suck it and see.

T: What other side projects to the two of you have-
S: Man does all of our graphics and is also in a band called Quosp. I'm currently trying to finish off some solo stuff for a 3rd LP release as the Solid Doctor.

T: What made you decide to set up your own label-
S: We'd outgrown Pork and would never sign to a major, it was our only option.

T: What sort of difficulties did you face setting up Twentythree-
S: Getting our heads around the business side of things. We needed to sort things out and so had to take our heads out of the proverbial sand. Boring but necessary.

T: Because you don't easily fit in to any music genre such as house or techno, do you ever get tired of people slapping the "chill" tag onto your music-
S: In a word, yes. But we'll never stop lazy journalism so we're not going to spend any time worrying about it.

T: What does your live show look like-
S: Now it's a trio. The last outing was with a sextet but we've tightened thing up all round. Got some guest appearances from Steve Edwards and Djinji Brown.

T: What sort of stuff do you play in your DJ sets-
S: Whatever I fancy on the night. Hip hop, funk, disco, house.... a bit of the new and the old school. All mixed up.

T: Do you think Jump Leads is your best album-
S: Yes. It's tougher than previous outings and the arrangements are more concise. Saying that. They do tend to feel like your own kids and you just love 'em all for their individual foibles.

T: So why did it take you so long to get a vocalist in the studio-
S: We live in Hull. Not exactly brimming with nightingales. The effort required put us off for a long time and we thought of ourselves as a predominantly instrumental band anyway.

T: You must have liked having a voice in the mix as your next album features
Djinji Brown. Can you tell us<