Mark Fisher's unedited transcript of his interview with underground dubstep artist Burial
Wire: Vocals were always central to your sound, but they have become even more important on this album than they were on your first LP.
Burial: I was brought up on old jungle tunes and garage tunes had lots of vocals in but me and my brothers loved intense, darker tunes too, I found something I could believe in... but sometimes I used to listen to the ones with vocals on my own and it was almost a secret thing. I’d love these vocals that would come in, not proper singing but cut-up and repeating, and executed coldly. It was like a forbidden siren. I was into the cut-up singing as much as the dark basslines. Something happens when I hear the subs, the rolling drums and vocals together. To me it’s like a pure UK style of music, and I wanted to make tunes based on what UK underground hardcore tunes mean to me, and I want a dose of real life in there too, something people can relate to.
So when I started doing tunes, I didn’t have the kit and I didn’t understand how to do it properly, so I can't make the drums and bass sound massive, no loud sounds taking up the whole tune. But as long as it had a bit of singing in it, it forgave the rest of the tune. It was the thing that made me excited about doing it. Then I couldn’t believe that I’d done a tune that gave me that feeling that proper real records used to, and the vocal was the one thing that seemed to take the tune to that place. My favorite tunes were underground and moody but with killer vocals: 'Let Go' by Teebee, 'Being with you remix' by Foul Play. Intense, Alex Reece, Digital, Goldie, Dillinja, EL-B, D-Bridge, Steve Gurley. I miss being on the bus to school listening to Dj Hype mixes. Sometimes some other kids would get us tunes, I'd record off of pirate radio all night.
Wire: You started off listening to music because of your older brother?
Burial: My older brother loved tunes, rave tunes, jungle, he lived all that stuff, and he was gone, he was on the other side of the night, almost. He was the one who wasn’t back, he was out there, going to places. He’d tell us stories about it. We were brought up on stories about it. Lleaving the city in a car and finding somewhere and hearing these tunes, and he’d bring them back. He would sit us down and play these old tunes, and later on he’d play us ‘Metropolis’ , Reinforced, Paradox, DJ Hype, Foul Play, DJ Krystl, Source Direct and techno tunes. When you’re younger that stuff blows your mind. But then they, they didn’t lose interest in it, but they got on with life and I was stuck for years. And I would still buy the tunes, and my whole life was going on missions to buy tunes and try and impress em by putting together compilations I thought that they would like. I thought I was holding a lighter up for that stuff, I'd cane Jaffa Cakes and make compilations, slip the odd garage tune in. And even when I started making tunes I was trying to impress them, I still am, but I think they hate my new tunes though. When I grew up I thought everyone would be into jungle and garage tunes but hardly anyone I knew was, in the end.
Wire: Your music seems to be about the after effects of Rave, about never actually experiencing it.
Burial: I’ve never been to a festival. Never been to a rave in a field. Never been to a big warehouse, never been to an illegal party, just clubs and playing tunes indoors or whatever. I heard about it, dreamed about it. My brother might bring back these records that seemed really adult to me and I couldn’t believe I had ‘em. It was like when you first saw Terminator or Alien when you're only little. I’d get a rush from it, I was hearing this other world, and my brother would drop by late and I’d fall asleep listening to tunes he put on.
Wire: I suppose your contact with Rave through your brother is
what makes your records so mournful: you know what is missing now,
whereas others might not even know what they are missing.
Burial: I don’t know if it exists any more at all. A lot of those old tunes I put on at night and hear something in the tune that makes me feel sad, - a few of my favourite producers and DJs are dead now too - and I hear this hope in all those old tracks, trying to unite the UK, but they couldn't, because the UK was changing in a different direction, away from us. Maybe the feeling of the UK in clubs and stuff back then, it wasn't as artificial , self-aware or created by the internet. It was more rumour, underground folklore. No mobile phones back then. Anyone could go into the night and they had to seek it out. Because you could see it in people, you could see it in their eyes. Those ravers were at the edge at their lives, they weren’t running ahead or falling behind, they were just right there and the tunes meant everything. In the 90s you could feel that it had been taken away from them. In club culture, it all became like super-clubs, magazines, trance, commercialized. All these designer bars would be trying to be like clubs. It all got just taken. So it just went militant, underground from that point. That era is gone, now there's less danger, less sacrifice, less journey to find something. You can't hide, the media clocks everything. The internet or whatever, but DMZ and FWD have that deep atmosphere and real feeling, the true underground is still strong, I hear good new tunes all the time.
