Soon after having listened to his last release “Melancholia”, we had a chat with Davide Carbone, the man behind the curtain of Honzo, or maybe the troubled child or the alter ego of Honzo itself. The connection between his brainchild and Davide’s interest in psychology was clear from the first tunes of this project, which moves over the liminal stylistic ground between techno and noise. “Melancholia” (Arboretum 2016) itself is a sort of sonic reflection over this state of mind, which has been regarded both as a tendency of a creative mind and as the root of human evil. According to the introductory words of this release, “as Heinrich Heine has famously questioned; is art an ailment of its creator? Illness or not, when shifting to the recipients’ perspective, what is described truly as art is highly individual, and the term ‘art’ usually designates a rarity within life’s larger perspective, much like finding a pearl in an oyster is most uncommon.”. Let’s find out if there’s an answer to Heine’s question.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Davide. How are you?
Honzo: I’m fine, thanks 🙂 What about you?
Chain D.L.K.: Not bad, thanks. Could you tell us something about your very first steps into musical production?
Honzo: I began with my brother Ascion and other friends; we joined a Cubase Class in our area, and then I just worked with a passion for a long time, and still I do!
Chain D.L.K.: How did you get closer to electronic and techno music?
Honzo: After the Cartoon age, I was really bored listening to what market and media were offering to us. I had always this strong desire to do some personal research and find my own style.
I quit other kinds of sonorities except electronic music when I was a teen. I was always fascinated by the millions of possibilities and freedom of expression that there are in electronic music.
Growing up, I needed my independence and I got closer to Techno because it is more powerful and has harsh and crisp sounds. In general, I can say that my research was based on certain frequencies instead of a specific genre.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think electronics is the sort of language that could be understood by only a few listeners, or is it more understandable than words?
Honzo: Actually, people understand me better through music than through language! 🙂 I have always thought that the artist has the will to communicate something through his piece. It’s just a matter of finding the right artist that’s matched to you.
Chain D.L.K.: Your sound flirts with industrial grasps and distorted noises and could resemble a mish-mash of Detroit and Berlin-type sonorities…what’s the most suitable urban environment for it in your viewpoint?
Honzo: A Utopian City of Ravers in 2060.
Chain D.L.K.: I saw a nice video clip by the the29nov film crew…did you appreciate it? Why?
Honzo: Sebastian is a good guy and he’s very talented. He has done many videos of myself, but if you are referring to this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3N8rzjfTUM I like that he tried to associate the subject of the video with a similar character of what Honzo is. The track is called “Dissociated Identities”, and in the middle of the video there are two hands that try to touch the first subject. It reflects the fact that the two “I”s are detached, and also even if they were to be closer, they can never be together.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever focused on academic composition?
Honzo: I have no academic background; I just studied Cubase and then tried to learn everything through experiences and life. I’m a huge fan of Brian Eno and his theory about music for non-musicians.
Have you ever heard about?
Chain D.L.K.: Of course! I’ve seen some snapshots of yourself on stage…you look like an angry clerk who can’t really free himself from his shaped identity, don’t you? Is there any reason behind your way of dressing on stage?
Honzo: Looking angry and wearing a white shirt and black tie helps me to create distance between myself and the crowd. It’s like a psychoanalyst in his session. In a way, to transmit different kinds of emotions and talk directly to the listeners’ subconscious, I have to be like this…
Chain D.L.K.: Can you introduce your forthcoming release on Arboretum?
I had the full intention of taking this emotion and treating it as an object. I think that each of these tracks is melancholic, but represents different states of it…
Follow Lovesickness, where you are trapped in the sadness of the disease, the ego perceives it in full and cannot find a way to get out. In the third cut, Moral Masochism, the Super Ego starts to be evil towards ego and send attacks to the subconscious. It is the hardest part of our trip. What comes after is “Emptiness”, its special time. The disease is gone, we have few traces left of this experience and we do not perceive it as bad anymore. The empty feeling is given by the freedom from our previous sufferance. It’s a slow way to complete satisfaction. 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: Have you received any positive or negative feedback yet?
Honzo: I received a lot of good feedback, but I would prefer anyway that people listen for themselves and judge it without any pre-conceptions.
Chain D.L.K.: The conceptual framework of your sound is really interesting…how would you reply to that question of Heine?
Honzo: I think that Heine’s was a sort of ironic questioning. He was referring to the fact that artist personality corresponds to the ailment of its creator. Most of the time, people that experience an intense situation are able to transform it into a piece of art. He also compares the rarity of finding this kind of personality to the rarity of finding a pearl in an oyster.
Chain D.L.K.: Regarding the opener “Orientalism”, what’s the difference between huzun and melancholia that Western people can’t really seem to understand?
Honzo: Every emotion, disease or thought is shaped in the culture were they grow up. Western culture is so influenced by capitalism, money and society and all the rest of those things. For years, Melancholia was shaped in this way and it’s always been less related to what the origin of this emotion is. In Freudian thought, Melancholia is a state where the person is depressed for a long time and the reason is that he perceives the loss of love as bereavement. Huzun Borns is in the mid-Orient culture, and I think it is perceived less as a disease or at least not so strong like melancholia. There is more relation to sadness in love instead of bereavement.
Chain D.L.K.: The end of the album is quite different from other tracks…could “Emptiness” be considered as a point of arrival, a desired state of mind or a sort of fatality?
Honzo: Yes, it is! The listeners have to pass through the sufferance of melancholic states before they get the cathartic effect in “Emptiness”.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Honzo: Yes …as Honzo, I’m working on a split tape with Gaja on 3TH Records. One track on a V.A. for Black Carpets alongside Ontal, Ayarcana and Stingrays. One other important thing is that later this year the first Honzo’s Remix ever will come out. It will be released on AnD’s Label Innersurface. There are other projects I’m still evaluating.
Chain D.L.K.: ….and any collaborations within the Berliner fertile creative scene?
Honzo: Beeeeeep… The recent DAS DA project. Later this year I’ll have out, on LAD Communication, a project between me, Ascion and Lucindo. I’m working on some with Gaja. Later this year I will release one other track made in collaboration with AnD. A tape between me, Gaja, and Ascion.
Anyway, there will be a lot of material from me and my fellow artists this year; you must follow us!
visit Honzo’s soundcloud on the web at: