N O P A R T O F I T

N O   P A R T   O F   I T
Far more important than baking bread is the urge to take dough -beating to the extreme - Otto Muehl

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Interview Series #20: William Meehan


 Aside from being a wellspring of Fortean knowledge, Mr. Meehan has been active either as a DJ at WZRD-Chicago in the 80s, a member of the pioneering Chicago freak-punk/no wave band Silver Abuse, or a noiser under the project Research Defense Squad still operable in some capacity since the 80s.
1.  What kinds of things have you been getting into lately?
I- Of late I've been collecting obscure Film Noir DVDs, continuing to immerse myself in late 19th and early 20th Weird fiction (and investigating the New Weird) and researching the Western Ceremonial Magic tradition especially the work of Jon Dee and his Enochian system of magic. Also continuing my studies of theoretical mathematics and physics and their relation to metaphysics.
2.  What you do, do you do it as an artist, or is it a hobby?  If you don't like that question, what do you have to say about true art (vs. "entertainment")? 

2- I am a musician and no, it is not a hobby, it is a spiritual calling one that I am determined to continue with until I pass into another realm.

3.  How would you describe what you do?

3- I sing, I write songs, I perform and record them with my band Silver Abuse. I am also collaborating with other musicians in some other projects later this year.

4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?

4- As a youngster I went through a period of learning my craft and as I got older was able to use the newfound abilities to explore the world of sound. Currently I am trying to use what I have discovered in these explorations to continue to make interesting music that will bring a certain amount of joy to those who listen to it.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

5- Don't be an asshole. And treat animals with respect.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?  If no, then maybe you'll share your favorite conspiracy theory (whether you believe it or not). 
6- Human beings have a certain amount of hubris in which so many people believe that they are the crown of creation. The universe is unimaginably vast (and unimaginably weird)and we are incapable of understanding even a tiny portion of it. I have had a lifelong obsession with the occult and the paranormal and have been a practitioner of various spiritual disciplines. Also, I happy to be a nice Irish Catholic lad because Catholicism is a wonderful fount of High Weirdness. As for my favorite conspiracy theory I really like the one that claims Hurricane Katrina was a form of weather warfare created by rogue Russian scientists in the pay of the Yakuza as revenge for the defeat of Japan in World war 2. 
7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?

7. DMT

8- A number of musical projects and collaborations that shall reveal themselves in time.
8.  Do you have any side projects that I am not aware of? If not, what is something you'd like people to know about you, that you don't think anyone would ever ask?

9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"? 
 

9.  Sprit of Eden- Talk Talk ,  Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Now Floating in Space- Spritualized,  Electric Ladyland- Jimi Hendrix, Intersteller Space-John Coltrane, Turangalîla-Symphonie and Quatuor pour la fin du temps- Olivier Messiaen, The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, Beethoven's nine symphonies, Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler, the complete works of Current 93, Coil, Nurse with Wound and Throbbing Gristle as well as most of Physic TV as well.

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?   

10- My cousin trying to drown me when I was three.

11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent? 

111- Yes. Some of my favorite artists are awful people. The idea that one has to be saintly person in order for their art to valid is idiotic.

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?  Feel free to add anything that makes them stand out.  

12- There are people that I have admiration for but I certainly don't consider them to be heroes.
13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote?  

13- ''It's my sincere wish that after my death, my head be severed and replaced with a bunch of broccoli. It's the artist in me.''

Friday, September 25, 2020

New Releases

New releases on NO PART OF IT, with options to purchase in bundles available now:


On this new full-length, An Accidental Exorcism, 156 returns to his original experimental industrial sound, but with an added flair. Though the music on this release is still in the spirit of early Einstürzende Neubauten, Test Dept, Crash Worship, and Z'EV, 156 has added the use of synthesizer on some tracks, while still staying away from outsourced samples, as all sounds used are strictly recorded by collaborators. On this newest release 156 pays homage to minimalist horror movie soundtracks, while still sounding like a drum circle in a rusty junkyard, and staying true to the “meditation music for metalheads” motto.

156 is conducted by Adel Souto, who is a Cuban-born musician, multimedia artist, and writer. The outfit started in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood in 2010, but has recently relocated to the Florida Everglades.

Adel began playing music in the late 80s, and had formed or joined many punk and hardcore bands, plus contributing to several albums by other acts. He has written for his own fanzines starting in the early 90s, and has devoted pieces to numerous magazines, fanzines, and websites since. He has released several books, including a “best of”, and a chapbook on the subject of a 30-day vow of silence, while also having translated the works of Spanish poets. His work, both art pieces and photography, has shown in galleries in NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami, as well as in Europe, and South America. His music videos have been screened at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives, and he has lectured on the subject of occult influences in photography at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development's Department of Art and Art Professions.


