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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Interview Series #8: Val Denham



 Scheduled on February 17, 2019
Val Denham has been active since at least the early 70s, as a visual artist and musician.  Her artwork has graced the covers of albums by Marc Almond, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, Black Sun Productions, Cyclobe, and Merzbow, but my favorite of her cover art is probably If You Can't Please Yourself, You Can't Please Your Soul,  a classic compilation featuring Foetus, Coil, Einsturzende Neubauten, Cabaret Voltaire, and more.  More recently, she has had extensive art books published, most notably TRANART, released by Timeless.  As a musician, her work dating back to 1982 with The Death and Beauty Foundation has been reissued by the deluxe box set specialist label Vinyl-on-Demand, and her prolific work with various projects seems to only increase as time goes on. 

 Personally, I would be remiss not to note that I find Denham's personal facebook page to be a relief, as it is rife with the quirks of an evermore rarefied and robust, youthfully humorous, yet witty soul.  I feel as if I know how Val laughs solely by seeing her posts of odd record covers and cultural abnormalities.

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

I'm just in negotiations with my record label as to the running order of the 12 tracks for my
forthcoming vinyl and CD album entitled The Devil Knows Your Name Now;. This will be the third
album that I have done on Vanity Case Records. This is really the final part of a trilogy that started
with Dysphoria; and I Saw Myself in Your Dreams Last Night. After this album I will do something
very different. I'm also finalizing the artwork for a box set of my earlier work for Yuen K Wah,
entitled Fabulux This will be a coloured vinyl LP and 4 double album CDs, a T shirt and an original artwork in a box. Plus, I am always doing my painting and writing.

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")?

I am a total artist. I collect vintage monster / horror film magazines as a hobby, but my art is my life.

3. How would you describe what you do?

I create stuff compulsively. I do it for my mental well-being. I am considered an outsider artist,
because I don't need anyone else to see my work. Don't get me wrong, I do like other people to see
and hear my stuff, but it really isn't essential. I don't create art or music with the intention of making
money or pleasing/impressing other people, I do it because it is important to me. If there was a big
war and we all went back to cave man times, I would have to draw on the cave walls.

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

I've come to realize that my creative output is a symptom of my mental health issues, namely severe
obsessive compulsive disorder. My work is totally about my own psychology. Every work that I
produce is a self-portrait, either literally or on a subconscious level. Obviously the older you get, the
more your painting technique improves as indeed so does your musical abilities. You really can't help
improving with time. I also have absolute faith in my intuition now that I am more mature as an
artist. However, for me to be truly mature I believe that I must completely embrace the child inside
myself. I want to have lots of fun.

5. How would you describe your philosophy?

Go with the river. Everything is perfect. To be angry, unhappy or uncreative is a negation of the
divine gift of life. We will be dead sooner than we think, so try to enjoy every second. Love is the
greatest energy in the universe. Do not live your life as other people think you should live it. Be who
you are. If anyone has a problem with that, drop them. I mean it. Whether they are family, friends,
employers, if they are negative you must X them out of your life. You must be ruthless and without
fear. Fear is the enemy. Destroy all monsters.

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

I believe in the unknown physical world. There is so much weird shit that has happened to me over
the years. Maybe this is because I'm open to it. I am a Deist. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the
moon became a Deist. I believe in God. But I now think that "God" could be a whole race of beings.
As for conspiracy theories, these conspiracy believers should read “Voodoo Histories” by David
Aaronovitch. Certain people need to believe in something to fill the void left by the fanatical
onslaught of atheism that is so prevalent these days. Now these individuals will believe literally
anything, no matter how ridiculous. It is simply paranoia. Someone must be behind it all? But, guess
what David Icke, people such as you are the ones behind it all. The moon is hollow and run by lizard
aliens? The Royal Family are in fact alien lizards? These people are insane! The CIA bombed the Twin Towers so that they could blame it on the Muslims. Fuck off.

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

It was in 2001 when I was 44 and meeting up again with my first girlfriend that I went out with when
I was 17. A couple of years later we got married. She is my soul mate. I have never been happier in
my life. I'm now 61 and at last I have some kind of contentment. I quite like growing older together.

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 spend more time cleaning and putting things in order than I do artwork due to my OCD. I like to
drink lots of alcohol. I like to do exercises as I watch "Pointless" on TV. I have two security blankets
and I sometimes get panic attacks for no reason. I use an inhaler every morning and before I go to
bed. I'm a big collector as I said, with the magazines which I have in perfect order in Mylar bags in
acid free boxes, but I also collect everything that I can by my favourite band "The Residents". I have a huge collection! I’m a bit of a hoarder of books, vases, and various other things. I love collecting. I
love eBay.

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

"Walk on By" by Dionne Warwick is perfect. I've seen her sing it live in Bradford. But, albums?
Hmmmm.....my favourite album has to be "Third Reich'n'Roll" by The Residents. I also love David
Bowie. I have all his albums. I listen to all this music on an Ipod when I am in bed. "The Dreaming" by Kate Bush is a big favourite. The Stooges, Chrome, Faust, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, mostly old 60's, 70's and 80's music, But I do like some new stuff too. I also listen to my own releases quite a lot!

