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Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve - Tricks Up The Sleeve

Author: 3D
Monday, 16 March 2009

Super-producer Erol Alkan and Richard Norris have teamed up to create the ‘re-animating’ juggernaut that is Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve. 3D chats with Norris about their debut album.

As Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve, what is the importance of differentiating between a remix and a re-animation of a track-

It’s a different name because we were feeling that the concept of the remix was being a bit over used – it has been used as the name of an aftershave, a drink, a restaurant and part of a Puff Daddy album, after all… Re-animations are just another way of giving new life to tracks, with a bit of wizard magic and trickery thrown in. We tend to stick to the songs in most cases, too, and give them our own slant.

There is a continuity throughout the edits that imply it’s more of an album rather than a compilation, is that something you would agree with-
Yes, that was a shock to me, as it wasn’t programmed or thought of as an album at all. I think we have developed a way of working, though that has grown out of our love for mad effects, psychedelic music and outsider music in general, and this seems to inform everything we do.

Neither of you are strangers to pseudonyms and side projects, but how did you originally come together to work on something like this, seemingly so different to your most immediate previous projects-
Purely through the love of old psychedelic and garage music. We’d known each other for a while but really started BTWS when we were both guests on a BBC Radio London show. The host Sean Rowley got us in separately to play some of our favourite records. I brought a bunch of psych singles, which caught Erol’s ear, and he asked me to make him some CDs. We then started to play massively long DJ sets in bars in East London – sometimes for seven hours – playing a record each back to back. The records that sounded good loud became some of our first edits. Re-animations followed after that.

For the most part, official remixes are requested by the original artist. Is that how these re-animations came into being, or were there artists who you approached, with a specific idea in mind-
No, all the artists came to us. We’re happy they did!

Some serious hours would have been put in behind many a synth rack between the two of you. Are the warm sounds of these edits owed in part to a love of analogue synthesis-
Yes, certainly, old Moogs and Roland synths, and also Erol’s ever expanding rack of old outboard studio equipment. It all helps.

With two full length releases out in the space of less than a year, not to mention the bevy of other projects your working on, what’s next for Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve-

We are working on our own original material at the moment – expect a single soon. Also some magic and a few select DJ dates over the summer. Roll on festival season!

WHO: Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve
WHAT: Re-Animations Vol. 1 through The Third Mynd Recordings
WHEN: Out now
MORE: myspace.com/beyondthewizardssleeve

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