Friday, 27 April 2012

News International

This is taken from Yashar's first ever release. An audio-visual concept album due out this summer as a limited edition DVD package and free mp3 download. I found the recent exposure of the greed and corruption within the media and the government to be the inspiration for this piece. I wanted to symbolise the collapse of newscorp in the style of an old black and white newspaper.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Interview: Edward Paul Quist (Embryoroom)

Yashar is proud to give you an exclusive interview with Edward Paul Quist, otherwise known as Embryoroom. Embryoroom is behind some of the most unique audio/visual art I have ever seen. For me, Edward creates visual techno, like H.R. Giger but in moving form. Dark, intense, hypnotic and beautiful. He has collaborated with Pan Sonic creating a state of the art live album 'Kuvaputki' which remains as one of the greatest pieces of video art I have ever seen. He continues to push the boundaries and the possibilities between our relationship between the physical and the subconscious.


(Q) What are you currently listening too?

(A) Krzysztof Penderecki, Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Herrmann, The late Conrad Schnitzler, Suzuki Keiichi's "A House on Fire and Massacres All Over". On the "Pop" end of the spectrum lately, HTRK, Boris, and the recent Apparat release.

(Q) How do you describe your work?

(A) It's a difficult question to answer in that broad a sense. The images almost always emerge from the subconscious. I sort out any meaning later on. The sonics and soundtrack follow suit, but those can fall into defined structures you could maybe apply a musical style to. Sometimes the sound drives the image and vice versa.

(Q ) What are the main influences on you and your work?

(A) The silent era of cinema made a strong impression at an early age. The imagery of the classic science fiction and horror movies. Abstract expressionism v.s. The figurative, Krautrock, The Radiophonic Workshop, Italian modernist cinema and Italian disco, to name a few.

(Q) Coming from New York and with the recent closure of the Experimental Television Centre, how do you find the current art scene there?

(A) Although I never made the trek to Owego institutions like ETC, they are vital for the development of new electronic media and as an archival repository. We need more of the like. In commercial terms only, video art / installation is still not quite up to speed with the other "fine arts". Once an installation breaks down, it usually goes away. The lack of physicality and permanence poses an obstacle. It's slowly changing. The challenge is finding a balance. Live performance is still very important.

Not long ago, I screened at the Eventi Hotel. That was an interesting venue and architecturally the space fit very well with the films. They almost looked made for each other. The new dome at MoMA PS1 was an interesting space to play and project onto with it's huge sound. I will be looking for screenings and live performances in architecturally compatible spaces.

Embryoroom: To Be Inside It / Electronic Terror @ The Eventi NYC

(Q) I have recently described Kuvaputki as one of the greatest things I've ever seen, can you explain more about the project? What where the main motivations behind it? How did you become involved with Pan Sonic? And how long did it take to complete?

(A) Thank you, that's quite something to say about the project. Kuvaputki had been in the works on and off for eight years and the DVD was completed in fall 2007. I met Mika Vainio in 1997 at The Tunnel in NYC. Later, at one of Alan Vega's shows, I ran into Mika again and brought up the idea of a documentary. We exchanged material and then it slowly developed. There were no rules or restrictions, only that it end up in black and white. The first version of the film premiered in 2000 at the Sonar Festival and the reaction was very positive. It was a very punk rock kind of film. I wanted to take it much further.

The film was altered the way I would other projects on a continual basis. With that process, three streams of video were created for the DVD release; generating 90 minutes of multi-angle imagery that runs parallel to the sound track. 14 live shows were shot from around the world. There remains enough unused content to fill two more DVD's. Forgive me, but t's an epileptic"s nightmare.

Kuvaputki / Cathode Ray Tube Set trailer

(Q) In Nova the film, ( artist Tofer Chin says that being an artist today is 50% business. Do you agree?

(A) To a degree, yes. From the cost of data storage to software to computing, actors, the financial aspects need to come into balance with the work output. If not, down the road you've got trouble for all concerned.

