Wednesday, June 28, 2017

interview: hans johm of antlers mulm

here is an email interview i conducted with another persona whom i hold in highest regard as a musical genius, an intriguingly unique artist, and a friendly presence. antlers mulm is a project from leipzig, cherished by admirers of new wave and electronica. after 15 prolific years, it's still a relatively 'well kept secret' of those lucky to know it. some of his albums are on bandcamp. check them out if you already haven't and enjoy hans johm's answers which are just like his music - illuminating, concise and crystal clear.

i discovered your music through industrial music websites. it seems industrial scene is where your fan base is. and yet, antlers mulm's style is so gentle that it 'demilitarizes' the industrial genre. any thoughts on that?

i guess it’s a story about distribution and promotion, the channels who make the music “visible”.  the “big” mags doesn’t take any notice on the demos i sent. the “underground”/indie/industrial mags did.  if i could choose, i would like to know my music appearing on wine related blogs and spread in utopian society science circles.

your previous label sonderübertragung! is one of those labels with a very strong and recognizable style. most material on sonderübertragung! sounds, looks and feels homogeneous, like it could have been made 'in the same kitchen', or generated by the same initial spark of inspiration. so i wonder, what is for you 'a piece of work'? is it a single song, or a full album, a band's oeuvre, a band's identity or perhaps the whole label as an entity, gesamtkunstwerk?

a very difficult question, but very easy to answer. everytime i was following my taste. i always knew what is possible to appear on SUE! and what is not. i love to make things look and sound the right way. for me. it is like a light you see before you – you’ve just to follow. the difficult part is if one could call such a ego/taste-based complex a “gesamtkunstwerk”. the hardest thing for me was to hurt nobody who was involved because of my despotism in general concerning to the label. and i know i did.

when i discovered your musical universe, it struck me how closed it seemed. today it's rare to find a band who doesn't strive to spread its music to other labels, and prefers to stay on its own private continent of diy releases. what is the reason for this reluctance to spread?

it’s not easy to like other people in general. and i don’t like to make agreements and such things. i feel heavily disturbed by having “contact“ and such things. i like to watch plants growing . e mailing and all this technical stuff is very hard for me, very unsatisfying. so it is a better way for me to make covers/artwork by myself, also the cutting and folding. ...but the last a.m.-album was also released on a lithuanian label (autarkeia) and it was a good experience to me.

this self-sufficient policy also reflects in your music. antlers mulm is very focused on your calm style, and although each new album brings surprising new developments, you never stray away from your trademark palette. it feels blissfully self-contained in there, as in a musical womb. do you think you are in any way limited by the confines of your deliberate style, or you revel in freedom to explore it endlessly?

the thing you describe, the style, is something you can see/hear from outside. i just act. and so i embrace your picture of the “musical womb”.

for me the most mysterious thing about your songs is your ambivalent voice. at the same time it sounds passive [like voices of the deceased in philip k. dick's 'ubik' who are quietly uttering the words of spirit] or suggestive [as a voice of hypnotist]. are they addressing someone aloud, or are they the voice of your inner monologue? if they are an introvert's monologue, in what relation to the listener do you regard them?

i speak to you. sometimes i have the feeling to have to explain a situation to the others. sometimes i just want to tell something. but i speak to you, to you who listens. who is able to listen. that’s all.

i'll give you another impression of your voice: although it sounds intimate, it lacks any aggression. in that regard your meditations seem quite buddhist, ego doesn't manifest there, to the extent that it even seems impersonal. impersonal intimacy, now there is a paradox! i wonder, do you ever privately raise your voice?

i hardly do. but sometimes it has to be. for instance while a band is playing and i want to say something to my companion. all other possibilities i want to leave out of account here. ...i love cats and birds...

the music surrounding, as a scenery around your voice, sounds quite hermetic - no big spatial effects nor delays, opened filters nor sweeping phasers; it's got a dry, close sound. it amplifies the sense that you turned yourself inside out - we are inside the narrator. i wonder, how open are you to the influences of surrounding? do you sing about the world at all, or is it just soul interior?

i guess it is a reflection. the pictures and sounds around are in constant change. sometimes i need to arrange, regulate and organize things, otherwise i would explode or just disappear. not a big thing, but necessary.

and a question to finish this inner interrogation: i think that no matter how introvert, private, buddhist or escapist one's work may be, it always has a political potential [in broadest sense]. would you agree?

100%. everything one does or not does – it has a political dimension.

i was positively shocked when i found out about your involvement in boytronic, a band in many ways opposite of introvert - party music for clubs. and i was surprised to hear that 'dependence' album sounded more like antlers mulm [or rather beachhead] than boytronic. as a huge fan of boytronic, i am curious - what was the point of aesthetic connection between you two, and how did holger open up his 'romantic clubbing' band to a whole different style?

it all started with a boytronic interview for the taucher mag. holger asked me what i do beyond interviewing people. he suggested to do some music together, beachhead was born. i invested a lot of time and worked countless hours on both the beachhead release and the boytronic cd. beachhead was “o.k.” – i remember the endless recording of holger’s voice... but the “dependence” release was  a complete waste of time. the only true boytronic song “little italian feeling” was not written by me. there was one more song, that was also not. all other material, text, music based on my sleepless nights thoughts. once i moved away from berlin it was taken by thirds and drained into the abyss of insignificance. this process was called “producing”. i’ve got 5 cd’s for all the work. big business...

recognizable sign of antlers mulm is the ingenious simplicity. are those astonishingly simple arrangements the result of reduction, i.e. stripping down the fuller arrangement, or is it that you just insist on keeping them simple from the beginning?

it is a kind of arrangement i prefer. and it is always the result of reduction/selection.

which musical instrument would you bring to the desert island [or a hermetic cabin]?



Saturday, July 16, 2016

angst pop krank pop dj set by nitkov

this is not a flexipunk event, but last night as nitkov i played a specialist dj set of angst pop / krank pop / proto and atavistic industrial, in matrijaršija [zemun] on a ni ljudi ni muzike's party. these are the played tracks, piled up here just in alphabetical order, so rearrange and mix them yourself in your head:

74 00 - programozott szatír (dub mix) (4:10)
ambulanta - pismo (2:09)
ame de boue - la ronde des masques (2:14)
antitelo - horizon (2:50)
asss - clean up (2:20)
atrax morgue - sexual object (5:27)
bm - typist woman (4:45)
cinéma vérité - koma zum einkaufspreis (3:27)
cinéma vérité - lebend ist noch niemand davon gekommen (4:13)
club moral - nazis of the night (3:48)
das kombinat - chemozombie (6:30)
das kombinat - ganz in weiss (2:46)
drama! - a tébolyult munkások hada (2:34)
einstürzende neubauten - a1 tanz debil (3:18)
enema syringe - en krullig mongoloid (6:14)
esplendor geometrico - blanco de fuerza ii (3:37)
etat brut - instant i (1:13)
etat brut - marche (1) (0:56)
eva-johanna reichstag - zoophilic lolita (6:12)
felix kubin - brandstiftung (1:36)
g.k. agenda - the insect collector (2:58)
ganzha - not a mental program (5:06)
mrtvo meso (mijesano) (3:57)
harmonija haosa - destilacija vernosti 2000 (3:53)
haus arafna - anatomy of a murder (4:05)
haus arafna - mirror me (3:43)
haus arafna - today you died [did you know who i am] (4:12)
hessen ganz groß! unter der achsel (2:16)
ho. turner - om-beat (side b) (4:32)
intensive care unit - i.c.u. (3:54)
inex tremis - kukuxklan (1:35)
interaccion - esta vacio tu corazon (4:24)
jadost - anarhija (1:31)
kh'lulu - winter putridity 4 (5:34)
kirlian camera - minitech (5:08)
lfa - absolute blue (3:37)
m ax noi mach - charlenni's father (4:52)
maska genetik - ernste stunde (4:02)
merzdow shek - untitled (2:21)
musickwreckers - trojaner (4:21)
narrow - dance (1:17)
narrow - inbetween islam - horsefoot (5:13)
narrow - the dynamic age (3:57)
obiekt/urian - the price we have to pay (4:37)
porno-graf - dr. black (4:02)
pre-mono-tonic - monotony (1982) (2:15)
puce mary - success (4:00)
s. english - fugitive (3:09)
scorpion violente - ich kann nicht (3:37)
skinny puppy - church (3:16)
subliminal - gracebudd (3:24)
thorofon - uhf-disco (3:33)
throbbing gristle - what a day (4:36)
új látásmód fúzió - egyedül létezel (1:56)
umrijeti za strojem - jednostavno (2:50)
v.s.k.b. - konduktors (3:14)
weltklang - veb heimat (2:25)

+ definitely some more stuff, spk and the likes...
+ a short unexpected live act on synth and drums by an unknown entity...
thanks to all who participated, one way or another.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

froe char, verhalten, shaan, live @ flexipunk

subota 18 jun 2016
klub "petak", lomina 14
flexipunk specijal: modern tapes etiketa, mutanti na plesnom podijumu.

froe char [cold synth wave, pariz]
verhalten [minimal industrial, chicago]
shaan [experimental, pančevo]
nitkov pušta sint mutant pop

mutacijom shoegaze-a, dark wave-a i tehna nastaje jedinstveni hibrid FROE CHAR. glas dalek a blizak, kao neon iza magle. u centru ove difuzne amebe je čvrsti tehnoidni ritam, koji pulsira i u njenom projektu ILLUSTRATION SONORE. album FOSSILS se redovno vrteo po evropskim dark wave podijumima i podrumima. ojačana modularnim sintisajzerom, očekujemo da će amplitude mutacija FROE CHAR biti još veće i duže nego do sad.

iza ovog imena stoji patrick scott, poznat i po projektu UNUR. VERHALTEN je atmosferičan koliko i dinamičan. distorzirani sintisajzeri sa primesom tehna donose zvuk bliske budućnosti - šapate i krike umirućih mašina sa dehumanizovane post nuklearne vetrometine.

iz post industrijske kataklizme zvane pančevo ustaje mladi mutant, obojen rđom, opečen kiselinom, obrastao bršljenom. stoga prognoziramo psihodelični proto industrial techno mada su improvizacije na gruvboksu nepredvidive koliko i genetske mutacije.

ulaz 250 din.
fb event

Thursday, November 19, 2015

interview with ½

after 6 prolific years as umrijeti za strojem, ½, split personalities and many other aliases, ivan antunović, europe’s biggest „one man scene“, decides to cut all schizophrenic activities and merge all his projects into a new identity, under name of iv/an. this interview is conducted only few hours before his final concert as ½, to be held on a flexipunk party in belgrade. let’s hear the final thoughts of this conceptual synth kamikaze, soon to be resurrected in fresh guise!

in this interview, i’d like to address all your aliases which will come to an end with your fusion into iv/an. so, first of all, can you tell me how many personalities am i talking to? can you give us a brief walkthrough for the peculiarities of these personalities?

i am a split personality (so am i). a walkthrough may not be that brief though, it’s been years now and somehow the music speaks on behalf of these peculiarities. everything else is pleasant episodes -  exploring, adapting, re-interpreting and to some extent even exploiting self. time to move on now. not much is changing musically, but more like coming to terms with as a whole. i guess, i’m finally growing up... or am i?

one aspect of your work i find to be in common with all your projects since narrow, is your will to speak up for the oppressed. some examples that come to mind are refugees in current crisis, pakistani women who fell victim to acid atacks, sexual minorities, victims of emotional violence inside a relationship, workers who spend their lives as cogs in a machine etc. what’s more interesting is you neither belong, nor are you connected to the oppressed you give your artistic voice to. what drives you to taking such impersonal, altruistic angle?

hearing and reading about certain issues, one cannot ignore and avoid feeling utterly sad about. a song is a form of reaction – a message reaching others in addressing certain issues, pointing to injustice and abuse. expressing concern is the point – sadly, a song cannot change the situation entirely or instantly, at times it may sound conformist and patronising even, but it’s a righteous emotional response – the knowledge of, and a comment against, the world that sadly hasn’t made progress or learned lessons from all the violence and destruction... on contrary, the sense of paranoia that still plagues the world is as frightening as ever. a song in that context shouldn’t be underestimated.

can there be a full unity of personal and activist in one’s work? does one aspect always compromize the other?

maybe so, yes. there is a “personal is political” stand but there is a certain trap to fall into just the same, because individual views in a song sometimes may seem exaggerated, no matter how objective or politically correct.

music is only one half of a half. the other half is design and, altogether wrapped in your concepts and written manifestos, a half becomes a whole. so, a typical question [please take it literally] – would you rather go blind or go deaf?


your music would probably reach far more people if effort you put in producing physical releases was redirected into digital music distribution. i believe i know why you insist on physical releases and obsolete formats like cdr and minidisc, but it would be nice to hear your personal statement on that matter...?

digital is practical, i value it as a piece of information. for that i am grateful to digital. but regarding digital as format, while it is not occupying the actual  physical space, collecting countless music data on the computer or external drive is rather pointless than practical – the sound deserves its own identity and i don’t necessarily mean in terms of “product”. “physical format” speaks for itself as such – i relate to it.

few years back, there was a phase when you were putting out almost exclusively covers and remixes of yours and others’ songs. i know that ‘ponavljanje je majka učenja’ but being a fan of your work, starvation for new songs drove me to frustration. :) mute records’ recycling of classics in new packaging came to mind... i was wondering was this repetition your conscious attempt to spread and embed your music as far as possible, or was it a natural moment of reflection before taking a step to new album?

definitely there’s a moment of fun and see where it takes me. other people’s songs are like a catalyst or a challenge – either i re-interpret them in my own way or they inspire me to create my very own, new work. but i agree, there is also frustration when you end up in a magic circle recording covers for covers’ sake. then it’s time to tell myself to stop.

some songs that you re-interpreted went all the way back to narrow, your old bedroom experimental band. the final narrow’s song top of the pops was your least favourite, but perhaps it made sense to end narrow’s work by forcing it into dead end with a redundant synth pop song about the nonsense of success. that odd track got a whole new life later, so i hope the end of ½ is not the end of all your songs so far? will you play ½, umrijeti za strojem and split personalities’ songs in the future as iv/an at all?

narrow’s version of “top of the pops” turned out to be a rushed affair for no particular reason. i loved the potential of that particular song but in the end i wanted something from it so desperately that it ended sounding forced, so i learned to hate it tremendously. as the very last single release by narrow, it may have made the point as you suggest - but in the end, it was just an unfinished song which became defined more properly for the split personalities’ mini/album some years later and finally i am happy how it turned out. i am even happier with the amazing remix of it, kindly provided by soft riot.

whether i will play these songs in the future as iv/an, there’s definitely flexible manoeuvring space for that – it’s a vast collection of songs to choose from, so on occasion i might add some of them to the playlist...

on your 0.5 label and in your small doses fanzine, we find a very diverse list of artists. for me, the connection between them is your voice as a curator - but i wonder, is there some key by which you cover artists as different as, say, miro župa and his name is alive?

while the choice of what i present in the fanzine or on the very label may be a bit random, it is what personally interests me, the work of people i identify with on a certain level. in that respect, a chance to establish communication with other creative people, among them miro župa and his name is alive, makes me feel very very happy. and honoured.

when describing your music, i often say minimal synth - but use both words as adverbs, not as a genre tag. in countless hours of our talk, we almost never mentioned minimal synth scene, even though your projects are probably most recognized inside that very scene. so i wonder, within which stylistic / musical / historic coordinates you perceive yourself and your music?

while the aspect of minimalism will always be a key element and inform whatever i will be doing musically, it’s getting a bit distanced from minimalism per se. it still fits into a certain mood (if not the mould) regarding such scene, because other people involved and making something remotely similar also tend to incorporate textures that enrich minimalism with a personal touch, which is a great thing, because it adds to a variety of talent. ‘minimal synth’ in itself still sounds fun and one can never miss with it, but at the same time you hear it’s caught up in its own cliches these days...

in case that this really remains the final interview of your previous aliases, the last question is – which ever question you wanted to answer but nobody asked you!?

only time will tell. i sound like enya now, don’t i?

editor’s note – here’s a brief list of ivan’s aliases thus far, that i am aware of:
i. [as a member of narrow, mekanismo va morir, neither nor]
umrijeti za strojem
split personalities
kimberly clarke
valter horvat
the fall guy
plus some others that are closely kept secrets... ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I/II & alone live @ flexipunk party

flexipunk party
neo crooner / post wave / dark synth
dupla koncertna promocija albuma:

I/II [zg, oproštajni koncert!]
alone [bg]
facebook event

I/II - earthquakes usually come around at night
[LP 2015, totally wired records]
mini album najvećeg minimal elektro kantautora na kontinentu. ivan antunović, poznatiji kao I/II, umrijeti za strojem, split personalities i drugi projekti, odlučuje da ovim beogradskim nastupom stavi tačku na i, i sve svoje buduće muzičke poduhvate potpiše jedinstvenim identitetom IV/AN. dođite da poslednji put uživo čujemo legendarno pola i prisustvujemo konceptualnoj transformaciji!

alone - coast
[LP 2015, spielzeug muzak]
sedmi opus mračnog minimal industrial pop projekta. naučno ljubavne balade, gvozdeni ritmovi, maglovite melodije i glas kao svetlo na kraju beskrajnog tunela. osim starih i aktuelnih stvari, na repertoaru su i pesme iz budućnosti, mračnije od svih do sada.

cene ploča na licu mesta: alone 1000din / I/II 1450din.
ulaz 200din.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

zmikeo!, nitkov, julie hascoët & roméo julien @ matrijaršija

another drunken night in matrijaršija ahead, this time featuring some flexipunky musick... here's the info in serbian, plus fb event.

24. oktobar 20h matrijaršija [đorđa čutukovića 13, zemun]
završetak radova / totalna rasprodaja
julie hascoët & roméo julien
tematika se kreće oko transformacija u urbanom prostoru. instalacija je zamišljena kao vizuelni biro istraživanja. gradilište je glavna stavka, ali to gradilište istovremeno odgovara i umetničkom procesu. kroz ruševine i ostatke materijala, ispitujemo generalno stanje metamorfoze arhitektonske forme u jednom gradu. vizuelni atlas koji smo pripremili evocira uspomene na razvoj ali istovremeno i uništavanje, a zatim rekonstrukciju objekata i spomenika. dakle, ruševina je na kraju svakog ciklusa jedne ere ili civilizacije, i simbolizuje promenu.
podrška ecf lab

zmikeo! - naživo
noise porn punk

nitkov - namrtvo
krdža atavizam dens

Monday, January 5, 2015

#54 RIP mick karn

flexipunk commemorates: mick karn, 24 july 1958 – 4 january 2011. <3

1. mick karn - the three fates
2. midge ure & mick karn - after a fashion
3. bill nelson - glow world
4. rain tree crow - new moon at red deer wallow
5. gary numan - a subway called 'you'
6. japan - cantonese boy
7. kate bush - heads we're dancing
8. mick karn - never thought
9. mick karn - land
10. dali's car - the judgement is the mirror
11. mick karn - sensitive
12. masami tsuchiya - night in the park
13. mick karn - the sound of waves