Apr 282010
 
VladimirHirsch logo
VladimirHirsch picture

Classical influences, choirs and dark industrialism are the core of Vladimir’s music. Bombastic here and intimist there, it never sounds relaxed. Every work represents a step of the human race’s decay and the music is its soundtrack. Melodies have counterpart dissonances which sometimes sound linked to contemporary music more than to industrial music. For this reason Vladimir is a peculiar musician in the industrial scene, because he’s more than that and “The Assent to Paradoxon” is the perfect way to explore his vision, as it gathers seven CDs (mind you that “Nonterra – integrated suite, op.73” is exclusive to this release) of which six have been previously released by Ars Benevola Mater. Even if one might say that Vladimir’s music is based on the above described elements, each album has its differences. Some examples? “Exorcisms” with its strings decrescendo or quasi ambient moments (check the first part of “Ufarsin”) alternated with horns, industrial noises and drums crescendo will make you feel dizzy; while “Contemplation per nexus op.77” with its two long suites based on dissonance and spoken word, will communicate the anxiety of the transformation process of the human mind during a mystical contemplation. Let’s try to understand a bit more about Vladimir’s music through this chat I had with him. Everything started from a question I asked him about his latest CD “Graue Passion” which I was reviewing… After a while, I decided to turn it into a full interview. Here it is…

Chain D.L.K.: I’ve a question for you concerning “Graue passion”: is it correct to say that “Graue passion” is a mix of a live performance of the Symphony number 4 with studio additions?
Vladimir Hirsch: Yes, that’s true. It has also been remastered.

Chain D.L.K.: I was comparing the two cds for reviewing “Graue passion.” The newest version sounds more obsessive and dark, sound-wise.
Vladimir Hirsch: And what is substantial – it is another compositional version, another work with the same themes. I consider GP to be one of my best works. I have special relation to it because it is dedicated to the memory of my father.

Chain D.L.K.: But the core of the original composition is there, right?
Vladimir Hirsch: Yes, the core of the composition is there.

Chain D.L.K.: Why did you decide to rework it?
Vladimir Hirsch: I have worked on Symphony no.4 from 2001 and have made 6 versions. I was not satisfied with any of them and I have always thought about reworking it. Every attempt I did was unsuccessful. Graue Passion is the result of a momentary inspiration and it is the first version with which I am really satisfied.

Chain D.L.K.: Wow. it has been almost an obsession!
Vladimir Hirsch: Yes, for 8 years.

Chain D.L.K.: Might I ask what has been your father’s history?
Vladimir Hirsch: He was imprisoned by the Communist regime here.

Chain D.L.K.: Did he die while he was in prison?
Vladimir Hirsch: No, fortunately not, but after his release was pursued until the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc. He died in 2001 and then I decided to honor him with a symphony. It represents some kind of hope born from suffering.

Chain D.L.K.: How much has your music been influenced by the Czech social situation of the past?
Vladimir Hirsch: I think that all my early works have been influenced very much by it. Symphony no.4 is the exception because it is not part of my early work.

Chain D.L.K.: What were the main emotions you wanted to convey in your first works? What were your feelings during the Communist regime?
Vladimir Hirsch: The main moments of inspiration involved some need to express my individual defense of free thinking against the Totalitarian system. Of course, that was not the only inspiration of all of my works during that time.

Chain D.L.K.: Why did you decide to file your works as operas?
Vladimir Hirsch: Because I feel close to classical music roots, so I have composed my works that way since I was a teenager. There was also a very long period during which I experimented with rock and jazz.

Chain D.L.K.: Could we say that your music is classical music for the modern age?
Vladimir Hirsch: Yes, I would like some of my main projects to be interpreted that way.

Chain D.L.K.: While listening to your music I noticed that a lot of times there’s a circular geometry of sounds that is broken by clanging sounds. Is there a precise scheme your work is based upon?
Vladimir Hirsch: It is not always precise, but I use some rules in intervals, rhythm, density of sound and tonal principles – maybe a little similar to serial techniques. There’s an important relation between the density of sound in vertical axe and tonal and rhythmic structure in horizontal line structure

Chain D.L.K.: Does “Sense geometry” refer to this way of working?
Vladimir Hirsch: It represents an attempt to apply musical geometry or musical symbolism of geometry in my works.

