Interview: Marc Heal

“It’s funny, having worked so hard to make a living out of music I found once I’d got there that I’d broken myself in the process. I needed a break to do some, uh, emotional housekeeping.”

Live: Katatonia – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

KATATONIA (+ TheGreat Discord, Ghost Bath) Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

Wave Gotik Treffen - The Preview June 2017

The gathering of 2017s Wave Gotik Treffen, is but a month away. Time to get the fascinators out and the boots polished!

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Corrupter'


Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: Fjords – 'Ode To The Albatross' (Single)

'Ode To The Albatross'

Single releases don't often warrant reviews when they are a sole track with no b-side or remix, but in the case of 'Ode To The Albatross', the debut offering from Fjords, and exception can be made. Weighing in at nearly nine minutes in length it is an epic musical journey in its own right.

The song is firmly rooted in elements of European doom metal, progressive rock and dark metal which makes it heavy on ambient atmospheres, solid guitar riffs, thunderous drums and both clean and growled vocals. The song ebbs and flows with melancholy and mystery as heavy guitars and death vocals give way to quieter melodic passages before erupting once again. Fans of bands such as Novembre and Katatonia will definitely find this an easy fit.

This is only a first release from the Nottingham-based quintet, but it is nonetheless quite an impressive one. The song writing on display is very strong and ambitious, the musicianship is experienced and disciplined, and they've obviously put the time into making sure the mixing and mastering reflects their hard work.

This may be the band's only release so far, but it is a really strong first step. To release something as epic in its scope as 'Ode To The Albatross' shows a lot of ambition that will hopefully be realised by their first full-length studio offering when it emerges.  

Download post as PDF file
Blogger Widgets

Review: Laibach – 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'

'Also Sprach Zarathustra'

Slovenian provocateurs Laibach return with their latest sonic offering in the form of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', an album based on music originally created for a theatrical production of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Also Sprach Zarathustra) based on Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same name, which premiered in March 2016. The official release sees the original music updated and reworked into a studio album rather than released in it's theatrical form as they did with 1986's 'Baptism' and 1990's 'Macbeth'.

The album is therefore a follow-up to their 2014 outing 'Spectre', and album that was as approachable as it was subversive, and perhaps saw the band's most favourable critical outing in their 30 year career. With the artistic intelligentsia now fully caught up with what Laibach have been doing for the past three decades this release will feel like a major swerve from anyone who have just encountered the band.

'Also Sprach Zarathustra' returns to the band's avant garde and neo-classical past and forgoes the pomp filled electronics of albums like 'Spectre', 'WAT', and 'NATO' that proved their most commercially successful. Tracks such as 'Ein Untergang', 'Ein Verkündiger', 'Von Gipfel zu Gipfel', 'Das Nichtlied I', and 'Als Geist' are sinister, foreboding blending metallic industrial rhythms and noise, with ambient drones, classical strings and horns, and the occasional piano refrain dominating the tracks, while Milan Fras' unmistakeable vocals power through.

There are one ore two moments where the softer and more melodic side of the band come through unabated by noise such as the album's opener 'Vor Sonnen-Untergang', and 'Vor Sonnen-Aufgang' which features the stunning vocals of Mina Špiler. But just as you feel you can breathe again the group pull you back into the darkness with the swirling, psychedelic noise of 'Von den drei Verwandlungen' to definitively shatter your sanity.

While this album returns to the strong neo-classical, avant garde and even martial sounds of their earliest albums. 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' is still executed and produced to the same high standard we've seen on the band's more recent commercial albums. Noise is textural, not over saturating, all the instruments come through clear and the mix feels spacious.

Anyone that has followed the career of Laibach won't be surprised by this album, in so much as with spectre being such a commercially friendly album that wrapped their subversive nature in dance rhythms and 
Wagnerian pop melodies, it seems natural that they would follow it up with a more experimental and less user-friendly release. Such is the joy of a group like Laibach, you can't make assumptions or take things for granted. 

Those looking for 'Spectre' part 2, or even a hint of their other recently performed works such as the songs from the sound of music may have to wait longer for an official release. But in the here and now this is a welcome return to the dark and disturbing underbelly of the Laibach collective.  

