Sunday, 23 March 2014

New Interview with ALAIN NEFFE (PSEUDO CODE,HUMAN FLESH,BENE GESSERIT,I SCREAM etc.etc.)







At the time of our interview 30 years ago Pseudo Code had just ended its activity how did it           happen?What are the others members doing at the moment?Are you still in contact with them?

AN: In 1982 after an interview for a radio in Brussels Guy and Xavier were asking themselves if it was still constructive making music together .They thought we had reached our own limits and that it was not “interesting” to go on making the same music in that same style .I actually think we had reached the end of our cheap therapy, that musical therapy that we began in 1980.In fact the group was a perfect way to repress our frustrations ,our anger, our violence and our fears. I think that the one who was putting the question was surely feeling better than us… so we shook hands and said good-bye.
Xavier is now working for the National Radio ;he tried to sing in another band for several weeks but it didn’t work. He went on working with me as a member of Human Flesh.
Guy began the SUB ROSA label with a friend and he is also making films. We are still working together concerning some releases of Pseudo CodeKOSMOSEM.A.L.








Now a small exercice. Could you make a list of groups you were involved in, using an adjective or a term to describe them?

AN:Ok but one term is not enough:

Human Flesh: emotional, desparate.
Bene Gesserit: extravagant, baroque, free spirit, strange, weird, funny, bitter sweet.
Pseudo Code: strong, disturbed, disturbing.
Cortex: intimate, minimal.
I scream: minimal, old time electronics.
KOSMOSE: experimental, free cosmic

After this exercice. Could you tell us which is the group you feel more related to?

AN:Bene Gesserit ,because this band has no musical limit!






Do you prefer to be considered like a musician or a non-musician ?

AN:Well I guess I am a non musician with some little musical skills. I am not strong at playing or composing but I am a good arranger (the guy who makes musical arrangements,  finds gimmicks and knows immediately which sound to use) and a not so bad mixing guy.






I read in another interview that you consider music like a way to open yourself to the world. Is this true?

AN:I can express myself through writing, painting , making photographs and making music.I had to choose one thing only because there are only 24 hours a day but for example when I release a record I try to make the cover as well. This permits me to use my graphic and photographic skills, I also can write the lyrics of some songs.

How do you compose a piece of music?

AN:Well most of the time I have no idea of what I will compose when I go to the studio.I just try to find a sound that I like, and it gives me the ideas to find the musical lines. I add instruments and, most of the time, I leave the track not-finished. Some months, or even one year later, I listen back to it ,try to add the final touch and let it sleep for another while… from time to time, I take some almost forgotten track and I mix them. This process permits me to keep a full spontaneity, and to “rediscover” the track at each step. Sometimes I add instruments on a track played by another Alain Neffe who was 20 years younger, and was rather different from current Alain Neffe. Really a strange feeling.
For Bene Gesserit ,we actually work that way: I record basic tracks, enough to make several songs. Nadine comes to the studio and we try to find good sound effects(the effects of her voice are always recorded together with her voice) and this gives her some ideas about how to sing. I make her listen to the track once and she directly improvises on the music. Most of the time, the first take is ok, but sometimes we record some other takes. She normally does it for an hour, most of the time this is enough for two songs…After that, I cut the vocals, move it precisely on the music, and pre mix the song. It will be mixed later, sometimes or even some years later. The lyrics are either improvised, sometimes taken out of very old books, sometimes out of exquisite corpses (cadavres exquis) that we wrote together years before. This makes the lyrics sound absurd, spontaneous and rather strange






read somewere else that you consider that the sound of your pieces has improved thanks to the evolution of your instruments.Do you think that this has reduced your spontaneity? 

AN:Why would it? It always proceeds in the same way ,but with better sounds ,or perverted loops and sampled sounds, using the midi system. Sometimes it sounds like electronic but the original sound is most of the time acoustic.


Could you tell us about the beginning of your musical carreer?

AN:Well I began with a small wooden flute, and I spared money to buy a classical metal flute, adding pedals to transform the sound. Then again I spared money and bought a Roland SH 1000, a small monophonic synth that I customized a little bit.



                                                       Nadine and Alain


Are you still selling your old cassettes as CDr?

AN:No I stopped CDr, because nobody wanted them .I do not understand, because the sound of CDr is better than cassettes and even vinyl’s

Which is your relationship with Daniel Denis? Did you ever release the musical pieces you recorded with him in Belgian churches?

