Conquering Animal Sound: Anneke Kampman
Conquering Animal Sound are a Glasgow-based, musical duo known as Anneke Kampman and James Scott who create what can only be described as sparkling ambience, deep bass and beautiful vocals.
How long have you been creating music and who would you sight as your influences,both when you started out and now?
I’m been singing and bashing around with music since i was a small. I studied pop music at university for four years; which helped me to gain more confidence with composing my own music and working with technology in the studio. I have always been influenced by a broad range of electronic music, hip-hop, freakier stuff too; Daphne Oram, Erykah Badu, Ellen Allien, Ursula Rucker, Tekitha, Kate Bush… Back when I was about 15, I used to sing over my friends tracks (whom were kid producers) and I think those experiences, recording beats from the kitchen, getting to grips with the recording process, all for fun you know? gave me the drive to think seriously about making electronic music. I think its sad that teenage girls now are really preoccupied with other things, you don’t really find groups of girls making their own beats and rapping over them? or playing guitars in their garage like you do with boys? I think its quite a significant social problem, it seems like girls are told what their supposed to be doing and its not that, and as such always seem to be one step behind their male counterparts in terms of feeling confident about expressing their music.
A lot of female performers today seem pressured to conform to society’s views of beauty, often seeming primarily concerned with this, rather than their music. Is this something you feel you can relate to?
I think that kind of really one dimensional pop music passes me by most of the time: I don’t have a TV, I don’t listen to prime-time radio 1, I don’t really come into contact with it. I think that stuff is really cynical, its just like drinks adverts. That way of selling music is going to exist as long as there is something to exploit and make money from (and people fall into the trap). I think there are quite a few female pop artists whom do genuinely seem to be making pop music because its what they want to do, wearing meat… (and the image stuff is just an extension of the picture) and I’m ok with that. I will admit I’m a pretty big Robyn fan.
I just got back from Berlin and all I can think about is moving there! I know that yourecently toured Europe, were there any cities that particularly appealed to you?
Berlin has always been a favoured holiday destination of mine; the music, the culture, the city, its so energetic. I’m also a massive fan of Belgium; Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp are all fantastic cities. I think Belgium has had a bad rep for not being particularly diverse or ‘interesting’ a place in recent years, but I’ve found the complete opposite. We’ve played there quite a few times and I would really rate them as some of my most pleasant gig experiences, Botanique in Brussels is just amazing!
Many British musicians and artists seem to gravitate towards London when they become successful. Do you feel that living in Glasgow has in any way benefited or deprived Conquering Animal Sound of artistic opportunity?
Scotland is a small country and as such there aren’t many labels or industry people living up here. The successful labels there are up here have certainly had to work harder to make that the case than if they’d lived in London I reckon. Although that said there isn’t so much competition us here so its really a toss up… Most of the industry works out of London, and i can for sure understand why people feel the pressure to move there, like they can only make it work if their living right in the heart of things. I have certainly never felt a draw to that city, infact the opposite. There are plenty of other European cities which I feel a much greater pull towards and that have may offer similar opportunities, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam? Also, I think these days, making it work is not dependent on your location, you can always travel for meetings or to play out? Musicians are used to sharing stuff over the internet so it doesn’t really seem to matter that much anymore. I grew up in the woods singing along to my tape recorder, I wouldn’t know how to function in a city like london!
What’s your karaoke song?
Unfortunately, being a singer makes karaoke just something i’m not willing to participate in. It just doesn’t work. What a kill joy. Can you do karaoke on a xylophone? I’d do that. Jamie on the other hand…
What are your views on the articles published last week, regarding our government’s desire for British cinema to become more ‘mainstream’?
I think that promoting independent British cinema is no doubt a really positive thing; but by saying that in order to do that you need to make your films appeal to a broader audience strays pretty far from the point. I really feel that artists of any kind, musicians, film directors, must make what is in them; explore what they feel, be it sell-able or not.
How do you spend your time when you aren’t writing and recording music?
I help run electronic music workshops with young people in the Govanhill area of Glasgow. I work with a beat-boxer and producer and we get kids involved in all kinds of weird ways of making their own sounds and songs. I also work as a Support Worker a day or two a week, working with adults with mental health problems which is a really rewarding way to spend some time. I miss my clients when I don’t them, they’re all very interesting people.
As a fellow Glaswegian, do you have any tips for things to do or see in the city? Particularly restaurants or club nights – or both so I can dance off all the food I’ll be eating at your recommendation.
Tracer Trails events: experimental music concerts in Edinburgh and Glasgow organised by Emily Roff are always superb. I seem to attend a lot of bizarre improvisatory gigs at the moment, I like going to watch stuff that I might not necessarily take seriously. Being a musician sometimes means that you can end up over-empahasising the importance of music and yourself, its good to go and watch someone shout into a microphone at a bucket to remind you of the ridiculousness of performance based art. The Old Hairdressers (opposite Stereo) have been putting on some fairly weird stuff in the past few weeks, and is a great space for drinking too. Highlife at the subclub with Brian D’Souza for dancing…
If you could collaborate with any one individual to produce a track (dead or alive) who would it be?
Hm, difficult. I think I would have to say…either Karin Drejer Anderson, or MargaretDygas?
Finally, do you have any additional comments you’d like to make? I know Nicki Minaj often advises her fans to “stay in school” round about now…
Girls… make techno!
Click here to purchase their latest album: Kammerspiel £5
Text: Deas McMorrow
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