Download post as PDF file

Friday, 11 August 2017

Review: Suicide Commando – 'Forest Of The Impaled'

'Forest Of The Impaled'

It has been a while since harsh ebm pioneer Johan van Roy last unleashed Suicide Commando to terrorise unsuspecting electronic music fans. 2013's 'When Evil Speaks', saw van Roy continue to refine his unique formula and even add a couple of hints of his more experimental past. With his new offering 'Forest Of The Impaled', however we see a much more focused effort, concise in it's approach and all the sharper for it.

Suicide Commando has a pretty strict structure that has served van Roy very well. Whereas a lot of his imitators sound derivative, van Roy has avoided falling into any kind of self-parodied. He knows when to look back, and subtly tweak things to keep things interesting. And most importantly he knows what his fan-base wants, and is more than happy to deliver.

'Forest Of the Impaled' is a strong collection of savage dance floor eviscerating tracks that ooze sinister atmospheres and and infectious melodies. Tracks like 'My New Christ', 'Too Far Gone', 'The Pain That You Like', 'The Devil', 'Schiz[o]topia', and 'We Are Transitory' feature the classic Suicide Ccommando hallmarks and will undoubtedly be ravenously consumed by fans and casual club-goers alike.

As with 'When Evil Speaks' there are the odd nods to previous sounds and a little experimenting with his style going on to keep things from sounding too relentless. The likes of 'Death Lies Waiting', 'Chasm Of Emptiness', and 'Crack Up' keep things interesting with their little unexpected twists.

Production-wise the album is of the quality we expect from a 31-year veteran. Van Roy's expert craftsmanship has this album sounding as high-end as anything from a major label release, and with his twisted imagination behind it, far more interesting.

On the surface it might be perplexing to some as to how van Roy's steadfast dedication to his core sound has actually kept him relevant through a myriad of musical trends coming and going. But it is his artistic integrity that fans respond to. In the case of 'Forest Of The Impaled' with the additional trimming of the fat compared to some of his previous releases, the songs sound stronger and more impactful, even when things get a bit repetitive or safe sounding, you can't help but be drawn in.  

Download post as PDF file

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review: Various Artists – 'A Terrible Thing To Cover: A Tribute To Ministry'

'A Terrible Thing To Cover: A Tribute To Ministry'

As controversial as he is creative, there is no doubt that Al Jourgensen's Ministry has made a significant contribution to industrial music from it's dissonant electronic beginnings, through to its progression into a mammoth metal subgenre. With a wealth of varied material in their discography it is only fitting that Tribulations, who brought us the impressive 'It Ain't Dead Yet – A Tribute To Skinny Puppy', last year turn their attention to Ministry.

A little leaner, but no less satisfying than their last instalment, 'A Terrible Thing To Cover' sees an impressive array of artists add their spin to classic and rare tracks alike. Notable contributions from the likes of Chrysalide, Dead When I Found Her, Caustic, IIOIOIOII, Acidrodent, Solemn Assembly, Flesh Eating Foundation, and Verin pull and twist the originals in different directions, some faithfully and others radically. But across the whole track list each act contributes a strong personal tribute to Jourgenson.

As with the previous compilation, it has been mastered well to assure there are no glaring differences in sound quality between tracks and even when moving between something more ear-friendly to another harsher contribution the track list progresses smoothly.

Again, this is a great compilation that shows a lot of love and respect for the source material and the legacy of Ministry. The artists may be as varied as Jourgensen's own sonic output over the years, but as a collective the sounds at play really compliment each other. With two really solid (and free) compilations in the bag already, Tribulations are setting the bar pretty high for themselves, so it will be interesting to see what they do for a third outing.

Download post as PDF file

Book Review: Peter David / Nicole D'Andria – 'Artful'

Vampires are such interesting and attractive creatures. We don’t seem to get tired of them anytime soon because of how versatile they are and how easy is to work with them, and even more interesting how they can change a tale such as Oliver Twist’s.

The original novel, 'Artful', written by Peter David, has been adapted by Nicole D’Andria to the comic format, and was recently published as a complete graphic novel. I’d like to have many good things to say about, as the story is pretty original and caught my attention after a couple of pages, but I must admit the art does no justice.

