Friday, May 11, 2012

DOTDR Interview With Atmospheric Old School Style Black Metal Act Kavra

DOTDR: In preparation for this interview I revisited Extranos Dias De Pandra and it still completely amazes me. What did you guys set out to do on EDDP?

Enrique: Well, to be honest the recording happened only after a period of inner turmoil and the fracture of the band's basic core, which was I and guitar/vocalist Inkvlto. Then, like a year after (2008) I started listening to the then-new Crepusculo Negro stuff like Volahn, Arizmenda, etc. and I felt very related to that anger and fierceness, so I took a guitar and started "playing" it… sorta. I realized I would need help so I asked two old friends from the local scene and showed them riffs and well, the main aim was basically to capture the sound of my/our distress.

DOTDR: Right now "Render Null and Void" is playing and I love the way it goes from psychedelic and shoegaze black metal to almost a raw Summoning feel, the misanthropic mournful howling and raspy vocals that are buried so far behind the mix that the whole song feels like it’s on the verge of evaporating into oblivion. That has to be one of my favorite tracks on the album. You really captured the turmoil, but in all honesty, I’ve rarely heard something so ethereal and unique in recent days. It has an even more vaporous feel than Velvet Cacoon!!!

Enrique: Yes, it's funny you mention it because we recorded that one on a Panasonic boom box from the 90s!  Also, that track is improvised.

For the record, I only wrote riffs for "Behest of Mayhemic Buzz" and "Raving Fanatical to the Dire".

DOTDR: Whoa!!! That's awesome!!! It really has that unique lo-fi sound to it that fits the song title. Did you record it like that on purpose or did it just come out that way because it was all that you had available?

Enrique: This is a bit embarrassing... 'cause we were just too lazy and/or stoned to set up the mics again (borrowed from one of the guys of the local band Korgull), so we ended like, yeah, whatever, let's improvise; put a (probably used) tape and pressed record.

DOTDR: That's hilarious, and it was probably the best lack of decision a band could have. So then how did you record "Behest..." and "Raving...", they also have a great warm lo-fi feel to them and are also really old school black metal?

Enrique: Hahaha thanks, I'm glad you like it; you seem to be one of the few persons capturing most of the RECORD essence. As with most friends/boss labels/journalists we've shown the tape, the thing is they either like the black metal OR the experimental tracks.

Those were the two tracks recorded with proper mics, a 12-channel mixer and computer/soundcard. I hate 80s/90s techniques of recording (when people records "clips" and then the engineer assembles everything in sync/time) so I've just set it up in the room with mics everywhere, kinda like the 50s jazz recordings and we did it live, first take, it's full of "mistakes" and shit. I overdubbed some guitar on Raving, though.

DOTDR: Shit!!! That's a brilliant way to go about getting the right sound!!! I'm a 50-60's jazz nut and many believe that the recording styles are the whole reason that those albums sound so good on vinyl.
I also love the combination of both styles on the album. It's different, but still very much coherent and really does give a very bleak and dark side of things wavering between fanatical and pissed off to solemn. I'm now on "Steel of Elitism and Blood", another experimental track that is incredible. What's the story behind this one?

I also don't hear any mistakes on "Raving..." it's that raw instantaneous vibe that makes it so harsh and REAL.

Enrique: Sick story. That one is a track done using a technique called "granular synthesis" in which a short sound (from, you say, less than half-a-second) is divided into "grains" of sound, which can be altered in pitch, speed, etc. I'm really interested in the concept of "error", so I ended running a micro sample of the sound of when you accidentally unplug the guitar, you know that DAH! static sound, through some granular delay synthesis effect, I press record and manipulated it in real time. No overdubs, no keyboards, no "musical" sounds, just the annoying sound of static dissected and re-organized in infinite ways.

And about "Raving", what can I tell you...I'm so partial to that's prob. my favorite.

DOTDR: Wow!!!! How did you come up with that?

Enrique: Well, to be honest much of these granular techniques were shown to me first by a younger composer of contemporary music, called Elias Puc. I happen to play and organize experimental gigs here in my town alongside a couple of friends who have been into experimental and contemporary music for quite a long time. I'm still learning from them.

DOTDR: I know that the cassette sold out a while ago, so others must hear and sense the incredible energy it has. Are you going to do another release in the future?

Enrique: Yes, actually we're about to have two different releases, one is a demo tape which will come out through Depressive Illusions, the other one is the debut single-sided LP for the Prison Tatt label from our esteemed Wm. Berger!

DOTDR: Outside of the inspiration mentioned in the beginning, what other sounds/styles of music are you into?

Enrique: it's pretty diverse and indicative of a mental illness. For example, I collect old house records. Obscure 90s deep NJ/NYC/Chicago/Detroit house. Love it since I was a kid. I hate so much of what passes nowadays for "house". I also really like electro acoustic improvisation and composition, like the American composer Michael Pisaro, who is a MUST. Of course noise, jazz, specially early 70s, 60s and 50s, a bit of sludge/doom/stoner, Wagner, Strauss, Shostakovich, Mahler... tons of black metal tapes with poor production...

OLD 80s/90s Hip Hop like KRS-One! shouldn't make the question. I'm now thinking of dozens of shit!

DOTDR: Yeah, once you get me going on what music I like it becomes this explosion of stuff like ripping a fire hydrant out of the ground. Jap psyche is another one of mine, I scored a nice Blues Creation Demon and Eleven Children a few weeks ago!!!

 I just cleared out my entire Detroit techno/acid house collection. I had so much of it and was really into it for about a decade at least but never listen to it these days and needed cash to fill holes in my death metal collection. That's pretty cool to hear that you're so diverse. I'm a huge prog/kraut fanatic and my recent obsession over the last year has been Turkish Psychedelic Rock.

Enrique: Whoa!! I'm a huge kraut fan and Jap psych; I even bought that Julien Cope book!
What can you recommend me of Turkish Psychedelic Rock? A good compilation?

DOTDR: OOOH yeah. I’ll send you some info, but start out with the Love Peace and Poetry series, also grab the Turkish Freakout comps while they’re still available, I can give you the info on where to get them, labels, etc.
Great book as well, I need to pick that up but still tend to get books on metal instead (laughs).

You've been my first live chat interview victim!!! I'm so glad you were able to do this, I've been waiting to get a chance to hear more Kavra material and am glad to know that there's more coming. You're really innovative!!! So in closing, is there anything you'd like to say?

Enrique: Well, thanks a lot first for the chance to do this, it was really great, so far off from the shitty posed interviews I often read from black metal interviews. I just want to add that nothing of this will be happening without the terrific work and commitment of Mr. Kenny Crum of Wohrt Records. Kenny believed in Kavra since he heard it, so much that he let us have the huge honour of starting the Wohrt label with EDDP. I always look forward to work with Wohrt again, so, I raise my keg of beer to him.

DOTDR: Absolutely!!!! WOHRT is great and I'm stoked to work with Kenny!!!! Kenny has taste; I did not know that you were the first release though. That’s really great!!

Thanks again for your time, the making of the album was really interesting as was the album itself. Keep in touch and best of luck with the next crop of bet I'll want them!!!

Enrique: I'll be more than happy to send you copies of both, the demo will be out just before summer and the LP is expected in November!



No comments:

Post a Comment