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Artificial Intelligence – Staying Integral

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“We’d been talking about it for a while but it took at least a couple of years to really pull everything in and get it exactly how we wanted it.” Following a lengthy hiatus from releasing music, Integral Records, the label co-owned and run by Glenn Herweijer and Zula Warner, better known as Artificial Intelligence, recently took its first steps back in business after nearly two years. The label announced its return witha brand new various artists compilation, Integral Select. As Glenn explains, the down-time from putting out records on Integral was largely spent building, crafting and honing the album to ensure they had the finest possible material in their quest to reintroduce the label once again. “We wanted it to be really special and to get everyone who we wanted on it, so that’s why the label took a bit of a backseat for a little while.”

Integral Select has a stellar cast of featured players running through its track list. Names that have, more importantly for Glenn, previously been a part of the label, helping give the album a distinctly family feel. “We’d built a nice back catalogue which featured a lot of artists like Alix Perez, Technimatic and Lenzman amongst others. There was a lot of nice tracks there so we thought we could bring some of them back with some really good remixes, plus there was lots of other really good music around us which we thought would make the album a really nice package. Something that can flow, so when you listen to the CD it goes on a journey and tells a story, rather than just it being a bunch of tracks.” Afterinitially getting together four or five tracks, Glenn and Zula soon realised they had the making of something bigger than merely churning out out a few singles. “It was coming up to eight years since we started the label, we had something like 25 releases out. We thought it was a good moment to do it; the people around us and our distribution company were all supportive and agreed it was a great thing to do.”

One of Integral’s most noteworthy releases to date is Calibre’s remix of Zero T’s Refusal, given a new lease of life once again, this time courtesy of Alix Perez. It’s tough to outdo something already touched by the elusive Irishman’s genius, so was intrigued to know the story behind Refusal’s second reworking. “When Alix was coming through he’d come up to me at Swerve saying the original Refusal is one of his favourite ever tunes. So I thought if anyone’s gonna do it, considering it’s been five years since the Calibre remix, and as soon as I mentioned it to him he asked me for the parts so it made it really easy for us.” says Glenn. While his update bears all the trademarks we’ve come to expect from Perez, there was another, more darker version that didn’t make the final cut. “He originally sent a version that had asort of classic Photek vibe to it. It was amazing and I totally wasn’t expecting it. Admittedly it wasn’t what I was hoping for at the time, me and Zula love the Alix Perez sound when he’s showing his soulful side. But it was a wicked remix.”

Speaking of Calibre, he makes an appearance on Integral Select via his remix of Technicolour, Komatic(now going under Technimatic) & LSB’s Rotary Motion. His inclusion on the compilation was of paramount importance to both Glenn and Zula. “We really wanted to involve him on the album. Rotary Motion is one of our favourite tracks we’ve managed to get for the label and it was one of the early ones that helped break the guys on there. We thought if anyone could do something interesting with the samples it would be Calibre.” In a similar vein to Perez writing a multiple mixes of Refusal, and in a move reminiscent of Calibre’s remix of Break’s They’re Wrong earlier this year, there is an ‘alternate’version scheduled to the see the light of day in this month. “He also did a few different remixes of that one track,” laughs Glenn. “There’s one we’re going to release as an alternate mix that will be limited only to vinyl so it’s more special edition.”

Despite starting Integral, it’s interesting to note Artificial Intelligence themselves have never actually released any of their own music on the label. Why is that? “Originally we wanted the label as an avenue for the talent around us because there was so much of it at the time.” says Glenn. “One of the main reasons as well is we were tied down with other projects so we never had the opportunity to put something out on Integral.” That could be about to change, however. Their remix of Lenzman’s Ever So Slightly is the duo’s sole contribution to Integral Select, added to it being the first A.I. related materialon Integral in its eight year history so far. With new label manager Emma Green now on board, it’slooking to be a very productive end of year for Integral Records and for Glenn and Zula as Artificial Intelligence. “We’re definitely gonna give a release to Integral this year. We’ve got a fair few releases coming up, including our five track EP, Forgotten Truths, on Metalheadz coming out in the autumn.”

Integral Records new compilation Integral Select is out now

Words: Wayne Mackenzie

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