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

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Interview Series 23: Heather Smyth Hanan

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.   

 Heather Smyth Hanan is an artist and a psychic.  In fact, she taught at a school for psychics in Berkeley for several years.  I like her paintings a lot, because they share the sense of an abstract landscape, while to me, they also have a depth to them that still suggests to me that it is a portrait or a character study just the same.   Heather wrote her (unfinished) responses in time for a deadline while recovering from cancer.    EDIT:  Heather passed on in August of 2020.  

12.  Do you have any heroes or heroines?  Who are they?
Reality Winner and Chelsea Manning are my heroes, women who gave up everything to help steer the country they love towards greater transparency in its governance.

11.  Are you able to appreciate other peoples' creative work regardless of their personal shortcomings or inherent flaws?  To what extent? 
artists and flaws and appreciating their work.  Oh, after reading that fat book about picasso by arianna huffington back in the early nineties, it depends on what stupid thing(s) they did.

10.  What is the earliest childhood memory you can recall?  
My first memory is at eight months up at the sheep ranch in Montana, they were butchering chickens and showed me one running around after its head got cut off, but somehow the mists of time have erased any and all bloodiness.  They put me up on a horse.  The black iron cauldron had a fire under it, this is where they threw the chickens to boil off their feathers, I quess, in hindsight.

9.  Would you care to name any theoretical "desert island" records, or at least releases that you think are approaching your concept of "perfect"? 
there are many perfect albums.  so many.  heart, little queen.  always skip the first song, baracuda, too thunderous to start with so fuck 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?
that side project is making and taking rso (rick simpson oil) to cure some cancer.  The thc triggers the individual cancerous cells to turn their apotosis ability back on.  the cdb helps you sleep deeply, which you must do to heal.  I highly recommend everyone grow different varieties of their own cannabis.

7.  What would you say was your most definitive experience?
most definitive.  so far, during these last 68 years there has been a goodly number of those.  sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  My favorites have always been when everybody wins, everyone feels good and magical and seen.  this question makes me want to answer a different question for myself:  what failures of mine have made me a better person.

6.  Do you believe in psychics, magic, ghosts, or gods?  If not, what is your favorite conspiracy theory?  
do you believe in?  jeez.  if i experience it, it is real to me.  I am a psychic.  I had to get training before it killed me, I was taking on other people's diseases. 

5.  How would you describe your philosophy?
philosophy, I like to pretend that I am the dancer lover of the poet li po.  yeah, that's my philosophy: why not? btw, mostly he only pretended he was drunk.   don't fix it if it ain't broke works too.  somehow  I might be missing the point of what philosophy is, ya think?

4.  How would you describe your creative progression over the years, in a brief synopsis?
Dance.  more dance.  local theater.  draw costumes .  draw draw inks colored pencils chalks and then finally money and time to paint!!!   yay!!! I was forty years old. more dance.  I'm interested in how casual can i be about painting, about composition,about colors, about brush strokes and yet have it all pull together with dynamic tension.

3.  How would you describe what you do?
describing what i do:  I pay attention to the needs of the moment.  there is a cycle to creativity that includes down time, stupid time, fallow time, nothin happening time.  if you cannot handle that with some grace, chances are good it will be difficult to explore anything new.  Sometimes I meet young artists and they think they are all depressed and need pharmaceuticals. nah.  go watch a funny movie, they are good for you, enjoy yer down time, it's there to keep you humble. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021


Chris Phinney has been active within the realm of experimental music since 1982. Whether it has been his main recording project, Mental Anguish, or his label, Harsh Reality, Chris' involvement with the development of 1980s cassette culture and beyond, is immeasurable.

In late 2019, Chris was hit by an uninsured driver. The collision compounded previous injuries, and found him in a wheelchair unable to work. Phinney is the father of four children, three of which were still dependents at the time of the incident. To top it off, the accident occurred not long after a divorce, the untimely passing of a new life partner, and the death of Phinney's mother. The aftermath of this incident involved multiple surgeries, as well as a month in the hospital with head trauma, hip trauma, and numerous fractured bones.

There has been a gofundme page for Chris Phinney, but it occurred to us here at NO PART OF IT HQ that maybe this message is not reaching enough people within the realm of underground/experimental/noise/music scenes as much as it could.

This compilation was put together as a benefit for Chris to help offset some expenses. It is a multinational collection of work spanning four decades, and was created in the spirit of early cassette culture compilations, with a mind for freeform college radio as well. Compiled by Arvo Zylo, "Modus Vivendi" features some artists who've worked with Chris Phinney in the past, as well as standout artists he's likely never heard of.

Every penny in profit for this release goes to Chris Phinney. Or, if one is so inclined, they can donate directly here:


The compilation features tracks by:

GITANE DEMONE (Ex-Christian Death)
RISARIPA (Gallhammer)
LUER (M. Taggart AKA PCRV)
*Plus a bonus track for the digital download by Modelbau (Frans de Waard)

There will be two different versions of the cover art by Bradley Kokay (Whose benefit comp is still available, by the way).  There will be a "red edition" and a regular edition of the layout.  Collect 'em all!  


Sashash Ulz was a somewhat short-lived project out of Petrozavodsk, Karelia, an area of Russia bordering Finland. Headed by Sasha Mishkin, and heavily active in the first half of the 2010s, I first heard of Sashash Ulz through a tape on Minnesota's Lighten Up Sounds. The tape was a marvelous example of lo-fi tape-looping and layering, where cheap keyboards and percussion loops just galloped in and out of a marvelous, mangled headspace. I enjoyed it, but I eventually came to find out that this one-man outfit has much more to offer, and a diverse array of approaches within the realms of experimental music. Some of it is quite musical, with a great sense of melody, and a lot of Sashash Ulz material has that great, haunted, lo-fi feeling that, to me, helps the emotional effect of the music sometimes. I will say that I use the word "haunted" in the most optimistic sense. Some of these tracks have a peculiar, but strong air of positivity. This coupled with the often crude double exposures that come with most of Sashash Ulz's releases helps to create an overall atmosphere like that of another world altogether.
I am not certain if some of this music is rooted in traditional folk, or if it is simply an outsider level of song-writing, but it can be interspersed with memorable sound collages, eloquent ambient passages, compelling guitar noise, and apparently tape loops of field recordings with animals/insects/strange creatures. At times, there is a genuine curiosity as to whether or not a real church organ is being recorded with a tape recorder, or if a cheap keyboard is being augmented with cleverly primed effects... through a tape recorder. I was given permission to create a compilation of favorite material from this now defunct project, and I naturally focused on the strikingly odd ambient, atmospheric, and raw elements that were on offer. Sasha Mishkin is still active, operating with more current production values, and the Sashash Ulz name has been put to rest since 2015. We here at NO PART OF IT are thankful to be able to illuminate some snippets from the past that deserve more attention.

 Pattern Recognition comp was reviewed by Jerry Kranitz, author of the book Cassette Culture: Homemade Music and The Creative Spirit In The Pre-Internet Age!

Various Artists – Pattern Recognition (A Benefit Compilation for Artist
Bradley Kokay
"The fires in California and Oregon have been devastating. Among the unlucky was Oregon based artist Bradley Kokay, who lost his studio along with it over 20 years of his work and personal belongings. In an effort to raise funds for Kokay to rebuild, No Part Of It label honcho Arvo Zylo has gathered members of the experimental/noise community to put together this nifty compilation. The 13 tracks on the Bandcamp page include a mixture of experimental scene veterans and artists that are new to me.

Lots of great variety here. GX Jupitter-Larsen serves up rolling waves of ambient clatter noise, shepherded along by gentle orchestral music. Modelbau contributes a far too short bit of spectral space. Mama Baer combines doomy string strums and plucks plus German language spoken word. (Marking down Mama Baer as someone to look into further.) Howard Steltzer (with assistance from Arvo) transitions from noise rocking, to tension, and on to clatterous, aquatic textures. I like Justice Yeldham’s blend of acid noise and what could be a mad laughing elephant. Illusion of Safety create the sensation of being inside a wildly reverberating drainpipe. irr.app.(ext) lays down an ambient combination of playful toy instrument (sounds like a marimba) and percussion. Hal McGee and Jeff Central team up for a mesmerizing yet spooky journey into space.