WAX FRUIT began under a different name, with at least one CDr under its belt, probably around 2010. St. Louis couple Michaella and Dom pool together their lengthy experience in this project, which finds Michaella using her influences as a DJ/Synth Fest curator/bonafide record geek to fuse ideas with Dom, who did synth-based experimental music and noise under the name Sigulda for many years, as well as running Side Of The Sun Recordings for much of that time.

Wax Fruit is clearly inspired by early 80s minimal wave and synth pop, perhaps also some choice synth soundtracks and other things, but I think there are some vocal melodies that contribute something compelling to the genre(s) history, if not carefully crafted lyrics that can easily resonate with most humans in our nauseatingly well-informed period of time.

While there are a few tracks here that are instrumental in nature due to collaborations with hylidae, and although the total running time is less than 26 minutes, DROWNED BY THE WORLD WE LIVE IN still plays like an LP, with the distinct feeling that a story is being told, and that the listener is in good hands. In hopes of reaching a wider audience, DROWNED BY THE WORLD WE LIVE IN has been reissued by NO PART OF IT label from a pro-cassette edition from around 2018, which were also accompanied by CD demos in slimline cases.


Harsh noise for junk metal, tape recorder, and 4 track, Recorded at the Apohadion Theatre in Portland, Maine over the course of two months, summer 2020. Sterile Garden on this recording is Jacob DeRaadt. Lightly mastered by Arvo Zylo.

Sterile Garden has been active since 2006, a project headed by Jacob DeRaadt, with and without regular collaborators. DeRaadt also runs the fantastic Basement Tapes label. His collective's output has evolved to include visual art and film. The project could be characterized by the use of primitive tape manipulation, blown-out field recordings, and just general good, old-fashioned industrial noise, but often without the regular gestures that have come to be constraints within the legacy of these mediums. Some people master the posturing of noise and experimental music; the hills and valleys can be predictable and reliably anticipated. Sterile Garden is even more amusical than those folks, with structures that often sound like archaeological excavations more than compositions.

With over 40 releases on labels such as Monorail Trespassing, No Rent, Dumpster Score, Fusty Cunt, and a recycled tape on RRRECORDS, Sterile Garden has weaved a diverse tapestry of mostly tape-based material, often traversing territory in or around the realms of sound collage, drone, and fluxus level material action. ACIDOSIS sees the project pursuing an updated approach to harsh noise, with DeRaadt's unique way of making his 4 track recordings sound like they were assembled in a burning basement, or dragged through a mud-pit. 


Blood Rhythms is a project headed by Arvo Zylo, with frequent guests and contributors. Here it sees the fleshing out of some ideas that have been in motion since 2003, but it seems like they have never been more appropriate to explore than now.

To be short: repetition as a form of drone music, or ersatz machine sounds, have been part of the repertoire since the beginning. Here we have Zylo taking his more ambient leanings, which were never quite soothing, and often more abrasive in nature than most, to maybe more of a rational extreme. As part of a natural evolution, these tracks exhibit further leanings towards a dense drone atmosphere, although not in a typical style of looping synthesizers and hoping for the best.

Instead, there is a bit more adventure to these tracks, as they're not afraid to be abrasive or raw, and they don't stray far enough from the bounds of noise music to be considered pleasant by the academic crowd. Herein, one might hear string instruments, harpsichords, factory machines, insects, and the air pressure of hissing steam. However, sometimes one sound has been juxtaposed in a way so as to resemble another, or be quite indistinguishable through all of the layers of different sounds, which one hopes at times, would make for a "third voice" to appear. "The Universe..." sees Zylo's signature "failed minimalist" style manifest with what is ostensibly drone music, but in actuality is often jam-packed with layer upon layer of nuanced stereo activity.

This incarnation of Blood Rhythms features source material from Dave Phillips and Daniel Burke. Art by Bradley Kokay. Harpsichord was recorded by Blake DeGraw at Cornish College. Thanks to Christopher D. Turner.
 


Chemtrails is the third release on NO PART OF IT Label from THIRTEEN HURTS, a project helmed by a character who goes under the name "One-Eyed Zatoichi", and active in some form or another since the 70s.

