OR “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”
The Anté Dote “solo electronic project” is an artistic experiment. How did it come about? Well, after playing in hardcore rock bands for over a decade (I’m still proudly a metalhead and alternative/punk rocker first and foremost at heart, a summer of German underground techno festivals opened my ears and eyes to the previously alien world of electronic music. I discovered an entirely different beast that I hadn’t even been looking for, among a subterranean alternative community I hadn’t even realized existed, with it’s own instruments, subculture, sounds, ethos (and, of course, drugs to make it all make sense). Like all rockers, I’d spent most of my musical life thinking this music was mostly stupid or, at best, irrelevant. What I found now was that it’s most raw, this music had been removed from the organic realm and replaced with something visceral and primal yet almost completely artificial; it was in equal parts perplexing, powerful, brutal in it’s simplicity while instinctive in it’s resonance. Techno seemed to exist literally to place people into rhythmic trances, without regard for intellectualism or overt conscious thought. Most astonishingly, I also found, at least at the level of the audience being battered by subs and four-to-the-floor kick-drums of gut-wrenching intensity, it had rejected any pretence at art for art’s sake – it was a medium purely for hedonistic pleasure and a natural, guttural response. And it was, once understood, with everything in place, when done well (and, importantly, when on the right ‘enhancers’) absolutely amazing and completely addictive.
An idea formed; would it be possible to steal back from this realm enough of it’s essence to make a new art, could aspects of both these worlds be fused together to create something fresh and diverting – perhaps using the fire, passion, rawness and intensity of message of something more akin to punk rock, but retaining some of this newly discovered earthy, weighty power? Could a punk rock musician learn, experiment with and play with these new tools, and combine them with traditional instruments and musicianship, to produce something vital, raw and different? Indeed, could a punk rocker invade the world of DJs and Trance-heads, then run back and plant a flag in the middle of No Man’s Land without getting killed beforehand? Could it instinctively challenge at the same time as invite, embrace emotion and thought as well as stir and abide by the subconscious. And if so… what may this look and sound like, for this particular artist – me? Having no idea what the answer to any of these questions may be, I decided to start an experiment with the following premise: initially, to spend 12-18 months learning about, experimenting with, writing and performing music inspired by these ideas, well outside of my comfort zone, in an attempt to discover whatever there was to discover, and express whatever there was to express, and to enjoy the freedom that only not actually knowing the rules allows. With no pressure to presume to be “good” or produce anything in particular over this span, apart from play with as many ideas and explore as many avenues as possible, and always for no other reason than for the very sake of creativity, fun and discovery, it would be an interesting journey into the unknown. This site exists to document the experiment.