Wire: Kode9 says that the new album has a feeling of ‘downcast euphoria’, whereas the first one was just downcast.
Burial: When I listened to these old tapes, I took what these jungle MCs were telling me seriously. Rolling a tune out, I took it as a commandment about how to make a tune: roll it out, do it fast. I was into old hardcore, darkside, trying to do a properly dark record. Not this new, pumped up tech sound. I liked the old tunes, properly darkside like finding a body in a lift shaft: dank moody tunes, suburban tunes. I want to go back to that hardcore era of darkside someday, which would be rugged, film samples just pitched up and down with strings. It wasn’t just that pure monochrome thing, it was something else, it sounded like tearing through an empty building. But the thing is, I had this bunch of tunes for my 2nd album that were dark tunes, and I just scrapped them. I took ages on them. I was worrying, because after my first album I felt a bit of pressure to follow it up. I worked for hours on these tunes, and I was trying to learn these programmes. These tunes were darker, more technical, all the tunes sounded like some kind of weapon that was being taken apart and put back together again. But then I got sort of sick of them, because I spent so long on them, I was moody about other things. So I wanted to make a glowing record, I wanted to cheer myself up. Instead of doing those dark tunes that took ages and were really detailed, I wanted to make a record fast. Something warm, glowing, junglist and garagey. I was listening to these Guy Called Gerald tunes. I wanted to do vocals but I can’t get a proper singer like him. So I cut up acapellas and made different sentences, even if they didn’t make sense but they summed up what I was feeling. I love those Foul Play and Omni Trio tunes where it was just the girl next door singing, So I got a lot of those quite low-quality vocals and started to pitch them up and down. You can do it really fast. I sort of did the whole album in about two weeks. Most of it in the final week. When I made this a lot of things were wrong. It was nice to say, ‘fuck this’, I’m just going to make it well fast. So I’m quite defensive of it. When you’re making a tune and it’s really late… I heard this thing on EastEnders about burning the candle at both ends with a flamethrower, I was making tunes in the middle of the night, if I didn’t have the vocal to keep me awake, like singing a lullaby, trying to hypnotise myself so I didn’t fall asleep
Wire: It’s like a reverse lullaby in a way – instead of sending you to sleep, it’s keeping you awake! With the first album, it felt like the references were early-mid 90s jungle, whereas with the new one, it’s as if things have moved on two or three years, to UK garage and 2-step.
Burial: I love UK garage, I love 2-step and Todd Edwards. For a long time I felt that no-one liked it, some music people cussed it because they're stupid, but its music for real people, those tunes still sound better than most stuff when you’re out. I don’t know many people who like tunes but I had one mate who had a car and let me test my tunes, I always liked deeper nighttime tunes, a bit more rolling - garage, dubstep is half pulse, half sway, so it sounds good in a car at night.
I wanted to make a half euphoric record. That was an older thing that UK underground music used to have. I think that type of euphoria is a British thing, like UK tunes, old rave tunes used to be the masters of that, for a reason, to do with the rave, a half smile, half human endorphins and half something hypnotized by drugs. It was stolen from us and it never really came back. Mates laugh at me because I like whale songs but I love ‘em, I like vocals to be like that, like a night cry, an angel animal. Old hardcore tunes would throw these sounds in, anything to create the rush, descent into another world, like Papua New Guinea by Future Sound of London. love this one feeling, it only happens to you when you’re out in the cold, when your down, this shiver attempts to warm you up, bring you back. For a moment you get this weird, eerie distant feeling like it’s just for you, you get taken out of yourself. Certain tunes just nail that. So I had to do that, but have cut-up vocals and have that slinky bumping feel to it, and not get weighed down in big drums and the big snares. With Garage the drums are taken back, they’re quite soft, it’s more about being slinky. They’re like a fishbone, a spine, an exoskeleton that cradles the sounds. It’s not about the deepest kick or the biggest snare. The drums are more about trying to thread sounds and vocals together, they flicker across the surface of the tune, it circles around you, its not just chopping you up, its not about the sounds being big.
Wire: That’s the part of the reason you’re not happy with using sequencers?
Burial: Also because I don’t know how to use them!
Wire: Yeah, but you could learn! But things often sound sequenced when they are.
Burial: That’s happened to a lot of music. It's detailed in a boring way. I’m not into big intros, because if you’ve got a big intro, the rest of the tune is forever the rest of the tune, and the intro’s forever the intro. You can never get lost in it, you know where you are in most tunes, and that just takes away the only reason a tune should exist to me, I can't relate to grey music. I like tunes that just dive straight in, there’s a jump off and once you’re in it, the awareness that you’re two minutes into a tune, or four minutes into a tune is gone. That’s how I like my tunes. Or something like Robert Hood, just pure presence, shark-like, elements woven together. You can sense them sitting there rolling out the tune.
Wire: Your tunes are like being in a fog, it’s diffuse, but it’s all around you.
Burial: Then a couple of sounds might come up, glow, the rest of
them sink down and burn out.
Wire: I saw you mention it in another interview, that when you’re used to making tunes and looking at a screen, you can just see that grid when you hear the tunes.
Burial: I’ve seen people using sequencers and I’ve tried hard to use them but it’s blocks in different colours and I'm only used to just seeing the waves. I don’t need to listen much to the drums because I know they look nice, like a fishbone, rigged up to be kind of skitty, sharp. My tunes are a bit rubbish and messy but it's all I know. One day I want to make a tune people can have a dance to, I've tried.
Wire: What did you think when people were saying that you hadn’t produced it all in Sound Forge, it’s a scam.
Wire: People on the internet, saying he can’t possibly have done that whole album in Sound Forge.
Burial: Really? Yeah well I did. I'll leave those people to their internet or whatever. Yeah I wish sometimes that I’d gone to college to learn music production, but other times I’m like ‘no, fuck, I’m happy I didn’t’.
I don’t really go on the internet, it’s like a ouija board, it’s like letting someone into your head, behind your eyes. It lets randoms in.
Wire: The tracks you made and discarded. Do they still exist?
Burial: Some of them I lost because my computer’s dead. But I’ve got a few of them and I might resurrect them. I lost faith. I want to learn but its difficult, I've made mistakes. Next album maybe I'll gather my forces, make a true darkside Burial album. Step up and do it.
Wire: One of the greatest things about your music is the sense of place, and it’s so specific to South London. When I first heard it, I lived in South London and as I listened to the LP walking around, it was a perfect fit.
Burial: Thanks for saying that. I spend a lot of time wandering around London, I always have. Sometimes it’s because I’ve got somewhere to go, sometimes it’s because I haven't got anywhere to go. So I’d be wandering endlessly, getting in places. Being on your own listening to headphones is not a million miles away from being in a club surrounded by people, you let it in, you’re more open to it. Sometimes you get that feeling like a ghost touched your heart, like someone walks with you. In London, there’s a kind of atmosphere that everyone knows about but if you talk about it, it just sort of disappears. London’s part of me, I'm proud of it but it can be dark, sometimes recently I don't even recognize it.
It's about being on a night bus, or with your mates, walking home across your city on your own late at night, or being in a situation with your girlfriend or boyfriend, or coming back from a club, or putting tunes on an falling asleep. If your well into tunes, your life starts to weave around them. I’d rather hear a tune about real life, about the UK, than some US hiphop. 'I’m in the club with your girl' type thing. I love r&b tunes and vocals but I like hearing things that are true to the UK, like drum&bass and dubstep, Once you've heard that underground music in your life, other stuff just sounds like a fucking advert, imported.
Wire: Even though your music really captures what it’s like to be in the UK, it connects with other people outside Britain too.
Burial: If you alone could hear someone upset on the other side of the world, then maybe then you could do something about it. I was once in these mountains, you’d see these fires, other people sleeping out in the mountains, traders across the border, and that gives you this feeling, night time, awareness of other people sleeping. But all it is just a fire light. You see their firelight and you know they are there, that’s all you need. That’s what ties cities to places that aren’t together, deserts, forests, people. You watch over your city or area at night, you see the distant lights, fires burning in other places.
Wire: Angels are mentioned a few times on the album. Why is that?
Burial: You see people, and you’re disconnected from them, they mean fuck-all to you, but other times you can invest everything in someone you don’t even know, silently believe in them, it might be on the underground or in a shop or something. You hope people are doing that with you as well. Some people, even when they’re quite young, and they’re in difficulty, maybe taking a battering in their life, but they still handle themselves with grace. I hope most people can be like that, hold it together, I wanted this album to be for people in that situation.
It's easy to fall away and fuck up and for many people there's no safety net. Sometimes one tune can mean everything, it's like a talisman.
