As the man behind several of the finest slices of ambient house ever to be committed to tape or computer floppy disc or whatever new-fangled things these young electronic types record on (‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ and ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld’ to name just two) Dr. Alex Patterson could quite reasonably find a nice comfy laurel and rest upon it. However his huge ever growing pulsating list of side projects - although the Orb are still very much alive and well, check out the recent album – continue apace, the latest, High Frequency Bandwidth with remixer, engineer, programmer, drummer, keyboard prodder and soundtrack arranger Dom Bekin, finds the guys paddling around in pools of beat heavy, hip-hop all boasting titles created from their HFB acronym (‘Hill Film Blues’, ‘How Far Back’ and, erm, ‘Heptafluorobutryl’). Andy Basire kicked off by asking Dom how he went from a history degree to the LIPA to writing music for TV and ads and onto this latest project?
Dom: “I really enjoyed studying history - I nearly applied to stay and do a Phd... I don't think I would have been clever enough! Music had always been the plan: I wrote scores for plays and played in bands, so an offer to spend a year at LIPA was pretty attractive. I went on to work as an engineer at Parr Street Studios and everything after that is just happening to be in a certain place at a certain time and needing to make a living... I wish I could say there was a grand plan!”
Total Music: Alex, it always seemed a massive leap from being a roadie for Killing Joke to the dizzy heights of `ambient pioneer´ how did that happen??
Alex: “I fell out of love with drums and started my own label with Youth [and we] started releasing Orb music (initially with ex-KLF-er Jimmy Cauty) on our label WAU! Mr. Modo Records back in 88. With no drums!”
Total Music: Unlike most other bands from the acid-house era the Orb has never stopped working, what is it that keeps Alex coming back to the Orb template?
Alex: “Dom?” Dom: “I guess it's because it's a rich vein Alex discovered! When I've worked with Alex on The Orb there's certainly no feeling that we've run out of ideas or that ambient dance music has run its course, and as a way of working it translates well to everything else we do.”
Total Music: How did you guys meet and what do you recall about the Transit Kings project?
Alex: “We met in a studio, an old school mate Guy Pratt introduced us. We formed the Transit Kings with Guy and Jimmy Cauty [but] Jimmy decided he hated music and Guy was busy doing comedy. We did have some great gigs [but] Guy never managed to do one as he was also busy [touring with] Pink Floyd.”
Total Music: Dom, you worked on Spaced, how was that (were you involved in the filming or was it all post production work)?
Dom: “Post production: I was working as Guy Pratt's 'assistant'. Both series were more or less back to back comedy pastiches of great films, so we had a great time also pastiching the music from all those movies - John Woo action scenes were always the best although the A-Team remix was pretty funny if I say so myself...”
Total Music: Have you got any good David Bowie, Rick Wright, Liberty X or Lulu studio stories?
Gerald: “I think I should play down this David Bowie thing: I recorded some live concerts! That's how his name gets into my credits list... Erm, the rest I'm afraid were not particularly rock 'n' roll in the studio. Although having set up for a session with Rick, he sat down to test the piano and played 'Great Gig In The Sky' [and] I had a little 'star struck' moment. Great musician. RIP.”
Total Music: I´m sure you're heartily sick of answering this by now but why HFB?
Alex: “Three letters, like The Orb, and it ends in B. Plan B anyone? Dom: “It kind of tickled my sense of humour, it looked so corporate on paper... perhaps we could float on the stock market and con people into investing. ”
Total Music: Other than the more obvious hip-hop leanings what is it that makes an idea more likely to be used on HFB rather than on an Orb or (Dom's) Belka & Strelka project?
Alex: “That's the link mate, don't read into it, tune in and zone in with the mighty messages of rebirth & dinky toys ”
Total Music: Alex you seem to be something of a serial collaborator, what is it that you´re looking for in a studio/recording partner?
Alex: “King Tubby or Scientist of the 23rd Century boy.”
Total Music: Finally, tell us about the videos that accompany the EP releases? ?
Alex: “Mike 'Malicious' Coles, he's the man, the main visual man with us. Watch the new video .”
Hellfire And Brimstone is out now on Malicious Damage. For more information, see , you can also catch HFB live at the album launch to be held in The Good Ship in Kilburn on July 8th