This release is a reissue of an extremely limited CD from 2012. While it has the overall application of many harsh noise and heavy electronics artists, being that it is created mainly with guitar pedals, Chemtrails stands apart in that it has a wide cinematic curve, with wild crescendos and sharp, rhythmic patterns that sometimes lead to climactic and engaging soundscapes. One-Eyed Zatoichi was kind enough to elaborate on nature of the release:

"...it was based on a concept. I noticed that out in Colorado in the middle of nowhere, we had a continuous abundance of chemtrails in the sky. It bugged me not for the chemicals raining down on us, but for the haze left in the sky which directly affected my astronomy efforts at night.

Around that time, I was aware of various conspiracy sites that talked of the Chemtrail issue. While I'm not hardcore or rabid on the subject, I did have concerns and thought that chemtrails would be an interesting subject to create some noise after. Following some research, the first thing I did was to come up with titles for the pieces... ...on Chemtrails, I had the titles first and then created sounds to go with those titles, almost like creating a soundtrack to a word instead of an image.

While I came upon quite a few "happy accidents", there was usually clear intent when I was creating sounds. Thus, as you are listening to the pieces on Chemtrails, you can look at the title of the piece and I'm hoping you can see what I was trying to achieve. Also, the pieces themselves follow a path. From the people, to the idea of inoculating them, to the method of deployment, to the chemicals themselves, to the visible result, and finally the end result. With all the forethought that went into creating Chemtrails, I am close to considering it a 'Concept Album'...

...The piece Useless Eaters is from a quote by Henry Kissinger: "The elderly are useless eaters". He also said the world population needs to be decreased by 50%.

The photos on the front and back of the cd are photos I took from the [solar-powered, completely isolated] house in Colorado. Being at an elevation of 6800 feet, the jets overhead seemed to be a lot closer than when I lived in California. That is how I was able to take a clear shot of the jet flying overhead. Considering this and the sheer amount of chemtrails overhead on any given day, one could say that I was more directly influenced to 'speak out' about chemtrails than a more casual observer."
-One-Eyed Zatoichi
 

In other news:





Blood Rhythms' Zerrissenheit was recommended in Avant Music News' picks of the week.  It was also aired as well as another artist on the label, TROU, by Teachers AIDS on KFJC alongside Eric Lunde, Brume, Darksmith, and more.   TROU was also aired on KFJC by Lexi Glass, along with Zoviet France, Incapacitants, Prick Decay, and Murderous Vision.  



A track from Nital Etch's "Simulacrum" release on NO PART OF IT was featured on a new dark ambient playlist by
Noctilucant
! Good stuff here! https://youtu.be/e40tZ3efS4I?t=2957

Nital Etch was reviewed by KFJC

Eerie Cinematic Vignettes.

Haunting, serene, and at times unnerving like dreams of lovers long passed, entropy, and the death of hope. A collection of modulated strings, samples, and ambient sound collage by Washington state’s Kevin Lewis culled from unreleased selections by this magnificent composer, released August 2020 by the label No Part Of It  (Chicago). In a word, perfect.





TROU was reviewed by KFJC!
“Trou” (pronounced trū ), french for “void” is the mysterious and prolific  rhythmic noise, harsh industrial project from France ca. 2012 to present. Three gloomy tracks of mind wipingly repetitive dark ambient/industrial fare suitable for the final round of stripping your captive of their ego. Apply liberally to the feeble minded in order to gain control and begin supplanting capitulation for autonomy as you guide them towards self destruction and they bend to your terrible will. Originally self-released on cassette in 2017 this outing is another delectable/detestable disc from Chicago label No Part Of It.





In 2005, Arvo Zylo constructed a drone piece out of several layered samples from pop divas holding sustained notes. It was submitted to a compilation with this information ahead of time, and rejected out of fear of copyright retribution. Thinking that since no single sample therein is easily recognizable in the slightest, "Upheaval" was reworked in a total of 100 different versions, the final version being four hours long ("The torture has been transcended" - WIRE Magazine).

This release, which was released in a cassette edition by deadbeat Czech label Nova Alternativa, is now available on pro CDR in the states, because the label failed to send artist copies after over three years of waiting. I do not recommend ordering the cassette edition, and the label had requested not to have the full release on bandcamp because of it. So now, after two years of only being a single, the full release is available to stream, download, or purchase in PRO CDR format.

This is the second full-length collection of Upheaval versions. The first was released on cassette by Tymbal Tapes, and features versions 63-69. More than just drone material, this edition of "UPHEAVAL", traverses several different approaches, from soundtracky ambient "vistas" to abrasive industrial repetition.



