Black To Comm



Although he’s very busy with the preparations for the celebration of the first 10 years of his label Dekorder, which will include the simultaneous release of three new records for the highly limited Hybrid-Vinyl series (volume 5 by Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember’s Experimental Audio Research, volume 6 by Excepter and volume 7 by Marc’s solo project Black To Comm), Marc Richter replied to some questions from Chain D.L.K.. Enjoy!


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Chain D.L.K.: Hi Marc! How are you?

Artist Name:  All fine here. Slowly preparing some new live shows and putting the finishing touches on some new Dekorder and Black To Comm releases.


Chain D.L.K.: Before speaking about new rings on the Dekorder chains, could you introduce yourself both as Marc Richter and Black To Comm?

Artist Name:  Well, I was born in the South of Germany, now live in Hamburg, I run a record label, make music and some graphic design stuff. Thats’s all.


Chain D.L.K.: The last trace on my musical memory left by Black To Comm was Earth… are you stil in touch with Singaporean moviemaker Ho Tzu Nyen for any possible future collaborations?

Artist Name: Oh yes, we just did a show together in Abu Dhabi  (of all places). We’re in touch and he’s coming to Berlin for one year so I’m hoping we can hang out and possibly collaborate on something. He’s an amazing artist.


Chain D.L.K.: With reference to Black To Comm, do you prefer to label your output as music or sound art?

Artist Name:  It’s definitely music (though until recently I always struggled with being called a musician).


Chain D.L.K.: Any upcoming crossovers with other forms of art?

Artist Name: I will have a residency at ZKM in Karlsruhe very soon and will do a multi-channel work there so I guess technically that would be sound art but in the end it’s all music to me. There are some talks about film soundtracks but nothing specific at this point.


Chain D.L.K.: I forgot the very first trace left by BTC… Ruckwarts Backwards… what’s your impressions today every time you re-listen to some older stuff?

Artist Name:  I’m not really listening to the old recordings a lot. I like that record but technically it is very primitive and naive. I had absolutely no idea how to record and mix properly back then. But to be honest I’m still learning a lot every day and still consider myself an amateur in many ways.


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Black To Comm “Providence” (Dekorder 074) cover artwork

Chain D.L.K.: You are celebrating 10 years from Dekorder‘s first release… time passes for everyone and everything… even if someone says art is somehow immortal… what’s your thought about the relationship between art, eternity and infinite?

Artist Name: I’ve thought about that recently. In theory recorded music (or any other reproducible art) might last longer than a painting but in a thousand years there will be so much recorded music, so many films and archived books & writings – no one will ever be able to grasp the sheer amount or even have an idea where to start. Though I do believe there can be a spirituality in art and music and that might be considered our entry to eternity and infinity.


Chain D.L.K.: You’ve chosen to celebrate this important goal by releasing some stuff on vinyl… could you tell us something about new add-ons to the Dekorder vinyl series?

Artist Name:  Three new releases are coming out this month: Excepter, Black To Comm and the first recordings in 9 years from Experimental Audio Research. I’m very excited for this one especially – Sonic Boom has released some of my all-time favourite albums with Spacemen 3 and E.A.R. Then another three in a few months: the first new music by Bil Kouligas (head honcho of PAN Records) in a long time, plus Leyland Kirby and my good friend and collaborator Vindicatrix.

Chain D.L.K.: Your one, “Providence”, sounds like oscillating between anamnesis and reverie… there’s even an amen break amidst flashing streams of sounds… how come?

Artist Name: Obviously a lot of my music is sample-based and I’m very interested in the history of sampling and that break is probably the most sampled recording in the history of music so I wanted to write my name into that history. I find it quite fascinating to work with sounds that have a historic significance even if they’re kind of worn-out and overused.


Chain D.L.K.: I know you have a huge collection of records… how many items?

Artist Name:  It’s not that huge and I constantly sell stuff. I haven’t really counted – maybe 2000 LP’s and a few hundred CD’s?


Chain D.L.K.: What’s the last record you’ve listened to? Are there any items of your collection you would imperil yourself to save from a fire or a thief?

Artist Name: Today I have enjoyed listening to Sven-Ake Johansson’s Schlingerland and The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble. I’m not really afraid of losing any records (most can be replaced somehow) but I do have nightmares about losing new unreleased Black To Comm recordings in a fire or some other terrible incident, especially when I have just finished a new album – it would be lost forever (not that anyone would care….).


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Excepter “The Stand” (Dekorder 073) cover artwork

Chain D.L.K.: What’s the worst compliment and the best criticism you’ve ever received?

Artist Name:  Worst: too many Krautrock references (my own fault probably)… Best: “…chatters and boings like one of those great Nonesuch Explorer LPs heard through a closed window at the wrong speed when you’re about ten years old and feeling very foggy on a combination of fever and cough syrup” (Byron Coley, who else…)


Chain D.L.K.: I know you are on the brink of performing at the legendary Berghein in Berlin with Excepter… what are you preparing for the open-minded Berliner audience?

Artist Name:  It’s at Bergain Kantine actually. I will play some unreleased material from forthcoming releases (I rarely play old stuff). Looking forward to play with Excepter – love them.


Chain D.L.K.: Any other forthcoming gigs?

Artist Name: Munich, Saarbrücken and maybe Leipzig around May. I’m hoping to do a lot of touring next fall – if anyone’s interested please get in touch!


Chain D.L.K.: White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland and in Jefferson Airplane repertory, the rabbit family in Lynch’s “Inland Empire”, the rabbit-masked character of Donnie Darko and so on… I cannot avoid a questions about rabbits… if I remember well you took a scene from Night of the Lepus for the clip of Hotel Freund… how come?

Artist Name: I did a 20 minute video edit with all rabbit scenes from that movie for an art show curated by my girlfriend Renate Nikolaus who is a visual artist. Her special subject is rabbits. I think they’re scary.


Chain D.L.K.: What’s the best plant in The Male Garden?

Artist Name: The Shirley Temple Double Peony (or am I contradicting myself here?)…


Chain D.L.K.: Has Hamburg had any influence on your artistic output?

Artist Name: Hard to say… actual people have an influence on my work and these would be different in another city I guess. I’m doing a lot of studio work in the Black Forest though and I don’t think it sounds any different from my Hamburg recordings.


Chain D.L.K.: Enjoy Dekorder‘s birthday!

Artist Name: Cheers!


visit Marc Richter on the web at: (Black To Comm) / (The Male Garden)



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