Music / Features
They Made Me Do It -
Talking Influences with House of Biscotti
Words by James Lynch
Wednesday 8th June, 2022
Following the release of her latest single and the joyous new clip to match, we got in touch with House of Biscotti to delve into the influences that make up ‘Good Baby, Bad Baby’, her latest dose of addictive 90’s tinged electronica.
House of Biscotti is the brand new project from Melbourne artist/noise-maker Carla Ori; an extension of her Biscotti project, a solo endeavour that sees her transforming left-of-centre soundscapes into blitzes of technicoulored art-pop, House of Biscotti finds her bringing that eye for the surreal into the dance-floor realm. While her previous project is undeniably playful, House of Biscotti takes the fun a whole extra step forward, leaning into 90’s styled electronica with a huge dose of radiant energy and charisma served on top.

Following on from debut single ‘Alicia’, ‘Good Baby, Bad Baby’ is another addictive blast of hyperactive acid house. Built around a lively keyboard motif coupled with a propulsive backbeat, the track expands open with an inviting mishmash of vibrant percussion, esoteric samples and a repetitive yet completely rousing vocal line. Before long, we’re deep in the groove as layers of bass, synths and glowing piano hooks swirl around us, and there’s not much else to do but latch on tightly and join in with the “good baby, bad baby” mantra.

Paired with an equally fun and chaotic new clip, which captures Biscotti and friends cutting loose to the track in an empty church, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. To do just that, we caught up with House of Biscotti to dig into some of the key influences on the track and clip.

Chrissy Edits - 'Fix It Man'
House of Biscotti is a project that was born during the Melbourne lockdown period. It represents a shift in my interest in music but also is indicative of the way the world is dynamically changing. I held a vision that the lockdowns in Melbourne would end and when it did people would want to party and rejoice. I wanted to be there for it with a new fun sound that people would want to dance to.

I spent a good portion of last year defining and researching what kind of electronic dance music I resonated with, for the most part it was 90’s House. As a drummer I am drawn to anything with a cowbell and bongos in it, hence ‘Fix It Man’ by Chrissy Edits is a stand out track for me. This track influenced the ‘Good Baby, Bad Baby’ track via the arrangement style. I really like the sparseness and the way each part enters as if edited on and off on the mixer. I wanted to challenge myself to use the least amount of ingredients while still keeping the listener engaged. It’s extremely hard to do! ‘GB/BB’ is nowhere near a minimal arrangement but it was useful to approach it that way and I think using that challenge made me really assess what elements were necessary for the track.   

Brion Gysin - ‘Junk Is No Good Baby’
Most often when I’m writing a song I start with the drums and instruments before adding vocals or lyrics. On one of the first edits of ‘GB/BB’ I was speaking gibberish over the track and playing around with sampling my own voice. When I played it back to a friend I noticed that the vocals sounded like I was saying “good baby, bad baby” which then made me think of Brion Gysin’s poem ‘Junk Is No Good Baby’. It’s a surrealist poem that repeats the same words but reads them out with a different expression and in a different order each time. I love the absurdness of it and how repeating a word or a phrase invites you to look at it in an abstract way. The repetition of ‘Good Baby, Bad Baby’ adopts this concept.

Fatboy Slim - ‘Praise You’
‘GB/BB’ has such a naive and playful sound, I wanted to embrace and capture that in the video clip. I didn’t want the clip to be sexy or cool, I wanted it to be raw, humorous and uninhibited. Fatboy Slim's bold lo-fi clip for ‘Praise You’, which was actually directed by Spike Lee-Jones, came to mind when I was brainstorming. I was attracted to the improvised and passionate dance moves of seemingly untrained dancers. This clip evoked what I think was very zeitgeisty in the freedom-fun era of the 90’s. There is a kind of a renaissance of that happening now because we all so badly need to be uplifted and feel a sense of hope. I was originally planning to also adopt the handycam recording style but in the end were more influenced by the fun and passionate dance style from this clip. There is a small section of choreography which you see and the end of ‘GB/BB’ video clip. I literally made up the moves the night before the shoot so was very much going with gut instinct reactions to the music. 

The Black Keys - ‘Lonely Boy’
‘Lonely Boy’ video clip was an influence for the performance of ‘GB/BB’ video clip. The Black Keys are not a band I have listened to but a friend who is also a filmmaker introduced me to this clip of theirs. It’s genius! I was captivated by the fact that a one take performance could engage you for an entire song. I was attracted to its simplicity. Working with a small budget I knew that keeping things simple was going to be my strengths. It gave me ideas of what I could do with the small budget but also leaned into my concepts with its earnest and passionate performance. 

Monkey Magic
Monkey Magic is a TV series that I grew up watching. The mythological characters were strange and funny to me and I would get caught up in the magic of their adventures. As a young adult I got into Kung Fu movies and then ended up training in Kung Fu and Tai Chi, which I still do today. In the making of ‘GB/BB’ video clip I have taken inspiration from the editing and camera styles used in 70’s Kung Fu movies which are represented in Monkey Magic. I have borrowed the crash zoom technique to introduce each person in the clip to make it as if they are the main characters of a film. This shock moment where we capture the characters off-guard is a way to highlight to the viewer the humanistic elements of each character and break down the fourth wall.
'Good Baby, Bad Baby' is out now in all the usual places.