São os dois britânicos e comediantes. Eddie Izzard ,  com o seu look na série The Riches (2007 - 2008), poderia ser irmão do criador que...

São os dois britânicos e comediantes. Eddie Izzard, com o seu look na série The Riches (2007 - 2008), poderia ser irmão do criador que se estreia na série escrita por si, The Office, Ricky Gervais. Da carreira dos dois actores e argumentistas muitos projectos são criados sem descurar o humor naive e o absurdo.
Where there's a will - there's a relative! - Ricky Gervais

PUZZLE: EDDIE IZZARD e RICKY GERVAIS

Ideia e Montagem: Priscilla Fontoura
Puzzle: Eddie Izzard e Rickey Gervais

Vibrant sound textures and unpredictable compositions drew together two musicians from Halen in Belgium and together they created I...


Vibrant sound textures and unpredictable compositions drew together two musicians from Halen in Belgium and together they created Ikea Mutilation Manual. A band that revives the spirit of inventiveness and freshness that dominated the beginning of the 2000's permeated with bands that by meshing different and apparently contrasting genres created their own style and universe.

In Ikea Mutilation Manual the experimental meets melody and a cocktail of amusing genres, from jazzy freestyle riffing, to interludes of Primus-inspired improvisation, punk, metal and rock riffs meshed together and a whole healthy dose of sense of humor. 

Their latest record, Schizophrenia Schematic is the continuation of their previous sonic explorations from their two other albums, Anxiety Assembly (2017) and Construction of Compulsive Chagrin (2018) and still manages to excite and surprise the listener all through the 24 themes of the album. 

Ikea Mutilation Manual offers us eclectic and intrepid musical adventures with a little dash of sense of humor on the side. 

For the last record, I see it as a reflection of our modern times and how the borders between psychosis and reality are becoming ever thinner, with social media algorithms, tele-consumerism and the lurking fear of extinction, war, famine, poverty... always on the horizon.  


- Ikea Mutilation Manual is a rather unconventional name that adapts perfectly to your kind of sound. It has a lot of different sonic elements ranging from grindcore, to punk and metal, even some mathcore in a very free and experimental base. What common ground, be it personal or musical, do you guys share and how did the idea for the band arise?
Owen: Tom (who does bass and co-vocals for the band) and I met way back in high school, but ironically, we never really hung out until about five years after we graduated. We knew we were both into bands like Gwar and Mr. Bungle back then, and I had an obsession with grindcore around that time, so we picked up some stuff from looking at each other’s band shirts (Tom also bought a demo CD of a fastcore/grind band I was in back then). So, we kept track of each other, and I was forming another band in 2016 (a proggy project that I needed the right people for), so I asked Tom if he’d be interested in joining after he heard a demo for said band. We never got to fully forming that band, but he did have some parts he wanted to demo. A little after I had done some drums and guitars, he wanted to do vocals. That kind of caught me off guard, but the result ended up sounding like something that incorporated a lot of stuff that we couldn’t previously get away with in other bands. And the rest is history!. 

I think there’s a lot of shit that affects ordinary people, whatever race/gender identity/orientation/religious belief, and we feel that every day. There are reasons for why that is, and art has always been a way to mock the true people in power. Last time I checked, those people are still far right-leaning conservatives and lobbyists, in increasingly more parts of the world. Aggression is a big part of our music but it’s also directed towards justified targets, or used in a context where we want it to be ironic or funny.


- Just like in your previous albums, the artwork is a very nice collage of people’s faces, body parts or pieces from paintings. It’s captivating to look at in a way like “where’s wally?” to see if you can identify familiar faces or elements. It contains Skin from Skunk Anansie, HP Lovecraft, Asterix, a lot of eyeballs and the creature from the black lagoon so it’s quite an eclectic mix, much like your music. It’s like a cerebral but fluid patchwork of sounds, how important do you think is the role of experimentation in your art, be it visual or musical?
Owen: One of my favorite bands ever is Estradasphere, a group of multi-instrumentalists from Santa Cruz, California. They played dozens of genres and styles, juxtapositioned and suprapositioned in the songs, and I always loved the “aha!”-effect that that elicited as they were the first band I heard take that concept as far. We’re also both big Zappa, Beefheart, Zorn and Patton fans; they all did this kind of stuff and with good reason. So that’s an element we inductively put in the music. Visually we try to represent what the music sounds like. For the last record, I see it as a reflection of our modern times and how the borders between psychosis and reality are becoming ever thinner, with social media algorithms, tele-consumerism and the lurking fear of extinction, war, famine, poverty... always on the horizon. 

