FOUND: A Very Scottish Pop Odyssey

Start Bit: <br/>FOUND: From Noise Comes Beauty<br/><br/>Quote: ""There's some way out pop music out there. Serge Gainsborough was doing some pretty bugged out production."" - Tommy Perman

Feature by Bram Gieben | 15 Jun 2006

Last month FOUND launched their debut LP 'FOUND Can Move,' on their own Surface Pressure Records. With their first single Mullokian playlisted by Radio 1 and MTV2, there is already a considerable buzz around the band in the UK and beyond. They produce folk-influenced music through technological filters, and the results are exquisite - ranging from glitch filled house made from sampled pops, clicks and rattles, to lush, harmonised vocal melodies, with echoing organ, melodica and guitar sounds cushioning the delicately arranged songs.

A collection of bedroom producers - the 'lo-fi-jiggy' Kev Sim on MPC and samplers, Vin Landers on bass and vocals, Tommy Perman as 'the glue,' also on bass, and multi-instrumentalist Ziggy Campbell on songwriting and singing duties - the collective have morphed since their early gigs last year from an experimental noise collective into that rarest of birds – a classic pop band. "We realised we needed a clever way to bring everything together," explains main singer/songwriter Ziggy, "That was the FOUND Collective. Since then it's regressed in a way: the first stuff we did was quite out there and experimental. We still have that experimental element, but it's more of a challenge to do something experimental which people can relate to, or dance to. It grew out of electronica, and lots of those elements remain, but its really snowballing into something else entirely."

Children of the Ableton revolution, FOUND hail modern music software as a major influence on their sound: "People can tap into it with an idea and just instantly break it up, mash it up, put it upside down," enthuses Ziggy. "You can take your idea from demo stage to finished production but retain elements of the demo. You're working on the same file all the way through. If there's a certain charm to the demo, you can retain elements of that. It's very DIY."

The core of the FOUND sound is now good (but not old-fashioned) pop. Tommy has a desire to mix and match elements of pop in new ways: "I love pop music! There's so much that can still be done. People think that now we've had fifty years of pop, people have tried everything: but you can bring together elements that haven't been put together before. There's some way out pop music out there. Serge Gainsborough was doing some pretty bugged out production. Take Motown producers: they were trying things in the studio and musically for the first time, but people got it, and it was popular."

It looks like the public and the media are ready to embrace the band in the same way. The album plays to their strengths - the tripped-out, dubby elements of the live performances are restrained, but only enough to let Ziggy's songs shine through. 'FOUND Can Move' is the sound of a band fulfilling their potential, showcasing their work in a refined way, and appealing to a broad church of listeners. "I buy a hell of a lot of electronic music and hip-hop," says Tommy, "Especially the LA instrumental productions like Ammoncontact and Prefuse 73. If you position yourself between that crowd and the indie crowd, you've got the opportunity to gain a large crossover audience. That's what I'm interested in tapping into."

The album achieves this in spades, gently walking the line between ambient soundscapes and the straight up blasts of pop ingenuity contained in Ziggy's songs. It's a sublime, deeply Scottish record, perhaps borne of FOUND's genesis in Aberdeen art school. "You get stuck in the wilderness," muses Tommy. "There's a good scene up there of course, but if you come up with a new idea, you can lay claim to it." FOUND's melding of new and old, high-tech and lo-fi, organic and industrial is truly original: uniquely successful on its own terms. Let them lay claim to your ears - lose yourself in FOUND.

FOUND Can Move' is out now on Surface Pressure.