It would be better, to properly start, that the idea of Victorian vampires has always made me fall in love with whichever story that used it, in different intensities, to tell the whole truth. This is not an exception, as I said, but I feel some scenes could have been better created.

After so many different, alternative and changed versions of the original creature, I really felt blessed to put my hands on a more classic proposal. No one can really get tired of vampires, but Artful is a good return to the myth’s roots and offer a well known, familiar face of the race.

After you read the first pages, which were a little too slow for me, the real story begins, in the middle of the first chapter, if I remember correctly, and so the action starts to be seen. Although it is not completely explicit, D’Andria did a good job choosing which scenes should be seen and which not in order to offer a balanced result: not that familiar, but certainly not so explicit.

This is a story that, after that chance, is read by itself. It absorbed me in some way, though I was still barely aware that time was passing, which made it a heavy reading at times. There were some scenes that could have been done better, that’s for sure, but I like what 'Artful' has to offer: a good while among blood, wild creatures and a story with funny moments.

I feel that the Victorian elements in the story, however, could have been better used. It seemed like only the setting and style were the clue that this was placed in such era, as even the characters spoke, sometimes, in a manner more similar to nowadays’. Bittersweet combination although I want to think it is for its targeted teen audience.

Even more bittersweet was the art. I can see there was a lot of effort in each of the panels, but many had bad shadows, thicker than thick lines and exaggerated expressions on the characters. That my main problem with it, although the vivid colours were a good plus to compensate it.

There was also some Anime influence in the look of 'Artful'. I cannot put my finger on it, as there is no certain scene to say such thing, but if you’ve seen anime, read manga, manhwa, or any other variant, you may get the same feeling, which got me a very good vibe. It was great to have both Western and Asian style combined.

However, I still have a very good time with this book and would like to see more material like this on the market, as the Pros were more than the Cons. Very grateful to the publisher for sending me this copy, I tried to be as honest as I could. 

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Review: Android Lust – 'Berlin//Crater Vol. 2'

'Berlin//Crater Vol. 2'

It's pretty safe to say that Shikhee D'iordna is one of the most important electronic artists of the past 20 years. Her work as Android Lust since the release of her 1998 debut 'Resolution' has always been of the highest calibre and with a progressive core that moves between genres with ease to create a sound that owes just as much to Kate Bush as it does Trent Reznor.

After the release of her brilliant 2010 album 'The Human Animal' though, D'iordna would regroup and take Android Lust in the most esoteric direction yet. The result was 'Crater Vol. 1', a more experimental and ambient-orientated sound that made use of field recordings, drones and moved away from lyrical narrative, yet retained a familiar dance floor credibility. Fast-forward four years and D'iordna returns with the sequel in the form of 'Berlin'.

A minute of abrasive synthesised noise hits in the form of 'Eclipse I' to open the album before dropping into the Flodian soundscape of 'Eclipse II' with it's subtle bass, ambient melody and sparing use of rhythm it ebbs and flows with paranoid alienation. 'Daughters Of Dawn' follows on with the first vocal contribution from D'iordna which is framed by addictive retro synth sounds and infectious rhythms that recall her dance floor classics without resorting to retreading old ground.

'Insects' again sees D'iordna utilising her vocals to great effect, slightly distorting them and mixing them lower before surrounding them with frantic rhythms, hissing synths and occasional piano. 'Heart Tunnel' again sees the abrasive elements front and centre again but as with 'Daughters Of Dawn', the song feels more approachable and atmospheric in its interplay of melody and dissonance. 'Crawl' is a fitting centrepiece for the album with it's slow and subtle construction giving way to addictive rhythms, a fantastic vocal performance and infectious bass line, it's one of those tracks that neatly sums up everything that is great about Android Lust in one go. 'In Memory', like 'Eclipse II' is a claustrophobic soundscape that builds into something more tangible when minimal bass and rhythm is added to elevate it from simply being a noisy oddity into something genuinely listenable.

'Plaza Steps' again sees D'iordna utilise her vocals like another synthesizer slowly distorting their melody and turning them into a distorted drone as the repeating rhythms march on constantly overhead. 'Madness In Men' sees another long intro build in an unexpected way into another surprisingly dance-friendly track. The final track on the album, 'Eventide', is a stunning way to end evoking the more experimental results of Bowie's own Berlin Trilogy, but updated for the 21st century, more nightmarish, more haunting, more desolate.

'Berlin' is a beautifully crafted album. D'iordna has a unique mastery of sound akin to an alchemist turning base elements into gold. This album utterly reflects that skill from the song writing to the final mixdown.

It's been far too long between Android Lust albums, and while this long-awaited offering is on the shorter end of the spectrum at 41 minutes, it is a beautifully succinct and complete statement. It develops ideas from the first volume further and marries more comfortably with what could be described as the Android Lust sound. The end result is fantastic.  

Download post as PDF file

Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Add Violence'

'Add Violence'

A big criticism of Nine Inch Nails post 'Year Zero' is the settled and somewhat comfortable sound Trent Reznor has continued to craft. Deviations and experimentation are still present, but with his fascination with analogue synthesizers there has been to a degree a stock palette that has also reoccurred in his side project How To Destroy Angels, and his soundtrack work with long-time NIN producer, and now official member, Atticus Ross.

The first release in the trilogy of EPs being released on his own Null Corporation record label, 'Not The Actual Events' did kind of confound expectations. With it's noise rock meets drone and low-fi feel it was arguably one of the most challenging NIN releases since 1994's 'The Downward Spiral', though lacking the misanthropic anger of his youth. Fast-forward to the summer of 2017 and the second EP in the trilogy, 'Add Violence', is unveiled.

Sonically the new EP is a self-contained entity with an expanded presence than we previously had. We return to the analogue synth wizardry familiar from recent Reznor releases. There is an almost chip-tune element to some of the tracks while darker ambient textures play beneath them and the vocals begin to tie the narrative arc of the EPs together with their disassociated lyrics.

'Less Than' is a fairly typical NIN track to kick off the EP, a little retro synth lead, that classic guitar sound and vocal delivery that categorises recent output, balancing the subtle harsher elements with an upbeat and pleasing rhythm. 'The Lovers' has a more minimal vibe reminiscent of How To Destroy Angels, with a simple and rhythmic melody, a little piano and Reznor's distant spoken vocal it has an air of 'The Fragile' about it's atmosphere.

'This Isn't The Place' carries on that feeling, though with a more sinister atmosphere present throughout, that fades nicely into the low-fi rock of 'Not Anymore' with its “quiet-loud” construction that is the most obvious musical link to the previous EP. Finally, 'The Background World' ties the EP together with a sinister grooving track that nicely blends the melodic synths with the dirty guitars that gradually build into a wall of distortion.

Production-wise the EP walks a fine line between the top-shelf polish of the likes of 'Hesitation Marks' and the low-fi grit of 'Not The Actual Events'. It does tend to go one way or the other and never quite settles on an optimum balance, but that doesn't affect the overall feel of the EP.

'Add Violence' perhaps defaults back to some safer territory for Reznor and Ross after the dissonant noise of 'Not The Actual Events'. It still feels experimental, as though they are continuing to exorcise their sonic demons. But this time around, more so than the last, it feels like these were originally destined for other things, but have been reworked and re-imagined to fit this narrative. It's certainly a good EP, recognisably NIN and utilising some tried and tested set pieces, but still an infectious listen. It just raises more questions about the final instalment of the trilogy and how that will tie everything together.  

Download post as PDF file

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Editorial: July, 2017

It's that time again, where we announce that we are opening expressions of interest for our next 'Blood Pack' compilation album!

That's right, on the 1st January 2018 we'll be unleashing another free download compilation in the form of 'Blood Pack Vol.5'. So far the donation method for the latest album has raised nearly £100 which as been donated to DKMS, a UK charity that fights blood cancer. It's a good start but I know you're all very generous and wouldn't disagree if we were to say that the next compilation should also go to raising money for this great charity.

If you don't want to donate, that's fine too, but with 200 free downloads gone in just the first couple of days after 'Vol. 4' was released it seems like a great opportunity to raise some cash for a good cause.