Eric Lanzillotta contributes some of the most quietly ambient music of the set, sounding like a low-key electronic chamber ensemble in space. Mental Anguish (Chris Phinney) creates a glacially symphonic and highly tense audio experience. Sharlyn Evertsz and Arvo Zylo team up for some droney/staticy soundscapes that roll bumpily over some other worldly landscape. Over 10 minutes it builds up to ear splitting levels of intensity. Novasak comes roaring in for less than two minutes of quirky, wildly frenetic noise assault. And Torturing Nurse seems to pick up where Novasak left off, blasting away with 10 minutes of batter, clang, and squall that creates a pleasant rhythmic flow. Excellent compilation!
Stream/download and CD purchase available here. The download includes bonus tracks."

Review by Side-Line

Trou – Grjòthaugr (Album – No part of it)
Genre/Influences: Noise, Ambient, Experimental.
Format: Digital, CDR.

Background/Info: The album “Grjòthaugr” from the French project Trou was originally self-released on cassette format in 2017. The American label No Part Of It has now re-released the three original songs of the album. Trou has released an impressive number of productions, but this work was a rather unknown production from the Frenchman.

Content: Trou totally fits to the approach of No Part Of It. The tracks are bringing elements of Noise and Dark-Ambient together, resulting in a kind of Abstract work. Endless loops are taking you away for a trance sensation created by sonic effects and loops from field recordings and other noise sources. The tracks are pretty extended, like there’s no end.

+ + + : “Grjòthaugr” is the kind of production that will please a very restricted number of people, but they must be for sure absolute fans. It’s an extreme sensation, but there’s something to say about the ‘controlled’ Noise approach of Trou. You don’t exactly get the feeling being exposed to a sonic wall; there’s also a part of Ambient running through the composition. I personally prefer the shortest cut, which will however take you away for a deadly sonic assault from over the 15 minutes (!).
- - - : The tracks are repetitive and when it all looks like it becomes endless –the last track going over the 34 minutes, I think a little bit more diversity would be a welcome gift.

Conclusion: Trou can be translated as ‘hole’ or ‘void’ and the work of this artist literally suck you away in a dark and unknown hole. This sound is brain damaging!
Best songs: “Herbspalast”.
Rate: (6).

Review by Side-Line
Blood Rhythms – Zerrissenheit (Album – No part of it)
Genre/Influences: Experimental, Noise, Ambient, Abstract.
Format: Digital, CDR.
Background/Info: Arvo Zylo is running No Part Of It where he releases most of his works. The American noise operator now strikes back (again) under the Blood Rhythms moniker. The specificity of this work is that Arvo Zylo played on John Cage's first prepared piano! He also got a helping hand from Dave Phillips, Bruce Lamont and Blake DeGraw (The Colour Out Of Space).

Content: You easily can recognize Blood Rhythms by the use of repetitive loops, which are mixing elements of Noise. Some of the tracks are pretty long and not really into variation or progression, but it creates a dark and tormented work. Some passages have something Cinematographic like while the saxophone played by Bruce Lamont has something alien-like. You clearly can hear the piano –especially at the fourth track, which has been transposed into a loop as well.

+ + + : What I like the most at the work of this artist is the diversity of the influences although the sound procedure is quite similar the entire album long. Everything has been put into loops, creating an endless sensation. Different kinds of sonic manipulations have been used; from field recordings to the use of saxophone, which isn’t exactly an element I expected, but it’s an original approach of experimenting with Noise. My favorite track is the last one, which creates a horror-like sphere as if announcing a nearby disaster.

- - - : As I already mentioned for some previous releases, this work is meant to please a very restricted number of music lovers; for so far we can consider Blood Rhythms as ‘music’ in the classical sense of the meaning.

Conclusion: Blood Rhythms is not exactly the kind of project that has been set up to make people happy after a stressed day; this is a perverted sonic exposure, which gets my support!
Best songs: “Zerrissenheit 7”, “Zerrissenheit 3”, “Zerrissenheit 5”.
Rate: (7).

