Listen: Tomas Nochteff – Pagan Easter

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A name like Tomás Nochteff might not ring any bells, but if you consider the fact that he’s involved with Mueran Humanos, you might know of him as a part of that artistic duo. He’s an Argentinian musician that in 1992 started the group Dios – together with Javier Aldana and Pedro Amodio – a group which in itself over time became a cult-group in Argentina. When the self-titled album was released in 2001, they broke up, and three years after that, he released a solo-album under his own name, called “Le Beat Juste“. Exactly on the time when he decided to move to Berlin in the 2000s, he found Carmen Burgess and officially founded this duo, Mueran Humanos, in 2006. They’re probably most known for their first self-titled release on Old Europa Café. But, since time passed and they released “Culpable” – a 7¨-release in 2012, as well as the maxi-single “El Circulo/La Langosta” in 2013 – he moved onto what became a continuation of his works under his own name. A solo-project that was continued where it was left off in 2006. Before we get to that however, we must also shed a light on the split-release he did together with the Spanish musician Arnau Sala Saez, titled “Música Para Disciplina” (Music For Disciplina) – intended for an art show called “Disciplina” – featuring the works of Gustavo Eandi at Galería Logo in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Now, if we’d adjust the clock and set it onto 2014, Tomás Nochteff continues his trip as a solo-musician with the release “Pagan Easter“. Now in April, fittingly enough, Noisekölln Tapes – a label based out of Berlin  – decided to put this release out on a limited edition cassette. His guitar-driven industrial music is more than it sounds like, a grandiose outlook into droning guitars and ambulant noise. Fading into a long-going atmosphere of the most substantial sound even to be found within a genre like this. Focusing more with the help of hardware, on the analogue aspect, giving a whole other warmth to the instrumentation. A rather grainy expedition into the heartland of noise and industrial combined, entwined with other influences. With the help of three pedals, strings and channels – the music was created during three days in Easter. Mind you, he once released it on cassette for his friends, limiting it to only nine tapes. So Noisekölln Tapes are re-releasing this music onto an edition of thirty-three cassettes, symbolically enough one would think. Stream the whole release down below and buy a tape if you’re interested.

Spotlight: Ōgon Batto – 007 / Ōgon Batto

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The seventh release by Hare Akedod – a label specializing in electro-acoustic “improvisation rituals” on limited cassette-runs – is Ōgon Batto. It stands for Golden Bat, in Japanese; “黄金 バット” – which is a Japanese superhero invented by Ichiro Suzuki, a Japanese illustrator, in 1930. Symbolizing what came to be the first superhero of Japan, at least when it came to cartoons. References to this character have been made in the anime Paranoia Agent, for example. This first release, however, was created by someone whose real name is Bent Von Bent. He also created the beautiful artwork for this particular release of his own. Bent has a history of being involved in different releases on Hare Akedod, specifically on the first release “001” with various instrumentation, whilst David Edren took care of the synthesizers and guitars. David shares the label with Bent, as they run it together. Anyhow, Bent was also a part of the second, fourth and fifth release – in the same kind of way. This seventh release marks a third year of releases, together with Hare Akedod and Forklong Daruplat before this one. Even though a lot of the electro-acoustic music on this label don’t touch me emotionally, this seventh release manages to do just that. Carefully laden guitar-chords that make up the landscape of sound, together with improvised selections of riffs that – together with the swirling and sublime background guitar – make up a wondrous atmosphere that is relaxing to hear. Another thing which makes this music even more exciting is the locations at which he’s recorded field recordings in. To get a local kind of vibration to everything, he’s recorded on site at Xi’An (西安) in the Shaanxi province of China and in Sapporo (札幌市), the fourth largest city in Japan. The intensiveness of the music itself is laden into place with a mellow string of variation instrumentation. Some kind of chaos is brewing down below.

You can fetch the release through Hare Akedod themselves, or soon through distributors ex-Vinylo in France and Tomentosa in the US at the moment – as more international re-sellers will appear. The cassette itself is limited to 80 smokey clear tapes with white print in a black cassette case with black screen-printed golden j-card and fullcolour insert. The music was recorded on site with Field Recordings in Xi’An and Sapporo, but the release itself was recorded in studio with everything else at Zol Der Wahn, whilst the first, fifth and sixth track were recorded by Roest at Jocques & Die Scheldebunker. Synthesizer on track number five, namely “Bunker Symfonie IX : Opmars“, was recorded by D. Edren at CEM Rotterdam. Artwork for the cassette was made by Bent Von Bent and the cover-photograph was taken by Roest. Everything you’re hearing was recorded in between 2013 to 2014, with the assistance of others, but mainly by Bent Von Bent. Stream the whole release down below and listen to it, carefully.

Interview with Jakub from Unattended Funeral!

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Unattended Funeral is a powerviolence/grindcore/hardcore band that have existed in the peripheral of Slovakian extreme music, until they released their self-titled debut-EP cassette (limited to 100 copies), in the beginning of May. The members of this band are Dano (Guitar), Michal “Fokular” (Drums) and Jakub (Vocals). It is perfectly noticeable that this band isn’t their first band, because they’re also playing in bands like Möbius and Boiling Point, which makes this even more interesting. When reading their biography, it clearly states: “a desperate call for an utter annihilation of mankind“. This line, in combination with their release, made me interested in interviewing them about primarily that – but also their release, D.I.Y., the scene in Slovakia and much more. Tune in, step down from your throne and read!

