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

Friday, August 28, 2020

August 2020 Update


BLOOD RHYTHMS - ZERRISSENHEITMainly what Arvo Zylo did with recording sessions playing on John Cage's first prepared piano! It is worked over in his signature style of excessive layering and looping, and also features contributions from Dave Phillips, Bruce Lamont, and Blake DeGraw.

"TROU" (meaning "hole" or "void" in French) is a project which has been active for around ten years. Grjòthaugr has been reissued from a criminally limited edition cassette back in 2012. Like another favorite TROU tape, "Nebelsturm", Grjòthaugr is a hypnotic, loop-based, trance-inducing industrial noise/ambient release like no other I've heard. It's hard to tell for sure what makes these three lengthy tracks remain compelling for 15 to 35 minutes each. It could be Reichian phasing, moderate adjustments of effects, very careful layering, or maybe some other methods, but whatever the case may be, these loops of unknown origin take us on a journey.

 Much like locked grooves, Grjòthaugr's three simple loops welcome us into a void, where sounds change and mutate with the listener's engagement, and can appear to transform dramatically with slight changes in positioning. Much has been said about minimalism in art, and many a minimalist risks more than others the stigma for falling short of anything beyond mediocre. Here, whether it is sourced from tape loops or direct signals, we have a glaring example of compelling minimalist experimental music and noise. TROU is also known for creating exemplary harsh noise and HNW, and their releases are often diverse and wide-ranging, but Grjòthaugr, one of the outliers in the project's vast catalog, stands as a crowning achievement, obviously worthy of a wider audience.

Nital Etch is a project out of Washington State, from a town considered by many to be a truly dreadful place.   It is a morally, spiritually, and economically desolate landscape.  The sound of Nital Etch seems to confirm that:  One man with strings and some pedals creating the soundtrack to a nonexistent film, probably envisioning an unidentified rotting corpse lying dead in a ditch, only to be discovered months later because no one missed them.

Hyperbole aside, I honestly think that this project would be doing movie soundtracks if it weren't for all of the schmoozing involved.  Incisions or Obsolescence are pieces that could have been used for the score to the Joker movie.    The avenues of (dark) ambient, classical, and experimental electronics explored here can carry the rawness for a noise show, or the aptitude to present as an opener for Pamelia Kurstin.  Simulacrum is a collection of highlights from previous recordings to date, all of which have yet to be released into the physical realm.

Cover art by Bradley Kokay.

Credo In Deum is the current chosen project name for one Massachusetts native Robert LaBarge, formerly known under the moniker "Buddhist on Fire", among others.   Buddhist on Fire was active at least from 2007 to 2011, although some of the audio files from his now defunct SEAM label, on archive.org, are dated as early as 1997 within the metadata of the ID3 tags.

 There is an admittedly obvious influence from the work of Muslimgauze throughout my excavations, and similar to Muslimgauze, Buddhist on Fire was wildly prolific, having at least 260 releases during a relatively short period of time.  Another thing that occurred to me, was that there's an apparent series called "Hell 365", with each entry numbered "HELL-015" and so forth.  This is to suggest that an "album"-length release was published every day for evidently at least one year.  Of those that I saw, all of them were exceeding 60 minutes in length.

 Many tracks by Buddhist on Fire were percussive in nature, and it was this quality that I first found strikingly hypnotic when I discovered the project on a recycled tape from RRRECORDS around 2012.  However, when I explored that vast catalog of works by this artist, I found a significant amount of work that was much more expansive, textural, definitively noisey, and generally experimental than what I'd expected.

 I initially wanted to include some material by Buddhist on Fire as part of "ESCHATOLOGY", a 24 way split box set across 12 tapes that NO PART OF IT label was doing, but being that those cassettes were all limited to 20 minutes per side, and since many of the chosen tracks that I'd liked most were longer than 20 minutes by themselves, it became necessary to edit extensively.   I came to learn (and this came to me from LaBarge himself) that all of these releases are not only available for free on archive.org, but they are also available to publish freely within the public domain. 

With that kind of freedom, and with LaBarge apparently AWOL after his one single illuminating reply to me, I meddled with some of the tracks, and I edited excerpts as best I could.   I tried to cram the essence of what I thought would be the most representational tracks by Buddhist on Fire into 20 minutes of condensed and focused sound.   You'll find herein what I considered and chiseled down into a CD length release,  including what I'd decided on for the ESCHATOLOGY compilation .  It could have easily been two, or even three times as long, considering what I'd culled from several hours of listening.  Here is a little sampler of the pieces I've found with what I think is that glaring creative "spark" that I think some of us helplessly gravitate towards.

