MICROCORPS is the new project by artist and musician Alex Tucker (Grumbling Fur, Alexander Tucker, Imbogodom) exploring electronics, cello and voice. The debut release, XMIT – featuring collaborations with Gazelle Twin, Nik Colk Void, Simon Fisher Turner & Astrud Steehouder – is out now on ALTER.
Tucker’s ever-evolving soundworld continues to unfold with with harsh realms centred around processed electronic systems, strings and vocal manipulations. MICROCORPS employs altered voices, sound synthesis and atomised beat constructions.
Tracks are born from a balance between composition and improvisation within set parameters. At each stage audio is heavily processed and then reconfigured, setting up systems that are non-repeatable, where decisions can be premeditated and intuitive but never the same with each performance. MICROCORPS will perform at our next Kiezsalon end of August at MaHalla.
1. Electricity comes from other planets
2. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Most recently the tools that I’m using to make the music. I’m utilising modular hardware in relation to acoustic instruments and the human voice, and the processes of combining these elements generate the ideas that take me on to the next step. I love this meeting of machine intelligence and human decision making. I’m still really focused on the voice, cello and machine rhythms, pulling these apart, and cloaking them in electronics. My hope is to laminate all these elements to create unspoken imagery through sonic events.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was a kid I would love playing one chord on my Dad’s 12 string acoustic guitar, enjoying the drone and vibrations of the strings. I had classical guitar lessons but traded those in for an electric guitar, delay pedal and small practice amp. I’d spend hours ringing out feedback and noise and just enjoying the sound of electricity. Later I got a JEN SX1000 synth for really cheap from a garage sale and got to know my way around the different elements of a synth. I’d make recordings on to these TDK Loop tapes, collaging guitar noise, vocals and synth sounds, which I’d perform at art collage. It was years later that I finally got an eight track and started to record properly.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Vangelis – Blade Runner OST
Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake – S/T
Gate – A Republic Of Sadness
Lou Reed – Transformer
Cardiacs – On Land and in the Sea
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Visiting on an art college trip when I was 18, not long after the wall came down, being really shocked at the difference between east and west, and being blown away by the architecture, art galleries and museums. It was such a huge contrast to where I’d grown up in Kent, I loved it. And of course loads of films, music, bands and artists.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
The back streets in Central London, I love how quiet they are just a few steps away from the busy main roads. You can get really lost and see so many layers of time and history.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’ve always made visual art alongside music so I’d continue with that. Probably work on a new comic.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Lasse Marhaug – Context
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Most recently FM Einheit at Iklectik in London
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I’ve always used some form of processing technology since I was a teenager, from tape, effects pedals to electronic hardware, I’m constantly discovering new routes to composing new pieces and having the technology dictate human decision making and vice versa.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
My older sister would push me to buy music, she got me to buy one of my first LPs Madness’s The Rise And The Fall, she was one of the biggest fans of my first hardcore punk and post-rock bands.