Current Value has long been at the forefront of groundbreaking electronic music with over 20 years in the industry and support from Noisia, Aphex Twin, and even Björk – now, the big news is that the esteemed producer has pioneered a new way to experience his music, creating a unique audio visual experience that is currently on tour around Europe (making a colossal stop at the biggest bass music event in the world, Rampage 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium) aptly named CVAV.
We were lucky enough to sit down and talk to the man behind the magic about all things CVAV: the technology, the vision, the inspiration, and more!
It’s an absolute honor to have you with us today – what’s new in the life of one of electronic music’s most prolific visionaries?
Hi, excellent! My pleasure! Well I’ve finished my next album which is going to be announced very soon. CVAV had its first run in Austria recently and went great, and now we have the announcements that we’ll be taking the show to RAMPAGE and LIR WINTER SLOVAKIA with more major Winter dates TBA.
Exciting times 🙂 !
Obviously the exciting news is the launch of CVAV – can you briefly introduce the project for those who aren’t yet familiar?
CVAV is a new artistic collaborative entity that combines my production and the visual creations of Greenaway and Greenaway, as well as involvement from MethLab to start to create a part of a view of the world that I’ve always imagined and express through my music. A high-tech aesthetic that brings my vision to life in combination with the advanced approach of the Greenaway brothers. It is not a one-off tour, but a project that will continue to evolve and for which we are already in the process of developing new material, so that each experience of the performance will be different over time. In terms of the musical content, the initial shows cover mostly my forthcoming material, including many tracks from my upcoming LP; but from this point we are developing new content that will be only be experienced live at CVAV gigs and may never be released. In terms of the performance set up, it’s an integrated setup that allows me to manipulate the visuals live in sync with my manipulation of the music.
It’s safe to say there’s nothing quite like this happening in the drum & bass scene right now – can you walk us through your inspirations and what drove you to create CVAV?
The idea to combine my music with visuals and build this world has been a long running one, but sometimes it takes time to get all of the pieces in place to be able to realize a project of this scale. In terms of doing something new, it’s true that there aren’t many shows in Drum and Bass of this nature. Noisia certainly delivered something fresh with their Outer Edges AV show and tour, but the beauty of this artform is the limitless possibilities, in audio and visual creativity individually, and even more so when combined. I believe that what we’ve developed with CVAV brings a unique vision with a very high level of production that I think people won’t quickly forget.
What sort of new technology has been involved in the project? Have you been much involved in the hardware side of things in making this happen? Maybe tell us a little bit about the Lemur virtual controllers and what that means for the audience?
Having been using Lemur for my CV and also for the Machine Code shows was a big help towards realizing the technical side of the CVAV performance. I use Lemur to not only control Midi in Ableton Live which in itself is as you can imagine pretty limitless in terms of individualization of a set performance, but to also control a secondary video computer to get audio and video content interacting in the best way. The audio – to – midi component plays a major roll here in that it is not only used to create a visual feedback in the Lemur controller but also to create unique realtime audio/video effects.
Where do you see the project in another 5 or 10 years? What technological advancements are you hoping to see flourish to help bring new ideas to life?
In 5 or 10 years the amount and breadth of visual content that should be at our disposal should be very significant, as well as our goal of increasingly interactivity and incorporation of new technology, whether that be in terms of the way of projection itself, or max msp created bespoke interactive entities that will be running through ableton and our visual set up. Technology is constantly evolving and the project will evolve simultaneously. What we have now is merely a starting point, one that I hope will blow people away, but nonetheless – it’s just a beginning.
Have you written a lot of new music to complement the project specifically? How would you go about releasing music separate from the audio-visual experience, if at all?
I have been working on my next album during the process of creating CVAV. So a part of the album material has dedicated AV content being used in CVAV other parts can be mixed and matched depending on how we want to use it. CV will continue on its own sonic-focussed territory with multiple releases lined up – there’s a lot of new material in the pipeline for both projects.
As someone so far ahead of the game in terms of how we experience music, would you ever consider using this technology with other artists for their own live shows?
I consider CVAV a bit as “our baby” (Jef’s and mine) that has its own technical implementation and background. Every other project should in my opinion have that as well: A technical realization that is specifically designed to serve it’s presentational purpose.
That’s what makes it unique after all.
If everything is successful on tour, do you see a future where CVAV or other similar concepts could be shared at home? Perhaps changing the way artists live stream?
We’re already considering a special one off live stream from a unique location and with a unique set up for later in the project. But for now the focus is on the live shows, as that’s the way we want people to experience this.
And finally, if you could will any piece of technology from science fiction into existence, what would it be and why?
I haven’t thought about this one to be honest. I guess beaming would be nice! I think today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science anyway, so lets see where the journey takes us.
Thank you so much for your time, and can’t wait to see what’s next from you!