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

My Dad blowing cigarette smoke in my ear, seemingly to cure earache. However I couldn’t speak as I
was only a baby, so how did they know that it was earache that was bothering me? I also remember
as a child watching two televisions on at the same time, in the same room next to each other with
the room lights out. This was because my Dad liked his own TV programmes and my mother liked
hers! I asked my mother a few years ago, if this was a false memory or a dream, but she said "No, it
was true. I didn't like his sport and war rubbish, so got my own television so that I could watch my
things." I said to her "But, mam, you had them both next to each other, with the same volume on
and me sat right in the middle!" Yes, she said you were watching one then the other like watching a
ball at a tennis match. No wonder, I ended up weird.

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

I love practically everything. I was watching a documentary on TV the other night about cave art and
it was presented by the British sculptor Anthony Gormley. I was really shocked that he said "I don't
like Picasso's work, because he was a predator and wasn't nice to women." I thought WTF! How can
you not appreciate someone’s work because you don't like their personality"!? I love Henry Darger
and let's face it; the guy was a raving paedophile. You just need to look at his work. I adore
Caravaggio and he was a murderer. Eric Gill, absolutely superb graphics and he was something of a
kiddy fiddler. He even shagged his dog. The work is all that matters! A few of Hitler's paintings are pretty good! And when people say that all his artistic output is facile crap, then, I’m afraid to say that
they delude themselves.

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

So many........Charlie Chaplin, Louise Brooks, Gilbert & George, Pierre Molinier, Andy Warhol,
Salvador Dali, Alfred Jarry, Picasso, Van Gogh, The Beatles, The Residents, Kate Bush, Stravinsky,
Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Stanley KubricK, Jean Vigo, Jean Genet, Orson Welles, Samuel Beckett. Alan Turin, Winston Churchill, Jesus Christ, James Whale, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, WH Auden, HG Wells, Joseph Beuys, Henry Matisse,William Blake, Austin Osman Spare, William Burroughs, Alan Ginsberg, Genesis Breyer P Orridge, Sebastian Horesly, Caligula, Leigh Bowery, Oscar Wilde, David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat,Howard Hodgkins, Edward D. Wood Jnr, Vampira,The Rocky Horror Show, The Outer Limits, The Twighlight Zone, The Munsters, The Addams Family, In the Night Garden, Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Stephen Sondheim, Tiny Tim,Pierre et Gilles,Vermeer,Gustav Klimt,Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Durer,Count Arthur Strong. GOD. Too many.

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

My first wife said that if I died, it should say on my grave stone "At least he wasn't boring". However
now it would have to say "At least she wasn't boring". Perhaps if I chose an epitaph for myself it
would be “Don’t grow up! It’s a trap!”

SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY


Jerry Kranitz went over a few of his favorite physical releases in a new article at Hal McGee's Electronic Cottage webzine/community site.   Kranitz has been involved in the noise/experimental scene since the 80s and has a book on cassette-culture coming out at Vinyl-On-Demand (with two 7 inches) coming soon.  He had this to say:  

I’ll say at the outset that this is the granddaddy of all physical music packages I have seen in years. The LP is pressed on red vinyl, comes housed in a sturdy gatefold jacket, and includes an absolutely STUNNING 44 page glossy art booklet. View the video for a detailed look.

The entire set is a delightful audio art, soundscape, collage, noise excursion. The music excels at simultaneous aggression and tranquil thematic development. I love how the music dramatically twists and turns on emotional and mood shattering dimes. It can be harsh, but there is a LOT going on… much sonic ear candy for the brain to ingest and absorb. I have listened to this LP several times, flipping slowly and intentionally through the art book, transfixed by the images. The imagery absolutely impacts the experience of the sounds on the LP!  more here





And if you haven't seen it yet, check out the newest installment of the NO PART OF IT interview series featuring VAL DENHAM!  

The CIVIL WAR LP was reviewed by NOISE RECEPTOR.  Here is an excerpt:

Far from being a power electronics ‘genre’ piece, this is a wildly varied and creative release, where Civil War manages to continually surprise despite its relatively short overall run time. If it is not already apparent, Civil War is a perfect album for those craving sonic diversity well beyond the expected norms of a more typical ‘power electronics’ offering.



Arvo has contributed a cover song to a tribute album for "Star Trekkin' Rock N' Roll Cowboy" Ralph Gean.  Due out in Winter of 2019, Keep an eye out for it here. 

 ---
Arvo has created a Halloween playlist on Spotify.  It is a mixture of his favorite "monster music" as well as material that dips into the realm of "Generic Halloween CD at the Dollar Store" territory, with no regrets.  


The new BLOOD RHYTHMS LP was aired on Austin Cooley's radio show, Genetic Memory, on KTRU.  Also aired were Roky Erickson, The Stooges, Nurse With Wound, Konstruktivists, Merzbow, Rudolf Eb.er, Puce Mary, Pharmakon, Kleistwahr, Love, and Daniel Johnston, among others! 

Additionally, a track was aired on WFMU via Fabio's Strength Through Failure radio program, alongside James Last, CAN, Taj Mahal Travellers, Exmagma (from the excellent German Psych compilation Kraut! Demons!  Kraut!) and more.  Listen here.  


 The new BLOOD RHYTHMS LP was also aired by Michael Krause (also featuring in the only BR track with profanities for some extra nepotism value!) on WZRD.  Below are links to the archives, and the playlist.  Krause has also uploaded very rare tapes on his archive.    In addition to that, the first track on the LP was aired by another WIZRD on WZRD Sept. 9, alongside SIXES, Can, Author & Punisher, Rune Lindblad, Points of Friction, Nevari Butchers, PBK (excerpt from the split with Arvo Zylo), Midmight, and more!  Thanks WIZARDS!

PART 1
PART 2
PART 3


1). Mark Stewart and the Maffia- name and the wrong number
2). W.S.Burroughs - THE 5 steps
3). Aphrodite's Child - 7 trumpets /Altmont
4). Slayer- The Final command
5). Music excerpts From “ Last House On the Left “ ...
6). The Avalanches - Electricity
7). Butthole surfers - 22 going on 23
8). Last House on the left music.....
9). Algebra Suicide -Somewhat Bleecker Street / Gist
10). Witchcraft music from Kenya/Tanzania
11). novelty track (unknown cd-r )

12). The Haters / La Sonorite Jaune - Intersteller Radio transmission
13). Otto JJ Grubauer - involuntary thoughts - (excerpt ) cassette (1984)
14). Metek/ N.R.Y.Y. - Intel Inside
...some crossfading /mixing between the above 2 selections ….
15). more from Last House ......................
16). Legendary Pink Dots - Defeated ,Deflated, Black Highway
17). Glassing - Jurogumo
18). Toxic Holocaust - War is Hell
19). Electric Wizard -Satyr IX
20). This Heat -Repeat (extended version ) mixed with a record about important news stories of the ‘60’s and a children’s record) . effects added too.
21). Aphrodite's child - Loud loud loud , the 4 horsemen

22). Vapors - Daylight Titans
23). Mashup - Iron Maiden Vs- Michael Jackson - Beat it Trooper
24). Novelty record - unknown - “ I like Cheese !!!!!!” (?)
25). Eraserhead soundtrack- “in Heaven”
26). Can - Butterfly
27). SA- from “Graveyard tramps eat the forbidden city Dog Food “
28). Su Ra - Along Came Ra/ The Living Myth/ Interplanetary Music No. 1
29). MuslimGauze- mujahideen
30). (A) The Light Crust Doughboys - Pussy Pussy Pussy / 30). (b) “ Lights Out” - The Laughing Man (1950’s radio horror )
31). Zahgurim - Presence
32). Bloodyminded- Essential Humanity
33). Blood Rhythms - Locked Away
34). DDAA- King Deebo is six tracks for a kit
35). Hellhammer -Crucifixion
36). Mace- Marching Saprophytes
37). Rats With Wings- untitled side long track from “ Aide Memoire

Friday, September 13, 2019

International Update

A sample of the 44 pg booklet that comes with the red vinyl edition of CIVIL WAR
There are less than 50 copies left of the red vinyl edition.  


For international customers, copies of BLOOD RHYTHMS' CIVIL WAR LP (16 page booklet/black vinyl edition) are on their way to the following mail order shops:

SCREAM & WRITHE (Canada)
CIPHER PRODUCTIONS (Australia)
NARCOLEPSIA (Portugal)
ZHELEZOBETON (Russia)
TURGID ANIMAL ITALY


Arvo related projects are on a new spotify playlist, including a newly published excerpt to the Blood Rhythms reworking of Arvo Zylo's 333 material titles "BLACK WOLF SUN", and a single from the new Blood Rhythms LP, Civil War, called "THE FACE".    These tracks are also available at Amazon, Itunes, Deezer, Google Music, and more.


If you haven't seen it yet, feel free to check out the 7th installment of the NO PART OF IT interview series, with P. Michael Ono, of the avant-industrial/gospel band ONO.

Interview Series #7: P. Michael Grego






 P.  Michael is the main impetus behind the now-legendary "avant-gospel / industrial" outfit ONO, who has been in existence since 1980.   This is all 2nd hand here, but I remember P. Michael saying that he grew up around where Curtis Mayfield, Billy Butler, Jamo Thomas, and a lot of other Chicago soul singers did their thing.  Grego was also friends with Al Jourgensen from Ministry around his high school years, and it resulted in ONO's first album being produced by him.  I have come to know these folks as people who have helped out a lot of troubled youth in their time.  I know that at one point there was some discussion about buying a house in Indiana to help wayward younguns.  I am quite sure some things were rough in 1980s Chicago for a band like this, of questionable sexuality and intentions!  I know that during the punk era, not only did punk rockers have their trouble getting venues and audiences, but so too did ONO, having played in racist settings and abandoned buildings (one of the buildings was still smoldering and without electricity, I was told), exclaiming "If You Came Here For Music, Leave NOW!"

