Interview with Benefit of the Boomerang

By Trente Trois (33)

Benefit of the Boomerang (Botb) is the founder of the netlabel Yomi Records.

<_33> Well botb you know what this is about, you know who's gonna read this and you know me, the weird musician guy

<botb> hahaha, yeah

<botb> okay, shoot me

<_33> I'm honoured you accept this modest interview for probably and surely the FIRST ever netlabel article in a scene disk magazine

<botb> the honour is all mine

<_33> allright so I'll start by mentionning that you're "Benefit of the Boomerang". Can you explain to us what got you in music at first?

<botb> It went all very fast.. y'see.. I hardly had any interest in music until I turned 15 .. For some reason it never occured to me I ought to have a personal taste.. But I got into metal quite a bit.. Slayer, Fear Factory, but also some KoRn and Rage against the Machine.. And it wasn't until at a concert of RATM that I heared ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION.. their sound was something very new to me and my interest in electronic music was born.

<_33> So you started making music at that age? What were your first music tools at the time?

<botb> nooo.. I started to play around with fasttracker two years later. A friend of mine was using it and introduced me.. y'know, just for laughs.. and I humbly accepted the challange, out of pure boredom, to be honest.. But, it worked! It was addictive, it was like a great power was bestowed upon me.. The potential freedom to create ANYTHING.. FastTracker 2 and 10 floppies worth of lofi 8bit samples was all I needed then, and all I used.

<_33> So you weren't alone in the journey to music making and tracking. Are these other artists known to the scene?

<botb> At first it was just him and me. We both never even heared of the existance of a scene, we just had fun with fasttracker, sending tunes to one another over the internet (we know eachother in real life but y'know, it makes life easier) but it was inevitable that one day or another either one of us stumbled upon scene-related things.. We got to know ModPlug and we both joined, him under the alias "Preditor" and me "Benefit of the Boomerang". It was on those forums that we met other people with similar interests. Fellow travelers on that journey to making music and tracking.. or maybe we were accepted as padawan, who can tell..? It's simply amazing how much you can learn from one another, even by just listening to other people's tracks and yeah, with the "discovery" of the scene, I think the "joke" slowely turned into a "hobby".

<_33> Neat, so you went along into experimenting with trackers and making a lot of tracks until what?

<botb> One of the greatest things about the scene in my opinion is, is that you can try and taste hundreds of different styles, genres, vibes, wotnots.. It grants you a broad vision on music, gets you into everything.. You can search for something that fits you best, something that works for ya, something that makes you funky buzz like a cat on crack. You get to know the people BEHIND the tracks, people that also seem to connect to the things you do YOURSELF with a tracker.. the like-minded musicians become friends and you just.. float happily along until I just had this weird idea of starting a netlabel.

<_33> Now this is like something big I guess for a musician. You trottle along making music, you meet people, etc etc. And for some God given reason, you get to start a netlabel, or shall I say a commune.

<botb> Yeah, it started out as a joke.. me putting "Yomi Records" in all songcomments. I liked the name Yomi. Simple as that. So I guess this all started as a joke over a name I liked. It was on a normal day that I asked myself: hey, why not team up with my buds under Yomi Records and see wot happens? And so I did.

<botb> But it's all pretty much been very impulsive. Just do it.

<botb> slowely but surely it grew on us, it became more serious step by step.. Serious in a way of more organised

<_33> I won't ask you if you buy Nike shoes... Finally when you decided to get all these talented individual under the Yomi banner, did you think of popularity, or just to build a "group", or a "union" of friends promoting their music on the web?

<botb> It's about the mere funky fun. That's all. We don't really care about getting a certain amount of downloads or hits or some place on some chart.. It's about doing what you like in a way that you like. What people in Yomi have in common, is a love for music or maybe even a passion, and a personal sound.

<_33> You have many and I should say most of the YOmi artists are very good Funky frantic music for most parts. What do you consider the high point of Yomi Records, knowing that you now have aged or should I say matured in the netlabel scene? I'm specially looking at the 80+ releases and the plethora of good music that Yomi offers!

<botb> It's that personal sound.. that solid vibe each and every person has, something that makes your music actually YOUR MUSIC. A unique personality in sound, so to speak. That is something I value and I'm proud to say that every member of Yomi HAS this personal unique vibe. I think that is what makes the music kinda similar. They have the same idea behind it, I don't think Yomi has matured really it's still searching and growing in a direction but it's been introduced in the netlabel scene a while ago which was the first attention Yomi really got

<_33> I heard some live performance from you that got published on the Ronin Collective label. How did that happen (the live perf.)? Were you nervous? Were there other people performing before/after you? Where was that at?

<botb> I've told Vizion before.. that live perfomance was stupid, really! It was a random breakbeat, hip-hoppy, mellow drum&bass mashup of fluffy rythms and corny scapes.. I'm not at ALL proud of it and I ask thee humbly, oh interviewer, to not mention it again for it is my worst work EVER but it seems to get the most attention of all I've ever done, which is, in a way, VERY ironic, considering the aim I had during that gig: to MESS up MAINSTREAM beat

<_33> OK, but still that seemed like some nice extensive work. It sure got interesting to listen to. Now you participated in other netlabels yourself. What do you think generally of the netlabel scene, how it grows and it's potential?

<botb> I'm not very familiar with the netlabel scene because I was "introduced" to it quite late, relatively speaking. The netlabel scene is ofcourse FULL of potential.. Hundreds and hundreds of people making stunning music for absolutely free, for FUN, putting it online for everybody free to download in every genre you would like.. I mean, how can you NOT see the potential in that? The strongest point is that the majority of netlabels have their own vibe going on which represents their sound which also sits on a very professional level. Perhaps too big to oversee everything and get a good picture of its potential or its future. But, as long as people have music as their emotional output, the scene will live and grow.

<_33> Now I heard that Yomi is undergoing a makeover. You've got one of your fellow friends busy on a site redesign and so forth. How should that affect Yomi, and would that benefit the people that are fans of all these great artists: Bucketmouse & Fluffy Bunny, for example?

<botb> Yomi needed a more solid sound and crew. Though the philosophy was never changed, I felt it was about time that Yomi got its own "face". Also literally. The main idea was to wake up the sleepy crew and squeeze some more musical juice from em, but also to give Yomi that extra punch it needs. Give it depth, give it personality. It's hard to describe what that personality really IS, perhaps it is a certain sound or vibe, maybe deep inside it hasn't changed at all. But with everything working out all, everything being compilations, projects, etc. Yomi could turn itself into a more serious netlabel and this was a logic step in achieving that. The looks being a major step in that direction. Eyecandy before the earcandy.

<_33> It's good to know that we an expect more from Yomi. Finally, what are the other netlabels that get your attention lately?

<botb> Well, that's all personal taste ofcourse.. Ronin Collective and Camomille always get my attention and besides that I like Monotonic's releases quite often. My only gripe against the scene is the huuuuuge amount of glitch, idm, experimental soundscaping and ambient and they are represented by a lot of netlabels which kind of "force" me to focus more on individual artists instead of netlabels.

<_33> I guess that would be a shared opinion on my part. So I'm pleased of having some time shared with you Benefit of the Boomerang and I do hope we get more of Yomi for the years to come!

<botb> We all work hard to give Yomi the sound it needs! Thank you for your interested and for this interview!

Trente Trois