Nital Etch, Credo In Deum, Blood Rhythms, Thirteen Hurts, and TROU were reviewed by The Critical Masses. Here is an excerpt about Credo In Deum's "Blood Soaked Sand"":
Beginning with a much more overtly rhythmic approach than a straight noise hum, Credo in Deum warps a captivating tale of vicious danger through your speakers with the harrowing “Battered Wife Syndrome,” a dynamic opener that pits the loud violence of the track’s title against periods of tense quiet, ratcheting up the fear. As the album progresses, the rhythm is dialed back in favor of crackling noise, when the dial is set to “rock crusher,” or malfunctioning diodes, when the dial is set to “Sodomized with Spikes.” (Yowza …) At all turns, regardless, Blood Soaked Sand crackles with wicked energy, a tense and volatile ritual.



Nital Etch, Credo In Deum, Blood Rhythms, Thirteen Hurts, and TROU were reviewed by Vital Weekly. Read the reviews HERE.









Blood Rhythms' Civil War LP was aired on this lovely program, The Institute of Spectra-Sonic Sound, and also features irr.app.(ext.) + Nurse With Wound, Controlled Death, Anastasia Vronski, Phillip Jeck, and more, plus a PSA about the virtual streaming NorCal NoiseFest created by Lob Instagon and Austin Rich! Dig it!





Releases on the no part of it label were aired on the Signal-to-Noise radio program: Nital Etch and Thirteen Hurts! Also in there are guest appearances and tracks by Penderecki, Quicksails, Daniel Johnston, Peter Brotzmann, and more! Thanks to Nick Roseblade!




 This long out of print cassette release has been reissued on pro CDR in a DVD case! Still Arvo's most musical work to date, but it's chaotic and noisy a lot of the time, too. Much of it was recorded in a closet, directly onto a tape recorder, during bouts of life-threatening insomnia. 2001-2003 ish.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Interview Series #19: Steven Intermill




Steven, also known as Witchbeam, was one half of a long-standing occult-driven synth duo called Telecult Powers, whom I've seen a couple times at Chicago's Neon Marshmellow fests.  I've also seen Steven collaborate with Aaron Dilloway in Cleveland to great effect.  I think he is from Sweden.  I'm not sure what happened sequentially, but I had the impression that he lived in New York, and then (returned?) to Cleveland, where he founded a museum on the Christmas Story, and now a museum dedicated to witchcraft, called The Buckland Museum.   Steven also hipped me to Merrill Womach!   Thanks Steven! 
1.  What kinds of things have you been getting into lately?

Just what's in front of me right now. Operating the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick takes up all of my time, so essentially just reading and studying things that make a better experience for my guests.


2.  What you do, do you do it as an artist, or is it a hobby?  If you don't like that question,

I don't know! There's not a lot of separation. 

3.  How would you describe what you do?
I don't, I never have, no artist statement. Just wake up every day and pursue what ever strikes my fancy. 

4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?
When I turned 30 my eyes opened to the unique opportunities we have as living creatures. I spent the years before that just blank. Not sure what happened, but something did that year. I was filling my head with all sorts of information that finally boiled over into experimental music, illustration, painting. I was into it all before that, but it seemed to wait until my 30s before my ideas started to be more fleshed out.


5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

I had some risks I had to take a few years ago so I took the motto of "fortune favors the bold." Pretty self explanatory, let's see if it pans out.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?  If no, then maybe you'll share your favorite conspiracy theory (whether you believe it or not).
Yes, I believe in all of it, too many extraordinary experiences that can't just be brushed away. Lon Milo Duquette says that it's all in your head, you just have no idea how big your head is. Maybe that's it? As far as conspiracy goes - I do believe there is an attempt to overload our brains with a constant barrage of confusion.


7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?

Still waiting for it!

8.  Do you have any side projects that I am not aware of? If not, what is something you'd like people to know about you, that you don't think anyone would ever ask?
No, you probably know about all of it.

9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"?  
Ah, now you're going to make me choose between Fun House by The Stooges or Jimi Hendrix's Axis Bold Is Love? Not fair to either!

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?
Probably the most defined would be meeting my friend George when I was a kid, Easter 1976. Orange stuffed duck in my basket, I picked him up and spouted "Hey! George! What are you doing here?" My parents were under the assumption we were long standing friends. I remember that like it was yesterday.

11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent?
Topical question - I'm not going to go out and champion Michael Jackson or R. Kelly because I've never really been interested in their work in the first place. I guess it would be a case by case basis, good art probably only exists because of flaws in character. The cracks are what let the light in. 


12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?  Feel free to add anything that makes them stand out.