By the way, Robert LaBarge has since converted from Buddhism to Catholicism, and wishes for any future releases of his work to fall under the name "Credo In Deum".

THIRTEEN HURTS is the chosen project name of one rather elusive character who calls himself One-Eyed Zatoichi.  Active for many years, and having released the well-received "UVB-76" on NO PART OF IT label before, we were given the go-ahead to release two prior full-lengths under the THIRTEEN HURTS moniker.  Enthralling, almost soundtracky, heavy electronics with no noise swashes or synthesizers to speak of, listeners will no doubt enjoy the very unique and compelling work here, which was released in digipak CD format with almost no promotion.


Unreleased Cover Art by Bradley Kokay

Just as a reminder, numerous releases are available currently to bandcamp subscribers only.  They may or may not be available physically in the future.  Feel free to drop by and consider supporting no part of it label on a regular basis. 

Two copies of BLOOD RHYTHMS' "Assembly" LP were played at the same time, on WMSE Milwaukee's "Alternating Currents" radio program.  Listen to the archive here.  Copies are still available here.  

EaViL's "Les Fleurs du Mal" release was aired on German podcast GLORIOUS MONO a couple of times.  Here and here.  Thanks to Tex Royale!

Arvo contributed to "CONCRETE JUNGLE", a "SkateNoise" compilation curated by James Keeler (WILT, Hedorah).  There are some punk songs and some experimental / noise tracks utilizing the sounds of skateboards.

Arvo also contributed a track to a "Weird Music" compilation.  The track was completed in 2013.  At that time, rural Ohioan outsider musician/spiritualist Zack Kouns was curating a compilation of artists doing interpretations of his words/lyrics.  That compilation may not have come out, so Arvo's track is available here now.  Protman, a friend and collaborator, is also on the Weird Music compilation.

If you haven't already, feel free to check out this month's edition of the no part of it interview series, featuring recording artist and world traveller Anastasia Vronski.  In March of 2019, Arvo scheduled 30+ posts where various artists answered the same questions at around roughly the same time.  Those posts are being published on the 13th of each month.  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Interview Series #18: Anastasia Vronski

The NO PART OF IT Interview series was a strain of questions sent to a number of different people between February and March 2019. Each entry was scheduled chronologically to be thrust upon the world on a monthly basis since then. Each individual is introduced informally as if they were being discussed at a bar.

Anastasia Vronski is a bit mysterious for me, as I've been aware of her work for over ten years, and been in touch on social media, but she has never been very revelatory.  I know that she is from Russia, and on two different occasions when I was corresponding with her with regard to releases, she was travelling somewhere and with no permanent residence.   I have come to enjoy her work quite a bit.  I have touched on this a bit in my promotion for the 6 tape set that she is on, but her work, like her presentation in general, has a morose quality to it, while also imbued with a positivity and a lust for life, at least to me.  She goes from musique concret to black metal and a lot of things inbetween; field recordings, drones, doom, dub, and the like.  I thought I might be able to shed some light on the matter with this interview.  I hope you enjoy it. 
1.  What kinds of things have you been getting into lately?

I have always listened to a lot of music in various genres. Recently I have been re-visiting some of my favorite pieces of music through albums I made on my Facebook account. One is for songs and the other is for instrumental pieces, so basically I've been listening to a lot of things I already know and love but had not heard in a long time. As for recent discoveries, I am really into the recent Merzbow albums. It might be a cliché but I think Merzbow is really my favorite Noise artist because of the diversity of his output. From DADA collages to cut-up Harsh Noise through Free Jazz drumming, he has done it all and I value this variety. At the other end of the spectrum, I have been enjoying some Bob Dylan live bootlegs, especially from the ''Time Out Of Mind'' era. I'm also discovering noise from 2000-2010 that has a different vibration to it, such as Birds Of Delay, The Skaters, Vodka Soap etc.

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

Meaning of artist and hobbyist is complicated and not everybody agrees about it . What I can say is I have a job that takes all my time , now above this I study so I have not much time for making music and icons but I consider these activities as vital for me. It is a need

Before I was on Facebook I had no attention to photography . And discovering great photographers I began to make photos on my own, I had never before and quickly enough it changed all my views of Nature and the world , I began to see it through a lense , I had a camera in my brain and I had to make an effort not thinking like this , I felt it created a filter between me and the world ,( but at same time made me appreciate it more too ) but for music it is the same , I am constantly listening to noises, but I am used to it since I was little , it is my world so I don’t feel a filter.

With icons you express your creativity through very rigid rules .This is another experience . I cannot say it is a hobby as it is spirituality.

