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, June 29, 2014

Illusion of Safety, Wilt, reviewed at Vital Weekly

Among the few artists I have been following what seems now to be a lifetime (Asmus Tietchens, Main, Organum), Illusion Of Safety is probably among them the band I saw play live most. Dan Burke, the main man, is a most loveable chap and he always surprises me with his next move. His music doesn't operate in any particular style, but overlaps various genres. Improvised, industrial, ambient, musique concrete, and even a bit of techno beat thrown in. Here's a new album that proofs it. It's called 'Surrender' (which word always reminds me of the Cheap Trick song) and on a label called No Part Of It, meaning they don't want to be part of the world of Internet. There is a website, but there catalogue is hand scribbled on a sheet of paper and the CDRs - professionally designed - can be bought with a money order. Yes! That's what I like. Swim against the tide. Music wise Illusion Of Safety does something we haven't seen him do in quite some time. The collage styled music in which lengthy chunks of sounds are suddenly cut away by voices from radio and TV, a techno beats slips into view and sounds remarkable like the early 90s works such as 'Historical', 'Inside Agitator' or 'Distraction'. Quiet at times, but also quite bombastic at other times, filmic but without too many words. And if we hear any, it's about nuclear waste leakage. In that sense this album also harks back to the post-industrial sound of yesteryear. The balance between the very quiet and the very loud, between the ambience and the beats, is maintained very well throughout this release. Daddy's all right: surrender!
James Keeler is the man behind Wilt already fifteen years of musical activities and in various guises, but as Wilt it's all about the dark ambient. Dark of the darker variation, black with hardly any grey, let alone white. Much of that is due to the somewhat industrial sound of Wilt. Reverb is a key element here, much in use in all of these pieces. It gives everything that ringing, singing, slightly metallic sound. It's something you either love or hate. I am not always the biggest lover of reverb, as I tend to think it's a bit of a cheap trick (hey!), but Keeler knows how to cleverly add it to his music. His level of control is quite all right. The six lengthy cuts on this release are very much alike each other, unlike the Illusion Of Safety release, which bounces back and forth in various styles. Wilt creates nocturnal humming music, but for the weak of mind (and hearth) this might as easily turn into a nightmare. It's hard to say which instruments are used, although in the final piece a guitar clearly pops up. Maybe there is no instrument at all, I was thinking, but it's all made with the extended use of sound effects and the most minimal input of sounds. But more likely is a combination of synthesizers, guitars and electronics. Whatever, however. It sounds great, even when it's nothing highly original. It's Wilt music and as such he does a great job. He didn't set out to play something new every time, but carves out his own niche, deeper and deeper. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nopartofit.com


Monday, June 16, 2014

Arvo Interviewed at Heathen Harvest

In a long running email interview, the prestigious and damn near monolithic periodical Heathen Harvest spilled my guts at length, they can spread for miles.

Arvo Zylo is a Chicago artist who you’ve likely never heard of until now, but he’s the poster-boy for the noise aesthetic and ethic, if such things even exist.  His fascination lies in the mistakes within music, in the malfunctions of instruments, and in confrontation.  He works tirelessly in his urban home, constantly creating new works either in collaborations or under three monikers, be it his own name, Mister Fvckhead, or Blood Rhythms.  The means to which he meets his artistic ends don’t just stop with aural art, however.  He is a visual artist and a journalist too; his unique style of collage work can be seen within many of his own releases, and his voice is recognizable in the Chicago area for his work on WLUW with his own spot, “The Delirious Insomniac Freeform Radio Show”, where attention has most recently been focused on him for his interview with Boyd Rice.  He is simply one of the hardest working and most interesting people currently enveloped in the abyss that is the American noise underground today, and we had the pleasure of putting together an interview with him that is over a year in the making below.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Arvo in art exhibition June 28th

I will be taking part in an art exhibition at a cool new gallery that used to be a funeral home.  It is called the Rubicon, and it will also feature works by Rik Garrett and Anthony Dunn (Sun Splitter).  There will be other surprises.  I will be exhibiting 13 pieces in a series called "Velcro Bismol".  Here is the artist statement-


Arvo Zylo was born upside down. When he was a kid, he was ambidextrous and was able to draw and write with both hands at the same time, until he was forced by his teachers and parents to choose a hand. So now he writes and draws with his left hand and does everything else with his right hand... and he is bitter about it. He grew up in 25 different homes in and around Chicago, and was always regarded as a very talented artist by his teachers and peers. He self-published a comic book when he was 8 years old, and in high school he received various awards, was commissioned to do various pieces of art that bordered on murals, mainly along the vein of street art, but also custom tattoo designs, portraits, and commissioned sketches. In 1999. Zylo quit bench painting at Gallery 37 with a  refusal to compromise, left home, and got a job designing graphics for an awning company and partially building/designing the sets for a burgeoning haunted attraction. At Columbia College, he told his figure drawing teacher that if he wanted advice from anyone, he'd take it from someone who didn't settle for a teaching job.

From there, Zylo lost a great deal of interest in fine art, and was only pleased by gritty, abstract, accidental, and primitive art. He published various zines called “Achtongue Fingers”, which were rife with manic, insomnia-laden free-association xerox ballpoint/college-ruled charm, and he focused on experimental music, writing, radio Djing, and curating events, unable to look at commercial art seriously. In 2006, he was invited to take part in a group exhibition at Peter Jones Gallery, wherein he contributed 3 pieces which collaged various pieces from women's magazines. At that gallery, his sketch book that he'd been carrying around for 5 years was stolen,and it was hard for him to get back into art yet again, in any capacity, but he still did abstract watercolors and collages along with designing the cover art or flyers for his experimental music releases. Almost two years ago, Karina Natis and a number of other people in Arvo's life fought cancer around the same time with varying degrees of success. When he was asked to contribute a piece of art for Natis's benefit, instead of doing one piece, he did 13. Finally, they are being exhibited here.


Artist Statement:

The series, “Velcro Bismol”, can also be said to have taken influence from the vulgar parade Monsanto is having with mutant food and the FDA, and a number of wild dreams Arvo has had for several years that he says would put John Carpenter's THE THING to shame, but it could also be a reflection of what he'd call a “Soul Dysphoria”, a feeling of being trapped in the body, of being a passive observer of a shell in the mirror, and so forth. For months, Arvo's apartment was strewn with hundreds of women's magazines, entire corners designated for different portions of paper faces and bodies. It was an ongoing, unflinching nightly commitment. It culminated in what could quite literally be termed “abstract expressionism”, because several different Frankenstein pieces of mostly graphically modified, blank-eyed, aspiring starlets, were warped into something inexpressible, or sometimes otherwise; Amorphous blobs of Hans Bellmer-esque glamour nightmares. 

2130 W 21st Street
June 28th.