Chain D.L.K.: In what way?
Vladimir Hirsch: That album was inspired by the theory of fractals, by searching for symmetry of the asymmetrical. It is a sort of musical symbolism of that, expressed by relatively simple patterns of intervals, rhythms and melody and their relative motion.

Chain D.L.K.: So we can say that on your music the mathematics of sound has a basic relevance because music is mathematics applied to sound, right?

VladimirHirsch picture

Vladimir Hirsch: It can be understood that way, the idea is expressed by some sort of musical mathematic formula and its form, including organization of sound.

Chain D.L.K.: How much has your concept of music changed from your early days when you played the organ and what have been the main steps in that process?
Vladimir Hirsch: It was a long way, some kind of spiral. I begun with classical music and stepwise have come back, but arriving at another level and during the path, the rock and jazz influences left me. Now I like experimenting, I don’t like to make music with established stereotypes.

Chain D.L.K.: What about you live activity? How do you conceive it?
Vladimir Hirsch: Usually I do few shows a year (next will be the next Saturday at an industrial festival). I have problems with shows, because only the industrial milieu is able to accept this kind of music, the classical don’t. Therefore I use industrial cultural spaces, however (for example this week) I know that my music does not quite fit in with that sort of contemporary post-industrial situation.

Chain D.L.K.: If you should have to describe your live action what would you say?
Vladimir Hirsch: I use synchronized video projection, that would be some application of visual synaesthetics. My live actions are not performances, they are only about music. I like to be on stage in the dark. I want the people to be focused on musical contents without the personification with the subject who’s playing it. The same goes for the visuals.

Chain D.L.K.: “Underlying Scapes” is your newest album. What is its concept?
Vladimir Hirsch: Even if it is my newest, that album is from 2003. It has just been remastered and released under a different name. It could be seen as a sort of “journey” into subconsciousness, into some regions of subliminal perception and understanding. Confrontation between the surreal and real world. Whether or not it works depends on the listener…

Chain D.L.K.: You lived under a Totalitarian regime. How’s your vision of the world of today?
Vladimir Hirsch: I am not a friend of conspiracy theories, but I consider contemporary “democratic” worlds only as some kind of new Totalitarian system. They are more sophisticated, they use better manipulative methods and replenish basic desires and instincts but with the same aim of the previous regimes.

Chain D.L.K.: In your opinion, why aren’t people rioting?
Vladimir Hirsch: As I said – they are replenishing the basic needs and their brains are washed constantly by a sophisticated faked satisfaction. This is possible only if you have suggestible people and there’s a constant tuning of the system. The power of multimedia is immense. If people have been educated in that way since childhood without any counterpoint, they can be easily manipulated.One of the best examples are internet discussions – they replenish a subject having the feeling of being free. After that sort of relaxation, they relieve the tensions and don’t have the urge to go out and scream their opinions.

Chain D.L.K.: Do you think is there a way to shake the masses?
Vladimir Hirsch: I am very pessimistic – some catastrophe or real miracle, nothing else, but I am not sure if that would even work… The main reason of the descent of “western” civilization is anthropocentrism. It leads to de-spiritualization and destruction of values that transcend the human being.

Visit Vladimir Hirsch on the web at:

www.vladimirhirsch.com

[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Ian Hall]

