Sep 302019
 
A
lawsuit has been filed in Orange County, Florida seeking injunctions
and damages and alleging misappropriation, conspiracy, fraudulent
inducement and breach of contract concerning the promotion and sale of
“A Very British Coup” on the Cadiz Music/Youth Sounds Label.

Bonczyk vs. Levene et al, Case No. 2018-CA-010631-O includes
as exhibits approximately five months of correspondence initiated by
the defendant Richard England the owner and director of Cadiz Music on
behalf of his London-based company, defendants Wardle and Glover both
of whom perform on “A Very British Coup” along with defendant
Levene. England and his company has had a long-standing relationship
with Wardle and Glover and has previously released music and/or
music-related merchandise for both.

Although England on behalf
of Cadiz, Wardle and Glover agreed in writing to credit Plaintiff and
pay her royalties on the release, England later reneged on the deal
without notice to Plaintiff and released the music for sale without
crediting her.

Wardle and Levene are both founder members of
PiL also known as Public Image Ltd., which was John Lydon’s post Sex
Pistols project, and all three worked on the seminal “Metal Box”
release together. Wardle left PiL in 1980 and Levene followed suit
three years later.

Glover’s Killing Joke band is considered
along with PiL to be a leading force in the first wave of British
post-punk genre.

Bonczyk worked with Levene from approximately
2011 through early 2016 and was first contacted by England via email
on April 16, 2019 in order to obtain her permission to use her
property in the “A Very British Coup” release. Although not named
in the lawsuit, Mark Stewart of the PoP Group sings on the release,
and Richard Dudanski a former PiL band member is the drummer on “A
Very British Coup” which has been marketed as a supergroup in the
post-punk style of alternative music.

Thus far Amazon US,
Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Spotify, Napster, Juno Records Pandora,
You Tube, BBC, Google Play, Rough Trade Music, Music Glue, Vimeo, and
other organizations have refused to promote and/or sell “A Very
British Coup” until the lawsuit is resolved. However, England,
Cadiz, Wardle, Glover and Levene continue to engage in activities
involved in the sale and promotion of “A Very British Coup”
notwithstanding the filing of the action.

Sep 232019
 

“The Greek word daimōn derives, through the Persian dēw (…) from a probable Sumerian original *DA-IA-U-NA , meaning “having power over fertility”. The demon thus had the power of affecting, for good or ill, birth and death and the various stages of health in between. The medicinal drug had similar powers, and the Hebrew word for ‘be sick’, dawah , and its cognate noun in Arabic meaning ‘medicine’, come from the same root. So the demon of health and sickness and the drug are radically one and the same” . This is the interesting explanation of the word DAIAUNA by John M. Allegro in his essay, “The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: A study of the nature and origins of Christianity within the fertility cults of the ancient Near East” (2009). A word that has been chosen by composer, DJ and producer Hüseyin Evirgen aka Magna Pia as a title for his recent album, recently out on Berlin-based label Feral Note. Let’s check why and let’s discover this interesting sound artist through his own words.

Chain DLK: Hi, Huseyin! How are you?

Magna Pia: Thanks, I’m fine. I hope you are too.

Chain DLK: Can you talk to us about the way you started getting interested in electronic music? Any eureka moments or inspiring artists or scenes that sparked this love?

Magna Pia: I think my interest started around 1988 with Acid House. I was a 10-year-old kid back then. I used to love to dance to this music, and I was really curious how they made the sounds. I started playing the piano with 7, and I was always interested in different genres. I played in a metal band as a teenager, and that later on turned into free jazz. My taste in music became more and more abstract. So I think that’s why I eventually got into electronic music. Artists like Goldie, Photek, Aphex Twin and Autechre influenced me a lot in the 90s. At some point, I realized that techno is one of the most abstract forms in the music.

