Month: January 2019

Otavan Veret – Syvys – Review

Artist: Otavan Veret
Album: Syvys
Release date: 21 December 2018
Label: Cyclic Law

Tracklist:
01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV

Otavan Veret is a dark/ritual ambient project out of Finland. Syvys is the second album by the project, which is led by Kaarna (Tervahäät, Slave’s Mask, Anima Artica Label etc..) and Kivelä. There first self-titled album was released back in 2014, also on Cyclic Law.

While there is plenty of reference to stellar space in the description of the album as well as the cover-art, this feels to me more like the soundscapes of a person standing upon the Earth, staring into the vast depths of limitless space. Not an astronaut touring the galaxies. Rather a psychonaut, the mind filling with an eruption of understanding as the cosmos unveil themselves to a mystic hermit, as he gazes from some far northern campsite into the depths of space. The mind becoming fully enraptured and enlightened along the way.

The self-titled debut took the artists on a similar path as their latest Syvys. But, there is a noticeable difference in the sounds. Percussion was used more often in the first album, and has little inclusion on Syvys, where they use more rhythmic patterns with the synths to create a similar effect, but still contain a bit of subtle tribal percussion. There was also a sort of monotony to both releases, which a reviewer of their previous album considered a downside. But, for most fans of dark ambient and similar genres, we appreciate soundscapes that stretch on for 10+ minutes and gradually shift from one emotion into another, bringing the listener along for a beautiful journey, if only they are patient enough to take the ride. Syvys seems to put this ‘monotony’ to better use (probably a bad word for it as this is really nothing like the so-called monotony of a drone ambient release). The soundscapes quickly pull the listener into their grasp, opening us to feelings of awe, oneness and respite. The long track lengths, instead of making the album boring, turn it into a highly meditative medium, one that I’ve incorporated into yoga, and one which is also quite perfect for drifting off to sleep.

The style of the music fits in line nicely with another set of musicians, also hailing from Finland, that blend this feeling of interstellar travel with a simultaneous sense of earthly grounding. That is, of course, the Aural Hypnox label. Otavan Veret excels in the subtle inclusion of ritual elements, in particular chanting, which draw ties to the sounds of Arktau Eos or Halo Manash. Yet, there is also a more electronic feel and a musicality that lean toward a project like Lingua Fungi. Cyclic Law has been doing a splendid job over the last few years of working with artists that are outside the Aural Hypnox label, but share many of the same elements, including projects like Bonini Bulga, Altarmang (both side-projects of Kammarheit), Common Eider, King Eider, and Phurpa.

“I” starts with a piercing high note, which lingers for the first three minutes of the track before slowly fading into a sacral sort of feel, which vaguely hints at the feel of early work from raison d’être or Desiderii Marginis. “II” contains lingering elements of “I” which forms a noticeable continuity between the tracks, though this one is a bit less active. There is a real depth to the layers of sound on “II” I could make fleeting comparisons here to some of the sound design used by Atrium Carceri.

“III” is the highlight of the album for me. For anyone impatient, wanting to find the gem within the release, you should skip to this one and then check out the rest of the album. Though, I greatly prefer hearing it in its proper order. There is a simplicity here that can be deceiving. This takes us closest to the Aural Hypnox comparison. There are definite ritual overtones, but this ritualistic earthly nature seems to melt into the distant cosmos here. The mind of the listener opens and this primal energy pours in. “IV” starts with a high level of almost chaotic energy, reeling off the energies from the preceding track, but as it progresses we are taken into soundscapes that highlight a deep sense of peacefulness and solitude. Here, I get the feeling that we’ve been lying upon the snows of the far north, in some forest clearing gazing upon the stars above. But as we become further enraptured by the sounds, we are slowly losing life, fading off into a deep dark and frigid nothingness. As all fades out, we are left with an almost winter synth sort of outro, which really seems like the perfect ending to this epic journey through the mind, the north, and the cosmos.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Suspension in Iceland – A Journey with Gretchen Heinel

For this article I contacted Gretchen Heinel about her interest in hook suspension. I knew about her recent performance work here in The United States, but I was also aware that she had recently taken a “work” trip with her suspension team to Iceland. I didn’t know how she would confront this topic, but I knew it was incredibly interesting to an outsider, and I knew that Gretchen would be the perfect person to convey this lesser known world to our readership. To my utter delight, Gretchen and Joe Carrotta were able to supply me with 80+ images from their 3 days of suspension in Iceland during the summer of 2018, and Gretchen agreed to write her account of the trip and her personal thoughts on hook suspension. I found the combination of these stories and images incredibly moving and inspiring. I hope the same for you all, enjoy!

