A Dub of Love: Sideshow
A dub of love, and an album for love of dub. Ninja Tune's Fink turned Sideshow to praise Reggae/Dub gods. While doing this he is entering lots of districts and jenres, all greeting dub.

Fin Greenall aka Fink aka Sideshow is a long term friend of Aus Music owner Will Saul. In fact he is a full time Ninja Tune DJ, singer-songwriter. He has done such delicious albums under the moniker Fink. And his other alter ego Sideshow is here for a while, for realising his 'hommage to dub and reggae' phantasies. Sometimes they are sudden, sometimes created after weeks of hard working and all recorded mostly analogue and with the help of human side, literally speaking, having humanness on making little mistakes and sustaining the natural band atmosphere while recording in the studio. The only two electronic friends are Boss SE50fx and Quadrarevb GT.

Having a very pure, direct manner of telling, Sideshow covers Kraftwerk's "The Model" in a French dubby way. He is getting help from the biggest vocalists and artists like Paul St. Hilaire and Courtney Tidwell. He has done such a beauty for his Sideshow project. His first LP "Admit One" is just released after "If Alone" EP and here is the conversation we had about his lovely album and unbreakble bond with dub.

Could you please talk about how you met Will Saul and how did you get in touch with Aus and Simple Music?
Aaah! Yeah I met Will Saul back at the turn of the century. We were working in the same place, both DJ’ing out there. We started a little night together at Marketplace, a trendy little bar in Soho, and it kinda grew from there. We’ve always got on real well on a proper deep level, especially when it comes to music and sound and stuff like that... Happy days...

When you started producing electronic music, what were your inspirations at that time? Which or who are still a role model for you or a great men of respect?
At the time of when I first first first started my inspirations were The Orb, Orbital, Aphex, Moby, and the whole IDM thing in the early nineties. Those were halcyon days, where a tune could change the landscape. Later on I found dub, and the essence of dub inda really influenced my love of instrumental stuff... The simplicity, and the playing in the clubs, where simplicity really works well, is a wonder.

Could you also talk a little bit about how your Ninja Tune career, and your alter ego Fink evolved?
Signed out of college, made trip hop, DJ’d all over the world as a turntablist for Ninja Tunes, made an album, did some remixes, then turned into a singer songwriter….

Soul-Blues-Dub, we do not have to ask you to choose one, you already did, but I wanna ask about your sound. Other than dub, what has to be inside, always?
Intensity. It is the key to art.

Some of the album tracks are yours, some are covers. Where does your passion and love for dub and reggae come from exactly? And can we talk about the "Admit One" as  a tribute album?
It would be a stretch – but yeah- in some ways it is a tribute album to dub itself. I love dub and reggae vibrations, and to make an album under that concept was a hazy delight that we really enjoyed. The passion comes from the love of its naivety, it’s simplicity, it’s honesty. Rare qualities in art, because they never really intended to make any money. The good stuff is just so full of love. It pours out of the sound system.

Is Boss SE50fx or Quadrarevb GT all necessary on creating your sounds? Why?
Fx units are like cars or something. You really get to know them and what they like to do, what they’re good at. I bought my qt fx unit when I first started making music and it’s still going (just). I use it for all my delays, which I then “ride” live on the tracks. The Boss SE50, a classic piece of “rave” hardware I use for all my reverbs, even though it's old and cheap, it’s the best reverb I know. Much better that a thousand pound plug in any day. When my GT dies, it will be like losing an old friend.

There is always a term 'Dub' which is being used as the clean instrumental and 'something different' versions of the tracks. But it seems overall there is no change at all. Do you think this labeling had peeled the meaning of real dub? I think the new so called myspace generation is not aware of real dub and roots. What do you think?
Dub is old. People who love dub are generally a bit older. A dub is an instrumental version of a track, so the term is true. Reggae can't change. It is what it is. That’s a beautiful thing. From Bunny Lee to Tubby, to Perry, to Jammy, to The Mad Professor. The Dub Masters are only as good as the music they have to play with. I guess Dub, in this kinda sense, is all about the teamwork between the producer, the gange, and the music.

You worked with so many good musicians, how did you gathered them all together? How long did it take you to finish all tracks and conclude the LP?
This LP took ages! I don't know why, I guess it took a while to work out what exactly we were doing and going for. It started maybe more dancey. But yeah, the musicians were all knocking around. It was a pleasure to work with Paul St. Hilaire. His voice is a delight. So it wasn’t too hard to persuade them to spend a day or two getting high with us down in Brighton!

Do you have a personal favorite in the LP? Or a track with an interesting story behind to tell?
Right now my favorite track is "Admit One", not sure why, it changes everyday. I like the purism of it. Yesterday it was "If Alone".

You are assertive on making mistakes, improvise and recording live. Is it a pure and true way of doing real music? Even it is electronic?
Yep, pressing a button is only part of it. Mistakes are a human factor, and if music contains no human elements at all, to me, it’s boring. I think that’s why Villalobos is the king of minimal. In a sea of boring half written rubbish, at least his is real and played by real people. It just makes it easier to get along with.

What about other genres and styles of music do you like?
Pretty much all of them, apart from Pop…I can find pleasure in any music – as the human spirit is a beautiful thing – and shines through the music that it makes….

Other than being Fink or Sideshow, what other musical activities do you have?

Any new or forthcoming plans and collaborations?
Lots in the pipeline but nothing I can talk about at the moment. Some big stuff due for next year, hopefully some Sideshow DJ shows, maybe even a little live action.

What about an ordinary day of yours. How is it usually?
Get up late, have coffee and cigarettes, make my calls, do the email thing, meeting with Manager / label / whoever. If I don't have to go to London, or abroad, then I’ll chill. Put on some Horace Andy and hang out in the studio making stuff, or writing stuff, or rehearsing stuff, then, when it’s all done, I’ll chill with some friends, preferably in a nice pub.

Deep house and disco again being very popular, also vocals and human voice is in consideration for some time. What are your comments on these?
The song is back baby, the song is back!

I guess you are a vinyl purist too. What will you say on vinyl, resisting not to die?
I still buy old stuff on vinyl, for new stuff I’ll buy it online. It’s easier, better quality. I mean, yeah, I am a purist (that’s the Ninja Tune side of me I guess) but for the new stuff, vinyl is a bit of a pain and I already have an entire house of vinyl, seriously. I throw away at least a crate a month of stuff I don't like, or don't need, anymore.

What do you know about İstanbul and Turkey, would you like to play here?
As the headquarters for the Roman Empire, and the Latin empire, it was a capital of the Byzantium Empire. I guess it’s like histories equivalent of the Death Star!  erm…. I know it is the only city in the world to span two continents…..erm…..It's history and significance are unparelled….as it effectively replaced Rome, and then was essentially erased again when it was conquered….erm…I mean, how many cities have Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Art Nouveau architecture still standing? I’d love to go, yeah! All that, and I hear it's pretty massive!

Interview: Christopher Çolak
02 February 2009


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