Technical side of the story: I didn’t grow up with a computer. I bought my first computer when I was 17 years old. A friend told me that I need to spend a lot of money on the audio interface. I got a Roland Rap 10 audio interface and this came with some DSP software. A few of my friends who played instruments would come over to my flat to hang around and I used to make them play some sequences, record them with a cheap mic and process the sounds later. I think this is how I started making electronic music. Later on, I studied composition at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg and there we had a very professional studio and lots of courses to attend.

courtesy of Gözde Güngör

Chain DLK: What are the images, the thoughts or the emotions that electronic music manages to render against other musical genres or styles?

Magna Pia: For me, electronic music is not a genre or style, it’s rather a medium. As a young artist, my comprehension of abstract music was not fully developed yet. It used to be easier for me to comprehend the content if I imagined massive landscapes. With the acoustic instruments, you are always limited to the physical surrounding and the skills of the performer. I’m not saying it’s better or worse; both mediums have their own plus and minus. As I got into electronic music production, I somehow realized that I’m finally not limited to the room around me or the human performing skills as much anymore and I can create those massive landscapes just as I want. I think this is the first difference that comes to my mind among many others.

Chain DLK: According to your discography, your debut came out on Ed Davenport’s imprint, but it’s pretty different from what you do now… Can you tell something about that release, your expectations after that output and the meeting with Ed?

Magna Pia: Well, it was the first release as a solo techno artist after years of producing, releasing and touring with Cassegrain. Alex and I made so much music together over the years that I had the need to get back to solo production, make my own individual techno and play it alone on the stage. Ed is one of our dearest and closest friends. It seemed like a good idea for me to give it a start within the family.

I don’t really agree that it’s so different from what I do now. My focus is still in techno. Daiauna is a very special album for me. But I don’t necessarily see it so differently than the techno music I make normally. It might not include any straight bass drums but it’s still full of techno aesthetics. It is definitely not the music for the peak time in a club and also not for after hours. But it’s maybe the music you could listen when you get home with your lover after a long club night.

Chain DLK: Your interest in ancient cultures and myths is even clearer on another output, Artemisia… How do you pour such an interest into music?

Magna Pia: I think many aspects of the way I grew up made me feel different than the surrounding people. I always needed to imagine about the ancient and the far future to be able to understand, embrace and fit into the reality of now. Also, we all carry thousands of years in our DNA and we still have no clue what we are, how we ended up here being so different than the rest of nature and how we used to live even a couple of thousands of years ago. The more I dig into history, the better I understand the society we’re living in.

I also worked a lot in the theater; I wrote and directed several pieces which were combining ancient practices and futuristic science fiction ideas. Maybe this is where the idea behind my alias comes from. Magna Pia is a fictional character for me. Definitely female. Maybe living sometime between 1000 BCE and 1000 CE, possibly an amazon warrior or a shaman. 🙂

Chain DLK: What’s the origin of sound or music according to all the myth of your studies or readings? … And according to your beliefs?

Magna Pia: Nature.

Magna Pia “Daiauna” cover artwork

Chain DLK: Let’s finally focus on Daiauna… Before focusing on single tracks or some technical aspects, can you tell us something about the source for inspiration? Did the myths and deities you mention relate to personal events or feelings that occurred during the making of the album?

Magna Pia: I made the album in a very emotional phase of my life which I’m still not fully out of. I had limited time to make it; I closed myself into Feral Note Salon pretty much 24/7 for two weeks due to my residency there. I barely left the studio. I decided to make the music only for myself without caring about my stance in the techno scene and my background as a new music composer and pianist. I wanted to be honest to myself. I also limited the gears I was working with and I remember that the first thought I had in my mind was not to touch the drum machine. I somehow managed to get really high over two weeks by only diving into the music very deeply. I spent a long time on the post production but almost 100% of the musical material was made within those two weeks.

The possibility of the word “Daiauna” being the origin of the words “demon”, “remedy” and “drugs” has a very personal meaning for me. Maybe the demons inside us are made of the same substance which can help us to get rid of them. And I came across this while I was researching and reading about fertility, sexuality and the use of drugs in both ancient and still existing religions. So if you would like to look for some special meanings in the titles, you need to look carefully into every myth and the deity using these keywords. And this, of course, relates to my personal events and feelings just like everyone else’s.

Chain DLK: I noticed the almost ritual use of percussive elements along with the whole album… Did you use traditional drums or percussion?

Magna Pia: There’s absolutely no recorded drum sound in the album. There are two sound sources for the percussive elements: One is the noise generator of the module called “Warps” by Mutable Instruments running through lots of effects, and the other one is the muted strings of the piano.

Chain DLK: Did you try to mediate elements from ritual or folk music in any of the tracks of Daiauna by chance?

Magna Pia: No, I never do that. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested immensely in the non-western musical traditions. I think what you hear is a general influence of that, combined with my microtonal ideas and the ritualistic elements coming from techno.

Magna Pia “Tocharian Love” from DAIAUNA (2019, Feral Note)

Chain DLK: The title of one track quotes the mysterious extinct Indo-European linguistic and ethnic groups known of Tocharian… What can you tell us about them? What did you try to render in that track?

Magna Pia: My mom’s origin is Uyghur, coming from Kashgar which is now in Xinjiang, China. I have a strong connection to the culture and the history of this region and the Tocharian culture is still a big part of the cultural influences there. I also believe the separation between east and west as we learn at the school is something made up artificially somewhen in recent history.

But if you would like to know what I really wanted to render in this track, we would need to down several shots at a bar first.

Chain DLK: The track named ‘Giants’ and its mysterious halo let me guess you believe in the theory of Annunaki, ancient cosmonauts and Nibiru, don’t you? Would you say that your music somehow mirrors the disquieting question that many men keep on not asking to themselves about the origin of mankind and the manipulation behind religions?

Magna Pia: No, I don’t believe in those things. I’m just aware of them and I’m interested, but I’m generally a skeptical and curious person. I pay attention to the esoterics and the conspiracy theories, but I never fall into those blindly. I see those things rather as artistic inputs. I do love the ancient Mesopotamian aesthetics and the whole sci-fi aspect when you dig into their religions. And I believe many civilizations had some kind of connection with them in history. But there’s no way that anyone could know what really happened back there. I’m just trying to read between the lines and try to make the connections between eras to make some sort of sense of the world we live in right now.

The track “Giants” is a trip in a tunnel. It’s just me trying to reproduce musically what a portal might be.

Magna Pia “Giants” from DAIAUNA (2019, Feral Note)

Chain DLK: How do you recommend enjoying your release?

Magna Pia: Completely up to the listener. But some people told me that it’s good to listen to it when you travel.

Chain DLK: Are you going to turn Daiauna into a multimedia experience? Did you bring it on live stage?

Magna Pia: I already played two debut live gigs this summer in Berlin. First one was a peak time techno set only with hardware at Berghain. The second one was Feral Note’s release concert at St. Elisabeth Church with a grand piano and electronics. Both really different experiences. With techno, you need to open yourself to the crowd, but to play the piano in front of an audience, I needed to close myself completely. I would love to expand this setup for Daiauna with a visual artist in the future.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Magna Pia: I will just concentrate on making more music in the next months, for both Magna Pia and Cassegrain. I’m also looking forward to having more Daiauna gigs with a piano.

Sep 232019
 

Her recent aural appearance on Touch Records by Genera, a live recording grabbed by Mike Harding at Salon AB in Brussels on May 3, 2019, aroused our curiosity, so we posed some questions to Saudi Arabia-born sound artist Bana Haffar (currently based in Asheville, NC), whose attempt at snazzing some aged schemes in electronic music composition sounds fascinating. Check it out!

Chain DLK: Hi, Bana! How are you?

Bana Haffar:Doing well, thanks.

Chain DLK: Biographical words introduce you as a lifelong expat. Roots are important according to many people, but is the idea of a motherland strictly necessary in your opinion?