Michael Barnett

Luna’s “resurrection” suspension.

Article text by: Gretchen Heinel
Photos by: Joe Carotta

“Does it hurt?”

My personal experience with hook suspension dates back to May 30th, 2013. My mother blames herself for my interest in suspension, citing a trip during my childhood to the Atlantic City Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum as the moment when the seed was planted in my brain. I distinctly remember sitting in awe of a mannequin replica of a young Mandan man suspending as part of an Okipa ceremony. I think my mother gives herself too much credit, as I likely never would’ve suspended if I hadn’t personally encountered folks through my photography work who themselves were involved with the practice. But who can really say specifically what triggered my interest? All I know is that, going into my first experience with suspension, I felt like I had something to prove to myself. I had to prove my toughness, my ability to conquer pain.

Preparations in Iceland

My first hook suspension, on May 30th, 2013, was facilitated by the New York chapter of Rites of Passage, which is aptly named. Leading my suspension was a man named Cere Coichetti. That day, that trial, was a college graduation gift to myself. I was joined by my friend Dorothy, who herself was also doing this for the first time. The position I’d chosen for myself was a lotus, which involved two hooks in the back and two hooks in each leg, holding me seated cross-legged in the air. Cere rigged my suspension in such a way that I was free to transition from that lotus position to a more upright position where only my back hooks would be holding me up.

I can’t say that my first suspension was a “good” one, I did not achieve enlightenment or feel timeless bliss. It was a struggle, and it was full of sensations I could not comprehend, as there is really no experience quite like it. I did not, that day, “conquer pain”. However, for a brief, fleeting moment, I got a taste, a glimpse of what suspension really is all about. I experienced such an immediacy in my own body, such a level of internal focus on the self stripped of the constraints placed by ego. I later described the experience as “like a puppy being picked up by the scruff of the neck”, because it was the only way I could find to describe the comfort in discomfort, and the childlike openness to every sensation that the experience brought forth.

Preparations in Iceland

I was giddy, even delirious, immediately following the suspension. My body and mind felt unmoored, the bounds of my reality had shifted and I was humbled by the sheer intensity of my experience. My concept of who I was and what I was capable of had become malleable.

Gretchen making preparations.

Five years and almost 20 suspensions later, with a practitioner apprenticeship under my belt, I found myself battling sideways, freezing rain to rig a waterfall in Eastern Iceland for a three-day suspension event that I was hosting. Cere was there alongside me, as he had become a mentor and dear friend to me after a particularly beautiful suspension campout during the summer of 2014. Our trip was already off to an auspicious start, as Iceland was having the wettest and coldest summer weather in over 100 years. Additionally, the local grocery stores and banks were closed for a holiday which none of us travelers had even heard of. I felt a healthy dose of nagging self-doubt, as I feared I’d gotten not only myself, but eight other people, into a drastically different situation from what any of us had signed up for.

I realize that there is a certain amount of hubris involved in the decision to do hook suspension in Iceland. It’s a land of extreme scenery and extreme weather, so why not add an extreme activity to the mix?

Site for suspensions.

Two years prior to this trip, I’d visited Iceland for the first time, and it immediately became my favorite place. I fell in love with it for many of the same reasons that I fell in love with suspension: it’s a humbling place that will quickly destroy best-laid plans and demand that you show up and accept it for what it really is. My initial visit was in late spring, though, and I was assured by both friends and the Internet that our trip in August would yield much more mellow and predictable weather. Clearly, Iceland had other plans for us.