Credo In Deum – Blood Soaked Sand (Album – no part of it)
Genre/Influences: Experimental, Noise, Ambient.
Format: Digital, CDR.
Background/Info: Credo In Deum is a new project driven by Robert LaBarge. This American artist got some recognition with Buddhist On Fire, but got involved with multiple other projects. This is his debut work under the Credo In Deum moniker.
Content: The album clearly sounds like it’s into Experimental music, but reveals a diversified approach. Buzzing sound waves supported with manipulated vocal (sampled) parts, noises like hail, diversified field recordings, ghost-like passages and a final track turning into pure Noise are the essence of this sonic voyage.
+ + + : I like the work’s diversity and especially some of the Ambient parts have something pretty visual like. I was impressed with the heavy, monstrous sound treatment at “Path Of The Fierce Beast” and the overwhelming sounds mixed with field recordings at “Sodomized With Spikes”. “Blood Soaked Sand” is one of the most varied releases from the No Part Of It label, like taking some distance with the familiar, endless looping sequences from most productions.
- - - : Even if the album is more diversified, it however remains a very extreme sound experience, which will appeal for a restricted number of fans.
Conclusion: “Blood Soaked Sand” is a work that caught my attention for its accessible experimental format characterized by some great sound treatments.
Best songs: “Sodomized With Spikes”, “Battered Wife Syndrome”.
Rate: (7).

156 (
Adel Souto
was aired on Phillip B. Klingler 's Mutation Theory program, along with
Chris Phinney
& Ed Drury, Crawl Unit (Joe Colley), Architects Office (Joel Heartling), John Oswald, Samuel Goff & Mariam Rezaei, and Oren Ambarchi, among others! Thanks PBK!

Nital Etch was aired on
Phantom Circuit
, along with Harold Budd, Hawkwind, and more! phantomcircuit.com/listen-now/310.html

was aired on
Phantom Circuit
, along with Brian Eno, Mental Anguish, Severed Heads, and more! https://phantomcircuit.com/listen-now/313.html

was aired on another episode of
Phantom Circuit
! Thanks again!

Side Line REVIEW
Blood Rhythms – The Universe Spilling Out Of A Spider’s Bowels (Album – No part of it)
Genre/Influences: Noise, Ambient, Experimental, Industrial.
Format: Digital, CDR.
Background/Info: Arvo Zylo aka Blood Rhythms has been very prolific in 2020, having released several productions on his own label No Part Of It. This work features seven new tracks for which Arvo Zylo got the help from a few contributors.
Content: Blood Rhythms in a way is the ambassador of the label, the sound being characterized by endless, harsh noise-driven loops, but still featuring other influences such as Ambient, Industrial and Experimental. This is exactly what this opus brings to the listener.
From disturbing sound atmospheres to heavier Noise outbursts, the tracks are mainly long duration –even moving over 20 minutes, like bringing the fans into a state of trance. I also noticed a short track, which sounds like an intro for the cut coming next.
+ + + : The way of composing the sound remains similar to other releases; there always is this taste of using similar sequences, but the diversity of the influences make the work always interesting. I especially like the tormenting and monotone sound waves running through “Nookleptia” and “Subterranean Holiness”. I however have to admit the harder “Flaming Wound” is my favorite one for the total climax in the final part of the cut.
- - - : Why must some tracks be that long when there’s less diversity? I have to admit I’m often losing the focus when a work is repetitive and getting you this endless feeling. “Wheel Of Anguish” is the perfect illustration of this sonic monotony.
Conclusion: Even if Blood Rhythms is sometimes too recurring it always creates some commotion during the listening.
Best songs: “Flaming Wound”, “Nookleptia”, “Subterranean Holiness”.
Rate: (7).

WAX FRUIT – Drowned by The World We Live In (Album – No part of it)
Genre/Influences: Electro-Wave, Minimal-Electro.
Format: Digital, CDR.
Background/Info: Michaella and Dom are hailing from St. Louis (USA). They were previously active under another name and are now active under Wax Fruit moniker for a couple of years. Several digital singles were released and they this year joined hands together with No Part Of It to unleash their debut album featuring seven songs (which seems the fetish number of the label).
Content: The album features several previously released singles.
The sound of this band is clearly inspired by 80s Electro-Wave/Pop music. The songs feature typical analogue sound treatments and effects, but it’s the entire spirit hanging over this work that smells like the good-old 80s spirit. There are several instrumental songs featured, but still a few tracks with vocals. The songs are pretty short, which is another link with the 80s.
+ + + : I was positively surprised discovering
, which sound-wise has nothing in common with the other label bands –mainly dealing with Industrial/Noise/Ambient/Experimental music. This album brings the 80s alive and especially the magic of the analogue sound treatments and sweeping effects are pure nostalgia to me. Every single piece has something thrilling and there’s no real song to throw away.
- - - : I regret the album is only featuring 7 short songs. There are 3 instrumental songs featured, which are fine, but a little bit more vocals could be a bonus.
Conclusion: Wax Fruit is a cool surprise if you like vintage electronic music connected with Electro-Wave/Pop music.
Best songs: “Synthetic Reality”, “Nightmares (Become Real)”, “Done Before”, “Julien & Juliet”.
Rate: (7½).

review at Cassette Gods! I think there might be copies left at
Personal Archives
. If not, I have a couple stashed. Thanks to Jacob An Kittenplan!