Bana Haffar: The Arab diaspora has estranged me from my motherland. I see myself as a sort of airplant, who’s learned to survive wherever conditions permit. I identify culturally as an Arab and will always carry that with me, even though I live in the West. I think the idea of a motherland can be something internal, accessed through maintaining one’s language and cultural connections wherever they are. Whether it is necessary is, of course, personal; to me, it’s a matter of self-preservation.

Chain DLK: How did you get closer to music composition during the childhood you spent in Gulf countries?

Bana Haffar: I was classically trained in piano and violin as a child in the Gulf. I wasn’t actively composing at that age, but I was internalizing international music through osmosis. I was exposed to a lot of Indian and Pakistani music, Khaliji (Gulf) music on the radio, and my parents listed to Western music at home. It was all over the place and I’m sure these early musical surroundings are embedded in my consciousness, peeking their heads through my compositions today.

Chain DLK: Mere curiosity… Is there any school in that area of the world for whoever wants to study or get closer to electronic composition as far as you know?

Bana Haffar: To my knowledge, there aren’t any dedicated electronic composition courses in the Middle East. But, I’ve been living in the US for 14 years now and wasn’t in the synth milieu when I lived there, so I could be wrong.

Chain DLK: How did you fall under the spell of modular synths?

Bana Haffar: I bought my first synthesizer during my bass-playing years, a Moog Voyager. I started tinkering with it and quickly found that the synthesis part was much more interesting to me than the keyboard bit. I told a friend about this, and he recommended I check out modular synths and alternate (non-keyboard) controllers. I started researching Buchla and Eurorack and eventually invested in a small modular system. This separation of sound design from functional harmony tied to the black and white keyboard was monumental for me. It was a chance to begin again and re-define what I wanted out of sound and music.

Chain DLK: Before studying modular synths, you studied other instruments… What’s the distinguishing element of synths that other instruments have besides the hermetic charm of walls of mysterious (for people who have no idea of what they are, of course…not my case!) wires, knobs, LED lights and controls?

Bana Haffar: Yes, I studied piano, violin, and bass before switching to the modular synthesizer. The modular synthesizer can be seen as a deconstructed synthetic sound generator and processor that is not tied to a keyboard, freeing it from sounding like anything else. There are no pre-made connections under the hood, nor are there presets. The synthesist becomes the arbiter of sound from its inception, patching anything to anything, as opposed to being bound by fixed synthesis chains pre- determined by marketing teams and engineers.

Chain DLK: Are there any electronic musicians (of the past or the present) that you consider as a sort of mythological entity for composition skills or just for charisma?

Bana Haffar: Autechre. I’m totally obsessed with Autechre. To me, they are the ultimate sound designers, ruthlessly pushing sound further with each release, crossing formats, mediums, genre, and still going strong almost 30 years later. I mean, are there any sounds left?! They’ve made them all!!

Chain DLK: I was checking your Soundcloud… It’s weird that you’ve made such amazing stuff, but most of it is unreleased… How come?

Bana Haffar: I often ask myself if Soundcloud didn’t exist, would I have spent more time working on those earlier pieces and forming them into an album? Maybe. Soundcloud makes it so easy to upload music and get immediate feedback. It’s become a sort of testing ground for new ideas. But, this is also dangerous because it can prematurely remove us from a trajectory that’s still in development, depending on whether the feedback meets our expectations and how much weight we give it. On one hand, feedback can motivate us; on the other, it can make us lazy, writing off material as “good enough” in response to instant gratification. That said, the positive feedback I got for my early Soundcloud works gave me a push of confidence in what I was doing. I’m now focusing on longer-term releases.

courtesy of Jeffrey Horton

Chain DLK: I also listened to Genera, a live recording released by Touch… really stunning! There are traces of Arabian traditional motifs mixed to old piano tunes and ghostly entities in the first of the five parts, sounding like an exorcism of cultural conditioning… Would you say so? Can you tell us something about the first 7-8 minutes of Genera?

