“Brainnectar”, the new release by Swiss sound-artist and occultist Rudolf Eb.er aka Runzelstirm & Gurgelstock, who combines outsider art and action with extreme sonic arts, cut-up de/compositions and catharsis, is almost concomitant with the birth of Schimpfluch Associates, the label born from the ashes of the collective that Rudolf initially founded in 1987, which grouped together a number of highly-appreciated extreme arts in many forms such as photography, installations, audio composition, performance arts, rituals and so on. The title of the album, which features some contributions from Japanese extreme musician and scream vocalist Junko Hiroshige (Hijokaidan), refers to old tantric techniques raising psycho-physical energy or inner fire, from the perineum up to the top of the brain from where it subsequently drips as nectar. According to Rudolf’s own words, “this consciousness expanding heating and dripping during creation and/or reception of Brainnectar is given priority over any musical aesthetics”. Have a nice read and an immensely purifying experience…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Rudolf.
Rudolf Eb.er: Hi Vito.
Chain D.L.K.: Drawings, paintings, sound arts and much more… you’re a really diverse artist… it often seems as though your releases affect multiple senses, is there any hierarchy or rank of your favorite ways of expression? If so, why?
Rudolf Eb.er.: Sound gives a huge ocean of possibilities, that’s for sure. Still, I prefer to paint from time to time. The idea defines which form of media I will use.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you like the “art-brut shamanist” label?
Rudolf Eb.er: I don’t like labels at all. However, to get a quick idea, it is certainly one of the best labels. I often get this dada labelled. Initially, my work begun in Zürich and it seems to be something weird. What I do is guaranteed; rather based on surrealism than it is on dada. Reviewers should not trample around in art-history and use terms without knowledge of their meaning. Art-brut or outsider-art is a good, highly applicable description. It simply means art outside of official labels, genres and norms. When I began making music, I didn’t mean to make music. I didn’t bring something like “dada-punk” or “noise-music” onto the stage. It had different functions than music to begin with. Moreover, the term shaman seemed farfetched to me at first. However, the more I learned about shamanism, the more I agree that my work is, in a broader sense, that of a shaman.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the connection between your “rituals” and ordinary life rites?
Rudolf Eb.er: My actions or performances are always related to my ordinary life in some way. It is not an escape into another completely different life. Quite the opposite. It is more my real life pushed to an extreme. Tests and training as I often called it. Both psychical and mental.
Chain D.L.K.: Some people can’t understand your art, particularly if they don’t manage to understand some of its aspects… First of all, I’d like to ask you if receive more misunderstandings from common folk or from ‘professional’ reviewers?
Rudolf Eb.er: If people misunderstand me, maybe I was not clear enough. On the other hand, they could be stupid. Or they simply don’t want to understand it because it would damage their delusions. In the worst case scenario, they attack, foolishly protecting their delusions. Like the person that went to court over my photography, which was clearly a psychopathic move. I’m not here to tell people this is this and that is that, but instead I’d like to have them use their own brains. Reviewers should have some understanding, of course. I guess everyone knows brilliant reviewers, and similarly, everyone knows incompetent jerks.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the most ridiculous feedback you’ve received from a reviewer or from ordinary people related to one of your releases, live performances, paintings or whatever else?
Rudolf Eb.er: I initially thought there must be tons of ridiculous feedback – including the psychopath I just mentioned – but at the moment, not a single one comes to mind. There was probably nothing important or funny enough to keep in mind. I’ll keep it like that for now. Paying attention to something plain stupid is a waste of time anyway.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s speak of your new release “Brainnectar”… The mosquitoes (or maybe sandflies) on the opening part of the first cd and the reference to Kala-azar or Dumdum fever seems to indicate that the following stuff is related to a sort of therapeutic process… have you ever experienced that disease?
Rudolf Eb.er: Ah, is this the ridiculous feedback? Just kidding, but absolutely no reference to kala-azar was made whatsoever. No reference to dumdum fever either. I don’t know where you read that, as it’s certainly not on my record. The opening part is called “Entering Emptiness” and “Reside In Emptiness” followed by “Kala – The Black One”. “Kala” refers to “Shiva” a form of Hindu god. The divine. His consort is “Shakti”, or in her dreadful form, “Kali”. “Shakti” stands for energy, for life energy. The psychic energy. And it is psychic energy that the album “Brainnectar” is based on. The compositions and ideas are based on techniques to raise psychic energy. With “Brainnectar”, I wanted create music that functions as a tool for the realization of the psychic body and a higher consciousness. Functional music for a psycho-physical exercise. Music that I couldn’t find elsewhere; that I was missing.
Chain D.L.K.: Junko’s screams and yells are psychotropic with no need for the audience to listen intently! First, how did you meet her and Hijokaidan?
Rudolf Eb.er: We first met over 20 years ago in Switzerland. However, the first time we worked together was as duo at the “Extreme Rituals” Schimpfluch-festival in Bristol during 2012.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you know if Junko has some source of inspiration for her impressive shouts?
Rudolf Eb.er: No, I don’t know of any.
Chain D.L.K.: We mentioned the binaural beats that you massively use on “Brainnectar”… how do you create them? Is there any persuading essay about their effectiveness that you would like to recommend?
Rudolf Eb.er: The effectiveness of binaural beats depends upon the people receiving it. There is lots of material written about them, and lots of nonsense too. Nothing ever beats testing it by one self. While doing “Brainnectar”, I had long sessions during which I tested how my brain and my full body reacted to sounds. This shifted from soft tingling sensations located in the forehead or top of the head, in the throat et cetera, to strong “explosions” followed by shower-like feelings coming from the top of the brain down – the title “Brainnectar” is derived from that experience. In extreme cases, full sensations of shifting or sliding into other realities took place. Working on these sounds did raise my psychic energies and frequencies, as well as my awareness over the physical body with the ability to control it. It is certainly a unique way that my audience receives the sound. It’s interesting to see how they react to it too; either consciously or unconsciously. In general, it is not a good idea to have the listener just consuming and waiting for sensations. Listening should not be about sensations, even if they come. I want the listener to become aware of the own psychic energies and to take it from there – actively.
