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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Interview Series #4: Blake DeGraw

 Scheduled on February 17, 2019
Blake DeGraw heads a collective called Fhtagn, where he usually provides contributors with a file to play along with as cues, with various different directives in mind.   I think I have taken part in Fhtagn around a dozen times now.  The first time I performed with his group, was in the middle of an empty parking lot behind a warehouse with ten violin players.  Most recently, there was a piece for 12 guitars, loosely inspired by the short lives of cicadas.  Prior to that, performers would try to read aloud tongue twister limericks, and if they failed to read its variations, they were instructed to scream vulgarities.  Other times people sang choir to ascending and descending sine waves.  Another one of his projects, Plancklength, did a sound installation which involved at least six large swinging metal tubes which operated on an axis, as they related to speakers and mics strategically placed.  The idea was to have an integrated feedback instrument within the space, but I think the venue restricted volume levels early on.  Still, many of those attending were plugging their ears for much of the time.   Blake and I have done a split cassette and recorded a significant amount of material at Cornish College, where he is a student. 

 1.  What types of things have you been getting into lately?

1. Russian video games, big time. Pathologic HD, 35mm, The Underground Man, The Void. Those fuckers make a mean game. Pathologic might be the single greatest piece of art I've ever consumed. Oh, and I've been getting really into this opera called The Devils of Loudun by Krzysztof Penderecki.

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

2. As an artist. I get no actual joy out of it.
3.  How would you describe what you do?

3. I write music for large groups of musicians, then I assemble large groups of musicians to perform them, usually unrehearsed. I also dabble in sound-art installations and piano music.
4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?

4. I was really into rock music. Then I lost interest in rhythm and tonality.
5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

5. Our brains are in control and "we"' are just along for the ride. 
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. Psychics: no, but that'd be neat. Magic: sure, in the sense that I don't know how anything works anyway. Ghosts: no (double no if they're wearing clothes). Gods: no.
7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?
7. I was raised by devout creationists. One day I was in an Indian restaurant with my at-the-time wife (also a devout creationist) and was looking across the room at an elderly couple in a booth. It suddenly occurred to me that we're all apes. I broke out into a cold sweat, looked at my wife and wondered what I had done.

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?
8. I'm slowly learning how to develop video games so I can make an adaptation of a Shane Carruth screenplay called "A Topiary". Maybe in like ten years.
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. I don't dabble so much in records, but I'd say just about any recording of Charles Ives' 4th Symphony, or Pithoprakta by Iannis Xenakis.
10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?  

10. Some moustached dude somewhere in the south (I think Arkansas or Louisiana) asking me if I like Mickey Mouse. I think I was two. 
11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent?  

11. As much as it pains me, yes, to the extent of...time, I guess? I mean, I tried watching the movie L.A. Confidential the other week, and I had forgotten Kevin Spacey is in it, and I felt gross watching him so I turned it off. But on the other hand, I listen to Carlo Gesualdo's music without batting an eye. So what's up with that?

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

12. George Ives (Charles Ives' father). The guy's family owned like half of the town he lived in. Like, dynastic. But he just worked menial jobs and spent his time putting on really crazy experimental concerts (this is the 19th century, mind you). Died poor and young. Most of Charles Ives' best works were just attempts to re-create his father.
13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote?  

13. I don't wish for a burial site. That's such a weird practice.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Arvo did a guest mix for I HEART NOISE site:  "Think an unholy combination of Danzig, Donovan, Charles Ives, Morton Feldman and Butthole Surfers." 

PUSSIFICATION and HETEROPTIKS were reviewed at VITAL WEEKLY.  Here is an excerpt: 

...Some of these cat sounds are imitated by bows on violins, or voices and all of that is set against
electronics, samples, a bit of rhythm. Mostly mild electronic ones, a bit of noise by the curator
himself and someone who goes by the name 'Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman'. Wasn't she a GP and
not a Vet? This track takes too much time anyway. And Suffering Profusion is a bit noisy.
Throughout, mostly pleasant and it helped against the pest in the wall I will know tomorrow.
    I don't tap into the world of radio, except for the alarm in the morning (and switch that of real
quick), simply because I have so much music to hear already. I, therefore, had little idea as who
was Wm Berger, to whose memory the compilation 'Heteroptics' is dedicated. Discogs says: "US
sound artist, radio host at WFMU, owner/operator of Prison Tatt Records and ex-member of Uncle
Wiggly." He passed away in 2017. Arvo Zylo created this "an authorized compilation as a "mixtape"
which "focuses mostly on artists who are either highly inactive, side projects which have maybe
fallen by the wayside, or somehow related to elements that NO PART OF IT would release if the
proverbial "we" had more time and resources". I assume this is all in the spirit of Wm Berger and
radio shows bringing music you wouldn't discover somewhere else. It is quite an eclectic mix here
of alternative weird rock music, sound collage, noise, guitar doodles, punky songs, folk and just a
bit of doodle. I recognized only two names Hecate and Costes; Hal McGee, a cassette veteran that
is not mentioned a lot in these pages, is behind Captain Mission, apparently a short-lived project,
which sees him in a rather melodic mood. Also included are Taki, State Research Bureau,
Angelblood, Sesso Violento, OMBRELLI SCIOLTI, Pigswill, Infectious Rex, Mossy Throats, Vacio
Perfecto, Mass Marriage, Regosphere, Sharlyn Evertsz and Essen Dreck. There is after all these
years still a wealth of new names to discover, for which the medium of compilation is probably well
suited (but perhaps bypassed by Bandcamp and Soundcloud), so who knows? Maybe we secretly
like compilations. We did in the 80s, long before the arrival of the Internet. (FdW) 

And speaking of...   if you didn't see it, feel free to check out the interview with FdW as part of the interview series HERE

Monday, May 13, 2019

Interview Series #3: Frans de Waard

Originally scheduled on 02/15/2019

Frans de Waard has been active since 1984, as either a recording artist, label head, or, after 1987, main editor of review zine (now website with podcast), Vital Weekly.  The self-proclaimed "grumpiness" you'll read below is characteristic of some of his reviews at Vital, but not always.  People who have kept on running a noise label have come to know this man, not to mention those of us who struggle to keep up with all of the releases that are coming out now.  His are the quickest reviews to come out of anywhere!  As far as his own recordings go, well, I don't like all of what I've heard, but I do really enjoy everything by Modelbau that I've heard, some other moments from various projects come to mind (Kapotte Muziek, Tobacconists), and his label Korm Plastics has released some real gems, some of which I did get to spend time with during my tenure at WZRD:  FâLX çèrêbRi, Autopsia, Asmus Tiechens, Illusion of Safety, et al. 

1.  What types of things have you been getting into lately?

Ah. My least favourite question first! It does imply that I do ‘different’ stuff all the time or that menu changes of my work, but I do what I always do. Listening to music, write about it, make music, find a label for it and play the occasional concert. Sometimes I try to write a short story, fiction. That’s what I always do, ever since leaving my fulltime job working for Staalplaat in 2003. There is no ‘lately’ as in ‘something changed’. But if you intend to publish in 3 years, things might have changed?

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

What I do is neither, really. I don’t consider myself an artist, nor is it a hobby. I do the things that I do and hopefully, find someone who buys it, so I can by food and pay the rent.

3.  How would you describe what you do?

Depends who's asking. In general, I say I work on ‘music’, either by writing about it or creating it. My passport doesn’t list occupation, so that’s good. I don’t have to invent a job.

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

That is not an easy one to answer I guess and maybe something someone who has been listening to my music for years could provide you with an answer that. I have very little interest in learning proper technological stuff and I usually investigate quite a bit of different technologies, before deciding one I like to work with. Modular synthesizers for one is something that I, for now, decided is not really an area I should move into. I love various iPad applications to do music, one I mastered pretty well, if I may say so. Throughout my work I try to maintain curiosity, which is for me, trying to work in various different musical fields. I like to do lo-fi electronic stuff with walkmans as Modelbau, do laptop music as Freiband, deep ambient as Quest or techno as QST. I may even return to doing ‘dub’. Of course none of this, especially with ‘techno’ or ‘dub’, I am not well-versed in it, but I keep learning and trying, so I would hope there is some progression. Is there? Not for me to answer.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

For a long time I would call myself an anarchist, but with the advancing of age, I realise I have very little interest in politics or think systems. I very much subscribe to humanism (Christianity without a god, I saw once, and I like that), but in a sort of nihilist way. You need a roof over your head, food and that’s it. You don’t need anything else, really. Basically, have that until the day you die. All your other interests are a mere luxury. Be kind to the person next to you. It is not that difficult.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?

Not all. You walk the earth, do some things that some people care about or not, and you die (in my case I say ‘I de-compose’). There is no afterlife, no reincarnation, you simply fade away from memory. That’s it really. I am sure not everyone agrees, and why should they?

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

In the late 80s, Jos Smolders from THU20 said to the younger me: “all that noise you do is quite nice, but when will you start composing with all of this noise”. Can’t say I always ‘compose’ but at least I try to think about 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?

I know I said ‘be kind to the person next to you’, so in slight contradiction/grumpiness; how would I know what you are aware of what I do? I don’t. As for the other question… I am not sure what I think people should ask me, really. What is it you would like to ask me? Send me that!

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

I wrote this some years ago…
“I am always very much in favour of something weird in something we already love. One of my favourite all-time records is '8 time' by Gilbert and Lewis. It's a CD which compiles various bits of vinyl together, and it's where we have something which you could still identify as pop music but which is also highly experimental in nature. An absolutely great sequence of songs - but really anything solo by either of them together is great, and so is Bruce Gilbert solo. From the same period - mid 80 s - another classic for me is 'A Happy & Thriving Land' by Five or Six, which is the best in combining something which we could call pop music but then in a small orchestral setting with some moody tunes. Never reissued on CD, and back then the LP sold really badly. A shame for such a classic.

Slightly more off pop music I think my favourite Nurse With Wound album should be mentioned, which is 'Spiral Insana', an excellent album of ambient electronics and fine experimentation. And in the middle of the 80s industrial music, pornography and concentration camps images, The Hafler Trio's 'Bang - An Open Letter' stood out so differently with its pseudo-scientific liner notes, tape-loops and field recordings, it's still an album to hear something new in.
Another old classic which was a real eye-opener was 'I'm Sitting In A Room' by Alvin Lucier', in which the voice is gradually transformed by using the acoustics of the space. And I recommend Steve Reich's 'Come Out', although not an album, certainly one of the pieces that, technique-wise, have it all.

Recent favorites would certainly include the two albums made by Machinefabriek and Michel Banabila, anything by BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa, Visitors from Nijmegen with their robotic/alien synth pop, anything by Roel Meelkop but especially the album he did with Takanobu Hoshino, anything by Mirror/In Camera/Christoph Heeman, anything by Asmus Tietchens, Stephan Mathieu, Main or Zoviet*France. I can always play their music, any time of the day or night.

Finally I'd say, you can't do music yourself if you hate your own music, and in terms of experimentation, my favourite works of my own in recent years are 'We Bring Light' with Ezdanitoff and almost everything I did with The Tobacconists, from the 'Smoking Is Green' LP/CD to the recent, as yet unreleased material, 'A Secret Place' and 'Streetlight', which its strong influence by Gilbert/Lewis, to bring it to a full circle. I never can choose.”

Surely some have changed or added, but yeah, that’s it. Not sure if I want records on a desert island anyway.

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can recall?  

That when I was five it seemed an awfully long time before I turned six.

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

I still think ‘American Beauty’ is a great movie. So yes, I can enjoy that despite personal shortcomings of one of the main actors. He’s great in ‘Se7en’ too. Knowing a lot of musicians, I saw a lot of flaws and sometimes it takes quite some time before appreciating what they do again, but most of the times it comes back. Sometimes it doesn’t but perhaps I wasn’t into their music in the first place.

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?

I never understood the need to have heroes or heroines, I don’t worship man nor god.

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

Epitaph: I gave up smoking and see where I got?
Quote: Get a life, not a lifestyle

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Arvo did a guest mix for Houdini Mansions.  Here is what was said:

[NO PART OF IT] label boss, Arvo Zylo, has put together this striking guest mix that ranges from grooving night beats to ragged walls of harsh noise. Prepare yourself for an evening of sinful delights at the dance club before being fed into the hell machine in the witching hours by a supernatural madman.

Arvo's collaboration with Dental Work was aired on WZRD, alongside John Duncan, Hawkwind, Locrian, Das Synthestische Mischgewebe, Brian Eno, The Gun, Shit n' Shine, and more. 

Arvo was interviewed by Adel Souto for his Ever-Increasing Interview project.  Adel has been active as 156, part of the recent A BIRTHPLACE IS NOT A GRAVE SITE set on NO PART OF IT, and has been writing for decades...  in zines and online.  He's also got a decent portfolio of photography, most recently a book of Battle Jacket photos.  

NO PART OF IT has the last copies of Sequencer Works Volume Three, originally released by Personal Archives and KaRyeEye.  Any purchase inquires can be sent to nopartofit@gmail.com

 Blood Rhythms on March 29 featured Blake DeGraw, Jeff Johnson, and Ilan Aelion doing video.  He happened to choose several silent film versions of Alice In Wonderland to use as source material.   The audio and video was recorded, here is a version courtesy of Ilan:

There were six speakers in the Chapel and a couple people were pretending to swim in it. 