Bana Haffar: The first “zone” of Genera is a microcassette collage of personal recordings. An out-of-sequence dreamscape of accumulated cultural shrapnel. The naay (Arabic flute) samples are audio examples from a book I co-wrote several years ago about Arabic music. The piano samples were of my father playing in the living room, songs he’s been playing since I was a child. There are samples of my mother bossing a cab driver around on a hot summer afternoon in Beirut, Qatari radio songs, Quranic recitation, and other jumbled field recordings. These were layered multiple times over and cut in and out of each other at different speeds on a GE 35383 Micro Cassette Recorder with a dying battery.

Chain DLK: The five parts of Genera are strongly interconnected by elements that appear in both of the adjacent parts…but besides resounding elements, what’s the glue keeping all parts together?

Bana Haffar: The glue is the system and the samples within in. I configured a relatively compact system to be able to travel around Europe with. This meant that I had to re-use the same modules and sounds in different combinations throughout the patch. The output chain was static, further connecting the sections. The samples I used were also limited and reused throughout, just played back differently and processed differently. That’s the technical explanation, at least. The esoteric connections haven’t made themselves clear to me yet.

Chain DLK: Even if you could consider traditions as a sort of cage, I have to say that you kept something of Arabian music…its hypnotic powers! The entities you forged (I was totally fascinated by the third part of Genera, for instance!) are really entrancing. Did you forge music with this feature on purpose or spontaneously?

Bana Haffar: The result was an interplay of pre-planned structures and the spontaneity of unplanned interactions with the modular synthesizer itself.

GENERA cover artwork

Chain DLK: How do you remember the moment when Genera was recorded in Brussels? Do you remember an audience reaction or some feedback of the lucky ones who took part in it?

Bana Haffar: The environment in which it was recorded was ideal. AB Salon in Brussels is a dedicated, focused listening space with an excellent quadraphonic sound system and a great pair of Genelec monitors. It also sits on the second floor, away from foot traffic and road noise. The room was intimate and the audience was quiet and focused. There was no clinking of glasses and side conversations like most live venues. It was dead silent and ready to receive. I’m very grateful to Touch and Mich Leemans for inviting me to play in that space. It felt like the ideal setting for this type of performance and listening exchange. I felt like both the audience and myself were able to immerse ourselves in what the synthesizer had to say.

Chain DLK: Any word about the fascinating audio equipment you used to forge Genera?

Bana Haffar: Genera was made using a eurorack format modular synthesizer. I used modules from different manufacturers rather than a complete pre-configured single brand system. The system I configured for Genera was centered around sampling modules with only a single oscillator.

Chain DLK:Is there any synth that you like more than others? If so, why (was it a particular gift or was it related to some specific memory)?

Bana Haffar: I’ve been using the Make Noise Morphagene module a lot these days. It enables the user to manipulate samples in highly creative ways and extract completely new sounds from existing ones. I’m a big fan of Make Noise music. They embody the experimental and speculative spirit of modular synthesis both in their hardware and aesthetics.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Bana Haffar: I’m currently working on a composition for Third Coast Percussion that has been commissioned by Black Mountain College Museum here in Asheville. The piece is going to be inspired by weaving, so I’ve been spending a lot of time doing research, studying looms, and learning how to weave. There are many parallels between looms and synthesizers / cloth and composition.

Sep 232019
 

Ryoko Akama (modular synth), Werner Dafeldecker (guitar), Bruno Duplan (chimes), Sergio Merce (microtonal saxophone), Antoine Beuger (flute), Kai Fagaschinski (bass clarinet), Jessica Evelyn (spoken word), and Lavinia Blackwall (soprano) belong to the impressive collective of sound artists and musicians who collaborated with Paul Baran (electronics, chapel organ, samples, Buchla) and Gordon Kennedy (electronics, organ, Mellotron, samples, keys), aka The Cray Twins, for the birth of their second album In The Company Of Architects (mastered by Ronan Breslin and produced by Fang Bomb), a very good act of acousmatic music. Let’s get deeper into it through the words of their authors.

Chain DLK: Hi, guys! How are you?

Gordon Kennedy: Pretty good. Nice to have the album out, and even the Glasgow weather is generous at the moment.

