Sonicanimation: Doors Of Deception.

4 February 2002 | 1:00 am | Matt Thrower
Originally Appeared In

State Of The 'Mation

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Reality By Deception is in stores now.

"We expect to wear the crowd out. We're going to go hard."

Adrian Cartwright, one half of sonicanimation, clearly has big intentions for the group’s average live audience! This immensely successful Oz dance act certainly have the right material with which to "go hard", not least in the form of singles E-Ville, a big, loud electronic groove bruiser, rocked up with the manic vocals of Shihad's Jon Toogood, and the ultra-sarcastic pounder I’m A DJ.

Adrian explains that the genesis for the Toogood collaboration took place in, of all places, far north Queensland.

"We met all the guys from Shihad on the Wicked Tour when we were up around Cairns and Townsville," recalls Adrian. "We got along with them really well, and we had an idea for a song that we'd had for a long time and it needed someone to belt out a pretty angry vocal. We thought this song would be perfect (for Jon)."

The two singles are part of the fine new sonicanimation album, Reality By Deception.

“It's very similar to the last album, in that the last album was all over the place and eclectic. We've gone down that road again, but this time I think it has more of our own sound,” says Adrian. “I think we've progressed. It goes from quite angry tracks like E-Ville to really nice floaty poppy stuff as well as the really hardcore dance stuff we've always done."

Dance puritans sonicanimation ain't. On the contrary, Adrian prides himself on the rock crowd that come to sonicanimation shows.

"The guys from NoFX have come to watch us quite a bit whenever they're over here and guys like Pennywise," says Adrian. "We've had people in the audience that are into heavy metal or punk or whatever and they come up and say "I really fuckin' hate dance music but that was really good" and that's excellent, that's what we've been trying to achieve the whole time."

Why do you think sonicanimation's music has such a crossover appeal?

"In a lot of ways, it has to do with our backgrounds," Adrian explains. "We came from rock and pop backgrounds and used to play in bands. We always tried to get that blend over and we've always wanted to be able to get people to come over from those different areas and get into dance music. Because the dance music you hear on radio and TV is not a true representation what's truly out there and people don't realise that."

Visual representation is an important element of Sonic Animation's art, right down to the live show.

"We basically try to treat ourselves like a live band rather than as electronic musicians," says Adrian. "We've got electronic drums on stage and Rupert does vocals, so the show is like a cross between a live band and an electronic act, I suppose. We've also got the characters who come out and interact with the crowd. We get people emailing us requesting to put the character suits on and get involved! We've got a bit of a waiting list!"

One of this writer's earliest sonicanimation memories is their collaboration with Underground Lover's Vincent Giarrusso and Glenn Bennie for GBVG's Whitey Trickster long player.

"That was one of the most enjoyable projects I've ever worked on," Adrian enthuses. "Those two guys Glenn and Vincent would come over and put a few guitar loops into our sampler and then they'd go away and work on the vocals and the melody and we'd be working on the rest. They'd come back, we'd have the track finished and Vincent would sing on top of it. We did it all at home for about $57 if I remember correctly."

And to this day, the home recording approach remains part of the duo's work ethic.

"I actually dream tracks a lot of the time," says Adrian. "So I'll wake up at four in the morning, go into my studio, turn it on and put it down. If I had to drive somewhere, by the time I arrived, I'd have forgotten what was going on."