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Image via Sander Voets


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Michael McKinney understands the cultural importance of Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci.”


For as long as it’s been around, electronic music has promised universes. If you listen to the genre’s true believers, kick drums offer a fast-track to the stars, carefully selected synthesizers link back to umpteen histories, and elation lies somewhere on a crowded dancefloor. There’s some truth to that, but it’s never quite that simple. Sometimes, the greatest memories from a night out aren’t when everything goes exactly as planned: It’s when a producer mixes up a cue and sends a track in an unusual direction, or when an instrumentalist takes an extra thirty-two bars for their solo, or when a stray elbow adds a bit of unplanned scratching to an otherwise beat-matched set. If electronic-music production is analogous to world-building, then it would follow that you need a bit of entropy.

Anthony Child and Jochem Paap, a.k.a. Surgeon and Speedy J, know this as well as anyone. As Surgeon, Child is responsible for a remarkable body of work, a collection of machine-funk techno that is equal parts driving, head-spinning, and playful; under his own name, he has stretched into the worlds of free improvisation, bleary-eyed ambience, and liturgical drones. Paap shares Child’s interest in tough-as-nails techno, whether that’s warehouse-rave slammers or acidic and heady material, and he has gone into similarly uncharted territories: As the head of STOOR, he has overseen a staggering amount of freely-improvised live-hardware sort-of-techno, encouraging all sorts of artists to push their instruments into ever stranger territories. Both Child’s and Paap’s work are defined by a constant search: For unexplored spaces, for novel tones, for friction between their hands and their machinery.

After years of collaborations, improvisations, and live performances as Multiples, Child and Paap are releasing their debut album. In a way, it’s not dissimilar from their live performances—The stuff their collaboration is built upon. With Two Hours or Something, they distill two days of hardware improvisations down to two hours of recordings: No-bit techno-et-cetera steamrollers, bad-dream ambient music, deep-space hardware workouts. It is searching, delirious, and a bit brain-bending; it is a continuation of the exploratory ethos that has Child and Paap for decades. This record is the sound of two live-electronics veterans locked in a free fall, putting complete trust in their gear and intuition.

In advance of the record’s release, we spoke with Child and Paap. We dug into their relationships to chaos, trust, and musique concrète; playing against expectation; embracing tension; the black-box magic of free improvisation; and plenty more.

​​(This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.)



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