"MANY EUROPEANS SAY THEY LIKE HARSH AMERICAN NOISE BECAUSE IT HAS A DRIVE AND ATTITUDE DIFFERENT FROM THEIR OWN. TERRIFYING, FRANTIC AND INTOXICATING MUST WE ALL SEEM IN THE LAND OF UZIS, CRACK COCAINE, AND INSATIABLE SEXUAL LUST THAT POLITICIANS AND CHRISTIANS TRY TO DENY. THE EUROPEANS LOVE TO IMPORT SEXPLOITATION, CRIMINAL VIOLENCE, TERRORIST ANARCHY AND OTHER SUCH AMERICAN PRODUCED NOISE ITEMS THAT ARE CENSORED AT HOME. SKIN CRIME's NEW "WHOREBUTCHER" TAPE IN A BOX, IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF SUCH MATERIAL..."
(Joseph Roemer/MACRONYMPHA, "The Current State of American Noise", "Resound", USA, 1997)
This name is extreme: extreme torture abuse harsh noise meshed with a wide variety of frightening samples, feedbacks, distortions. You must be 21 when you'll heard it at first time. This name is Skin Crime, self-noise-constructivistical destruction of Patrick Oneil, experimental musician, power hot core of own projects named Skincrime and Hanged Man's Orgasm, chief of small American label Self Abuse Records. Welcome to harsh "whorebutcher"-world!
AT THE EDGE OF MADNESS
Fragments of correspondence with Patrick O'Neil
"ANCIENT LIFE WAS ALL SILENCE. IN THE 19th CENTURY, WITH THE INVENTION OF MACHINES, NOISE WAS BORN. TODAY, NOISE IS TRIUMPHANT AND REIGNS SOVEREIGN OVER THE SENSIBILITY OF MEN" (L.RUSSOLO)
As for when I first became interested in noise...hmmm lets see......I never had a big interest in music when I was younger, everything that was being played on the radio, or listened to by friends was very boring to me, all late '70's rock and roll, etc. I would here it and feel absolutly nothing, it was like eating some food that had no taste. Then, in the early '80s I got interested in some of the Punk scene at that time, bands like Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, minutemen, Husker du, etc. the first time I heard music like that, it was totally new to me, like what was missing in all of the music that I had heard up intill that point, but even still, something more was missing. So I continued listining to this music for a couple of years, as well as some more experemental stuff like early Sonic Youth, Swans, Foetus, Throbbing Gristle, etc. Lucky for me, where I lived I could get in a radio program (very bad reception though) that played different music one night a week. The first time I heard this, I was just amazed! I had never heard sounds like this before it was so new and so exciting to me. So, for the next months, I would just tape each weeks radio program, and listen to the cassettes during the week. The radio station was a small station broadcasting out of the University of Lowell, and alot of the unusual music was provided by RRRecords. Well, as soon as I discovered how to get to RRR, that opened up all kinds of new and different music to my ears. So, I would go down there whenever I could find a way ( I didn't have a car, so I would need to find somebody to drive me) and spend whatever money I had (usually very little) and get what I could. As I didn't know what most of the records there sounded like, I would often just buy something because it looked interesting, or I would ask Ron for a recomendation. This allowed me to discover all kinds of artists who I would probably never have been able to hear on my own. Back then (about 12-15 years ago) there where very little artists makeing Noise as we know it today, even the earlier Merzbow recordings where alot different then he is today. I listened to a large variety of work, but over the years my interest started heading towards the more harsh, Noisier material. I had done some recordings early on, very primitive, using mostly guitar, or editing together pieces of records onto cassette, and then playing around with the cassette in a broken tape player, none of which was very interesting. Then, I hadn't done anything for years, but had kept the interest, untill about 6 years ago or so when I decided to start recording again. The first new recordings where very primitive, as I had almost no equiptment to work with. Most of the sounds where created just by experementing with different things, seeing what kinds of sounds I could create, and what I could do with them. As I learned more, I discovered different ways to produce sounds, and how best to record them. I constanty try and come up with new ways of makeing sound, so there is always something new when I record, and this keeps me interested in what I'm doing. I have been just overwelmed by the day to day activities in my life. As you know, I do everything at Self Abuse myself, so sometimes my workload becomes almost to much to bear. Especially lately, it's been hard to get my mind in the proper frame of mind to concentrate on the needed tasks. As with everything in life, there are always constant problems, and tasks involved with getting anything done.