Next month, as usual, I will unveil the cover art for the next compilation and send invitations out to bands/labels who may be interested in contributing a track. We'll also have open applications from September onwards so we can make this another nice big release.

If you're a band and considering donating a track and are wondering what's in it for you? First of all it is free – there is no cover charge to be on the compilation as it is a download and we're giving it away for free! We make sure every release comes with an A4 PDF brochure containing band biographies as well as relevant hyperlinks that will take people straight to your web pages. We're happy to feature new blood as well as established acts and all submissions will be considered based on their individual merit rather than whether they are well known or not.

So far we have featured a range of acts covering a wide variety of genres including Attrition, Be My Enemy, Aeon Sable, Ultraviolence, Noir, Bestial Mouths, Near Earth Orbit, Cease2xist, Ego Likeness, I††, Adoration Destroyed, Three Winters, Grypt, Petrol Bastard, ѦPѺLLYѺN'S ▼ISѦGE, Ca†hedra, Human Traffic, plus many more bands.

Sound good? So what will we need?

First of all, we'll need your track as a WAV file. We're ideally looking for something exclusive or new – it could be in the form of an unreleased song, demo, a remix, or live track etc. We'll then need a 200 word biography, your links and written permission to use the track and that's it!

General submissions will be open from September with a cut-off date to get the tracks and info to us by the end of November. Advanced copies of the compilation will go out to all contributors around Christmas, and we will also make copies available to radio shows/podcasters interested in plugging the release, with the general release being made available through our bandcamp for 1st January 2018.

Be sure to keep an eye out for editorials over the next couple of months with more details. But in the meantime, if you are interested, please email us and we'll add you to our contact list!

Finally, if you haven't already got them, go get our three download compilations FOR FREE from out bandcamp – so much free music! What the hell are you waiting for?!

And as always make sure you have these links in your favourites:

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Discourses on Westeros

With the much-anticipated 7th season of Game of Thrones about to begin it may be an opportune time to review what the events in Westeros have come to represent, and what they mean. What can we learn from the struggle for the Iron Throne and the conflict between the characters and realms it causes?

The first thing to note about the world of the Westerosi is that life is complicated. Politics, not in terms of grand ideologies or narratives of state but in terms of the endless micro-politics of feud, bargain and vendetta, is the real subject of Game of Thrones. With few real differences in worldview or philosophy between the Kingdoms life takes on the nature of an endless battle for supremacy or survival, as the interlocking rivalries constantly revolve and interchange.

This lack of clarity in purpose locks the characters in some kind of omnipresent moral fog. It's striking, especially on repeated viewings, how the characters begin the series nearly all suffering under some kind of misapprehension; all misunderstanding each others motives or keeping some secret so that they are all incapable of seeing each other straight. It's not until later in the series do we even begin to understand what really caused events to unfold as they did. Throughout the narrative characters are unaware of what is being said or done by others at the same time, almost as if a constellation of planets was orbiting as-yet-unseen celestial body.

The actual bread-and-butter of politics in the series deals with the realities of government. Ruling is a complicated business that entails building coalitions of support, a great deal of horsetrading, and no little bloodshed. Without this hegemony and the force to back it up, Kings are vulnerable to be deposed. The Mad King's brutality saw him lose allies until he eventually made a coalition opposing him a political necessity, as well as a reality. Robert Baratheon, despite having no claim to the throne, nonetheless wins it. The Lannisters have to continually align themselves with rival houses to peel off some of the opposing forces against them, but even they slowly alienate their supporters and become isolated. The Houses effectively operate as political parties do, garnering and consolidating their support. The layers of legitimate force are also complicated, with the King, the City and the Houses all having their own separate militia. To survive and rule in this world you have to be flexible, lithe, and probably morally corrupt.

The key exemplars of this realpolitik tend to be the most morally bereft and brutal – Tywin Lannister, Roose Bolton, Walder Frey, Cersei. Those characters who try to self-consciously demonstrate a moral rectitude – Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys – all suffer for this to varying degrees and ultimately all have to face the fact that the mathematics of political reality still apply to them. Jon's attempts to effectively ride two horses at the same time, performing the greater good and shoring up his support in the Night's Watch, proves futile. Ned Stark discovers that people are much more complicated than he can imagine, and being a man of honour he can't imagine how complicated they really are.