- You also have shorter songs than the famously shortest song in the world by Napalm Death that is 10 seconds long. Image 39 is only six seconds long. Grindcore seems to have a huge influence in your music, is it true? And if so, how does it reflect in your daily life? Some grindcore has a very political and social standing in some hard questions in our society, like the fight for animal rights or gender equality, do you identify yourselves with such struggles?
Owen: We both spent our later teens/early twenties sifting through one grindcore record after the next, and related genres like powerviolence, fast hardcore, deathgrind and more technical death metal stuff, so blastbeats just need to be in there for us. We think it channels aggression the best out of all drum patterns. As far as social issues are concerned, those are topics that have interested me for a very long time; I can’t see how to set them apart from all things in life. I think there’s a lot of shit that affects ordinary people, whatever race/gender identity/orientation/religious belief, and we feel that every day. There are reasons for why that is, and art has always been a way to mock the true people in power. Last time I checked, those people are still far right-leaning conservatives and lobbyists, in increasingly more parts of the world. Aggression is a big part of our music but it’s also directed towards justified targets, or used in a context where we want it to be ironic or funny. 

Vocals are usually the part where we really crack up while writing and recording; but the music also gets written in ways that it accommodates vocal ideas. We don’t take ourselves very seriously; at the same time we want to make authentic music where we can do whatever we feel like, and that sounds different with each record.


- In your latest record, Schizophrenia Schematic, there is one song, Image 36 that starts up with a whirlwind of chaos and aggression and then it splashes in a more humorous take on yodelling. How important is sense of humor in your music and daily lives?
Owen: I think we subconsciously got humor in there from the get-go, mostly because we like to laugh a lot to cope with shit (both of us struggle with depression and dysthymia). Doing the band is really therapeutic for us, coming together every week to write and practice, especially considering we also both work full-time now. Vocals are usually the part where we really crack up while writing and recording; but the music also gets written in ways that it accommodates vocal ideas. We don’t take ourselves very seriously; at the same time we want to make authentic music where we can do whatever we feel like, and that sounds different with each record. That’s where the yodelling came in. 

- Does Ikea Mutilation Manual entail killer furniture? Like that classic movie The Refrigerator from the 90’s, that features a demonic fridge that eats people?
Owen: For sure it does! Even Cronenberg’s “bone gun” is listed in our catalogue for direct order. Another example is the killer elevator from the Dutch horror film “De Lift”, the space jockey pilot seat from ‘Alien’, and so forth. 

- How do you envision a videoclip for one of your songs?
Owen: We actually have had ideas for one for a long time. We don’t want to spoil it, but you can expect it to be as silly and crazy as the music, if we get around doing it for this record.

- Do you have any will to tour and play shows all around or are you more focused on studio work?
Owen: This corner of Belgium is hard if you need musicians who can simultaneously handle the music on the guitars, and be humble enough to mesh with our personalities. We don’t appreciate people with massive ego’s, for instance. Finding a drummer would be even harder so if we do it, we’ll have to find someone for the guitars so I can focus on drums/vocals, and Tom on bass. We have tried to recruit people but have thus far failed to find someone who matches with us on all the right levels. Maybe one day; we definitely would love to play live and maybe do some short runs abroad. 


- You come from Halen in Belgium and in this record and previous ones you had collaborations in some songs by other musicians. How is the cultural and music underworld in Halen? And what can you tell us about the city itself?
Owen: Halen is kind of a small town; Sint-Truiden (which is where Tom is from) qualifies a bit more as a city, so does Diest, where we both went to high school. Belgium is kind of a modern Western country failing to modernize; music hypes kind of ride on the back of the rest of the world, people are pretty reserved around here (and at often times quite shallow?), etc. But we still have a lot to cherish, like Django Reinhardt, childhood memories, personal experiences and how you link that to specific places and times. There is some semblance of an underground scene here, but we’re kind of too weird/extreme to fit in properly. We’re also sort of bitter with how bands and scenes tend to work in this day and age; I rarely go to local shows anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but a lot of new music either sounds stale and overdone or just not very “riffy”, or not in the good way (to our ears, at least). Part of why we make this music is because no one else around here does exactly what we’d want to hear. So in order to be able to hear it, we have to do it ourselves. Other bands we’re in get a bit more recognition, but surprisingly less in Belgium than in countries like Germany. Maybe it’s because we’re not the most explicitly social dudes around and we really don’t care much about purposefully networking and stuff like that. We just want to make music, really. I wouldn’t say we’re assholes or anything though, we’re pretty laid back, cool guys who can talk to anyone about virtually anything. It’s just that we’d rather focus on creating stuff for now! 

