CiM aka Simon Walley is a London based knob twiddler who's
been causing a storm amongst lovers of the more experimental,
home-listening end of electronic music. Not the kind that delves
into the world of obscure noise as it's homebase of originality
but the kind that offers georgously deep layers of texture, while
still sounding as fresh as a ding dong daisy...
Ok First off - CiM?
Some family friends used to call me 'Sim' as a nickname which I
thought was a nice name to use but that guy who was Pentatonik
had that name so I changed the S to a C and did some fancy
Your earlier releases on Headspace were a bit more dance orientated
compared to your current output. As a musician does the dancefloor still
Yeah totally. I still mainly buy Detroit techno records and I get more
excited when theres a new, good techno record out rather than an
electronica/IDM release. Also event-wise, IDM (or experimental) gigs are
fantastically boring things. I'd much rather go out and hear some good
techno or electro or something.
I kind of wobble between writing more IDM tracks and writing more dancefloor
tracks - I'm currently on the swing back to dancefloor things at the moment
but I should be doing more IDM stuff I guess.
Still doing the live show now and then or do you prefer to DJ?
I don't really save any of my tracks so if I ever have to do a live show, I
have to write all the live tracks from scratch (although I can obviously
sample in bits of old tracks) which is a lot of work. I don't really have
enough kit to do a proper live show - I'm aiming to get a racks worth of kit
and effects together that I can use as the core of my studio but then easily
take it out and play somewhere. Live stuff would be great to do but I
haven't got the time to sort it all out at the moment.
DJ-wise - I love playing out. I prefer to play techno/electro but don't
really get the chance to. I play at FM (deFocus Sunday evening night in
London) every week - we play downtempo electronics which is great as you
get to play your favourite records. Obviously though, you're not setting the
floor alight with tracks like that but its great to play old Plaid, Stasis,
Some of my favourites tracks (RN.a, View 91 fill etc) are almost
snippets in length. I love the fact that they achieve more in 1
minute then most monotonoustrocites do in ten. Any insight into
the short lads?
I don't know that they 'achieve' anything in particular... I think all the
short tracks are down to the way I write tracks which is really quickly (ie.
a few hours). I write stuff thats pretty loop-based so with some tracks, I
reach the point where adding anything new to it would take it off in a
different direction but I'm quite happy with how it sounds, so I just tape it
and leave it at that. I tape most things I do as long as I think that there's
something relatively different about the track. Even if I'm never going to
release it, its interesting to go back and hear what you were doing at a
certain point. And sometimes think 'that was good' or sometimes cringe, but
at least I can get something out of it.
Another reason is Drexciyas' "Sighting in the Abyss" - its this lush,
gorgeous electro track and when I first heard it I was disappointed it was
so short. But after that, I got into the fact that it was just one or two
ideas and to do anything more to it would ruin the simplicity which is at
the heart of the track. Same with a lot of the Bochum Welt stuff which I
I'd love to do an album of short tracks/fills but I think it would die a
death - I've usually found I'm in the minority when it comes to liking short
Well your debut Album "Reference" is anything but dying a death,
rave reviews from music-lovers the worldover, rightly putting you up there
with the ilk of Plaid and the Aphex chappy. Did you treat the recording any
different or was it just a collection of favourites from the vast CiM archive?
It's just a collection of tracks from my DATs, the same as the "Service
Pack 12" on Delsin and the "Warm Data 12". I did actually write one or two
new tracks for it ("Numerique", "Swap File" and some others) but the rest
are from various periods from 1996-2000.
I'm happy with some tracks, less so with others but its pretty
representative of my tinkering with nice, listenable electronics over the
past four years. There's 22 tracks on the CD which I think some people have
found pretty mad but I think of it as a compilation of old and new tracks
(hence the "Reference" name) and compilations are usually pretty beefy
I'd love to write a collection of tracks that'd be intended for a specific
LP. That'd be great but I just don't have the time.
Much more awaiting the lathe treatment we can look forward to?
Nothing at the moment. I need to write some new tracks as theres not many of
my older tracks left that'd I'd be happy to out now.
I'm supposed to be doing another Delsin EP at some point. More deFocus next
year and some Headspace related material too. But I need more new tracks
Are you getting more involved in the management end of Defocus or is
that just you getting in your girlfriends hair?
Nah, deFocus is run purely by Clair. The only thing I've really helped out
on is sending Clair some tracks I liked which she has used (Lackluster
and some others) which is cool. But the day to day running and decisions
about what to release is all down to her.
"Reference" is out now (CD & Vinyl) on the always excellent DeFocus label.