Determined to follow through with what we’d committed to, we began rigging our first suspension of the day. A man named Warren had traveled all the way from Australia to suspend with us, and damned if we wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of that experience. There was a brief respite from the rain and the wind, which was our cue to get started.

Prepping Warren

Warren was undertaking a chest suspension, a particularly challenging position, and one with little margin for error as it’s extremely prone to “tearing”, which is exactly what you think it is. Warren went up absolutely beautifully, and everyone present was silent in awe. His face had a look of peace and transcendence one rarely sees outside the context of suspension. I felt immense gratitude for having the opportunity to bear witness.

Warren’s chest suspension.

All too soon, though, we had to bring Warren down, due to tearing. Coincidentally, the weather then took a turn for the worse. I can’t remember who made the call, but the decision was made to return to our guest-house and suture Warren indoors, where there was heat and a comfortable bed. No one else wanted to suspend that day in the worsening weather, opting to wait in hope for a better second or third day. Half the party went back with Warren, while myself and the rest stayed behind to pack up our rigging.

Warren after his suspension.

That evening over dinner at a (mercifully open) restaurant, I felt more than a little worried that we might not have enough time or good weather to suspend everyone who wanted to do so. We only had two days left, but there were six more people (myself included) who wanted to go up. I tried to reason with myself that three suspensions per day isn’t particularly unusual or hard to facilitate, but a part of me knew that we wouldn’t be getting better weather, and that everyone else in my party would need to accept, and even embrace, the reality of our situation. I wasn’t sure if this was me asking too much of everyone.

Tim awaiting his suspension.

Day two was even colder and rainier than the first, and only Tim went up on hooks. He opted for the two-point back suspension colloquially known as a suicide, due to the position it puts the body in. While we all huddled under layers and rain-resistant outerwear, Tim was happily jumping and leaping, shirtless, from rock to rock, our rig-line providing enough bounce to give an almost bungee effect. Clearly he was having a positive experience, despite or even because of the weather. Yet, no one else decided to go up that day. Everyone was hoping against all odds that the last day would be the best.

Tim’s 2-point back suspension, known as “the suicide”.

The last day handed us the worst weather of the whole trip. It was also both Cere’s and Luna’s birthday, an extra bit of comedy gifted to us by the old gods. The wind was so strong that we literally could not do the prep and piercings outside, as our supplies would blow away. We were confined to the cars for prep work, which were luckily roomy enough to manage. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to suspend that day, and I typically enjoy suspending in the cold.

Joe’s “suicide” two-point back suspension. Photo by: Luna

Joe was the brave soul who did the first suspension that day. Like Tim on the previous day, Joe opted for a two-point back suspension. He went up smoothly, and almost immediately his face broke into a wide grin. He spun, bounced, lept, and danced in the air and on the ground, playing with every sensation in his body, feeling every moment. I was so proud to watch him in his bliss. He said afterwards that he didn’t even feel the cold once he was up, there was a warmth to his experience that gave him a resilience in the trying weather.

Cere prepping Liz.

Liz was next, with a forearm suspension. She bundled technical gear and warm layers around every part of her body, with the exception of her forearms. There was something almost poetic about the juxtaposition between her insulating, protective clothing and her bare, pierced skin. I was sure she was enjoying herself, even though I could barely see her face under the layers.

Liz’s forearm suspension.

Two suspensions were left: mine and Luna’s. Dorothy, who hadn’t suspended since our first time together in 2013, opted to wait to experience what would have been only her second ever suspension at another time under more controlled circumstances. Luna decided to wait until a little later in the day, in the case that the weather would clear that afternoon. So I went up.

Cere prepping Gretchen.

A two-point resurrection is my absolute favorite position when suspending. It involves two hooks placed side-by-side on the lower part of the ribcage, just above the stomach. It requires pure acceptance, as the more you struggle, the more your breathing gets panicked, the harder the suspension becomes. It’s a feedback loop, not unlike that which a panicked diver experiences, that makes this particular position very challenging. I love it precisely because I cannot fight it. My acceptance of it is not passive or submissive, I’m actively choosing to experience the enormity of the suspension as it is, not as I want to make it.

Tim assisting Gretchen as Ceres lifts her.

