Rising from the ashes of 900RPM, the German noise extraordinaire David Munster presents a new dark vision with [gelöscht] releasing March 8th via Colorado based label Produkt 42.
Being a fan of the more experimental and avant garde corners of the music scene can be both a joy and a pain, trudging through oceans of what can only be described as distorted microwave drones and noise for the sake of noise with little to no substance. Verführervergelter however does not fall into this category, with [gelöscht] run time of just under 40 minutes across 9 tracks it managed to keep my attention with its grinding mechanical ambiance gently pierced with the sound of air-raid sirens throughout. The release plays like a movie score and while one might be tempted to envision this style of music in the context of horror I think this release could fit well in a broader spectrum than the obvious.
Each track seemingly flows in and out of eachother creating a cohesive listening experience, uninterrupted by one track ending and another beginning which I feel really adds some depth and dimension to a release of this particular style. Terms like power electronics and death industrial is usually the first one wants to grab for when describing what is offered here but having spent a fair amount of time exploring these subgenres [and sub-sub genres] I`d rather you listen with as little guidance as possible, sometimes going in as blind as you can is a rewarding experience that is perhaps a little lost in todays world of hashtags and microcosms.
What initally caught my attention about this release was actually the album artwork, simple yet stylish. The short description given to me further piqued my interest by mentioning a variety of artists Ive long been a fan of, moral of the story being dont underestimate the power of good visuals for your releases. In a subgenre overflowing with black and white BDSM photos or vintage crime scene and often misogynistic imagery this release stands out with an air of individuality that goes against the grain in a scene that has seemingly long lost touch with any redeeming quality or substance it ever contained.
That being said let me be clear, this is most certainly still an experimental release in line with what youd expect from the early era of industrial music with the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Current 93 , Coil and so on however it feels more thought out and more purposeful than the aforementioned microwave droning you often come across in this area.
This is a release rich with texture and rhythmic glitching from start to end with moments of lush almost choral sounding synth work woven into the controlled chaos.
Pre-Order [gelöscht] via Produkt 42 : produkt42.bandcamp.com/album/gel-scht
The definition of Carrion is “the decaying flesh of dead animals” and morbid as I am that immediately peaks my interest. Enter the world of Carrion and subsequently the worlds of Swansect, FTMOB, and Missfit Toys.
HH: First off, feel free to introduce yourself and give us a quick summary of your artistic work and vision.
C: While names are inherently meaningless for this instance we can use the moniker Hide Beliya`al. My work and vision is one and the same as, in my opinion at least, is of absolute necessity. In more direct terms however I could describe it as an expression of my experience on earth in every which way.
HH: So you’re an extremely prolific artist with 4 active projects currently: Carrion, Swansect, From The Mouth Ov Belial, and Missfit Toys. Do you ever experience burn out? What keeps you inspired?
C: I guess I do in short bursts but I usually don`t let it stop me if there is work to be done. As for what keeps me inspired, this is what I`ve done my entire adult and teenage existence, it`s literally the only way of life I know so it`s quite a natural state of being at this point in time. I suppose I have a wound overflowing with various substances, I can`t stop it as I`m not in control here. As far as MissFit Toys goes it`s my first time being in a full on band with other people in a long while and it`s not something I would do if it wasn`t for me finding some sense of value in both the outcome of it as well as the people I surround myself with. I also like that it enables me to take a small step back and not have to be the one leading it at all times, I originally started out as a bass player so I never purposely went for the frontman role but through the years found myself there regardless. MissFit Toys also lets me explore a side of industrial I generally have very little interest in beyond that band in particular. It`s the only band I currently perform shows with, at least that was the plan until the horsemen arrived.
HH: What first compelled you to dedicate yourself so fully to your art? Can you talk a little bit about your song writing process?
C: I never quite understood how some people could take something so fucking visceral as art and the creation of something out of nothing as merely a hobby. I suppose it`s a sign of the times we live in but I digress..There was never a moment where I made that concious decision, I always approached this with a sense of seriousness to it. Even way back when I started my first few bands I`d find myself in a situation where I took it “too seriously”. While others may not mind skipping a rehearsal in favour of some other activity I saw this as lack of dedication which eventually led me to abandoning the idea of working with others for a long time. My songwriting process is quite abstract as most creative processes tend to be. Lyrically I don`t feel like I`m writing them as much as I`m simply dictating, taking notes of the things I`m told and shown by something I couldn`t possibly pretend to understand. There`s definitely a spiritual element to the process.
