Q+A  :  RECOIL  :  1 + 2 / HYDROLOGY  


The results of the survey show that '1+2' and 'Hydrology' aren't really appreciated by your fans, but I love them. Do you think we'll ever hear anything as out and out experimental as these again or were you just going through a phase? ;)

It is not surprising that these would be the least favourite Recoil releases. In fact, I would be more concerned if they weren't. It's not that the popularity of a record is related to its quality - I don't believe that's true but, if you are creative in any way, then it is natural to believe that the latest piece of work is your best. If you feel you haven't progressed in some way, then that is the time to give up. Naive as they sound to me now, '1+2' and 'Hydrology' still say something about the idea behind Recoil and how the music is constructed. From that perspective, they are still interesting.

Who was the producer of '1+2' and 'Hydrology'? Was it Alan or Alan with Daniel Miller?

Just Alan.

Is '1+2' formed exclusively from Depeche Mode samples and am I a sad trainspotter for trying to identify them all?

No, not all of them. Yes, you are extremely sad ;-)

I read that '1+2' was recorded on a 4-track portastudio but what instruments/samplers did you use?

Emulator, Roland JP8, PPG.

One year before you released 'Hydrology' in 1987, a German politician named Barschel was found dead in the bathtub of a hotel room. Any connection between the album's front cover photography and the so-called 'Barschel Affäre'? (my mother was very disgusted and angry with you then). Shall I translate 'Luscious Apparatus' for her, just to maintain her high opinion of Recoil?

Tell your mother that I'm actually very nice and the artwork has nothing to do with the 'Barschel Affäre'- I've never heard of it.

During the track 'Grain' I think, there are some French spoken words. Can you tell me a little bit about that please?

During the second track, 'Stone', there is a sample of a French train station announcer. I can't remember where it came from.

I have '1+2' on vinyl which shows the playing speed to be 33rpm. When 'Hydrology' was released I found that the inclusion of '1+2' was recorded at 45rpm. Am I correct in assuming that those pieces are meant to be listened to at 45rpm? Having listened to the e.p. many times before the release of 'Hydrology', I became accustomed to hearing it at 33rpm (it's really dark this way), and I enjoy it at least as much at 33rpm as I do at 45rpm. What say you?

I say....er, dunno - I can't remember. Play it at whatever speed works for you, I reckon.

Is it possible for me to order 'Hydrology' from Sweden?

If you check out Connections - mail order or the Mute site, you'll find all the details about ordering Recoil and the entire Mute catalogue.

On '1 + 2', what old DM samples did you use?

Since I haven't listened to it for years, I can't really remember although I'm sure it's not that difficult to work out.

Why did you decide to use a Polish motif on one of 'Hydrology' tracks, 'The sermon'? What radio broadcast did you capture this fragment from and do you know what the voice is saying?

It was the first thing that came on when I was fiddling with the radio dial. I had no idea what it meant, I just liked the sound of the language, along with other Eastern European languages which sound like music to my ears.

I heard a track called 'Postulae'. I was told it was a Recoil track left off the 'Hydrology' album. Can you shed some light on this for me?

I'm afraid not, it's all news to me.

The label's on the 'Hydrology' vinyl don't indicate rpm's - an oversight or an incitement?

Oversight probably.

Concerning '1+2', you described it as 'doodling'' but you still released it when suggested by Dan Miller whereas you seem less keen nowadays to share your later, unfinished work with your audience. Were you happy with 1+2 and would you release it today or perhaps change it?

Not entirely, but I didn't have the time to do anything about it. We felt it was good to get anything out there and perhaps I didn't feel that precious about it because it was only a side project at the time.

What do the sleeve photos of 'Hydrology plus 1+2' (especially a dead man )mean?

The artwork was conceived by Martyn Atkins and the choice of images was down to his interpretation of the music. I thought they fitted well.

Any chance that '1+2' and 'Hydrology' will become easier to find on CD?

Not with my current distribution record.... ;-) Sadly, It's hard enough to find a Recoil record in the shops during the week of its release, let alone 10 years later.

What happened with the numbering on the inside of each Recoil album? For example, '1 + 2' has 1+2 on the sleeve, 'Hydrology' has 3+4 and 'Bloodline' has '5+6'. What was the significance of this?

It was just a link between all the Recoil releases while I was in DM. After I left the group, Recoil felt like a new project and coupled with the fact that Martyn Atkins wasn't involved with the artwork for this release, I decided it wasn't relevant to carry on the idea for 'Unsound Methods'.

Do you have any idea how in demand your first two releases are - I have them both on vinyl and the prices offered to me have been outrageous, over $100 a piece for them!!!)

No, I had no idea and if it's really true then I'm very surprised. The fact that they're rare is not a deliberate policy I assure you ;-)


Q+A  :  RECOIL  :  1 + 2 / HYDROLOGY