|Photo by Christine K|
Arvo was interviewed by HOUDINI MANSIONS at length about the recent CIVIL WAR LP by BLOOD RHYTHMS. Here is an excerpt about a track from the LP called "The Face":
AZ: There is an aspect of “The Face” that is personal to me. It is partially about the battle between empathy and narcissism. There is the image of the narcissist admiring himself in the mirror, and also the old command phrase “take a look in the mirror”, as if to say that a mirror humbles a person in some way. Some of my most revelatory experiences have been with what they call “mirror scrying”, and I'll tell you, some really unbelievable things happen when one manages to do that at length! In doing so, I see different aspects of myself, and eventually, I'm just sort of experiencing this disconnect, where I'm just observing this strange creature in a window, and I forget that it's me. Characters bounce around in the background sometimes, too.
Not necessarily an inspiration, but I find a kinship with an artist whose name I've never known. I was a bartender for catering companies in Chicago, and I often bartended at art galleries or fundraisers exhibiting art. One particular artist layered apparently hundreds of mugshots of abusers transparently on top of each other, and part of his artist statement was apparently about phenotypes; that we all do have a face that perhaps, to some extent, phrenology could measure and predict, despite current claims of pseudo science. Of course, the notion that some of us were told as a child, that if we keep making ugly faces, they'll be stuck that way, has a different context now. And there's always the episode of the Twilight Zone, where people wear masks at the request of a dying rich man, in hopes of gaining his inheritance, and at the stroke of midnight, their faces are stuck like that of the mask.
There are some new releases at discogs.
First, the final edition of the BLOOD RHYTHMS - "ASSEMBLY" LP is called the "Found Under A Rock" edition. Eight copies were accompanied by an anti-record covered in mealworms, a black marble tile, a manually type-written, hand-stamped insert, and a black vinyl shopping bag. These are already gone. There are less than 13 copies without mealworms, but still coming with the aforementioned black marble tile, and so forth. These are the original 180 gram LPs from the initial pressing of the record in 2014.
An unreleased LP by BLOOD RHYTHMS from 2013 called "Inherit The Wind" was released on a stereo lathe cut LP with color jackets. Side A is a sort of montage of motifs inspired by COIL, created in one day, starting with the reading of the lyrics to "Paint Me As A Dead Soul" upon waking. Side B was initially performed as an accompaniment to the tornado segment from the silent film version of The Wizard of OZ, and features source material from Dolores Dewberry. These are lo-fidelity, with 20 minute sides, and will be released on cassette at a later date.
Another unreleased BLOOD RHYTHMS LP batted around both in person and remotely throughout much of the 2010s, titled "PHANTOM APOTEMNOPHILE" was also released on stereo lathe with quality jackets. This one has shorter (15 minute) sides, so has better fidelity, but again, will be available on cassette at a later date. This and Inherit The Wind are intended to be part of a box set. This is a collaboration with David Oakspawn, also known under State Research Bureau and Desouvre Bruits. One track features very special guest vocals by Gitane Demone (ex Christian Death).
A split LP between Arvo Zylo and Blake DeGraw is also available on a stereo lathe LP in full color jackets. Loosely inspired by Hungarian-Austrian composer György Sándor Ligeti, this LP won't be available again in any other format. The LP itself is comprised of home recordings as well as studio work at Cornish College, where John Cage's first prepared piano resides. Blake DeGraw's side features layered string work, sometimes processed live in an electro-acoustic laptop setting. Zylo's side features some lo-fi recordings initially set to mono, featuring strings and choir vocals by Blake DeGraw and Chloe Wicks, as well as some of Arvo's assemblage from work on the aforementioned John Cage baby grand piano. DeGraw's side sounds surprisingly good. Arvo's side is more lo-fidelity due to the length and loudness of the material.
In other news:
Pigswill's "Ghost Breathing", from the HETEROPTIKS comp on NO PART OF IT, was aired on WZRD, alongside GRIM, Robedoor, Harry Nilsson, Blackhouse, Luasa Raelon, PIL, and more. Listen HERE
Arvo Plays Ferrante & Teicher was aired on WFMU's Cratedigger's Lung program, alongside SPK, Howard Shore, Renaldo & The Loaf, and more.
Some kind year-end words from a satisfied customer who goes by the name of "Myrtle Lake":
Blood Rhythms: Civil War (No Part of It)
I am not one to search out PE releases. The genre is largely facile and rote to my ears. When a PE release finds that elusive spark, then, my attention is rapt. I propose: Here is a statement of the current political and social zeitgeist. The music is oppressive, painful, vicious and bleak. It plods forward; each song attempt new and jarring. It all varies a surprising bit. The ensuing feeling is so frustratingly pent-up until "The Face" spits forth with abandon on Side B. Confident. Clear in voice. Contemptuous. The song is a stylistic outlier to the rest of the album. There are sources and sounds that might happen once, so you never know what might be off-kilter next. Overall, though, it is so very clearly “Power Electronics” without resorting to a recognizable formula. This may or may not be due to the practical super-group of contributors—among them, Dave Phillips (Schimpfluch-Gruppe), Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft) and Dan Burke (Illusion of Safety).
Several tracks from PUSSIFICATION: A Compilation of Experimental Cat Music were aired on Mid-Valley Mutations, hosted by Austin Rich. It is actually an archive of a radio show (recording the stream, I presume) of Lisa Miralia's Mysterious Black Box Radio Program on WCSB, Cleveland. I didn't know it existed until now. Thanks Austin and Lisa!
If you haven't yet, feel free to stop by and read the most recent installment of the no part of it interview series, with Neil Jendon.