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

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

REMINDS ME OF VIVENZA



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:

UPHEAVAL

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.

333REDUX
...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

WE ARE SOME GRAVEN CATS






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
fhtagn.bandcamp.com
blakedegraw.bandcamp.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.
https://andrewquitter.bandcamp.com/
http://www.dumpsterscore.org/

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.
www.nopartofit.com
www.nopartofit.bandcamp.com
www.soundcloud.com/nopartofit





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

unsalted

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!"