 During the mid 80s, there was a strong hiatus with ONO, and P. Michael allegedly had a project called "Precious Sweet", and I've never been able to find recordings, but I have been told that they still get royalties for their (significant) songwriting/instrumentation on a track by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult from the soundtrack to the movie Cool World.   

To be honest, when I first saw ONO, I thought they were improvising everything.  I didn't think they practiced at all, but having played with them a few times (they started without me on the official debut of my then-new project!), and interviewed them at practice, I have found that P. Michael quietly dictates what needs to be there and what is open-ended.  There are things that are debatable and things that are not.  It's a very interesting dynamic, as P. Michael sits (since having had surgery) at a table to either play keys, run samples, or play bass, as if he is in charge of the control room, by a guy who is very soft-spoken and generally quiet.  Most shows, he is sitting in a chair watching and not socializing unless provoked.  It may seem easy for him to be overshadowed, but there is a lot of character in there, I knew it when ONO did a jaw-dropping emotional performance during a David Bowie tribute / exhibit at the MCA, and I knew it when we rode back from Columbus, Ohio, listening to The Supremes and Patty Duke and Dionne Warwick, after I talked ONO into doing their first out of town show since ending their hiatus.  They did this all for my goofy ass because I was finishing my first real tour on a greyhound, and they knew I would be unhinged!    P. Michael is like the calm of the tornado.   Not to be underestimated!  



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

Various types of coffees esp Turkish and using the Cezve to make it

Working on my sounscapeing and sampling skills and creating a collection of spacious sound to use in-performances

Reading lots of Samuel Delaney of course and sleeping to outer space sounds


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")? 

I used to call it art when I didn’t know any better . bitterness ,cynicism and possible depression has me confusing it with a necessary hobby ... I believe art is for the artist in you and entertainment is done for an audience not the artist or the creator


3.  How would you describe what you do?
A very nasty habit like smoking or like a candy addiction

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

Passionate enthusiastic open creative naive
confused desolate despondent bitter resolved

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

Perseverance is important . Don’t stop



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).  

Of course I grew up with that in my family, they are from NOLA I had my grandmother and aunt practiced that stuff ..I had my chart done in the 90’s and it layered out everything very clearly for me so ever since then I know what I can and what is really a waste of my time pursuing... like love and romance ... it will never happen for me and I know that so I don’t waste time on that stuff , don’t give much thought and I don’t feel I’m missing anything

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

Starting up ONO had no idea it would go this long or this far



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 I have no use for any side projects I’m busy enough living as is


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

FOREVER CHANGES by Love
Bitches Brew-by Miles Davis
That’s how heartaches are made -Baby Washington
Albert Ayler-various
Alice Coltrane various
Phil Spector various
CAN -various
ENO-various
have always been a major things for me the way they were put together

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

Wandering through my grandparents huge haunted mansion

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

Not sure I think it depends on who it is I guess ...

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

Not really .. probably my father would be it, he was a master musician and historian

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

Probably Groucho Marx “ any club that would have me it I would be suspicious of “


Sunday, September 1, 2019

TODAY IS THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER!


The new Blood Rhythms LP was reviewed at Tiny Mix Tapes!   Red vinyl editions come with a 44 page booklet, black vinyl editions come with a 16 page booklet, all in full varnish, thick gatefold jackets.  Copies are shipping now!  
Excerpt:  Civil War (No Part of It) is a literal civil war on the senses, ears versus mouth, mind versus heart, all boiling blood and bile as it tries to get a foothold on reality through its blind and bludgeoning rage. One look at ringleader Arvo Zylo’s collaborators (which include such noise and extreme music luminaries as Bruce Lamont, Mike Weis, and Wyatt Howland) and you’ll get the picture, the grim, unfiltered, sandblasted picture.

In other news:
Andrew Quitter's side from his now sold out split with Arvo Zylo was aired on KFJC in July.  Zylo's most recent Upheaval full length was also aired.  Listen here.  

   Arvo's Sequencer Works Volume Three (get in contact if you want to order a copy of the cassette from us) was aired on Austin Rich's Mid Valley Mutations program LISTEN HERE!  Some time before that, but maybe we are finding it for the first time, Bull of Heaven's contribution to the 333REDUX compilation was also aired on the program HERE.

Arvo did a secret, silent, remote appearance on WZRD a several months ago.  Here it is for public digestion.  Carl Stalling, Butthole Surfers, PIG, P/16/D4, and Sylvie Vartan are among those featured.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Interview Series #6: James Whitehead / jliat



 
 Scheduled on February 18, 2019
Jliat is the alias of one James Whitehead; noise artist, composer, writer, philosopher extraordinaire.  Whitehead has created programs just to mimic a certain album by Merzbow in certain randomized ways.  He's created variations on classical compositions made with car crash sound effects and explosions.  His list of conceptual work continues endlessly.  I still need to ask him if he ever finished his 233 dvd box set of randomized noise that he hasn't even listened to in its entirety.  I was told that there is a CD which seems to be totally silent, but in actuality it is sound transformed or extracted from a jpg file, and is said to have caused speakers to smoke when set to full volume. 
 