As mentioned before, NO PART OF IT has launched an "interview series" of sorts, which will go for three years.  Every month on the 13th, a new one will arrive here.   This month, "avant-pop outsider" extraordinaire Little Fyodor gets his time on the mount.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Interview Series #2: Little Fyodor

 Scheduled February 18, 2019
Little Fyodor has been active since the early 80s, either under his solo moniker (more recently performing with his equally charismatic partner, Babushka), or as a member of oddball cassette culture icons Walls of Genius, and some other appearances with various projects.  To my eyes, he has singularly mastered the ability to make being socially awkward and uncomfortable look fun and humorous; a sort of polar opposite "life of the party" gone full circle.  For something like two or three decades, Fyodor hosted the Under The Floorboards radio program on KGNU, airing only material that was sent to him by "the insects".   I think Little Fyodor's album Idiots Are Closer To God was the first thing I pulled on my first appearance on WZRD.  We (myself and the other DJ) played the first track, You Give Me Hard On, and were both kind of blown away by how it was able to be simultaneously unhip, yet infectious.  So many people have tried at this and failed, and to this extent, it would be reasonable to think that a lot of punk bands looking for a gimmick heard Little Fyodor in the late 80s and fell horribly short of matching his, um, character.  Later on, I found out that he and Babushka visit Chicago around Christmas, and we did a show around then every year for a few years.  He and his mate Babushka have hosted me on my trips to Denver for Denver Noise Fest numerous times.  He also played slide whistle and did a twisted cover of Glad by Cream with me once.  It is something he'd done before with Walls of Genius, but it was a fun little romp.  I've always wanted to interview Little Fyodor, but what can I say, it would be awkward...  

1.  What types of things have you been getting into lately?

Feet, I've been into feet lately, feet and silicon.... Oh wait, you don't mean that!  I listen to WFMU whenever I'm home, I've been embarrassingly listening to the Beatles channel in the car, I've been recording a few new songs hoping my vocal chords will cooperate, I'm a slut for pop history books and animal violence shows on TV.  I like our cat a lot too, he's on my lap right now....  Oh wait, you don't mean that!

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

Is anyone really going to say their art is a hobby??  Of course, if you say you're an artist you sound all pretentious....  Okay, sure, it's a hobby!

3.  How would you describe what you do?

Weirdo punk?  Two of my latest songs are kinda slow and ethereal and hardly punk and another has a kind of classic rock riff.  Okay, just weirdo.

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

It's random.  Either songs come to me or they don't, I have no control over it.  And I just go with whatever comes to me.  Luckily nothing very complicated comes to me or I wouldn't be able to do anything with it....

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

Anti-reductionist.  (Which is why I can't answer that question, it's just too complicated.)

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?

No.  I don't necessarily dis-believe in them, but I don't believe in them.  That is to say, I'm not claiming they don't exist, but even if they do, I don't believe in them.

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

Listening to the Ramones Leave Home real stoned.

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?

Walls Of Genius is sort of a former project and current maybe side project.  Been working on preserving the legacy a lot lately, whether I'll ever contribute to a new release again is an open question.

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

Can I just have WFMU?

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

Crawling through the hallway to the kitchen pretending to be a dog.  

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

Re people I don't know, oh yeah, sure.  Lennon beat some women?  No prob!  Of course that was fucked up, but we all have multiple personalities, so you appreciate the part of the person that, um, you appreciate.  The ugly parts of them don't matter to that.  Re people I know, oh man that's a lot tougher.  And if you know someone, then you almost have to know their shortcomings!  Damn....

Saturday, March 30, 2019


NO PART OF IT has started a series of "interviews" which will appear here every month.   The first interview was with Bryan Lewis Saunders.   More info can be found on the series, and to read an interview with Arvo Zylo at The Critical Masses, to help spread the word about this series, go here.  

Excerpt from Bryan Lewis Saunders:
“Don’t make art for wealthy people. Make art for the youth. It’s the kids and young people that are the most important and valuable audience of all.”

 Excerpt from Arvo Zylo:
There are ways to take an idea and make it your own. No one really owns the ideas anyway, but unceremonious lifting of other peoples’ ideas, and especially doing a half-ass job of it is not tolerable for me. It renders a person’s work useless in my eyes. And it’s usually the doing of these rather selfish, mean-spirited, rude, and manipulative types who also abuse people, rip people off and so forth. To hear that George Harrison almost certainly stole synthesizer tapes from a studio intern and pawned them off as his own as “Electronic Sounds” is unforgivable to me. You might as well be danglin’ a baby. I can forgive shortcomings, and plenty of people who are rough around the edges, but not the particular conniving narcissist weasel/snake oil salesman type. 

Six tracks from PUSSIFICATION were aired on WCSB's Mysterious Black Box radio program with Lisa Miralia.  Also aired were Universal Eyes and Tom Smith + Mark Morgan, among others.  Thanks Lisa!

EaViL was reviewed at Lost In A Sea of Sound.  Thanks Ken!  Here is an excerpt:   Even though Les Fleurs du Mal is a collection of works recorded over many years, the influences and approach span far more girth. Influences from late seventies, through the eighties and on, the diversity on this composition touches a world of sound. Trying to accurately describe Les Fleurs du Mal is a challenging endeavor. An obtuse connection to The Residents, even more undefined impulses from early Jah Wobble, SPK, pop, dance, industrial... an explosion of musical creation reaching a vast proximity and leaving a uniquely specific detonation zone.

Arvo's most recent UPHEAVAL full length was aired a number of times on KFJC, and WE are just seeing it now.  HERE  HERE HERE HERE HERE and HERE .
Thanks folks!   

Upheaval was also reviewed at Lost in a Sea of Sound .

Here is an excerpt.  The composition herein will dislocate thoughts from their resting places. From Arvo's skill and experience, an hour of mind intimidation is too much for any listener. This composition starts off by making a score in the mental fabric, a cut just deep enough to allow feelings to escape and also get in. Calming sounds are applied, coinciding with an exuberant feeling of making the passage and earning the peacefulness on the next track. But the new sonic fields are also precarious and Arvo enlightens listener's to this fact. Over the next three tracks, conditions have calmed, almost drone like landscapes with fascinating electronic willow-wisps. Finally the turbulence returns, all encompassing white noise, like a giant eraser scathing back and fourth. The experience has been removed for something new.

333REDUX (abridged version) was reviewed at lost in a sea of sound:  Here is an excerpt:

Most of the artists on the full length version are unknown to Lost in a Sea of Sound. This fact carries over to the compact disc edition. What is recognized... Bob Bucko Jr., Sudden Infant, Somnoroase Păsărele (on DVD) and Arvo of course. Basically only ten percent of the total on either format. Musicians wielding energy, moving giant blocks of sound with thought and creativity, 333REDUX  awakens the mind to a vast unexplored world. An artist like Dave Phillips for example, twenty years of audio artistry, is new to these ears. Bob Bucko Jr., known and even described on this site, but playing in a different dimension. The mysterious Comfort Link, creeping up from the depths and covering thoughts with warmth and wonder. Just found out about this project from describing a release from the label sPLeeNCoFFiN. Protman, drilling into the mind with electronic insect bores. Critter Piss laying waste to the world with massive percussive explosions and alien wails of turmoil. These are just a few descriptions and thoughts from so much more. 