First and foremost, who are you and why are you calling for the total annihilation of mankind?

– Hello, my name is Jakub. I’ll turn 27 soon. I teach English at a secondary school. I love noisy music and skateboarding. I fulfill the vocal duties. Other members of the band are: Dano as a guitar player. Dano works at a cultural centre and he’s really into sludge/doom, movies and he’s super talented in many things. He makes flyers for shows, he can repair stuff etc. In comparison to him, MacGyver is nothing. Michal a.k.a. Fokular plays drums, he’s into graffitti, he works in a skate-shop and is interested in punk and leftist politics.

The path mankind has chosen is very destructive and If nothing changes, there´s no other way than that. But I am not a complete pessimist. Maybe we can change this system and choose a different one with a bigger respect to nature and individual human beings. This requires a total change in the way we think and this might be very difficult. I strongly believe that the current capitalist system is not the best one we’re able to maintain as a society, although we are daily taught and persuaded that so is the case. I don’t agree with Fukushima, that this is the end of history!

This seems to be your first album, from what I’ve seen and heard. Could you tell me about the making of this album?

– Although we have existed for some years, this demo is our first record. It took us maybe three years to make it (lazy huh?), but I think it was worth the waiting. We recorded it in our friend’s basement D.I.Y. recording studio. His name is Blum and he plays the guitar in a great czech band called Gattaca (check ’em out!). The cooperation was really cool because he´s a very nice and helpful person and we didn’t have to care about money or lack of time. It took us just a few hours and we also recorded some songs with our other band called Boiling Point.

Do you have any kind of “scene” for this music in Slovakia, since it’s where you’re from?

– Yes, we do. There are some bands worth checking out. Depends on what are your music tastes. There are some good crust bands such as Roxor or Beton, Systemic Damage play oldschool grindcore in a vein of Terrorizer, Ilúzia play a mixture of punkrock and folk music. Weird powerviolence is represented by our buddies from Vocatio Interna and from the same region are The Public, who released tons of stuff and play kick-ass powerviolence.

Have you got any songs recorded that didn’t make it onto your self-titled album release?

Well, we used to play some more songs, but we didn’t rehearse for a long time and we simply quit playing them, because we couldn’t remember them anymore.

You’ve also had some help from other people in the making of the album, amongst them is the label Analog Freaks. What has it been like to collaborate with these people?

– Well, since the people in Analog Freaks are the same people as UxFx (except one dude) the cooperation was really great, hahaha.

Also, there’s a lot of focus on D.I.Y, but what does it mean to you in the long run?

– It means that we try to be as independent as possible. The stuff we´ve already done with our bands was released either by us ourselves or by our friends and small labels. We have never visited a proper studio, all of our stuff was done by our friends only. We play only for the gasmoney and we sell our stuff cheap. Since we also started doing a label of our own,  we gained even more control of our releases and that’s good for us because they can look and sound the way we like. Last week, we made a release show for the tape in a large shipping containter (you know, the one carrying goods on the boat etc.) and it was amazing. We didn’t even need a proper club to play the show and it was a blast. You can check the photos from the release show at www.analogfreaks.net. It was a blast!

What kind of bands and/or artists have been influential for Unattended Funeral?

– There are many styles and bands influential for UxFx sound. We consist of three individuals with slightly different music tastes. I guess we would all agree that sludge/doom bands and the new wave of powerviolence bands such as Weekend Nachos, Iron Lung, Agents of Abhorrence influence our sound a lot. And our drummer is a huge Insect Warfare fan, but we’re not that harsh, hahaha.

Since you’ve released your album some weeks ago, do you already have plans to release something new this year or are you going to play live or something like that?

– This is a difficult question. We haven’t made any plans yet, but surely we’d like to release something more in the future. Due to lack of time (we all go to work etc.), and other bands we’re involved in (Möbius, Boiling Point), I don’t think it will happen very soon. Now we´re concentrating on a new Boiling Point s/t EP, which should be out in June, and because Analog Freaks are co-releasing that, we’ll have a lot of work to do.

Could you tell me why someone should buy one of the 100 tapes that have been created for this release?

– Well, I think we worked really hard on the tape. The tape looks kick-ass and the music is very solid. Everything was made by us or by our friends. The silk-screening, the sticker on the tape, spraying etc. So far, we’ve had only tons of positive reactions, which is great because it motivates us to do more things in the future. And it’s only ten minutes long so you won’t get bored easily.

Thank you for answering my questions! Tell me anything that you’d want to say here, in the end!

– Thank you very much for this interview. I really appreciate that someone from a country such as Sweden is exploring the music from non-attractive countries such as ours and is still interested. All the best with your website.

You can listen to their release down below. If you’re interested in buying, the cassette is limited to 100 copies, whereas 25 are white-painted (came with pre-ordering), 25 black-painted (the band’s copies) and 50 are transparent. Every tape is handmade, and silk-screened on heavy paper, which means quality. When you’ve made up your mind, you can contact Analog Freaks, to get your tape.