Binary Finary are back since their break in 2000. After 10 years they have resurfaced with a new team performing live as well as behind the decks and also have some new upcoming releases. With their return an interview was certainly in order so that we could get the scoop on what has been going on in their lives through the years and what we can expect from them in the here and now. Stuart Matheson agreed to speak with us to catch up on what they have been doing for the past 10 years and their upcoming plans for the group.
We caught up with Stuart Matheson of Binary Finary for a Q & A on the group’s behalf. Stuart offers insight into what their live performances entail, the development of their recent re-release and remix pack for their chart topping hit 1998 as well as other topics.
Can you tell us what your live act entails?
Well there are 3 members currently. There is Matt Laws and myself who are in the studio writing material for release and for the live set. Sasha joins up as a DJ / Live Performer for Binary Finary LIVE, which is what we go out live under.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the studio to remix some classic tracks, as well as the creation of new material. Its been fun, hard work, frustrating and exhilarating all in one go!
Can you describe what equipment you use while performing live on stage?
We use 2 MacBook pros, networked up with 2 JazzMutant Lemurs and a keyboard, all plugged into a traditional dj mixer. Clips are triggered live from the Lemur’s as well as the control of filters and effects.
What does your studio equipment for production consist of?
Well over the years it has trimmed down a bit from a hardware perspective; however I’m adding in a few things as we go along. Recently re-purchased a JP8000, and it’s been lovely getting back to know this old friend.
Primarily using software, because you can write on the go without the need to drag round tons of equipment. A Yamaha CS6x and W7 are also used from time to time, along with the trusty JP!
How do you decide whether you wish to perform live at a certain venue or a DJ set?
Usually this is determined for us; it would be nice to think we had a choice in this! hehe
Which style of performing do you anticipate doing more frequently, and why?
Well currently we are focusing on the Live side of things. I’m more of a producer than a DJ so it suits me better. However that’s where Sasha comes in, as he is primarily a DJ, so we have all basses for live covered.
Where does Sasha Vatoff fit in?
I joined up with Sasha to take the Binary Finary Live project out. Sasha joined in with the live angle as a DJ and Live Performer.
To be honest with you, he was bugging the crap out of me to do a live performance, so after pestering me I told him if he wanted to come along and help out live, then I’d be ok with it. 10 minutes later he had organized a gig!
What inspired you to re-release 1998 along with several remixes?
I hear a lot of people saying that this song has been remixed to death, and although part of me/us agrees, this was the first remix package we actually had anything to do with.
Record companies have been churning out the remixes without us even knowing, so this is really our first re-release. Some 12 years later. It was also a chance to do our own remix, something we haven’t been offered previously, and indeed worked out well as we play this out live.
Did you personally select which remixes would be released or was the decision up to Armada?
Armada were great with this, they spoke to us and got feedback from us about every remix. At the end of the day though we were happy to follow their lead, as they know their business a lot better than we do!
Are you working on any new original productions, and can you tell us a bit more about them?
Yes, always working on new productions. Part of the Live set involved the creation of new tracks. We are planning on an album release at some point, and just working on getting a single or two out before then.
We’ve also been writing some chill out music, which might see the light of day at some point.
We’ve done a track with Melbourne’s Trent McDermott, called ‘Freedom Seekers’. This should be out this year, just working out some details on that now.
When do you anticipate your next release?
I think I may of answered this above! . Soon… Promise!
What activities have you both engaged in since the group took a break in 2000?
Well Matt has become husband to Pip, and a father to Archie, and has since moved from England to Ireland. He is enjoying fatherhood, and is gaining a reputation in Ireland for offering good solid advice to young writers and musicians.
I’ve moved myself to Australia lock stock after meeting my now wife whilst travelling to Australia in 2004.
We’ve both constantly been writing music, it’s not something we can get away from even if we tried. It’s part of our DNA.
What inspired you to get back in the scene and what was your approach for doing so?
Being honest again, when the option for Sensation come about, I thought, well it’s worth a go for a bit of fun. After the reaction we go, I was blown away, so decided it was time to put a bit more focus into making those types of events happen a bit more frequently.
It’s all for fun and enjoyment, sure we take our music seriously, but this is just for the buzz of throwing some creative’s out loud, and watching the feedback!
What are some of your plans to commemorate your return; is there a tour in the works?
We’ve signed on with Fresh DJ Agency, so its fairly early days for us there. There are some ties being made to gigs in Europe and Asia, so we’ll have to wait and see.
From the outside looking in, what are some of the notable changes that you have witness in the music business and in the Electronic Music scene since 2000 up till now?
I think the music industry in general has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. It isn’t really even recognizable from what it was. Obviously the rise in software and the Internet have changed the ball game considerably. I still don’t believe the music industry has really caught up with the Internets emergence, and is still fire fighting to see where it fits.
How have your styles changed over the years?
That’s a great question, one I am not sure of. Ha. We really just write music we like, and like to hear played out. It’s not pre-determined, so if you start off wanting to make a trance monster, but it ends up as chill out electronica, then so be it.
Are you currently signed to a label or are you releasing tracks on various labels at the moment?
We aren’t signed on to a label, we are looking to release tracks as they come on various labels and also some releases ourselves. We were one of the first groups in the UK to release an album digitally on our own, so we are more than happy to go that route on a few releases.
Do you believe that you can bring back some of the old skool magic back to Trance music?
You know good music, is good music. It doesn’t matter when it was written or who wrote it,if people enjoy it, then that’s the main thing. If we can inspire anyone in anyway to start writing music, or just to go out and have fun, then we’ll sit back quite contented.
Do you feel that 1998 will always be your biggest hit or do you aspire to break your own record?
1998 was released in a very different time than we are in now. I wouldn’t put the pressure on anyone to break any records; it’s just about having some fun with everything.
Since 2000 so many different sub-genres of trance have emerged. If you had to classify the current sound of Binary Finary, which sub-genre of Trance would you choose?
I think that’s a difficult question, because we aren’t writing for a particular style. I’m not sure I totally follow the idea of being put into a specific pigeonhole of style/genre. I know that makes sense for the listeners out there, dependent upon their tastes, but I would just say ‘Trance’.
Can you share any other information about upcoming projects?
As mentioned we have a chill out project we are working on, along with an artist album. We are also looking at doing a compilation containing remixed tracks. All in all, that keeps us very, very busy.
Do you have any additional comments for your fans?
Yes, thank you to all who have come along to our shows and given us great feedback via email and on the web. We wouldn’t be doing what we are now if it wasn’t for you all.
Also would like to thank everyone for supporting the 1998 re-release. It’s been great to be a part of this track again.
So a big heart felt thanks to everyone who has supported us, and we hope to bring your beautiful ears some great live music and releases shortly.
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.