Monday, April 18, 2011

Interview - Institute of Paraphilia Studies

Interview - IOPS

 [PURESTENCH: Institute of Paraphilia Studies; why did you start this sub-label instead of releasing this material on Freak Animal? What are the qualities you look for in an artist that you are putting out on the label? Is the content as important as the sounds? ] 
-I did Grunt japan tour 3” compilation titled “Nihilistic Paraphilia” including Grunt, Nicole 12 and Clinic Of Torture. For long time I had plans for both, Hated Perversions and the series of one-sided 12”, or 7” or whatever on Freak Animal, focusing exclusively on sex-noise. Some invitations was made, and discussions had with like-minded people, but eventually most things changed.

I came to conclusion, that I don’t want to “flood market” with huge amount of noise releases what people feel “obligated” to buy, just because they might have been collecting releases of specific label. I wanted to start project from clean table, with minimal promotion where nobody would buy item because who made it, but because it appeared to be something they were interested. And what was not in hurry. People could buy whenever they find out about them or feel need to get them.
This has of course already changed. While first couple of years, nobody paid attention what was "IOPS" and probably majority didn't even notice tapes listed for sale in FA's distribution list. But especially after "Hated Perversions", things started to change when people started to intentionally buy and search for titles related to this label. Now when something comes out, I still don't really promote anything, and majority of items are available, yet the nature of label starts to change no matter if you like it or not.

Content surely is as important as sounds. Perhaps one could say that MORE important. Simply because there is plenty of good noise out there. And anyone can just paste on some cheap porn magazine clippings or internet downloads to make it appear nice. But how to make the content appear to be honest, real and done with passion? With some sort of real story behind it, what noise tries to capture. This is the tricky part. I don't want someone who was interested in something for a while. I want material that should be the type of stuff what HAD to be made. That even without this label, artist would have made pretty much the same thing. Or the idea what should be done, has been lurking in back of their heads with intense power. Without considering issues like audience, label, etc.

[PURESTENCH: Concerning your own personal projects which are on IOPS, like Silence of Vacuum or Clinic of Torture, do you work the material around the label before releasing it or the other way around, does the work just come and then you decide which label is most appropriate? ] 

-It's little bit of both. Some of the IOPS "exclusive projects" are something, that never meant to stand out as "real bands" so to say, and some of the stuff was originally not meant for "release", but turned out to be so. Their existence is based on bigger concept of IOPS. Material would exists because I have done it for myself, but it might get released when test of time has proved it is worth to be in ears of someone else too.

Perhaps one could say also that within this bigger concept, role of band is to remain smaller than long lasting "band". Preferably anonymous, preferably underlining the certain pornographic qualities. Where maker itself, might not be that important for listener. I have tried to blur the lines what are "bands", "artists" and what are not.

Most of things I do, don't necessarily make perfect sense why it should be done like this. It's most of all purely gut feeling what makes you do the choices.

Over 10 years ago, Clinic Of Torture material was recorded without any aim to release it. Same with Nicole 12. Original A-side of Playground material existed year before B-side was recorded. While few dozen copies of private edition CDR was sold, actual LP was released again more than year later. Each time there was no long term "plan" to do anything. It just eventually happened. Some of early IOPS tapes was material that existed, and it was simply released when time was right. Some of these "side projects" have been requested by other labels for a release, but most often I simply don't see any point treating them as "bands" what seek opportunities to sign on labels.

[PURESTENCH: IOPS is not tied down to simply releasing just audio. You have videos as well as books and now a "journal". Was this a goal to begin with? Do you feel it is important that the label is recognized as not just a record label? ] 

-Idea was not to have “just another label”, but it would kind of umbrella organization name for one single aim of sexualized & fetishized sound & art. Naturally high quality music would be essential part almost without exception, but the main focus would be in content and presentation and overall feeling. Instead of underlining importance of each individual project or its specific album, bigger picture would be in stronger role. Also aim is not to be exclusively sound, but also publish printed matter and video materials under same name.

And yes, I would hope that IOPS wouldn't be seen merely as "noise label", since even with very direct and strong links to noise scene, it's main importance is dealing with pornographic subject matter regardless is it exactly "PE" or "harsh noise".

