Black Research _ Interview with Fausten
Actually Derek, meant to ask you.. What was the thinking behind releasing the album on Ad Noiseam? Must have been tempting to keep control of it yourself, especially seeing that you are involved in the music & the AV side of things? Would you mind telling us about that?
Derek: Well the short answer is cash and time.
Yes Fausten was originally meant to be out on Combat as a 4 track EP, but it would have been a slog as Collapsing System had just come out. The label is essentially a one-man job and there are only so many hours in the day and only so much cash to master, press and promote stuff. If Fausten emerged via Combat, I’d have to be running around trying to do responsible things, and have even less time to actually make music. Someone who runs a label and produces will not be able to achieve both things 100%, or at least it would take a much longer time as you’d have to serial process, switching from “sensible” mode to artist mode and vice versa.
It’s fortunate that we’ve known Nico from Ad Noiseam for quite some time. Quite a few mates are on his label, such as Broken Note, Machine Code, Roel Funcken, Oyaars, et al. They push their artists quite hard and are experienced with album projects, thus when he offered to release a whole album’s worth of Fausten, it seemed like the logical step. I also get the impression that the Fausten sound would be better received in mainland Europe, where Ad Noiseam is strongest.
Running your own label, is it hard being “hands-off” when you are providing the music to someone else, especially an album? Is it like having a holiday, or being a ‘back-seat driver’ ? Haha
Derek: It’s impossible for me not to think in “label mode” when doing this, but overall it was pretty painless working with Nico, actually. He let us decide the selection, track order and mastering from our end. He had the final say but as it turned out, there were no disagreements anyway. The artwork took quite a few tries though, as we had differing ideas on what the main imagery would be. One caveat was the overuse of gore and sexual imagery, which would have skewed or cheapened the initial perception of Fausten.
Those remixes on the album from Dadub, Ontal and Oyaarss are reall nice. We’ve had a mix from Ontal on our podcast before and interview.. Good Lads. Great sense of humour which is good to know given the bleakness of the music they make. We also had an epic interview with Dadub.. really cool and inspirational Guys. Anyway, the remixes fit in seamlessly with the originals.. I’d say you were delighted when you heard what came back? I know King Cannibal & Dadub worked together on the ‘You Are Eternity’ album, so there’s a bit of an Ad Noiseam link there.. but how did they all come about?
Derek: Well the ones who make the bleakest, most evil stuff tend to be the most chilled people. It comes out in the music, catharsis. Or, perhaps isolationist music tends not to attract the level of human hierarchy/bullshit you’d see in more “sociable” music forms, who knows? What I do know is we got on quickly. The main things that we seem to have in common are a twisted sense of humour and a dislike for bullshit.
I met Boris; one half of Ontal in Croatia a while back. He’d done some music for Combat and Yellow Machines, and in the meantime had teamed up with Dekode to form Ontal, which blew us away. Ontal is probably closest in spirit to Fausten, it’s highly evolved sonic brutality, totally bleak and physical. They approach it from a techno angle while Fausten tends to have more broken rhythms and drumbreaks. Each complements the other.
As for Oyaars, well around 2006-2007 some producers began to appear on the fringes of Dubstepforum, from Industrial or Metal backgrounds, who took the halfstep 140 rhythm and fused it with their own harder sounds and darker atmospheres, such as Cloaks, Ekaros, Lone Wolf and Oyaars. I eventually met Oyaars at a gig in Latvia, he later moved to England and we’ve kept in touch. His string arrangements are amazing, especially epic when you hear them over crushing hard beats.
I became aware of Dadub via Rob Booth, who played “Temptation of Maya” on his podcast. It was the first interesting techno I’d heard in years. They played their first gig in London at Dystopia, really down to earth, clued-up and quietly intense guys. We ended up chatting most of the night about production, turns out they are huge Scorn fans as well, and come from a drumming background which explains the mad syncopation of their beats. I just happened to say okay there’s this new project called Fausten, it’s a bit like Mick in some parts, would you be up for a listen and maybe a remix? The Dadub remix was done in two stages, Gio did a version, Dan did another, and in the end both were combined into a monster 8 minute track. It’s unique because it’s actually TWO original tracks – ‘Punishment’ and ‘Evisceration’ remixed then combined into one!
Dylan Cannibal has, or certainly had a studio in the same building as Dadub, in Friedrichshain, that’s how they met. Dylan’s a big fan of Current Value, who is half of Machine Code. Friedrichshain is also the location of Subland, a good club run by Dean from Machine Code, and a mate of Nico. Berlin is physically a big place but people-wise, the “good music” circles can be quite small.
Brilliant to hear all those stories. Really glad I asked you the question now. Cool, well.. I think we may as well start bringing it to a close now Guys. Do you want to tell us what’s coming up next for Fausten then? Will there be another album?
Derek: There’s a collaboration with Ontal at the moment, bits of which you might hear in the Fausten set on Electronic Explorations. There’s also an album of drones/soundscapes and yes quite a few new tracks with beats.
What are the plans for yourselves, your own music Guys? Anything that we should be looking out for?
Julien: I’m trying to finish a few Monster X releases for this year.
Derek: Music-wise, there’s a collab with Junq ticking away, and a few new acid bits sitting unfinished. No rush though, need cash to release stuff first haha! Other stuff: I’ve started learning Quartz Composer to evolve the visuals more.
Suppose we should end on some wise words then. A parting shot?
Derek: Do what you want , follow your instinct , not the scene or any genre.
Julien: Just get on with it. Hype dies off, but music with integrity will last.
Don’t forget that Fausten’s mix for Electronic Explorations compliments this interview and is available from HERE.