- What bands/projects have you been listening recently and are really into?
Owen: The latest Car Bomb record has been on repeat for almost two months now for me; I’ve also been revisiting some Frank Zappa records lately. There’s also a new Cloudrat record which is pretty great, and I still can’t really wrap my head around the Atka (a German tech/grind/experimental band) full-length that came out earlier this year. I’ve also been doing a lot of production and mixing for different bands, so I try not to absorb too many new things while doing that, as to keep my ears clean and fresh. Sometimes I’ll reference another mix to get the production more listener-friendly, but I’ll rarely get deep into a record while doing that. 

- All songs from previous albums and in this recent one, are titled Images. Like sketches or frames of sonic madness. What was the concept behind it?
Owen: The idea was inspired by Fantômas, who used “Scenes”. We had no idea how to title the songs when we did our first record, so we thought Images were really fitting. We also like how people can interpret the music freely without having actual titles and lyrics. The plan is to do an album with actual titles next, so stay tuned for that one!

Text and Interview: Cláudia Zafre
Band: Ikea Mutilation Manual (Owen)
Images: Covers of Ikea Mutilation Manual Albums
ikeamutilationmanual.bandcamp

Workin' Moms é o play necessário após aqueles dias extenuantes preenchidos pelas tarefas e responsabilidades. Uma série imbuída ...



Workin' Moms é o play necessário após aqueles dias extenuantes preenchidos pelas tarefas e responsabilidades. Uma série imbuída de humor, escrita pela (também protagonista) Catherine Reiman. De episódio para episódio, a criadora fala, com conhecimento de causa, sobre a luta diária que uma mãe recente tem de enfrentar para sobreviver a tanta confusão. Catherine é também a porta-voz de muitas mulheres que lidam diariamente com as vicissitudes da vida. No entanto, não é por isso que esta série é exclusiva  e indicada apenas para o público-alvo feminino, é muito provável que muitos homens (pais) encontrem traços em comum e tenham vivido episódios semelhantes.

Cartaz Workin' Moms, (IMDB)

A série canadiana é construída à volta de quatro personagens principais: Catherine Reitman, Dani Kind, Juno Rinaldi, Jessalyn Wanlim e inicia-se com o término da licença de maternidade destas mães que anseiam voltar ao trabalho. Estas mulheres tentam adaptar-se à nova fase gerindo-a de uma maneira "neurótica" e cheia de humor. 

Workin' Moms foca-se essencialmente nestas amigas e mães que partilham  idiossincrasias ao longo de três temporadas. No episódio piloto Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim) está absolutamente determinada a furar o seu mamilo, convicta da sua vontade, pede às suas amigas, por quem está acompanhada, para furarem um dos seus mamilos nos lavabos de um bar. Jenny não quer saber se se encontra no período de amamentação, naquele episódio o principal foco é ter um mamilo ornamentado com um piercing. Na verdade, esta mãe está a tentar a adaptar-se à maternidade e a tentar lutar rebeldemente contra uma fase que rejeita. O enredo auto-destrutivo é muito real, esta mãe procura manter a sua identidade, enquanto lida com a depressão pós-parto, com uma crise de identidade, com as permanentes mudanças do corpo e com os desafios que uma amamentação requer. Esta cena resume o espírito de Workin 'Moms, uma comédia que navega e expõe as crises de identidade, as carreiras e colapsos das mães que tentam lidar com a odisseia da vida pós-parto. No universo paradoxal destas mulheres esses momentos são, ao mesmo tempo, sombrios, dignos de compaixão e hilariantes, e nós, espectadores, sentimos empatia. A maneira com que essas mulheres exprimem todos as ansiedades, que fazem, inevitavelmente, parte da própria existência, cria proximidade com os espectadores que se revêem em situações análogas.





Esta série envolve um enredo de mulheres que exprimem a parte de nós sobre a qual não queremos falar, a nossa vaidade, o nosso egoísmo, o nosso ego. Reitman escreveu a série porque não se via representada em nenhuma, todas as mulheres pareciam perfeitas. Para Reitman ser mãe recente engloba vários estados de espírito desde o mais surreal, hilariante ao mais deprimente. 
A autora teceu narrativas e tramas complexas que outras séries ou filmes normalmente escondem, como uma visão realista da arte e do aborrecimento de bombear (e despejar) seios com leite, questões de intimidade após o nascimento e preferências sexuais das mulheres. A série também não retém os momentos enlouquecidos das mães, como quando as mulheres acabam a "viajar" sob o efeito de drogas psicadélicas. 
Reitman pretende diversificar a narrativa com novos personagens que trazem perspectivas diferentes, mantendo o polido e representando todas as esferas da vida, de uma forma muito real e descomplexada. A quarta temporada de Workin' Moms está marcada para Fevereiro do próximo ano; quanto a nós resta-nos esperar para rir e chorar com elas.








Texto: Priscilla Fontoura
Série: Workin' Moms
Frames: Workin' Moms, de Catherine Reitman

Género: New-wave, post-punk, noise rock, psicadélico, punk Álbum: Please don't Call me Human Data de Lançamento: 7 de Dezembro,201...

Género: New-wave, post-punk, noise rock, psicadélico, punk
Álbum: Please don't Call me Human
Data de Lançamento: 7 de Dezembro,2019
Editora: Fiasko
penkowski.bandcamp


Guitarras frenéticas e viciantes aliadas a secções de ritmo pulverizadoras são apenas uma das bases para a construção dos 8 temas que compõe o mais recente trabalho da banda de Biel (Suíça), Penkowski. 

Este quarteto não se retrai de puxar da cartola algumas das suas influências mais marcadas, como um post-punk exuberante e maníaco reminiscente das bandas mais inventivas dos anos 80 e um new-wave carregado de urgência criativa. 

Os temas inteiramente cantados em inglês são carregados de líricas com um carácter surreal e intrigante, o que contribui em grande parte para a energia contagiante das melodias, não havendo temas soltos ou “fillers” num álbum que, apesar de trilhar os caminhos de géneros já mencionados, é refrescante e inventivo. 

Esta energia que perpassa em cada um dos temas não é fruto de um acaso, a banda tem-se mostrado mais do que competente em actuações ao vivo pela Suíça e em espaços de renome suíços como Spazio Morel, Horst Club e L’Usine, assim como em festivais como Ostfest e Festival de la Cité, consolidando ainda mais a sua base de fãs. 

O sentimento de se ser “outsider” ou “um peixe fora-de-água” é encapsulado na temática do álbum que gira à volta da existência num mundo que pode muitas vezes tornar-se alienante. Esse sentimento pode ser sentido em intensidade nos temas Soft Key e nos temas estruturalmente interessantes e quase experimentais, The legacy of Kim Jong II e Bare Branches.

É um disco extremamente refrescante, embora contenha algumas reminiscências do passado que provoca o corpo à dança e desafia a mente. Um trabalho essencial para fãs de ritmos mais ousados e querem sentir a nostalgia de bandas icónicas como Talking Heads ou Gang of Four.

                                                        - TRANSLATION - 


Genre: New-wave, post-punk, noise rock, psychedelic, punk
Record: Please don't call me human
Release: 7th December,2019
Label: Fiasko

Frenetic and addictive guitars allied to pulverizing rhythms section are just one of the foundations for the 8 themes that compose the latest release from Penkowski, a band from Biel (Switzerland). 

This quartet does not stray from pulling out of their hats some of their most marked influences, like an exuberant and manic post-punk reminiscent of the more inventive bands from the 80’s and a new-wave filled with creative urgency. 

The themes entirely sung in English are heavy with lyrics with an intriguing and surreal character that manages to contribute greatly to the contagious energy of the melodies. There are no “fillers” in an album that despite walking on the trails of the already mentioned music genres, manages to be refreshing and inventive. 

This energy that passes through each theme is not random, the band has been more than competent playing live all around Switzerland and in popular clubs like Spazio Morel, Horst Club and L’Usine as well as in festivals like Ostfest and Festival de la Cité, consolidating its fan base. 

The feeling of being an outsider or a “fish out of water” is encapsulated on the album’s thematic that is based around existing on a world that can sometimes become too alienating. That feeling can be felt intensely in themes such as Soft Key or the more than interesting and almost experimental songs, The legacy of Kim Jong II and Bare Branches

It’s a record that is extremely refreshing even though containing certain reminiscences from the past that incites the body to dance and challenges the mind at the same time. An essencial release for fans of bold rhythms and at the same time want to feel the nostalgy of iconic bands like Talking Heads or Gang of Four.

Texto: Cláudia Zafre

Art by Henri Rousseau A delicate web of sound layers is delicately placed within our minds. A cinematic sonic escape from the both...

Art by Henri Rousseau

A delicate web of sound layers is delicately placed within our minds. A cinematic sonic escape from the bothersome modern world with its constant needs for fast living. Landscapes built upon synths, natural sounds, field recordings and other instruments make the sonic world of Apoxupon a treasured refuge for those in need of instrumental bliss. 

Apoxupon comes from the mind and soul of musician Anthony Pandolfino. Based in Austin (Texas, USA) Anthony also runs the Mystic Timbre label that releases several artists from different countries and music genres. Apoxupon already has 3 records released and Anthony is keeping himself busy with a few other projects showing his prolific and also conscientious side for he is deeply committed to the music he makes and extremely involved in its subtexts, influences and inspirations, being able to reflect and explain intuitively his body of work. 

How the garden grows is Apoxupon’s latest release and is a mystical wondering through natural and pastoral paths that engages and entices the listener to a journey to another time and place.