You had asked in your earlier letter some of the techniques that I use to make sound, I've used many different ways for makeing sound, and I try to change what I use, so there is more variety, and it keeps things sounding new for me. I use alot of electronics, and various effect pedals for guitars, which I use to change, and manipulate the sound. Lately I've been more interested in adding physical sounds, so I've added things like Metal objects that have been miked up. Anything that makes a sound I find interesting I will use, Recording , I'll mix in anything, distorted radio broadcasts, broken tape recorders/record players, earlier recordings choped up and altered. Live, I don't have as much controll as I do in the studio. For the upcoming shows, I will be using various electronics, which I have altered the signal, so it runs through itself, and feedsback, which I then manipulate with various effects, plus a Metal can, which is filled with nails, glass, rocks, etc, and highly distorted, and a modified spring-reverb which I took out of an old amplifier that I process sound from. I'm sorry, it's hard for me to explain in words what I do...
The past few months have been sometimes difficult for me, with numerous delays, problems, and setbacks, sometimes it becomes hard to remain focused on your true goals. But, I have been doing this for some years now, and as Self Abuse grows, so does the amount of time I must spend on things. Plus, I've had some personall difficulties in the past month, nothing terrible, but it has made it more difficult to keep my mind focused on things. I've taken a look back at things, and will be makeing some changes in the future. For example, as much as I enjoy the 7" record format, the cost to manufacture them is very high, and interest has declined over the years. Even though there is an increased interest in Noise, and different musics, there are also many more lables releasing things, and more available then there ever was before. People seem more interested in purchesing CD's then any other format, so I've had a harder time selling my 7" record releases now then in the past. So, I've decided to concentrate more on releasing CD's in the future, although I will never fully stop releasing Records, because I enjoy Vinyl so much more. I've had some financial trouble also this past year, due to things costing more then originally planned, but even If I don't think I can make money back, I still go ahead and release things, I've lost money on some of my past releases, but that doesn't matter to me, for me it's just the love for the Music, and the desire to help out Artists whos work I enjoy, and care about that matters to me. I don't care at all about the money, only in that I need it to continue to release new projects. It makes me very happy to hear from People like you, who enjoy and are inspired by what I am doing. This is what makes me continue to do so.
As for news from Self Abuse, the Biggest news right now, is that in a few days (June 1st) I will be flying out to California, along with Emil Beaulieau to play some live shows. I'm very much looking forward to this, as I will be able to meet with a lot of people that I've corrisponded with, plus see some friends again. We will be playing with The Haters for our first show, so I'm very much looking forward to talking with GX again. It will also be interesting, because I will be performing with a different person then I normally do. Most Skin Crime recordings are done by me solo, but I usually perform live with another member, sometimes more. The person who normally plays live with me is unable to go, so my friend Scott, who also releases noise under the name "Japanese Torture Comedy Hour" will be joining me as a member of Skin Crime. It will be very interesting, as we have not had much time to practice together (only once!). So it will be very new for both of us. I enjoy his sounds, and it will be very interesting, and creativly stimulating to play with him, because I will be inspired by what he is doing live, so my sound will reflect that. I will also be using slighly different equiptment then I normally use, so that will cause me to be more creative, I hope.
I've always wanted to go overseas, especially to Japan, but finding the time, and the money has always been prohibitive. I really would like to visit Japan, something I've always wanted to do even when I was really young. I've always had a facination with the Japanese Culture, long before I got interested in Experemental music, which brought me into contact with people over there, but I've always had an interest in there old culture, and hope to be able to still see some of it that has not been taken over by the New. I'm more interested in visiting some of the old temples and countryside, then the modern City.
Things with Self Abuse have been extremly busy. I had many problems earlier in the year, with delays for some projects. But finaly, everything was fixed, and I've had many releases to catch up on. This has made me very busy the past few months, with so many new things coming out all at once. Now, I'm almost caught up with everything, and I hope that everything will run more smoothly for the future. Unfortunatly, since I had so many problems earlier, and did not release anything for some months, that has slowed down my income. Hopefully I will start receiving money for some of the new releases soon, and I can use that to pay for the ones I'm working on now. Plus, it's just so much work for me to do with everything. Luckly, my girlfriend helps out some, with assembling the records, but everything else still takes up all of my time. In the next few months though, I wish to concentrate more on recording my own material, as Skin Crime.
What you said in your letter, "I think most people on the West most think about their own life comfort, stupid amusements and stomaches, not about head, soul, emotions, thoughts, comprehension, discover all these things' secrets", is so true. My friend Koji Tano/MSBR said something very close to that recently, he was talking about how busy he was with work, and how he wasn't able to get much work done. He said that Japanese buisness Men are crazy, and that they've compleately forgotten about all that was important. He's very frustrated that his job, which doesn't mean anything to him, keeps him away from his Music, which is everything to him. I hope someday to be able to just do Self Abuse Records, and not have to worry about working another job, to support myself.
To me, the most important thing about what I am doing, is all of the wonderfull people that I have come into contact with all over the world.
you very much for your words about the "monster" 7". Funny, untill you mentioned
it, I never placed that you live in the same area that Chikatilo was from! The
name Rostov-on-Don sounded familier, but I had never connected them, even when
I was working on the 7", and went back, and re-read some books about him. But,
I am so bad with geography and such, that I seldom remember where places are.
I'm glad that you found it a fitting sound to go with Chikatilo's thoughts,
I tried to put that feeling of building madness into my recording, and that
somebody who is familier with things thought that it worked makes me very happy.
It must have been very strange being around at that time, was there much suspicion
and knowledge about what was going on? where you aware of the murders before
he was caught?
I've been interested for many years now in studying murderers. To me what I find interesting is not what, and how they did things, but why. What caused them to go this far, especially with somebody who feels compeled to do so over and over again. I'm very interested in human psychology, and to me, this is one of the most extreme forms of madness, because for the most part, the person can go throughout there everyday life and be completly normal, but something builds and builds up inside
them, and this is the only way they can get a release from it. Other then when they commit there acts of violence, for the most part they manage to go through a normal life. Some killers have control of themselves when they do these acts, but many, and I believe in Chikatilo's case, have any control over what they do. It's almost like a physical need, like hunger, if you go without food long enough, your body will almost take over with it's need, and you will eat something that normaly would disgust you.
I had been thinking of doing a series of related 7"s for some time, but it was just an idea in the back of my head, I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do. The whole idea of the Case History series came about in august of 1996, when I went to new york to perform with Atrax Morgue, Deathpile, and Bloodyminded. The evening before the performance, we spent the entire night talking, and one of the subjects dealt with murder. All of these people have a strong interest in the subject, and I decided that it would be interesting to do a series of 7"s based upon them. So, I invited each of them, as well as some other artists that I knew had a similer interest to do a 7". Most of the artists invited I knew had a similer interest, and I thought would be able to do a good job with it. In the case with Crawl Unit, I had been in contact with him for some years, and it wasn't untill last June, when I visited him in California, that I realized he was also interested. He has never used such themes in any of his work, but he had a large collection of books on the subject, so after talking with him, I knew right away that he would do a good job, and in fact, his 7" is one of my favorite's in the series. I personaly chose Chikatilo because to me, he was very facinating, with his early life, and how his madness built up to the point that it did. I chose the title "monster" for the 7", because you can almost look at somebody like him as a mythological monster, like a vampire, or a werewolf, coming out at night to prey on somebody, then dissapearing again, with no trace. It was people like this that probably where the basis for these legends in the first place hundreds of years ago.
I've used Voice in my recordings occasionaly in the past, but for the most part, I prefer other sounds. I don't have any specific principles with what sounds I use, I like to experement with different types of sounds, and If I think something would work, I'll use it. Everything around me is an inspiration to what I do, and I usually don't put any meaning into my work, I leave it up to the listener to interprit as they wish.
COUNTER-CULTURE LITERATURE / ULTRA-RADICAL ACTIVITY
I've never read much by Peter Sotos, just a few short writings he's done. I didn't find what I had read that interesting to me, so I've never looked into longer works by his. I'm more interested in real events, real killers, etc. I think I've read Apocalypse culture, but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember. I believe that it was mostly interviews/articles about different people working outside of the mainstream culture, artists, musicians, religion, or just people with different (and usually extreme). However, I don't remember to many details, as I've ready many books since then, and after a while, it all sort of blends together, and I have trouble remembering where each writing came from. I've read some issues of the original "Answer Me" Magazine, but I haven't read the full collected version. I found most of it interesting, but not all. To me, alot of the writing in Answer Me (and the Sotos material that I have read), it seems as if they are takeing such an extreme viewpoint because it is so apart from what people like to think as the "correct" view point, not because they actually believe everything that they say. For example, it's like yelling "hail Satan" at a christian priest, just to insult/anger him, not because you believe in Satan. This has been done many times in the past, alot of early Noise artists in England would use Nazi Imagery just for shock/anger value, not out of real beliefs. I hope you understand my points, it's not easy for me to explain them exactly. It's pretty easy to get these books here...
Igor Vaganov vs. Patrick O'Neil
SELF ABUSE' WEB PAGE: http://www.mv.com/ipusers/selfabuse
Genital Modification (tape)
Electroshock Treatment (7" EP, Self Abuse)
V/A: Soundtrack for the End of the World (CD, Self Abuse)
V/A: Sweet Music (tape)
V/A: It's a Free Country: Americanoise (tape)
(HANGED MAN'S ORGASM):
(EP, self Abuse)
V/A: Music Should Hurt (CD, Self Abuse)
V/A: Sweet Music (tape)
CONTACT: SELF ABUSE RECORDS, 13 ACADEMY ST., CONCORD, NH, 03301 USA
SOUNDTRACK FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
"Где бы мы ни находились, то, что мы в основном слышим, - это шум, - писал в 1937 г. в своей знаменитой работе "Face the Music" американский композитор Джон Кэйдж (John Cage). - Если мы его игнорируем, он нас раздражает. Но если к нему прислушаться, можно найти это любопытным. Звук грузовика на скорости 50 миль в час. Радиопомехи. Дождь. Мы хотим завладеть и управлять шумами, чтобы использовать их не как звуковые эффекты, но как музыкальные средства... Если слово "музыка" сакрально и принадлежит инструментам XVIII и XIX веков, мы можем заменить его более осмысленным термином: организация звука".
Таким образом, с организации звука я бы и хотел представить компиляцию "Soundtrack for the End of the World", вышедшую на небольшом американском лэйбле Self Abuse Records с 12 убойными трэками интер-альянса последней волны архитектурного конструктивизма в области современного хаоса и нойза. Я всегда полагал, что шумовая агрессия ближе всех постмодеринстких направлений стоит сегодня к корням ритуальной музыки и войне через современную технологию и ее инновационные прорывы в мир музыкального мышления, чему "звуковая дорожка конца мира" служит бесспорным подтверждением. Прекрасный гид по современной индустриальной психоделии - от free-импровизации, всевозможных звуковых сюрпризов и сумасшедших коллажей до головокружительных радикально-сонирующих упражнений, фантазии и явной какофонией - работа представляет собой духовное единство, общий фундамент звука как эксперимента, философии, музыки и ритуала. От британцев Con-Dom, известного швейцарского дуэта Runzeistirn & Gurgtestock, Native X из Амстердама и сокрушительных американских экстремистов Thomas Dimuzio, жестких бесчувственных Skin Crime, социаккустического самоубийства ультра-правых Macronympha до широко представленных японских радикалов Aube, Violent Onsen Geisha, S*core и Diesel Guitar, активный разрушительный нерв сборника являет нам потрясающее воображение путешествие по различным областям нынешних звуковых ритуалов и может быть рекомендован лишь для самых стойких, проверенных в боях нервных систем, не зацикленных на клаустрофобии, готовых к неожиданностям и способных постичь невозможное. Пожалуй, нойз сегодня является самой экстремальной частью звукового мира, и с сокрушительной изысканностью данный "Саундтрэк..." нас лишь убеждает в этом.