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Everthing but the air is against me [2005-03-22]

Sole is one of the founders of the indie avant white rap collective/label Anticon. He's more angry and straight forward in his delivery than a lot of his Anticon-brothers. He has just released his 3rd album Live from Rome, which lyrical is a heady and aggressive ride into inner and outer Armageddon. With a varied musical backing from Eerie down beat to twitching off-kilter analogue electronics to stripped-down guitar. I was lucky enough to him see live in London at the launch party for this album. The show featured the whole of the new album. Which was played in a wonderful, powerful form with the help of his live band. Without doubt one of the most intense (rap or otherwise) showís Iíve been to. He kindly agreed to do an e-mail interview with me.

m[m] First of all thanks for the great Live from Rome launch show. It was truly inspire. The live band giving a lot more intense feel to the material. How did you hook up with the rest of the band?
Sole I met them at an instore at fnac (CD-storechain). they played improv, I rapped over em, we formed a band.

m[m] Any thoughts on a live album?
Sole If it could be done tastefully then I would be for it, but there are few live albums I want to listen to...

m[m] How did you come about for the concept behind Live from Rome?
Sole By being born in the greatest country in the world and trying to come up with new definitions of "good" and "evil"

m[m] One downside of the albums package for me was the usual notes you make about the origins of each tracks are missing, I wonder if you could tell me how some of my favourite tracks came about.
Dumb This Down?
Sole well this was supposed to be a manifesto inspired mainly by a bunch of Emma Goldman and Karl Marx ideas mixed with my own.

m[m] Theme ...?
Sole I wrote this after visiting London for the first time. I had never seen so many cameras in my life. I wanted to write a line-by-line account of what it means to be a human being in todayís society best I could.

m[m] Drive by detourment?
Sole That was basically inspired by travelling around eastern Europe, hearing a bunch of horror stories... the opening line about "perpetual present" is an idea I got from Guy Debord... I like the idea of a perpetual present... or shall I say, I donít like the idea of a perpetual present.
I opted for no editorial comments because I think the lyrics are very straightforward and explanations cheapen these songs.

m[m] Whoís the man on the TV screen on the right hand top of Live from Rome cover? tell us about the concept behind the cover?
Sole I donít know who he is, he is a white guy in a suit, presumably a banker, right next to some British Avril Lavigne, an Easter basket, a golden city, a picture of me on stage. The television graphic was also stolen from a Guy Debord movie.

m[m] Any video for this album? I really enjoyed the one you did for Salt On Everything
Sole Fuck videos at this point. Nobody plays em, so whatís the point of making advertisements that no one will see? I would rather make documentaries.

m[m] On the subject of videoís - is there any thought to put out an Anticon DVD? also be great to see the full episode of the MTV show you did ?
Sole Yes, the Anticon MTV thing will be on a DVD. There is a shitload of footage being put together for a DVD and hopefully it will express everyoneís opinions. Coming up with a visual representation of Anticon in the form of a DVD is difficult, because there is no cohesive ideology between members.

m[m] Youíve moved to Spain recently- How are you finding it there? Do you think been away from the Sates will lessen your anger?
Sole Yes it has lessened my anger. This place is great. Its impossible to get anything done here, but even that is a blessing. Out here I have a dog, I laugh a lot, I read a lot and my head isn't filled with the same kind of unproductive bullshit that obsessed me in Oakland. I look forward to getting back to America, but Iím kinda broke right now...

m[m] Going back in time a bit: I really enjoyed the tracks you did with Why? on the limited disc that came with Selling Live Water. Any thoughts on doing any more work with Why?
Sole Iím sure I will. He is a lot of fun to work with, and heís a great guy. Not 'till Iím back in the bay though...

m[m] On the New album you collaborate with Tepr (of Abstrackt Keal Agram) on two tracks; how did this come about?
Sole We did a show in France and I was flipping off his beats.

m[m] Who else would you like to collaborate with?
Sole Hmm... The Ex, active Godspeed You! Black Emperor-members, Mogwai, whoever is cool and down to do some shit. I'm sitting on some really nice B Flieshman beats right now...

m[m] Where do you see your self and Anticon in five years?
Sole I donít like to project. I better own a home or Iím gonna be an unhappy camper

m[m] Thanks Sole, for the interview. Thanks to Paul Burgess of Delarge, who kindly let me use some of the great photoís Dave Flindall took at the show. You can see all of the pictures there including other great pictures from other hip-hop/experimental shows and underground hip-hop info. Other links:
Anticon - where you will find some free mp3ís including a track from Live from Rome. Also of course you will find up to date news and you can buy direct from there too.
Restiform board - Great discussion list for Restiform Bodies and other Anticon chat/news.

Roger Batty
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