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Arling and Cameron Interview from the Archives

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Howdy ladies and gents! Been some time since I’ve graced the pages of Usounds, huh? Usually, when I take extended breaks, I can gauge the right moment to return based on two factors. 1) my fan mail trickles to a slow drip, 1 or 2 pieces a day, with no photographs and 2) my water cooler runs out of beer to fill it with.

This time, however, music motivated my return. My reggae library had simply become overplayed, as it often does when I spend more than a month or two camping on an Australian beach.

As you know, I don’t normally go so much for the dance music — but my interest in Arling and Cameron was piqued by Gary’s Review, which I found reprinted in some Australian rag and taped to the door of a bathroom stall in some dive in Melbourne. I never would have seen it but I vomited extensively that night after a 12 round bottle bout with a some Victoria Bitter, 4 terrible bean burritos, and a gecko I swallowed on a dare. I had hoped the thing might sober me up. Some drunk with a cowboy hat and lizard skin boots told me that geckos absorb beer. Sometimes you try anything. And other times you swallow reptiles just to cause a scene, inside and out.

Arling and Cameron are an inventive pair of Dutch DJs. I listened to “All In,” their first one nonstop for a week. It’s a good album to add to your collection — you need a dance album, if not for any other reason than the best reason of all:
chicks like to dance. Fans of my novella, Lady Lounge, know this already. It turns out the duo, armed with their latest release, “Music for Imaginary Films” is also pretty versatile.

It’s very different from “All In”, and the concept makes me envious: A soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist… setting aside the fact that I had had that very same idea in 1974 during my New York days (that I documented in Pistolseat Windowshade) I happily took on the assignment to interview Gerry and Richard, the men behind Arling and Cameron.

Ric: What real films have inspired the imaginary
films? What are the classic ones to you?

Gerry: just the love of cinema in general.
Perfect sound combined with perfect images. Classics: Harold and
Maude, Vertigo, Brasil, 2001, Bullit, Deliverance, Mean Streets,
etc… all older films because it takes a while to become a classic.

Richard: we didn’t really do research. we
just wanted to work within an idiom. Film music has to confirm
to certain rules (much like dance music in a way) and it’s nice
to work within a framework once in a while.
As you may know our ‘All-in’ style usually is quiet
the opposite of ‘working within rules’. Naming certain soundtracks
is tricky because a good soundtrack works especially in connection
with the film. I for example really like the soundtrack to ‘Crash’
(Cronenberg) because it worked so well in the film. I can’t imagine
to listen to it without the film though. I did use to listen to
the Bond soundtracks all the time on a walkman when I was still
commuting by plane between Amsterdam and London in ’86/’87. Also
Duke Ellington did very well. Of the new films I saw recently
I especially liked the soundtracks to ‘American Beauty’ and ‘Out
of Sight’ .

Ric: Why do children like to sing and dance?

Gerry: I didn’t sing and dance when I was
a child, I just started a couple off years ago.

Ric: Interesting. Do you think Hashi really enjoyed
his job? Is there more to the story?

Gerry: It’s just a song! Hashi doesn’t exist.

Ric: Oh.

Richard: ha, ha, Gerry is just joking; of
course Hashi exists. And to answer your question I refer you to
the liner notes. Hashi liked his job until it forced him to betray
his former owner. Of course he understands that being a police
dog sometimes means setting aside your personal opinions/emotions.

Ric: So Hashi probably does enjoy the ganja.
Fascinating. Anyway, What records are you listening to right now,
and which ones would you recommend to those who like Arling and
Cameron?

Richard: mainly modern stuff on 12″ ‘s and
our own demo’s (we just started our new album, it will be so great.)

Ric: Speaking of which, what can we expect
from the new one?

Gerry: A combination off every thing we did
before, combined with things we will be doing in the future.
Richard: exactly !

Ric: Well boys, it’s been fun, but I have an appointment with another duo of the female persuasion. I’m sure you understand…

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