Beck’s electronic ambition

March 6, 2018

Beck wants to make an album of electronic music.

The 47-year-old American alternative rocker has indulged his love of the genre by collaborating with artists such as Danger Mouse, Flume and The Chemical Brothers, but he admits he’s been reluctant to put out synth and sample heavy songs under his own guise as he’s worried it would alienate his fan base.

In an interview with website MusicFeeds.com.au, he said: “I’ve experimented with a lot of electronic music for decades, but I haven’t put much of it out. Under the auspices of Flume or The Chemical Brothers, it feels like it can be ... Maybe it feels more of a natural connection than if I put it out on my own, which would sort of feel like it came out of left field.”

Beck is always open to working other musicians and because he’s a solo artist he feels free to be able to get in the studio with anyone he wants because he doesn’t have to put it to bandmates.

Discussing how some of his collaborations have happened, he explained: “You know, needing someone and reaching out and they’re available. In the case of Danger Mouse he had reached out to me to work on this project with him and Karen O and there was some mix-up. He didn’t get my demos and he ended up getting Jack White and Norah Jones to do the record. But it got a conversation going and I think I reached out to him in about 2004 or 2005, around the time of the ‘Grey Album’.

“With Nigel (Godrich), we were just looking for someone to engineer some demos. Contractually I had this album that I had to do for this other label which ended up being ‘Mutations’. We just hit it off and did that record in two weeks. All these relationships just kind of happened very naturally. Either it’s a phone or call or you meet someone and become friends with them ... So for me, I love that freedom. It’s not a traditional band structure, there’s no group vote so I can move fairly autonomously and experiment and try a lot of different things with people. I work on my own quite a bit, so I like collaborating with someone else just to see if it goes somewhere that I wasn’t expecting or maybe to give myself permission to do something else.”