Arvo contributed a track to this
Culture Is Not Your Friend
compilation, which also features tracks by
, thisquietarmy, Insect Ark, and more.

An out-of-print Blood Rhythms cassette was uploaded to youtube by Watchtower Archives. It is an untitled collaboration between Arvo Zylo & Christopher Ilth, created with no computers, and released only through xerox newsletters/money orders during NO PART OF IT's "no net label" phase. It was dubbed on a dying cassette deck, and apparently transferred at a lower volume, so sound quality is pretty quiet. All audio was recorded direct to 4-track in an old warehouse. Hand-numbered, hand-stamped, hand-made covers in an edition of 44, released in 2014.

18 minutes from the master tape is available for subscribers here.

Thirteen Hurts' Threshold was reviewed at KFJC:

pedal noise project of Richard Adams aka The One Eyed Zatoichi for some odd reason, a veteran of the Norcal and Denver Noisefest circuits, apparently been making sounds since 1977. burbling gurgling harsh noise textures: overpowering megatons of aqueous feedback and swirl. this is a rerelease of a 2011 CD it seems, part 2 of a pair on Arvo Zylo’s No Part of It label. got some sonic treats with impressive dynamic shapes and studio tricks like stereo panning and soundscape layering. this aint no run of the mill HNW record, plenty of surprises to jump sizzle and scare.

Various Artists – Modus Vivendi: A Benefit Compilation for Chris Phinney  reviewed by Jerry Kranitz!  Thanks Jerry!

2020 has certainly been difficult for everyone but it’s all been multiplied for Chris Phinney. The incident that prompted music citizen extraordinaire Arvo Zylo to organize this benefit compilation was Chris being hit by an uninsured driver late last year while walking across the street, leading to a string of surgeries and medical bills. I talk to Chris regularly and have insight into the challenges he has faced.

However, whether you know Chris or not doesn’t have to matter, because this is a killer compilation of 19 experimental music and avant-psychedelic artists, including some impressive luminaries from the homemade music underground.

Among the heavyweights is the late great Minóy, with an eerily deep space excursion. Attrition contribute a beautifully somber piece from the spectral Gothic beyond. PBK (Phillip B. Klingler) creates noisy, edgy, droney, creepy space wave layers and pulses. Cephalic Index (Mike Jackson) conjures up a bit of good fun collage craftsmanship. Aaron Dilloway contributes a quirky and strangely but awesomely rhythmic sound construction. Arvo and Chris team up for a blend of noisy wind tunnel and disorienting pulsations. Little Fyodor delights with 30 seconds of wigged out organ grinder lunacy. And I’m tickled to see Plastic Crimewave included with a totally trippy guitar piece.

There are also lots of artists that are new to me. I won’t step through all of them, but among the ones that got my attention was Content Nullity, who crank out some Goth infused noise-rock. Cool stuff, I’ll have to check out more from them. Theater Of Ice’s tune sounds like The Residents gone totally drugged psychedelic. Need to hear more from these folks too. risaripa brings to mind something along the lines of The Residents/Snakefinger’s Satisfaction. Really freaked out, love it! Lots of interesting noise and spaced out artists too.

GREAT compilation, you can’t go wrong, AND it’s for a good cause! Purchase CD or download from the No Part Of It label Bandcamp site

Sashash Ulz, as well as two tracks from the Benefit Compilation for Chris Phinney, were aired on The Institute of Spectra-sonic Sound, alongside tracks including Brent Gutzeit, Rovellasca, Nihil Impvlse, and Hecker.  

The aforementioned Side-Line Reviews have been migrated from facebook to their website.

*Please pardon us while blogger's new interface is counter-intuitive as ever*