EAVIL, UPHEAVAL, and the new abridged version of 333REDUX were reviewed by Vital Weekly.  Here are some excerpts:


At various times these transformations are taken to the extreme, enter Zylo's
love for noise, with loops and sounds from the conveyor belts of an industry in decay, but also
decay of a more subtle origin can be spotted in not so ambient but also not so noisy excursions
such as 'Upheaval 96', which reminded me of Vivenza. I prefer that more 'subtle but not too subtle'
approach by Zylo, perhaps more than the blunt noise of 'Upheaval 99'. It is, however, the variety of
approaches here that makes this a most enjoyable release, even when the noise pieces could
have been shorter.

...and we get the music of Dave Phillips, Pigswill,
Verdant, Seth Ryan, Critter Piss, Comfort Link, Marlo Eggplant, Bob Bucko Jr, Aodl, Blood Rhythms,
Jason Ogawa, Insect Deli, Protman, Sudden Infant and One-Eyed Zatoichi. I am not sure why Zylo
decided to do this release; what was wrong with the DVD-R release? It's interesting to see that not
many of the names mentioned in the first review made here, but that's all right. I don't think I heard
the original (still!), so it is hard to judge these pieces, but throughout Zylo choose a varied bunch of
approaches here, from Bucko Jr's saxophone wailing to noise (various actually) and more subtle
variations on the word noise, which we sometimes call 'ambient industrial'. Actually, so I was
thinking, not unlike Zylo's own approach music. So, while being a bit in the dark as to the question
'why', this is altogether a pleasant remix trip.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Interview Series #1: Bryan Lewis Saunders

Today begins a series of "interviews".  I have sent the same questions to several people of varying stripes.  Each month on the 13th, a new interview will appear here for at least three years of the foreseeable future.  Unless people have been sharing/sneaking the questions amongst eachother, no one will see anyone else's answers until they are published.  From February 13th to March 13th, numerous people were sent these questions, unbeknownst to eachother.  I have stopped collecting answers and scheduling posts on March 13th, 2019. 

Bryan Lewis Saunders is an artist (and former performance artist) who is probably best known for his self-portraits that he created while ingesting various different drugs.  He's done a self-portrait per day for several years, under various circumstances.  He was also known for his "Stand Up Tragedy" performances, where he worked out some particularly traumatic experiences, and in some cases, subjected himself to devices of torture, and "made strangers cry".  He has collaborated with Z'ev, Hal McGee, Kommisar Hjuler und Frau, and myself, among others. Particularly notable is his twelve cassette set of dream speech collaborations, The Confessor, featuring his own dream speech, and the involvement of Joke Lanz, Leif Elggren, C.M. Von Hauswolff, Requiem, and many others.  More recently, Saunders has done lectures, been the subject of a documentary, and has been doing a series of works under the influence of deafness and blindness. I've also known him to collect found photos from a dumpster behind a foot doctor's office.   I think it would be adequate to call him an outsider artist, but also a kind and wildly talented person. 

1.  What types of things have you been getting into lately?

I’ve been freezing and burning myself in the bathtub. Lol. Seriously though, I’ve been doing extreme temperature drawing experiments and looking into thermoregulation and thermoreception and how these experiences with temperature influence my self perception.

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

It is not a hobby but I’m not a traditional gallery type of artist either. I guess it depends on your definition of artist.

3.  How would you describe what you do?

I draw myself every day and experiment with life and art in order to make knowledge visible. I use art to advance my life, improve my health and gain a better understanding of myself. So for example, I know alcohol thins our blood and an ice bath constricts the blood vessels to conserve heat, so today I’m going to draw half of my body sober in an ice bath in order to compare and contrast that image to yesterday’s half of a drawing from the ice bath where I had a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .16. I’m basically looking for similarities and differences. Patterns and novel perceptions.

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

First I used daily-self-portraiture to increase my drawing skills. Then I used it to counteract boredom and purge unwanted feelings like anger and anxiety. Then I used it to face my fears and to try and grow feelings. Then I discovered even more tools and practical utilitarian uses for it so now I am doing all of those things as needed but I’m also trying to hyper-sensitize myself by using them with sensory experiments.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

Art is advancement and the way that we advance is by facing challenges and overcoming them. So I’m using art to create challenges and survive and move forward.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?

No. Not while I’m mentally well.

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

Prison, college, mental hospital, group home… These institutional environments all seem to have had a large and somewhat equal influence on the course of my life. Even more than the near death experiences.

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?

I have retired from performing to focus on drawing. Did you know that? I started publishing a journal “Just Noticeable Difference” to start sharing my sensory and art experiments. They are kind of like a cross between imaginary exhibition catalogs and my art journal.

Not sure. People can ask me anything.

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

I think Erratum in Paris is consistently putting out high quality music that heals. If I had to pick only one Erratum release I would go with the “New Crium Delirium Erratum Coyote Circus” LP.

That said, both Dave Philips and L'Autopsie A Révélé Que La Mort Était Due A L'Autopsie consistently release masterpieces as well. If I knew I was going to be on an island I would probably go with L'Autopsie A Révélé because I often use their albums at low volumes to cure my migraine headaches.

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can recall?

Being a paralyzed infant and seeing a round man’s face going “wa wa wa wa wa wa…” bouncing in and out of my personal space. It is as if I was crying and my father forced me to breathe gasoline in order to stop. I call it the Wa Wa Man. Might just be my imagination though but I’ll never forget it.

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

We should not be the sum of our worst deeds. I think we should weigh the good along with the bad and go from there individually.

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?

Tehching Hsieh, John Duncan, Morgan O’hara, Carolee Schneemann, Chris Burden and Linda Montano to name a few. And all of the people that dedicate their entire lives to study.

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

No idea but I thought of a good one yesterday. “Don’t make art for wealthy people. Make art for the youth. It’s the kids and young people that are the most important and valuable audience of all.”

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Arvo was interviewed for the Seattle-based site For The Love of Noise.  Some subjects include Bachelor's Grove Cemetery,  recent releases, the impetus behind Hello Walls, newer releases that aren't available yet, and a bit of the ol' new age philosophy. 

 Jacob An Kittenplan wrote a blazing review of the recent six tape set A BIRTHPLACE IS NOT A GRAVESITE over at Cassette Gods.  Thanks so much for taking the time!  (There are a few copies lingering, by the way).

Here is a nice leading quote...
I’ve probably listened to this entire compilation about 20 times through, and the implied constellations keep coming, with every listen. It feels kinda criminal that there are so few of these collections to go around, but I hope that somebody’ll maybe press it to 6xLP wax some day, when we move away from formula, in the interest of darker moods. 

Xerox manipulation by Bradley Kokay
 Blood Rhythms will be performing again in Seattle at Chapel in March.

 Two avant-garde/experimental/noise supergroups/ensembles and expert synth soundtrack music of the industrial variety.

