22 09 2004


I am happy to report that the second LOTUS EATERS Cd is finished & mastered. The album is titled "Wormwolf" and features 3 tracks totalling just over 50 minutes. James Plotkin, Aaron Turner and myself are the trio. It will be released on an as of yet undisclosed label, and packaging will feature artwork by Stephen Kasner.

Also, Drone Records of Bremen will be reissuing our long out of print 7" (DR-55) in the Autumn. Watch for a notice here, and maybe copies for sale of both in the [SHOP].

21 09 2004


In celebration of our 100,000th hit, we have opened an online shop to peddle some of the wares that come through here & are produced here. You can purchase items by using PayPal, which is integrated in the checkout feature. Take a look by clicking the [SHOP] button on the toolbar to the left.

19 09 2004


Unsound (US): What does the word 'Organum' mean and how is that meaning related to the music?

David Jackman (DJ): 'Organum' is a type of Christian vocal music. Historically it was the first development out of unison chanting, and being sometimes just a drone plus melody is of pleasurable interest to me. As you know, the Organum sound is very much drone-based. So that's the somewhat loose link with the music and that I make and name doesn't have any other significance, though it does have other dictionary meanings. Drone musics have always appealed to me, Celtic, Indian, Japanese Gagaku and so on.

US: What's the philosophical or social statement behind your work? For
example, is there an element of mysticism in Organum?

DJ: There's certainly no social statement behind the work and, philosophically, there's nothing consciously being projected into the sound. Apart from the blind desire to make sounds, the only thing that was at work in the beginning, particularly with 'Tower of Silence', was the wish to make something that sounded completely new. So it was invention that was the driving force, even to the point of eccentricity in the way sounds got made, like an alarm-clock case being scraped round a rusty bicycle-wheel rim for 20 minutes. As it happened, nothing new got made at all. Instead, Organum music came out sounding really ancient, like something from the very beginning of music-making.

US: How would you define music as opposed to sound or noise? And where does Organum fit into that definition?

DJ: In my opinion, music is not any kind of opposition to sound or noise at all, so I don't think it's possible to even attempt such a definition. In any case, the work gets made in an intuitive way - which is my particular manner - so what use would definitions be? They'd just be limitations and stumbling blocks.

US: How do you begin creating a work and what is the process used to develop a particular track?

DJ: Well, ideas just come and knock around in my head. If I want to, I can then sit down and make diagrams of the various sounds - elements that could go into the track. However, when I go into the studio I usually find that either they don't work together or I do something completely different anyway. Intentions, which are a sort of fantasy about a track, generally go out of the window pretty fast. I find that it's no use in my trying to force sounds to fit ideas. Sounds have a life of their own which I have to respect if I'm going to get anything done. I don't hang on to the intentions if they're getting in the way. As far as process goes, I only know I have something when the music coming out of the studio speakers begins to add up to more than the sum of all parts. After that the music is made fairly quickly and there's not much fiddling around with any particular sound. But very odd things surface when a track is in progress. They'll be strange thoughts and associations that won't strictly make sense. This kind of non-logic is interesting, because it often leads to a finished track which you then mentally step back from and think, 'where on earth did that come from?' And you hear it as something new and unexpected.

US: Do you foresee any changes in the Organum style?

DJ: You can view the early records as being just dense streams of sounds. But the very recent work has become simple. There's a sort of clarity now and I find that a bit unnerving. When you have just a few naked sounds it's either going to work really well or just sound awful; so the music has become more difficult to do. It was comparatively easy to pile on the noise, though even then there were still all the usual problems of composition, of making something work as a texture durations or whatever.

US: A lot of people feel that the music is developed through extensive tape processing. Can you discuss the manner by which the sound is processed - or not processed.

DJ: The sounds on 'Tower of Silence' and 'In Extremis' are mostly or acoustic origin and are not heavily processed at all. But they were put through the usual things like reverb, equalization and chorus. However, that doesn't make it electronic music. It's only in the very recent work that I've begun to let the studio take over, and it's something I don't want to indulge in too much. I don't want the gadget to sap the desire to originate sound; I think that can happen if you rely too much on technology.

US: What was your pre-Organum work like?

DJ: Loops, collaged layers of tape-loop sound. In some ways it was probably more inventive than the later work. But being recorded on an ancient Revox from sounds mostly stored on cassette, it was a bit rough on the technical side. I worked that way for five years.

US: What are your musical influences?

DJ: Apart from all the drone musics, listening to the weekly AMM sessions in the early 70's taught me most of what I wanted to know about sound-making. I really owe them a debt of gratitude - one of the world's great bands. I think it was through them that I really began the process of learning how to listen. At about the same time, the ritual music of Tibetan Buddhism also had an impact. I liked the music because it appeared to be totally relying on texture for coherence. Note relationships didn't seem to have anything to do with it. I may have misperceived it but that interpretation has guided my compositional approach a lot. But other sounds can be influences, too, apart from the musical ones. For instance, the engine notes of the various motorcycles that I've owned. 'Tower of Silence', for example has in it's texture many sounds which can be traced back to a Kawasaki KH400 I used to ride. And the metallic scraping found in most of the Organum tracks is a direct result of hearing and liking the squealing brakes of trains at night when I was 14. I don't think I've used a noise yet that doesn't eventually turn out to have some personal meaning or historical link.

