With a rich musical history, Liverpool's rock
scene has been chronicled many times. Whether it be band X or Y, they
have come and conquered, all instruments and raucous frontmen.
But we hear little from local beatmakers. Are there any distinguished
musicians working in the leftfield? Sure, The Beatles were scrambling
sonic noise and rewiring ambience in the sixties, and Ladytron brought
electro sleaze to the masses, yet we still fail to have an outright electronica
Step forward WhiteNoiseBoy. He produces mesmeric, patchwork cuts which
drive fluidly from their beginning. His 'NathanBarleyHeads' EP epitomises
a unique beat-heavy sound. 'Harvest in the Gutter' sees oriental chants
throbbing through jangled guitars and an almost hypnotising momentum.
'Seven Haircuts' has droplets of audio water bouncing off ethereal chords,
whilst 'Optimum Ratio' melds a gospel sample to flittering synths.
It's fitting we should meet tonight in Djangos Riff, amidst celestial
lighting and high ceilings. Those tracks wouldn't be out of place crashing
off the walls of our chosen venue. 'It's head music for people who only
have a few braincells left', jokes our man (real name Geoff Skelhorn).
'I'm trying to be original; the music is something which lends itself
to different genres'.
This is a trait self-evident on the EP; ideas rebound ferociously. What's
also clear is a multi-layering of sound, more than just computed music.
How does he get that blend? 'It's organic sounds set to electronic noises',
explains Geoff. 'Being a drummer as well I incorporate the electronic
side, plus I use a midi-kit and synths'.
Not surprisingly, WhiteNoiseBoy takes his influences from a vast canvas.
You can sense such eclecticism in the music. 'I'll listen to music I like,
it's not that I'm trying to recreate it, it just comes out', he says.
'Plaid, Squarepusher'. To shore up the idea of man versus machine, he
adds, 'Plus the whole Bristol scene; Portishead, Massive Attack, with
their blend of electronics and instruments'.
WhiteNoiseBoy is full of praise for the Liverpool picture. Also djing
regularly, he considers that smaller parties are the future. 'The best
thing at the moment are warehouse parties like Gimpfist and Lost Property,
they really have the finger on the pulse. Everytime I've played I've had
a ball'. He continues, cautiously, 'It's a healthy scene, but there aren't
enough venues putting on the right bands and championing electronic music.'
This is a fear perpetuated when I ponder whether it's harder for electronic
acts to get noticed over traditional indie. 'The problem is, there's not
many nights supporting that sound', Geoff argues. 'Every year when there's
a new influx of students, they get hoodwinked into going to big nights.
There's a percentage who don't realise there's more happening in Liverpool.'
For him, promotion is the key. On the issue of getting signed, he is pragmatic.
'I'd be surprised if it's easy anywhere, it's harder because it's underground.
I don't particularly mind if I'm not signed, I just want recognition'.
And if he keeps producing music with such gusto, he'll readdress the balance
and put Liverpool beatmakers on the map.
WhiteNoiseBoy can be found at:
The 'NathanBarleyHeads' EP is due for a summer release.