FHTAGN is an experimental chamber ensemble started by Blake DeGraw in 2015. Since its inception, the group’s amorphous lineup has been joined by over 70 musicians from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. Primarily employing non-traditional means of scoring and conduction, FHTAGN has performed as a string orchestra, surround-sound choir, saxophone quartet, guitar orchestra, and many other formats, often employing large numbers and extremes in spatial dispersion.
“The combined sound of [FHTAGN] could be described as if Charles Ives had access to psychedelic mind-altering substances.” - icareifyoulisten.com

Andrew Quitter began making experimental sounds as a teenager after receiving his first 4-track recorder in 1998. His main projects over the years have been Suburbia Melting (1998–2012) and Regosphere (2007–current). He has toured the country many times and released close to 200 recordings since 1998. He also started the label DumpsterScore Home Recordings in 2003, which has put out over 100 releases in the past 15 years. Around 2009, Quitter began expanding his tape collage techniques with the addition of thick drones sourced from analog synthesizers and organs, as well as elements of percussion and extended field recordings. This led to the first full-length album under his own name – Entering Saturn’s Return – released on the Ilse label in 2011. He has also composed several soundtracks and done sound design work for independent horror/sci-fi movies.

Blood Rhythms is the collaborative umbrella moniker of Chicago transplant Arvo Zylo, who has been living in Seattle for a little over a year. Blood Rhythms began slowly in 2007 as a brass/drone ensemble; which is to say, as many blaring horns as possible, effected in a nonmusical repetitive style. Since then, things did evolve into a sort of synth and junk-metal collective. "Assembly", an LP out on legendary noise label RRRecords, is the culmination of what Zylo has done in post-production for five horns recorded in a meat locker, and Blood Rhythms has recently made their formal Seattle debut sharing members with FHTAGN, opening for Blevin Blectum this past October. Back in Chicago, Blood Rhythms has included as many as fifteen horn players, or at other times, five drummers, but more recently, the Seattle iteration of the project has focused on studio work, minimal trios and more dense sonic concepts.

Arvo's appearance with a 12 person guitar orchestra as part of what is collectively known as Fhtagn last month was recorded and can be heard here.   The material is more of a sound collage arrangement than the barrage of riffage that one might expect, and is inspired loosely by the life and death cycles of cicadas. 

Blood Rhythms' reworking of Arvo Zylo's 333 material on 333REDUX was aired on WZRD (by request!), alongside Chrome, Brume, Illusion of Safety, Bonzo Dog Band, Swans, Betty Davis, Joseph Hammer, The Residents, Chris Connelly, Carl Stone, and more!!!   Listen HERE

EaViL was aired in a special Xmas episode of Mid-Valley Mutations hosted by Austin Rich.   Also in this holiday edition were Vincent Price, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Walls of Genius, Bren't Lewiis Ensemble, Juice Machine and more!    

Speaking of, an excerpt of Blood Rhythms' first Seattle performance was aired on Mid-Valley Mutations, recorded during Mini-Mutations' Pacific Northwest tour in October.   Take note of Mark Hosler of Negativland's set!  And one more thing, in part of the tour recap, Austin said this of the Pussification compilation (and his involvement in it).

I’ve been a fan of Arvo Zylo‘s work ever since Bob Bucko Jr clued me in, so being invited to contribute a track to a No Part of It release was very exciting to me. “Pussification” contains music about or inspired by cats [edit: it is material featuring cats in some way], released by a wide range of artists, and being on a comp with Fhtagn and Forrest Friends just felt right for an early Mini-Mutations release. At one point, Arvo referred to me as, “The Mr. Rogers of Noise,” and I let that steer my inspiration while I made this track, which was recorded over an afternoon between prepping for this tour.

Our friend, noise artist / label head Jan Kruml and his cat are enjoying the new compilation, PUSSIFICATION.  In this particular case, FORREST FRIENDS.  

Monday, January 14, 2019


The opening track from the new compilation "Heteroptiks", by Taki Pantos, was aired on WZRD... alongside Author & Punisher, Adult., Grace Jones, Luc Ferrari, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Lesley Gore, and Esplendor Geometrico.  LISTEN HERE 
 Also on WZRD, there were two tracks from the Pussification compilation aired on two different shows.   Arvo Zylo's track (w/Chollie) was aired here, and Fhtagn's track was aired HERE.  Thanks wizards! 
AND Mass Marriage's track from HETEROPTIKS was also aired HERE alongside  Bren't Lewis Ensemble, Black Sun Productions, Yoko Ono, Gintas K, Alvin Lucier, Legendary Pink Dots, and more.  

Marlo Eggplant's track "Arvo" from 333REDUX was aired on "What's This Called?" radio show in Portland.  Nadja, Legendary Pink Dots, Plastic Ono Band, Mini-Mutations, and Thai Elephant Orchestra were also aired, among others.  Listen HERE.

4 new releases on NO PART OF IT were reviewed at Critical MassesA Birthplace Is Not A Grave SitePussification, Heteroptiks, and Upheaval.   "It’s OK, you can do a double take, blink a couple times, and shrink away, never to return to this subject again. Or you can embrace the weirdness, the inventiveness, of this idea and run with it. ".     Thanks Ryan!  

"Like a holy artifact or lost secret document, A Birth Place Is Not a Grave Site contains unfathomable riches to discover. There are three b/w 4 x 6 art cards by Arvo himself, stunning, haunting, tactile, visceral pieces to accompany the mood. A b/w photo is also included – mine is a postcard of four adolescent girls on ponies. The contrast in aura is unsettling, although the representation of a time long past is spooky enough to click with the rest of the vibe."

Marlo Eggplant's split with Arvo Zylo was ranked at #175 in Tabs Out's Top 200 tapes of 2018.  I believe it was the only split cassette in their rankings.   Thanks boys!

All four of the most recent split cassette tapes on no part of it were reviewed at CASSETTE GODS.  We are grateful they took the time to give these kind words here.  Follow the links below!

PBK/Arvo split review
BBJR/Arvo split review
Marlo Eggplant/Arvo review
Andrew Quitter/Arvo review

"AZ’s side couldn’t be further from the prior, eschewing any semblance of whimsy for a stilted, panic-inducing stack-upon-stack-upon-stack of Steve-Reich-meets-hyperspeed-cloned-Conlon Nancarrow sequences that amplify, obfuscate, & further bastardize each and every one of themselves with every passing layer added. Though the trajectory is plainly mapped, the psychoacoustic effects are not. This is a pretty wild ride for anyone willing to exercise their patience, and sanity, to be sure!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2018



The pre order won't last long, but the "introductory pricing" of the digital downloads will go up after the pre-order is over!!!!!!!!

EaViL was a simultaneously timid and unwieldy odd couple of queer synth-pop outsiders. For ten years, E. Al Dente and N. Vilches released home-made CDRs in EP format, almost always containing one or two cover songs.

The two as a unit were either indifferent or untoward regarding the unspoken obligations of your average musical acts, while still maintaining a sort of resolute hermetic diligence in terms of promotion, regardless of their intentions. There are no overwrought affectations, no "ersatz bad boy" aesthetics, no self-conscious posturing, no Machiavellian bullshitters, and no obnoxiously ambitious go-getters here. Rather, in the place of any particular over-arching gimmick, is a general "take it or leave it" tone to the work, which is brimming with a sense that the listener is being welcomed as a guest into the artists' home; and with it, the kind of spiraling raw inspiration mixed with studio-rat isolation vibes that so many of us crave. Nevertheless, the audio/visual performances of this yin/yang dynamic were nothing less than over-stimulating (there are a number of music videos on youtube that were used during live sets).

What at first rose out of the ashes of membership in a precociously noisey Indian Jewelry related band, The Electric Set, was a series of modest, yet earnest and gentile nods to the history of performance art , as well as Italo disco, among other things. Odd masks, warped videos of Diana Ross, with lyrics about EaViL's cats ("Patsy" and "Edwina"), Alfred Hitchcock movies, their south side Chicago stomping ground (McKinley Park), or "Tarantula Juice" and other surrealismo, permeate the lo-fi synth soundscapes, which at times just happen to tip-toe similar territory as wide-ranging as BeNe GeSSeRiT, Atari Teenage Riot, Giorgio Moroder, or Le Forte Four.
Initially, EaViL were an all-analog group, slowly evolving to embrace laptop technology. During their tenure, they performed on the famed "Chic-A-GoGo" public access TV show, were featured in Mark Solotroff's (Bloodminded, Intrinsic Action, Bloodlust label) "Autosuggestion" live series, and opened for popular "electro-glam" duo Glass Candy, among other ventures, but as far as we at NO PART OF IT are concerned, their collective musical candle went out too early.
"Les Fleurs du Mal" is a kind of bittersweet posthumous anthology of favorite tracks and alternate versions, including some highlights from an unreleased/unfinished album called "DeciMaL" for your personal enjoyment. The digital download contains more than twice as much material, with hidden bonus tracks-- A smattering of more experimental dimensions from the outfit, not to mention some particularly deconstructed covers of Prince, Yaz, and Siouxsie.

(BTW: Here is the vocalist's book with Stella Castelucci, the harp player on an obscure Peggy Lee record called "Sea Shells")

An authorized compilation as a "mix tape" for NO PART OF IT label. Curated by Arvo Zylo, this was an impetus that continued to gain momentum since the release of the somewhat pivotal V/A "Delirious Music for Delirious People" CD in 2011.

This particular comp focuses mostly on artists who are either highly inactive, side projects which have maybe fallen by the wayside, or at least somehow related to elements that NO PART OF IT would release if the proverbial "we" had more time and resources.

In general, the comp was assembled with an intention to have a freeform and unpredictable, yet cohesive flow; The galloping electro-classical Foetus-isms of PIGSWILL, the operatic choir samples mixed with breakcore cinematics of HECATE, followed by the expert rhythmic horrorscapes of the never-released near 20 year old track by virtuoso punk rocker Infectious Rex, the pulsing funerary morgue throb of MOSSY THROATS, the aleatoric synth repetition of VACIO PERFECTO, the brutal, model-themed power electronics of Canadian artist MASS MARRIAGE, the pulsing, Christopher Dorner-inspired industrial anthem of REGOSPHERE, and so forth.

Some notes on a few entries:

The (dearly departed) TAKI PANTOS, whose CD still has no representation on the internet. TAKI performed solo accordion or guitar at Simon's tavern in Chicago for several years. He was said to have been somewhat psychic, and by a few accounts, would play medleys which would, apparently at random, reflect the thoughts or childhood memories of the nearby listeners...  or otherwise, exhibit remarkable synchronicity. All that aside, Taki did a CD between his stays at the nursing home, and rumor has it, he fired all of the house musicians in the studio, and played all of the instruments on the CD himself. It was mentioned in the Chicago Reader in the 90s, and again a few years ago by Arvo as a guest of the "In Rotation" series for the weekly paper.

STATE RESEARCH BUREAU is an experimental folk project that has never been physically released and would otherwise have died an unceremonious death within the decrepit annals of myspace. The artist, who I can easily assume would prefer to remain anonymous, is also an extremely minimal noise artist with a pre-occupation with self-immolation and a severe case of schizophrenia (hence the name). The tracks exhibit soft-spoken vocals, acoustic guitar and extreme feedback used to highly evocative and penetrating effect.

ANGELBLOOD are a long-defunct, experimental black metal band with two different female vocalists.  Featuring members of No-Neck Blues Band, Gang Gang Dance, and many other one-off vinyl collaborations and generally intriguing projects.  Rita Ackermann AKA Ritha Cyklon, had recorded an LP of  tape manipulated voice on Thurston Moore's label Ecstatic Peace! prior to joining ANGELBLOOD.   The drummer, David Nuss, is now a member of Sabbath Assembly, a band dedicated to the messages set forth by The Process Church of the Final Judgement, and initially started out in 1980s Corpus Christi, TX in a ground-breaking punk/thrash band, Angkor Wat, with Danny Lohner, who went on to work with Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle.   The bass player, Brian DeGraw, collaborated with controversial  film-maker Harmony Korine in the totally out-there SSAB Songs project, among other things.  So anyhow, the correspondence for this compilation may have motivated the band members to make their out-of-print material available digitally, and we are grateful!  There is such a unique and insular sound here; with multi-lingual lyrics and a wide array of textures that all seem to come from territory completely outside of typical avenues of contemplation, general languages of black metal, and organized music in general.  This is a metal band that would / could / should appeal to listeners of noise music and various avante-garde avenues, but maybe not for people who are sensitive to the psychic space that may come from vocalists under various, obvious trance states! 

OMBRELLI SCIOLTI are a guitar noise duo from Chicago, and this track is from their long sold out release on Tymbal Tapes, which was among my top favorites list of whatever year it came out by a long shot. Live, they are just as wicked, and I'm under the impression there are no overdubs, yet the spiraling loops and glimmering twang debris make heads spin like no other guitar/pedalboard maniacs I have ever heard.

CAPTAIN MISSION is a short-lived project by noise-veteran Hal McGee, and to date, as far as I know, his most musical. Hal's equally fugacious label KASSETTE KULT released this CM cassettte, both of which in a high quality, yet fly-by-night manner, as if it were connected, and to be brief, I can say this is one of my favorite synth albums, particularly because it plays like a noise tape, but still has an inspired structure that stands up to many legendary synth soundtracks (I will take it over Vangelis any day, but that's just me!) without sounding like the same ol' arpeggio homages and gloopy histrionics.

And so on....

The digital download includes more authorized tracks that could not be included on the CD.

Every track is authorized by every living artist featured and if there are copies we can send to Taki's estate, we will gladly do that upon contact.  Taki's track was taken from a  CDR given to Arvo at Simon's tavern, not the actual CD, which is not certainly a pro pressed object until there is objective proof of it! 

This collection is dedicated to the memory of My Castle of Quiet / WFMU radio host, PRISON TATT label head, and good friend Wm. Berger.

The only "open call" release that NO PART OF IT label will ever do, and perhaps the only appropriate soundtrack to our current times, this compilation is comprised of material featuring content by the feline variety in some way, whether it be by interacting with instruments or simply existing in some audible way.  Some notable entries include the work of "sevenism" who uses software that extracts the basic elements of onomatopeiac sounds and fuses them into unique hybrid instrument voices.  There is also The Rock Cats, which are a touring bus of cat-musicians trained to play drums, cowbells, piano, guitar, and so forth.   Let's not forget there are more than one track where a cat gets to take the reigns on a synthesizer!  And there are cat sounds used masterfully for cinematic effect by Fhtagn.   Dig in!

The pro CDR comes in a jewel case with full color art, and contains art (in the public domain) from the 1900s by the famous cat artist, Louis Wain.

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 has been slated to be available in cassette format at Czech label Nova Alternativa, is now available on pro CDR in the states. More than just drone material, it traverses several different approaches, from soundtracky ambient "vistas" to abrasive industrial repetition.

AND finally, a SIX TAPE SET OF (C40)  CASSETTES ENTITLED A BIRTHPLACE IS NOT A GRAVESITE ... featuring TWELVE side-long entries with solo artists/misfits from various walks of life.   Each copy comes in a black vinyl case with a handmade OBI strip made out of black damask wallpaper and a wax seal, a hand-numbered insert/cover, a hand-stamped black and white photo, and three black and white 4x6" art cards by Arvo Zylo.  Limited to 32 copies, less than 10 copies are available at this time.   90% of contents are either previously unreleased, OR at least previously unreleased on a physical format.   I wasn't even going to write about this on the internet, but I guess that is why I included these artists in the first place!  Currently being dubbed and all the materials are otherwise ready!   


156 -  The project name for sound artist, punk singer, photographer, writer, and trucker Adel Souto, which apparently on occasion has operated as a "collective", but also seems to have resigned from adding to the list of what small amount of live performances there have been.  156 has self-released many intimate limited edition audio artifacts, as well as being featured on labels such as Chondritic Sound, Out-of-Body Records, Goat Eater Arts, and others, but he/they might be best known for the self-released "Memento Mori" (bone white vinyl!) 10 inch, which features arrangements entirely played with human bones in some way.  The side-long track in this set is a loop-based bit of dark industrial ambience that will be a nice addition to the 156 discography, to collectors who know that special organic spark in noise music, and to people who want to hear a pretty reasonable audio representation (voluntary or not) for the act of being buried alive.

ILTH - Having worked with Blood Rhythms and done cover art for NO PART OF IT's first release (the locked groove 7 inch compilation in 10 inch jacket), plus one of our logos, among other things, it became necessary to exhibit the work of ILTH as a sound collage artist of the utmost dadaist/industrial variety, since his long history of visual collage work would be a good introduction to this cassette side alone.  I have said before that it seems more than anyone I know that ILTH has true dadaism in his bones, and there is no exception with this work, which is very likely all analog tape loops and 4 track manipulation.  Ghostly scum and screech.   Of course, ILTH has worked with punk bands UFUX, Daily Void, and Functional Blackouts, among many others, and also curated the series of compilation LPs "Tarantismo Summit", but the side featured here has excerpts from an unreleased untitled full length, tentatively "Ilth Zongz 2017"...  ILTH could easily be on any number of labels with this material, his solo work is scarce for an apparent reason.   We are thankful to have him on our roster in any capacity!

DJPTSD -  The solo project of travis from the well-renowned and monolithic "industrial gospel" band ONO, I am not sure if anything in this vein has been released physically, although it has existed on soundcloud for years.  Of course, travis has performed solo, singing "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child" over screeching feedback, swaying around with a big hunk of jagged sheet metal, but this here seems to be his experiments with Garage Band, and as such, a kind of soft spoken exhibition of minimalism comes through, but not nearly as much as an unwavering propensity for unkempt and almost writhing bits of rhythms, sprinkled with spoken word and vocalizations in a manner that seems largely forgotten as an option for experimental musicians.  travis explained to me his method of dissolving intentions into short, but dynamic (often perceivably nonsensical) phrases, and this material, to me, feels like being in a classroom demonstration where personal wounds are dressed and decorated, so as to conceal their true meaning to those who have not also been wounded similarly.

MARK SHIPPY  -  Of course, Mark Shippy was in the band that were sort of heroes of mine during the latter part of their tenure.  U.S. Maple blew my mind and gave me a new language to nonsense, but also dismantled rock in a way that was dynamic and captivating, while still maintaining its unpredictable and wild nature.  Shippy has been in a number of projects, most notably (to me currently) is Invisible Things, which takes the notion of noise rock and really has such production to it that it comes off in more of a tone akin to jazz mixed with musique concret, but is none-the-less, uncompromisingly noise rock.  And still, I've seen Shippy play solo at least 4 times, and my favorite is when it gets noisey and psychedelic.  I have seen a number of ambient guitar solo artists with standardized twinkly and innocuous pristine mastery, and it's not what I want at all.   This is what I want!  It's not "shredding" per se, it's just sort of menacing guitar loop stratification to the point of meditative clarity for lack of time to think.   I have no idea if Shippy has done physical releases of his solo work, but I think it's time he should. 

ANASTASIA VRONSKI -  Out of nowhere (Russia), I came to know of this artist around a decade ago.   I think she just pumped out digital releases without a care to secure any of them as physical releases, and as such, there are only a few CDrs here and there to report, but while both digital releases (and CDRs) often have the stigma of poor quality content, here what I get is a sort of sadness that this sound is limited to and trapped in the ephemeral and banal world of the internet.   Early works "The Blaze", "The Spell", and "The Drowner" come off as deliberately created alternate field recordings, as if the sound of dripping water mixed with fire has a particular emotional cue, and can be rendered into language as musique concret.   That said, Vronski has spent time in the realms of dub, black metal, and contemporary classical, among other things, and her vocabulary seems as deep as her heart seems to be pure.   The artist let me take samples of tracks from various periods for her side featured here, and it has everything from fluxus ambience to harsh dirgey metal, and broken glass strewn about the stereo spectrum.

MORGAN GARRETT -  Well I'll be damned if I have ever heard anything quite like the work of Morgan Garrett.   I have seen him live about three times, and I've always been impressed by his capacity to create sheer unpredictable chaos under the guise of something that still resembles a 4/4 beat, underneath all of the effects.  Not to be mistaken for any kind of breakcore mannerisms, Garrett clashes pitch bent vocals with piano samples and beats, and sometimes you're not sure if there is a verse or a chorus or a breakdown, but you're also not sure if there is supposed to be anger or sadness or happiness being expressed in the wild eyes of the singer, as he is delivering some sort of Muppet Baby pontification with a stern evangelism; simultaneously unflinching and disheveled.  It is most certainly hard to describe, but I will say that after hearing the perfect madness of MG's "Scream Culture" cassette, which came with hand-painted-neon cases and blue fur glued to it, I knew there would be something of his on NO PART OF IT sooner or later.

