What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I started out with a modest musical background and only began playing music in college. The electronic music creation process was always shrouded in mystery to me (especially when I first started before YouTube). so just began learning about it out of curiosity. Over time, I became obsessed with the recording process, production and making beats.
And the quality improved with every creation until friends started suggesting that I should look into releasing my music. A total snowball effect as you can see and here we are about to release my first full-length album after putting out 6 EPs and a couple of singles and compilation appearances.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
My upcoming album, Full Frontal Lunacy, is my first proper full-length album. Conceptually, it’s a self-portrait of sorts that borrows from my own brush with madness to document the demise of a protagonist from flirting with burnout all the way to the point of total nervous breakdown and mania.
The record features guest vocalists WARTERAUM (on ‘Scent of Torture’) and La Strange (on ‘The Descent’) in addition to me taking on different vocal duties to inject each track with a different personality and represent various layers of the mind.
Sonically it takes on techno, industrial, and darkwave as key ingratiates and often mashes them to various degrees depending on the needs of the tracks. It comes out on Halloween and follows the release of the singles, Scent of Torture, and Burnt Leather off of the same album.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Musically I’d list Coil, Skinny Puppy, Autechre and Depeche Mode mostly. Coil fueled my experimental side and the dark concept explorations. Autechre and (Warp Records as a whole) shaped my more abstract take on techno and bass a while back. Skinny Puppy and other electro industrial and EBM acts continue to inspire my beat making process and production and I gotta list Depeche mode for my melodic sensibility and their influence on techno.
Horror films and soundtracks are a more obvious influence on the project, and I always loved decedent symbolist art and surrealism. I did make it part of my mission to shape sounds that are sonic translations of those visual genres in a lot of my music and my videos have also taken inspirations from those sources.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I have an unconventional approach to production and arrangement. I blend unrelated musical parts to create a mutated form of techno flavored darkwave and industrial. You can say the raw material that I use are similar to others’ in the same genre (synths, drum machines, sequencers) but somehow I whip up something a little different.
Not gonna say that my sound is the most original, but the results do feel unique. I also tend not to repeat myself and rarely produce the same track twice. My stuff is dark, yet melodic, decadent, and even trippy at the same time. Think that’s the essence of the Vexillary sound.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Assuming the desert island can accommodate modern electronic devices here are my top picks at the moment in no particular order:
Albums: Coil’s Love’s Secret Domain, Plastikman’s Closer, and any of the first 4 Roxy Music albums.
Movies: Clockwork Orange, Alien, Holy Mountain.
Books: Against Nature by Huysmans, Flowers of Evil by Baudelaire, and Crash by J. G. Ballard
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I’ve always been a studio rat, that’s where I thrive the most. And as a result, live performances have been taking a back seat to the studio production process over the years. That said, I’m coming off of one of my most creative periods in terms of production and starting to get the itch for live performances. Interested in putting together the right live presentation of the music. I’m sure once I figure it out there will be plenty performances to come.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Obviously, my music is pretty dark and so are my music videos but I’m a bit of a goofball in general and can get nerdy and shy despite the heavy subjects that I tend to tackle. A recent example was during the creation of the music video for SPANKTHENUN remix of ‘The Geneticist’.
It was the first video of mine to feature archival footage vs original animation which was the dominant style for my videos up until that point. And I wanted to make it pretty wild and graphic since the song demanded “heavy” visuals. Long story short, I ended up proudly compiling some of the most f’d up visuals out there little to the knowledge of the editor of that video. The funny part was my communication to the editor about it and how shy I got all of a sudden.
So the email started out with “here are the medical footage, and here are the war stuff” and then proceeded to apologize for what I was about to unleash before sharing the really crazy bits. And for the final act (the sexual stuff) I concluded the handoff directions with “And here are the kinky bits, sorry, will promise not to go here too often in our collabs, but then again these go really well with the song so here we go”.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I’d say ‘Full Frontal Lunacy’, the title track from the upcoming album. It wears it’s influences on its sleeve (Industrial, EBM, and hard techno) but somehow feels fresh and new. It also packs a ton of punch with brute force and comes across seriously imposing—a brutalist song in every shape or form.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
For the immediate future, I’m looking forward to the release of the album. There will be new music videos to follow the album release with the main one for the title track already in the bag. I really enjoyed the remix EP that I released earlier in the year so will likely create one for this album as well once people have had a chance to listen to the record and digest it.
And as we touched on my itch for live earlier, I’ll be exploring the right format for the presentation of the album and its videos live further down the line. With lots more new music already in production, it should be an exciting time ahead.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Tell us about launching your own label, con:trace?
After a decade of releasing music on independent record labels, I started con:trace as a promising new home for left field industrial, techno, and other forms of dark electronic music. Being in the year one of the imprint, I’m enjoying a soft launch period with the release of my upcoming album and its related singles. I do however plan to expand the reach to feature other likeminded artists and excited to take on more of a curator role as the label expands.
Photo Credits: Nick Starichenko
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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