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Pixilated Pictures

Yeah, I listen to a lot of electronic music these days, too. But one of the things that I've found is that it's much harder for me to fall in love with an electronic record the way that I have with, say, the recent Silver Jews record.

I think I agree with you completely. My own experience is that I'm finding that there's less and less memorable music -- though I'd include bands like Silver Jews and Belle and Sebastian as some that is -- but basically there's less and less memorable music being made by people with guitars, and I think that bands like Silver Jews and Belle and Sebastian are almost exceptions. But having said that, bands like that are my very favorite music, and in a way there's not that same sense of attachment with a lot of electronic music. There's a great record by a band called Boards of Canada that's out on Matador, and it's very pretty and melodic, but it's not emotionally engaging like the Silver Jews record. I just find that often if I want that level of engagement I'll listen to a Bob Dylan record or a Beatles record, and I continue to really love those records. But I do find that guitar music -- I'm not coming across that much that's really exciting these days. But when it is, it's my favorite kind of music.The other quote that I'd like for you to consider is, and I'm paraphrasing, "All our music is linked up by an intensity of shared experience." On Illuminati, obviously you lose that intensity when an outsider reconfigures the music.

Yeah, to an extent there's a dilution of that experience, because Pastels music, especially in recent years, has been the result of a shared vision that me and Katrina and Aggi have, and once outsiders come in, it is less intense. I think that they are good results, and from our point of view it was a really interesting experience to hear our music translated into these exotic languages. It's a really nice record to listen to. But I still feel like we'd never work with a producer, and in a way it's made me realize also what's precious about the Pastels. And I feel that more and more, enjoying electronic music as I do, I think we maybe represent something that isn't that commonplace, you know?

As musicians who create their own music, you organize your sounds in a certain way, and that way has a logic that you've probably toiled over to a certain degree. Was it hard to hear that logic dismantled?

Listening to those records was a good experience, hearing the tracks coming back and -- If I felt Illumination had been a disappointing record or hadn't come out as we'd wanted, maybe there would have been some sadness, but Illumination is the record that we've made that I'm happiest with, so I felt fine with people bringing in their own logic.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from your fans?
Most people, I've found, are increasingly open-minded, in that in my own experience people don't listen to just one kind of music. I think some people who feel precious about the Pastels were apprehensive at first, but most people seemed to like the record -- maybe not the record in its entirety, but they liked most of it. And because the Pastels -- you know, the Pastels are almost too precious for some people; it's too engaging. A lot of people aren't prepared to make that effort, and in a way Illuminati is an easier record for them to get into. You can stick it on and not have to listen to it in the kind of close way that maybe you would listen to one of our other records.

Are there any plans for a new studio record?
Yeah. We haven't started recording yet, but we've got some ideas that I'm really pleased with. The way I feel is, there are a lot of Pastels records out right now, and I only really want to add to it when I feel it can be something really special. I think this year we'll probably make an EP and record an LP that will come out next year. That's the time it really takes us to have enough ideas we feel are really good and sufficiently different from what we've done before.

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