In conversation with Tudor Acid.
Richard, tell us about how the idea for Electro Cafe first came about. Where was it spawned? Tell us about the choice of name and what the musical ethos is.
Electro Cafe came about because I wanted to see a night that looked at the intersection between ambient music and dance music and experimental. A lot of nights back in 2019 seemed to be either sit-down ambient or club nights. I like the idea of an ambient gig where you don’t have to be quiet and where you can walk around or a dance gig where you can sit down. The idea is for a night that is super inclusive without lots of unwritten rules. I took a lot of influence from the electronic music night “Blech” which warp records used to run in sheffield in 1996. The name was a cheeky reference to “Electric Cafe” the 1986 Kraftwerk album that they re-released as techno pop.
Will all of your event’s line-ups be made up of entirely live performers? And why?
I was always inspired by hip-hop culture and the idea of things being fresh. Boogie Down Productions always used to have a note on each album saying “Fresh for 1988/1991/whatever year” and the idea that you’re not looking backwards but always looking forwards. A big selling point of this night is that it is a once-in-a-lifetime happening – you will never hear that combination of music again, lots of the artists are previewing new material.
This is your 2nd event, tell us about your 1st?
The first event was held in the basement of Cafe Kino, an amazing vegan cafe in stokes croft. It was literally an underground event! There was an amazing atmosphere and a really friendly diverse crowd. Meemo Comma and Xylitol who are playing this event also played this one. It really felt like the start of something new but our new dreams were put on hold because of the pandemic.
Why did you choose Strange Brew as the location for this event?
A big part of it was their ethos. They are quite a new venue in the city centre of Bristol and it is clear that they are really excited about helping new scenes to develop in Bristol. I was really thrilled and humbled that they were willing to give me this opportunity to put a night on.
What other events and labels in Bristol inspire you?
I think a large part of it is the ethos in Bristol which is typified by Big Jeff. I think Finlay Shakespeare brings an amazing energy to the music scene here with his label GOTO records and his enthusiasm for developing new hardware and teaching people and making the tech accessible.
On the subject of accessibility, and inclusivity I was really inspired by the Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra “The Unfolding” concert at st Georges last year. The paraorchestra have a large number of disabled musicians and Charles Hazlewood, the conductor, emphasises that this means that they are not missing out on talent. What unfolded during that gig was an amazing story of how the universe appeared from a song, and how this helps us understand our own place in the world. I think that disabled people and other marginalised groups tend to develop a strong sense of understanding that sense of belonging in the world, but I think that sense of connection across time can benefit everyone.
Kayla Painter always releases really forward looking textured music which is a mix of ambient with techno/bass music influences and I always look forwards to her releases.
Tell us about your favourite piece of hardware?
It has to be the elektron octatrack, the sampler I use and will use on the night. An inspiring way of mulching together different realities and then shattering them into their various different atoms. It’s basically the large hadron collider in table top form.
What can we expect from your very own exclusive Tudor Acid live set on the night?
Since I started using the octatrack 1 year ago, my music tends to be live sets. Any tracks I release are adapted from these. I write a new live set every 1 – 2 months. In July, I got to a point where I was really happy with the set. This one is a gradual adaptation of that. I have a new EP out on the same day as the gig and there are *elements* of those tracks in the set. To me this is more interesting than playing exactly what is on the EP.
Do you have plans for the future? Will we be seeing more of Electro Cafe?
Well, I really hope so! All the reactions I have had when I go out and about chatting and promoting the night are really positive and excited. We have been through a hellish expereince with COVID19, and the future is very frightening at the moment. So much of my favourite music gives me hope and that is what I want to do here!