Apr 202010
 
LAIBACH ŁODZ EXHIBITION CATALOGUE RELEASED
The Palac Sztuki museum of modern art in Łodz has finally released the catalogue of the Laibachexhibition held in the museum from May 26th until the end of August 2009. The full colour 200 pages catalogue AUSSTELLUNG LAIBACH KUNST REKAPITULACJA / RECAPITULATION 2009 includes selected Laibach visual works from the end of 1970 until today, and separately presents works and installations from the Łodz exhibition. The catalogue also includes the most important manifestos and other Laibach texts, as well as rare photos and documents from the exhibition opening. It presents nine essays, authored by Wiktor Skok, Taras Kermauner, Lev Kreft, Slavoj Žižek, Aleš Erjavec, Alexei Monroe, and Eda Čufer. All texts are published in both Polish and English. The catalogue is now available at the Laibach WTC shop.
NEW LAIBACH KUNST EXHIBITIONS ANNOUNCED
For its 30th Anniversary, Laibach is announcing three large-scale introspective exhibitions in 2010, inLjubljana, Zagreb, and Trbovlje. Each of these exhibitions will present different aspect of Laibach’s visual and multimedia art. The Trbovlje exhibition will open in the Delavski Dom on September 23th, 30 years after the very first (forbidden) Laibach appearance at the same place in Laibach’s home town. The Zagreb exhibition at the HDLU is scheduled for November, and the Ljubljana exhibition at the MGLC(International Centre of Graphic Arts), Tivoli Castle in Park Tivoli, will open on April 15th 2010. At this occasion Laibach will also held a special open air concert in Tivoli park in Ljubljana (in front of MGLC) end of May (precise date of the show will be announced later) on the Laibach web page).
PROMISES OF THE PAST
With their video work XY Unsolved (1983, video interview, 12’56’’) Laibach is participating at the exhibition “Promises of the Past”, between 26.5.-16.6.2010, at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.
DORM
Laibach is also participating in the DORM exhibition – an artist-collective project – at The Model Galleries in Sligo, Ireland, which opens on May 1st, 2010.
http://www.obieg.pl/prezentacje/13620
http://times.nskstate.com/tag/laibach-kunst/
LAIBACH WTC NEWS
We added new merchandise items to our online shop:

– arm band
– Laibach patch
– AUSSTELLUNG LAIBACH KUNST REKAPITULACJA / RECAPITULATION 2009 catalogue
– Laibach keychain (We believe in God, but we don’t trust her).

LAIBACH REVISITED & LAIBACH VOLKSWAGNER ALBUMS
We would also like to remind you once again to hurry up and reserve your copy of Laibach’s forthcoming limited edition albums (Volkswagner & Laibach Revisited). To reserve a copy and to get more information click here.

CHECK OTHER LAIBACH NEWS AND CONFIRMED CONCERT DATES AT:

Laibach news
Laibach tour dates

WE ARE NOT HAPPY UNTIL YOU ARE HAPPY. (Laibach)

Apr 112010
 
VagabundoInn logo
VagabundoInn picture

Chain D.L.K.: Hi, please introduce yourself
Vagabundo Inn: We are a bi-cultural band formed by members from Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California. We call ourselves Vagabundo Inn. The name comes from this phase in our lives as musicians around 2005 when everybody from the musical scene in Tijuana was dropping by to jam at our studio. So some of us decided to make a band out of all this jamming and hanging around at the studio. The actual line up of Vagabundo Inn is: Kikko Flores – former lead vocals of a band called Hongos de Gina, David Chirinos – drummer with a lot of experience playing different venues, bars and night clubs in Tijuana, David Cortez – former lead guitar player from a band called Mexican Jumping Frijoles, Luis Gonzalez – guitar player from a band called Lhabia, and Octavio de la Torre – a bass player that has participated in different projects.

Chain D.L.K.: How did you all start?
Vagabundo Inn: Well, Vagabundo Inn has suffered a lot of changes since the beginning. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with a lot of musicians that have come through (and gone from) this band, but since the beginning the motto of the band has always been the same: “an open band for open & available musicians” (lol). But now it looks like the current line up of VI sounds satisfying for every band member. We have been creating songs and sounds for a while now. Sometimes as musicians you just have the gut feeling that “this is working” when the ideas at rehearsal continue flowing. The idea of the band started around 2004; and since then it has been a slow process, but we have been very patient and we never forget our purpose: that we get together every week just to create music and have a good time.

Chain D.L.K.: What are your Influences?
Vagabundo Inn: Since there are a lot of people in the band our influences vary from Electronica to Metal to Son Cubano. The band members are very open-minded and to be honest, sometimes there’s a part in a song (or even a entire song) that someone in the band doesn’t like, but we still make the most of it and play it as it is. Sometimes we just laugh about it afterwards.

Chain D.L.K.: You are from Tijuana a city known for violence & drug traffic. How can you focus on the music in an environment like that?
Vagabundo Inn: Good question. There’s always that fear, and fear is a strong feeling that can paralyze you. It’s always in the back of our minds, but I’m not going to be fatalistic about it. When we get together though all of that goes away and we enjoy every moment spent. Some of us have to cross the border every time we rehearse and sometimes it’s a hassle dealing with the long lines at the border and whatnot, but you always get used to the environment around you after a while.

