An interview at FACT with Dego McFarlane of 4 Hero legend and broken beat not-so-legend
(He said cattily)
But seriously it always amazes me how little legends like Dego rate the stuff on which their legend is based.
Asked about the classic-era Reinforced and 4 Hero stuff - which FACT interviewer Mr. Beatnick says "still feels futuristic and totally ahead to me. Maybe more now than ever", a right-on opinion as far as I'm concerned - Dego says this:
"To me when I hear those records, I hear the excitement of youth. I hear the non-boundary, don’t-give-a-fuck attitude going on....."
Yes, yes, I'm with you, I'm with you - pray continue Dego!
"Some of the tracks are well crafted, yes. But for the most part, those records are cringey to me – I cringe. I hear all the mistakes. I hear mistakes all over the place...."
No, no, no... I beg to differ, Dego, I must beg to differ...
".... There’s a couple where I feel like, “Oh, I was on it there!” But it’s mostly mistakes to me. That was the problem, I didn’t go to music school...."
But that's why you were able to do what you were able to do, man!
"You’re hearing us learn stuff right there, open book we are. You can hear our progression...."
Exactly, you were going somewhere... you hadn't got there yet....
Dego does point to his remixes of Tek 9's "The Attack" on Breakin' Sound Barriers: Remixes EP from 1993 as among the few things that still stand up for him:
"I did two versions of it, parts one and two, and I think that was the best, most futuristic or whatever. Everything seems in tune."
Niiiiice, yes - but better than "Journey From the Light" or the Golden Age E.P. or "Wrinkles In Time" and "Terraforming" off Parallel Universe ????!!!
No coincidence surely that the "Attack" RMX is among the most looking "ahead" to broken beat of all the classic-era 4 Hero stuff....
Musicians - in truth, the last people you should listen to for an opinion on the merits and demerits of their own work!
The interview also mentions some recent output under the name Cousin Cockroach that used "a diskette of old sounds from the 90s" and "parts from the old Tek 9 and Tom & Jerry stuff".
Titled, amusingly, "This Ain't Tom & Jerry"
Niiiiice enough (does go on a bit though)
But I wish It Bleedin' Was Tom & Jerry, to be honest.
It should be noted that Dego has a new solo album out, entitled The More Things Stay the Same to be released on 2000 Black on May 26.
About the title Dego says:
"I’m at that age where I’ve seen it all – things I bought at the time, people don’t want to hear that, and then later on, well, everyone likes this again now do they? It’s the same with fashion, its the same with everything, everything goes in cycles. There’s nothing really new. There’s only the nuances of the day that it is. Like when people say things like, “This person invented drum ‘n’ bass”, or whatever – that’s nonsense, jazz musicians did that years ago! Hit that groove. And something probably made them do that. Nothing really is actually new."
This is a view of things I do not concur with.
Interesting fact - Dego has been living in New York for a few years now.
But he also says "In terms of New York, I feel like since the glory days of hip-hop, Masters At Work and things like that, New York ain’t really come with a sound of its own. It’s all about LA now. They seem to have that creative buzz, creative circle going on."
I have a sneaking feeling (a sinking feeling, also) that he's talking more about Flying Lotus than DJ Mustard, though - don't you?