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Pablo From Psychonauts-My Girlfriend Wishes We Were S Club 7

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, December 8, 2003
"It's a great track, there's only one problem I have with it, especially having listened to the original over and over again, is that the bass line sounds exactly like S Club 7… It does! It's that one that goes 'Don't stop moving to the funky, funky beat'…"

Chatting down the line from his Kings Cross studio Psychonaut Pablo Clements laughs as he recalls remixing Gina X's seminal sex/punk/disco anthem No GDM', which Gigolo recently re-issued 20 years after the track first swamped clubland. The Gigolo connection is reinforced via Psychonaut's own debut album Songs For Creatures, a highly eclectic set of songs that's already been critically lauded for its originality and sheer overall quality. Varying from italo-80s style electro a la Soft Cell (Hot Blood) to achingly melancholic Zero 7 style chill out (Hips For Scotland) the album's an impressive vindication of both DJ Hell's A&R abilities and the man who first signed them to his label Mo Wax, James Lavelle (he lost them after Mo Wax vanished without trace at the end of the 90s). Benedetta Skrufff asked the questions.

Skrufff (Benedetta Skrufff): Your album has received great critical reaction so far; how much did you expect it to go down so well-

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "I didn't really expect it. We always knew it sounded different from what was around, but having been so close to this record for such a long time, we had no idea of how it would have been perceived by the critics. Anyway, critically it has been acclaimed, but how well is it going to do with the sales, we don't know."

Skrufff: You went from Mo Wax to Gigolo, the trendiest indie label of the 90s, to the trendiest of this decade (so far)…

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "Well yes, we started writing this album at the time we were on Mo Wax… we were friends with James (Lavelle), we could have probably released it on his label, but the powers above James' head made us decide to have it released by someone else. It was the best decision for all of us, a breath of fresh air."

Skrufff: How do you feel having to perform the songs, some of which are already two years old, presumably for the next year or so-

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "At the moment we're not playing live, we want to do it right, because of the type of album it is. To do it now, it would have to be 'that couple-of-blokes-on-a-stage, behind-a-computer', and it wouldn't really work, as we would need a proper band, and it costs more money to do that… We'll see what the record company is prepared to do."

Skrufff: You grew up in Yeovil (near Bristol), were you part of that whole Massive Attack trip hop scene-

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "Yes definitely, coming from a place so close to Bristol and being 14 or 15, we used to go there and hang out, buy records, see gigs. We've been exposed to all that was going on there at the time. For us it was easier to buy all those True Funk records than it was to buy say, Digital Underground records from America. I'd say that coming from that area had a massive influence on us."

Skrufff: Before James Lavelle came along in the mid 90s, was the plan to make a living as DJs or making music-

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "It was always a dream, for sure, though when you come from a small town as we did, you could never tell anyone that or you'd get told to go out there and find yourself a proper job. I suppose we were very lucky in falling into the right position and follow the dream, make a couple of right moves and going for it."

Skrufff: One of them being meeting James Lavelle . .-

Psychonauts (Pablo Clements): "I guess so. We met James because we were the same age and we were also into the same things. We sent Tim Goldsworthy, who's in DFA now, and comes from Yeovil too, a mix tape that he gave James, whom he knew and it all took off from there. I don't know if James has been a big influence on us, I suppose we've influenced eac