BT's 'Technology' Pushes Modern Rock Buttons
Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.BT has always straddled the fence of dance/electronic and pop/rock. As a producer and remixer, he has worked with Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Deep Dish and Seal, among others.
Two years ago, much to the chagrin of dance/electronic purists, he co-produced "Pop" for 'N Sync's chart-topping album, "Celebrity."
He has also released three genre-blurring artist albums (including the richly textured "Movement in Still Life") and compilations (like "10 Years in the Life") and has scored two No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart: "Remember" and "Blue Skies" (featuring Tori Amos).
Along the way, BT has composed music for a handful of films, including "The Fast and the Furious," "Go" and "Under Suspicion." He is currently working on the score for "Monster" starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.
With the Aug. 5 release of his new artist album, the powerful and personal "Emotional Technology" (Nettwerk America), BT inches ever closer to modern rock artist status -- without sacrificing his dance/electronic roots or the beat of his own drum.
For BT (aka Brian Transeau), there are no boundaries when it comes to creating and consuming music.
"I realize this album is a leap forward artistically for me," BT says. "I am putting myself on the chopping block with this one."
Unlike past albums, where his voice was kept to a minimum, "Emotional Technology" spotlights the artist's vocal skills-as well as his compositional and production prowess.
"This is the first record where my voice is everywhere," he says. "But this is me being true to myself. My records are growing in a more [proper] artist direction."
That said, BT does feature a few singers on "Emotional Technology": 'N Sync's JC Chasez ("Force of Gravity"), actress Rose McGowan and Girls Against Boys' Scott McCloud ("Superfabulous"), Jan Johnston ("Communicate") and Gang Starr's Guru ("Knowledge of Self"), among others.
The set's lead single, "Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist)," is a top five hit on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and boasts a video directed by Paul Minor.
BT says he could not have named the new album anything but "Emotional Technology." It is "technology-based, emotionally eclectic music."
The album title also refers to the artist's often topical views concerning the Internet, specifically peer-to-peer file-sharing.
In the past, BT has put his music online for enthusiasts to remix for personal use. He will not deviate from this pattern now.
He says every part of every song from the new album will soon be available for streaming at his official Web site, btmusic.com.
"Not only do you discover amazing talent this way, but it makes people feel more involved in my work," he says. "People have become very disillusioned with the traditional model. What's keeping people interested in music is the interaction process.
"Right now, there are way too many fear-based decisions being made," he adds. "But it's resulting in an incredible shift of power between labels and artists. This is actually a golden age for music."
BT will kick off a North American tour in October.
Excerpted from the Aug. 9, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com Premium Services section.
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