 James and I have argued a ridiculous amount about art, and this is a fella who studied in proximity to John Cage, AMM, various early fluxus artists, and has lectured on noise music, and all I have done is play a piano that John Cage first prepared once!  Jliat has sent me his PDFs of what would be his power point lecture clips, complete with animated Gifs, and they are a treat for those who have an interest in the subject. I believe he also has a book available soon.   As a reviewer, JW is notorious for waxing philosophical all over an artist's work, to a degree that several complaints have been mounted and others have claimed to be made delirious (I did an article about it on WFMU's blog, with hand selected reviews from Whitehead here).  I enjoy what he gave us here, and I hope you do to.


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

Making Noise tracks using Roland Modular effects all pieces based on two Merzbow recordings, 1930 and Pulse Demon. (Variations). Recording various synths presets, (Voreinstellungen). You can find these on Sound Cloud.
Making what I call “Black Swans”- using old computer parts, resin, paint and glitter. Writing about my work for a proposed seminar in May. Reading German Idealism, Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel.



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

For the last few years I've decided neither. After visiting the Quai Branly ethnographic museum back in 2017 I realised that all these things were made by people who never considered them particularly as “art” or anything. Like when as a child I would play in the garden, making tunnels and stuff, it was just 'stuff'. So, though it might sound pretentious, now I just make “stuff”, whatever anyone else might want to call it.

3. How would you describe what you do?

“Play”

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

I started out as a painting student and whilst at Falmouth School of Art was introduced to contemporary music, and the painting department had an electronic music workshop based around a VCS3 and a couple of Revox tape machines. I was hooked, as they say. After college I bought a Synthi AKS and a couple of tape machines. I did some work with video, but by the 1980s went back to electronic music, in particular drone works. I then became very interested in noise, especially its lack of skill and meaning and what this meant philosophically for ideas about just what was art and music. I guess I thought “Art” was something one could approach 'objectively' by working within some framework that was given. As I say above I've pretty much abandoned that idea, and see art now, if one wants to call it that, as something purely personal and subjective. My “progress” has then been to achieve the freedom from planning, reasoning and thought to being able to 'play' like a child might, and produce things that please and fascinate and maybe even frighten me. It's odd that to get to this I had to read a lot of philosophy to understand that the real 'problems' of art and life are that there isn't any problem, and so nothing to understand, or that the problems are unsolvable. At a similar time I came across the work of Schelling in particular his ideas of the impossibility of bringing together freedom and nature, or consciousness and the unconsciousness. So he claims the intuition to do this cannot be made by any rational philosophy but only via art which is not rational. Art achieves a harmony between these opposites, something rationally impossible, including between the finity of consciousness and the infinity of nature, the objective unconsciousness, or in Kantian terms to bring about a synthesis of the things in themselves with perception.

Black Swan

5. How would you describe your philosophy?

Though I read a lot of philosophy I wouldn't be able to describe my philosophy, its not that I don't have one, maybe I have many... As I said above my 'practice' became no longer that of music or art but of 'I make stuff that others might call art' And this autobiographical 'insight' was into work I had been producing for many years prior to 2017.

So now I've 'bracketed' art... for want of 'I do stuff, with stuff'. 'Bracketing', to quote wiki..

“This process also known as the - Epoché - The term was popularized in modern philosophy by Edmund Husserl. Husserl elaborates the notion of 'phenomenological epoché' or 'bracketing' - "suspension of judgement" but also as "withholding of assent".. In its philosophical usage "epoché" describes the state where all judgements about non-evident matters are suspended in order to induce a state of ataraxia (freedom from worry and anxiety).”

So this is my suspension of the worry of 'is it art' and the anxiety of – and 'is it any good?' through to 'What does it all mean'.


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

I believe some ideas of these arise out of a human mistake in thinking 'language' is real. This runs from The Bible, where the mere word of God can create reality, through to Harry Potter where spells can make things, change things by incantations. Though language is powerful and can change things, precisely what Marx said, but the change is physical. It's easy to loose sight of this with just thinking and using computers, it's not like carpentry where wood splits, hammers can hit thumbs as well as nails, and something is sharp because it cuts you. Allot comes from this idea of language and words, ideas like 'good' and 'bad'. A tree is not good or bad, but a proposition can be wrong, I can say ”I'm looking at a larch” and be wrong. So a question such as “do you believe” implies the idea of 'truth', yet truth is just that, an idea. Reality escapes language, which is why we make stuff some call art. It's not that thinking, reasoning and language are not useful, it's just that they are secondary to reality, to nature. You never in the real world come across 'Tree' or 'Dog' as generalizations, but particular instances of particular actual trees, and dogs. I suppose more recently I've been impressed by the belief of the Sadducees, who are no longer around. They believed in God, but not in personal immortality. So you would think it odd to bother to worship such a God when your own life is futile, short and meaningless. It's all in Ecclesiastes. 

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

I'd say my three years at art school meeting people who didn't judge ones ability to do something, like make music. Prior to art school many of my friends played guitars, and I considered myself not musical, tone deaf in fact. At Falmouth those tutors who were into music would have non of this. And I remember years ago, after working with synths and drones, my wife remarking that my singing was now in tune! And a tutor back at Falmouth asking if I would make art on a desert island, I know I would. And it would be the best art on the island, as well as the worst.

