From what kind of musical background are you coming from and how did you land into this scene?Gertrud Stein

By mistake? Out of protest? I used to do techno music up until 2008. At one point, I just got bored with the scene, for many reasons, but one being that I found it’s really depressing, because it’s all about party, party, party. It got a bit uninteresting, is that normal?

So after one particular night I just got an old tape, I can’t remember if it was The Joy Division or The Sisters of Mercy on a cassette and I listened to that and I was like wow this is great!

Then we had a band called “Fleisch am Frühstück” (Meat for Breakfast), which was kind of a punk band and when this band ended I was left with lots of unfinished tracks, which then started turning into new wave things after I did an anti Nouvelle Vague cover version of Tanze Samba Mit Mir, as a protest against Nouvelle Vague, that is an awful French band which is destroying New Wave who used to turn them into elevator music.

Back then I think you were still living in Switzerland up until around 2007 I believe?

Up until 2011.

Were you pretty much alone to play this type of music on the local scene?

Ha ha, it’s about the same now isn’t? Yeah, completely!

There was another guy that had a night that was called Disorder, who was occasionally playing New Wave kind of stuff but it was more mainstream things but I didn’t even know there was a scene for that kind of music when I started.

It’s a MySpace thing. It’s completely a MySpace thing. I just did that track, this anti Nouvelle Vague track, then I did a few others and I just threw them on MySpace out of fun, and I started adding people as friends, who’s hairstyles and haircuts were like ha ha ha ha, then suddenly one guy contacted me and was like “hey, I really like your music do you want to play at my festival?”, and this was my first gig, and it turned out I played with, I remember, I was opening up for Neon and Absolute Body Control. This was this other band called Velvet Condom and may be something else that I forgot but yeah it was quite a start…

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Posted on October 22nd, 2018 under Interviews,

How did you guys met and started making music together?

Ben: We meet in Berlin in front of a club. He just came to me and asked me: “Do you play any instrument?” And so we decided to meet each other the next days. Frasco was jamming with a lot of different people. First project he formed was “Rotten Western Kulture” or RWK with our friend AC.

Even if your music really speak to me and I love the sound of Deutsch vocals in music, I must admit that I don’t understand much of your lyrics. Can you tell us about the most recurring themes and topics in your songs?

Ben: We also perform one of Frascos songs in Italian by the way! ;-D But… I cant tell you one straight answer. Its about different things… some are more “SciFi” or even with funny content. Some are more questioning things or pointing at things like the last 2 big nuclear catastrophes, one is even political or an other one is about what we’re afraid about what the future society could turn into… so really a lot of different topics or nonsense.

Your music obviously brings punk aesthetics and feelings. Were you both into the punk scene before getting into electronic music?

Ben: I never considered myself as punk or anything… I was always interested in subcultures and liked to get around and meet different people. And in my teenager years I started to hang out in locations or punk/metal/Oi!/Ska/Rockabilly…etc concerts and in every “scene” which represents some kind of attitude without just being a fashion-trend, I can found something interesting for me. I like the subculture all in all.

Frasco: What I believe is “There is not Authority but Yourself”, the DIY way of the things, and create instead of destroy. What I consider Punk isn’t necessarily a band with bunch of spikes on the leather jacket or vomiting on the stage.

A rebellion as something that want to change to a better stage, because ideals and burning energy for let the things happens, not wait that someone will build something for you. This is my way of be and been Punk. The rest do not impress me, since mostly is a matter of appearance.

About the music it can consider Punk the way to play and express myself for an urgency that is unstoppable, and actually “Lust” is one of my favorite words..

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Posted on June 1st, 2014 under Interviews,

ZarkoffCan you tell us about the line ups of the projects you are involved in? Zarkoff is your solo project but who’s working with you in Popsimonova, FFFC, Sumerian Fleet and Kali Jugend?

With Popsimonova I take care of the mixing, occasionally write lyrics and/or develop some musical ideas. If we both feel that my participation as an author is significant for the song, then we sign it together so there’s no confusion. FFFC is a duo with my old friend Yas (Le Chocolat Noir), he made me discover so much great music throughout the years, still does. Then Sumerian Fleet, that’s Mr Pauli, Alden Tyrell and me, a long distance collaboration. I go to Holland once or twice a year to work on new stuff and it’s easy to overdub/record and exchange files these days so I can also do some work at my own studio, of course. Kali Jugend is the freshest project, I’d say the core of this one are Popsimonova, Petar Car (from noise band Smrt i Čekić) and me, but we also had some very important creative input from Mr Pauli, and the bassist from Croatian band Baden Baden, Goran Djurich. I’m also collaborating with an immensely talented singer Iva VIs. It’s a lot, but not overwhelming yet.

In addition to that I’m trying to make a living with mastering and mixing for other artists. I recently did mastering for new Legowelt album, Marquis Hawkes, Simoncino and some other Creme Organisation releases, so that’s the direction I’m trying to take. Touring is exhausting, studio work is easier, at least for me.

Are you now able to survive off this studio work? Do you feel like you can now focus and spend enough time in the studio?

Well I never made a cent from any of my releases, so I depend on mixing and mastering jobs and live shows. I can sustain myself, since I’m really not a big spender. There are dry periods without any income and it’s very hard to keep your concentration and composure when you don’t have enough money to pay your bills. But I can disconnect from reality when I have to work and just delay any anxious thoughts or emotional reactions for a while until the work is done. I’m not complaining, this is much better than a normal job, at least for me, that is. I spend quite a lot of time trying to get new jobs and gigs, and I’m really not very good at that, sometimes it’s very frustrating, I’d love to be able to replace those man hours with actual studio work. I’m determined to change this in the future by having someone else doing it for me.

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Noi KabatCan you tell us about your current line up and how did you guys started playing together?

Jonas: Well there have been a few developments only quite recently, unexpected, just prior to the show we did in Helsinki at Deadly Beat.

Dee: Owen left the band unexpectedly and for personal reasons and so myself and Jonas decided to honour the date in Finland and see how we stood with live as we have quite a few good commitments booked this year already. The show was well received and apart from the promoters I don’t think anybody could tell we were missing a member and had to scramble together a new show where half of the songs were written three days before.

Jonas: But be assured, whatever course it takes, myself and Dee and very much looking forward to the forth coming live dates and producing new material for the next series of vinyl releases. I see no reason why certain circumstances should affect our development and output as a band. I’ve been very encouraged by the quality of writing and the progression of new material.

Dee: That’s a point, a musician I talked to recently thought of me as just ‘the singer’, but I have learnt various instruments since an early age thanks to my conducter/horn soloist grandfather whom I owe a great debt to. I studied music exclusively at college and University. Just because I don’t want to play on stage doesn’t mean I couldn’t. Somehow I feel like it would take away something from the performance. I want to be free out there in the wilds.

Jonas: Regards how we met, it was basically through the cold/minimal/Industrial/80’s synth scene in and around East London, club nights like Divine Incest, Brave Exhibitions, Endurance, Reeperbahn. I guess we were brought together for a mutual love of this genre and the eventual desire to put a band together which was something that seemed to be lacking from the scene.

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Posted on February 20th, 2014 under Interviews,

Makina Boy (picture from Paul Langlade)

Here is the original French interview.

For how long have you been making music and with which kind of instrument did you first get in contact?

I’d say I always have played music. Actually, I began around the age of 11. My first instrument, the one I learned to play, was an electronic organ. A Farfisa, double keyboard + bass pedals.

During several years, I learned the basics of classical and jazz music. In an organ school, amongst gleaming and promising synthesizers (Jupiter 8, Juno, DX7), for which I still ignored the interest they will represent).

I remember I discovered at this time, through this instrument, essential / obvious “layers” of a composition: rhythms (pre-programmed in this case), bass (organ pedals) chords / arrangements (left hand), lead / melodies (right hand)…

Which artists have influenced your adolescence the most?

Without an hesitation, the one who impressed me the most, and in a durable way: David Bowie. “Station To Station” and the “Berliner Trilogy” (low / heroes / lodger) will remain forever etched in my memory.

Of course, many other revelations popped up in this period (especially via radio broadcasts, before starting to buy records): Roxy Music, Velvet Underground, Blondie, Talking Heads, Devo, Klaus Nomi, Kraftwerk, Moroder, The Cure, Siouxsie, PIL, Psychedelic Furs, Nina Hagen, Kate Bush, Shriekback, Simple Minds, Talk Talk, Tom Tom Club, Yello, YMO, and dozens of other…

I quote these rather well known names, who counted a lot for me, because back then, they could be heard on the radio (I do not know if the equivalent would still be possible).

The following of my approach with music(s) will then be based on “research” and exploration of more specific and less disseminated genres(Industrial Music, Italo-Disco, Ebm, New Wave, Cold Wave…)

But indeed, if I had to choose only one, it would probably be Bowie. He represented for me “The Artist” in all its dimensions: musical, visual, conceptual, evolutive…

Later I will be stuck with acts like Cabaret Voltaire, Neon Judgement, Severed Heads, Chris & Cosey, Death In June… to name a few.

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Posted on March 21st, 2013 under Interviews,