With Cenotype the US-based Experimental/Powernoise label Hive Records likes to present a newcomer act to the listeners. Cenotype services well the wide field of rhythmically Powernoise, but likes to integrate musically diversity ranging between sinister Ambient drones up to Dark Electro influences. Behind Cenotype stands Lenny B., who’s also active as DJ Wintermute in the New York/New Jersey area and this fact may explains the different influences available on the recently released debut “Origins”. We could disturb Lenny’s inner peace to ask some introducing questions…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Lenny, I guess it won’t hurt anyone if you start this interview with a brief introduction on you and your music project Cenotype…
Cenotype: Hello. My name is Lenny. Cenotype is my rhythmic Industrial project that I have been writing since 2002. I have been active as a DJ and musician in the New York/ New Jersey area for around 9 years.
Chain D.L.K.: DJ Wintermute? Well, some people invent names for names’ sake. How is it with you? Please include also a short introduction of your DJ activity regarding clubs, events, music styles…
Cenotype: The name Wintermute is taken from the William Gibson novel, Necromancer. Any fan of cyber punk/ science fiction may be familiar with the book. If you haven’ t read it yet, you should. I have been actively DJing as Wintermute since 1998. I began in New York City playing at fetish events, such as Rubber Monkey and the like. I have held residencies at Limelight NYC (Salvation & Zenwarp), Pyramid NYC (Morpheus Rising), Conspiracy (NJ), and countless other events. My longest residency was at QXT’s in New Jersey. I was a resident DJ both Friday and Saturday nights from 2000-2006. I have always played Dark Electro, classic EBM, and Rhythmic Industrial, actually introducing these styles to a good number of parties and events during the invasion of Future Pop in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Chain D.L.K.: The reason to sign with Hive Records can belong on the fact that Davyd and his label is based very near to your home area. Another reason can be the fact that Davyd does fantastic jobs when it comes on creating cover arts. What else does speak for Hive to sign with them?
Cenotype: It’s true, Davyd lives very close, but that is far from the reason that I signed with Hive. I have always been a fan of the Hive catalog and respect the diversity of the artists on the label. There is a cohesion that exists from artist-to-artist and a quality level that is maintained, but I enjoy the fact that Davyd will sign artists that have an individual sound or style rather than bowing to constantly changing trends. Also, as you mentioned, Davyd’s design style is excellent. His work, combined with the photography and design skills of Polina Z, is what makes the visual aspect of Cenotype so cohesive with the music. I look forward to having them work more closely on future projects.
Chain D.L.K.: Your website explains the influences of Cenotype with a reference to older styles of rhythmic Industrial/Powernoise in the vein of Daft/Ant-Zen/Hymen label releases. By watching your photos I thought you wanted to re-animate some old The Klinik styles and art. How is it all about? What else can impress a DJ who’s normally listening to several music styles?
Cenotype: Absolutely. I want to present a visual depiction of the music. Admittedly, I wear my influences on my sleeve, however, I am trying to copy anything directly, per se. I like to add a subtle nod in the music and the artwork as an acknowledgment and a thanks to those artists that have influenced me in some way. I also like the darker imagery and sound that a good deal of the older acts used to present that, unfortunately, is not very present sometimes in some of the music that is coming out lately. As a fan of music, I have extremely eclectic, almost schizophrenic tastes, as can be evidenced by my music collection. I can go from listening to Johnny Cash to Masonna to DMX to In Slaughter Natives… you get the idea. I enjoy variety and, while I may not generally like a particular genre completely, I can respect the talent that goes into making certain styles of music and I try to learn from everything that I hear. What impresses me is when I hear an artist that can fuse different styles and genres in an original way. By that, I mean someone who can have a unique sound, all their own, but incorporate different sounds and not make it jarring or out-of-place.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us a bit about the conceptual idea of the spooky pajamas-wearing women shadowy featured in your cover art as well as on your website.inspiration.
Cenotype: “Origins” is a story, front to back, and every story has characters. The bandaged figure on the cover can be seen as the main character. The female image can best be described as a tormentor. The main character does not know if she is real or imagined, alive or dead. The basis of the story of “Origins” is insanity and in some parts, guilt. As a side note, in case you did not know, the bandaged figure is me and the female is Polina Z.
Chain D.L.K.: Why did you choose the title “Origins” to be the title of the officially debut, since you’ve named two of earlier released demos with the same title?
Cenotype: “Origins” has always been the title of the full release, from the beginning. It symbolizes the beginning of our story. The demos were never meant to stand on their own as releases, rather served to show the progression of the music until the official release.
Chain D.L.K.: One of the strangest works out of debut “Origins” is the Dark Ambient-inspired track “Think It And It Will Be”. Although no further info on this track is credited I would like to ask about the female vocal inserts and the conceptual idea behind this track…
Cenotype: I am glad that someone noticed! The female “vocals” are, in fact, samples, but I will not reveal the source. If you watch enough geeky movies and pay attention, I’m sure that you will come across the dialog. The track, as every other, is another chapter of the story. It represents the attempted communication by the female entity to our main character, who is seemingly insane.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us a bit about the idea to collaborate with Leech of Navicon Torture Technologies…
Cenotype: “Justice” is, hands down, my favorite song on the album. I wrote it while in a very dark place and intended it to be one of the only tracks with any vocals on the album. I also wanted Leech from the very beginning, as his music, lyrics and vocals are so utterly visceral. The track centers around the idea that all of these horrifying acts are committed every day and nothing is ever done about it, what-so-ever. Even if some of these individuals are caught, the penalties for certain crimes are laughable at best. “Justice” is written from the vigilante standpoint. Someone actually finally saying, “This is enough” and taking matters into their own hands. “Justice” could only have been voiced by Leech of NTT and we will be working together much more in the near future.
Chain D.L.K.: What else do you expect from the future, musically and for your private life? Any new releases in the works which you can already confirm here? I could read about your work to create uncountable remixes, so how does it go?
Cenotype: Well, musically, I am continuing with Cenotype. I plan to have a remix companion for “Origins” with a wide variety of artists from different genres to re-interpret some of the material from the album. I am also already working on the second full-length release, which already sounds darker and more aggressive. You can expect more collaborations on the second album, as well as other projects that I will be working on with other artists that I am sure everyone will enjoy. As for remixing, I hope to have the remixes for projects that have already contacted me finished soon. I have been very lucky in the fact that everyone who has contacted me to remix them has been someone that I admire very much. However, that makes it harder to expand on their music, as most of it is excellent on its own already. The most important thing to me, next to writing the music is playing live. I hope to be able to perform a good deal more in the coming year.
Chain D.L.K.: I also like to ask for some details out of your private life, relations, further things of interest and hobbies…
Cenotype: I am very lucky to be friends with some of the best, most creative people around. I enjoy writing music and DJing (duh?), playing bass, bike riding and long walks on the beach (hahaha, joking about the beach).As for my personal life, I am a pretty private person, but I will say that I hope to make my best friend in the world, my girlfriend Heather, my wife if she still can still put up with me by then. =]As I said, I am very lucky to be friends with some of the best, most creative people around. We drink too much and have a great time together.
Chain D.L.K.: Your final words to our readers to conclude this interview?
Cenotype: I hope you enjoy the music. I am sincerely lucky to be able to share these visions with you all. Those of you that I have met in person have been so great and supportive and those that I haven’t met yet, I hope to do so sooner-than-later.Thanks for the interview!
Visit Cenotype on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]