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 think I've covered my recent work, I also do some reviewing for Vital Weekly. Most of my recent and past work can be found on the JLIAT website.

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'm going to duck this one, which might again sound pretentious, I think the concept of 'perfect' is one of our most dangerous concepts. Once achieved then the game is over. Or as Nietzsche says to the effect if perfection was possible in a universe of an infinite past it would have already come about, that we are here, and imperfect is a result of the impossibility of perfection. Evolution works from failures. And think of all the terrors man has inflicted on man in pursuit of perfection. We have recently re-watched the Tom Hanks film, Castaway, on his island he has a kind of 'god' or spirit when he draws the face on the basket ball... this I think answers your previous question, about belief in gods, in that we, Tom, or I can make 'gods'. Are they real, well to a civilized adult of course not, but to a child or a castaway – yes, very real. So I would on my island, if I managed to survive, make stuff, things, instruments, what others might call music or art. This might be considered perfect, or the best I could do, but then they are in that case one and the same. So what makes perfection not one and the same with the best I can do are 'others'. I'm aware when I write this of there being no errors or typos, but the computer will tell me, and any reader will no doubt spot them. I recently had a paper about public art rejected because of the grammatical errors. (I argued that public art didn't exist.) The reviewers liked the ideas in the piece yet rejected it because of the bad grammar, citing that this didn't meet academic standards. I wonder would the same be true of science or maths papers? Of course it wouldn't, if someone made a few mistakes in some paper on physics which was of interest why would or should it be rejected? There's this futile debate going on about whether Neil Armstrong said “One small step for man” or “One small step for a man”, but he was the first man on the moon! FFS (excuse my French...)

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

I've written about this recently, and its become very important to me as it alters my idea of how we acquire language and learn the nature of things.

Here is the story...

I must have been two or three years old, I remember a door to a yard with a gap at the bottom where I could see a dog's nose, I then remember being at a gate, and my hand was hot. "Hot” was the name of the feeling at the time.

I can now assume the dog had bit me, and the heat was in fact pain, and so the word “hot” was wrong, but the pain from the dog bite was no different. So the idea of pain was given to me in a material event that mattered to me. An event which I still remember as strange and baffling, an aspect of using the words “pain” and “hot” I no longer have. So language comes from things, and autobiographical things...

To quote from Nietzsche,

“Every word instantly becomes a concept precisely insofar as it is not supposed to serve as a reminder of the unique and entirely individual original experience to which it owes its origin.”

There appears a choice between 'concept' and 'individual original experience'... and the making of individual objects and experiences is Art.

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

I think so. When I read this question the name that came to mind was Heidegger whose work I think is significant. The problem is he certainly was a Nazi, and anti-Semitic, and extremely arrogant. Add to that a tendency like many Continental philosophers at a deliberately difficult writing style and you don't get a good picture of the person. Having said all that he did think science and in particular technology presents us with great problems, both for humanity and the environment, and argued that Art was the solution. Though I should add that the 'best' art he thought was poetry, and in particular German poetry! As I've said above I'm now more and more interested in ethnographic and Neolithic art, where in the latter case actually knowing the person concerned is impossible. It's the objects themselves which one engages with. From the 40,000 year old flutes made from vulture bones to the slit gongs “among the largest free-standing musical instruments on earth”...

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


It would be a very long list...

Masami Akita, Morris Louis, T.S. Eliot, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Wittgenstein, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ad Reinhardt, The German Idealists, especially Kant. Terry Riley, Terry Atkinson, Ethan Hunt, Steve Reich, Lauren Bacal, Stockhausen, Jimmy Hendrix, Tom Hanks, Mr Barlow (my old primary teacher), James Bond, Einstein, Sam McKinley, Georg Cantor, Kurt Gödel, David Bainbridge, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Robert Smithson, Jacques Attali, Romain Perrot, Jack Reacher, Thor, Groot, (from the Marvel movies), Michael Baldwin, George Smiley, Barbara Hepworth, John D. Caputo...

to name but a few, and for many different and similar reasons.

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


No epitaph, but very many favorite quotes.

“I have come to the conclusion that much can be learned about music by devoting oneself to
the mushroom.” John Cage.

“I can't wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it.” Damien Hirst.

“what is to be done?” Vladimir Ilich Lenin.

"A lot of my work is about sales.” Jeff Koons.

"Who ordered that?" Isidor Isaac Rabi - When the muon was accidentally discovered.

But perhaps this -

“Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of "world history," but nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect, nothing will have happened. “

Friedrich Nietzsche - On Truth and Lies in a Non moral Sense .

Thursday, August 8, 2019

BETTER LOAD YR .44








A pre-release review  of CIVIL WAR was posted by noise blog 1208 North Fuller Ave Apt.1 (named after a former address of the late Rozz Williams, I gather). The LP is out on Sept. 1st.
Here's an excerpt:
This caught me by surprise – it’s an album that, while it grabs you by the scruff and shakes you about, is also enterprising in that it doesn’t deny itself the chance to veer away from strict noise parameters.


