Author: Jo Vraca
Wednesday, 15 August 2001Binary Finary is not a name that goes unnoticed. From their beginnings in 1996 with their ground-breaking debut track '1998', the players in this game, Rick Grant, Antony Simmonds and Darren Woodward, make music that takes you on a journey - without the cheese.
You've heard countless DJs play '1998'; it's an anthem with all of the classic qualities we expect - hypnotic, layered trance sounds with that nu-nrg edge but to Binary Finary's founding member, Rick Grant that's only part one. The band's aim is to "create an environment where people can disappear. To have people's full and undivided attention so they are unaware of time, company and surroundings." Their sound represents a "past, present and future - an audio dream." Back down to earth and Grant admits that the success of '1998' was "like a good curry - it tasted good but left a real sting in the tail." His psychiatric bills are living proof of that. "It's difficult to come up with something new after you've had such a big success the first time around but we just keep making music that we love and sometimes that doesn't fit into people's expectations of us." It was Positiva that veritably collided with the band after the track's success and Grant isn't one to mince his words and isn't afraid to let the proverbial cannons loose particularly concerning the band's relationship with the label. "They just wanted another '1998' from us at first. What can you do- It would have been so easy to go back into the studio and change a few sounds and say 'here, sell this'. But we wrote it in 1996, by the time it hit the charts, it was dead for us. In 1996, there weren't too many people making that sort of music but now, it's everywhere. But Positiva doesn't want anything else; they're a pop label. Think about it, they've got the Venga Boys!"
The road has been dreamlike for the band that is yet to release an album. Last year's Glastonbury Festival was an event that Binary Finary undoubtedly will keep in their memories for a long time, playing alongside some of the world's best examples of electronic music such as Banco de Gaia, Ed Rush and Optical, Chemical Brothers and Carl Cox. "The scale of that event is amazing. So many people getting into the music. You can forget about that when you're in your studio." But Grant concedes that performing up to five nights a week can take its toll and the time is ripe for Binary Finary to concentrate on their forthcoming album which, Grant promises, may see the light of day shortly. "We're working on a few tracks now as well as some re-mixes but there will be an album. We're still negotiating that one. We want a label that has our best interests in mind."
If you were to look at hype alone, this has got to be a band with a great publicist. But spend a few minutes with Grant and you'll know that you're dealing with a musician who doesn't care for the bullshit but simply enjoys putting together sounds that make the audience's collective heart bleed. "My studio's at home and I make music for about eight hours every day. I can't get away from it. But if I didn't love it, I wouldn't be doing it." Binary Finary is about musical progression Grant does not see the band as a fad in a fad-ridden musical culture where even two-step can be taken seriously and while he concedes that he could make any style of music that people want, it's trance that drives him. "There's a lot of bad music out there, cheesy trance that has no feeling." For Grant, trance is an extension of his expression so, while the UK may be hooked on garage (and bloody two-step) at the moment, it's unlikely you'll hear any on the forthcoming album. "We want to make music that has substance. We have come too far to ever go back. Progression, not regression, is the key."
Some words of wisdom from Rick Grant…
"We [Binary Finary] are a by-product of an unsuccessful gold fusion experiment, formed on a particle accelerator in a fjord in Norway in 1954."
"A typical jam session for Bi Tags