The band‘s public face relies on rapper. record producer and DJ Mr C. and glamour-edged dancefloor diva Victoria Wilson-James. Mr C. who Angus and the late Will Sin met in 1988 in the early days of acid house in London. and Wilson-James. who joined The Shamen in l‘)‘)3. more than make tip for Angus‘s reticence. doing the pttblicity rounds whenever they are required. Recently they reached the pinnacle of pop star PR- dom. making an appearance on l'l‘V‘s This Morning with Richard And Judy.
Mr C. who still DJs across Europe and runs his own label. l’link Plonk Records. seems quite happy with the arrangement. ‘I love talking to the press.’ he says in entirely non-digital North London tones. ‘llow lucky can I be to be graced with twenty minutes of somebody‘s time; to be published and put out into the mainstream of society‘.’ This is why The Shamen are a pop band.‘
Considering The Shamen are not some mysterious underground techno- outfit. but a band intent on making popular dance music. Angus‘s insistence on ducking the public eye seems a little eccentric. He is. alter all. chief songwriter and someone people are inevitably curious about. None of this bothers him in the least. ‘Iixpect me to become a completely text-based studio entity by the end of the millennium. if not sooner.‘ he types defiantly.
Despite this persistently jovial and flippant take on the subject. Angus does have some seriously good reasons for becoming a virtual band member. He may be a shadowy figure in the traditional media. btit in cyberspace. he — and The Shamen — are increasingly at large. As far as he‘s concerned. that‘s how it should he.
The first and most obvious place to find The Shamen in the virtual world is their Web site Nemeton. reachable by anyone with a modem and Internet connection. ()thcrs can access the site by visiting one of an increasing number of ‘Internet-(‘afes‘ in the UK. You won‘t find ('olin Angus in person here. bttt you will discover his thoughts and ideas laid out in a easy-to-use multimedia environment that you can browse through at the click of a mouse.
Many band Web sites are simply blatant I’R exercises run by the record companies. but this
Shamen lrontmen: Colin Angus (left) and Mr c
In Cyberspace at least, The Shamen are a pioneering force among the new wave of bands determined to change the
way music is listened to, bought and sold.
Victoria Wilson-James puts the woman in The Shamen
one is the genuine article. run by The Shamen —
with a little hi-tech support -- for those who wish to know about the band. The site is designed by
I)R(‘ Internet. along with (irecnpeace computer designer
artist and Shamen album cover William l.athani. It is regularly updated by Angus. who has just installed an A/V studio so he can personally mix graphics and video for it.
Internet users cart access tour and record release dates; biographical and background info; pictures and \ ideo clips; sound files; a real-time
THE SHAMEN FEATURE
on-line chat group for Shamen fans called The Nemeton Bar and various other bizarre Shamenesque entities. Previously unreleased Shamen material is there to plunder and in the week prior to the August release of Destination Eschaton. more than 1000 people previewed the single on-line in one of the most successful Internet events of its kind. Currently under construction to accompany the forthcoming double—album Axis Muran's. is a unique ‘World Wide Web document’ containing samples from each track. artwork and nuggets of information on some of the album’s themes.
Trainspotter-ish perhaps. but still a brilliant example of how 90s dance music and techno bands like The Shamen. The Orb. FSOL and Black Dog are seizing the controls and using their electronic wizardry to circumvent the traditional channels and gain direct access to their fans. ‘I like to think that ultimately we could even market our music and video direct to the wired community from the Web site. without the need for a record company.’ comments Angus.
Although The Shamen have two new singles in the shops and Axis Mutaris is due for release this month. punters are more likely to remember them for the chorus of their I992 No I hit ‘Ebeneezer Goode‘. But in Cyberspace at least. they’re riding high as a pioneering force among the new wave of bands determined to change the way music is listened to. bought and sold.
Away from the Web site. The Shamen continue to bring their electronic fruits to bear on the senses-a-go-go live format for which they’ve been renowned since the early Synergy gigs. 'I‘he Axis Muraris tour is only three dates. including Glasgow’s Barrowland. but is tipped to include a live-person line-up. intelligent lighting. inflatable sculptures and high- projection silicon graphics designed by William l_.atham.
‘Iixpect 'I‘he Shamen come of age.’ says Mr C
of the tour. ‘lt's basically an audio-visual blast on the human consciousness.‘ Prepare to be blown away. The Shamen wit/1 Republic‘a. Maya/on and The .loi 5ozHit/system play Burrow/and. Glasgow on Monday 6 November: AXlS Mlllulls will be released on liresrluy 7 November:
The List 3- l6 Nov l‘)‘)5 7