Category Archives: Odd

Sophia interview with Peter Bjargo

Interview with Peter Bjargo conducted by Bill Zebub for THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine.

The percussion i Sophia makes me think of medieval warfare. Did you intend for it to sound militaristic?

On the first album i wanted my music to have a small connection to the Templars. But on the later albums, it wasn’t my intention to make it that military. To me, Herbstwerk is more orchestral, and Spite more cold industrial.

Some of the tracks makes me think of what baroque would sound like in the mind of someone undergoing a psychotic episode. The nine tracks of Sigillum Militum were written “specifically for a live performance” – I read that by chance. How do you actually set up a live show, and does it include the haunting textures of the studio version?

I had this idea of a very special one-time live situation. I wanted to make a quite bombastic performance, with a lot of people on stage and very powerful. But I realized quite early that this kind of live performance costs a lot of money and is very difficult. Too many factors could go wrong. My live shows these days are more minimalistic, more humor on stage. Often just me and one more, samplers, and drum.

Am I correct in assuming that you intentionally compose a musical tension which builds up suspense? It is almost frightening sometimes when the aggressive release arrives.

Often i work after a model, where I start very calm and build up a cacophony. This often happens unintentionally. I try to break this pattern intentionally.

In Adeptus/Last Movement, did you use a beat out of time? It sounds like you did something like that to create a feeling of disturbance.
I had an idea of two independent parts, moving into each other. This created, as you say, a feeling of disturbance. Sophia has always been a platform for experiment, and I will never be afraid to break an old pattern and try something new.

The Seduction of Madness MCD is your musical interpretation of SATURN DEVOURING HIS SON, and although it specifically intends to depict madness, I had always felt that Sophia is like a “schizophrenic lens” through which one sees reality with a little bit more. When a schizophrenic hears or sees hallucinations, it is called a “positive” symptom because it is something that “adds” to what normal people have. Conversely, schizophrenics whose facial expressions are flat and do not reflect their feelings are said to have “negative” symptoms because something in a healthy person is absent. Sophia is music with positive symptoms, I think. My question is, how is the mini Cd more of an exploration into psychosis than your other releases?

It was actually intention of a live performance, together with a movie backdrop. The theme of the songs was never in particular schizophrenia but more of different cases of psychosis, and I guess most of that came from my interests in psychology and after have read the book “Seduction of madness” by Edward M. Podvoll.

I will ask about Stravinski having an effect on you because he was the first composer, I believe, who broke from comfortable melodies and specialized in disturbing music, especially in the area of percussion. You sometimes lull the ear with safe phrasing and then you unleash a nightmare is this original, or inspired by others?

This is my idea of how to make people feel calm and relaxed, then start to feel uncomfortable and in the end trying to get a climax of chaos. This model is, I think, mostly for Seduction of Madness MCD. The model of crescendo has been existing for of long time. But I never took the idea from anybody else.

The author of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST was under the influence of peyote when he wrote that. Did you ever ingest a hallucinogen when creating music?

No, I haven’t. If you don’t call enormous amount of booze and beer a hallucinogen.

DODECAHEDRON – Kwintessens (Season of Mist)

This is a deliciously demented album that should be heard at least once. I am providing a video clip that you should start hearing at the 1:08 mark if you are impatient, but let it ride out if you can.

The vocals make this much crazier than it would be if someone else performed, and I love the song so much that I would buy the album if it just contained this one tune. Beware! You might be charmed by it as I have been. I think that I have heard it 50 times in a row. I can’t get enough of the craziness.

I tested it by posting on my facebook page, and I am happy to report that people have almost immediately made purchases. Don’t let this masterpiece die the death of apathy.

ANTARKTIS – Ildlaante (Agonia)

This odd band, sometimes sludge, reminds me a little bit of Cultus Sanguine – but just a bit. Maybe it is the essence here and there, and maybe something that only I perceive.

I would like to call your attention to the video clip that I have snooped out. Put the cursor at the 7:32 mark and play from there. That particular segment of music should be the selling point for you. It is for me. I will trust that to be what pushes you toward a purchase.

Devil Worshipper – Music for the Endtimes (I, Voidhanger)

The last time when I heard something with a slightly similar feeling was the band “Black Pentacost” which featured anguished yelling, as of someone being tortured. The music seemed to serve as a ritual rather than as songs.

This album bears some of that, but there are words, and the vocals are more varied, sometimes sounding like psychotics who are wailing while suffering mental horrors, and at other times there is black metal rasping or spoken words, but each flavor is heavily demented. This is like a legion of demons.

The strangeness of this album is enough to merit a purchase. The dark creativity and the atmosphere of derangement provide immense pleasure if heard in the right mood. then again, simply listening can place you where you must be.

Take a chance and support originality.

Devil Worshipper - Music for the Endtimes
Devil Worshipper – Music for the Endtimes

Bergraven -Det Framlidna Minnet (Nordvis Produktion)

Bergraven -Det Framlidna Minnet (Nordvis Produktion)

This is quite an odd album. When I first heard a random spot, I expected black metal, and indeed, I did get the sense that this comes from that world, but the album has no known category, which is good.

The voices are not the screechy bitch-vocals of black metal – they are more on the exasperated shouting side, mixed with the melancholy folk sort of singing.

The music ranges from unusual timing and long riffs. to more straightforward and recognizable passages, but the songs seem to have been made to put the listener in a strange place. Even the upbeat portions have something twisted going on, as if a mad clown attempted to play something catchy, but is so bonkers that the otherwise accessible tune becomes demented.

There are bursts of aggression, but that’s just an ingredient in this insanity-potion, not the main flavor. Add to this, non-English lyrics, making this a welcome visit to another realm.

Sarah Longfield – Disparity (Season of Mist)

This is not a metal album, but it deserves a review here because it is odd, and because it is creative.  The music also has a lot of impressive guitar playing, so those who might get a whiff of something commercial should be glad that even if this were a mainstream offering, guitar is prominent, not absent, as it is in pop.  I must state that this cannot possibly be a contrived commercial album but I can understand if you detect some aspects that of hit music, but the execution is just too bizarre for simpleton mainstreamers to embrace.

Each song is a different adventure into Kookoo Land, so it’s not like one tune can define the album.  The part of me that loves novelty music is stimulated by what I hear, but so is the musician, and of course, I can’t help but admire the exploration and creativity.

I will include a sample here, but you should understand that this is only one song.  I didn’t find a video for one of the more dexterous songs, but I suppose that if nothing of this sample resonates with you then you will probably not be a good candidate for the reward of the rest of the album.

SOLEFALD – Norrønasongen Kosmopolis (Indie Music)

I skimmed the E.P. but kept going back to the second track, which I will provide as a stream shortly.  The female vocals have an interesting flat quality. The rest of the album does NOT sound like this,.  I don’t know what it is about the song, but I just cannot get it out of my head.  Maybe I am just growing too odd for my own good.

Here it is:

Three songs sound very folk-ish, but one returns to an odd sort of industrial-sounding flavor.  I like the risks that the band takes,  Listening provides surprises.

SOLEFALD - Norrønasongen_Kosmopolis
SOLEFALD – Norrønasongen_Kosmopolis

Islaja – Tarrantulla (Svart)

This is is a very odd album.  Np two songs are alike, but each one will make you question whether it is creative or the product of someone who is mentally ill, which of course makes it a mandatory purchase.

The woman’s voice wanders many realms. The non-English songs should be language commercials because the enunciation is riveting.

I can spend more time describing the  album but I would like, instead, to simply state that you should buy it.  Support creative work, even if you may not resonate with it.

I include some videos, but bear in mind that each song is different, and deliciously bizarre.

Coph Nia

interview with Aldenon conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #31 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine

 

When Cold Meat Industry started to send me CD’s, I did not really understand the sort of “music” that was coming my way. It wasn’t until I heard thy first album that I took that label seriously. The other acts seemed to be a bit pretentious, a kind of bullshit being sold as art. Hast thou ever thought the same thing about the earlier Cold Meat Industry bands?
No… I come from the industrial scene to begin with, and I’m very fond of the early Cold Meat Industry stuff. I actually like it a lot better than much of what is released these days.