 
Heathen Harvest mentioned the pre-order of the new CIVIL WAR LP by BLOOD RHYTHMS.  Includes links to a previous interview, and a previous review.


And... it seems we forgot to mention that the now sold out compilation A BIRTH PLACE IS NOT A GRAVE SITE (Anastasia Vronski's contribution) was aired  on the TABS OUT PODCAST

Also, thanks to ANIMALPSI for mentioning the new LP!

 

If you haven't seen yet, feel free to take in this month's installation of the NO PART OF IT interview series, with JLIAT!  



Jliat is the alias of one James Whitehead; noise artist, composer, writer, philosopher extraordinaire.  Whitehead has created programs just to mimic a certain album by Merzbow in certain randomized ways.  He's created variations on classical compositions made with car crash sound effects and explosions.  His list of conceptual work continues endlessly.  I still need to ask him if he ever finished his 233 dvd box set of randomized noise that he hasn't even listened to in its entirety.  I was told that there is a CD which seems to be totally silent, but in actuality it is sound transformed or extracted from a jpg file, and is said to have caused speakers to smoke when set to full volume. 
 
 James and I have argued a ridiculous amount about art, and this is a fella who studied in proximity to John Cage, AMM, various early fluxus artists, and has lectured on noise music, and all I have done is play a piano that John Cage first prepared once!  Jliat has sent me his PDFs of what would be his power point lecture clips, complete with animated Gifs, and they are a treat for those who have an interest in the subject. I believe he also has a book available soon.   As a reviewer, JW is notorious for waxing philosophical all over an artist's work, to a degree that several complaints have been mounted and others have claimed to be made delirious (I did an article about it on WFMU's blog, with hand selected reviews from Whitehead here).  I enjoy what he gave us here, and I hope you do to.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

BLOOD RHYTHMS - CIVIL WAR LP (PRE-ORDER)





BLOOD RHYTHMS is an ongoing and constantly morphing collective spearheaded by veteran experimental artist and Chicago native Arvo Zylo. The unit's new LP, CIVIL WAR began its conceptual impetus before its vinyl debut, 2014's ASSEMBLY, which was a layered whale song / locomotive stomp of brass & wind instruments recorded in a meat locker, released in collaboration with RRRECORDS. In 2010, after a few years of makeshift group performances delivering noisy, loop-based industrial drones as a brass ensemble, and inevitably growing to incorporate a series of damaged synth/junk metal outings, the group's official debut was met with live accompaniment from legendary Chicago avant/industrial/gospel giants ONO. With that, the very beginnings of BLOOD RHYTHMS' new LP, CIVIL WAR, were set into motion.

From 2010 to 2016, Zylo exhibited either with BLOOD RHYTHMS or solo, at noise fests, radio stations, or various venues around the country, themes which evolved exponentially. Some of these pieces have been performed live close to fifty times, occasionally with as many as four drummers and a five piece brass section. Words like “cathartic” and “intense” were regularly used to describe the often blisteringly loud affairs-- with contact mic'ed heartbeats, aluminum mic'ed masks, sheet metal, belt sanders, amplified packing tape, and visceral, feedback-laden howls. CIVIL WAR is a studio culmination of nearly ten years of ongoing work; A synthesis of Zylo's main focus, and what has come to be referred to by some as outsider power electronics. The result is something that retains the meticulousness, nuance, and visionary drive of a reclusive studio rat, but without relinquishing the rawness and fortitude of a full group sonic assault.


CIVIL WAR features contributions from Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest, Corrections House), Mike Weis (Zelienople, Kwaidan), Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft, Blackfire, Nevari Butchers), B. Zimimay (T.O.M.B., Dreadlords), Dave Phillips (Schimpfluch Gruppe, Fear of God), Michael Krause (Death Factory), Daniel Burke (Illusion of Safety), and Richard Syska (Secret Means of Escape, Dummy Antenna). It comes on 180 gram vinyl, and there are standard editions in black, or special editions both with opaque red vinyl or metallic silver ripple vinyl. It is housed in a thick gatefold jacket with a full varnish finish, and  special editions come with a 44 page art booklet which includes collaborative contributions from collage artist Bradley Kokay, and rogue taxidermist Sarina Brewer. Recorded mainly (initially) at Minbal, Chicago by Brian Sulpizio (Health & Beauty), and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Khlyst, NAMANAX). Seven tracks, 38 minutes. Track A3 not for airplay. Edition of 500 copies: 350 black vinyl (180g), 100 opaque red vinyl (180g), 50 silver ripple vinyl (140g). Silver copies come with a unique piece of art.
No download code. No digital version available.