My wife Jillian is a hero, she has the Herculean task of dealing with me day to day. I always in awe of her patience and and work ethic. Helena Blavatsky for having an unrelenting drive.  All the early suffragettes. Raymond Buckland for having an uncompromising understanding of the first amendment.


13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote? 

No epitaph, sky burial all the way. Leave me for the vultures - maybe that line from the Coil song Amethyst Deceivers - "Pay your respects to the vultures / For they are your future."

Friday, August 28, 2020

August 2020 Update




NEW "BATCH" UNVEILED:


BLOOD RHYTHMS - ZERRISSENHEITMainly what Arvo Zylo did with recording sessions playing on John Cage's first prepared piano! It is worked over in his signature style of excessive layering and looping, and also features contributions from Dave Phillips, Bruce Lamont, and Blake DeGraw.





"TROU" (meaning "hole" or "void" in French) is a project which has been active for around ten years. Grjòthaugr has been reissued from a criminally limited edition cassette back in 2012. Like another favorite TROU tape, "Nebelsturm", Grjòthaugr is a hypnotic, loop-based, trance-inducing industrial noise/ambient release like no other I've heard. It's hard to tell for sure what makes these three lengthy tracks remain compelling for 15 to 35 minutes each. It could be Reichian phasing, moderate adjustments of effects, very careful layering, or maybe some other methods, but whatever the case may be, these loops of unknown origin take us on a journey.

 Much like locked grooves, Grjòthaugr's three simple loops welcome us into a void, where sounds change and mutate with the listener's engagement, and can appear to transform dramatically with slight changes in positioning. Much has been said about minimalism in art, and many a minimalist risks more than others the stigma for falling short of anything beyond mediocre. Here, whether it is sourced from tape loops or direct signals, we have a glaring example of compelling minimalist experimental music and noise. TROU is also known for creating exemplary harsh noise and HNW, and their releases are often diverse and wide-ranging, but Grjòthaugr, one of the outliers in the project's vast catalog, stands as a crowning achievement, obviously worthy of a wider audience.



Nital Etch is a project out of Washington State, from a town considered by many to be a truly dreadful place.   It is a morally, spiritually, and economically desolate landscape.  The sound of Nital Etch seems to confirm that:  One man with strings and some pedals creating the soundtrack to a nonexistent film, probably envisioning an unidentified rotting corpse lying dead in a ditch, only to be discovered months later because no one missed them.

Hyperbole aside, I honestly think that this project would be doing movie soundtracks if it weren't for all of the schmoozing involved.  Incisions or Obsolescence are pieces that could have been used for the score to the Joker movie.    The avenues of (dark) ambient, classical, and experimental electronics explored here can carry the rawness for a noise show, or the aptitude to present as an opener for Pamelia Kurstin.  Simulacrum is a collection of highlights from previous recordings to date, all of which have yet to be released into the physical realm.

Cover art by Bradley Kokay.


Credo In Deum is the current chosen project name for one Massachusetts native Robert LaBarge, formerly known under the moniker "Buddhist on Fire", among others.   Buddhist on Fire was active at least from 2007 to 2011, although some of the audio files from his now defunct SEAM label, on archive.org, are dated as early as 1997 within the metadata of the ID3 tags.

 There is an admittedly obvious influence from the work of Muslimgauze throughout my excavations, and similar to Muslimgauze, Buddhist on Fire was wildly prolific, having at least 260 releases during a relatively short period of time.  Another thing that occurred to me, was that there's an apparent series called "Hell 365", with each entry numbered "HELL-015" and so forth.  This is to suggest that an "album"-length release was published every day for evidently at least one year.  Of those that I saw, all of them were exceeding 60 minutes in length.

 Many tracks by Buddhist on Fire were percussive in nature, and it was this quality that I first found strikingly hypnotic when I discovered the project on a recycled tape from RRRECORDS around 2012.  However, when I explored that vast catalog of works by this artist, I found a significant amount of work that was much more expansive, textural, definitively noisey, and generally experimental than what I'd expected.

 I initially wanted to include some material by Buddhist on Fire as part of "ESCHATOLOGY", a 24 way split box set across 12 tapes that NO PART OF IT label was doing, but being that those cassettes were all limited to 20 minutes per side, and since many of the chosen tracks that I'd liked most were longer than 20 minutes by themselves, it became necessary to edit extensively.   I came to learn (and this came to me from LaBarge himself) that all of these releases are not only available for free on archive.org, but they are also available to publish freely within the public domain. 

