My first recorded compositions are music remixes and collages (so called ‘pause-tapes’) from 1985 and 1986. 

Using the cassette-recorder and turntable of my parents I would record a piece of music (a sample) from a record on tape, pausing the tape once the sample had finished. Then rewind the record to the beginning of the sample and un-pause the tape to record it again. By repeating this process many, many times a repetitive sequence was created. By recording different samples from a record it was possible to create new, original compositions with just a cassette recorder.

I was not so much interested in ‘mixing in the beat’ or creating nice sounding music, but inspired by the freedom of sampling, the freedom to chop and combine any sound in any way,  and the new form of music that produced. My focus was on raw improvised creative expression and producing an overwelming stream of sound. That passion never left me and is still one of the driving forces for my work today. 

The first time I heard the effect of sampling was on Duran Duran’s number one hit single ‘The Reflex’. At the end of the chorus the vocal was chopped to create this weird ‘Reflex-fle-fle-fle-flex’ repetitive sound that I really loved and wanted to re-create. My first tape mixes were therefore created with this record (that I borrowed from a primary school class-mate and never gave back. Sorry Claudia).

Turntable and a cassette recorder

Two cassette recorders

In 1985 I won a radio cassette recorder in a cartoon drawing contest organized by the local supermarket. Since then I used that radio cassette recorder instead of my parent’s turntable. This gave me the freedom to use any sound, like songs recorded from the radio or home made sounds.