Pics by Thomas Herzog
Greg Anderson / Attila Csihar / Oren Ambarchi
Pics via Thomas Herzog
First Interview Feature on this site is with Mikko Aspa, the person behind many music projects based in Lahti, Finland. He runs the excellent Northern Heritage and Freak Animal record labels, which focus on black metal and noise, respectively.
Do you see a common link (objective or subjective) that connects your musical outlets (Clandestine Blaze, Stabat Mater, Grunt, AM) and your record labels?
Yes. If you read the lyrics or follow the themes, there is definitelty connection point of all projects (and not only these mentioned). If there wouldn't be, I would be surpriced. Most often same themes follow in everything I do, because it would be nearly impossible to stay away from them. Angle how it is dealt with and how far it is taken depends on the case. Music is just music to represent things behind it. Some of lyrics might be slightly cryptic for people to actually understand what it is about.
The latest CB album "Church of Atrocity" seems like a "progression", although the approach and essence remain consistent with past releases. Do you believe this is true? Would you say that you are always becoming better at recording and gaining focus of musical vision with CB?
I believe it is true. Album took longest time to compose and record. Plenty of riffs was discarded (and forgotten) in the process, and in the end result was therefore culmination of several years best moments. What comes to the sound, it is often based on spontaneous and accidental creation. Equipment is always minimal and cheap. Overall idea how it should be sounding usually develops after accidental recording already happened. So strong key factor is always unpredictability of poor conditions combined with authentic intent to do something about it. Only aim there was for "Church of Atrocity" was to sound different from previous album. Choice was either go to utter lo-fi extreme or clean the sound. Latter one suited these songs better, and sound is still "clean" only by standards of CB. There are no rules for sound always go "cleaner". Next album may as well become roughest yet, if it feels like it. What comes to music, I have become much more critical towards riffs than in past. Plenty of those which would have been taken into previous albums was no longer sounding good enough or reminded too much of something what is already done.
CB always has distinguished artwork for its releases, how is the art derived? Have you experience with this side of things? (I always found the art on the cd of "Delivers of Faith" to be unusual, it reminds of a big rock spectacle and yet the image also shows the basic and primal nature.)
Artwork always follows the basic lines of what I have always had. Same symbols and elements are being repeated from first demo tape till now. But each release has also its own spirit, and one could say, if you strip down those repeated elements, there is very little in common with the artwork on each of the album. While music/sound of new album was kind of "improved" and with plenty of details and textures, I wanted the artwork of album to be dull and flat. They contain no visually pleasing gimmicks or modern printing techniques. Printing method is chosen to be matte, grey'ish, with very weak contrasts. Trying to resemble crude statue, decaying printing or fading "icon", not anything vivid or lively. Something that most of people would find worthless, simple and unpleasing, but those who see behind the surface (and connect it with songs/lyrics) see the purpose.
In following the NH label, it seems that there are growing frustrations... What do you see as the cause?
Label is these days balancing on verge of becoming "too big" and staying as it should be. Frustrations are caused by the unwanted attention of bootleggers, semi-mainstream indie media, ebay kikes, rip offs and useless bullshit on internet-forums on whatever topic related to whatever I may have or may have not done. Due both, project and label, has been always rather private matter, it is sometimes frustrating when you are no longer in control of even when, how and why you want to release your music.
I'm very pleased to see fanatical supporters and people who find true inspiration from what label or band(s) has done, and of course gladly welcome the orders from mailorderlist. Negative side of the mailorder are the extremely busy times, when being "obligated" to run between e-mail program and packaging table for 7 days a week, easily 12-16 hours a day. It's not always easy task, if you have urge to create or do things other than wrap CD's in envelopes. Of course this is not the constant situation and luckily all the tools of making label smaller are in my hands if such things needs to be done.
Throughout life will you continue to make endevours with other labels/musics to present different sides of what interests you at that time?
Most likely. There are only handful of the main outlets. Things what happen besides them, are not necessary less of importance, but they might not be intended as "public" or long lasting, but made due personal obsession or urge. My interest are almost the same as they ever were. Shift of interest made by natural progression of "growth" (/ regression) can be seen, but often it is mere wave, which is getting back to the same place.