With that kind of freedom, and with LaBarge apparently AWOL after his one single illuminating reply to me, I meddled with some of the tracks, and I edited excerpts as best I could.   I tried to cram the essence of what I thought would be the most representational tracks by Buddhist on Fire into 20 minutes of condensed and focused sound.   You'll find herein what I considered and chiseled down into a CD length release,  including what I'd decided on for the ESCHATOLOGY compilation .  It could have easily been two, or even three times as long, considering what I'd culled from several hours of listening.  Here is a little sampler of the pieces I've found with what I think is that glaring creative "spark" that I think some of us helplessly gravitate towards.

By the way, Robert LaBarge has since converted from Buddhism to Catholicism, and wishes for any future releases of his work to fall under the name "Credo In Deum".



THIRTEEN HURTS is the chosen project name of one rather elusive character who calls himself One-Eyed Zatoichi.  Active for many years, and having released the well-received "UVB-76" on NO PART OF IT label before, we were given the go-ahead to release two prior full-lengths under the THIRTEEN HURTS moniker.  Enthralling, almost soundtracky, heavy electronics with no noise swashes or synthesizers to speak of, listeners will no doubt enjoy the very unique and compelling work here, which was released in digipak CD format with almost no promotion.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Unreleased Cover Art by Bradley Kokay


Just as a reminder, numerous releases are available currently to bandcamp subscribers only.  They may or may not be available physically in the future.  Feel free to drop by and consider supporting no part of it label on a regular basis. 

Two copies of BLOOD RHYTHMS' "Assembly" LP were played at the same time, on WMSE Milwaukee's "Alternating Currents" radio program.  Listen to the archive here.  Copies are still available here.  



EaViL's "Les Fleurs du Mal" release was aired on German podcast GLORIOUS MONO a couple of times.  Here and here.  Thanks to Tex Royale!



Arvo contributed to "CONCRETE JUNGLE", a "SkateNoise" compilation curated by James Keeler (WILT, Hedorah).  There are some punk songs and some experimental / noise tracks utilizing the sounds of skateboards.




Arvo also contributed a track to a "Weird Music" compilation.  The track was completed in 2013.  At that time, rural Ohioan outsider musician/spiritualist Zack Kouns was curating a compilation of artists doing interpretations of his words/lyrics.  That compilation may not have come out, so Arvo's track is available here now.  Protman, a friend and collaborator, is also on the Weird Music compilation.



If you haven't already, feel free to check out this month's edition of the no part of it interview series, featuring recording artist and world traveller Anastasia Vronski.  In March of 2019, Arvo scheduled 30+ posts where various artists answered the same questions at around roughly the same time.  Those posts are being published on the 13th of each month.  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Interview Series #18: Anastasia Vronski


Anastasia Vronski is a bit mysterious for me, as I've been aware of her work for over ten years, and been in touch on social media, but she has never been very revelatory.  I know that she is from Russia, and on two different occasions when I was corresponding with her with regard to releases, she was travelling somewhere and with no permanent residence.   I have come to enjoy her work quite a bit.  I have touched on this a bit in my promotion for the 6 tape set that she is on, but her work, like her presentation in general, has a morose quality to it, while also imbued with a positivity and a lust for life, at least to me.  She goes from musique concret to black metal and a lot of things inbetween; field recordings, drones, doom, dub, and the like.  I thought I might be able to shed some light on the matter with this interview.  I hope you enjoy it. 
 
1.  What kinds of things have you been getting into lately?

I have always listened to a lot of music in various genres. Recently I have been re-visiting some of my favorite pieces of music through albums I made on my Facebook account. One is for songs and the other is for instrumental pieces, so basically I've been listening to a lot of things I already know and love but had not heard in a long time. As for recent discoveries, I am really into the recent Merzbow albums. It might be a cliché but I think Merzbow is really my favorite Noise artist because of the diversity of his output. From DADA collages to cut-up Harsh Noise through Free Jazz drumming, he has done it all and I value this variety. At the other end of the spectrum, I have been enjoying some Bob Dylan live bootlegs, especially from the ''Time Out Of Mind'' era. I'm also discovering noise from 2000-2010 that has a different vibration to it, such as Birds Of Delay, The Skaters, Vodka Soap etc.

2.  What you do, do you do it as an artist, or is it a hobby?  


Meaning of artist and hobbyist is complicated and not everybody agrees about it . What I can say is I have a job that takes all my time , now above this I study so I have not much time for making music and icons but I consider these activities as vital for me. It is a need

Before I was on Facebook I had no attention to photography . And discovering great photographers I began to make photos on my own, I had never before and quickly enough it changed all my views of Nature and the world , I began to see it through a lense , I had a camera in my brain and I had to make an effort not thinking like this , I felt it created a filter between me and the world ,( but at same time made me appreciate it more too ) but for music it is the same , I am constantly listening to noises, but I am used to it since I was little , it is my world so I don’t feel a filter.

