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Heís survived a car crash with armed robbers, the bursting of a lung, his album being put on hold for two years after it was ready and gone on to have Chris Martin from Coldplay, Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips and Michael Stipe from REM sing on his latest release. Sonal DíSilva talks exclusively with the extraordinary David Kosten aka Faultline.

TR: Reviewers have commented on the Ďexcellent use of silenceí in your record. Tell us some more about that.
Faultline: Well, I think itís good within music to not be subjected to endless filling up of space. I think in many ways the thing I like the most about making music is creating something three dimensional and sound can really be three dimensional when itís simple and you can hear all the details and maybe an example is with some of the voices I used. I create a world where they are almost standing in front of you and you can hear them clearly and you can almost see right the way around them. Iíve always, even from when I was a very small child, seen sound in shapes, and if I hear any sound, I canít help it, I see it as a shape or an angle. Itís difficult to describe and I like being able to try and understand that. And music is just a collection of dozens and dozens of sounds. A lot of my music is very simple, thereís not much going on but maybe within three or four elements it ends up sounding like I thought it was meant to.

TR: With the use of actual singers, was that a step towards adding some element of human into the electronic?
Faultline: Totally. Yes. Although I think my first record was human in the sense that we all experience spoken emotions and disconnections and not really being able to necessarily communicate in the way we want to and that was what that record was supposed to be feeling. This one I think is warmer, and it feels more like me pulling my ribcage apart and letting people see inside rather than trying to close myself off from other people. It definitely was a feeling of wanting to open myself up and be unafraid and to expose myself in as emotional a way as possible.

TR: Doesnít that make you feel vulnerable?
Faultline: Youíve understood it perfectly Ė that was the point. It was to try to not be scared of being vulnerable. I hear music all the time that makes me want to spit because itís trying to be cool, itís trying to give a veneer or impression of itself rather than saying this is who I really am, or this is what I am about. As I make more music I want it to be more brutal, more honest and extreme in the way that it says Ė this is how I am. This is how it really is.

TR: Youíve composed music for an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum. Tell us more.
Faultline: In some way it follows from what you were saying about being vulnerable. I like the idea of doing things that you donít know if youíre going to be able to be good at. And they asked me to contribute to this exhibition which was to find sounds that reflected what was happening in the room at the museum. You were offered a choice of any of the rooms at the Victoria and Albert and they have so many different possibilities there from fashion to sculpture, iron works, medieval jewellery - thereís so many different things that one could look at. And I chose the room that was filled with death masks and statues of people mostly from many hundreds of years ago. And I loved these faces. They were amazing faces. I really liked the idea of making music that was for them. I kept imagining these people coming to life and existing and talking to each other when the museum visitors had gone home. I wanted to make music for them to have as background music for when they were having their dinner.

TR: Have you visited the room after your music was put in there?
Faultline: In fact, itís funny weíre talking about this because today Iím visiting the exhibition for the first time properly and so Iím looking forward to going down there. Maybe there will be someone there wandering round the room and going ĎGod, I really hate this music. I wish he had done something betterí. If someone says that, Iím going to agree with them and say ĎYeah that Faultline, he should never have been asked to do it.í [Laughs]

TR: They would know who it was!
Faultline: No they wouldnít! Iím faceless. And also I would put a paper bag on my headÖ

TR: And that would not be odd?
Faultline: No not at all. [Laughs]

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Faultline in the July 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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