Max Rouen / The Magnetic Wave of Sound


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01_Tape Fear

02_The Earnest of Being Cool

03_Juke Joint Venture

04_Leon's Genesis

05_A Pox On You

06_Merci Bon Dieu


08_Radio World (Karaoke Version)

09_Mechanic Trip

10_Virgin Tape

Max Rouen / The Magnetic Wave of Sound

Karaokekalk - Karaokekalk48

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A short Interview with Mr. Max Rouen about his new Album "Magnetic Wave Of Sound", which should be released in the beginning of June on Karaoke Kalk.

How would you describe your music on "Magnetic Wave of Sound".

As how the world would sound like if I was in charge...No really, I would describe it as some kinda Belgian surrealism, but with sound instead of images. I think the way I recorded also made a characteristic sound. Since my youth I was fascinated by reel to reel - tape recorders. And at the time I was working on the first songs of Magnetic Wave of Sound everybody i knew was applying the computer and looking at a screen constantly, I tried to recreate the music they were doing with cutting and pasting real tape. Which gives of course a very gritty and sometimes noisy sound. You can make tape loops, reverse bits, cut real small pieces of tape, overmodulate the whole thing, tape it to another machine and start experimenting with the tape speed. And the results will allways differ a little bit of what you had in mind, so you're always eager to hear the result of what you did.

Could you tell me something about your band members or the artists who support you on this album?

In fact, I can give you a million reasons why I like to work alone most of the times. I don't work strictly with professional people and this can add up in some strange results. For Instance Leon, the most remarkable voice on the record, is in fact a 68-year old alcoholic with a very bad reputation. Actually his rep. was so bad, my wife wouldn't let him in our house to make some recordings. So we had to use a field recording, that actually made it on the record. It's not easy working with him, harassing the female members of the group, showing up late, showing up drunk, forgetting all his lyrics and besides that acting like a diva... Luckily the other people are more stabile.

What can you tell me about the music scene in Antwerpen as well as in Belgium generally. Are you part of any scene?

Well I've been around for a while, and I think I know some people that are quite known in the Belgian scene, I'm on speaking terms with most of the major acts round here, dEUS, Admiral Freebee, Mauro, Arno and stephen of 2many Dj's and I also get a lot of respect of them. But I don't have the feeling I belong to a scene. I make music and I'm not blind for all sorts of styles or genres and I want to be as versatile as possible, not as a goal, but to be able to make music without limitations. Of course that's suicide if you want to belong to a scene...

Is this record your first appereance as a musician?

No, I recently made a track for a kids-cd, sold 10 or 15 thousand copies, which is a lot for a Belgian cd. They use it in basic schools nowadays. Pretty scary to know that a generation of alternative kids are growing up with your music as a soundtrack. I also played in a lot of rockbands, had a lot of fun doing that.

Does your work in a pub influence your work as musician? What are your influences for your music generally?

Well I get to know a lot of different music and a lot of interesting people, musicians, but also visual artists and actors, our bar is located near the most famous acting school in Belgium. I don't have to search a lot to find talent in these matters, just ask them if they come for a drink. I listened to a lot of regular stuff: Bach, The Beatles, early Stones, Pink Floyd espec. Piper at the gates of dawn, 60's trash, Coltrane, Mingus, Duke, Motörhead, I like James Holden a lot, George Clinton, P-funk, Jimi Hendrix, Lee Scratch, King Tubby, starting to get into Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Mc 5, Dr. Dre, The Roots, Quantic, Kode 9, Burial, White Noise or any other BBC radiophonic workshop-product.

Any plans to play live shows?

I surely feel like it, but i'm still working on some details, playing music should be fun and not pampering divas or organizing the whole deal. The last show we did, we played with a 7-piece band, very difficult to keep everyone happy, also very tiring to conduct.

What music projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a porno-cd, paying a homage to a business that became from being strictly illegal to mainstream in 30 years time or less. The least you can say about some porn-samples I made, is that they are rhythmically very interesting... So everything will sound quite dancy, allthough I'm also working on some post-coital songs so you can smoke your cigarette in peace. It's very hard to do the research on this cd, you can imagine! Because I cannot work on porn-tracks all the time (yes you can call me a whimp) I'm also working on some pure pop-tunes and some experimental stuff.

Were you a member of any band or something similar in the past?

Yes, I was in bands all the time. As a guitar-player, a singer, bass-player or drummer. These skills are coming in very handy as I am getting tired of sampling and adjusting other peoples' stuff ( also getting clearance, beware you young thieves!!). I just can go down to my drum-cellar and lay down a beat in the perfect tempo with the right accents, instead of cutting, pasting and trying to fit everything in place.

Do you have any other hobbies than music?

NO it's very difficult to ignore the fact that there is music playing in my head constantly. You can call it "blessed or possessed", I'm glad I can canalize it in some real music. But why do the best ideas come when I'm in bed after spending 5 hours in my studio? Must be the work of the devil.

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