Northern Heritage: www.cfprod.com/nh/
Freak Animal: www.cfprod.com/fa/
-Alice Coltrane Live at UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles, February 18, 2006-
Saw this last night at PEAK in Montclair, NJ... very cool...
I AM BLOOD (a medieval fairy tale)
For his new creation for the 'Cour d'Honneur' at the 2001 Festival d'Avignon, Jan Fabre has written a long poem on an essential constituent of the human body: blood. It revolves round the thought that little has changed since the 'dark' Middle Ages. There has been no fundamental evolution, and man, in all his urges and impulses, still displays great aggression - in this respect he is essentially no different from the animals - and also a systematic bloodthirstiness - in which he does differ distinctly from the animals. Underlying this piece is the notion that despite the development of his consciousness, rational and scientific developments and the global village, no new mental or physical image of man has arisen.
The body and expression by and by means of the body are over-evident. The form of this piece is reminiscent of such older forms as mediaeval polyphonic chants and Biblical psalms. They are forms of a ritual nature in which a particular idea is illustrated from several angles.
In the text of Je Suis Sang, the free verses develop like mantras: an idea is started, repeated and slowly expanded. Several voices sketch a particular picture of man in the past (the Middle Ages, for instance), the present and the future. They create time continua. They describe the burden of the body, subject as it is to obsessions, fixations, suffering and diseases.
The body, which is the source of urges and social taboos which are specifically linked with blood: wounds, menstruation, stigmata and 'bloodshed'. In this respect nothing has changed since the Middle Ages. Man is addicted to blood in all senses of the word. The mirror effect of using man-animal-vampire (bloodsucker) as a metaphor is typical of this.
The voices express the wish to become nothing but blood. Blood has a system of its own whereby it constantly cleans itself.
The body, flesh and bones are renounced in a systematic, invocatory manner so as to dissolve into something different, into another type of form that is not weighed down by suffering and taboos, something fluid that permeates matter: a body of the future that consists only of blood. And as one whole, this future image extends further: a gigantic pool of blood, a collectivity that washes over the earth and colours the planet red.
The piece is written partly in Latin in order to make the link with the mediaeval view of man by means of what was then the language of science and power (e.g. the church). The writer has incorporated mystical wisdom into the piece. Among others he consulted Hildegard van Bingen (12th century) who described visions of the body, healing powers, plants and animals (and their intelligence) in different voices (the first and third persons singular and plural). There is the implicit presence of the contrast between guilt-ridden religious thinking on the one hand and a free, independent natural wisdom on the other. In the latter model the mystic (here played by several 'voices') is the one who has gained wisdom by experience and experiment and not from tradition or dogma.
He offers his insights for what they are worth: he does not gather a following nor does he have any disciples. In this respect the location connected with the text is significant: it is the palace of the popes, at the time when Catholicism was exercising brutal power, and the plea in Je Suis Sang is the opposite of this.
The piece expresses the hope that another form of existence will arise. The ironic subtitle ('fairytale') points out its fictional nature, but its composition and invocatory tone indicates that the heart of the argument aims for truth by way of fiction. It is a plea for a new feeling of community, a new morality. A fluid body. As in a time vacuum.
This piece describes, judges and expresses a wish. A proverbial wish: to become blood. Call it a projection of the future. Or is it an evocation, a fiction with some truth, a wishful dream? An invocation? Towards the end of the piece the voice says, 'I free myself'. Beyond good and evil? Beyond time? Invulnerable?
