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, July 13, 2019


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 comes 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:  

Live at Dead Audio Fest, 2010:

Live at WFMU, on Wm. Berger's My Castle of Quiet radio program:

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...
"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.

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!"