(Q) Who are your favourite artists working at the moment?

(A) Ryoji Ikeda's show at the Park Avenue Armory was interesting. I found it intense and immersive. I like fellow vegan, Masami Akita's Merzbow project. I liked Nicolas Winding Refthn's film "Drive". It was recently deprived of proper recognition here in the States.

(Q) How important is hardware and software in your artistic process and what kind of setup do you use?

(A) To compose and produce the sound tracks, I have used the same physical rig for years with few changes. The Studio Electronics Se-1, Atc-1, Deopher MAQ-16 -3, Ms 404, A-100, Lexicon FX and a few other old analog synths and drum machines. Logic was used for arrangement and treatments etc.

On the visual end, I use a number of cameras and formats ranging from super-8, Hi-8, mini dv and HD. Final Cut Pro, a mix of plugins and optical / practical sfx also came into play. Working in the physical arena is very important for me, whether it be shooting a subject, an environment, to turning knobs that control output. Short answer, very important.

(Q) "We are now living in a cyberpunk novel", do you agree with this statement?

(A) The "future" is over as we knew it. The miracles that utopian visions promised died off sometime in the 1970's. If we are living in "cyberpunk", then it's because the "future" has failed us to a degree, with the cyber end as order and the punk as chaos. This appears to be on the rise, so the answer is yes. It's a 4GW world. The romance of Futurism is another story...

(Q) Your latest project, Hazmazk has been on the cards for some time, with various “intersodes” that have been available on Amazon and iTunes. What can we expect to see from the forthcoming project and is there an official release date planned?

(A) "Untitled", which is what I'll call it for the moment, loosely uses the narrative of the abduction phenomenon, as it's sometimes called, for part of this feature anthology's structure. There's common ground with the phenomenon and it's intense sensory experience, but the film literally descends into a abstract nightmare odyssey. Locations in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Rome, specifically the Etruscan necropolis in the town of Cerveteri, and Coney Island, Brooklyn provided the film's sense of environment and texture.

Without giving away too much, it's an experimental sci-fi horror and "Hazmazk" is a chapter in the anthology and was the project's "code name" at times. The feature film and live multi media performance have a different title. The concept attempts to put the viewer as the central POV. It's also partly a "musical" filtered through psychosis. In theory, the live version is nearly infinitely variable. For now, I will be performing the live version as a forerunner to the feature's release.

The Intersodes ( The Third Rail and Chamber Of Aversion ) ran their course at screenings and over the internet, providing a glimpse into what might be next. Short clips of the feature film at various stages of production have been screened in micro bursts on social media networks. In addition, there may be limited edition intersode Blu-rays down the road.

Hazmazk teaser trailer II

(Q) Are there any other projects/collaborations/exhibitions you are working on at the moment? 

(A) There are several projects in progress and exhibitions in the works. The next feature has started production, which will take a new direction compared to what I've done up until now. Some of the material will be slightly more narrative driven and other elements more extreme this time. Im also keen as a vegan to make non-documentary film and record on the subject of animal rights.

(Q) I noticed that no release date was given for Hazmazk! Does this mean there isnt one at this time? 

(A) Festivals and the live show are in the project's immediate future, but it will certainly see release.

(Q) I am a strong believer in not selling-out, and that as an artist you compromise your integrity and your work by doing so. I have been told by Evan Grant of Seeper
 ( can still use big companies to make money by the use of 'clever branding' (ie. not plastering a logo all over the place). What are your thoughts on this? Is anything sacred anymore? 

(A) Nothing is sacred anymore it seems. As far as clever branding goes, I've always been interested in the idea of subliminal messaging/imagery. Can big companies be used? Yes, of course, but the reality comes down to being ever conscious of the bottom line. The relationship can definitely be mutually rewarding, but potentially parasitic as well. The question might end up who really ends up exploiting whom and to what end. You have to be conscious of how much of your work will ultimately become "art" versus product in that situation. What is the balance? Is there a difference? Mutual parasitic symbiosis could be the most optimistic outcome in that situation.


(Q) Blu-rays may very well be the last physical medium for video. What do you believe to be the future for the medium? Will people always want a physical product?

(A) Right now I have digital content out there, but plan to release limited edition Blu-rays as well. The specific material I have in mind likely won't find a better showcase in the immediate future. 1080i is the highest consumer resolution available and to date, the only delivery system for true HD exists physically in Blu ray form. I think ultimately, it will become data unrestricted by a specific shape or manufactured enclosure, but there will still be people who want a physical, tactile sense of what they're getting. Whether it be the media itself or the means of delivery, if it's designed well enough, there will be a demand for it.

(Q) You have collaborated quite a bit with Del Marquis (guitarist for the Scissor Sisters), he helped produce Kuvaputki, he acts in some of the intersodes and you made some music videos for his last album "Litter To Society". It seems like an unlikely pairing. How did you both get involved and are there any future collaborations planned?

(A) We've known each other a long time and have collaborated on and off throughout that period. What we could do next might be quite different and even surprise a few people.

(Q) What's next for Embryoroom?

(A) Preparing video installations and still prints as well as producing records and music videos with other artists. I'm also planning to bring some of the live experience to the internet in the form of performances captured in unusual locations.

Exclusive teaser clip for Yashar

Selected filmography

1993, Hands
1994, I.L.
1996, Clean Needle
1998, Surgery
1999, Kuvaputki
2000, Backroom
2001, Suicide (unfinished)
2001, Macca / Plague
2003, AXIS (unfinished)
2006, The Cathodites
2008, Kuvaputki / Cathode Ray Tube / Set
2008, The Third Rail
2008, Hazmazk
2009, Chamber Of Aversion
2009, Camp Thunderbolt
2010, To be inside it
2011, Revelation in the league of sin
2012 Untitled Anthology

All work in this post is subject to copyright. © Edward Quist.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Black Rain - Now I'm Just A Number

Black Rain is just one of many projects undertaken by the legendary New York no wave figure Stuart Argabright of Ike Yard and Dominatrix fame.
The seven tracks that make up Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95 originally appeared on the Black Rain album 1.0 Argabright recorded with cohort Shinichi Shimokawa at Current Sounds and Shimokawa Studio and is so called as it features music the duo composed for the timeless Keanu Reeves vehicle Johnny Mnemonic as well as an audio book of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.
Dabbling in a desolate sound wholly at home on Blackest Ever Black, the Black Rain release is just one of many interesting projects that the label will be releasing this year with new material from the likes of Raime, Young Hunting, Vatican Shadow, Regis and Tropic Of Cancer also promised. The latter two should go some way to appeasing fans of the now defunct Sandwell District imprint.
Blackest Ever Black will release Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95 by Black Rain late January/early February on vinyl and digital formats.

1. Lo Tek
2. Night City. Tokyo
3. Lo Tek Bridge
4. Biotechno 1 & 2
5. Lo Tek Bridge 2
6. Now I’m Just A Number
7. Lo Tek Musicm

Another essential release from Blackest Ever Black, dystopian soundscapes of the past for the present. You can definitely hear the influence of this record on Raime's sound.

Their next release will be from Vatican Shadow, who made my album of the year 2011.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


This month sees the release of Syndicate, a remake of the classic cyberpunk game "Syndicate" from 1993. Published by EA, the game has been changed from a tactical shooter to a first person shooter. With high production values, the game certainly looks impressive and with people such as Skrillex providing the soundtrack it has the potential to enthuse the cyberpunk genre onto a younger audience.

Released: 21.02.12 on PS3. Xbox360 and Windows.


2069: No longer governed by politicians, the developed world is divided up into regions controlled by mega-corporations known as syndicates. These syndicates have revolutionized how the consumer interacts with the digital world. Since the consumer requires a device to access the world's data and control technology, they can do this in the blink of an eye via neural chip implant.

Civilians flocked to be "Chip'd" and enjoy all that their selected syndicate has to offer: housing, medical, banking, insurance, education, entertainment and jobs. One complete package. One complete lifestyle. In return, the syndicates gained unprecedented insights, and control, over the individual and their behavior. With little government oversight, business has become war.

The syndicates will stop at nothing for ultimate market dominance At the first line of this war are the agents, the syndicate's bio-engineered and chip-augmented enforcers. They can breach anything in the wired dataverse, including their enemies, their weapons and the environment that surrounds them, making them the most efficient and deadly technological weapons in the world.

Take on the role of Miles Kilo, EuroCorp's latest prototype agent, and embark on a brutal action adventure of corruption and revenge.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

We are now living in a cyberpunk novel.

The future has imploded onto the present. There was no nuclear Armageddon. There's too much Real Estate to lose. The new battlefield is people's minds....The megacorps ARE the new governments....The U.S. is a big bully with lackluster economic power....The world is splintering into a trillion subcultures and designer cults with their own languages, codes, and lifestyles....Computer-generated info-domains are the next frontiers....There IS better living through chemistry....Small groups or individual "console cowboys" can wield tremendous power over governments, corporations, etc....The coalescence of a computer "culture" is expressed in self-aware computer music, art, virtual communities, and a hacker/street tech subculture....The computer nerd image is passe, and people are not ashamed anymore about the role the computer has in this subculture....The computer is a cool tool, a friend, important human augmentation....We're becoming CYBORGS. Our tech is getting smaller, closer to us, and it will soon merge with us. 

Gareth Branwyn at a mondo2000 conference on the WELL, 1991

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Naqoyqatsi: Life Is War (Remixed)

I have compiled a mix of techno tracks as an alternative soundtrack to Naqoyqatsi: Life Is War. The film originally had a soundtrack by Philip Glass and in my opinion doesnt work at all. The modern imagery, subject matter and pace of the film compliment the techno sound much better.


The End Of All Existence - The End Of All Existence
Ugandan Methods - Mat Output 1
Hu - Untitled (Christian Wunsch Remix)
Tim Hecker - Stags, Aircraft and Secretaries
Inigo Kennedy - Entertaining Accidents (04)
Terence Fixmer - Red Zone
Tomohiko Sagae - Sodium Cyanide
Audela - Audela part 1
Regis - It's A Man's World
Stanislav Tolkachev - Rudiment 4 (Grovskopa Remix)
Autechre - Bnc Castl
Orphx - Burning Flags (Surgeon Remix)
Smear - Corrupted Veins

Monday, 16 January 2012

Best of 2011

A selection of the best albums and ep's of 2011.

25. Gator Bait Ten - Harvester

Gator Bait Ten - " Trace Depth " by Ohm Resistance

24. Alvo Noto - Univrs

23. Merzbow & Balazs Pandi - Ducks: Live in NYC

22. HTRK - Work (Work, Work)

21. Burial - Street Halo

20. Tropic Of Cancer - The Sorrow Of Two Blooms

19. Orphx - Radiotherapy

18. Ahnst Anders - Home

17. Powell - The Ongoing Significance of Steel and Flesh

16. Anodyne - Empires

15. Pete Swanson - Man With Potential

14. Kuedo - Severant

13. Surgeon - Breaking The Frame

12. Roly Porter - Aftertime

11. Regis - In A Syrian Tongue

10. Scorn - Yozza

09. Cut Hands - Afro Noise

08. The End Of All Existence - The Final Hours

 07. Lucy - Wordplay For Working Bees

06. Salem - I'm Still The Night

05. Rory St John - Epoch

04. Raime - Hennail

03. Cabaret Voltaire - Johnny Yesno Redux

02. Prurient - Bermuda Drain

01. Vatican Shadow - Kneel Before Religious Icons