My ascent was assisted by Tim, who stood behind me and provided warmth and solidity as I was pulled into the air by Cere. My surrender to the moment was immediate. I rocked slowly side to side, sometimes swung by Cere’s movement of the rope, sometimes by the wind which now felt gentle and guiding. All the stress and worry over this trip, over whether everyone was getting what they wanted out of it, all of that was inconsequential. I existed, I was present, I was oh so very alive.

Gretchen’s “two-point resurrection”.

Eventually, the self-regulating part of my brain started to come back online, which signaled to me that it was, unfortunately, time to come down. I had gotten what I needed, now it was time to return to Earth, a little bit better for having taken that journey with myself.

Gretchen and Tim after her suspension.

I returned to the ground and was filled with an enormous love and gratitude for everyone there. They held me, supported me, and shared this wild experience with me. That overwhelming feeling of love and connectedness stayed with me as I readied for the last suspension of the trip: Luna’s.

Prepping for Luna’s suspension.

Luna is my blood-bonded sister. We met initially back in 2014 with the goal of creating a photo series about the mythology of Lilith entitled Lilith: From Myth to Flesh. In the creation of that project, we uncovered so much about ourselves and the paths we are walking. I could write a lifetime about what I’ve experienced with her and only scratch the surface, but suffice it to say, our lives are now inextricably linked.

Luna’s “resurrection”.

Luna’s mentor, Fakir Musafar, had passed away days before our trip to Iceland. Fakir was the man who brought body suspension and piercing outside the context of specific religious ritual, taking a “body-first” approach to spirituality. Those of us in the contemporary body modification community owe Fakir a debt of gratitude.

Luna’s “resurrection”.

Luna was carrying the grief of his passing with her throughout the trip, and her suspension was in dedication to him. She also chose to suspend in a two-point resurrection. As she left the ground, the clouds and rain broke and she was bathed in golden sunlight. She gently swayed in the wind and chanted in memoriam. Her words seemed to come from beyond her, with her body acting as conduit. She was beautiful and heartbreaking, wonderful and painful to be in the presence of.

I wept as I witnessed her.

Luna after her suspension.

“So, does it hurt?”

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“So, does it hurt?” This is the least interesting question of all, yet it is the most asked. How do I casually distill the enormity of suspension into a simple answer for such a simple question? How do I convey how reductive the concept of “hurt” is? Suspension hurts about as much as being part of something bigger than yourself hurts. Suspension hurts about as much as community hurts. Suspension hurts about as much as personal growth hurts. Suspension hurts about as much as love hurts.

Iceland was a reminder for me not to shy away from discomfort (which, honestly, is a far more accurate one-word description of the physical sensation associated with suspension). That place outside of my comfort zone is where I find, not what I want, but what I need. Beyond that, though, it reminded me to trust in the people around me, who all showed up for an experience that, while never easy, was endlessly rewarding. I am full of love and gratitude to my hook family, and I look forward to a future sharing more absurd, awe-inspiring experiences with them.

Gretchen after her suspension.

Gretchen Heinel is a photographer, filmmaker, performance artist, and hook suspension artist based in Nyack, NY. Her body of work includes collaborations with extreme and underground musical acts such as Theologian, Batillus, Lord Mantis, and Sabbath Assembly.

Iceland Team Lineup (left to right) : Lee, Gretchen, Tim, Luna, Cere, Liz, Dorothy, Warren & Joe


Her hook suspension team, White Flag, has announced the dates for their 2019 campout as July 22-26. The event will take place in rural Pennsylvania, USA. For more information, or to reserve a spot, email: info@gretchenheinel.com or cerewf@gmail.com.

To keep up with Gretchen’s adventures, follow her
@gretchenheinel on Instagram.

Check out the links to everyone’s projects and social media below the gallery.

Links

White Flag website
Joe Carrotta
Cere Coichetti
Luna Duran
Luna + Tim Gerdes
Liz Dodge

Trepaneringsritualen – Interview

Trepaneringsritualen is one of the most respected projects in the last decade of the post-industrial genre. With some albums which harken back to the sounds of 80s ritual ambient projects and others more traditionally structured, Trepaneringsritualen provides listeners with an array of soundscapes which could be as likely heard in a solitary ritual space as in a venue packed with metalheads. 