Chain D.L.K.: What are your plans for the future?

VagabundoInn picture

Vagabundo Inn: We are recording an independent EP with 5 songs. We’re producing it ourselves and we want to see how far we can take it. One of our band members has a small recording studio, so we did everything there. Another band member does graphic design, so he’s working on the cover art of the CD and does all of the designs for the band. Being in the independent music movement – like you well know – it is very difficult to stand out in all this big corporate market when you have a small budget.

Chain D.L.K.: You sing in Spanish, is there a particular reason for it?
Vagabundo Inn: Yes, we do sing in Spanish. One of the reasons we sign in Spanish – and I think is the more important one – is simply that Spanish is our primary language (lol). We don’t want our songs to sound like Speedy Gonzalez is singing them, so it is easier for us to find a melody to our songs in Spanish.

Chain D.L.K.: Are you singing for a specific audience?
Vagabundo Inn: No, not at all. There are a lot of rhythms and sounds that we use in our songs. There’s the heavy and clean melodic guitars, hard & jazzy drums, ambient and hard sequences & keyboards, and melodic and screaming vocals. You know, there’s the head banging in some songs and the choreography dancing in the other (lol).

Chain D.L.K.: You played in Mexico and the USA, what differences/similarities you noticed between the 2 places?
Vagabundo Inn: Well, it’s true what they say in Mexico – “nadie es profeta en su propia tierra” – which means: ‘you can’t be a prophet in your own land’, so it is very difficult in Tijuana and even more so in big metropolitan cities, like Mexico City. The more people, the more bands equal more competition. And on the other hand when you go to a different country – and I don’t know why this is but – they always treat you better. You feel more support or probably as an independent band you feel overwhelmed that your music has made it that far.

Chain D.L.K.: Did you find any particular difficulties during your career? Do you have any suggestions for young musicians that are starting?
Vagabundo Inn: I guess it depends on what are you’re aiming for. If your goal is to make it big, be on TV and be a celebrity – go for it. Do everything right, get an agent, do your portfolio, and spend some real money on your records and promotion. It is very difficult but if that’s your dream & your goal nothing in this life is impossible if you put your mind and will to it. And as Andy Warhol said one time, we all get our “15 minutes of fame.” If yours hasn’t come yet, be prepared and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

Chain D.L.K.: Message for our readers
Vagabundo Inn: Thanx a Mill to Chain D.L.K. and the loyal readers for the support and this incredible independent support. I’m just surprised that people are reading again (lol)…when you go to a site nowadays you just look for the video link!

Visit Vagabundo Inn on the web at:

www.myspace.com/vagabundoinn

[interviewed by Ant Dakini] [proofreading by Sergio O.]

Apr 092010
 
BjornSvin logo
BjornSvin picture

Chain D.L.K.: Hello Bjorn. How are you?
Bjorn Svin: Great! Spring is reaching Berlin in a way that makes a trip to the dentist a lot more easy than it actually is.

Chain D.L.K.: We know you’re touring a lot in this period throughout Denmark and you’re going to begin a German tour as well… any rumors about dates outside the Old Continent?
Bjorn Svin: No, sorry, could be great though..

Chain D.L.K.: Many years ago I was luckily enough to found your single “Mer Strorm” in a little independent record shop in Berlin. That single came out on the glorious April Records (they were promoting a lot of very interesting Danish bands outside national boundaries…) and I was really impressed by your sound. When you think about those years, how do you perceive them from a musical standpoint? Which item was missing in your musical formula?
Bjorn Svin: I composed “Mer Strom” in 1996. This was when my musical career really started to spin off in Denmark. A lot of people that could be my neighbours expected a lot of me. I DJ’ed in Copenhagen and I did it in a new an quite musical way, that made people open their eyes and ears. I wanted to express myself as quite catchy and simple, and I wanted to surprise people. And myself. Out of this came “Mer Strom”. Perhaps nothing was missing at that time, I wanted to be a reaction to the minimal techno and the pre-electronica such as WARP-records and CLEAR records that was playing in the underground at that time. I wanted to create something new, and I knew exactly what it should be, and it was inspired by what was happening at that time.

