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Scientific Support Dept.

Here at itm? we’re proud to premiere the latest video from Scientific Support Dept.

Available now to download via Bandcamp, ‘Stuttered’ is the first release from Glasgow-based musician Docherty in several years, following and album and several singles/EPs for the Creeping Bent label.

“After the release of (debut long-player) ‘Cabbageneck’ I kind of got bored making instrumental music for the sake of it and felt the need to shuffle out of my comfort zone,” he recalls.

Since then, there have been a variety of releases under different guises, including a single as Docken Leaf, alongside Bluebell Ken McCluskey, with more from that project due this summer, and a project entitled ‘Joyce’ with sometime BMX Bandit Marco Rea. There was also time spent as a member of Adventures in Stereo, plus music under the Serf banner, with members of Babygod, and more recently, production work for Finn LeMarinel and Machines In Heaven.

However, it’s where music meets art that Docherty’s interests currently lie. The score to an Icelandic film – ‘A Reykjavik Porno‘ – and music for various theatre works and art installations has led to setting up a production company with Glasgow photographer Brian Sweeney and graphic designer James Vincent.

“We made a few short films on varied subject matter ranging from psychogeography to whippet racing culture in the UK,” he reveals. “There will be more but not while the plague is rife.”

Full length releases under the Scientific Support Dept. name are rare, but perhaps surprisingly, there was an album under the pseudonym ‘The Wayne Devro Set‘.

“I wanted to focus more on solo songwriting and attempt to hone those skills I learned from working with different singers/songwriters I’ve collaborated with,” Docherty says of that release from 2017. And as with Docken Leaf, that particular guise hasn’t been indefinitely retired. “There will be new releases wearing that particular knit-hat,” he says, “but not until I scratch this recurring itch to experiment again with making sounds and beats.”

So for now, guitars have been largely exchanged for keyboards.

“I stumbled on the modular world of synthesis a couple of years ago,” he explains, “and became a little bit obsessed about understanding it and how it could fit into my workflow and how it would influence how I write music.

“It can get monotonous creating and editing on a computer and I instantly fell in love with being able to manipulate sounds and parts, record them as a performance, and build tracks and ideas that way. It opened up a lot of possibilities and renewed my love of making instrumental music.

“I still have a lot to learn,” Docherty confesses, “but I’m less overawed by it all now and actually look forward to a new piece of kit arriving on my doorstep that i unwrap, plug in and spend half an hour figuring out how to get a noise from it!

It does appear that following the odd career gap since Scientific Support first appeared almost two decades ago, there could be quite a lot of new music to look forward to.

“This current batch of ideas will eventually take shape as a full album and a few singles. It will mostly be a solo affair with the occasional guest vocalist, instrumentalist and spoken word artist making contributions.”

And following some largely solo releases, Docherty’s interest working with others has, it seems, been rekindled.

“Collaborating with others, throwing something at someone and seeing how they respond and how it informs the shape of the finished piece still excites me.”

The video for ‘Stuttered’ was made by Bel Docherty who just graduated from GSA and is spending six months in Paris learning digital art techniques.

“She asked me to soundtrack a piece for an exhibition she had at the Library of Olfactive Material in Glasgow early last year,” he recalls, “and wanted to make a visual piece from scratch on a piece of my music by way of thank you.

“I sent her over two tracks and she chose ‘Stuttered’ and developed it into what it became. I think it’s a brilliant piece of work and deserves to be seen. And I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter!”

More at www.facebook.com/scientificsupportdept.

By Stuart McHugh

itm? head honcho

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