With icons you express your creativity through very rigid rules .This is another experience . I cannot say it is a hobby as it is spirituality.

3.  How would you describe what you do?

It depends because I do many different genres. Noise-wise I would say I went from harsh to more drone-oriented sounds. I also try to incorporate noisy elements in otherwise ''electronic music''. I like it when the music is somewhat functional, when you can use it to relax, or maybe dance to. Some of my recent tracks are almost danceable, but always with something twisted about them. I'd say what I do is not ''pure'' as in purely in one genre or category. I wouldn't like to limit myself like that. It might not be a good way to get recognition, because I think people like to know exactly what they are going to get with an ''artist'' but I don't mind, so be it. I like the fact that it's not possible to categorize me as ''noise'' or ''electronic'' etc.

4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?


I taught myself computer and then music on computer . I started with Noise . Usually I record sounds with a small recorder and then arrange the sounds with the computer, sequence them. Sometimes I play live and record but most of the time I sequence pre-recorded material. Some time ago I decided to do only what I wanted whatever my mood (see previous answer). I learnt a bit of guitar, a bit of bass and percussions. Then I discovered field recording, Religious music, foreign music and it has inspired me to use my own field recordings and samples. I really like working with samples, putting them in a different context. I'm not worried about having to pay for using these samples as I don't sell my music. So, to describe my creative process nowadays, I usually start with a specific sound I have, it could be a field recording, a sound I made or a sample, and build around it. It sets the tone and often it gives me the title of the track too. If it doesn't work for me I start again with a different set of sounds.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?


In music : don’t make pay for music , don’t try to please for success , do what I want .
In life : try not to hurt.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?  If no, then maybe you'll share your favorite conspiracy theory (whether you believe it or not).  

I have my shaman , she helped me , and she taught me some things , like mind travel and healing plants . She wanted to initiate me to become shaman but I was not ready .
It’s difficult to imagine that this universe exists without being created , so there is almost certainly a ‘’God ‘’  but no proof that he is good . Jesus Christ was a good person , a revolutionary , only for that reason I can doubt and believe I need to know more .

I had 3 experiences making me believe in powers . 3 persons have hurt me badly , really ugly , and I wished very strong that something bad happened to them, and I imagined what it would be . I didn’t cast a spell , I just was thinking of revenge because I had been so wounded .
Not very long after I learnt that what I had imagined for them had happened . I was afraid because I didn’t know if it was me It was a terrible coincidence . , I didn’t really wanted what happened , only I was hurt and at one moment I needed a symbolic act to appease my heart
After this when I was getting angry and I was beginning to have some idea like that , I guess everybody has in anger , I quickly stepped back in my thoughts but still something happened to the person but not exactly what I had in mind . It happened not so strong or somewhat different .as if the process was interupted . So now I am very careful , even if I am not sure if these events were related to me . I avoid thinking of revenge and try to forgive the person and forget them.
I now try to see if I can bring something good , instead of bad , but starting with little things because I have to be careful, if I wish something good to someone it can bring something bad in their life . You never know the consequences of what you want , it can be worse if you do it for others
Maybe one day I will return to my shaman ,last summer a lightning struck the house where I was staying and an electrical device exploded near my ear . (I got tinnitus and hyperacousia because of it).
I didn't realize it was a sign. But now my life came to a stop , what I wanted I will never have , , so maybe it was a call of shaman .

I have a theory too , linked to climate change . I think it is so incredible that the lpowers that be carry on leading the humanity to its end , including themselves and their family, that I begin to believe they have a back up plan, , it could be going on another planet hiding it because if people knew it they would attack them , kill them and stop all this madness . So these people carry on to make profits until they will leave in secret , and it will be too late for the rest of us .

7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?

The death of my mother when I was 5


8.  Do you have any side projects that I am not aware of? If not, what is something you'd like people to know about you, that you don't think anyone would ever ask?


No side projects


9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"?  


Duos for Doris Keith Rowe & John Tilbury , Arseny Avraamov - Symphony Of Factory Sirens , Tchaikovsky Hymn of the Cherubim ,Erik Satie Gnossiennes 1 Gymnopedies My box of Shostakovish String Quartets , Stravinski Rite of Spring  Merzbow 4 Karasu 13 japanese birds

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?   