The key event in the series is actually a depressingly modern event – a (literal) palace coup, at a moment of political crisis caused by King Robert's assassination. As such the Lannisters maintain power through a variety of measures which slowly hollow out the integrity of the institutions of state. Their decreasing circle of power throughout the series is in direct correlation to the amount of arbitrary violence that the Lannisters are prepared to use, most spectacularly being the bombing of the Sept of Baelor at the end of season 6. What else can Cersei do to maintain her grip on power after that? What isn't she prepared to do?

Issues of federalism and independence naturally arise. The North wishes to make it ungovernable but ultimately has to contend itself to being a vassal. Life under occupation or as a neo-colonial client state is brutal and hopeless. Those kingdoms that attempt to maintain their autonomy or neutrality, such as the Vale, simply become embroiled in a greater game. Both independence and neutrality appear to be illusory, as it is practically impossible to prevent outside influence corrupting whatever dreams of nationhood that the Kingdoms may have.

Outside the arena of conflict some attempt to maintain a constant opposition. The wildlings are an obvious example, being marked as literally 'beyond' or 'outside' the political arena and whose inability to submit limits their ability to influence events. The Iron Islands have to contend themselves with a kind of nihilistic doomed rebellion, never able to succeed in making a mark on the world and always prone to bloody and inevitable defeat.

The introduction of a supernatural element in the series presents a method where the oppressed and the outsiders are given a kind of deus ex machina to switch the odds. The dragons, previously the vanguard of Targaryen oppression, become the vanguard for the liberation of the slaves. The Lord of Light gives the Brotherhood Without Banners the power of resurrection, and brings Jon Snow back from the dead. The religion of the slaves has teeth. But when spirituality is used for political ends, either by Cersei or by Stannis, it proves to be both authoritarian and disastrous. The Faceless Men also represent a failed liberation narrative – ostensibly disciples of the religion of the oppressed, now merely a guild of assassins bought by coin and inevitably being used for the advancement of oppressive ends.

The sweep of the story is beginning to take on an emancipatory arc, as the Mother of Dragons & Breaker of Chains returns to Westeros after leaving a trail of liberation in her wake. The idea of a 'white saviour' bringing freedom to black slaves is inherently problematic, although some effort has been made to give the liberated a voice in Daenerys' actions. How will the 'rainbow coalition' of warriors, freed slaves, mercenaries and Greyjoy deserters maintain their unity in their new role as conquerors?

Whether there is any actual development towards democracy or liberation in Westeros is open to conjecture, but one thing is for sure – the world of the Westerosi is bound to stay as Machiavellian as ever.

Download post as PDF file

Interview: Blac Kolor

Black is no color...

"I do not need to make money off my music to live and that is a crucial issue for me. Automatically when that becomes the case you are under rules and pressure it pushes you towards the audience and pushes you in the direction of house music or simple techno music, so that you are present and noticed just to gain wealth." 

I came across the project back in 2014, through the feed of Soundcloud. If minimal were to get seduced with the industrial noise of despair bled into it, from a Frequency Hell this was it. Blac Kolor is a one man performance. Based in Leipzig and rooting it’s entrance into the scene from Basic Unit productions of Daniel Myer & Dejan Samardzic, it is now a fully living project that has grown to a broader audience.

This June at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Blac Kolor reigned over. Unleashing a blast of modern distortion, laced with violent pitches and noise to its spectators, at the Altes Landratsamt.

Blac Kolor: It was always my goal to find my own sound. I would produce some stuff. Though if I realise it is coming close to another artist or begins to turn cliché, it is torched. So over the past years I have found my own type of sound, which is for me diverse. Some say its industrial techno, however for me I cannot put a genre on it. What I realise when I produce stuff, it can go in alternate directions as no plan for a production is made. So if it deviates and goes down an alternative path, I have to live with the result.

There are some calmed down 100bpm tracks, by the same token 130bpm at the techno side of the spectrum. At the end of the day what is in my mood will make the sound. From a time perspective the noise is looked at over a long term slot; I judge the project after a couple of years and look back and say OK this is my sound. It all started with Basic Unit, with the connection with Dejan and Daniel. We developed the 'Frost' compilation and did some shows with all the Basic Unit artists.