Text, scenography, choreography: Jan Fabre
dramaturgy: Miet Martens
Assistance choreography: Renée Copraij
Actors, dancers, musicians: Linda Adami, Tawny Andersen, Vicente Arlandis, Dimitri Brusselmans, Katrien Bruyneel, Sylvia Camarda, Annabelle Chambon, Cédric Charron, Sebastien Cneude, Anny Czupper, Stijn Dickel, Els Deceukelier, Barbara De Coninck, Olivier Dubois, Ivana Jozic, Marina Kaptijn, Guillaume Marie, Laura Mas Sauri, Dirk Roofthooft, Maria Stamenkovic-Herranz, Geert Vaes, Maarten Van Cauwenberghe, Helmut Van den Meersschaut
translations: Olivier Taymans (French), Luc De Coninck (Latin)
light design: Jan Dekeyser, Jan Fabre
costumes: Daphne Kitschen, Jan Fabre
costume assistant: Ingrid Van Hove, Gaiska Torrealba
technical coordination: Harry Cole
technicians: Jelle Moerman, Gaiska Torrealba
Props: Elsemieke Scholte
Sound: The Image & Sound Factory
assistant dramaturgy: Hendrik Tratsaert
production manager: Hilde Vanhoutte
Music: "Les joyeux bouchers", Boris Vian/Jimmy Walter, copyright Fondation Boris Vian; "Cold Turkey ", John Lennon, copyright 1969 Northern Songs Ltd, produced by John and Yoko; "Son of a preacher man", John Hurley/Ronnie Wilkins, copyright 1968 Phonogram Ltd London, produced by Wexler, Downd and Martin; autres compositions par Dag Taeldeman, Maarten Van Cauwenberghe, Danny Dupont et Sebastien Cneude
with thanks to: Mr. De Coninck, Mr. and Mrs. Michel Espeel.
Production retake 2005 and retake 2007:
Troubleyn / Jan Fabre (Antwerp / Belgium)
production retake 2003:
Troubleyn / Jan Fabre (Antwerp / Belgium), in co-production with: Festival d'Estiu de Barcelona GREC 2003 (Spain), Festival d'Avignon (France), Melbourne Festival (Australia) and deSingel (Antwerp, Belgium)
production creation 2001:
Troubleyn / Jan Fabre (Antwerp / Belgium), in co-production : Festival d'Avignon (France), deSingel (Antwerp) in collaboration with muziektheater Transparant (Antwerp)
One of the greatest...
Alan Cummings wrote:
Sad news - Jutok Kaneko of Kousokuya suddenly passed away yesterday, January 24th, around 11am. He was just 48 years old.
While little sung, Kousokuya were towering figures in the Tokyo underground scene, one of the few Minor-period groups to exist as a constant to the present day. The tremulous light that Kaneko continued to search after on
the brink of dissolution and chaos will be sadly missed.
For those who knew Kaneko, a vigil will be held in Tokyo on January 27th (Saturday), from 6pm at Daienji temple in Meguro. The funeral service will be from 11am to 12pm on the 28th.
Daienji, 1-8-5 Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku 03-3491-2793
DEICIDE Drummer Arrested For Bank Robbery In Austria!
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 10:03:47
Floridian death metal stalwarts DEICIDE were detained today (January 25th) in Innsbruck, Austria for.... Bank Robbery. Deicide drummer Steve Asheim got up early this morning to make a trip to the bank to deposit some money from merch sales when the bank staff became suspicious of his appearance and the fact that much of the money was marked with red dye. Staff immediately called the police who swiftly arrived and took the Deicide drummer down to the station, suspecting that he had been involved in a recent bank robbery in the area and that he was handling stolen banknotes. Questioned for a number of hours, Steve explained the banknotes were legitimate proceeds from touring, and that he had a leaky pen in his pocket which was responsible for the money's discoloration. Innsbruck Police were eventually forced to release Steve without further charge.
Deicide appear undeterred by the incident and will perform tonight at the Hafen club in Innsbruck as scheduled and continue with the rest of the European/Russian tour:
25 - Innsbruck, Austria at Hafen
26 - Essen, Germany at Zeche Carl
27 - Sneek, Holland at Het Bolwerk
28 - Vosselaar, Belgium at Biebob
29 - Hannover, Germany at MuzikZentrum
30 - Berlin, Germany at SO36
2 - St Petersburg, Russia at Port
3 - Moscow, Russia at Tochka
4 - Krasnodar, Russia at Orbita
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