HH: Does it hurt your vocal chords to scream like that?
C: Haha, not at all. Of course if it`s been a while I might need a few minutes before I`m there so to speak but it`s not a matter of pain. I have however ended up vomiting after recording but that`s more due to pushing it as much as possible for a prolonged period of time.
HH: When I think of Norway I cant help but think of corpse paint, music videos recorded in the dark forest, and indecipherable logos. Do you draw any influence from black metal in your work? Do the goth, metal, and other scenes overlap at all?
C: Where I currently live is what I imagine people see in their minds when they think of this place. I live in kind of a middle of nowhere place surrounded by trees. I do take alot from black metal yeah, I`m more inclined to listen to rock and metal than any industrial honestly. As far as scenes overlapping that would require a scene to exist in the first place which it doesn`t really in that sense although just in terms of the people I personally know who are, let`s say darkly inclined, yes that seems to be the case.
HH: Your work very often references Christian themes, e.g. heaven, crosses, salvation, sanctity, and fire. Were you raised religious? How do these themes play into your work?
C: I wasn`t raised as anything in particular but I`ve always had a natural pull towards the more spiritual aspects of existence. I grew up in a house I`ve later been told is built upon a viking graveyard in a tiny place just 20 minutes from where it`s said Christianity first came when arriving to Norway so perhaps that`s to blame? Religion, or spirituality rather does play a big part. Carrion is in its simplest form to be seen as a diary where each entry is a retelling of a direct experience or thoughts and feelings related to the topic at hand. I tend to prefer using a highly symbolic language, if one was to dive deep one might discover a thing or two, the veil is thin once you take a proper look. On a more mundane level however I`d like the listener to not be forced into thinking what the song is about, preferably you can find your own meaning, maybe something you could even relate to on some level. I am human after all and with that it`s no surprise things sneak in there, things we all experience such as heartbreak, joy etc
HH: You split time in between an isolated village in Norway and Southern Florida. Do the contradicting landscapes inform your work at all?
C:Not necesarilly in the way you might think. I`m not one of those people who needs a certain setting to write a certain kind of music. I`m perfectly able to write a Carrion song under the scorching Florida sun as I am in the foggy Norwegian woodlands.
HH: What does the future hold as far as your music goes and what can we expect from you in the near future?
C: The most recent event would be the release of the Carrion single “The Blood Ov Saints”. I do plan to follow it up with a second single called “Until The Reaper Comes”, which is one of the heaviest songs I`ve written and it feels like a good snapshot of how I feel regarding the current apocalypse. There is also an all modular album created under the moniker of From The Mouth Öv Belial, it`s mostly improvised instrumental pieces except for two tracks which has vocals done by the entity known as AGGRESS. I may or may not gather the results of the current writing sessions and release as an EP [or an album if there is enough material] though I`m rather hesitant about making any definite statements about it as I`d rather not say something now only to have it not happen. Fans of MissFit Toys may know this already but we do have a new album in works as well as a single”Blithe Din” which will hopefully be released soon along with remixes by variety of great artists.
Stream Carrion’s “The Blood Ov Saints” here:
facebook.com/officalcarrion instagram: @carrionkvlt personal IG: @Mordsengel officialcarrion.bandcamp.com fromthemouthovbelial.bandcamp.com
I`m well aware that even within the alternative scene noise, power electronics, death industrial and all such forms of music is quite a nichè interest. However it is an interest of mine, let me explain why;
Just like punk, noise as a genre had a DIY attitude and little to no requirement for conventional talent. Punk was, in my opinion, still firmly rooted in the rock world and that`s where noise differs greatly.
The onset of noise as a genre was just that, noise, it was a realm where anyone could use anything to express themselves in a (Anti) musical way. Self built “instruments” , found sound/field recordings, heavily processed samples and equally DIY ethic splattered visuals to accompany it all.