While the sounds of T x R x P are anything but uniform, Thomas Martin Ekelund, the original member behind the project, explains a bit about the purpose of T x R x P and we find that this is as complex and unwieldy as the music itself. 

We talk about the evolving background of T x R x P which includes a few new members, incense, touring, Fimbulvetr and more.

Enjoy the read and listen to the T x R x P loud!

Interviewee: Thomas Martin Ekelund of Trepaneringsritualen
Interviewer: Michael Barnett

Michael: Do you think you have come closer to the full understanding and consciousness you are seeking as Trepaneringsritualen?

T x R x P: Quite the contrary. Every flash of light reveals further paths veiled in darkness; with every door opened another two shuttered ones appear. I have been forced to accept that this is the way it’s going to be. We’re stumbling around an ever-changing labyrinth, and what we find in there rarely makes any sense. Perhaps that sense of no-sense is the purpose, or perhaps we will ultimately find ourselves in the embrace of true illumination. I don’t know, but in either case, T × R × P is a curse that can not be escaped.

Michael: Has there been a time in a collaboration as Trepaneringsritualen that you felt you came even closer to your personal source than during solo sessions?

T × R × P: I don’t make the distinction. T × R × P is and has always been something far greater than me. The brothers and sisters that have contributed to the workings are as essential to it as am I. The vortex may emanate from me, but their energies and the tangents they have added have been needed at various points in order for us to move forward.

Trepaneringsritualen by Linda Marie Bjärenstam

Michael: You’ve mentioned in the past that intoxicants are not a necessity for you to fully embrace the presence of Trepaneringsritualen. But I wonder what your thoughts are on the encounters throughout history with hallucinogens, and what effect they may have on the shaping of various religions.

T × R × P: I believe the use of hallucinogens has had, and continues to have, a considerable influence on the spirituality of Man. Those who aren’t entirely blind have a need to transcend this prison, and these substances offer at least a faint glance of the utter enormity of that which lies outside of creation. But hallucinogens are just a tool like any other. It’s a shortcut to utter madness, but it still only shows us the faint shadows of true reality.

Michael: Do you feel that Trepaneringsritualen has been born at this time in history for a reason? Or, do you think your personal spiritual journey remains somewhat separated from a linear framework?

T × R × P: That’s an interesting question, I have not pondered the timing. It doesn’t seem terribly important on a grander scale. We’re all captives in a temporal realm, and time is cyclical, so any point in time will have occurred an ungraspable number of times before and will occur innumerable times again.

Michael: What other performances and/or locations have you visited (outside of your own touring) that have enriched your understanding of Trepaneringsritualen?

T × R × P: There have been many transformative experiences in my life, everything from seeing Arktau Eos performing a ritual in a forest in the Sierra Nevada, to walking alone in the rain on the battlefields at Somme. But I don’t know that they have related explicitly to T × R × P. Generally, power nexuses like megalithic sites and places saturated in death like the aforementioned battlefield always shed some light on the path I am walking.
(Editor’s note: Check out our recent interview with Arktau Eos.)

Michael: You’ve mentioned the importance of attacking the senses, and in particular the nose, during your rituals/concerts. Would you recommend a blend of incenses or oils for an audience to better connect to Trepaneringsritualen when listening at home? Would this differ from album to album, season to season?

T × R × P: The V ∴ V ∴ V blend we created together with VI & All Things Obscure last year is the ideal starting point. We often modify its effects with sandalwood, palo santo or juniper at live rituals, depending on the desired result, alongside rotting blood, mold and mildew and other scents of decay. As a species, our olfactory perception of the world is what leaves the strongest impression, hence the focus on these aspects, but we aim to attack all senses.

Void ∴ Vision ∴ Vortex Incense

Michael: You’ve mentioned the Fimbulvetr‘s arrival in a past interview. I wonder if you still see this as the case? If so, what signs do you see of its arrival?

