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INTERVIEW: Altered View

Altered View, also known as Johnny Area and Johnny Midnight, conceived this project deep in an isolated UK forest during the pandemic lockdowns. It fuses electronic music with dark disco, post-punk, dub and psychedelic influences, with lots of otherworldly magic. Their latest EP, “Taken From The Outer Realm”, arrived on this label in November 2023 and is now backed by another attractive four-track.

We have had the pleasure of speaking with the duo and this has been the result.

Hey guys! Great to chat to you, how’s life?

Hey Chromatic Club! Thanks for having us! It's all good! We're waiting for summer to happen like everyone else, working our day jobs and getting together in the studio a few times a week to have some musical fun. Often the highlight of the week!

Next month, you’re serving up a new EP, ‘This Robot Society’, for Kilsha; could you give us a deep dive into this release?

Well it's our 2nd EP, a follow up to last years 'Taken From The Outer Realm''s another mish mash of genres but based in the world of electronic music. Guitars and vocals also play a part often enough if we can get them in there! A couple of the tracks are over a year old and a couple are newer....we've started so many over the last few years, they’re in various states of completion so it's a constant battle picking which ones we're going to finish and put on the next EP......we're going through this right now for our next one.

We’d love to know how Altered View first came to be.

Well we've been friends a long time and we were both noodling about with music in our spare time.....then when lockdown happened and we had nothing to do work wise, a casual suggestion by Johnny Area to make some music together was mentioned. I went over to his one night where he has a small studio and we had such a laugh the first few times it just went from there. I used to stay on a put up bed in the garage as we were both shielding elderly people…seems insane now…..We started off making off far more straight forward house and techno then one night we got the guitar and microphone out and the rest is history!. A year or two down the line we realised we were pretty happy with what we were doing and decided to put something out there.

Which artists stand out as a main influence for you?

I mean this could be a long list but here's a few....The Cure, Kraftwerk, Daniel Avery, Human League, Underworld, On U Sound, Chemical Brothers, Talk Talk, Radiohead (constant battle I hate them Johnny Area loves them!) Beta Band, Giorgo Moroder, Jean Michelle Jarre, Sade, King Tubby, The Scientist, Andrew Weatherall (don of all dons)… name but a few….

What can you tell us about your journey to date in the world of electronic music?

Well I guess this will show our age a bit but hey why hide it! Johnny Area used to do tunes with Steve Paton as ‘Area’ and ‘Emotive Force’ (including a release on Planet E ) and Darren Price and Mark Burrows as ‘Transits of Tone’ for a label I had called Intelligence Records….which did okay in the 90’s…. as well as for Sabrettes with Craig Walsh/Mark Burrows as Subculture for Carl Coxs label (Ulimatum), also Johnny and Mark did tunes as Universal Addictions …. before family life and work took him away from it for a while.....I also had an electro label with Mark and Johnny called Panic Trax and other than Intelligence Records I worked at A & M and Junior  as well as a few notable management companies in the 90's & 00's.....then Tour Managed Beardyman for quite a few years....I now drive a taxi day to day and  TM Daniel Avery in Europe so still just about hanging in there! We actually started KILSHA together about 5 years ago just to do something together again musically. We released a couple of tunes by Darren Price and Jamie Blanco……which had great reactions…..but life and Covid took over again……then we got in the studio and decided to stick our own stuff out and revive it!

When you’re not making beats and spinning tracks, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Well I go to the pub a fare few times a week! A lot of my musical socialising is taken up with Daniel Avery at gigs on the weekends….Visiting friends who have moved away, eating lots of Thai food and reading 2 books a week…Johnny Area attends a fair few festivals and gigs throughout the year and keeps busy with work and family around Altered View obviously….The great thing about growing up in a musical Acid House community is we have a massive social group and still get together a few times a year for proper GOOD TIMES!

Do you have anything else in the works you can tell us about?

Constantly working on the next EP! Trying to work out if we could do it live!! We’re also releasing another artist on Kilsha in between our next EP. It’s a straight up house record nothing like Altered View.

And like all musicians in the modern age trying to work out how to generate a tiny bit of income so we can put more music out to the wider world.


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