Some links of live performances featuring early versions of this material:  







In other news:

Taki's track from the recent compilation on NO PART OF IT, "HETEROPTIKS", was aired on WFMU, in addition to new issues of The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Jon Mueller, Moebius, and more.   Here is a quote from the comments section by "slugluv1313":
"reading and learning more about Taki Pantos -- WOW!
"Lock Me in Your Heart" totally grabbed me
scooping up "Heteroptiks," turns out it is dedicated to dear Wm. Berger :)"

Arvo's recent UPHEAVAL full length was aired on WZRD, alongside IDM Theft Able, Loachfillet, Zos Kia, Godflesh, David Bowie, Thomas Dimuzio, Kraftwerk, and more.   Lookie HERE

An unreleased track by Blood Rhythms was aired on a different evening at WZRD, alongside Alvin Lucier, Aaron Dilloway, Severed Heads, Colin Potter, Pas Musique, Merzbow, Foetus, Mammal, and more, listen here.

Another unreleased track by Blood Rhythms was again played on WZRD, alongside Ruins, Slava Ranko, Vertonen, P16.D4, Coil, Bruce Gilbert, Nash the Slash, and more.   LISTEN HERE

AND, if you didn't see it, feel free to check out the recent addition to the NO PART OF IT interview series with Steven Krakow/Plastic Crimewave! 

Interview Series #5: Plastic Crimewave / Steve Krakow




Scheduled on February 17, 2019
Where to start...  Steve Krakow, or Plastic Crimewave, has created a regular column for The Chicago Reader called The Secret History of Chicago Music, which also has an ancillary weekly radio show on WGN.  His hard psych/acid punk band, in its various incarnations, has been active for almost 20 years, and has extended to a "Celestial Guitarkestra", with at times as many as fifty or more guitarists performing.  There are a lot of other things that could be touched on here...  Krakow's music label, zine imprint, regular mix tape series, DJ gigs, and side projects. His home is said to be a museum of pop cultural artifacts, and he's just an all-around nice guy, with a ridiculous encyclopedic knowledge of music history.  


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

edgy 70s british sitcoms and their soundtracks
italian and german progressive rock
drawing just in pencil
Jonah Hex comics
old UK bands copying The Band (but I don't like The Band)

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

Technically speaking, been "pro" since my early 20s, and freelance "just art" for 15 years
but on a deeper level, i think living your art in every way possible, because it is your natural inclination to do, is important.

3.  How would you describe what you do?
cartoonist/avant rockist musician/writer/booker/kinda historian/psychedelic impresario

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

In many ways a straight line, with interest in heady comics, music, films since my youth--but i suppose i prepared myself for a career in mainstream comics at first, got derailed by discovery of various other pleasures in life, and then picked up a guitar at age 19 and TURNED ON DUDE (ha)

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

Life is short and we're all doomed so pursue your dreams...

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

I want to believe in them. I def believe in forces we don't understand and energy being tangible...

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

Becoming one with the universe and seeing how all things were connected, it all made sense for ONE SECOND (or a million).

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?

Hmm i have a lot of projects and no day job, so in many ways nothing is a "side," but currently playing in a more-occasional unit with my lovely lady and visual artist/flautist Sara Gossett, and my brother Adam aka Hands of Hydra called Spiral Galaxy--kinda mellow kosmische new agey vibe, slightly different than my usual thing, we're working on a layered record and we opened for and collaborated with Faust, which was dang exciting! Hmm, i guess no one knows i like 80s new romantic synthpop as much as i like any genre? Pretty big fan of mid-80s to mid-90s hip hop too...heh

9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"? 
oh god like a zillion, pretty typcial "rock pantheon" choices, as i was pretty reared on thee classics...
hmmm
"Funhouse", "Forever Changes", "Wasa Wasa," "White Light/White Heat," "SF Sorrow", "Astral Weeks," "Parable of Arable Land," "Rehearsals for Retirement," "Revolver," "Never Never Land," "Power Plant," "Folk Roots, New Routes," "Doremi Fasol Latido" all come to mind...

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can (or are willing to) recall?  
I have vague memories of my P's townhouse at age 3, it had a pink bathroom (we moved at age 4).

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

Yes, I'm a fan of the MUSIC of Manson, James Brown, Throbbing Gristle, and Jimmy Page, I've enjoyed writers like Rimbaud and Nietzsche , trangressive films and art---that said, never liked R. Kelly and can't support him--is it because he's not old and dead? No, just mostly never liked his music. ah, the human condition.

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

Yeah, a lot I wouldn't get along with personally or share politics with I'm sure (see above question)-- Syd Barrett, as to me, the pinnacle of a complete artist at one point, as well as Marc Bolan, Jack Kirby---fearless innovators who never even thought about it. Also Don Martin, Steve Ditko, Alastair Galbraith, Windsor Mckay, Devid Allen, Phil Ochs, Eno, Kevin Ayers, Gene Colan, R. Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Skip Spence, Jeff Lynne, all of Monty Python, Skip Williamson, Simon Finn, John Carpenter, Oliver Reed, Mick Farren, Duchamp, Jodoworsky, Keiji Haino, Danny Kirwan, Michael Moorcock, Phil Lynott, Bruce Russell, Mouse Kelley, George Herriman, Werner Herzog, Roger Corman, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

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

Actually,  I'm pretty happy with the distillation of my philosophy i came up with above in question #5, can i repurpose that here? ha
A quote I use a lot is David Thomas of Pere Ubu, who was describing "psychedelic music"--he called it, "Cinematic music of the mind"

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.