- How did Apoxupon come to be? Have you played with other musicians in the past?
I've been writing and producing music for over 15 years, a little more than half my life. I played in a few bands as a teenager, but nothing serious. Most of my work has been as a solo artist. Since launching the Mystic Timbre label this past summer, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many other artists on mastering their music and designing artwork for their albums. It has been an incredibly enriching experience, and looks to continue progressing into the future as I become acquainted with more artists from all over the world in many different styles.

- Your name sounds quite melodic and like a play with words. Does the name hold a special meaning to you and is there a background story to it?
'Apoxupon' was chosen entirely due to the melodicism and playfulness. It is, as it seems, a reference to the Romeo & Juliet line "A pox on both your houses," uttered by the character Mercutio as he's dying. His final line, "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man," is exactly the sort of pun I'd like to be remembered for having as my final words, I think. It's a terribly tragicomic refrain; it captures, in words, the exact mood I was trying to convey with the earlier Apoxupon albums: the absurdity of life and death. 'Apox-upon' had a stronger sense of poetry when spoken aloud than 'Apox-on,' so I made that change in stylization.

I read some time ago that George Lucas chose the title THX 1138 for his first science fiction film due to its physical, visual aesthetic, and not for any significance or relevance of the sequence of letters and numbers. I've always had a fascination with that idea, the aesthetics of words and numerals removed from their semantic, linguistic meaning, and find the same sort of purely visual pleasure from 'APOXUPON.' There's an interesting symmetry to the word in print and text.

- You have released three albums so far: Impermanence Throne, Revived and How the Garden Grows. Listening to them in that sequence, we may be aware of a certain evolution in terms of the dynamic between “light” and “darkness”, like it’s a journey that starts off dark and ominous and culminates in a garden which is quite peaceful and filled with bliss. Is the trilogy meant to be listened as a whole or do you think more of them like separate albums?
There is something of a conceptual arc across the three Apoxupon albums that became intentional beginning with the second release, Revived. The arc traces the course of my personal philosophy towards life over the course of my age 20s. The first, Impermanence Throne, was made in 2014, when I was 23 years old, followed a few years later by Revived and concluding with How the Garden Grows, which I completed in Spring 2019, a few months before my 29th birthday. In that sense, they are separate, individual albums, each telling of a different point in a decade of one person's changing philosophy, and there is, as mentioned, a dramatic change in mood and timbre from the dark, depressive first to the bright, hopeful latest; but, when taken together, they inform a cohesive evolution in thought.

At 23, I was struggling to deal with the sorts of existential angst I think most people experience when first confronting the realities of adult life. I hadn't gone to college; I was toiling in obscurity; I was struggling to make ends meet financially, and things were generally not going my way. It felt like I would try and try without success in life and then someday die. That feeling of futility and hopelessness, that nothing ultimately matters, that life was all planting and tilling without any harvest or fruition, is what prompted the creation of Impermanence Throne. I poked a bit of fun at the thought of a young 23-year-old being so preoccupied with unfulfillment and inevitable death when I released Impermanence through Mystic Timbre this summer, by changing the title of the second track to Dirge for a Dying Boy. Musically, this morbid preoccupation is embodied in the doom and gloom of the album's atmosphere, and the funereal march of the tempo.

Revived was made at the end of that depression, as the fog lifted and I began to better understand and make peace with the circumstances of life and death. I was reading a lot of Albert Camus, and had become fascinated with absurdism. Now, I felt as though I would try and try in life and then someday die, and that was all I could ever ask for - the trying and trying was the fulfillment. How the Garden Grows was the culmination of that Sisyphean acceptance, the realization that life is abbreviated and incomplete, but full of wonder.

- In your first album, Impermanence Throne, you played the keyboards and added other sound elements to create atmosphere that is both mysterious and enchanting, especially in the theme Winged Seraph Covet. What were your main inspirations (be it in literature, music, films or other arts), to create this kind of mood and atmosphere?
There are a couple main inspirations in particular behind the atmosphere of Impermanence Throne, both musical and literary. The title of Winged Seraph Covet is derived from a stanza in the Edgar Allan Poe poem, Annabel Lee: "But we loved with a love that was more than love - I and my Annabel Lee - With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven - Coveted her and me." Poe was not the most refined poet, despite poetry being his true creative love, but he was able to convey a very delicate sense of loss and tragedy in his poems, and often conjured the sort of celestial images I felt exemplified the atmosphere of Impermanence. Two other tracks from the album, The Upper Spheres and The Veiled Ones, directly reference the opening stanza from another of Poe's poems, The Conqueror Worm: "An angel throng, bewinged, bedight - In veils, and drowned in tears - Sit in a theatre, to see - A play of hopes and fears - While the orchestra breathes fitfully - The music of the spheres."

The main distinguishing element of Impermanence's lo-fi production is the bitcrushing applied to the grand piano and synthesizer sounds. Bitcrushing is a digital effect that involves a reduction in a soundsource's sample rate and resolution. There is a lot of technical jargon needed to fully explain what that means, but let's let it suffice to say it is a process that reduces the fidelity of sound, or makes it uniquely lo-fi. Until modern data compression techniques and Blu-Ray were developed, video game soundtracks would have to be downsampled in much the same manner in order to fit on the limited storage space of the old compact and DVD discs, creating the 'retro' sounds we associate with games of previous generations. This effect was utilized in order to imitate the ethereal atmosphere of the soundtrack for the 2001 Playstation 2 horror game, Silent Hill 2, as it is heard in downsampled form when playing the game on its original disc and console. In addition to being influenced by that soundtrack's sound, Impermanence's sparse melodies are inspired by the simple, but evocative, lines from the piano-led themes on Akira Yamaoka's haunting score.

   Image by Anthony Pandolfino        



"I grew very fond of the process of putting an album together as I arranged all the material. I had some very talented friends in much the same situation I was, with hours and hours of great music sitting around that no one had heard before, so I had the urge to reach out to them and offer to release their music alongside mine. In total, there were 21 fully-formed albums when everything had been assembled. It was a pretty exhaustive process that took a little over a year of daily work, but we were finally able to launch the label this summer and release all 21 albums on tape and digital in 3 batches of 7 releases."

                                              
- You are from Austin in Texas and we noticed that the proceeds from your records go to two different charities. How is your relationship with social causes and how active are you in those and other causes?
I wish I could say I was more actively involved with these particular causes, but at the moment my contributions do not extend much further than the donation of proceeds from sales of music released on Mystic Timbre. I've felt a great deal of frustration at not being able to impact positive changes on a direct level, which recently prompted me to start attending college, with the goal being to eventually go to law school and become a public defender. While I am working on that, the donation of my label's proceeds will have to suffice for my public service. I can also hopefully help to spread the word about two great programs doing immensely important work:

The first, RAICES, is the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, headquartered in San Antonio, just south of where I live. They provide, as the name states, education and legal services for refugees and immigrants seeking to make it across the southern US border. This issue has become highly politicized under my country's current administration, which has made the work RAICES does more vital than ever. I believe the majority of immigrants and refugees are leaving their home countries as a result of the devastation caused by US economic and foreign policy, and so we have a special obligation to provide them sanctuary and asylum.

The second charity, LifeWorks, is based here in Austin. They work within the city to offer assistance and support to people suffering from poverty and homelessness. They emphasize support for youth suffering from these crises, by providing shelter and access to education for the children without anyone to provide those things for them, or whose wards do not have the means, but also work to support the other end of the spectrum of society's most vulnerable, by running shelters and food banks to provide sustenance to the city's rapidly increasing and aging adult homeless population.

Originally, it was not my intention to donate proceeds from the sales of other artists whose music I released, and do a more traditional split of tape profits with them instead, but so far it's been something everyone has either brought up to me or been immediately on board with when I mention it as an option, so it's been wonderful to see everyone inspired to contribute.

- Your label Mystic Timbre Tapes has released your work and the work of other musicians as well. What first motivated you to create Mystic Timbre?
I needed a way to release all the music I'd made over the years. There was a lot of it, and across a broad range of vastly different styles. It made more sense to do it as a label through which a multitude of aliases could release music than to try and individually operate all those different aliases. I grew very fond of the process of putting an album together as I arranged all the material. I had some very talented friends in much the same situation I was, with hours and hours of great music sitting around that no one had heard before, so I had the urge to reach out to them and offer to release their music alongside mine. In total, there were 21 fully-formed albums when everything had been assembled. It was a pretty exhaustive process that took a little over a year of daily work, but we were finally able to launch the label this summer and release all 21 albums on tape and digital in 3 batches of 7 releases.

Two of the other projects we released music from this summer, Seikai and Bigcats, are collaborations with my roommate, Samuel Groat. Sam is an amazing guitarist with a strong background in music theory, so he's been a very valuable musical partner, and has also made artwork for a few different Mystic Timbre releases. Additionally, we released three albums each from two friends of mine, Jordan Thomas/Exquisite Ghost from Winnipeg, Manitoba and Alex Cino/Pink and Yellow from New Orleans, Louisiana. I met Jordan and Alex about 13 years ago on an old internet forum called Musicianforums. Musicianforums was originally attached to a website for guitar tablature called MXTabs, a name that will be familiar to anyone who learned to play guitar in the 2000s in America. I don't think the forums are around anymore, but thankfully we've all kept in touch over the years.

Since releasing those 21 albums, I've had several people submit their own music to me to release through the label, and I've been able to make new acquaintances in the underground spheres of electronic and experimental music. That has definitely become the motivation to keep growing, the opportunities to work with so many people in so many genres. The first fruits of these new collaborations and acquaintances will be releasing in the coming months and into the new year.

Impermanence Throne by Anthony Pandolfino            


"The photos used for the Revived artwork were taken one night at a local state park, McKinney Falls, after I'd been there making field recordings. The limestone formations that constitute McKinney Falls were created hundreds of millions of years ago, when an ancient volcano, Pilot Knob, spewed lava all about the shallow sea that used to cover what is now the state of Texas. It had been raining earlier in the day, so water collected in the pockmarks in the limestone formed by those ancient eruptions, and they looked so mystically beautiful, these little moonlit pools of radiant cerulean glimmering in the black of night."

                                         
- Both Impermanence Throne and Revived have your own artwork and they adapt perfectly to the music. How is your relationship with photography and other visual arts?
It's a relationship that I am working on, to say the least. For Impermanence Throne and Revived, the artwork comes from photographs I've taken. I am not an exceptional photographer by any means, but for Impermanence, I had a strong concept in mind that didn't require any technical skill, and for Revived, well, the nighttime scenery and landscape did all the work - I only had to capture it on my cheap camera phone.

Adding to the irony of a 23-year-old making an album about how all things end, I used my girlfriend at the time as the model for the Impermanence cover photo. There may not be any irony to the fact the relationship ended not too long after the photo shoot. We wrapped her up in fabrics found at a craft store, had her hold a bouquet of fake flowers in her hands, and snapped the picture in our little apartment - nothing too extravagant. I applied various photo filters and effects to give her the appearance of some decaying granite statue.

The photos used for the Revived artwork were taken one night at a local state park, McKinney Falls, after I'd been there making field recordings. The limestone formations that constitute McKinney Falls were created hundreds of millions of years ago, when an ancient volcano, Pilot Knob, spewed lava all about the shallow sea that used to cover what is now the state of Texas. It had been raining earlier in the day, so water collected in the pockmarks in the limestone formed by those ancient eruptions, and they looked so mystically beautiful, these little moonlit pools of radiant cerulean glimmering in the black of night. The sky above was a pale blue that became a deep purple in perfect gradation, and the tiniest dot of a moon sat overhead, seeming a million miles further away than it usually was. Later that night, I wrote what would become the first movement of Not Dead Yet, the opening track on Revived.

"Musically, Garden is in the realm of Neoclassical, however the structures are much less progressive and more what you might call modern. I chose to rely on repetition to evoke a calmer and more meditative aspect. This resulted in the album sharing many characteristics with the dungeon synth genre, a style that plays simply structured ambient music of Medieval, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Romantic motifs with dark, atmospheric synthesizer sounds."


- Your music is extremely layered and in your latest release, How the Garden Grows, one feels the bliss, sense of mystery and peacefulness that is only felt amid nature. It’s classical and pastoral but has your own edge, your own modern take. Can you guide us a bit through the composition process?
The concept of How the Garden Grows was fully realized before I'd written the first note of music. I had already arranged my nature recordings into 6 sets, with the basic ideas of spring renewal, a moonlit forest, a fertile jungle, a chattering field full of insects, a soothing stream, and the chorus of night. I would improvise playing the harp sound you hear throughout the album with my keyboard for hours over the nature recordings, until I'd found the right melodies or chord progressions to form the songs. The next step was typically to find basslines with the acoustic double bass - the harp and bass form the heart of every track. From there, it was about adding dynamics and layers of additional orchestral instruments and synthesizer sounds to flesh the compositions out into songs.

Musically, Garden is in the realm of Neoclassical, however the structures are much less progressive and more what you might call modern. I chose to rely on repetition to evoke a calmer and more meditative aspect. This resulted in the album sharing many characteristics with the dungeon synth genre, a style that plays simply structured ambient music of Medieval, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Romantic motifs with dark, atmospheric synthesizer sounds.

Revived by Anthony Pandolfino


"The volcano molded this land, but now it must be flattened and have concrete poured on top of it, to accommodate the ever-growing human population. These natural features are what attracted people to locations in the first place, and eventually the natural features must be razed to make room for the people. Philosopher Timothy Morton uses a word typically used in coding and programming, 'concatenation,' to describe this interplay between 'hyperobjects' like nature and civilization, that each and every action by one has a direct, physical effect on the other — some immediate, some taking hundreds, thousands, or millions of years to develop."                                               

- Austin in Texas is a very populated metropole but it has quite a few rivers and lakes. Do you feel there is a dichotomy between the nature-inspired music you create and the place where you live or do they flow together?
Austin's most distinguishing natural feature is the Colorado River, which flows right through the center of downtown and serves as the division between the north and south sides of the city. The Colorado's decisive carving of the thoroughfare and concourse leading from the steps of the Texas State Capitol Building serves as the perfect analogy for the relationship between the city, nature, and myself and my creative work: it's not a dichotomy per se; there's no contrast, because they're all involved and influencing each other all at the same time, but they don't smoothly flow into one another — they abruptly interrupt. It's not a harmonious union, but there's a begrudging acceptance that each has to deal with the other's existence. The river cuts through the city center and carries on with its agenda to drain into the Gulf of Mexico, and the city and society move at breakneck speed around it, often only noticing it when a bridge needs to be crossed.

A good example of this tension would be the aforementioned McKinney Falls State Park, where I took all the field recordings heard on the second Seikai album, 17 September 1770, most of the field recordings for How the Garden Grows, and the photographs used for Revived. Being a short drive from my house, McKinney Falls is where I go when I need to be in nature, or want to capture its wondrous sights and sounds; yet, with each passing year, doing so becomes harder and harder. McKinney Falls is also just down the road from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, so it is almost always necessary for me to filter out the low rumble of airplanes passing overhead from field recordings. In other words, it requires digital manipulation in order to make the field recordings sound natural.

Lately, it's become difficult to find any section of the park where construction noises can't be heard. Once, the park was separate from the city — now, the city has surrounded the park. The area around the park is being heavily developed; they're even egregiously building apartment blocks on top of the hill that is all that's left of that ancient volcano, Pilot Knob, forever burying the great font which carved out the very physical features that literally created the landscape. The volcano molded this land, but now it must be flattened and have concrete poured on top of it, to accommodate the ever-growing human population. These natural features are what attracted people to locations in the first place, and eventually the natural features must be razed to make room for the people. Philosopher Timothy Morton uses a word typically used in coding and programming, 'concatenation,' to describe this interplay between 'hyperobjects' like nature and civilization, that each and every action by one has a direct, physical effect on the other — some immediate, some taking hundreds, thousands, or millions of years to develop.

It's easy to romanticize the times before industrialization, before humanity had extended its influence to cover every inch of the planet, before the Anthropocene. It's less easy to admit and understand I wouldn't be able to play harps with a keyboard, make field recordings with a portable sound recorder, ship cassettes all across the world, or answer wonderfully thoughtful questions for Portuguese music websites if it were not for those things. We have the ability to capture the natural world around us, in sound and image, and share it with others in a way never before imagined, and yet the very capturing and sharing threatens the livelihood of the natural world being captured and shared. Life, as we know it, is only possible because of the tension of the concatenation, not despite it. It is an undeniable aspect of the absurdity of modern life that we must accept every single action we take will have an effect on, and in turn be responded to by, nature, and vice versa; there are inevitably going to be actions taken which can be argued are necessary for the burgeoning population: homes must be built, food must be produced — these actions are a strain, to say the least, on the natural world that enables them. Clearly, there is a better and more sustainable way of living than humanity currently practices, and it would seem that way will have to involve a healthy merging of the natural and human worlds, as the latter has expanded far beyond its own bounds.

- What other releases or projects are you preparing, if you wish to divulge?
I try to keep busy, so there are quite literally a dozen or so projects and releases in the works at all times. We've just released Automata by Fencepost, an album arranged entirely from field recordings made at a now-closed Mechanical Music Museum in Northleach, UK. By the end of 2019, we'll have released two more albums: Optical Seclusion by Dvelop, and Mutiny by Selvedge. Optical Seclusion is a bass-heavy set of minimal synth beats; Mutiny is deconstructed club beats beneath walls of noise and woozy dub rhythms.

We've got a series of batches planned for the first quarter of 2020, with new releases each month: two albums of dark ambience in January, Grains by Andrulian and Pestis by R0; two garage punk records by Nashville outfit The Fionas in February; two albums of progressive electronics in March, including the fourth Seikai album, and Superbloom II by Brazilian sound designer Phantoms vs Fire; a trio of dungeon synth albums by Archana and Lost Tales in early April; and a post-metal/dark ambient hybrid-beast of an album by the enigmatic band Abhasa at the end of April. There are many things planned into the summer and beyond, but those aren't quite ready to be unveiled at the moment.

- Thank you!

And thank you! It's been a pleasure — and thank you to everyone who reads the interview and listens to, enjoys, and supports the music. Anyone should feel free to reach out or submit their own music (always looking for visual artists too) to mystictimbretapes@gmail.com — making new acquaintances around music and art is the most fulfilling part of running the label.

mystictimbre.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/MysticTimbre
instagram.com/mystictimbre
raicestexas.org
lifeworksaustin.org


Text/Interview: Cláudia Zafre 
Band: Apoxupon (Anthony Pandolfino)