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Date September 2001
Type Interview
Source Crud Magazine
Title Felt Mountain
Country UK
Journalist/Photographer A Sargeant
Text Fresh off the back of their recent celebrated performance on ?Later With Jools Holland? and a sold out European tour, Goldfrapp are set to release a brand new version of ?Utopia? on 11th June. The new ?genetically enriched? version is backed with new remixes by the likes of Tom Middleton, Jori Hilkonnen and Tim Wright currently on a roll with his ?Play To Win? single and recent remixes for Junior, Hooj Choons and All Saints delivers two mixes.

Goldfrapp are, if you don't know already, not new to alternative music. Alison sung on Tricky's debut album as well as touring and working with Orbital in the nineties. Will did the score for the ultra realistic 'hooligan' movie ID. The conception of Felt Mountain was no less mythological. To make the album the duo decamped to an isolated base in the Wiltshire countryside and collaborated with the likes of Portishead's Adrian Ultey and PJ Harvey producer John Parish. The result is a stunningly modern album mixing the cinemascope ambition of John Barry with their native city's more contemporary beats.

"We recorded it in a bungalow in the middle of nowhere. It was really creepy, and the night was filled with the sound of screeching, shagging badgers," recalls Alison.

Not surprisingly, the record itself somehow conveys that self-same sense of isolation, enhanced , if not by the shagging badgers, then by the snow-themed artwork of a beautiful forest on the cover and what can only be described as a Wizard Of Oz-like Felt Mountain...

"That was the sort of fantasy idea of where we were. I did all the artwork, I borrowed and found photographs. I designed it so they got it cheap. I think the forest is in Germany. It's a great photo, it just works with the clear tray you can keep it as a long strip."

And how do Goldfrapp deal with the perfectionist label that's been somewhat fairly cast upon them: " We are very fast bored. Music must be really interesting for us. This applies naturally to the music, which we make for ourselves. It must be generous. Give the listener information, melody and harmony. It's about Interaction. Our album is rather short, but it contains exactly the pieces, which we wanted to really have on the disk. " But you have to question: how does or how can perfectionism translate to the live show? Not much room for lengthy deliberation or re-takes there. So what are we going to see at these live dates? " When we were in the studio we didn't think about live performances .. When live concerts became an issue, the question that arose first was 'how would we ever have this many musicians available? At the start we said: We need 20. Wheras in reality we at least 40. We settled on what we have: a violinist, a schlagzeuger, the key board and guitar. In addition there's Alison and myself. I play Synthesizer and Alison sings. It's not ideal but we wanted to remain as close to the sound of the original as we could. "

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