The Unknown Stuntman Feat. Clemency Jones

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Since the early noughties The Unknown Stuntman has been occasionally surfacing to fire off the odd 7″, 12″ or CD release (see previous outings on Toothless Records & Disco Activisto amongst others), or launch a remix with or without the artist’s knowledge, often getting more airplay than he deserves. Support has come from Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, Lauren Laverne, Nemone, Andrew Collins and the late great John Peel.
Little is known about this reclusive artist. Scraping his Facebook page gives us this: He works alone. His methods are unknown. The only person to witness him in his Casa Stuntman Studio, one Captain Willard, reported that he “didn’t see any method…at all.” Previously described as “DJ Shadow having a meal with dEUS until the wine runs out. Then things take a turn for the worse…”

Artist: The Unknown Stuntman Feat. Clemency Jones
Track: I’m Leavin’ (Sea-Quenchin’ Blues)
Release: Various Artists: Compiled By Klis – ‘Sequential Music: An Alternative Approach For Experimental Minds’ ALBUM {mspiral006}


1. What attracted you to creating music using the Sequential Music method?

The idea of non-overlapping sounds creating a cohesive whole interested me from a chin-stroking technical perspective – but my worry was that the technique would be valued above the sound that technique was actually making – much like jazz. So I went in….

2. How did you make your track (approach, ideas, equipment used, mixing techniques)?

My first thought was that this Sequential concept was so rooted in machine-based music (literally using a sequencer to trigger machine sounds) that most if not all entries would be electronic music. So what could I do differently? I decided to splice live & machine instruments glaringly together – and also include vocals. I roped in my old collaborator Clemency Jones to record vocals on what I told him was a blues song – my original plan was to just keep the vocals but then I thought I could crowbar the slide guitar in as well. I sampled his growl, pitched it down and got me a kick drum – then out came the synths to create the machine parts. What you hear in the finished track is the sound of centuries colliding, and often not in a good way.

3. What challenges did you face?

The uncomfortable question was “Is it an enjoyable piece of music, or is it a showcase of a cerebral conceit?” I tried out the track on several friends and the results were remarkably split down the middle – the people who produced music themselves loved it, the people who enjoy listening to music for pleasure did not! So I’d have to conclude that the challenges I faced were nothing compared to the challenge of actually listening to the track.

4. How would you summarise your experience?

I enjoyed it, it was an intellectual exercise that was frustrating, hilarious and eventually quite fulfilling. I’m still surprised that the track’s gone down so well. With certain people anyway.

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