BOYLE -  When I had my old radio show, I, out-of-the-blue, received a set of six CDRs from Boyle, with covers that were obviously printed with a xerox machine from the 80s.  All of the tracks were titled simply by the dates they'd been recorded.  The search online came up with nothing.  I couldn't contact the artist until finally something came to the radio station with an email address.   Even now, there is almost nothing about Boyle online, except some confusion with a member of The Nihilist Spasm band, and an entry that he did a collaborative tape with Bob Bucko, Jr (it's frickin' good, by the way).  Whatever the case may be, John Boyle of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, has done a number of (probably analog) recordings where I am not sure what the instrument is that is being used, and not because of special fancy gear.  But also, the earlier stuff that I have heard really seemed to be a musician making noise with pure material action in a way that suggested he'd never heard noise music before.   Like a noisier Jandek without the meandering gibberish.  This may or may not be true, but Boyle's body of work ranges from several layers of a person improvising with himself, in a raw elemental fashion, to some truly magical ambient work.  The modus operandi is hard to pin down in general, but the side featured here on this set is a nice little flute debacle, and it might hint an inkling, to what I am trying to say here.

NOVASAK -   In noise music, the tale of a person might be better told in what their involvement was and what they had to offer, more than what they sounded like, how many "fans" they have, or how "good" they were.   In NOVASAK's case, he helped run the Denver Noise Fest for several years, providing a monstrous sound system of his own design, with specially crafted huge bass cabinets and god knows what else.  When he moved to Tampa, he also helped run the noise fest there in St. Petersburg.  Since at least the mid to late 90s, he's had the Swamp of Pus label and distro.  But all that aside, I just generally think his work is great.   He's always got some modified device to effect some expertly applied minimal noise composition, and "harsh noise" is not the beginning of it.  A completely black mixer with no signifiers at all, or a strange device that looks like the little golden box from the movie "Hellraiser", for instance.  "Harsh" might, on  occasion, be a good descriptor, but generally, the work of NOVASAK would be better described as a kind of psychedelic heavy electronics, with pulsing and swirling nuances that, without a "noise swash" or a synthesizer, often feel sonically to me like there are little creatures crawling around within his recordings, and they compete with eachother to gesticulate their own particular sense of dread properly, if only they could just have a moment to breathe....

LALEMUS -  One half of industrial/power electronics/horror/serial killer/fetish/noise act BLACK SHEET SERVITUDE, Lalemus, apparently something from an H.P. Lovecraft novel, is the solo project of one Skye Phillips, a young Latin/Native American lady from California.  When I first heard her split with Phantasm Nocturnes, which seemed to start off with extremely and sparsely cut field recordings of tribal drumming/chanting, layered in a rhythmic industrial fashion, I was thrilled, and that side, which was around 40 minutes in duration, never failed to keep my attention or interest.  The expert use of ethnic, antiquated samples and dynamic space, is unique to many of those recordings.  Outside of the split, (there is a cassette limited to 19 copies which I have never heard, and) there are a number of tracks on her bandcamp which were never released physically, so I chose to highlight my favorites with this particular magic to them.

MOULTTRIGGER -  Another project active since the 90s, this time in Des Moines, Iowa.  I have heard keyboards, tapes, loops, shortwave radio, and I am not sure what else, throughout my journey in listening to whatever I could by this artist.  The art of cutting loops, whether it be tape loops in real life, or the hardware/digital equivalent, requires a very discerning intuition, and that is the most prevalent characteristic in this artist for me.   Take, for example, his "Birds" tape, which is said to consist "entirely of arranged bird samples turned into a various array of emotional messes", or his "Countdown to Halloween" release, which was made for every day of October 2012, speaks for itself.  Like Aaron Dilloway, the tape work of Sewer Election, early Severed Heads, or Kurt Volentine, you are looking at one of the last tape loop fanatics.  This particular side in the set, though, is focused on raw, lo-fi guitar work in this context, and is still an integral part of the artist's discography.

GNARLY SHEEN  -  The solo project of Morgan Rankin, co-label head with Josh Lay of Husk Records, and together they do expert sludge-ambient as Swamp Horse.  Rankin was also a member of Cadaver In Drag and a number of other more proper bands, but his solo work is only represented by a handful of releases over a ten year period.  To me, this seems like a real tragedy.  Like more than half of the artists on this set, Morgan doesn't know a damn thing about computers, and yet, his work is some of the most creative instrumental soundtrack music I know of, not to mention the fact that it is still unhinged and strange enough to have a solid home within the experimental and noise milieus.  It is too primal to be video game music, and too cerebral to really have a space within horror soundtracks without being awkward, but it exists for whatever purposes anyone may have, and for that I am thankful.  The Gnarly Sheen side on this set also focuses on guitar work, but is more spacial and slowed down in nature, probably dark and scary to some people, but just darn good use of raw materials to me.

ARACHNAD -  Yes, there is an artist named "ARACHNAD" and this West Virginia artist is, on occasion, reasonably compared to ATRAX MORGUE and SCHLOSS TEGAL.   Specifically, his work from the 3 way split between ENOXAEON and GOATUS would be a good start for that type of material, but he is another one from the 90s that has a range of different output.  The subject matter might deal with familiar serial killer themes, warped children's music, Jonestown samples, reverse speech, flesh ripping, door creaking, and/or anti-Christian sentiment, but whatever your relationship with that kind of thing is, it not just works for the overall sound, which is definitely lo-fi, but is also adequately haunting and kind of soulful in its light-hearted malevolence.   That said, Arachnad's body of work isn't limited to these attributes.   There is something special that I can't quite put my finger on, and not just because I like hearing an organ sound on a cheap keyboard run through a bunch of distortion, or samples of horror movie screams recorded to the point of being blown out.   At moments, I am reminded of Muslimgauze's early ambient work, Z'ev's more elemental material, or Lustmord's earlier, nastier side ....   and at other times, he plays like Conrad Schnitzler and Peter Frohmader had a drug-addled, warbled baby, laid in a 4-track cradle full of screaming hiss.  As far as I'm concerned, this is pure industrial, if only by my privilege of happenstance/hindsight (I don't know what he was getting at or when), and I was given the privilege of picking my favorite segments for his side to this set, which is culled from various CDR releases. 


The DVD version of 333REDUX was reviewed at Houdini Mansions.   Here is an excerpt:

Creative dynamo and No Part of It label head, Arvo Zylo is constantly immersing himself in art, writing, and music culture. One of his most outstanding personal projects, 333, is a powerhouse of rhythmic industrial noise that pummels with it’s unending grit, while continuing interest with new emergence of detail around every corner.

After releasing 333, Arvo decided to invite a significant group of sound artists to take the original 333 material and reimagine it. With 33 artists signed on to collab, the project seems to have taken on a life of its own, becoming an entirely different beast than the original piece.
What these other artists were able to bring to the project was their own visions, and their own varied experiences - which temper the material in a unique way. The result is a surprisingly cohesive musical work that has a definitive vibe running throughout, while continually shifting the minute to minute details. There is a lot of experimentation here with noise as an instrument or a musical device, rather than using musical instruments or devices to create noise.

***An abridged pro CDR of audio highlights from this monstrous amount of DVD content is now available via the bandcamp link***

Arvo contributed a track for the Static Fanatic Blog, in celebration of its 10th anniversary of existence.  Also featured are Sterile Garden, Chefkirk, Damno Te, Rob Michalchuk, and more.