Wire: The people on the album seem like wounded or mutilated angels: angels whose wings have been clipped, or who have been trapped or betrayed.
Burial: Yeah. When you think of some of things people go through, everyday troubles, relationship things, other stuff. Everyone knows those sorts of feelings. I wanted to do songs about that low-key stuff. There are a couple of tunes with the vocal to do with angels on it. Sometimes I’d be hearing a song … I was worrying, I’d made all these dark tunes, and I played ‘em to my mum, and she didn’t like them. I was going to give up, but she was sweet, telling me, ‘just do a tune, fuck everyone off, don’t worry about it.’ My dog died, and I was totally gutted about that. She was just like, ‘make a tune, cheer up, stay up late, make a cup of tea’. And I rang her mobile twenty minutes later and I’d made that ‘Archangel’ tune, and I was like, ‘I’ve made the tune, the tune you told me to make.’ And I heard this vocal and it doesn't say it but it sounds like ‘archangel’. I like pitching down female vocals so they sound male, and pitching up male vocals so they sound like a girl singing. It can sound sexy as fuck.
Wire: That works. When I listen to the record, I can’t work out whether the vocals belong to males or females. And angels aren’t supposed to have no gender.
Burial: Really? Well that works nice with my tunes, kind of half boy half girl, but that can be dark too. Sometimes in a mirror people see the devil's face for a second, that wrong aspect, the eyes, in your own. When you are young you are pushed around by forces that are nothing to do with you. You’re lost, most of the time you don't understand what’s going on with yourself, with anything.
Wire: I’ve read you say that you think it’s Ok for women to like your music, that people shouldn’t be frightened of making tunes that women will like.
Burial: But girls love the dark tunes too. I understand that
moody thing, but some dance music is too male. It's dry, Some
jungle tunes had a balance, the glow, the moodiness that comes from
the presence of both girls and boys in the same tune, there's
tension because it’s close, but sometimes perfect together. Men
sometimes exist in this place where they don’t have a fucking clue
what girls go through and vice versa. I was brought up most by my
mum, I’m my mum’s son. I look like her. I am her. I own female
dogs. I don't know what I'm trying to say, but with my new album –
blokes might be, like, ‘what the fuck is this?’ But hopefully their
girlfriends will like it.
Wire: But I think a lot of men want more than blokey music is giving them.
Yeah? They should listen to some Todd Edwards, his tunes melt anyone. People are different, but the media, the world has made them afraid to create their own space around themselves, when they should just close their eyes and trust in themselves. Sometimes a man needs a break from the darkness, and just needs a dose of chirpy, buzzing tunes.
Wire: Your music is very visual. I suppose that’s partly the influence of films? You’ve talked about that sound from ‘Alien’ being one of your favourite sounds.
Burial: The motion tracker, yeah, and the dropship, the sentry guns. My big brother would play that sound to me when I was little, and tell me the stories from the film. He recorded it on a tape. He would tell me about that motion tracker sound, and ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ are some of the scariest films. But he would only show me the bit where they were loading up the weapons, but he’d say, ‘you’re too young, I won’t show you the rest, but I’ll tell you about it’. I love the sound of the motion tracker, you can feel the fear of the empty spaces ahead, it's like sonar. I like Blade Runner but I’m only obsessed with one scene in it, the bit where he’s sitting at those cafes in the rain. I love rain, like being out in it. Sometimes you just go out in the cold, there’s a light in the rain, and you’ve got this little haven, and you’re hanging round like a moth – I love moths too and that’s why I love that scene.
Wire: Is there a connection between crackle and rain?
Burial: Yeah. But I partly use the rain to cover up the lameness of my tunes.
Wire: It’s a bit like when they put on the mist on [the PlayStation game] Silent Hill because they didn’t have the memory power to render a fully-realised environment.
Burial: Oh, really? Dark. I like Silent Hill. If you hide sounds in the mist. It’s like a veil across the far wall of the tune.
Wire: That’s really important. It’s like the euphoric things are all the more euphoric because they are hidden by a veil, rather than being directly heard.
Burial: Yeah, euphoria trapped in a vial. Or a silencer. Volume's like a proximity to something. Everyone in their life has heard a muffled conversation from next door where you can’t hear the words, but you know that people are shouting. Or you’re on stairs, and you hear people downstairs, and you're aware of something not being right, just by the tone of someone’s voice. Even when you don't understand, when you’re younger, that kind of meaning in the sound, it makes you hold your breath. It’s like when dogs go quiet when there's a storm coming.