Chain DLK: Where does your moniker come from? No relation with the Kray twins, the famous East London criminals, I guess?

Gordon Kennedy: No relation. At least, not genetically.

Paul Baran: The name derives from Seymour Cray, the supercomputer pioneer and mathematician. We were fascinated by his engineering approach and I guess we see ourselves as engineers of sonic systems in the sense that we take time over each sound and how it relates to the composition.

Gordon Kennedy: The Cray-1 is what computers ought to look like, in our opinion.

Chain DLK: Before focusing on your last output, can you tell us something about the way you started getting interested in and approached sound art?

Paul Baran: My own background was in poetry, but sound art was already in the cards. My mother would play me wonderful music like Throbbing Gristle, Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian.

Then, I got turned on to Stockhausen after a visit to a local shop. That was pivotal, as I realized it was time to make my own work, without falling into that trap of copying other people’s styles.

Gordon Kennedy: I’m told I started pressuring my parents for a piano shortly before my second birthday, so I’ve had an interest in sound since long before I can even remember.

As far as working together goes, we were friends for years before the Cray Twins were born. I think we both have quite strong intuitive and intellectual aspects to how we work, so neither of us gets funneled into being the practical one, while the other one has to be the unhinged poet. We flip quite well between roles, which helps keep it fresh.

“In The Company Of Architects” cover artwork

Chain DLK: Your debut as The Cray Twins came out on Fang Bomb as well, didn’t it? Any words about “The Pier”?

Gordon Kennedy: Yes, the Pier came out on Fang Bomb in 2016. It was based on field recordings of various coastal locations. Mostly in the UK, but also from Chile at the time of the Nazca Plate earthquake, the tsunami.

Paul Baran: The Pier was a metaphor for the entry into the Liminal through the subconscious. I believe that the pieces on the album mapped out interior mindscapes, which are precarious in the context of environmental decay and damage. This is a narrative that is best exemplified by pieces such as ‘Harbour’ and the ‘Duao’ trilogy of works.

Gordon Kennedy: We wanted to examine the furthest reaches of human extent. And the physical expression of that: remote dwellings and outposts; disasters at sea; us as humans, pushing ourselves further out into the wild face of nature.

Chain DLK: You grouped many renowned sound artists (such as Lucio Capece, BJ Nielsen, Andrea Belfi, and so on) for that release. How did you manage to involve them?

Paul Baran: Many of them are personal friends. People will work with you if they know that you are sincere with regards to the material. A lot of the performers have a background within the Wandelweiser movement, and that exploration of silence is something I’m increasingly drawn to in future projects.

Gordon Kennedy: In general, we just waited till we heard people were due in the UK, playing at festivals or whatever, and then bombarded them with requests. “Come to Glasgow. Come on, it’ll be really good.” BJ Nielsen was an exception: we got in touch with him after the album was recorded, to remix the Duao track. So he did his work remotely.

Chain DLK: Someone described your style as dark-ambient…do you agree with such a way of labeling your sound?

Paul Baran: Such a label doesn’t really describe or represent what we do. It seems casual to describe the work in this way, especially as it doesn’t take into account the complex processes involved and the harmonic shading of improvisers. For me, Ambient music is just a fractional element of the overall sounds.

Gordon Kennedy: It’s ambient in the sense that we use ambient sound, i.e. environmental recordings, extensively as raw material.

But ambient perhaps suggests an air of relaxation that the listener wouldn’t necessarily find in our work. Like the sea, it often resists attempts to settle into it. It repels the colonizing ear. Also, it’s probably more composed and directional, I mean structurally, than a lot of ambient music. A lot of attention to foregrounded small-scale noise.

It is sometimes dark; more by accident than design. Electronically processing field recordings of wind and waves often create a kind of sonic Uncanny Valley effect. We know these sounds in our blood. But something’s not quite right.

Chain DLK: In The Company of Architects doesn’t feature external collaborations besides performers, right? Or maybe ones by some architect? A reference to Freemasonry or their god(s)?

