viA fAntAsticA’s new LP, 2 any 1, is available now on Bandcamp and so on. Cardiff’s fiercely independent electronicana act got our attention with the video for the first single from from the album, ‘Onstage, right now...’ (below) which is as they say, a tapestry of percussive loops, synth waves and found sound samples, reassembling early 90s rave culture and echoes of 60s pop.' It's a might record on a what just happened here tear up. After all that, we knew we had to feature the band, and the right time seemed to be about now. viA fAntAsticA’s 2 and 1 is an epic release, 21 tracks clocking in at nearly 70 minutes, it’s Francis Ford in ambition and scope. Luckily Justin from the band guides us through the tracks.
2 for 1: Track by Track by Justin
Trying to sound like the theme to an 80s cyberpunk series. The kind that wanted to be the next Miami Vice but got cancelled after six episodes.
aka SKU 80. Inspired by early Human League and Fad Gadget. This was one of the earliest tracks to be finished and probably the one with the most different pieces of equipment.
REBUILD THE POETS
I thought it was a real shame when the Poet’s Corner was demolished. It was a great community pub. The title was inspired by a sign that someone stuck on the security fence around the site where the pub used to be. Musically, it’s basically a tech house track, with an overlapping vocal loop (trying to be a bit Steve Reich) and live synth solos. A slightly different mix of this track is featured on the excellent compilation album from the Cardiff Electronic Producers’ Network
MEET ME AT SIDOLI’S
I love Italo-Disco records like Gazebo’s Masterpiece or the stuff that the La Bionda production team made. Those sounds seemed like the perfect soundtrack for a pre-pandemic August Bank Holiday in Porthcawl.
NEVER SURF AGAIN
Surf music meets synth pop. This was written at the peak of lockdown 1, when you weren’t sure if you ever would go out for more than 30 minutes again! I’m very pleased with the video for this one, considering it was all found footage.
This title references the phenomenon of record collectors issuing fake takedown notices to people who post videos of obscure music on YouTube! I think I had been listening to the theme from Get Carter before I came up with the backing track.
DAY AFTER DAY
As I am tuneless singer I got a vocal emulator so I could write songs. This was the first, obviously inspired by last spring’s full lockdown. Probably the poppiest thing on the album.
Like Nico and WizKid playing Hi-Nrg in space. This is basically a dark love song and a hi-tempo jam that share the same high-life rhythm. The drum sounds in the second half come from a Mattel Synsonics drum machine.
AGENTS OF CHANGE (SAVE GUILDFORD CRESCENT)
This is a cover of a track I first did in my more experimental Location Baked days, which was inspired by the ‘agent of change’ movement to protect music venues. I loved Gwdihw, went on the Save Guildford Crescent march and still like to think the planners and developers can be persuaded to look again and come up with a community-focused, arts-focused future for the Crescent.
ONSTAGE, RIGHT NOW...
It’s been compared to Public Service Broadcasting, Avalanches and Apollo 440, which seems fair. I was definitely aiming for a Northern Soul meets Big Beat vibe.
MUST BE BUILT (ALL NIGHT MIX)
I loved Tony Wilson’s enthusiasm in the interview that I sampled for this. He always dreamed big. Why shouldn’t we have the best? Musically, it’s trying to capture a mid-late 80s Hacienda feel, with more of an electro freestyle sound, than pure House music.
SWIM-UP BAR BLUES
The first swim-up bar was in Acapulco, which was a destination for Hollywood stars and jet-setters and is now plagued by the impacts of Mexico’s drugs war. This one came together really quickly.
FOG AND MIRRORS
This has a real TV/film soundtrack feel to it. Creepy and somnolent. It’s one of the tracks that I originally wrote with the idea of making an imaginary soundtrack to a movie (working title: Coney Beach Babies).
Written about the US elections. The sample comes from the US Library of Congress archives and I stuck it through some effects from the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète.
Another soundtracky thing. I like how it slowly unfurls.
NOT RUNNING BUT CRYING
This is the big ballad, but it’s an instrumental. (:-)
GRIN YOURSELF PHITTR
Downtempo hip-hop gradually overwhelmed by noise.
A tribute to my manor. The music references Motown and the lyrics reference Waiting for Godot.
Probably my favourite track on the album. Epic, conjures up visions of snowcapped Alpine peaks.
Sun comes up. An end or a beginning?
viA fAntAsticA's 2 of 1 is available now from Bandcamp and elsewhere