Bands such as Einsturzende Neubauten enjoy legend startus these days for their use of power tools as instruments and leaving stages cloaked in an inferno of both sound and actual flames. Noise of course did not necesarilly start with Neubauten but they`re probably one of the most known examples hence why I chose to reference them. Let`s not forget that electronic music equipement as is per today the most common tool within the genre was still in a quite primal state compared to modern times, and yet, incredible things were created from what was available.
These days when scouring for new artists the most common thing you`ll find goes something like this:
Black and white collage work, often heavy use of morbi, macabre imagery, photos from crime scenes, BDSM themes, serial killers and the occasional occult symbols making the album cover
The “music” itself consisting of long, drawn out, distorted and commonly monotonous synth sounds often clocking in at no less than 8-10 minutes long topped with what may be generally considered to be “vulgar” and “offensive” texts yelled/screamed and yet again layered in distortion and reverb effect units.
Back in the 70s and 80s when such acts first popped up they surely had an impact, even if only within the confines of their local scene as this has never been something that really broke through the underground.
Today in 2019 it`s a different story, by now it seems most things have been done to death and then done again and this glaringly obvious when exploring smaller scenes such as this one.
As the title of this article suggests we are here to figure out what happened to the experimental nature of this genre, I could easily extend this into the industrial genre which of course is closely related and in certain, especially earlier examples of the genre the overlap is so big you might not even be able to distinguish the two.
But let`s save my industrial rants for another time and get to the point shall we?
As previously established there are certain similarities between punk and noise and yet they both seem to end up the same place; stagnation, repetition and what I`m tempted to call hypocrisy.
Why is it that these things that constantly spout out something about having no rules are always the ones to end up the biggest victims of conformism?
And yes, I understand and agree with the thought that certain elements must be in place for something to be considered a specific subculture and genre, something that seperates it and makes it exactly that subculture/genre, but does that mean we have to live in the proverbial purgatory?
The droning, monotonous and distortion heavy music with screamed vulgar texts described earlier has come and gone, or rather it came and it just infected everything like a plague, and not the good kind.
These days you can easily make or buy what is known was “noise generators’ where all you have to do is flip a switch and hit record and within 50 minutes you will have your very own noise EP consisting of what is more or less the same 10 minute long song over and over.
To me, having such tools available feels like cheating, this was an experimental genre and such a tool would completely take away any sense of experimentation. Even if you were to create similar sounds using hardware synthesizer at the very least you would get the experience of creating it, sculpting and molding it with your own hands, carefully adjusting the knobs and pushing the keys untill the desired sound is achieved.
Now, these noise generators are at the very least still within the hardware realm, it would of course be much easier and cheaper to just download a pirated version of a DAW and simply load up a VST.
I myself have slowly moved away from softsynths, trying to not rely on my DAW as anything more than a tape recorder. Im not quite where I want to be just yet but I would say Im making good progress, I also spend several hours a day (and night) crafting my own samples from field recordings, modular synth sessions or whatever I may think of there and then.
Ive slowly come to realize I may have a bit of an obsession about realness, I need things to be real, I need to be able to say that I play this and that part of a song by hand or at the very least created the samples used to program it all. Its a blessing and a curse.
It may sound a tad dramatic but at times I feel its nearly insulting to the pioneers of these highly experimental genres wether that be noise or industrial, to just take the easy way out, just click around the screen or make the absoloute most basic variety of noise/power electronics and preach some nonsense about how its oh so confrontational, bending ethics and morals and purposelly provoking the “sheep brained masses” by the use of fascist imagery.
If youre one of those Im sorry (not sorry) to tell you that you`re gonna have to step your game up. Fascism has been done, the world is seemingly chronically engulfed in an inferno of horror and plagues of a million kinds, these tactics are done, played out, absoloutely and completely useless in the face of the true and modern world.
As we crawl towards the end of all this I wantto add that I in no way think anyone is wrong or less-than for liking and genuinly wanting to create that exact form of noise I earlier explained, if that is truly what you enjoy and you get something out of it wether it be listening to it or making it then great! Keep going, keep doing what YOU enjoy and ignore me and aynone else who may feel differently. Individuality is key. Experiment, get weird, oppose logic, set things on fire, do things and create things that your friends and family would shun you for.
I`ll leave a small list of suggestions consisting of releases within the noise genre that I find to be interesting for one reason or another.