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O Yuki Conjugate - Peyote (1991)



O Yuki Conjugate is an organic ambient musical group, formed in Nottingham in 1982, now sometimes based in London. Their music has variously been categorized as darkwave, industrial, ambient and tribal-ambient. Members of the group vary, but include C. Elliot, R. Horberry, T. Horberry, A. Hulme, D. Mudford, P.A. Woodhead & R. Jenkins. Currently in their 3rd incarnation, their music is often hard to find and released in limited editions.

Instruments on the recording Peyote include tongue drums, roto-toms, bongos, congas, "big bean," "found percussion," drum machine, wind chimes, loops, frying pan, bass guitar, samples, keyboards, fractal guitar, e-bow, flutes, chants, radio, wildlife, tablas, berimbau, nose-singing, and vocals. Their music, as apparent from this list, is percussive and inventive, but it is also atmospheric.

After a break of ten years, O Yuki Conjugate released The Euphoria of Disobedience on their own label towards the end of 2006. The band described the new album as ''dirty ambient - multi layered, hyper textural and distinctly gritty''

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A few years back I happened across two albums by O Yuki Conjugate. After playing their album "Into Dark Water" a few thousand times, I decided to write and see if they were still active, as the only material I remember reading about them was in the magazine Interchange. The following interview took place in the mail, during December 1990, with Andrew Hulme of O Yuki Conjugate.

N D: Could you first start out by giving a history of O Yuki Conjugate and how it started?

OYC: In 1982, four of us originally got together to play live in our home town of Nottingham. In 1983 we moved to Sheffield, Leeds, etc. and stopped playing live. In 1984 we recorded our first LP, "Scene In Mirage". It contains two styles of music: firstly, our older electronic style with rhythms, synth, percussion and flute - the style we had played live with; and secondly, a new studio-based style that came from making electronic loops. We discovered in this a potential for "ethnic soundscapes" (for want of a better word) which quickly displaced our previous electronic rhythms; a new formula which we latched onto. This Lp was released in a limited edition by Leeds based a-mission which no longer exists. During 1985 to 1987 we recorded a second Lp, "Into Dark Water" which takes the first ethnic style further. We played some fairly unspectacular gigs around here in an attempt to re-kindle a feeling for live events which we then gave up again. "Into Dark Water" was released in another limited edition by a label I was running at the time, Final Image (I still am, but only on a very low level output). It received enough acclaim in small corners to encourage us further. From 1988 to 1990 we became dispersed throughout the country, but continued to meet occasionally. We started recording "Peyote" in the summer of 1988 and it took one and one half years to complete. There are no excuses, just that the next one won't take as long. It's a very ambitious work for us; attempting a more hard-edged and defined sound. Needless to say, it took a lot of work. It is to be released finally on Multimood Records in Sweden along with a re- released CD version of "Into Dark Water". For 1991 a more ambient work (without the emphasis on percussion) to be completed and released within the year.

N D: Your third album will soon be available after a long period, maybe you could talk about this?

OYC: As I mentioned above, we are a group scattered up and down the country and only get to meet infrequently, at our pleasure. Also, we don't own a recording studio, which doesn't help. Consequently, "Peyote" spanned a long, too long, a time. It involved using other musicians which we feel helped change our sound, look at new ideas. We hope to do this again for new recordings. All I can say now is, get hold of it, we think it was worth it.

N D: Has O Yuki Conjugate performed live? What sort of live set up is there?

OYC: The last gig we played was a total one-off at the UK Electronica, which went down better than anything we'd done before. This was because we based it mostly on played percussion (rather than backing tapes). We haven't played since and probably won't do again.

N D: What sort of process does the group go through when working on new material?

OYC: Originally we started with a loop and built on top of it until a piece took shape. Very improvised. Then we started constructing pieces around this formula, so that we would have an idea for a type of sound (the piano/voice piece "Out Of Nothing" on "Into Dark Water" for instance) and just get the feel for it. With "Peyote", we've based most of it around percussion lines, abandoning the loop theory (which only appears in places), working on the percussion as a backbone, then filling out the pieces with sounds and melodies. We've not used taped voices as we have before, but have gone for two singers on two of the pieces (one was adlibbed, the other sampled and spun in). Again we feel these added to the texture of the pieces, rather than traditional 'singing'.

N D: Talk a little about the videos and how they tie in with the efforts of the group.

OYC: I prepare the video work myself, totally apart from the group. These take the form of textures and shapes, rather than recognizable imagery. In this sense, it ties in well with the music, as abstract ideas. In the past (the first video anyway), video production was very much down to what facilities were available. It is a case of collecting imagery then slowing it down, distorting it, etc., and then editing it together. It takes a long time and a lot of effort. You have to have the end well in sight all the time. I've tried to do something for each music release, but I've realised this is over ambitious, and I now do things only when they feel right or turn up spontaneously. I think I'm also more interested in creating complex layers than before, creating illusions of surface and depth, more like the music.

N D: Concerning Final Image, how difficult do you think it is now to get your music out and distributed, than say in years past? Many people talk of a glut of independent music.

OYC: Final Image is not a label anymore, it's an idea. I think in some respects it's harder to get appreciated or recognised. I got pissed off with the effort of trying to convince distributors to take you on, etc. So I've let Final Image take a back seat so I can concentrate on the music without having to try and sell it too much. Luckily there are still people running labels, like Hans of Multimood, who are genuine about what they put out.

N D: Where does the group name come from?

OYC: Nowhere. Literally, it arrived out of one of our mouths in 1982 and stuck. We don't like it, but some things seem destined..(By the way it is pronounced O Yuki Conjugate, the "i" as in "eye").

N D: What projects are currently being planned for the group?

OYC: As above, a more ambient release for next year, with the theme and provisional title, "Earth Science". Geomorphology for beginners.

N D: Your music is at times very ambient, very rich as well. I wonder though how you get your music heard by different people, or is this a concern? It seems the focus continues to be heavy dance or power stuff.

OYC: I don't believe people will want all of that forever, so it doesn't worry us. Anyway, you haven't heard our acid mixes.

N D: Any last comments?

OYC: Because we aren't under pressure to produce "commerical" music or to make a living out of it, we're able to take our time and do what we feel. We're able to shape it how we want. I think in the end these things will hopefully last longer than temporary music fads. We don't expect a big audience. If we get feedback, all the better.

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2 komentarze:

Ankh pisze...

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Anonimowy pisze...

thank you so much for this upload.. I ordered this album twice from CDNow like ten years ago and the two times I got ripped off by some thief in the mail...yopu can¡t imagine all these years wanting to hear this.. and let me tell you: it was worth the wait!! btw I got the sunchemical remixes digipack to this day and it's worn off, absolutely brilliant work from these master musicians!! have you heard of Trial of the Bow, amazing australian stuff in the OYC vein...

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