Saturday, July 24, 2010

INTERVIEW: not half article at

D-TRASH Records INTERVIEW! NOT HALF featured in article:

Colourful noise - Al Conroy, aka not half, will unleash ‘improvised synthedelic madness’ at the Graffiti Gallery on July 24.

“Whenever I have a show I’m usually preparing for it in advance, so I’m multitasking right now,” says local avant and electronic music/noise pioneer Al Conroy, aka not half, as he swizzles a metal spoon — ka-klink, ka-klink — inside a colourful metal can.

A diverse range of Korg synthesizers and elektro components sizzle in the background of his studio. Minutes before, at Conroy’s bidding, the units were creating a wall of white noise. Drum machines act as noise generators, cardboard boxes as percussion.

Right now the tin can is the focus — ka-klink. “It’s time to feed the cats.”

In May, Conroy fed his electronic music, including colourful selections from Radioactive Monster Cats from Planet XLG-5, his noise series, and other tracks, to a diverse roster of fans in Toronto for the very first time. He says he gigged with “local and out-of-town performers,” such as Phallus Uber Alles “at the Hard Luck Bar on Dundas Street West.”

His independent radio chart-topping music has been described by webheads as breakcore or future jazz, but Conroy’s gifted, humorous vision is farther reaching — not to mention more colourful and more varied.

“I’m always doing stuff,” Conroy says about his future projects. “I’m going to go back to tape loops. I’ve got two reel-to-reels lined up, and I’m going to try to string tape between them, and try my hand at Frippertronics — because it’s all been done before, and I might as well do it.”

The latest joyful not half release is a full-length called C-Division on D-Trash Records, a Canadian-based online label/community.

“There’s a single-disc version of C-Division available for free download from, and there’s a two-disc version available on DIMETRODON. You can get that directly from me at gigs, and copies will be available at Into the Music,” Conroy says.

D-Trash also put on the aforementioned Toronto gig. It was his Ontario debut so Conroy says the gig was pretty crazy. “I played stuff from my albums, from my laptop,” he says while jostling some equipment. “My (upcoming) show at the Graffiti Gallery won’t be as harsh and noisy. I’ll be playing an improvised set.”

Conroy says he’ll be primarily utilizing Korg equipment at his next gig. “Everything’s Korg actually, except the mixer, and a little keyboard. I’m using the Electribe ES1 sampler and the Electribe ER1 which is a drum machine, but I’m using it as a synth and affects unit.

“It’ll be improvised synthedelic madness — improvised synthedelia,” he laughs.

Experience a head full of experimental audio colour at the very diverse not half gigs with Layer Field Series featuring Greg Hanec (Suture), Thor Aitkenhead and Garth Hardy at the Graffiti Gallery on July 24.

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