Chain D.L.K.: I know there’ve been some changes between the original track list of “Browen” and the definitive one… any particular reason?
Bjorn Svin: Finishing “Browen” was quite an act, because of a deadline that was hard for me to handle, therefore both track names and the tracks themselves changed a lot after the press material was sent out.

Chain D.L.K.: What’s you personal relationship with technology in general?
Bjorn Svin: Music machines make me rock! The ability to express oneself through music that you create rather than that you play is very important for me.

Chain D.L.K.: So many capital letters in your track list! O, R and W in abundance… are all titles onomatopoeic by choice?
Bjorn Svin: I don’t know what that means, but the fact is that I had to come up with the track listing before I knew which tracks I was gonna use. Therefore I came up with a lot of different track titles out of the album title “Browen”‘s letters. I got carried away by the graphical aspect and after 10 minutes I had some titles that I both liked the look and the sound of.

Chain D.L.K.: “A Whole Fucking Country”… Which one amidst many ones??? 😀
Bjorn Svin: “A Whole Fucking Country” is not on the album, because it didn’t fit in, we are making a hard tech twelve inch with this and other older tech tracks from my time with the AKAI MPC machines.

Chain D.L.K.: You mention a lot of influences… Mozart, Steve Reich, Ligeti and… African singers?!?!? What are the similarities between such different sources of inspiration in your own words?
Bjorn Svin: There are hardly any similarities, I am only inspired by this music as creative vibration so to speak. Because I listen to it at home, with my family. Electronic music is mostly something I create, I don’t listen to it so much anymore. My path of creativity is mostly created by what I get out of working with the machines I use.

BjornSvin picture

Chain D.L.K.: What are the real milestones of techno music in your viewpoint?
Bjorn Svin: I have artists that have inspired me a lot, even though I do not listen to them anymore. And it is mainly things from the nineties: Cristian Vogel, Autechre, Subhead, Neil Landstrumm, Ken Ishi/Flair, The Black dog, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Terrence Dixon, Aphex Twin, Like a Tim, Peter Ford, Basic Channel, Surgeon, Patrick Pulsinger, Pan Sonic, 0, Mika Vainio, Monojunk, SIL electronics.

Chain D.L.K.: What are the records you recommend listening to in order to better understand your style?
Bjorn Svin: Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works, The first Flaire album on Sublime Records. Autechres Untilted and Quaristice. Cristian Vogels Body Mapping.

Chain D.L.K.: Your style doesn’t show any particular stagnancy on a specific genre or branch of electronic and techno music… it’s what one might refer to as “fuzzy” and a definition of “freedom”… how do you define “freedom-in-music”?
Bjorn Svin: In my case I work mostly from musical principles rather that musical genres. For example: I learned about the impact of repetitions and sound through techno music. I learned about the impact of the odd and catchy melody through f.ex.: Like a Tim, The Black dog, Neil Lanstrumm, Subhead, and many others. But these things are just musical facts that I aim to produce in my own path of creating music. You could call it free-of genre, to a certain extent yes, but the deeper musical principles am I quite traditionally connected to and un-liberated from, I would say…

Chain D.L.K.: You’ve been recognized as the first Danish techno star, but you left Denmark in order to move to Berlin and New York… is it still correct to refer to your departure abroad as an exile?
Bjorn Svin: I like to be in between places, a little here, and a little there. I earn most of my money through music in Denmark. And if I am there both when I work and when I live then I get tired of it. And then I really like to live in Berlin, that is the main reason for me being here.

Chain D.L.K.: What do you think when you push the on button of your sound system???
Bjorn Svin: Ok, now what..!?

Chain D.L.K.: Are there any musical instruments you’d like to see patented before your passing?
Bjorn Svin: I guess that the forthcoming Octatrack from Elektron Music Machines quite captures the missing machine nowadays. So if the sound is rocking and the machine is tight and reliable then I have no more wishes…

Chain D.L.K.: How do you imagine the future of music?
Bjorn Svin: To follow the future of mankind.

Chain D.L.K.: If you could alter the order of tracks in your album…
Bjorn Svin: Then I would do so. But I am actually happy that I can’t, “Browen” is over now.

Chain D.L.K.: Anything to add before clicking that Send button???
Bjorn Svin: I want to go out in the sun, super spring!

Visit Bjorn Svin on the web at:

www.myspace.com/bjoern_svin