T × R × P: There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re in the midst of it. Everywhere you look you see the signs. Brother is fighting brother, sister is fighting sister. The masses are deaf and dumb. Men and women without honor, fully shackled by the vapid, vain and vulgar chains of consensus reality. This is an inevitability, all things created will decay and ultimately be destroyed. Rebirth is equally inevitable. We’re far from done, and until we are this is a circle that will keep repeating.

Michael: After the release of Kainskult, you started working on a new album with Peter Johan Nijland. How is this album coming along?

T × R × P: Peter has been a long-time brother, and an essential resource for T × R × P for a number of years. It finally became evident that he is an integral part of the working, and thus he has joined permanently. A split 7” with Nordvargr is imminent on Cyclic Law, and we are working on several other projects at the moment with a few already approaching completion — including a long-form work entitled ᛉᛦ to be released on Cold Spring during 2019.

We have started working on what might be considered the continuation of Kainskult — tentatively entitled Nine Daggers — but its conclusion is further into the future, and still in a very obscure state. We have also included Sister ᛏᛇᚱᚫ ᚾ ∴ ᚾ ∴ ᚾ in these workings, but her role will by necessity be more shadowy, though of no less importance.

(Editor’s note: A new project led by Peter J. Nijland, released on Cyclic Law.)

Michael: Would you like to talk about any of the specific activities you conducted in celebration of the tenth year of T × R × P?

T × R × P: There was no specific commemoration of the first decade. But 2018 was a year of Metamorphosis in many ways that shall become evident in the future.

Michael: You’ve stated previously that “we’re prisoners in a counterfeit world…”. Do you think as time passes and people become more connected to each other through the internet that more of us are beginning to see through the veil? Or, do you think we are becoming blinder by the year, increasing momentum toward an ending?

T × R × P: Ultimately, I don’t believe true union can be achieved in this realm. Connections can certainly be made, and you will find the people you need, be it through long-distance communication or face-to-face interactions. But each of us is cursed to always walk alone until the ultimate dissolution of the cosmos.

Michael: If you were able to have everything necessary, location and tools, what would be the perfect venue for a Trepaneringsritualen ritual to reach its fullest potential?

T × R × P: There’s an enormous number of places where rituals could be conducted, power nexuses from all over the globe that would bring their energies into the working. That might be a simple sacrificial oak grove on my mother soil, the ruins of Göbekli Tepe, or some ancient catacomb in Langadòc. Unlimited financial resources would merely bring more of what we already do. More fire, more scents, more lights, more participants.

Trepaneringsritualen –  Nicky Hellemans Photography

Michael: How are things going for the Beläten label? Are there any releases coming up that you would like to mention?

T × R × P: Beläten is currently obscured by the veils of alphaomega. Time will tell when they will lift and what they will reveal.

Michael: Where does the entity that is Teeth currently fit into the world of your output? Is this element currently silent or are Teeth’s reverberations still felt through T × R × P?

T × R × P: Teeth came very close to destroying me, but ultimately I won that battle and arose as a new man. It was an immensely painful struggle, but any struggle worth enduring will be. I don’t think the Teeth entity is in any way present in T × R × P, but it did cause me to open my eyes and as such it served a purpose.

Michael: You’ve mentioned that you find T × R × P to be a more positive project than people seem to realize. Why do you think others see the project as being so dark and what would you say they might be missing?

T × R × P: This working is certainly treading dark territories, but “dark” isn’t inherently negative. That’s a Judeo-Christian notion, and perhaps these people are simply unable to shed that yoke since the occident has been in the claws of that particular dragon for so long. It is in darkness we may find illumination. »Darkness yields the brightest light, and that it might reveal is dreadful desolation and the sweetest agony.«

Michael: Among other things, Nordvargr and you have collaborated on his latest solo album Metempsychosis on the track “First East”, not to mention the recently fully collaborative release ‘Alpha Ænigma’ as ᚾᛟᚢ II // ᚦᛟᚦ ᚷᛁᚷ. I wonder if you could speak a bit about your discovery of Nordvargr’s music?

