Last night FACT was totally blown away by a live set from Carlos Giffoni’s No Fun Acid. He was playing in support of Oneohtrix Point Never at The Grosvenor in South London, and the lean, mean audio/visual spectacular that he unleashed was astonishing.
Giffoni is the boss of New York noise label No Fun Productions, and the curator of the No Fun Fest. No Fun Acid is his radical take on acid house, and though he approaches it from the perspective of a noise artist, his understanding of rave rhythm and dynamics is strongly evident. Giffoni’s work reminds us of the endless psychedelic potential of acid house, and also its ability to function not just as dance music but as truly transporting, mind-warping sound.
As previously reported, Giffoni will release a No Fun Acid 12″ later this month, with a remix from Gavin Russom. In an excellent interview with The Quietus‘s Louis Pattison, he talks about his increasing preoccupation with analogue electronic sound.
“It feels better to play this analogue stuff and experiment,” he says. “It leads to many avenues of sound I wouldn’t think of. It also sounds much better and interesting to my ears than digitally created music. Analogue means that all frequencies are possible – even the ones we can’t hear. Digital music is always limited by sample rate. I am voting for Infinity with my music.
What’s notable about Giffoni’s No Fun Acid project is how much more accessible than his previous work it is, without compromising on integrity or sheer sonic impact.
“I am never going to stop making bizarre electronic music, but at the same time I am seeing the value in putting down some beats and some melodic lines here and there – and spicing things up with some more musical side projects. Infinity is double ended and circular at the same time!”
“Digital music is always limited by sample rate. I am voting for Infinity with my music.”
So what are the origins of No Fun Acid? How did a noise artist end up making acid house?
“This project was born from both my interest in synthetic sound and from growing up surrounded by electronic music at clubs, raves, on the radio, birthday parties, in the supermarket… there’s electronic music everywhere. The acid synthetic line is something that came naturally to me when I started to do more experiments with sequencers in modular’s – probably it was engraved in my brain somewhere – so from there I got a few drum machines, a 303 clone, and No Fun Acid was born.”
Giffoni reveals that, in addition to the Gavin Russom remix on the immininet 12″, Italians Do It Better head honcho Mike Simonetti is working on a remix of a different NFA track for a subsequent release. Can we expect to hear more original material in this vein?
“I just got an 808 clone and I expect to do some more experimentation within the Acid space in the near future,” Giffoni says. “We’ll see where it goes – I am having a lot of fun with it right now and a lot people seem to be getting excited about it. Change is good. Electronic music is good. Partying and dancing is good. No Fun Acid is good.”
“Change is good. Electronic music is good. Partying and dancing is good.”
Also of interest in The Quietus interview is Giffoni’s confirmation that he’ll be releasing a CD box set of Conrad Schnitzler‘s Colour albums on No Fun Productions.
“I have the rights to release a CD box set of the entire ‘Colour’ collection and some unreleased material from the time, along with pictures and liner notes. It’s a big project and it will cost a lot of money. All the parts minus the artwork are ready to go.”
Schnitzler, born 1937. is a true icon of German electronic music. An early member of Tangerine Dream, he co-founded Kluster (before they became Cluster) and has continued to innovate ever since, as solo artist, collaborator and producer. His Colour series is comprised of Schwarz (1971), Rot (1973), Blau (1974), Gelb (1981), Grun (1981), and, depending on who you ask, Gold (2003) and Silver (2009). The Colour collection was recorded chiefly in the 1970s, and most of the early releases were originally available only via Schnitzler’s private press. We await the No Fun box set with bated breath, and so too should you.
Read the full interview with Giffoni here.