I choose one happy one little boy defending me at school when I was attacked and he would be my friend all my life and even become my adoptive brother later . My Seva.


11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent?  


I am able to see there are good things , that I like or love especially if I have known the work before
learning about the person flaws, but once I know it I can’t enjoy as much it anymore , like with Nietszche and it’s misogyny .

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?  Feel free to add anything that makes them stand out.  


Simone de Beauvoir writing her book The Second Sex in 1949 seems to me visionary .and brought the most important awareness to women .


13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote?  Over time well, it all goes away.    it comes from a french song .

Monday, July 13, 2020

Interview Series #17: Blake Edwards





 Scheduled March 2019
Active since at least 1991, Blake Edwards' main project Vertonen has traversed many different roads.  What I'll touch on here, firstly, would be his arrangements for various field recordings of factory/industrial landscapes titled Fait a la Machine.  I should add, that Edwards not only tracked down the various field recordings, at times getting permission from staff on site, but he also speaks French, so don't mess with it.  I should also add, that I think it's okay for me to say that he's an English teacher, so apologies in advance for any errors on my part... as they are surely my fault.  

While it would be a disservice if I didn't point out Vertonen's epic sense of long, sprawling ambient tundras that heave themselves into swirling mechanical feeding frenzies, or sometimes just dissipate into dust, I'd have to highlight a few of my favorites being a bit of the earlier works; The split LP with Nautical Almanac, Return of the Interrobang, Deteriorated Broadcast, The Split LP with 16 Bitch Pile Up, and some others that have a humble, yet ambitious feel to them, in the sense that they are often in the classic "everything but the kitchen sink" vein, but have a precision that only a pioneer could foster for that long--keeping us guessing.  Maybe it's simultaneously light-hearted, but also buttressed with the feeling that you're in good hands.  And even with the more ambient works, they are sometimes accompanied with deeply conceptual overtones, forgotten languages, and laborious symbolism, sometimes almost convivial in their ambiguity, and are dadaist the sense that they sometimes harken back to a more mathematical/serialist approach to noise music that is basically long-forgotten- a complete lack of the mythical fervor than many of us try to achieve with symbolic tropes or emotional diadems.   I would also be remiss to exclude the fact that Vertonen is quite fond of loops.  He's worked with locked grooves, real-time vinyl damage, and extracted numerous looper-cauldrons on extremely limited CDR from Robert Turman, Velvet Underground, Lana del Rey, and his live sets did include at one time tape recordings of machine sounds, harsh noise, synthesizers, and Lady Gaga.   

As a label head, Edwards ran the CIP label for an apparent 25 years, releasing intimate and integrity-driven large-run media with the likes of Wolf Eyes, Z'ev, Chop Shop, Joe Colley, Hafler Trio, Skozey Fetisch, Hans Grusel, and many others.   In place of CIP is now a smaller run label Ballast in its stead, focusing on more intimate listener settings. 



 1. What kinds of things have you been getting into lately?
Lana Del Rey, OULIPO, letterpress.

2.  What you do, do you do it as an artist, or is it a hobby? 
Hobby.

3.  How would you describe what you do?
Audio-based art, often with textual and visual components.

4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?
Most recently I’ve been interested in extracting as much possibility as possible out of outdated or damaged equipment.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?
Form follows function.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?  If no, then maybe you'll share your favorite conspiracy theory (whether you believe it or not). 

Absolutely not, nor am I particularly interested in conspiracy theories.

7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?
While that may be yet to come, perhaps to date contracting cryptococcal meningitis. Being in an ICU and subsequently receiving seven spinal taps likely shifted my perspective on the phrase “carpe diem.”

8.  Do you have any side projects that I am not aware of? If not, what is something you'd like people to know about you, that you don't think anyone would ever ask?

dead edits is a collaborative operation I execute with Eric Lunde.

9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"? 
NON: Pagan Muzak, Tori Amos: Under the Pink, Big Black: Atomizer, Misfits: Walk Among Us, Roland Kayn: Makro I-III, Faction: Darkroom, Hafler Trio: intoutof, Lana Del Rey: Born to Die.

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?  
My memory apparently isn’t that good: I do remember riding a tricycle on my grandmother’s concrete cistern (which doubled as a sort of patio) when I was perhaps 3 or 4.

11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent? 

Yes. The extent is while I may appreciate it, I will not support them financially.

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?  Feel free to add anything that makes them stand out. 

I do not: there are people I admire, but I would not pedestal them as a hero or a heroine.

13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote? 
A favorite quote: “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

—Catherine Aird