Intravenous Magazine: Do you then see your path going in a different direction with maybe the restriction of not being independent having an effect?

BK: To be honest I don’t give a shit about that.  I do not need to make money off my music to live and that is a crucial issue for me. Automatically when that becomes the case you are under rules and pressure; it pushes you towards the audience and pushes you in the direction of house music or simple techno music, so that you are present and noticed just to gain wealth. I’m lucky enough to have my own company and so everything is cool. So I call this project black zero, and in a few years I’ll come back, maybe look at the books and see if I broke even! If the music leads in I direction it was mine and not in the hunt for profit.

For me similarity is terrible, and if I see similarities with other artists that bores me and I have to look somewhere else to redefine my patented noise.

IVM: What was it like back in the time of your first work 'Range', I remember when it came out it was pretty mad noise mix at the time.

BK: Back then I would publish random bits on sound cloud, and I would always send stuff over to Daniel. He still is my harshest critic. Then I sent over the song 'Range' and his response was, "we need to release that on Basic Unit". So we put together the EP and produced some stuff particularly for it. Then at this point I knew I had to get serious with the environment.

IVM: From your real work is there a large contrast between the two?

BK: Well we are a creative agency / think-tank, we do also animation and sound production; so there is a link . However it is really a different territory. It fills the fridge and I’m happy with being self-employed for twelve years now. Then there’s the family. So when these two are satisfied, then comes the time that I’m sitting in the studio making music. I think that is a comfortable feeling of priority for everything.

IVM: What did the 2016 release of 'Born In Ruins' bring?

BK: With 'Born In Ruins' we gained a broader audience, especially in America where I then toured in 2016. We did two shows in LA & Phoenix, and the feedback from the attendance saw how the Blac Kolor fan base had grown.

IVM: How difficult was it entering the US market?

BK: The distribution was easy, because of Daniel as he quite well connected to all the promoters in the US. So my work went directly on promotional purposes to them, and once it was Daniel who had sent it out, enough said. If you are well established with the promoters then it is very good multiplier in your reach. What was very interesting was I had obtained some die-hard fans. I realised at my gig in Phoenix when a guy brought my vinyl into the club. OK buying vinyl is one thing, but actually transporting & bringing it into the club, is a completely different thing!

IVM: Is there anything you don’t like about Blac Kolor at the moment?

BK: Being a creative person sometimes you have to deal with continuous dissatisfaction with everything you do. It’s more that you become bored very easily with yourself after the achievement has been reached. That behaviour from time to time pisses me off; as you should really enjoy the success and lie back. However that is but a dream and I have to push on.

IVM: Do you think that you need the juice?

BK: Yes it’s the petrol for my engine, but anything I really dislike right now?? I want more! (Laughs) but really I’m a lucky guy all round.

IVM: Have you got any favourite musical weapon in your arsenal?

BK: At the moment... Over the years I built up quite a few things I started off with a micro Korg. I love it still, though at the moment there are two gadgets I cannot live without. Octatrack from Elektron. The learning curve is very flat, as the workflow difficult, however the sound is amazing! Though the thing that really blows my mind is Toraiz AS-1 from Pioneer,. I come from a DJ background and since pioneer have started doing analogue synthesizers, with Dave Smith; I really dig that shit, and all my new stuff is going over it.

IVM: Is there any gear that pisses you off that you need?

BK: It’s an Elektron Analog Heat which is, I think the best distortion unit you can get, though it’s buggy, unreliable and doesn’t do what I expect it to do. But with analogue gear you have to just come to the realisation the gear will just do some shit you don’t want it to do.

IVM: Is there any artists here you are looking forward to seeing here at WGT?

BK: Hypnoskull; I really appreciate Codex Empire and today I look forward to Klangstabil. But after so many WGTs, I really just let it flow.

Interviewed by: Dominic Lynch aka DJ LX-E

Download post as PDF file
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

[Valid Atom 1.0]

Click to download our free compilation albums!


Radio Nightbreed