US: Can you say something about the ideas and line-up of The New Blockaders? How does it differ from Organum?

DJ: You'd better ask them. I just liked the noise they made and they liked the noise that Organum made, so we did some work together. Probably the major difference is that Organum has never had any strong Dadaist inclinations. But I like their music because it doesn't really register as music at all.

US: What are your feelings about American art and music as compared to Europe?

DJ: I wouldn't know how to make a meaningful comparison. But the last American artworks that interested me were the works of the minimalist sculptors and, more recently the musics of Glenn Branca and Rys Chatham. Some of the hardcore was good too. However, it doesn't matter to me where art comes from. There are only three questions I ask - do I like it, do I think it's any good, and originality; have I come across anything like this before? Art considered on a nationalistic basis doesn't interest me.

US: What are you involved in outside of music?

DJ: I ride motorcycles, stare out of the window and have a nice time with my friends. And like a lot of people, I go to work in the morning. You know, just a normal life. But I don't regard music as a separated compartment of my life at all. Listening goes on all the time.

US: What's your goal for the future of Organum?

DJ: Well, as I don't work with overt theories but with specific sounds and an internal urge there can't really be any goal. So each track is it's own end. Really, there's no mystery to the music; I just make it because I want those sounds to exist. There's no other reason.

Jul 20 1995

Here's another one

Auf Abwegen: Lately you've been publishing Archival material. Does the tape [Verhalt dich Ruhig] contain new material?

David Jackman: Yes, that's new, from last year.

AA: Why the return to the tape medium?

DJ: That seemed to fit the material. The sound quality didn't play a large role. The material is over forty years old - garbage, I found it in a junkshop and then processed it.

AA: Another question: I have the impression your music is self-contained. Are there any influences?

DJ: Not anymore. In former times - Asiatic music, Buddhist music. But that was a long time ago.

AA: Does your music develop?

DJ: No. Not actually. In each case, it goes in a circle.

AA: How is your music played? You make it because you do it gladly, or is it a ritual...

DJ: I make it, because I make it gladly. It's not a ritual. I make music, if I have an idea. For example the sawing piece[10 Cut]: that emerged fully finished in my head. I don't think there's more to it, I don't know where it came from. It just makes me laugh.

AA: Does it have a spirituality?

DJ: NO!! (laughs)

AA: I don't mean in the esoteric sense; does it bring you in contact with any energies which are your own?

DJ: No, I think that's not it. The question is not stupid, but it does not mean anything for me. I do not think much about the origin of my music; otherwise I probably wouldn't make it. I simply make it.

AA: Back to the tape: The cover seems to have something to do with the Third Reich

DJ: Yes, that's a photo I took at Birkenau. I was really frightened of the place. I think, for you Germans it's easier - or, not easier, but you're more accustomed to it, it's part of your background. For me it was a shock. Until two years ago I didn't know anything about it. I know someone who was in Auschwitz, so it began to interest me.

AA: Why did you use it for the cover?

DJ: That's a complicated idea - an accumulation of ideas. The message (Perform calmly!) is an instruction, which is on the Shithouse wall, which they were allowed to use only once a day for one minute - it's thus nonsense. Additionally there was a female orchestra, which had to play this garbage for the SS in Birkenau. Therefore the connection; Bad music, Muzak, instruction... it's not a coherent idea, rather a collage.

AA: To return to your beginings in the Scratch Orchestra, that was also political - is there a connection there?

DJ: No, it's not important to me whether its political or not. The political aspect of the Scratch Orchestra began only in 1972, when I was no longer there.

AA: Some of your singles sound like contract-work, for instance: make me seven minutes of music, and I'll give you five hundred marks for it?

DJ: (laughs) That's beautiful! No, I made almost no contract-work. I have an idea, and then I execute it. The singles I'll try to bring out now, on my label Aeroplane.

AA: How did it go with "Veil of Tears"?

DJ: The pieces were recorded in an abandoned railway tunnel. I threw stones and metal. That was very pleasant; only it was very cold, I made it in the winter.

AA: What's up with "A Mouse Orchestra"? Is that ongoing?

DJ: Oh, that was only Christoph (Heemann) and myself. It was a unique thing.

AA: I saw a new disk announced in a label catalog.

DJ: Really? I'd like to get a copy! Doesn't matter - so long as they send me a percentage of the profits...

(another): : I believe there's another group...

AA: If you transfers your ideas, does improvisation thereby play a role?

DJ: Sometimes I use improvisation, in some pieces, but as a dogma or ideology it doesn't interest me. I like it, when things have that certain form, and those which don't, always fight against improvisation.

AA: Where do the titles come from? eg:"Tower of Silence" brings up certain associations (the towers of the silence are funeral places of the Parsen, an Indian religion).