T × R × P: I’ve been listening to Brother Nordvargr’s endeavors since I was a mere child, which undoubtedly has left its mark. It wasn’t until a few years ago our paths crossed, and it became apparent that our missions are of a similar nature, and I have found in him a true brother. Alpha Ænigma is just a small sidetrack, an impulse that came out of a larger collaborative working under the name Det Kätterska Förbund which is slowly beginning to show its face to the world. A triptych of EPs are in the works for Cold Spring, but travails of Malkuth have conspired to slow down our progress on this endeavor.

Michael: Have these collaborations felt important, in the sense of the T × R × P mission (whatever that may be)? Will there be more of these collaborations/rituals/experimentations with Nordvargr in the future?

T × R × P: They are of utmost importance, and I suspect our paths are forever entwined at this point. It’s a rarity finding a kindred soul like that, especially in the Swedish scene which, truth be told, mostly lacks the sort of depth we’re both striving towards. I am honored and grateful to call him a Brother.

Michael: How far back exactly does your relationship with ritual ambient go? Do you remember who was the first artist of this variety you discovered which really made an impression on you?

T × R × P: That’s a hard one. It’s 20+ years for sure, so not entirely convinced I recall the exact timeline. Korpses Katatonik & Zero Kama were important, Dogs Blood Rising by Current 93, and the first Lustmørd LP had a huge impact as well, and last but absolutely not least Slaughterhouse Invitations and other early works of Brighter Death Now. The sheer obsessiveness of their works is something that just grabbed hold of me, and never really let go. It’s impossible to overestimate the impact these artists had on me as a young man, and they all continue to be a source of inspiration.

Michael: You often describe Teeth and Trepaneringsritualen as currents of energy or consciousness that flow through you. I wonder if this is totally involuntary or if you are working with a form of surrealist automatism, voluntarily allowing yourself to be open to these foreign currents/entities?

T × R × P: Teeth was an attack, a malevolent entity that, for whatever reason, tried to destroy me. I am quite aware of why and how this happened, but I am prefer to keep those details to myself. Needless to say, it’s a battle I won and came through stronger and more focused.

T × R × P, on the other hand, is more akin to a union. It’s the ineffable powers of T × R × P working in tandem with my impulses. I am not T × R × P, I am part of it. It’s involuntary in the sense that I never asked for this, but it’s also voluntary because I have chosen to carry this curse to its conclusion. My aim is to ultimately be able to give up all control of the process, but I suspect that is impossible. Try as I might to escape it, I am still a being of physical manifestation, and as such, I am shackled to this world. A considerable part of what I have written has been initiated and often completed in trance states, and I find it a very rewarding way of working. It is at least a vague estimation of giving up control.

Michael: With Kainskult, T × R × P seems to be taking another step further in a process that seemed to become noticeable on Perfection & Permanence. Namely, that these two albums seem to be moving into a more musical direction, with more distinct percussion patterns and vocals that follow this more structural framework. Is this a process that is happening outside of your control and understanding, or is this a direction you are purposely taking?

T × R × P: It is true that both Kainskult and Perfection & Permanence are song-based in a more or less traditional sense. This is one aspect of T × R × P. It doesn’t mean we have abandoned the more explicitly ritual music, nor do we see any real necessity to make a distinction. It’s all of the same essences, with the same purpose. The differences are only on an aesthetic level. 2019 will see releases encompassing both aspects.

T × R × P @ Boiler Room, Berlin 2016

Michael: You’ve had an incredibly rigorous schedule for live events over the last few years. Is there any fatigue at this point, or are you still feeling the need to conduct your rituals across the globe as often as is permitted?

T × R × P: The public rituals are such an essential part of the working, so we try to accept as many offers as we are able. It certainly takes considerable effort to keep up, but it’s a sacrifice we’re obliged to make. Logistical issues have made it hard to schedule further public works recently, but we’re slowly getting back on track and I suspect the second half of 2019 will prove quite hectic.

Michael: Thank you so much for your time, I am very pleased to be speaking with you on behalf of This Is Darkness. Are there any final words you’d like to say before we part ways?

T × R × P: Thank you for the opportunity. We have nothing further to add.

Links

Official T × R × P Website
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Our review of Kainskult on This Is Darkness

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