Monday, April 25, 2011

Hardboiled Little Nobody

You know, I just looked up the word ’schizophrenic’, probably on the worst possible resource (Wikipedia), and it says that it’s “a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction.”

Commonly, however, most people think of schizophrenia as related to those people on the train, bus or tram who’re seated there talking to themselves, quite often in heated debate, which is what I decided here to try out for size: Yacking with myself about myself. You know, a bit of me, myself & I. Weird concept, for sure, especially before breakfast.

It’s occasionally interesting (and some optimistic types would suggest insightful) to read what people write on their personal soap boxes across the broad spectrum of social networking sites – a form of schizophrenic propaganda bomb, since these diatribes are usually inscribed in the comfort of one’s own home and head space.

Then there are mine, which somewhat fizzle.

In my ho-hum bio on Resident Advisor it says “Australian expat Andrew Bergen (a.k.a Andrez) has been making music as Little Nobody since 1997, and relocated to Tokyo in 2001. Formerly from Melbourne, Bergen helms Melbourne/Tokyo label IF? Records. He’s played live in Tokyo, Osaka, London, Detroit, New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Windsor (Canada), in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and especially Melbourne.” Yawn. I can’t actually remember when I hacked together this vacuous claim-to-fame – I think in about 2006 or 2007, around the time that I did a more churlish one for MySpace, which now sits pretty on Soundcloud: “Entrenched in Tokyo, Andrez likes to steal furtive glances in a pseudo-metaphysical rear-vision mirror, greedily brushing up on the ‘found art’ chapter of the Dadaists’ handbook – all the time stimulated by Marcel Duchamp’s display of a toilet urinal. Blah, blah. Oh yeah, and he also happened to run IF? Records.”

(By the way, that MySpace site is a chaotic mess; soon I’ll get around to tidying it up, but these days… does it really matter?)

The platform on Facebook for Little Nobody is just plain sad: “Little Nobody is the 14-year musical itch of Tokyo-based Aussie expat DJ/producer Andrez Bergen, also known as Funk Gadget, DJ Fodder, Schlock Tactile, Conversational Dentures, Atomic Autocrac, and a member of the LN Elektronisch Ensemble.”

Insightful my arse.

Insight probably better comes via the music itself I purport to make, and let it be said right here and now that making music is for me a hobby rather than a profession – something I like to potter over in the wee hours or in those moments when my wife and 5-year-old daughter aren’t home. I do often play the half-finished tunes to my daughter (she’s one of my best critics), but the act of making music in this day and age is hardly one that’ll support family livelihoods, so I have a rash of other jobs that actually pay the bills.

Also I have a deliberate tendency for waywardness in my music that tends to make chart-action unhappy. See, I was brought up listening to jazz and Gene Krupa, and discovered Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, and a post-punk mentality in my late teens; my Melbourne Uni thesis was about the industrial music putsch in Britain in the 1970s. This madness just has to have some kind of disruptive effect on any kind of attempt at ’stream-lined’ music or the quintessential smooth groove.

Other people tend to be more tactful, which is nice. Sebastian Bayne, who took over IF? Records last year, in promoting my new album Hard Foiled wrote that “Little Nobody and his unique take on the regions between house and techno can be often times raw, with a swinging groove yet never formulaic; he treads a path that would be considered unsafe by other artists, letting nothing get in the way of creativity.”

That sounds far better than anything I’d tend to ‘fess up here, so let’s stick with this theory.

You can read more of this somewhat schizophrenic and completely self-indulgent waffle on the Techno How? site.

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