Chain D.L.K.: You also use many shamanic instruments. What’s the most unknown one you’d like to explain to us? How do you get them?
Rudolf Eb.er: Most shamanic instruments are by no means unknown. These are probably the first instruments that someone would build if they hadn’t seen any musical instruments yet. The most common is the drum and the rattle. Flutes are next. The speed that drumming shamans have used since ancient times to induce trance equals the same speed of beats that modern science suggests alters the mind or creates hallucinatory states in the mind. The shaman is using such sound to leave the body. An interesting method would be to collect the sound internally, at the top of the head, and leave the body from there in one shot through the cranial vertex.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s keep on listening to “Brainnectar”… in the middle of the first cd, there’s a track which refers to Chod, an ancient Tibetan Buddhist rite, which got described as a sort of self-sacrifice… what more can you say about that? Have you even experienced it or just seen it?
Rudolf Eb.er: Self-sacrifice is not a good description. Chöd means cutting through the ego or to cut through a fine strand of hair of subtle ignorance that hinders us and prevents us from realizing the true nature of the mind. A chöd-ritual can be quite similar to the shaman initiation, a ritualized death. However, this rite is based on a detailed visualization and one should not confuse me with a monk or ethnologist. I don’t speak their language nor am I living inside the Tibetan Buddhist culture. Nor follow any other religion in that matter. As an artist, I have my work to do. Like a cook can tell where to find mushrooms and what to do with them, I find occult techniques and work with them. With “Brainnectar”, I point to profound Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu techniques, but also give hints to similar ideas by different cultures elsewhere. This includes an African tribe, amongst others.
Chain D.L.K.: It seems like you focus on “death” and sometimes even explore death… do your travel diaries change each time you explore?
Rudolf Eb.er: The more I look into death and work those techniques, the less I feel like I’m missing something. Looking into death helps you to become aware, not to fear. It’s fear that leads to all negativity, ignorance, and egoism. One day, a woman died in my arms. I could not bring her back to life. In all the misery; however, it was a deeply impressing observation of mine how her skin changed colours. This is not really related to what we’re talking about now. However, these colours and the contrast to the white stuff coming out her mouth was deeply impressing.
Chain D.L.K.: I like what an empirical thinker (I honestly don’t remember the name) once said about death… we can say everything about it as it’s the only thing whose being implies a non-being… do you agree with this abstract thought?
Rudolf Eb.er: I don’t agree. Does it imply we’re all non-beings? If so, what is a non-being? Questions over questions…
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the relationship between “Black Smell Of Death” and… a pneumatic drill?
Rudolf Eb.er: Is this a serious question? Then what’s the relation between “Smoke On The Water” and… an electric guitar? Does this piece have to be re-titled to “Piece For Electric Guitar”? No. What I get from a – or that – pneumatic drill is quite soft. The ground dampens the sound. There’s a good chance that this dampening or eating of sound has something black for me. Black eating light. I think the sound of a thin flow of water can be yellow. I don’t mean that it is, nor do I want suggest it is. Since I already say black smell. What is a black smell? Shouldn’t that be the first question anyway, before asking about a pneumatic drill in the sound? I do like to use what is around me for influence. I don’t necessarily need exotic farfetched sounds, but simply what surrounds me. That’s been the essence of my audio-work from the beginning. At that time, very loud cicadas and a damp pneumatic drill was around.
Chain D.L.K.: What is “Tantric TV”, the final track of the first cd, broadcasting?
Rudolf Eb.er: It’s an empty video signal you hear. Combined with the field recording of a power transformer and the ear-piercing noise of Japanese cicadas. Both of which were recorded at the same spot near my house. All of these sounds can become very powerful for the practice of psycho-physical exercises.
Chain D.L.K.: Just out of curiosity, have you ever taken part in the nine nights lasting Navratri celebrations?
Rudolf Eb.er: No.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you believe the age we are living is the so-called Kali Yuga?
Rudolf Eb.er: People always believe they are living in the worst times of all. However, at the moment, it certainly looks that way. At this point, the human civilization seems to be completely degenerated. People blindly follow their deranged leaders. Reading the news, it seems everyone has lost their mind completely. We’re in a spiral of negativity and that is caused by fear. Fear means being unconscious. From above, humans must look like lost hordes of sheep running around in panic. Deeply unconscious. If we were to connect to ourselves, this would not happen. We need to become conscious – and then act that way.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to bring “Brainnectar” onto a live stage? Any idea about your forthcoming tours?
Rudolf Eb.er: Some parts of “Brainnectar” are based on ideas that happened live on stage at first. But yes, I will bring and build up from “Brainnectar” for my forthcoming tours.
Chain D.L.K.: Could you tell us something more about the next steps of Schimpfluch Associates?
Rudolf Eb.er: Me and Dave Phillips, who co-founded the new Schimpfluch Associates label, thought about releasing our coming albums ourselves this time. His “Homo Animalis” and my “Brainnectar”. Then, we would simply see how it pans out. I think it works quite well and successful. However, I don’t want talk about next steps yet. What I’ve been doing lately is a piece together with Alice Kemp, whose work I respect very much and who was also performing at the Extreme Rituals festival with us. Probably using sounds that I did for a concert with Kubikukuri Takuzou. An old Japanese man who hangs himself on a daily base.
visit Rudolf Eb.er’s bandcamp at: