The Brvtalist is pleased to present the music video premiere of "Massgraver" by Xultur. Over the last couple of years, the Los Angeles-based duo has pulverized listeners into submission with their warped vision of hardcore, gabber, acid and more. The video for "Massgraver" is directed by Chad Fjerstad and features MJ Brotherton.
As we descend into the depths of Spring, we are thankfully greeted with new music from one of our favorite labels, Nostilevo. Three new offerings make for another stellar batch showcasing a variety of sounds across the electronic spectrum.
First up is the minimal precision of Brett Nauke. "Hunting Portraits" is a emotionally driven, bleak narrative through a tortuous journey. Next up is the haunting, cerebral composition, "Disappearing Into Myself". by No Dreams and finally Brvtalist favorite Granite Mask closes out the playlist with the quietly evil, "Scheletro", that pulsates through the veins. The perfect soundtrack for the rites of Spring. All of these are due out on limited cassette and digital April 24th.
Also, if you're in Chicago this coming weekend, do not miss the label's showcase featuring some of the best acts in the genre today. Featuring Craow, Pod Blotz, HOGG, the three artists featured here and more, the collaboration with local party Club Rectvm will be the perfect night. For more information visit the event page and get pre-sale tickets here. *Video flyer by Jonah Lange
Berlin's Fleisch collective is responsible for some of the city's best events in recent memory. With a focus on raw body music, the group pushes a sound that transcends genre and becomes a permanent state of mind. Last year, the group brought us their first physical release by way of the almighty Schwefelgelb. Now, the imprint presents a new vinyl comp that captures the ethos of the project perfectly.
Fleischberg is a four track vinyl and digital release that sees contributions from four different producers who all offer their own interpretations of the label's concept. Australian-born, Berlin-based Halv Drøm, kicks things off with a driving assault which then bleeds into the EBM magic of "Total Control" by DSX. The third track is Privacy's "Work", which infuses a healthy dose of ghetto house that is incredibly refreshing to hear. Closing things out is the industrial, midnight anthem, "Andacht" from Sekunde (Phase Fatale).
All in all Another hit record from the Berlin imprint that leaves us wanting more. For more music visit Soundcloud.
By Josh Beck
I’ve never been to the suburbs of Ontario in 1993, but if one listens closely to these rare recordings, they might be transported to that time & place - through the minds & sonic noise-scapes of Rich Oddie, Christina Sealey, and Aron West. Thank you first and foremost to ORPHX for this vulnerable glimpse unto their minds, their expression, and for taking the listener on such a savage journey. Additionally, shout out to Mannequin Records / Hospital Productions for making these recordings available to a larger audience.
I wasn’t completely sold until track seven, “Excruciate.” It’s relentless chugging and hammering still fresh and unforgettable. Slight whispers marred the background. From the distance I make out some sort of bass line - but who the fuck knows really. Three minutes in and I am attacked by a fully distorted wall - as if Phil Spector grew up in East Berlin & decided to start banging pipes on cement. Highlight the two minute, forty four second mark.
The wave subsides as the mood changes drastically into “Monophilia.” The piece begins gently, almost luring the listener in - but do not be fooled. It’s disjointed punches and kicks are glued together by a haunting melody, almost frightening. Meanwhile, somewhere in New Jersey Lenny Kravitz is recording “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” Odd.
“Veil of Dream” could easily be playing in the waiting room before entering David Lynch’s black lodge, or perhaps the score to a strange wormhole, portal to a different dimension or multiverse. Throughout most of this recording I feel as though I have taken drugs, though I’m not quite sure which one(s).
The general lack of a consistent BPM is one of the things that impresses me the most about this archive, the percussion flows in and out like a tide beating on cold, jagged rock. What’s even more startling is hearing this recording much later and in the scope of history, comparing it to the music of it’s time. ORPHX was so non-linear, so far beyond any of the song writing of their era that it’s not hard to imagine this recording emerging today - where experimental electronics and noise have become a part of our vocabulary. The archive is nothing short of a dystopian masterpiece. Put on a decent pair of headphones, dim the lights and let this chilling “Landscape of Wounds” take over - highly recommended.
Available now on Mannequin Records.
The Brvtalist is pleased to present the Spring/Summer 2017 collection from Latvian designer Keta Gutmane. One of our favorite artists practicing in fashion, Gutmane follows up on last year's stunning Spring/Summer collection (featured here) with new forms, shapes and concepts. For S/S 2017, Gutmane explores the depths of individualism, creating garments that are both bold and polite, but also kick against the establishment.
*Photography by Martins Cirulis
We are continuously impressed with the evolution of Gutmane's brand as it manages to evoke a rebellious spirit within the confines of classic and sometimes even traditional garments. This season's cropped bombers and oversized coats maintain a very poetic splendor while still managing to exude a punk aesthetic.
Also nicely mixed in to the collection are slashed skirts and re-defined dresses that showcase Gutman's unique form of contemporary elegance.
Overall, another standout collection from the Latvian designer that demands to be both seen and experienced. For more information, please visit Keta Gutmane.
Photography: Martins Cirulis
Creative consult: #marlosaalmink
Garments: all Keta Gutmane SS17
Shoes: all The Last Conspiracy
Model: Daniela Sokolova, Starsystem Latvia
MUA: Aija Udentina
The Brvtalist is proud to present a new mix from Grebenstein. In just a short time, the Kassel, Germany-based solo artist has produced some of the most exciting material in the realms of techno, industrial, ambient and more. With standout releases on Downwards and a new EP coming out this month on Horo, we caught up with the artist to learn about the history of the project and what to expect with the new album and upcoming release show (Feb. 18) at Ohm. Please find our Q&A below.
The Brvtalist: I would love to hear about the inception of Grebenstein. After playing guitar and drums in various bands, you released your first solo EP under the Grebenstein moniker in 2014. What is your relationship with electronic music and was a project like this always something you envisioned?
Grebenstein: My relationship with electronic music is quite young. When I moved to Kassel in 2010 I started recording music on my own. At this time my music still sounded like the music we were making in my last band. As I started art school my sound became more electronic, but at this time all I knew about electronic music was stuff like Ricardo Villalobos, Len Faki etc. In 2012 I played my first live shows under the moniker Grebenstein. I still used my guitar while playing live but apart from that I felt no connection between my roots as a drummer in a post-punk band and this electronic world I had just discovered. I became a bit frustrated. I had no clue how to combine both worlds properly. Then in 2013 I spent some days in Berlin and I discovered the first OAKE EP at Hardwax… that was the turning point - from there on I discovered all the Downwards releases… Blackest Ever Black etc.. and all the stuff i had listened to at this stage had a lasting impact on me. I felt more secure to experiment from there on.
TB: Gloss is a new EP out later this month on Horo. With previous releases on Downwards, talk about your approach to this record and has anything changed with the new material?
GR: I recorded my first EP on Downwards after struggling with an anxiety disorder. The sound of the record was caused by the feelings I had back in those days… It was all about the tension within myself. Working on the record was reflective and curing at the same time. When I worked on the Gloss EP everything had already massively changed. My mind had changed a lot. I’m more calm and focused, I take more time to work on my music. I wait for the point where everything feels "perfect“ and I have to say I’m much more interested in the technical process of creating and recording new sounds nowadays.
TB: The EP launch sees you playing live on February 18th at Ohm Berlin. How has your live set evolved over the last few years and what can we expect at the show?
GR: At the moment I’m super happy with my live shows and my setup. In the past I used to have a guitar with me, a vermona drum machine, a Korg ms-20 and a NI Machine. It was too much to handle as a single person. Every show I played was an experiment and I felt bad for the people who came to see me play because I wasn’t able to recreate the tracks they knew from my records and I thought that was what they are coming for. So over the last 2 years I reduced my live-setup drastically and now I’m able to recreate the tracks from the records while still keeping a good amount of improvisation.
TB: Tell us a little bit about the mix you made for The Brvtalist.
GR: If you’d invite me to play a DJ-set at your next pajama-party - that’s what might happen.
TB: What's coming up next for you?
GR: I’m working on a new project called "Gruppe Formal“. It’s a kind of an open collective where I’m inviting people to make and discuss music with me. At the moment the plan is to do this in the form of short residencies. Working one week together and at the end of the week doing a public event, presenting what happened in form of talks, live-shows or exhibitions. One live-show by "Gruppe Formal“ will happen on April 2nd at OHM Berlin.
The Brvtalist would like to thank Grebenstein for this great contribution to our mix series and taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to pick up Gloss and if you're in Berlin don't miss that show.
One release we've been waiting for to start the year is the new EP from Berlin-based, Russian artist Alexey Volkov. Cold Blooded Genius is the second installment on LINDA RECORDS and this young imprint continues to impress with its great selection of artists and thoughtful presentation. The latest vinyl offering is a beautiful translucent red 10'' with an lust-worthy accompanying poster by photographer Jan Zimmerman. The music doesn't disappoint either, with three tracks of raw, rhythmic electronics that shatters the boundaries between techno, industrial, EBM and more.
The record starts perfectly with the title track on Side A building you up with its heart pounding percussion and filthy, mechanical grind. Side B begins with the tension filled, warehouse destroyer "Unfriendly Nation" and "Curtains of Flesh" closes out the release with a massive introduction that bleeds into an infectious techno assault. To help launch the release, The Brvtalist is pleased to premiere the video for the title track, "Cold Blooded Genius".
The Brvtalist is proud to present a new mix from Berlin-based artist Nicolas Bougaïeff. Along with being one of the most exciting producers in underground techno, Bougaïeff is a true academic of musical architecture, theory, classical contemporary and more. New Brvtalism No. 080 is an incredible intersection of Bougaïeff's sound and the mix includes some of his own stellar productions.
Nicolas Bougaïeff’s EP Ascent is the fourth and last release for 2016 coming from Berlin-based label Establishment, a cosmic trip into the fascinating world of an artist for whom music is not just pleasant sound meant to be heard in the background, it’s a tool which can be studied and deconstructed because it has so much to give in return.
Released on November 28th 2016, the EP is out now and if you’re not familiar with the work of Nicolas, we invite you to find out more about him, his latest EP and future plans through this Q&A.
Marie Bungau: You don't hear everyday about doctorates on techno and Plastikman. What motivated you to pursue this path? Was it a difficult subject to write about?
Nicolas Bougaïeff: My goal is to understand the architecture of music, the structures hidden behind the sound. I’ve relentlessly pursued that not only with techno, but also with classical and electroacoustic musics. I spent years studying harmony, counterpoint, formal analysis and ear training. I ended up completing a degree in electroacoustic composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, an intensive course modeled on the work of musique concrète practicians and theorists such as Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, Michel Chion, Parmegiani, Bayle and so forth.
Although I started producing electronic tracks when I was 13 years old, I was never strongly connected to any scene. Moving to Berlin in 2008 was a way to throw myself into the lion’s den and commit to techno. Shortly after the move I was contacted, via MySpace, by Dr Rupert Till at the University of Huddersfield. He’d spotted my profile and invited me to apply to a doctoral program. I came into contact with Richie Hawtin a year later, started developing controllers for the Plastikman Live show and everything fell into place.
Writing the thesis was challenging because it’s a marathon endeavor, a little bit every day, but on the other hand I knew exactly what I was trying to accomplish. I wanted to analyze techno tracks using conventional music terminology, and bridge the gap between hundreds of years of western musical thought and today’s self-taught production methods. Having access to all the Plastikman Live materials was an incredible source of raw data. Techno is a genre predicated on repetition, variation and improvisation. I wanted to understand the implications both in the work of individual producers and on the scale of a global scene.
MB: You recently released the "Ascent" EP on Establishment. How did this collaboration happen and why this particular label?
NB: Peter Kirn and I first met about six years ago but I’d been reading his CDM blog already for years. Besides sharing a common interest in music technology, he also has a heavy background in classical music. We’ve had long conversations about the intersection between music theory, music technology and dance floor productions. Peter came down to one of my gigs last year where I played a lot of my unreleased productions. Two of the tracks that got his attention were Ascent and Orbit. He told me about his plans for Establishment — the label hadn’t launched yet — and proposed a release. Peter’s extremely activate in creating and supporting links between artists, technology and music education, so I didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity.
MB: Walk us through the release, what inspired you, how did you choose the remixers?
NB: Most of my productions are about trying to combine techno with classical, avant-garde or acousmatic techniques. Whether it’s adapting Steve Reich phasing techniques, as I did in Decompress, or using Neo-Riemannian harmony in Pulse Train, I’m always trying to find ways to adapt modern composition techniques to a dance floor friendly format. Both Ascent and Orbit follow this pattern. I was inspired by a synthetic chord that mixes elements of major and minor scales. It’s borrowed from late 19th century romantic music, you can also hear it all the time in film scores where it’s used to create a grandiose sense of awe or mystery.
I chose the remixers because of the ongoing musical friendship, going back years. I’ve known the name Mateo Murphy for years, he was already DJing at parties when I first started discovering the rave scene as a teenager. We became good friends later in Montreal, shortly before I made the move to Berlin. Nowadays we’re always texting about music releases we discover, and sharing sketches and new productions. It’s really a big honour for me to have him on board, I always looked up to his productions and his industry experience. Hithertoo is a new friend, the connection was made through Peter. Mallone is a young super talented native Berliner, we first met at a festival we were both playing at a couple years ago. His drive and energy is really inspiring, it’s really important for me to develop connections with producers older and younger than me. I think we need more dialog and collaborations between the generations of artists.
MB: I noticed the release comes with a stems edition as well, an audio format which is more and more available on platforms like Beatport, Juno or Traxsource. What would be the advantages of releasing stems for a producer?
NB: Stems is a fascinating format, and I truly hope it finds wider adoption. Releasing stems offers a really interesting opportunity for producers. Separating your tracks into four distinct streams forces you to think about some of the basic parameters of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, texture. Mixing, especially with four decks, forces you to think about music structure. With normal stereo tracks, you can’t mix clashing harmonies or mix clashing rhythms, but you do have a lot of freedom to mix pure rhythm tracks with pure ambient tracks. That's what I’m doing in my mix here, I’m combining techno tracks that have purely rhythm with avant-garde orchestral recordings that are purely ambient harmony. Releasing stems separates these different parameters and opens up the door to musical combinations that would’ve previously been either impossible or impractical with stereo tracks.
MB: What can we expect from Nicolas Bougaïeff in the near future? A full length, a tour, maybe a new research paper?
NB: There is a full length in the pipeline. I worked with an amazing cellist, Émilie Girard-Charest, and I built all the sounds for the album by processing cello recordings. We did a live show a couple months ago at OHM Berlin. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to share more details.
Many are still nursing their New Year's hangover but the fashion world wastes no time getting back into the swing of things. London Fashion Week continues to be an impressive stop on the fashion calendar and this year the men's shows proved why. From previously being overshadowed by Milan and New York, London has emerged as perhaps a more interesting hotbed than both of those cities with a focus on homegrown designers and talent from Asia. The A/W 2017 shows just wrapped and we present some of our favorite looks.
Since launching his namesake label in 2012, London-born designer Craig Green has become a welcome fixture on the the city's fashion week event. Blending elements of utility, uniform and occult, Green's unique vision is exemplified through monochromatic looks that are seemingly ready for the end of days, or just a stroll through Leytonstone.
It always seems too obvious including KTZ in our roundup but at the same time, how can you not? Since 2003, few labels have had the success of mixing street culture with high fashion and Marjan Pejoski's creations continue to thrive. This year was no different as we saw contemporary urban edge meet multi-ethnic heritage. The huge seams kind of look like baseballs and exaggerated layers give many of the clothes an armor-like feel. The greyish green hue also looks great with black details. See more here.
Based in Seoul and Paris, Songzio is a contemporary menswear brand founded back in 1993. Since then, the label has earned international acclaim for its razor sharp black suits and global influences. This season, we were instantly attracted to the sophisticated pitch black wool and fur but also to the seemingly Southern American inspired ensembles. Maybe it's the string bowties with short, raised collars but the looks are deep south meets Paris streets.
Westwood needs no introduction and the 75-year old designer is still a headliner in her hometown. Closing out fashion week, Westwood introduced both men's and women's looks that are eclectic, ethnic and infuse a healthy dose of fairtytale. The deconstructed patchwork outfits mingled nicely with the middle east inspired women's wear all while maintaining her signature rebellious aesthetic.
MAN is the joint initiative between Topman and Fashion East (the non-profit organisation established by Lulu Kennedy MBE and the Old Truman Brewery in 2000). MAN spearheaded London Fashion Week’s menswear schedule in 2005 and proudly champions emerging menswear talent. Notable alumni of the program include JW Anderson and Christopher Shannon. This year, the panel selected Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Feng Chen Wang and Per Götessen. The offerings ranged from slouchy, oversized outerwear to fantastical historical looks. This is always a show to watch because you're sure to see some of these names again. Read and see more here.
The Brvtalist is pleased to premiere a new video work from Chicago's Hvnter Gvtherer. Titled Disarmament, the piece represents months of apprenticeship, innovation and full immersion into the brand's unique world of metalworking and fashion design. Drawing inspiration from sources such as Hvnter Gvtherer's Bronze Age collection and the current political climate, multi-media artist Mikayla Brown created Disarmament during her internship with the brand and the result is a striking social commentary which emphasizes the connection between the human body and the elements that surround us.
We are at a crossroads between:
Male and Female
Ancient and Modern
Past and Present
Our shields are metal, leather and skin.
These coverings are made from material that protects and conducts, reflects and responds. Metal is a conduit that passes energy between us. Leather too, our second skin, is death given new life. The items we wore as armor yesterday are dis-armor today, banding us together, creating a channel for the fluidity of our identity.
Something can be anything. Someone can be anyone. There is no correct gender, race, creed or god. The only truth is us.
The People and The Process -
“Disarmament” was created by multi-media artist Mikayla Brown during her internship with Hvnter Gvtherer, via the Careers and Professional Experience program (CPAX) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During the semester, Mikayla met with head designer and owner Laura Prieto-Velasco in her Chicago studio. There she learned and practiced basic metalworking techniques within an atelier/private studio setting.
With Mikayla’s interest in contemporary storytelling and her interdisciplinary background, it only seemed natural for her to create a visual archive of the current Hvnter Gvtherer collection using photography and video. From November to early December, Mikayla took over the Hvnter Gvtherer Instagram —sharing her experiences working in the studio for the independent Chicago-based label.
Over the course of three months, she developed a unique connection between intuitive media and material knowledge, forging a dialogue between wrought and digitized, past and future, hand and eye.
For her final project Mikayla proposed to do a video featuring performance and video artist Hazkel Brown and interdisciplinary artist Ona Sain set to the music of Christopher Dorian, sharing her perspective of Hvnter Gvtherer’s conceptual mission. As a result, Mikayla envisioned and delivered this striking film, closing out 2016 for Hvnter Gvtherer.