Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Degenerate Slug/Pink Sexdeath/Poison Tongue/Ninika creator Paul von Aphid speaks with DOTDR

As much as I LOVE Reclusa, Degenerate Slug really held up its half of the split on NVS and is thankfully going to be continuing to produce. It turns out that this is the project of the same Paul von Aphid behind the Giallo psychosexual horror electronica of Poison Tongue (if you missed that one you sadly missed it for good), Pink Sexdeath, Ninika, and now Modern Howl. Aside from being a wicked minded artist with the right sensibility he's also one Hell of an interesting guy, so without further yapping from me here's Paul on his creations, and a life of sex, drug, and occult living.

DOTDR: Hey Paul, I understand that you are the man behind such audio atrocities as Degenerate Slug, Ninika, Poison Tongue, and Pink Sexdeath. I really loved Degenerate Slug from the Reclusa split, nice return to classic industrial without the dancey goth/rave vomit. Tell me a bit about Degenerate Slug, your mind frame when creating tracks like "Deranged" and "I Smell the Stench of Your Menstrual Blood at my Fingers"?

Paul: Hello Janet! Yeah, the Pink Sexdeath, Degenerate Slug and Poison Tongue are my projects, and Ninika is collaboration with my friends from the U.S., Teeth Engraved With The Name Of Dead, dark kraut drone duo from Oakland.
Speaking of Degenerate Slug, that was a hard period of my life, late 2010/early 2011 I think…. heavily connected with failed love affairs, drugs, a cold winter and obsession with the psychosexual horror of Atrax Morgue, Mordor (swiss band). I mean all the lyrics aren’t about fantasies, they are based on real experience and, well, by reading the titles you can understand why I’m not much into sharing the details about the actual stories behind each song.

DOTDR: Hey, no worries there…we all have things that don’t need to be openly publicized and major kudos to you for not slutting yourself out for the shock and attention (laughs). I'm actually HUGE kraut nut, then and now eras, and haven't heard those guys but if you really dig dark kraut I highly recommend this one obscure dark ambient/kraut/horror psyche album Damenbart "Impresionen 71" . Although having passed through that period of mental and emotional fuckery will there be any new DS material?

Paul:  Yeah, there will be album on Crucial Blast soon, featuring guest vocals of Peter Majors (of Harrasor etc.) on one of the tracks. There also will be a resurrected Pink Sexdeath, that now will be reminding you all of a more really fucked up black noise band like Abruptum jamming with a 70's synth kraut rock band. Degenerate Slug is now much more Skinny Puppy influenced as well as by David Cronenberg movies and will be based on the real story about me experiencing hashish psychosis and meeting the figure of Sleeping Father, it was real delirium, for the first time in my life I was really in fear of myself. White Mice (band) was also a big influence.

DOTDR: You’re a brave one to go through that. I did acid only 2 times as a teen, but after seeing my reflection in the mirror as a rotted corpse, and horror/mutilation everywhere I looked, shadows trying to kill me, and the grand finale of my shirt growing hands and faces and trying to rip my flesh off and strangle me all the while I’m trying not to show that I’m on anything. Too much for me!!!

What did your vision look like?

Paul: It wasn't a visual thing, but more like feeling of a presence very near me. As for drugs, I never had a chance to take acid, only DOM, 2C-I and DOB, all of which are Alexander Shulgin inventions. Well, I think the last one twisted my mind a bit, but also gave me a deepness and concentration of details, a bit simillar to some Buddhist practices, or as I think of them.

DOTDR: Do you think that it was a real vision of meaning or could it just be that under the control of drugs and in a state of delerium your mind projected things that were familiar to it stemming from ideas within your own head?

Paul: I think it was real, drugs just help to break some walls of "real" world.

DOTDR: Many believe that and I don’t see why it wouldn’t have some truth to it. My mind works through dreams and those are detailed and real enough at times.
I know from past correspondences that you have an active life involving occult studies and beliefs and I was wondering if you'd be open to talking about some of your thoughts and how they affected you?

Paul: Well, yeah, I'm open to discuss it. I think my beliefs that formed thru my life and drug experiences also help me to understand that world a lot mean. I mean, my personal beliefs are built on the eclectic mix of Qaballah, Buddhism, English esoteric culture, Solipsim, Psychiatry, Futurology and Post-Modernism. The turning point in my life was while reading the book by Gary Lachman (ex-Blondie bass player, who also recorded with Iggy Pop and than become an occult writer) "A Dark Muse", it's a very humorous and interesting investigation of occultism history from Isaac Newton up to Brodsky, Andrei Belyi and Arthur Rimbaud.

DOTDR: I’ve read some books like that but will have to put THAT one on my “next to read” list. I also know that you have a very active drug life, is there anything specific that drives your interest in drug use and how do you feel that it is a creative factor in your projects?

Paul: I can't explain it, as it all just came naturally as well as the whole psychosexual thing. I also can't say that something is prevalent now in my music more so than any other thing, I always try to express some visions in my head at that moment when I record, as a result some are more developed versions of synesthesia than are others. You know, I always express music by colours too, that's why Degenerate Slug designs have so much pink and violet colors.

DOTDR: You said earlier that you don't want to divulge any background behind the song titles, but sexual fantasy and horror play such a huge role in your music that it'd be great to get some insight into your mindset and what ultimately drives you to express yourself musically, are you open to that bit ?