Paul Baran: The Architects signifies the craft of improvisation. How to build up a work from interactions from a molecular level to achieve the endgame of a new structure; the edification of which is helped along with the method of sculpting in the studio, without too much processing and intervention.

Gordon Kennedy: Well, the basic idea behind the album was to take the methodology we used on The Pier, and instead of applying it to landscape recordings, apply it to instrumental performances. In other words, to treat the instruments like found sound. Obviously that’s a direct inversion of traditional orchestral composition where the composer writes the score and then the musicians play it. Here the players were recorded first, and then the composition process started.

The Cray Twins – courtesy of Martin Lynagh

Chain DLK: Any words about the involved performers? How much time did you need to assemble the ensemble? Would you consider it an ensemble?

Paul Baran: Yes, that is an astute point. The performers were guided by listening to the material, before committing themselves to the recording. So I guess we created an ensemble through file sharing, and in extended time. Some composers have this annoying habit of over-egging the production pudding when it comes to file sharing. We aimed to avoid that and maintained the integrity of each contribution.

Gordon Kennedy: I guess it was a kind of distributed ensemble – a dislocated ensemble, even. Our methodology meant everything could be done at distance, inviting musicians in various countries to record themselves performing, in the location of their choice. Sometimes we would accentuate the locatedness of the performances – amplifying and processing the background noise, foregrounding unintentional sounds which had made their way onto the recording. But as far as performance went, we gave the players free rein to do as they saw fit.

Chain DLK: Can you tell us something about the composition strategy and approach? How did you “brief” your collaborators?

Paul Baran: We composed it like a chain. Bruno Duplant and Werner offered their contributions first, which were in the same key and gelled really well and through layering, we offered our own contributions to reinforce the structure of the composition. This included voices from a sample of a film I really like, the Colour of Pomegranates, and the voice of Armenian composer Komitas.

Gordon Kennedy: Not all of them were given access to what the others were doing. Some were given selective access – perhaps one other person’s recording to synchronize to. Others were given the entire piece to date, and yet others were given nothing.

We were deliberately releasing a lot of the control that’s normally associated with the process of composition. And we found, repeatedly, that the universe would reward this. It became an active collaborator in the process; things just seemed to fall in place. Musicians who hadn’t heard what each other were doing would be magically in tune. The timelines of the various contributions would come together at key moments, little sparks of miracle dust. That’s not to disguise the fact there was an extensive compositing and editing process, sometimes with individual musicians layered and re-layered with earlier or later parts of their own performance.

But happenstance was key. There were a number of occasions throughout the process where we just found ourselves looking at each other. “It’s happening again, isn’t it?”

Chain DLK: How would you “brief” the listener in order to make him appreciate your release more?

Gordon Kennedy: It’s hard to say. With ‘The Pier,’ we took a certain delight in subterfuge. Our basic method was to process and filter the landscape recordings to sound like ensemble instruments. We’d sometimes invert that, processing the instrumental performances to sound like landscapes. But sometimes it’s interesting for the listener to know a little about what’s actually going on, to see a bit of the wiring under the board. For example, on In the Company of Architects there’s considerable use of the Indesit WD12X washing machine – a fine instrument, much underused.

Paul Baran: Approach our work with an open mind and above all, listen to it actively, not passively.

Chain DLK: What are the main troubles in rendering a release like In The Company Of Architects on live stage?

Gordon Kennedy: Heh… That’s a question we’ve not had to answer yet. I guess if we were to do a stage version, we would start from the same basic premise as with the album, that the instruments are landscapes and our Materia Prima is the field recordings of those landscapes. So rather than use live instruments in performance, I’d imagine we’d double down on the concept and emphasise the recorded or found-sound aspect in some way.

If cost was no object, I’d quite like to put sections of the individual performances on analogue tape loops, and string them round the venue on capstans and rollers; turn the entire performance area into a tape echo machine, concert hall as Copicat. Mirror the process in the space.