3.  How would you describe what you do?

It depends because I do many different genres. Noise-wise I would say I went from harsh to more drone-oriented sounds. I also try to incorporate noisy elements in otherwise ''electronic music''. I like it when the music is somewhat functional, when you can use it to relax, or maybe dance to. Some of my recent tracks are almost danceable, but always with something twisted about them. I'd say what I do is not ''pure'' as in purely in one genre or category. I wouldn't like to limit myself like that. It might not be a good way to get recognition, because I think people like to know exactly what they are going to get with an ''artist'' but I don't mind, so be it. I like the fact that it's not possible to categorize me as ''noise'' or ''electronic'' etc.

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

I taught myself computer and then music on computer . I started with Noise . Usually I record sounds with a small recorder and then arrange the sounds with the computer, sequence them. Sometimes I play live and record but most of the time I sequence pre-recorded material. Some time ago I decided to do only what I wanted whatever my mood (see previous answer). I learnt a bit of guitar, a bit of bass and percussions. Then I discovered field recording, Religious music, foreign music and it has inspired me to use my own field recordings and samples. I really like working with samples, putting them in a different context. I'm not worried about having to pay for using these samples as I don't sell my music. So, to describe my creative process nowadays, I usually start with a specific sound I have, it could be a field recording, a sound I made or a sample, and build around it. It sets the tone and often it gives me the title of the track too. If it doesn't work for me I start again with a different set of sounds.

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?

In music : don’t make pay for music , don’t try to please for success , do what I want .
In life : try not to hurt.

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).  

I have my shaman , she helped me , and she taught me some things , like mind travel and healing plants . She wanted to initiate me to become shaman but I was not ready .
It’s difficult to imagine that this universe exists without being created , so there is almost certainly a ‘’God ‘’  but no proof that he is good . Jesus Christ was a good person , a revolutionary , only for that reason I can doubt and believe I need to know more .

I had 3 experiences making me believe in powers . 3 persons have hurt me badly , really ugly , and I wished very strong that something bad happened to them, and I imagined what it would be . I didn’t cast a spell , I just was thinking of revenge because I had been so wounded .
Not very long after I learnt that what I had imagined for them had happened . I was afraid because I didn’t know if it was me It was a terrible coincidence . , I didn’t really wanted what happened , only I was hurt and at one moment I needed a symbolic act to appease my heart
After this when I was getting angry and I was beginning to have some idea like that , I guess everybody has in anger , I quickly stepped back in my thoughts but still something happened to the person but not exactly what I had in mind . It happened not so strong or somewhat different .as if the process was interupted . So now I am very careful , even if I am not sure if these events were related to me . I avoid thinking of revenge and try to forgive the person and forget them.
I now try to see if I can bring something good , instead of bad , but starting with little things because I have to be careful, if I wish something good to someone it can bring something bad in their life . You never know the consequences of what you want , it can be worse if you do it for others
Maybe one day I will return to my shaman ,last summer a lightning struck the house where I was staying and an electrical device exploded near my ear . (I got tinnitus and hyperacousia because of it).
I didn't realize it was a sign. But now my life came to a stop , what I wanted I will never have , , so maybe it was a call of shaman .

I have a theory too , linked to climate change . I think it is so incredible that the lpowers that be carry on leading the humanity to its end , including themselves and their family, that I begin to believe they have a back up plan, , it could be going on another planet hiding it because if people knew it they would attack them , kill them and stop all this madness . So these people carry on to make profits until they will leave in secret , and it will be too late for the rest of us .

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

The death of my mother when I was 5

8.  Do you have any side projects that I am not aware of? If not, what is something you'd like people to know about you, that you don't think anyone would ever ask?

No side projects

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

Duos for Doris Keith Rowe & John Tilbury , Arseny Avraamov - Symphony Of Factory Sirens , Tchaikovsky Hymn of the Cherubim ,Erik Satie Gnossiennes 1 Gymnopedies My box of Shostakovish String Quartets , Stravinski Rite of Spring  Merzbow 4 Karasu 13 japanese birds

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

I choose one happy one little boy defending me at school when I was attacked and he would be my friend all my life and even become my adoptive brother later . My Seva.

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

I am able to see there are good things , that I like or love especially if I have known the work before
learning about the person flaws, but once I know it I can’t enjoy as much it anymore , like with Nietszche and it’s misogyny .

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

Simone de Beauvoir writing her book The Second Sex in 1949 seems to me visionary .and brought the most important awareness to women .

13.  What would you like to have on your epitaph?  Or what is your favorite quote?  Over time well, it all goes away.    it comes from a french song .