Sunday, December 14, 2008



New Zealand's James Robinson has been working as notv since the late 1980's. He's worked with groups such as The Aesthetics, The Iceman's Equipment, Kerosene, Mig-21 and The Strap-ons. Lately he's been focused on work in the studio, creating music and video.

His website is a bit short on information, or it might have just been down when I went to look at it (he mentioned it's been under construction), so this Q&A might be the best source of information about notv, currently. I'm sure that will change, over time! Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with notv...

*Name: notv

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No additional names

*Do you use a pseudonym? I have in the past used different spellings of my forename; Jaemz, J-mz, Jmz.

*Members: James Edward Robinson

*Founding Members: Me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: If anything of the three it would be digital deconstructions as everything I do these days is mainly created within the confines of a PC. The occasional external sound is used here and there, but on the whole it is made from samples found on the net, sampled from streaming radio, or sound fx cds. These are combined with freeware drum machines and other freeware noise generators. They then go through the stretching, delaying, distorting, reverbing process. Then layered with other sounds. Then tweaked, moved in relation to the others, tweaked some more, a copy of a sound might be made, this might be stretched, maybe condensed, then put back into the piece. Then put aside for some time, while other pieces are begun. Then, it might be brought out again, listened to, tweaked, put aside. Finally I will say; this is enough.

*Another genre descriptor: I tend to like Noise Generator. I guess I like it because I have never learnt how to play any instrument properly, except maybe the kazoo, and so don't think of myself as in the same league as musicians. - Although it has been pointed out to me recently that, of course, noise is non-deterministic...

*Is there a story behind your name? The name notv came about as an acronym of a sign I used to see on trucks when I was cycling round Shepparton, Australia; No Overtaking Turning Vehicle.

*Location: I'm from Christchurch, New Zealand.

*Original Location: Before coming back to New Zealand I lived in Australia for eleven years - just over the eighties.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I guess I've always liked making stuff, and I've always like weird noises, so this is a good combination. Musically it all began back in the late eighties when, in a bedroom in a flat in Shepparton, where, drinking gin and listening Emerson, Lake and Palmer, we went to a local cafe and did a noisy gig as Brain Salad Surgery. Then, with another friend, the name notv was first used, I programmed loops into a z-80-based computer's speech synthesizer, he played guitar – a cover of PWEI's Can You Dig It. A couple of years later, in Christchurch, I met some people and played bass in a Goth covers-band, but it wasn't until Peter Wright, Richard Calder and I formed TMA-1 that I really got into playing with sounds. Peter had a Fostex four-track and TMA-1 recordings were full of samples and experiments and this is where I had the opportunity to start recording as notv. Also live music experimentation, especially with TMA-1, where we would go all out with feedback, sample loops, analogue synthesizer, drum-machine. During this period I played my synthesizer, a Roland Juno 60, for a band called C.O.D., synthesizer and guitar for Spastic Crunch, Bass in Placenta Cookbook, and in punk-industrial covers band, Brainlego. Also in this time the krkrkrk label was formed, to release material for most of these bands, and others. Moving to Dunedin for a year mid-nineties, I was involved with many projects; The Aesthetics, The Iceman's Equipment, Kerosene, etc. That was where I had my, first, successful, notv live performance. I 'perfected' a process where I would spend the time leading up to a gig programming my drum machine, writing lyrics, working out the various noises I could get out of guitars, keyboards, tape based samples, kazoo, etc. The day of the gig I would determine which sounds, which drum programs and which lyrics were to go together to form the songs. Back in Christchurch I was involved with krkrkrk 'super-group', Mig-21 and was a member of the ever revolving line up of The Strap-ons. Since about 2001 I have moved away from being in bands, playing live gigs and have just concentrated on notv; creating music and video-clips for the music, in my PC.

*History: I've been creating work as a recording, and sometimes live, group for about seventeen years now.

*Born: I was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. 23/06/1969.

*Motivations: I do it because I like making stuff; I like throwing sounds together and seeing what I get.

*Philosophy: My philosophy has always been; look, I can do it, you can do it too...
*How would you like to be remembered: "He made some alright stuff there..."

*Web address: My rather in-construction address is:


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