Paul Baran: The logistics in getting the ensemble involved might be problematic, as they are scattered from Argentina to Berlin.

Chain DLK: How do you test your music by your ear? I mean… When do you say that a recording of yours is ok?

Gordon Kennedy: It’s a fairly intuitive process. For instance, if something in the studio starts to overload or feed back, we’ll often treat that as part of the work and foreground it. Or if something is buzzing, if there’s wind noise on a microphone, our instinct is to integrate it into the composition. That approach sets the stage for a more relaxed attitude to completion.

Of the two of us, I’m the one who tends most to perfectionism. And since I’m more hands-on with the production side, a track is usually finished when I’ve wrestled myself into submission. Chokehold, it’s done.

Paul Baran: We are both perfectionists and would only release something with mutual agreement. Gordon will add and I subtract to any given piece.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Gordon Kennedy: Not as The Cray Twins, but we’ve done a lot of work on Paul’s next album. Which he can elucidate.

Paul Baran: Well, I’m working on a solo album which I will release on Fang Bomb next year. It will be more rhythmically charged than my previous work.

Sep 172019
 

Originally released by Side Effects in 1986, “Zamia Lehmanni” was the third (and final) core SPK album and was Graeme Revell’s first truly solo project. He was in a period of transition, somewhere between the industrial noise of the early years and his later award-winning soundtrack work. On the day before this was first released, this style of music, now ubiquitous (especially in soundtracks), did not exist.

After “Information Overload Unit” cleared a space for subsequent explorations, and the environmental percussion and anchored mutilated sound collages of “Leichenschrei”, the “body without organs” was fully eviscerated. Graeme felt ‘industrial music’ was becoming ossified and needed to be taken into radically new territories: ‘post-industrial’.

The track “In Flagrante Delicto” (mastered as originally intended here) was later used by Revell for his work on the soundtrack for the 1989 film “Dead Calm”, which won him Best Original Score from the Australian Film Institute.

Unavailable in any format since Mute’s 1992 CD edition, we now present this landmark album on newly remastered CD, and on vinyl for the first time since 1986. Approved by Graham Revell, this release comes with new artwork by Abby Helasdottir and is remastered by Martin Bowes (The Cage).

LP on sumptuous 180gm black or limited edition of 500 copies on gold vinyl, presented in a 350gsm gatefold sleeve.

CD in a 6-panel digipak. The track “The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice” appears on CD only, but is included on the digital download for vinyl.

Both formats feature new liner notes from Graeme Revell, 2019.


CSR274CD  (November 2019)

CD in 6-panel digipak.

Pre-order

Track listing:

1. Invocation (To Secular Heresies)
2. Palms Crossed In Sorrow
3. Romanz In Moll (Romance In A Minor Key)
4. In The Dying Moments
5. In Flagrante Delicto (Introduction)
6. In Flagrante Delicto
7. Alocasia Metallica
8. Necropolis
9. The Garden Of Earthly Delights
10. The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice (CD only)

Barcode: 0641871745418


CSR274CD  (November 2019)

LP on 180gm black vinyl.

Pre-order

Track listing:

A1. Invocation (To Secular Heresies)
A2. Palms Crossed In Sorrow
A3. Romanz In Moll (Romance In A Minor Key)
A4. In The Dying Moments
B1. In Flagrante Delicto (Introduction)
B2. In Flagrante Delicto
B3. Alocasia Metallica
B4. Necropolis
B5. The Garden Of Earthly Delights

Barcode: 0641871745425


CSR274CD  (November 2019)

LP on 180gm limited edition gold vinyl. Ltd x 500 copies.

Pre-order

Track listing:

A1. Invocation (To Secular Heresies)
A2. Palms Crossed In Sorrow
A3. Romanz In Moll (Romance In A Minor Key)
A4. In The Dying Moments
B1. In Flagrante Delicto (Introduction)
B2. In Flagrante Delicto
B3. Alocasia Metallica
B4. Necropolis
B5. The Garden Of Earthly Delights

Barcode: 0641871745425