Wire: There’s a lot of pain in the records. Is that personal?
(pause) .... Yeah, maybe.
I don’t know anything about this kind of music, but I love Sam Cooke. I don’t know what it was about his songs, but he’d have some songs, and things on the surface were normal or happy, he’d be singing about having a party, there’s cokes in the iceboxes or whatever, and everything’s glowy, but underneath, it’s like he’s talking about something else, the last party on earth. Something in his voice. I’d rather do something like that than some icy cold electronic music, to try and get a bit of that in it. Because when something’s glowing, if something’s nice, it doesn’t mean that it’s not surrounded by cold things, bad things.
Wire: The glow would only show up if there’s darkness around it.
Relentless dark, what I call ‘Dark TM’, doesn’t sound dark in the
The faceless thing. Is it just a personal thing?
Burial: Yeah, I'm just a well low key person. I want to be
unknown, because I'd rather be around my mates and family than
other things, but there's no need to focus on it. Most of the tunes
I like, I never knew what the people who made them looked like
anyway. It draws you in. You could believe in it more. I like it if
it’s more secret, people can get into the tunes more. I just want
to be in a symbol, a tune, the name of a tune. It’s not like it's a
new thing. It’s one of the old underground ways and it’s easier.
Everyone goes on about themselves, they reveal everything and give it away. It’s an obsession in London, people and the media are too blatant, trying to project this image, prove themselves and trying to be something. They should just hold back a bit, it's sexier.
Burial: I wanna be out of here. I respect working hard but I dread a day job. Or a job interview. I’ve got a truant heart, I just want to be gone. I’d be in the kitchens, the corridors at work, and I’d be staring at the panels on the roof, clocking all the maintenance doors, dreaming about getting into the airducts.
Wire: Looking for a space away from other people?
Burial: Kind of. A portal. As a kid I used to dream about being put in the bins, escaping from things, without my mum knowing she’d put me out in the bins. So I'm in a black plastic bag outside a building, and hearing the rain against it, but feeling alright, and just wanting to sleep, and a truck would take me away. It's stupid,
Wire: Did you have a sense of what it was like on the other side?
Burial: yeah. We all dream about it. I wish something was there. But even if you fight to see it, you never see anything. Because you know when you have a dream, and in your dream you have the weight of the decisions in you, but it has that kind of dream-like ease of everything, like the dream city. You're walking round London in your dreams, everything is alright, but you wake back in real life and it’s not like that. You don't have a choice. You’d be on the way to a job, but you’re longing to go down this other street, right there, and you walk past it. No force on earth could make you go down there, because you’ve got to traipse to wherever. Even if you escape for a second, people are on your case, you can't go down old Thames side and throw your mobile in.
Wire: This sounds like H G Wells’ short story ‘The Door in the Wall’. In it, a child discovers an enchanted garden hidden in mundane London streets. But whenever he sees the door that leads to the garden again, he can’t make himself go through it. He’s always dragged away by the pull of the worldly.
Your first album sounded so definitive, I wondered what you would do with the second one.
Burial: Kode9 chose the Ghost Hardware 12", because that was before I’d made the album so we wanted to put out something that sounded like it came off the first album, but hinted at something else.
Wire: I’m glad you moved in the direction you have. There’s lots
of emotion in the culture at the moment, but it’s very sentimental
and cheap. The real pain doesn’t get articulated.
Burial: When you’re young, things seem much more serious in a way. The most trivial thing you treat like the biggest deal in the world, you get kids doing dark, sad things, being way too upset about something because they can’t get perspective on it. And younger as well. Some people get suicidal because they’ve been bullied by someone at school, but if they waited one more week it’s the end of term. To a kid you can’t explain that very well. I’ve been in situations and there’s no rule book of what you’re meant to do. But then you might listen to some song, some pop song, that gets it just right. Like I love EastEnders and I’ll be watching that, and someone in that, Stacey Slater, will just say it perfectly.