The main thing that separated thee at the time was the total sincerity of the music. It instantly appealed to the mind and was a sort of paradox. Some of it seemed so familiar, and at the same time it was new and unique. What makes thee so familiar with the many states of consciousness?
Without pretending to be an expert on different states of consciousness – I do take a great deal of pride in constantly changing and evolving. Most people have respected me for that and I will continue. I want to be able to use Coph Nia solely as an expression of my will. Thus I won’t start a new side-project each time I create a musical piece that sounds a bit different than the ones I’ve done before.

Of course, I learned about Arcana a bit later, as well as Sophia, which are trophies among my CD’s. Cold Meat Industries has some superb music, in my opinion.   Is Coph Nia one of their top sellers?
Yes, right now I think I’m among the top three, which is very satisfying since the debut came out 2000. That is not to say that I’m a young punk, but Coph Nia is still a pretty fresh act on Cold Meat.

 

One of the things that really hit me on the “Shape Shifter” album was how masterfully spoken the unusual lyrics were. In America, pronunciation is dying, and more and more consonants are becoming as silent vowels. Vocabulary also diminishes here, and I
fear that in twenty years I will have to move to another country if I want to converse with someone whose manner of speech is above that of a retard.  How is it that thou, a Swede, shames Americans with thy superior command of English?
Well I have always had a talent for language. And also the fact that English is not my language makes me pay a lot more attention to
getting pronunciation correct. But I have the same feelings as you towards what’s happening to the Swedish language. People can’t speak or write anymore. It’s all very sad.

Thou hast made some very haunting music. I wonder how thou doth prepare thyself when beginning to compose such things.
I prepareth myself thusly: I pour myself a glass of wine and let utter pathos consume me! Seriously, I have no given formula for that.
Sometimes I have a very specific concept in mind long before I start the creative process.  Other songs are born out of “sound design sessions”.  Lately, as I’ve focused on vocal songs, I have started with a very simple and basic musical idea. After that I make a quick vocal take which serves as the basis for the whole song. A lot of considerations go into the sound design stage, and I have certain ceremonial preparations for the final vocal takes. But it’s not what
some romantic sods seem to think… I don’t raise Goetic demons to aid me in the studio! 

There are some moments in the music that seem like an evil mystisicm, of dark ritual.  It seems to me that thou art acquainted with Jung’s archetypes, like that of the shadow. Is this true?
I’m not very familiar with the Jung terminology. I have been meaning to study his works but never gotten to it. But I am very interested in
mysticism and ceremonial magic. The western magical tradition in general and Crowley in particular is definitely the main influence on my work with Coph Nia

I have been exploring some of the works of Stravinsky, and the music seems perfect for horror. Every once in a while, I catch a similarity to his music in horror or action movies. Thy music is quite horrific too, but in a surreal sense. A schizophrenic may appear like a dull-witted person, sitting and looking at something with no comprehension,  face showing no expression. Just dull. But, in that tortured mind, a powerful dread tears the person apart as his consciousness is pure nightmare, but no indication of the internal sensations are evident externally. The wretch suffers in silence. Thy instrumental pieces remind me of that a lot. Calmness and terror combined. What is the motivation for making such music?
That is a feeling I very much enjoy to wallow in.  Eire and brooding as opposed to “in your face” horror, violence and terror that so many others seem to prefer. Darkness for me is not negative or “evil” in any sense.

Ah! I just realized that the name is actually two words: Coph Nia. What is the meaning, if I may ask such a standard question?
The words are taken from Crowley’s ’Liber Al vel Legis’, more popularly known as ’The Book of the Law’. The full passage reads: ”I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia—but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed a Universe; and bought remains.”  To my knowledge, Crowley himself never came up with a completely satisfactory explanation of the words, as he claims Liber Al was not really written by him, but received from an entity named Aiwaz. He talks about the wand in question as “controlling both the active and the passive“, which leaves a lot of room for creative interpretation. Numerous people have put forth theories about the meaning of  ’Coph Nia’, mostly concerning its numerological properties. To tell the truth, I don’t care very much about finding out what it implies. I chose the name mainly because of the mystery surrounding it.

It must be hard to sell albums that do not fit any category. What measures art thou taking to make sure that fame comes to thee whilst thou yet live?
I haven’t had to do anything. My music has spread on its own merit. It’s true however that anything released on Cold Meat Industry instantaneously moves 500 to 1000 copies, but after that you’re
on your own… I am very happy that so many people enjoy my work.