AN:A long story, to resume Nadine had some problems with Daniel Denis wife and Daniel refused to see the recording released. It is really stupid, because those recordings are excellent and I personally had no problems with Daniel. He seems to be under influence.



                                                               Bene Gesserit



Which are Belgian musicians you are in relationship at the moment?

AN:Well not a lot .I rarely go to concerts and I stay home working on the repair and mastering of old tapes from the 70’s and 80’s mostly because the labels are asking for that material.

What part has voice in your music?

AN:Voice is very important. May be it is the most beautiful of all instruments .I love female voice and I try to use it as much as I can. It adds the human touch in music.



                                                                Pseudo Code
                                                     


Nadine has an important part in your musical path.Are there some moments of your common life that influence your music?


AN:Yes ,of course .What would be Bene Gesserit without Nadine’s voice? Naturally, our common life influences a lot our music. What we listen to, see , hear, live and even eat appears in a lot of songs.The way we think and the way we live…. We also have the same sense of humour childish and cynical, sometimes rather cruel. We are living together for 32 years now……

Can you speak us about the edition of old material? Do you still have a lot of unrealeased tapes?


AN:In fact I had boxes full of magnetic tapes that I could not listen to (they glued to  recorder’s head) and ,may be 6 years ago, I found the way to solve the problem. At the same time, labels were asking for 80’s material.. I learned to use Soundforge on PC  and I could repair the sound of all these old tapes, edit, equalize and slightly re-mix the 2 channels. … So I could present old recordings in a decent way, improving the sound and repairing some mistakes. All the tracks from the records you are talking about come from those boxes. I still have great unreleased material, especially Kosmose and Pseudo Code, because these two groups were improvising all the time and I could record a lot of sessions.I collaborate in a regular way with EETAPES and SUB ROSA and I am always open to other labels, even for one-shot (please see discography)





I read about the birth of the project Chopstick Sisters is this project still working?

AN:Yes, it is always active. The only problem is : Anna Homler lives in Los Angeles and she rarely visits us. Each time she comes, we record new music. We even succeeded to play live in Holland, several years ago. We rehearsed several days to create the program and it worked very well.

I am also curious about your partecipation to the projekt " Ornament & Crime Archestra ".

AN:It was an official cultural project with Germany, Holland and Belgium led by Viola Kramer. she choose several musicians from these 3 countries and we rehearsed for 3 days in the Aachen modern Art Museum and we played the 4th day. It was based upon music and language. The German radio recorded the concert and it was released on CD several months later. I was ill and I had fever so my performance was not stunning, but Nadine did it extremely well, improvising ,singing ,dancing and playing with toys.






Could you speak us about last productions of Bene Gesserit?

AN: We have been recording a lot these last 3 years. An excellent LP of new material has been released on ULTRAMARINE in Italy and a mix of old and new tracks LP has been issued on FEEDING TUBE in USA. 3 new tracks appeared on 4 in 1 vol.3 CD on EE TAPES, a new track has been released last week on an LP on WALHALLA Belgium and we are preparing a C40 cassette of new material on INSANE, in order to raise some money (we live with only one dole for both of us),also, 2 new tracks will appear on the cassette insane music for insane people vol 26.

Future projects: 

One LP with unreleased Pseudo Code material on SUB ROSA

One LP with unreleased KOSMOSE material on SUB ROSA

One CD (radio’s On ) of unreleased Pseudo Code in EE TAPES
One LP of M.A.L.on SUB ROSA

Later a box of 4 or 5 CDr from Kosmose on SUB ROSA.

I am at present looking to find a label for an Human Flesh LP ,tribute to Pink Floyd and I will
prepare new Bene Gesserit material to submit to some labels.I will also record sitar music and experimental guitar music and re-master old tracks of Pseudo Code and KOSMOSE, besides recording with Bene Gesserit and Human Flesh.
Do you still partecipate to international compilations? And who are your recent international friends?

AN:There are a lot of compilations at present . I participate when possible. My actual international friends? Well people I recently collaborated with are: Deborah Jaffe, Darline Victor, Tara Cross, Anna Homler, Cor Gout, Flavien Gilliè, Harald Ziegler, Messy, Johan Schlanbush, Dirk Grezman & Catherine Ledit,Daniel Malapre, Denise Gibson, Hessel Veldmen, Hot Mc Gee, Patrick Parent, Don Campau, Francesco Paladino,Edward Ka-spel, Nao………




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