Paul: As far as the psychosexual stuff goes, sometimes it's just fetish, sometimes more serious. Sex and magic go well together and have over many centuries, just as one of streams of inner and outer energy.
Now the "horror" part sometimes isn't fantasy, but an interpretation of real life experiences with the sexual parts being mostly true. You know, when I was a teen I was also obsessed by early Whitehouse and Atrax Morgue, The Sodality, Throbbing Gristle…I have a lingering nostalgia of the endless summer of 2008 when I was endlessly relistening to Atrax Morgue's works and slowly coming up with the concept of Pink Sexdeath.

Also, I must mention Alex Kmet of Climax Denial, who was the first releaser of any Pink Sexdeath works and also a big influence on me with his music. I think Climax Denial is the only true successor of Atrax Morgue, but not a mere clone. Too bad that we lost our contact,we were good penpals.

DOTDR: I’ve only just now heard some of the Pink Sexdeath stuff, but am already a fan and looking forward to that project coming back into play. Now on to Ninika: Bill from NVS sent me two of your Ninika tracks: "Heat" and "You Can Hear the Bodies Fucking". Great stuff, definitely a bit different than DS, as it's more power electronic post industrial, but still incredible!!!! How did Ninika come about and what/when can we expect a release?

Paul: About Ninika, it still shares the atmosphere of Poison Tongue, Pink Sexdeath, DS releases in terms of lyrical content and the personalities mentioned in the songs are still the same mostly, or just based on similar fantasies. Musically Ninika is mostly the work of Moz and Dee, a couple from Oakland who have been making music for a long time, they are a decade older than me I think. In late 2009 I came across Moz’ blog on the web and was really impressed by his previous bands so I started to write to him. We talked a  for tons of hours about music, then came up with that project. Moz and Dee recorded the tracks, and do all the main work, and then I layered down the vocals and a bit of synths. It was recorded in 2010, and will be released soon on NoVisible Scars.

DOTDR: I’m completely stoked to hear more of your stuff!!!! Now on to the next thing, what inspired you to create music, let alone so many great projects, and what drew you to electronic styles?

Paul: Well, doing this interview I realized that all my projects share the theme of my really fucked-up life and/or fantasies based on it. My lifestyle becomes worse with each year, as no big surprise, hahah. In 2011 I started to take drugs on a regular basis, so that’s a big inspiration too.
 In various places all of my music has been influenced by science fiction, real life experiences, drugs, love affairs, and stuff like that although the psychosexual horror is the most common of 'em all, which I now realize. Also at times, there’re Cronenberg "Dead Ringers" or Giallo's or Whitehouse tapes - but those have always interested me. Even when I tried to drop that by listening to a lot of various music like krautrock or zeuhl I understood very fast that I was still instinctively attracted by all things dark and/or just strange. I very much love Roy Orbison, James Blunt and Beastie Boys, but just can't compose happy music.

Speaking of electronic music... Well I also was heavily influenced by 80's metal and hardcore music in my teenage years, playing in projects like Helltripper (awkward Venom-metal) or Demon City Reaper (GISM-styled hardcore), I think the rips of demos are still somewhere in the web, but I no longer possess the original recordings, but here was also big influence of classic industrial.  You know what?  I have only 3 tattoos on my body, but they are of  Neubauten, Coil and Psychic TV designs,

I started to understand that I do electronic music of all sorts much better, so I just keep with that. Meeting my icon JG Thirwell (aka Foetus and a myriad of other projects) at the local fest was a groundbreaking experience too,
So even now when my main project is Modern Howl (some kind dark synth/post-witchouse duo it still has the strong industrial/psychosexual roots, just watch videos of MH on youtube.

DOTDR: Neubauten is my all time favorite electronic act!!!!! In fact I'm planning on designing a tattoo of their symbol with some other stuff in and around it pertaining to their work.  I used to love Psychic TV, but haven't heard them in years, same goes with stuff like the Legendary Pink Dots and even Foetus. I’ll be checking out the Modern Howl very soon!!!!

Now onto Poison Tongue!!! I loved that tape NVS put out some time back, Lick You Sweety. I got the impression that, like Death Factory, this release and project has a  sound that was Giallo/horror film inspired. Is that true and if so can you explain to me a bit about the Poison Tongue project as a whole?

Paul: Yeah, Poison Tongue was heavily influenced by Giallo's, much like Death Factory. Poison Tongue was recorded in December of 2009, deep at night, with young me trying to express my personal bad thoughts into music (as with any other project of mine)

DOTDR: Will there be any more Poison Tongue material?

Paul: I don't know. Not so long ago I played my first and last gig with Poison Tongue, the whole show was recorded on a soundboard and I own the recording, but dunno if anybody wants to release it. I think Poison Tongue is no longer alive.

DOTDR: Bummer about PT, but at least you have enough others to keep you busy. As a fan of the genre I have to ask: What are some of your favorite Giallo's?

Paul: Well, most of Fulci's, Bava's, Argento's stuff, nothing really original.

DOTDR: All good stuff, my faves are: New York Ripper, Blood and Black Lace, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, and honestly too many to list. So on that note, are their any last words you'd like to add before we end?

Paul: Thanks for interview, Janet.


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