They’ve been the Electronic Boogie Band, they’ve individually got more aliases than an international assassin convention, and they’ve got an unhealthy obsession with gap-toothed comedy actors of old. They are the Boogie Corporation – and their new record has got EQ all excited…
words: Andy McColgan
Barry Reeves and Calum Walker, aka the Boogie Corporation, are Scotland’s leftfield disco purveyors of tomorrow with a manifesto to bring back the boogie at all costs. Having previously released on 2020Vision, they’ve just released the first EP on their own Boogie Corporation label. The guys grew a bit pessimistic about certain aspects of the music industry and decided to go it alone and self-release. Good job too because the EP’s excellent. The three tracks move from the downtempo space-age funk of 94 Slices through the harder, funkier and more modern dancefloor-driven disco of Junk, to the troubled funk sound of the appropriately named Troubled Funk. Combining shades of Italo, cosmic, afro and a healthy dose of p-funk strangeness, the lads are planning new missions to boldly go where no electronic discotheque has gone before. EQ caught up with the duo for a chat about the new record, new label and Terry Thomas lookalike aliens…
The new EP’s space-age psychedelia meets modern electro-disco sound is great. What inspired you to make the record?
Calum: Glad you like it. The tracks wanted to get made themselves – we were just the catalyst.
Baz: Actually an alien resembling Terry Thomas appeared one night in Finnieston where we have the studio. He landed his spaceship right in the fucking lane and then ordered us to make funk-inspired leftfield disco. Naturally we were shit-scared and did what were told to…
You’re into a lot of different sorts of music then?
Calum: Yup, but I think everyone is really. I’ll draw the lines at some styles and never feel the need to step over, but even within electronic music alone the range of music over the last 50 years is massive. It’s spread like a benign virus! Not to mention the incredible influence that funk has over us.
Baz: Well, we’ve both been about a bit. And when you get about you meet a lot of people. And where there’s people there’s music. So some of it is bound to get through when it’s good enough. For me an early love of The Clash and reggae, fused with a teenage passion for disco kind of went into meltdown and hit hyperspace during the rave years when life became a kick drum and a dancefloor. But eventually, through house music, that road led back to disco and back out the other side.
Most of the best dancefloor stuff of the past year has been in this vein of cosmic almost prog-inspired disco with an exotic and global feel to it. Do you agree?
Calum: Couldn’t stand either prog rock or prog house back in the early 90s, so if you tag something with ‘prog’ then my eyes glaze over. But as for that cosmic sound, I think it’s been a parallel to what happened in the 80s, with everyone going all world music. Some of it has been great, but a lot of stuff is… over beardy.
Baz: Yes I don’t think ‘prog’ is the right word for our sound. There has been a revival in the ‘cosmic’ sound, some of which is great – people like DJ Mooner, Gerd Janson and Optimo have rekindled interest to good effect. But I agree that at times a lot of it is just an excuse to put out very slow, druggy and often boring music cos it’s fashionable.
The record is the first on your own label. What made you decide to self-release?
Calum: To have a new start – with a new label there’s no ‘sound’ so we can do what we want with it.
Baz: And also because of the sorry state of the music industry. File sharing and downloads have radically changed the way people think about and source music. And to be honest it’s killing independent music and artists. Without a demand for physical products there just isn’t much money in it any more and labels struggle to make it worthwhile. So we thought best to do it ourselves and then there’s less to split so it makes it more feasible, and there’s more control for us over what we do even if it is on a smaller scale. Independent artists selling their own music is the future. But whether there will be any decent rewards for it is up to people deciding to pay for the music they love in the same way they expect to pay for a pint of beer or a phonecall. You hit the spot there and it got heavy right?
Do you guys DJ a lot?
Baz: Yes I DJ at the Autodisco events in Dundee and travel about playing as Dicky Trisco doing mainly disco stuff these days. I love it. Been doing the festivals for Rizla over the last few years with people like Greg Wilson, Maurice Fulton, Don Letts and others. Been a great experience.
Calum: I hung up my gloves a couple of years ago, but dabble in laptop playback. I’m more of a knob twiddler these days!
What were 2008’s highlights for the Boogie Corporation – any standout music you’ve heard?
Baz: I think finally starting up our own imprint has been a major buzz for me. New music… I play a lot of old music and edits, but I like the direction of the weird, moody slow-mo stuff by Red Rack Em and The Revenge, and the electronic dub stuff Architeq is putting out on Tirk. And BC Recordings don’t put a foot wrong in my humble opinion…
Calum: For me, it was the release of German Kosmische legends Harmonium’s lost ‘live’ album. And Britney’s comeback album… Nah, only joking about that one.
What’s in the pipeline for 2009?
Calum: Gas from Russia hopefully!
Baz: And some more BC releases –hopefully getting weirder with some friends getting on board to remix.
The Bring The Boogie Back EP is out now. Visit www.myspace.com/boogiecorporation
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