BBC Collective 2003

The sound of Brazil, by way of Hull.

Life looks very different with a Fila Brazillia soundtrack. Why, even the dreary streets of their Hull hometown have been brightened by the Balearic sunshine Steve Cobby and Dave McSherry have been brewing, amidst the alchemical hubble-bubble of their studio, for over a decade. Stalwarts of the sadly defunct Pork label, and now heading their own 23 imprint, the prolific pair have produced more original albums – eight at the last count – than anyone else in dance music. But they don’t just seal their own material with a kiss, as their second remix collection, Brazilification 2, reveals. Featuring reworkings of everyone from Teutonic techno titan Sven Vath to Japanese jazzsters United Future Organisation, it shows the boys also have a nice sideline in finding hidden new depths in tunes as well as making a silk purse from the odd sow’s ear.

“Well, the less you’re in love with a track, the easier it is,” muses Steve in his dulcet Yorkshire tones. “We try to keep the essence of the track rather than stamping all over it because doing remixes by numbers is creatively unfulfilling. But, having said that, we try to avoid tracks that we just aren’t feeling in the first place because that just makes extra work for yourself.”

But Collective feels it’s not just leftfield beats that would benefit from the Brazillian touch. They’ve rejigged Simple Minds and Busta Rhymes before now, and Steve once offered to write a new anthem for his beloved Hull FC after feeling that Eye Of The Tiger was getting a bit staid. So, with this in mind, we enquire what book, film and building they’d like a chance to tamper with.

“I think we’d take the soundtrack to Koyannasquatsi and lay it under Scarface,” Steve says. “And I know The Bible would be improved by having an ‘any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is coincidental and unintentional’ disclaimer at the start.” For the building, though, it’s back to the centre of their world. “The New Media Centre being built in Kingston-Upon-Hull would greatly benefit from an architectural mash-up,” he reckons. “We suggest thatched neon.” It would clearly be a much wider and weirder world if Fila Brazillia had their way.

By Paul Clarke, 22 August 2003.

This interview is copied from