Wire: Depression is increasingly common amongst teenagers…
Burial: They seem to have people all around them, but that’s actually not true. Sometimes you’re surrounded by mates but you’re not surrounded by friends. You feel protective of people, because no matter who we are, we all return to quite a vulnerable place, a flat, mates, a family, a room or whatever. You can see through all that stuff, a lot of young people artificially take on adult issues, that have maybe been pushed at them, or maybe they’re living out an adult relationship, proper life issues, maybe their family isn't looking out for them anymore, other serious stuff that you can't take lightly. I've seen that if you take on that stuff early on, it fucks you up. My new tunes are about that, wanting an angel watching over you, when there's nowhere to go and all you can do is sit in McDonalds late at night, not answering your phone.
Wire: Your tunes connect this time with a different era, one that’s gone.
Burial: I hear tunes, I seek out tunes that used to be everything to someone but they probably can’t listen to them now. I know there are tunes I’ve put on, I’ve seen people cry, Moving Shadow tunes, old tunes, because this music is old enough now for it to mean that. Even a single sound, they’ll hear a sound and it’ll just slay them. And you’re right, culture doesn’t seem to notice this. Where I’m from you're more likely to be sitting around talking about a Rufige Kru or 4hero tune, how much it meant to you, than some other kind of music. I like normal life. It’s weird now, people die and they’re still on Facebook or whatever the fuck else.
Wire: What other influences do you have outside music?
Burial: PlayStation games. A lot of my drums are just people picking up new ammo and weapons in games. I love shells falling to the floor, power-ups, like when you get extra life. It would be good if you could do that in real life: pick up extra lives, fight end-of-level-guardians down by the shops, use cheat-modes. I spent all my pocket money trying to complete Silent Scope at the arcade. I was brought up on that stuff. My Dad when I was really little, sometimes he used to read me M R James stories. On the South Bank last year, I was walking along, and I found a book of M R James ghost stories. I bunked that day off from my day job and I got this book, and now I’m well into M R James ghost stories.
Wire: You’re joking, really?
Burial: There’s a few ghost stories, the one that fucked me up when I was little. 'Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You My Lad'. Something can betray how sinister it is even at a distance. Something weird happens with M R James, because they’re short - and I don’t read much – and even though it’s in writing, there’ll be a moment, when the person meets the ghost, where you can’t quite believe what you’ve read, you go cold, just for those few lines when you glimpse the ghost for a second, or he describes the ghost face. It's like you’re not reading any more. In that moment it burns a memory into you that isn't yours. He says something like, ‘there’s nothing worse for a human being than to see a face where it doesn’t belong’. But if you’re little, and you’ve got an imagination which is always messing you up and darking you out, things like that are almost comforting to read. Also, there is nothing worse than not recognizing someone you know, someone close, family, seeing a look in them that just isn't them. I was once in a lock-in in a pub and the regulars there and some mates started telling these fucked up ghost stories from real life, maybe that had happened to them, and I swear if you heard them. One girl told me the scariest thing I ever heard. Some of these stories would stop a few words earlier than seemed right, they don't play out like a film, they're too simple, too everyday, slight, those stories ring true and I never forgot them. Sometimes maybe you see ghosts on the underground with an empty Costcutters plastic bag, nowhere to go. They are smaller, about 70% smaller than a normal person, smaller than they were in life.
Wire: Where I live now, in Suffolk, was where James set many of his stories. Some of the names of the places in the stories are thinly coded names of Suffolk towns.
Burial: I love that, like old churchyards, factories, places out of the way. I used to get taken away to the middle of nowhere, by the sea, I love it out there, because when it’s dark, it’s totally dark, there’s none of this ambient light London thing. We used to have to walk back and hold hands and use a lighter. See the light, see where you were and then you’d walk on, and the image of where you’ve just were would still be on your retina. You couldn’t see anything, but you’d see stars. Loads of the drums on the new album are just a lighter. I love lighters and Swan Vesta matches, the drums on every tune are the same, this little noise.
The thing I love about M R James, it’s almost like you learn a lesson off the stories, which is to be obsessed with a similar kind of effect until you get it right, because you’re basically circling similar ideas. It’s not about things sounding the same, they’re just, I don’t know what the word would be, singular. Like Photek used to be. The techniques hit you between the eyes because they are so fucking focused, obsessed by the same devices. With M R James, it’s that ghost story thing, someone told me this story, or I knew this person – it’s a device to deliver the story into your world. Urban legends get woven so you're unable to be sure it's untrue. A statistician would say: of all the millions of ghost stories ever told, what percentage would have to be true for ghosts to exist? The answer is that only one story would have to be true. The new tunes are a tiny misdirection, so I can steal away unseen to the next place.