A chat with Francis Harris aka Adultnapper + Exclusive Mix
- Published on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:37
Francis Harris or Lightbluemover, better known for his powerful Adultnapper output, will not let you get away lightly: Solely responsible for this aural masterpiece -- MEOKO's 55th installment is the perfect New Years mix overflowing with anti matter as it sucks you into its black hole atmospheres, his queazy yet utterly compelling podcast episode is something you will not forget for a long, long time. It’s very likely you will have to listen to this one again and again, to repeatedly drown in his dark blue shadow alley sounds full of surprising twists and turns while you also end up getting hooked on its addictive ingredients -- haunting melodies and voices and strange tonal effects -- although you might be in denial. Adultnapper creator Harris had quite a heavy time in the last couple of years, which, with the overshadowing event of the death of both his parents, led to a shift of perception on life and his own output. Always one to tamper with boldness, the born and bred punk rocker who grew up in Las Vegas allegedly went on from “hating dance music” to actually cutting his mark within the experimental outreaches of the sophisticated electronic music scene. Owing to his great talent, he draws inspiration from the endless depths of musicality, philosophy, life and... death: Maybe one of his greatest oeuvres, his first longplayer, “Leland”, released under his real name Francis Harris on his own imprint Scissor & Thread, came out in February 2012 in memory of his parents and stands like a landmark. It’s remarkable that since, Harris has seen himself showing more and more of Francis Harris as opposed to returned to the save shelter of orthodox, floor-friendly Adultnapper anonymity. This mix is the perfect proof that depth and emotionality does work in an electronic music context, and that the implied song-based approach is of such complexity it actually stands the test of time. Great great talent.
Exclusive MEOKO Podcast from Francis Harris
Adultnapper, we appreciate your time. Or is this Francis Harris? How is the split-personality disorder coming along by the way?
Well I wouldn't call it a split personality. More, like the end of an era. I feel after all the personal turmoil with losing my parents, the idea of Adultnapper had run its course. It now feels sort of like a different person to me. This is not to say that at some point I won't come back to it, but for now, I'm enjoying a fresh start with a fresh sound.
Amongst other things, you're known for your fierce political beliefs. Tell us, honestly, how do you feel about Barack Obama's recent re-election?
I am cautiously optimistic. I have a lot of issue with his Presidency. I think he made a lot of promises that he, nor any acting President, can keep so easily. It remains to be seen, however, as to whether or not he really steps up his game on certain key progressive ideas like the environment and civil liberties as they pertain to national security.
Your output appears to have got a lot deeper and perhaps more emotional in recent times. Would you agree? Why is this?
All my music has always been an emotional output, but having lost both my parents to Cancer in the past few years, I'm in a hyper emotional mode. Its hard for me to go in the studio and bang out big club tunes at the moment because my head has simply not been in the club in recent times. That being said, I am feeling a new found desire to get back to making club records. I've been really inspired by a lot of the vinyl coming out these days, so its driving me back into the dark room so to speak.
It's also become quite slow. You've always said you don't like to exceed 122bpm but recently you've been dropping down to the 110 mark. Does a slower beat afford you more creative freedom as a producer?
Really I don't like to dissect music in this way. A groove or song works or it doesn't work, whether its fast or slow. I just think maybe my mind is moving at a slower pace these days and the emotions I'm feeling have slowed my life down in general, so I suppose, as a result, I'm making slower music.
In what ways would you say your passion for literature, politics and philosophy (feed into or are influenced by) the way you make or perform music in the electronic realm? Do you see house and techno as similarly 'intellectual'?
I think there is a danger equating music with any form of intellectualism, as it creates an imaginary structure which can be limiting. I am, like anybody, inspired by the life around me and a big part of my life is a love for the written word, so this definitely inspires me in a lot of ways. there is a mood to writing that puts me into a state that allows me to translate a lot of my feelings into the music I make.
You've worked alongside MANDY on two recent releases on Get Physical. How did the collaboration come about? What was it like working with them in the studio?
Everything I've done with Philipp has really been out of friendship. He is such a positive person that its infectious and he has really helped me to open up from a personal standpoint, which, in turn has opened new avenues in writing.
You said in an interview with Resident Advisor several years back that if capitalism ever swallowed up techno you'd walk away from the scene. While this has yet to come to pass, it's certainly sunk its teeth into commercial dance music in the form of 'EDM'. What's your take on that recent global explosion?
I don't even relate to it. Its about as pertinent to what I do as the sound track to Nordic Vikings Burning down churches. I don't even pay attention to it. Its the lowest common denominator of thought and culture.
It's been a while since we heard anything from your Ransom Note imprint. Is it still active? Why so dormant of late? What's next?
Well Ransom Note, as stated before in several other interviews, was a piss take on Postmodern language, so it was, ironically, sort of an intellectual joke and a double talk of sorts. Now that my life is changed, i want my music to have more of a direct connection to who I am and where I am in the world. Scissor and Thread is that outlet and for the first time, I feel at home with an imprint. It feels more like a family.
Finally, cast your mind back over your extensive back catalogue: subjectively, what do you think is the best track you've ever made?
For just dark club music: Adultnapper- Compass Rose
For home listening and club: Francis Harris feat. Gry: Lost Found
For just at home: Francis Harris: Whether it Was