DJ: Oh, the titles simply emerge when I hear the music. I don't think much about it; I try to avoid titles which evoke false associations.

AA: If you cannot put your music into words, how do you arrange the ideas for your fellow players?

DJ: Good question. Usually I leave it simple - to mesh, which they also do. But I control the mix; however there are also pieces which were mixed by others.

AA: Like Robert Hampson (Main)?

DJ: Yes, and Jim O'Rourke, Steve Stapleton and Christoph Heemann - a few people who I trust. Jim is a master of hearing - he hears things which I cannot.

AA: I come now to the piece on "Submission", the one with the bird noises and the motorcycle..

DJ: Yes, there someone started their motorcycle. I felt it was "right". I had very little cash at the time, and the cheapest way to make a piece was live. So I recorded at a place where half of the noises were not made by me. That isn't very profound, but it meshed well.

AA: Do you have any non-musical influences in your music?

DJ: Now, I actually don't have a background as a musician, but as a painter. I like many things, 20. Century, medieval art.

AA: Max Ernst?

DJ: Yes, when I was very young.

AA: Many your collages resemble his works.

DJ: Yes, I actually made Max Ernsts in the past - only better (laughs) No, no, he was great. I simply feel comfortable with collage. The music of Organum is also collage: layer laid upon layer.

AA: Perhaps you do not like the comparison, but I had to think of Anselm Kiefer, with his thick color and ash layers.

DJ: I know few of his pictures, but they please me. What was the question again?

AA: Non-musical influences on your music.

DJ: I'll try... I often play railroad recordings for myself. I love them - I have hundreds sent in from all over the world. Nowadays I listen to normal noises rather than music: Birds, water, frogs, insects... Insects are like minimum music - only one note. One note is enough. That's good!

16 09 2004


16 09 2004

new Devandra vid



Who doesnt love this guy?

Watch here.

16 09 2004

SUNN vs UK & Greece 12/04

SUNN O))) Rather Grimm 2004

Mon 29 – Manchester, Road House
Tue 30 – Leeds, Brudenel Social Club

Wed 01 – Newcastle, Cluny
Thu 02 – Glasgow, TBC
Fri 03 – Belfast, TBC
Sat 04 – Limerick, TBC
Sun 05 – Dublin, TBC
Mon 06 – Birmingham, Custard Factory
Tue 07 – Exeter, The Cavern Club
Wed 08 – London, The Scala
Thu 09 – Peel Session
Fri 10 – Athens Greece

Lineup to include possibly amongst the following per show: Julain Cope, Attila Csihar, Holy McGrail, Cronos, Savage Pencil, Rex Ritter, Greg Anderson & Stephen O'Malley

All information tentative of course!!

14 09 2004





Excerpts from this amazing "LOG" included with HAWKWIND'S 1971 IN SEARCH OF SPACE LP

Again, thanks to John Coulhart for the awareness.

14 09 2004

rad Hawkwind comic



Thanks to Coulhart for the heads up once again...

10 09 2004

DANIEL MENCHE leaves a good taste once again

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Betsy Nuse"
To: xxxx
Subject: Victoria film screening
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 19:55:56 -0700

Dear Vanessa,

I would like to add some thoughts after the screening of your film "Hope and
Prey" in Victoria on 3 September: It was I who spoke to you afterwards,
objecting to the volume of the soundtrack, and not able to accept it as

I have a master's degree in musicology and years of work as a music
therapist. This is not to brag or pull rank, only to show you that I, too,
have a very broad spectrum of music, having studied ambient, natural,
acoustic and instrumental music and sounds quite extensively.

The soundtrack inflicted on us, the audience, was absolute torture. I felt
physically and emotionally violated and my body was still shaking the next
morning. I had earplugs as well as my fingers in my ears.

I was astonished that so many of the audience did not, apparently, feel any
There may be reasons for that:-
1) We have become a brutalised society in many ways. It is well known that
rock group members go deaf after exposure to the high decibels of
amplification. Police sirens and jack hammers also damage the ears. If you
experienced 16 amplifiers in one room, you may not realize anymore how
extreme your soundtrack is - and neither may some of the members of the
audience. Deafness is cumulative.
2) Perhaps there is an age-related effect: we are strong, resilient and
immortal when young. Now, however, I'm more sensititve to many things, and
also much more aware of the consequences of events and experiences.

Please understand that, like many young people, I am totally disgusted with
the uncaring, greedy and brutal society we live in, and I long for a kinder,
gentler and more generous world.
Experimentation in the arts is just fine -as you said - to make us wake up
and think. The brutality of our surroundings does not, however, give the
artist a license to brutalise and damage an audience.

It may be that you and your "composer" ( I still cannot call it "music")
friend have not yet done any acoustical or physiological research to
discover the damage that is done to the human system by continuous exposure
to such loudness. For the sake of future audiences, I urge you to do so.

The visual aspect of the film was very interesting. The "heart would have
come up" anyway, with 1/5 of the volume of sound.

Yours sincerely,
Gillian Sanderson

10 09 2004


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