Interview: Deep Space Orchestra
We're big fans of Deep Space Orchestra here at PFTP - we had great fun when they played at our fundraising party for Médecins Sans Frontières at The Night Kitchen in Sheffield back in 2015 - so when Charlie Fleig, head honcho at the always excellent Manchester party Doodle, got in touch to see if we wanted to host an interview between him and the DSO guys we didn't need too long to think about it.
Read Charlie's chat with Chris Barker and Si Murray below, and catch Deep Space Orchestra at Eastern Bloc Records on Friday 13th October - free entry all night.
So, where did it all start, where did you meet?
Si: I saw Chris across a strobe-lit room at some point in 2005 and thought, "wow, he looks like almost as much of a whopper as me", and the rest is history.
Has your sound and approach to making music changed since the early days?
Chris: I think like most people who make music we've always been gradually refining the tools and processes, in some ways subconsciously, in others a bit more actively. We've always been guilty of pouring way too much shit into each track and over-complicating things a bit, so that's something we've been especially mindful of over the last few years, with varying degrees of success. We're still not great at it to be honest.
We bumped into each other at Garden Festival back in 2013 and I’ve seen DSO on an ex-girlfriend’s Zoo Project Ibiza T-shirt, so you’ve been around the festival circuit over the years - what’s your best festival memory?
Si: Playing during an unusually accurately-forecasted thunderstorm at that edition of Garden Festival that you mentioned, Charlie, was quite the experience!
Chris: Yeah, that was ace, especially as there were so many friendly faces there. We also played at a really odd festival in the Slovakian countryside once, which was very memorable for very different reasons. Peter Hook was also on, weirdly enough.
You've had some releases on some of our favourite labels, production-wise, what's the release you're most proud of?
Si: Probably our EP on ART, Kirk Degiorgio's amazing label. It was one of the first full releases that we signed outside of our own Use of Weapons label. It felt like a real boost to be noticed by such a well-regarded label.
Chris: definitely the ART EP as Si says, plus the first Quintessentials EP we did, Bucktown Fever, is probably one of our best.
What's your favourite club to play in?
Si: Probably Pratersauna in Vienna. I would say playing the Praterei night there back in 2011 still stands as my favourite DJ gig. Salon Zur Wilden Renate in Berlin was also a lot of fun.
Chris: Pratersauna was a definite highlight for us, also playing for the City Bass guys in Cardiff - that night was ridiculous. People were demanding rewinds and everything. More recently, I've been really enjoying playing in 24 Kitchen Street, not far from where I live in Liverpool - it's an ace venue and there's always a nice vibe in there.
We’ve heard that you’re moving on to other projects - what exactly will that entail? Does that mean you’ll not be working together? What’s next?
Si: Yeah, Deep Space Orchestra is hurtling at warp speed towards the great cryogenic freezer in the sky. The last few years have been a bit strange from a music point of view for both of us. Our debut LP Memory was released about two years ago after a mega-protracted two-to-three year process full of lots of personal drama, mostly on my side of things. Albums are strange beasts - some people churn an entire album out in a week or even less, others spend years (like us) poring over the tracks to go on there, the artwork, everything. We hadn't released anything prior to the album for about 18 months but naively thought people would just remember who we were and go out and buy this thing that we'd spent a stupid amount of our own money on. We ended up having a mare with our distributor, the record barely appeared in any of the shops that we needed it to be in and then the distro guy went AWOL and we weren't able to get the stock back for nearly 18 months. The whole thing has been a real lesson. I wouldn't say we're wet behind the ears in any way but this whole situation kind of forced us to re-evaluate everything about DSO and kind of drove the decision to end it and change everything.
Chris: Yeah, there were all kinds of difficulties with the album like Si says, but we also just wanted to do something different from a creative point of view. In some ways making the album was the first stage of that - it was mostly born out of a desire to change our methods and make everything feel less routine - so we'll probably be carrying on in the same way, but without feeling restricted by any particular project. We'll still be working together and also individually, myself as Haku and Si as Other Worlds, on top of whatever other bullshit pseudonyms we come up with.
Catch Deep Space Orchestra playing alongside Darryl Marsden and Doodle residents at Manchester's Eastern Bloc Records on Friday 13th October - free entry, details here.