melinda taylor/robokoneko  [couchblip!]


- hello, can you please first introduce yourself, where do you live, how did you start making music, running a label…?

Hello! I'm Melinda Taylor, and I release music under the Robokoneko moniker. I am based in Sydney, Australia.
I started to contemplate making music in about 1996 and then got my first sound card and a novation basstation. Things didn't really come together for me until a couple of years later when I began to put a lot more time…..and my heart into making music and subsequently became obsessed. I invested in some other gear and now I am at a very comfortable position music-wise as I have what I feel is the perfect setup for me to create whatever I feel - no limitations - only me.

- what do you think about the music scene in Australia, do you think it's developed ok or not, what are your favourite artists or labels from there?

Australia is hard place for an electronic artist to be. Our musical history is dominated by both rock and pop and it is only in the past few years that even the most commercial forms of electronic music have made it into the Australian marketplace. Its even harder for artists such as myself that make less commercially viable music. However having such a small electronic music community has its advantages also. There's a lot of camaraderie in Australian electronic music, we never would have started Couchblip! without the support and advice that many people contributed. My favourite Australian labels would have to be Couchblip! and Surgery records. Our labels have a similar feel and we are very good friends because of that. Favourite artists are Disjunction Reunion, Bloq (we wouldn't have released them if they weren't doing music I enjoy), Tim Jackiw, Tim Koch, PBXO and Superscience. I recently performed with a three piece called the head, they combined live electronic and guitars, producing something you would expect to hear on labels such as Leaf or Morr music. It was very interesting and considering they said they had literally only just got the band together I think they will be interesting to watch. The cheekiest Australian label is definitely Spasticated Records who have just released a CD of pop-mashups/cutups in the same vein as the criminal EP's on Planet-mu.

- couchblip! is a label and a distribution at the same time. why did you decide to work as distributors, besides being a label?

If you've ever been to a shop in Australia and are looking for something new and interesting on an independent label, you are looking at paying around $45 AUS for it. A double LP is usually $60AUS. In fact, its cheaper usually to order OS and pay for international postage. We wanted to get music from independent labels that were releasing music that was consistently good, into stores at a reasonable price. To make it readily available to people who might not otherwise come across this music. We've never had Australian distribution for our own label as the few independent distributors there are, are too busy with their current label rosters. So if we are going to spend the time hassling stores to take our music we may as well use that time and effort and do it for other music we believe in.

- how do you find the artists who want to release their music on Couchblip!?

We're always happy to receive demos from musicians anywhere in the world. Luke (Disjunction Reunion) met Pellarin on the Buzz mailing list. They began to chat and exchanged music and we all loved the music that Pellarin was creating so we asked him if he would be interested in having it released on Couchblip!. Whenever we are doing a compilation we always put an open call out to the relevant mailing lists as you will always find gems that way. I am all for releasing artists which have no previous releases, it means a lot more work on your behalf as a label but hopefully it helps diversify the genre.

- what's your favourite music at this moment?

Recently I've picked up the Telefon Tel Aviv releases on Hefty and they are absolutely gorgeous, amazing noiseless production and just beautiful. I've also taken a liking to the Deceptikon release on Merck Records and the Six Records Breaks Your Heart Again compilation is on my list for best compilation ever. Also artists whose releases I always love include Dabrye, Machine Drum, Setzer and Venetian Snares. Also the new Kartsen Pflum album on Worm Interface is on repeat.

- what are the future plans for Robokoneko, when do you plan to release your next album?

My full length album 'Anembo' has just gone off for mastering and should be out in July 2003. I have just released a 3" CD-r on the Japanese label Electric Avenue - which is a ltd edn primer for my full length. I've also just had two recent compilation releases - Sound Quality Volume 2, an Australian based compilation of artists encompassing the full spectrum of the electronic scene. Also Groovescooter records another Australian label has just released 'Track Works', a remix of Don Meers' Train Noise CD which was released in 2001. Remixes were contributed by a variety of Australian artists including myself, Disjunction Reunion, Telefonica and Tim Koch. I am actually very happy to have finished this album as I feel its like starting a new book. A lot of the last few months I have spent fixing up and fine tuning music I had created over the past year - not nearly as much fun as being creative and making new tracks.

- what are your most important musical influences (bands, artists, labels) as a musician?

My first musical love was Boy George but I think that was when I was just a puppet of the pop marketing regime. I was obsessed by the Smiths and Morrissey for far too many years and listened almost exclusively to them at school. Possibly they are responsible for the high melodic content of my music. Around 1990 my tastes began to diversify as I began to go out to raves - records from PWEI, Happy Mondays, The Beloved and more began to filter into my collection. This led onto music like the Orb, Banco de gaia, Black Dog and Aphex Twin. Its a cliche, I know, but I doubt that many people in this genre can say that Aphex Twin hasn't influenced them. His music was definately always the driving force behind me making electronic music as he has always inspired me. All those artists I heard in the early years such as Autechre, Funkstorung, Mu-ziq, Global Goon, Plaid all influenced me. These days I am intrigued by artists such as Bogdan Raczynski, Machine Drum and Dabrye.