Books and Music at the Heart of Independent Publishing

Andrew Weatherall is Our Inaugural Artist in Residence

April 5, 2013 | by Faber Social

Tags: Andrew Weatherall, News

Faber Social is thrilled to announce celebrated DJ, producer, collaborator and bastion of the underground Andrew Weatherall as its inaugural Artist in Residence. Faber Social, the publishing and events initiative from Faber and Faber, works to bring the sometimes complementary, sometimes clashing worlds of literature and music together in energetic and creative ways.

Starting in April 2013 and lasting a year, Andrew Weatherall’s residency draws Faber Social closer to the creative heart of the contemporary music world. During his tenure Weatherall will create one-off pieces of art, music and interviews that will be shared via the Faber Social website and social media sites. There are also plans for an event curated by Andrew Weatherall in Spring 2014.

Creative Director of Faber Social, Lee Brackstone who approached Andrew Weatherall for the role reflects on the influence he’s already had on his life and what he’ll bring to Faber Social:

‘I still remember the first time I came across the name and the sound of Andrew Weatherall, though in this case I recollect the Andrew being foreshortened to the more familiar ‘Andy’ on the record sleeve. I had bought the Happy Mondays’ Madchester Rave On EP (in Manchester – this being important – on a day trip to see West Ham get ritually slaughtered at United) and as a 16-year-old with severe cross-Pennines envy, it was one of a clutch of baggy anthems I first rationed, then hammered, on my dad’s turntable. Every track stands-up as stone cold rock-rave classic but it is the lead track, Halleluja, that for me bears the blueprint of the Andrew Weatherall sound.

And what might that sound be? How do you classify a musician, producer, DJ, and remix genius who has flirted with so many forms and ritually subverted and slaughtered genre after genre from industrial dub to techno, rave, rockabilly, baggy, postpunk and more? The work at the height of Madchester and rave has long been canonised and sits alongside the finest by his sonic forbears, Phil Spector, Martin Hannet and Lee Perry; and like Spector, Weatherall’s production and DJ-ing imprimatur crashes through the stereo with all the confidence of a newly constructed Wall of Sound. But it is the work over recent years, as the man affectionately known as ‘The Chairman’ nudges the big 5-0, that is deserving of discovery and celebration today. A cosmic explorer who has always plundered the past to create the sounds of the future, Andrew Weatherall’s ‘sound’, whether live in a club, as producer, or in original composition, communicates itself through a unique combination of aural familiarity and a wilfully eccentric, piratical attitude to genre-obliterating beats and tunesmanship.

I have followed Weatherall over the past 25 years in his various live and band incarnations. Hard techno always, somehow sounds like him; just as industrial ambient dub could only be him. How does he do this? Like a supreme storyteller (a novelist, perhaps) whose subject and style may change, there is a consistency of voice and a particularity of elements to his compositions that suggest themselves as an aural scent around all his work. But it was three years ago with the release of Fuck Buttons’ Tarot Sport, closely followed by a spaced-out remix of Cut Copy’s Sun God, that I really started to tune back in the Weatherall world. I banged-on for months about how Fuck Buttons’ Olympiads should be the glorious psych rave anthem of the Olympics to come, then sat down begrudgingly to watch the Opening Ceremony, to realise Danny Boyle had stolen my idea. As has been the case so many times over the past two decades, Weatherall’s pulse was ahead of the metaphorical Fuck Button.

Andrew’s tenure as the grandly titled Artist in Residence brings Faber Social closer to the creative heart of the music world and is consistent with our recent and historical association with musicians from Pete Townshend to Julian Cope, Brian Eno and Nicky Wire to Jarvis Cocker. Our ambition at Faber Social is to expand upon our current profile as excellent publishers of literature on music, to be recognised as innovators in digital, online, special edition and performance spaces. Andrew’s fearless imaginative gifts as musician, writer, performer and visual artist, will I hope, help us discover what lies beyond the publishing Fourth Wall’.

Andrew Weatherall’s residency at Faber Social starts with a series of interviews in the Faber Archive. Watch the first interview here.

The new album from Weatherall’s latest project The Asphodells, Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust, is Faber Social Album of the Month.