Weird Continental Types Interview

Weird Continental Types are two of the greatest talents in underground dance music, Gaetan Schurrer and Barry Jamieson. Gaetan is an extraordinaire studio technician and keyboard player, probably having something to do with some of your favourite music at some point. Most recently he worked heavily on Sasha's "Involver" LP and before that he co-produced and worked with Andy Page, Rowan Blades (as Pariah), programmed all Sasha's remixes 1992-96, programmed the legendary "Northern Exposure" 1 and 2 compilations with Sasha and John Digweed, and then programmed DJ Rap's debut LP and BT's "Movement In Still Life" LP, as well as Global Underground Boxed CDs 006 (John Digweed - Australia) and 009 (Sasha - San Francisco). As a Mac expert and pro-audio specialist, he was called in to set up BT's studio in LA, and provide computer support for the likes of Quivver and Junkie XL, aswell as the ubiquitous Digweed and Sasha (who's new studio he also set-up in Florida). Gaetan has, quite simply, been firmly at the forefront of the technological development of dance music for many years, and has now teamed up with Barry Jamieson (of Evolution) to form Weird Continental Types.

Barry Jamieson's career has spanned more than 17yrs in the music industry. From music producer to, label owner, and more recently, Grammy nominated alongside Bill Hamel (Sunkissed Records). Recently he worked on the production of Sasha's "Involver" LP, and worked under different guises for the likes of Shaboom and Sumsonic. But, it's perhaps alongside Jon Sutton as Evolution, that he's best known.
Having played The Glade at Glastonbury in 2004, and numerous other venues since, including Bedrock and Saturday AllStars in London, they are set for great things in 2005

BeatFactor: Who are the Weird Continental Types? What kind of people are they?

nG: Barry Jamieson - mad scouser, and naughty G – smelly frog also know as Pepe LePews. They're the kind of weirdos that spend half their life experimenting with mind-expanding computer programs making alien sounds unheard of ever before, another good chunk of it performing the resulting sonic chaos to an unsuspecting public, and the rest in studios everywhere lending their services to Djs, artists and producers with an ear for avant-garde sound.

Bazz: A froggy and an scouser, mashing up what ever fitz. Totally insane with a real taste for all things that stink. (Especially Gaetan) lol

BF: Where this project has its roots from and how you two started working together?

Bazz: something we've wanted to do for a long time but never got around to it. As for its roots I'd say 18yrs of messing around brings out a melting pot of wacky ideas.

nG: I met Barry many years ago through Sasha, at the then Evolution studio in northern England. We meant to do something together for a long long time, and finally it happened in 2004 with a gig at the Glade at Glastonbury Festival. In just a couple of weekend sessions, we got on such a great vibe that we completed about five new tracks and re-hashed another few older ideas. We were then ready for our first live gig together, and loved every bit of it as much as the great crowd that came to see us.

BF: Gaetan, you are true sound engineer and technician; some of your work includes Sasha's "Involver", programming the legendary "Northern Exposure" 1 and 2 compilations, not to mention DJ Rap's debut LP and BT's "Movement In Still Life" LP! How does it feel working with dance music's most respected artists?

nG: I was very lucky to meet Sasha in his early days as a producer. In those days my speciality was programming and sound design, and with Tom Frederikse at the mixing desk, we made a great team, producing all of Sasha's remixes between 1992 and 1996. It was also through Sasha that I met John Digweed, BT, and many others. I always felt very privileged to be in a position to give my input to those I regarded as some of the best in their fields. I've always been about pushing sonic boundaries rather than exploiting 'tried & tested' methods, and working with these guys really allowed me to do so, in fact that's what they wanted me for! The best feeling though, has always been to watch or be in a huge crowd jumping up and down to the last mix just fresh out of the studio ;-)

Bazz: Being the first person ever to introduce Sasha in to the recording studio has always been a privilege. Working with anyone who is creative is a real buzz, but to work with friends who have gone on to great things is even better. And to know that you have been a part of that is a great honor.
The reason we are still around and still cutting it after all these years is we are always looking for the next move musically and technically. To be an innovator you have to be ahead of the rest of the pack.

BF: What technical innovation have you eviscerated lately till saturation?

nG: Ableton Live, and a lot of knobs, keys, buttons and sliders. I mean, I got Sasha to DJ with the thing, as well as making Involver with it.. nuff'said!

BF: Barry, tell us about your collaboration with Bill Hamel. What consequence did the Grammy nomination have on your career as a musician?

Bazz: For sure it has been a major personal achievement for Bill and I. And has also opened doors to my work here in America. But my work with John Sutton as part of Evolution has always been highly appreciated by fans and fellow musicians alike. So I think that has more value to me than anything I've ever done.

BF: Are you still working on the Evolution project?

Bazz: Sadly not for the past few years. I have been living and working in America for the past 2 years. When Fluid Recordings closed back in 2003 it was the end for both John and I on many personal levels.
We have recently worked together alongside Bill Hamel on a remix of one of our old Fluid classics. Andy Ling – Fixation. Which, both John Digweed and Sasha have been hammering. But it was good to see that we still go it. Yeh

BF: In June 2005, WCT will release a double 12'' EP on Bedrock Breaks. What can the listener expect from this new EP?

Bazz: 4 great funky, cheeky, groovy, bumpin' toons, that will move any pretty young thing and bounce any dance floor.

nG: a fresh outlook on dance music. Bringing back live performance to the club scene, with tunes that'll also rock your bedroom.

BF: What other production work do you have lined up for the future?

Bazz: We are planning a second release on Bedrock and then hopefully an album later in the year.

nG: Expect more weird and twisted tunes – just when you think you've sussed what box to put us in we'll throw the rulebook away!

BF: When you're on stage, what does your set consist from?

nG: Ableton Live on two laptops and a bunch of controllers, for now. Trying to keep Bazz standing.

Bazz: Gaëtan going nutz and me trying to not fall

BF: How do you perceive the current dance scene now comparatively with the past years?

Bazz: I Think the past 2 years have started some great new wave 80's kind of punk stuff, which has for sure breathed a long awaited breath of fresh air in to the dance scene.
Even though dance labels have had it hard over the past few years, they continue to fight and put out great product, which is what it is all about.
None of us started out in this business to make loads of money. We did it to put out our music and have fun. But there is a time when you need to focus on your work and see the value of what you do. But sadly this is lacking these days.

nG: Constantly evolving. While some think it's gone boring, others are just discovering. I feel there's a great broadening of dance music happening, with many styles merging and incorporating unusual elements. As long as people keep enjoying themselves on the dance floor, we'll make sure anyone near the speakers gets a fresh hairstyle courtesy of WCT.

Features Archive


Weird Continental Types Interview

May 12, 2005 at 12:17 AM CEST


Andrei Rusu

Comments on this article: