Thursday, September 10, 2020

Crepuscular Entity Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1. My main project is Crepuscular Entity. I primarily consider it an experimental project, mostly working in the noise area, and mainly harsh noise, but with elements of drone and ambient, and there the ambient is noisy and dark. I'm a relative neophyte, having only made noise since February of 2018, but I believe that's a plus in that I am not overly engaged in playing the same sounds that gave me a 'career' and I feel the urge to expand and try different things. I only started listening to noise in the mid-2000s so I'm not heavily influenced by what's known or popular. I improvise, choosing a loose structure to begin, and then working from there with no strict rules. Noise is staid and conservative nowadays with rules decided and limits laid down by a self-declared hierarchy. I want to break every rule and violate every precedent, it makes things more interesting. Too much macho BS in those declaring they only need a box of nails and a death metal pedal and a few minutes of recording to make their noise, which then sounds all the same. I prefer multiple tracks and lots of gear and recording at great length. I enjoy the variety. I also have a noise wall project in Hana Haruna, which I've recently tried to inject more dynamics into. It's still looping sounds into various distortion gear, hit record and grab a beer while it plays out, but I've been investigating looping different types of sounds and not the same crunch and crackle so dominant in the form nowadays.

2.Can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you have went for on the recordings?
2. I'm not as influenced by classic noise projects. The style which influences me most is free jazz. I take ideas from Peter Brotzmann and Alexander von Schlippenbach and their various combos as well as others like Cecil Taylor. I enjoy the controlled chaos of the improvisation there, which still contains enough structure to imply creativity and force. There is no noise album that is as brutal as the Brotzmann Octet's 'Machine Gun'. And John Coltrane was a master of improvising notes within tones on his sax. I've been trying to improvise different sounds within noise 'tones', less successfully of course, but I'm learning. If I've picked up anything from other noise makers it's from the less-worshipped types like John Wiese or Lasse Marhaug; not the young studs tossing shit around to prove their worth. But of course I've always admired Merzbow - anyone worth their proverbial salt takes influence from Masami Akita.

3.Some of your album covers and titles also mention Shamballa, do you have an interest in Eastern Mysticism?
3.I have an interest in history. Also in remote places and abandoned sites. Around the time I was making 'What Happens In Shambhala Stays in Shambhala' I had seen some documentaries on caves in high cliffs in remote northern Nepal where Buddhist monks studied and meditated, which may have been the origin of the fabled Shangri-La. These caves hadn't been used in hundreds of years and the desolate areas they were located in and the art that had been found there affected my mindset when I was recording. Concepts outside my experience inspire me to try different things. And the somewhat barren sounds of my early releases reflect thoughts of desolation. Not personally but in abstract. I deal in abstractions.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Crepuscular Entity'?
4. Crepuscular Entity is a fancier way of saying Twilight Being. I liked the idea of twilight as an area between the light of day and the dark of night. Dimness is the place where things are not as defined, the greyness that is neither black nor white, and things are more mysterious and misty and not as strictly defined. I want my sounds to be undefined, harder to comprehend except without concentration. I guess there is a touch of mysticism there. As I said I like abstraction and the thought processes behind abstract philosophies.

5.With this project you record everything by yourself but have also worked with other musicians in your other projects, how would you compare the 2?
 5. I love collaborating. I also love the fact I can have both collaboration and solo work. My ongoing collabs are FOTO with Michele Bianchi of BRTHRM and Suyuin with Federico Bixert of MUWN. These are noisebient projects where we trade tracks, record our bits to them, and then Michele with FOTO and Federico with Suyuin do their mixing magic and they come out sounding fantastic. I owe the biggest praise to both those gentlemen. I also have a collaboration with Briar Anais Stauffer Lake's xfeverfewx project. I provide them a backing Crepuscular Entity track and they record their detuned experimental guitar to it and I mash them together. It is raw and visceral. There are points in the tracks where I can't decipher which is theirs and which is mine, and that's the point. I really enjoy the interaction between different people in the creative process, but I also like to make my own sonic force. It is satisfaction in two different ways and I love the process of both.

6.Since 2019 you have done mostly split albums, can you tell us a little bit more about some of the musical projects and artists that you have worked with on these releases?
6. I don't really have any distinct thoughts about any individual splits, there are simply too many. I just like doing splits. One, because it offers an opportunity for a project that may not get a chance to get heard to do so. Someone may download or stream a split to hear Crepuscular Entity or Hana Haruna but then hear the other side, thus letting the listener find something different to try out and the other project some exposure. Secondly, I prefer to wait until the splitting partner sends their tracks and then try to match it in style, or at least as much as I can. Doing this injects variety into my material and encourages me to try new things. And the sheer amount of recording all the splits involves makes me better. Quantity means improvement in my case, and I'm always seeking to improve.

7.You are also a part of 'Danshoku Dino', can you tell us a little bit more about this musical project?
 7. I used to be in Danshoku Dino. It was a fun and creative duo to be involved with. It got everything started in my noise world. It was an improvisational project with a former friend and taught me a lot about creative interaction and we were good together. But while we were always copasetic when recording DD my partner had personal issues to deal with and eventually broke off our friendship, in the summer of 2019. I aspire to eventually do that kind of live improvising again. The above mentioned collaborations are made up of trading tracks over distances, and while resulting in great sounds there is something to be said to have someone in the same room as you, both reacting to the other's playing. I hope to find someone locally to do so in time.

8.You also run 'Basement Corner Emissions', can you tell us a little bit more about this label and some of the releases you have put out so far?
8. Basement Corner Emissions used to be kv&gr/recs, and run by my former Danshoku Dino partner and myself, originally to release DD work. We expanded it to other acts and had a great deal of success fairly early on. When our friendship ended he thankfully left the label in my hands. I changed the name and sought to release new and fresher noise, drone, and ambient artists. To give lesser- and un-known projects a place to get out their sounds. The noise scene has a serious elitism problem nowadays. A self-restricting group of white middle-class males in the US kissing ass on a self-restricting group of white middle-class males in Europe, and those all trying to ape two or three old 'classic' noise acts instead of finding their own unique sound. And labels trying to be elite by seeking to release 'elite' or well-known artists preferably and creating a particular image, whether by bland monochrome artwork or releasing tapes only or generally being snobbish in their selection process. I'm trying to counteract that, and I broke some projects into the light that these elite labels are finally picking up on. What amazes me is that these labels seem to act as if only the Euro-American world exists, and I am finding that the best noise is coming from outside that. Latin America has many of the best noise and ambient artists in the world right now, unencumbered by restrictions and rules, and decidedly fresh in sound. I'm loving digging this deep vein. And when these labels think of Asia they think of Japan, but I'm finding rich talent in areas like Indonesia and The Philippines and Malaysia and Thailand and even India. Again, not restricting their sounds in an attempt to become the next big thing. And Russia and Ukraine are magnificently full of talent, each project doing their own take on the form. This means I recruit and release a lot of material on the label. There are other good labels on the uptake of these new acts, but the only other label that releases as much - indeed more - is Silvio Novoletto's Nailed Nazarene Industries. And Silvio gets a lot of grief from the noise hipsters on Facebook. For recruiting a lot? For being open-minded? More likely from envy. Indeed the new projects we release at NNI and BCE are usually as good or even better than the name acts, and certainly better than the regional apologists for hipsterism. BCE is here to make more noise known, not to make me feel big.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of noise?
9. Using social media has shown me how much appreciation the label gets worldwide. Recruiting around the globe through the internet helps too. And I think people who patronize the label know what I'm trying to do, that is get new names and sounds out. We're not the most known or popular, but BCE gets a lot of respect. I release near-daily and using spaces like Facebook allows me to get near-instantaneous reaction from just about everywhere.

10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
10. I'm hoping to make noise until I'm dead. Or at least too decrepit to turn dials or flip switches. But I really want to expand and improve my own material. I always want to change and try different ideas, not coast on my laurels like many noisers have done. Besides lots of recording myself, that also involves lots of listening to others.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. Besides free jazz I started really thinking about making noise while listening to outsider black metal, which I've found out a lot of noise-makers have used as a gateway drug. I began to realize that you don't have to have melody or harmony or even much comprehension to make sound. Listened to acts like Trist and Hypothermia and Jute Gyte, but indeed too many others to list here. I mostly listen to noise nowadays, but when listening to music it's usually some form of extreme metal or post-rock or the aforementioned free jazz. Something with substance. Maybe some doom metal like Monarch! to relax. As for noise - and here's the obligatory pre-apology if I leave a good act out, indeed MANY great acts out - right now I'm into Interzona; Jean Souza has never released a duff track and has amazing variety in his works, and Cicada 3301 out of Indonesia makes crushing, suffocating beauty. But much of the time I'm listening to new stuff for recruiting purposes.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

12. I have to say thank you very much for this forum to speak, and get the word out about the good, solid projects I'm releasing on Basement Corner Emissions. Also to talk about my own creative processes. I appreciate this. And to end, if there are anybody out there who makes noise without an outlet and would like to send some to me then feel free to do so through the Facebook label page or my own personal Ken Jamison page, or send to I can't promise to release everything but I will give your material a thorough and considered listen and get back to you.

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