Ben Power and Andy Hung used to skateboard together as teenagers in Worcester, and when they met up again in Bristol they started making music together — initially to soundtrack a short film. Their equipment was “cheap car boot sale stuff,” and they named themselves Fuck Buttons.
“The music was abrasive and confrontational noise, so it was a juxtaposition of the basic nature of the sound we were making and the processes we were using,” explains Ben.
Latest album ‘Tarot Sport’ (out now on ATP) was produced by the legend that is Andrew Weatherall, and some are hailing it as his best band production work since Primal Scream’s era-defining ‘Screamadelica’ in 1991.
“Weatherall had a very firm grasp of the sensitivity to the sounds that we use and what we’re trying to express,” reckons Ben. “Recording was very intense, although one thing we learned was the importance of space — even physical space away from the project, so you get perspective. Weatherall paid a lot of attention to the space within our physical sound.”
Weatherall’s experience and dub sensibility has brought a more ethereal edge to the Fuck Buttons sound, as evidenced on recent single ‘Surf Solar’. Over 10 minutes long on the ‘Tarot Sport’ album, it’s an immersive, psychedelic wall of sound with underlying drones, bass and beats.
Somehow they perfectly reproduce the tracks live on their primitive-looking equipment, and have been exciting the electronic community as much as the alt.rock kids — and critics — in recent months.
Signed to ATP Records, who specialise in post-rock and weird electronica, their sound is fast moving centre stage. The popularity of acts like Animal Collective this year and the enduring interplay between MBV-style post-rock and experimental electronica is opening new doors for leftfield sounds.
“We’re in a time where unconventional instrumentation and experimental music can be championed and celebrated,” believes Ben. “Things aren’t as black and white, and we don’t deal in absolutes anymore. It’s an exciting time, I’m not scared about where music is going.”
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