For example the written & visual material hardly relates to noise directly. It has common theme, but this is perhaps most visible difference, where it is simply removing porn from its "commercial" form and adjusting it to rules of "art" if you may say so. I used to make magazines that were sold in sex shops around the country with circulation of few hundred copies, but in the end, it wasn't exactly the type of magazine I wanted to make. When you made magazine suitable to be sold at "sex shop", you made it under certain regulations. Photoseries, interviews, articles, short stories, etc. Hopefully big & thick enough to fit among the rest of magazines. Of course in was just about as "underground" as IOPS journal, but mentality was different. Simply set by network of distribution. My own favorite type of porn magazines are basically scandinavia in the 70's. Especially Denmark. One could say also some similar ones from UK of Holland. When magazine was A5, often 32 pages. Many had just one photo set, but more obscure ones were collections of all types of wild content (in standards of the time). Perhaps reader letters, perhaps some photos. Couple drawings. etc. One could always refer to Atomage for rubber mags. One could remind about publications like Erotique Grotesque. Or some of these one off magazines like Sexuelle Perversitäten In Text Und Fotos. Swedish magazine from 70's combining anything from Salvador Dali artwork to fags, bondage, corpses, hanged women, rubber fetish, cunt eating dog, etc. It has nothing "neat" on it. Lay-out is clumsy black&white print on glossy paper, with not that many pages. But it's brilliant. Much more so, than 100 pages B5 shining full color sex rag. But "market" for such magazines doesn't exists anymore. There is no sex shop visitors who'd come there for other than 5 euro bulk dvd's. They couldn't care less for 32 pages A5 b/w magazine. It can be only done in method when you simply don't care if it sells or not. You just do what you want, even if it means sex magazine sold totally outside porn distribution.

[PURESTENCH: How did you go about choosing the material for the DVDr's? I noticed that Nicole 12 has a live set that you split up and placed on two seperate collections. Why not put them together, was there a specific reason for this? ] 

-It is based on creating balance. Every song from those two japanese shows of N12 work individually, but as soon as you start to watch longer pieces, it becomes visually very dull. Sitting 30 minutes in front of screen, watching nothing really happening on stage, is entirely different compared to impact of 3-5 minutes. One could also ask why Bizarre Uproar material was dissected over 3 parts and not all put in one volume? And in deed, watching the fast still image stream blinking in front of you works just for certain amount of time. With too many similar pieces, it would start to lose impact.

With each volume, I merely wanted to find balance of studioclips & live clips, with variation of subject matter and the sound. Some of the future volumes might be different. There are videos that are so much longer, that in next parts (..assumedly #4, 5, 6) I would say some include nothing but one long video. In those cases, it makes no sense to cut it to parts and spread apart.

[PURESTENCH: What is the process of releasing material on IOPS like and how does it compare or differ from releasing material on Freak Animal? ] 

-Freak Animal's main idea is to release the best noise related recordings, and keep them available for decent prices, hopefully get them distributed around the world with the limited possibilities there are available. I just seek for material what is good for inspiring sound and also with strong spirit.
With IOPS, majority of material is released on formats that have allowed replication-on-demand. There are no editions of specific size and I have no goals of selling anything. Some titles have sold perhaps up to couple hundred. Others few dozens. Some of releases are more relevant, while others work on specific context only. Perhaps the changes will appear, when I work with formats that do not allow replication of demand. It is possible that image of IOPS being "tape label" will change and the other formats are much more likely to be pressed only once, for some specific amount.

Some of the material has been available soon for half decade, and I would say that's long enough and some titles are being deleted since I have no wish to stock all various lengths of blank tapes anymore.

[PURESTENCH: Do you create the artwork and packaging ideas yourself or does the artists? ] 

-It has been mostly myself, with input from artists. I have handled the technical side, while artists submit the materials. I don't look for specific universal look, except all the tapes has been the soft poly cases since beginning.

[PURESTENCH: Silence of Vacuum is very different from your other work, far more minimal and simplistic, making for a claustrophobic atmosphere which works in perfect harmony with the subject matter. What is the recording process like for Silence of Vacuum? What gear is used and is there a computer used in any of the 3 Silence of Vacuum releases? ] 

-There is no computer involved in the sound. Also, creation process for the tapes is, that they were all live recordings. In studio, but all was done live, without loops. Each tape has different sound source, but something, what makes the sound reflecting the stillness of moment when "nothing happens". It has meant to reflect the sound of suffocating gasmask/hood isolating you from the world. Sources may be as mundane as fan of car heater or turntable rotation (without records or needle used). 

With computer or loopers, it's very easy to go to route of creating bad minimalism. Where thing is that absolutely nothing happens. While in good minimalism, it may follow the less-is-more method: Finally when getting over the feeling that nothing is there, you will start to appreciate the subtle textures, since nothing is the same twice. Always subject to natural changes and interactions of sound, resonance and textures. With computer loop being just the same, it can be really just the same. To me process is important, not only end result.

[PURESTENCH: At the later end of last year you released two compilations each dealing with specific and explicit content. "Gender With No Purpose Other Than..." is about shemales and transgendered, and"Animal Bizarre" needs not to be explained. Before this your releases a compilation titled "The End For Simulation Of Pro-Creation". Did this V/A also have a specific paraphilia or idea being addressed like the other comps? Was this compilation easier to go about making since each band on it was your own?  ]

-It was a phrase, I once used in writing. Just message to someone else, when I tried to explain, that pornography is much much more than simulation of mammals copulating. Doing what they do when they attempt to breed. And the concept of tape, was to appreciate "The End For Simulation of Pro-creation" within pornography: Many of the practices and types of pornography, where it has hardly anything to do with "having sex", if one sees it in simplest form how most people understand sex or porn: Reduced to genital intercourse. Each project merely did what they do. And it gave already enough angles to topic. And diversity to sound.

[PURESTENCH: Speaking of compilations, how did "Hated Perversions" come about? Willfans ever see a Hated Perversions #2 as rumors had once stated? ] 

-I don't have any concrete plans, but if enough suitable material would be, why not? I'm not interested in bands picking up to most horrid things they can think of, but something more personal.

[PURESTENCH: What does Power Electronics/Industrial/Noise mean to you? What do you feel, see, hear when you create and listen to these genres? ] 

-I got involved when I was 15. And since then, there really isn't any "breaks" on listening or creating the material. So more than half of my life, this is what I do, and if it would mean just some simple things, as "violence", "brutality" or "sleaze" or such, one could say it simply wouldn't be enough!
To me it means everything. And by that, I mean noise has no borders on topic or status limited as "hobby" type behavior. It infects just about every moment of your life. It may be the predatory instincts and moment of abuse or random burst of masculine violence, but as much it may be romanticism, appreciation of beauty or feelings invoked by rural landscape. Where simply standing in a place, it's nearly impossible to not connect it with emotion similar evoked by "noise" of some type.

I know, this may sound pretentious, but this is how it goes. You just happen to lay on the ground next to frozen lake and think, damn these dry reeds make fantastic sound. And wish you had recorder. And perhaps later return. Or you walk around the city abroad, and while tourist would take photograph, you capture sound of construction field, broken ventilation fan, or something, with hand held recorder. May do something about it, or not.

So, to me, it really is about everything. And I don't connect "noise" to be merely some transgressions of dysfunctional kids from advanced rich countries. Even if such quality may be fine source of expression.
That noise I make, often connects with the subject matter that it does, simply tells something about me. Of course not some foolish ego diary, though.

[PURESTENCH: Sexual deviancy, perversion, violence and pornography have always been a huge influence in the world of Power Electronics and Noise respectively. Why do you think this is? ] 

-I think there are certain things, that culturally are bounded together. To me, majority of noise is solitary interest, which has very little to do social aspects. When you think, how many noise listeners know other noise listeners and engage into some sort of social behavior? It's very rare occasion of live gigs or occasional meeting and such. I haven't really heard much of cases, where people meet, spend time and listen noise together. In a same way, I don't hear much of "lets get some porn dvd's and see them together". Of course it happens, but probably not in same ways like rock'n'roll connects people or politics or art may connect people.

There is something dirty and obsessive in mentality of the guys, who collect series of all sorts of shit, what hardly interest anyone else. To how many you can say "I got the complete Filth & Violence discography" or "I got entire Slave Sex VHS collection"? You could say merely existence of internet has changed this, but otherwise it would be solitary obsessive collectors of "trophies" of some sort.
When you look at the behavior patterns of sexual predators, they often have extensive documentation. Or pathological need to collect, own, organize,.. etc. There are so many similarities in some catalogues of lowest interests - be it noise or porn. And in a way that you can't really explain why you NEED another tape of harsh fierce sonics, what sounds just like tape before. Same way you rarely can explain why you NEED another film, with exactly same content as film before, merely with little nuances setting them apart. 

I'm no expert in studying human behavior, but I wouldn't put this all into simple explanation of "following cliche" or "adjusting into scene routines". Of course there are some of that, but most guys who I know are the most passionate about something, they were in that way long before they knew about "noise" and they connected sex & noise without realizing "everybody" was doing it.

[PURESTENCH: What about projects outside of music. Your drawings, writing and photography have all been released in some form to the public. It seems as if you really invest a lot of effort into your artistic ideas. What are some of your other artistic outlets? Of which outlet do you feel is the best way for you to express yourself? Is Power Electronics a perfect form of expression for you? ]

-Power Electronics or whatever experimental sound, that is one of the things I personally do the best. I think part of my philosophy was explained in "Rather process than result" video clip originally shown in Grunt UK live shows in 2004, later released on IOPS dvd vol 2.
More driven by passion than skills, and more driven by process, and if with result, also then not really with any superficial ambitions. I do not have interest in becoming "professional" in something. I don't have the interest or patience to master skills to be among the highest of cultural elite. My motivation is just to do things that satisfy my own urges, while in world of art, they remain utterly meaningless gutter sleaze. And while I respect many of the groundbreaking and innovative artists, I feel deepest resent towards the foolishly self-righteous wannabe artists.

[PURESTENCH: What does the near future hold for the Institute of Paraphilia Studies? ] 

-More printed matter and video material. More sound releases when time is right.

[PURESTENCH: Thanks for doing this interview and if you have anything else to add feel free to do so. ]

-Thanks for interview, and those who feel they do have things to contribute or topics to discuss, get in touch.

1 comment:

  1. Very good interview. I love the passion and truth in all of his responses. No bullshit.