Andrew Weatherall Vs The Boardroom
In the shady confines of a London basement studio exists The Boardroom: a collection of producers and musicians creating other-worldly electronic outlines, feeding off and bastardi sing each other ‘s musical output in the very best way.
WORDS BY TRISTAN PARKER
New album ‘ Andrew Weatherall Vs. The Boardroom’ harnesses this collective energy, containing Boardroom tracks and remixes by Mr Weatherall, who then has his own efforts reworked by Boardroom members. Though its faces number many (contributing members present are Rad Rice, James Moss, Dave Congreve and Sidney Le Sarge), speaking on The Boardroom ‘s behalf is the very capable Steve Boardman – engineering maestro and owner of The Boardroom studio. Also getting firmly involved is “honorary Boardroom member” Andrew Weatherall – head of the rather spiffing Rotters Golf Club label, purveyor of dapper techno, and generally known for doing what the hell he likes and making a bloody good job of it. A rag-tag bunch of raging, bass-hungry cads, the fruit of their musical encounter is a quite superb example of sophisticated techno and dubby electro – it doesn’t get much better than this. Steve, Andrew – discuss …
How did The Boardroom come about?
I’ve always liked collaborating, so I thought why not set up a studio which allows me to work with people I enjoy working with. As it ‘s a studio space where everybody keeps their door open, it works really well. There’s a lot of synergy going on and you end up hearing the riffs from next door. it’s basically an open-door policy. I didn’t want to do something just in my own name, and, as I was working with a group of musicians, I thought it’d be great if we did something in a live realm, where everybody’s coming from different directions.
What part did you play in the record?
I ’m the other half of the three Boardroom acts that appear on the record. So I eo-write as well as engineer, but the boundaries between the two roles are quite blurred. We all work together, but as separate entities. it’s more like a central control room; you can’t really separate where exactly all the ideas came from, as everyone gets involved. It’s entirely about The Boardroom as a collaborative effort rather than just one person.
Do you prefer the original versions of the Boardroom tracks or Andrew’s remixes?
When you’ve been working on a tune for such a long period, you hear it so many times that listening to a good remi x actually refreshes your love of the track. So I might prefer one version or the other listening to it at different times.
So, ‘Andrew Weatherall Vs. The Boardroom’ - who would win the actual fight?
Well, musically I think we need a rematch. In a fist-fight, Andrew’s got smaller hands than me, but he’s got a lot of tattoos… If he’s got one of his nice suits on I might have the upper hand, as I ‘m pretty scruffy and he might not want to get his cuffs dirty.
How was it, hearing your material remixed by other people?
lt was great. ·Having spent twenty years mucking about with other people’s work, it was good to have it done to your own music. Hearing tracks through other people’s ears is always interesting.
There must have been a few musical power ‘ struggles between you and Steve?
Not at all. Once the ugly flower of power raised its head, I nipped it in the bud. I ‘m not a total fascist in the studio, especially in the conditions I was workin in, with talented musicians. As much as I’ d love to perpetuate the myth, I’m not some kind of Phil Spector gun-welding figure. I enjoy working with people. it’s very productive atmosphere. People come to visit the studio and hang out and they’ leave infused with ene for whatever they’re working on. it’s like a three or four-way sound-clash going on at any time of the day you’ll leave the studio to make a cup of tea and hear the most ridiculously good music being made when you go back.
lt must get pretty debauched down there at time.
Things are at a point now where the debauchery does interfere with the work. At the moment, any excesses are helping fuel the artistic creation. Whatever musicyou make, you have to have experienced the highs a lows – if you’re making dance music, at some point you ought to have stumbled out of Fabric at nine in the morning, unable to remember your own name.
So, ‘Andrew Weatherall Vs. The Boardroom’ – who would win the actual fight?
lt depends whether I’m wearing bespoke tweed or leather biker jacket. If it’s the biker jacket, you can j wipe the blood off and it doesn’t matter if you find a bitten-off ear in the pocket. Then again, if I’m wearing my Victorian Half Hunter fob watch, I don ’t want to scrapping with the likes of them. A gentleman shoul al ways dress appropriately for a ruckus.