Schematic artists' music--in general, a severely warped strain of electro and IDM--seems designed to freak out listeners on hallucinogens. What do you think people actually do to your music, Mr. Devine?
"I would hope that they travel to totally new dimensions and go where no human being has gone before," he says. "I would like everyone to freak out as much as possible for the best possible effect." Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor recently sought out Devine to school him in the arcane ways of the Logic, ProTools, and Reaktor software programs. Devine spent a weekend in Reznor's studio doing just that, and tinkering with sound design for a video game called Doom III.
With music technology advancing so rapidly, it seems producers have too many possibilities at their fingertips. With software so readily available, has it become harder to stand out from the pack when everyone's using the same programs?
"It's not hard for me," boasts Von Schirach. "I just finger-fuck my [laptop] until it screams out some tornado of sliced puke nuggets. And then it will never want to leave me for some other software sing-along geek." Unsurprisingly, Von Schirach's Chopped Zombie Fungus lives up to its title. OVS is who Devine would sound like if he unleashed his id's most hideous traits into his tracks: a spastic stream of internal-organ blurgh and squelch best summed up by the title "Lunatic Nitrates."
Phoenecia's output has morphed from headspinning, ghettocentric electro into abstract IDM you scratch your head to. Their 2001 full-length, Brownout, tunnels deep into murky terra incognita, with sounds that seem to be simultaneously mutating and decaying. Is Phoenecia's music--and that of Schematic's entire roster--too complex for its own good?
"It's not too complex," says Del Castillo. "It's just that listening to DJ Hell gets you laid, and that's more important right now. I can understand this." So why have Phoenecia been inactive since 2001? "Kid606 said that Brownout sounded like Pink Floyd, so we're still trying not to sound like this. It's so hard to be as cool as him," Del Castillo says with withering sarcasm.
For better or worse, Schematic is associated with/classified as IDM. What are your thoughts on this genre and your place in it, Otto?
"If I can still record my grandmother's farts, I am cool with it," states Von Schirach. "IDM: I love the term. It's like I am smart, or classified as a smart guy, but I never made it through high school." DAVE SEGAL