Friday, June 30, 2017

Destruktionsanstalt: The Extremity Exhibition

“It’s the whole idea of doing some kind of soundtrack music that reflects the world we live in, a harsh reality that we in the western world choose to ignore on a daily basis.”

We head to Viborg, Denmark to meet with Per Najbjerg Odderskov, Post Industrial sound sorcerer and a fellow journalist.

Part of the old guard for nearly 20 years now, he rose to prominence as the brains behind experimental electronic / dark ambient outfit Lidane Livering, (which has been recently resurrected) and since 2015 he’s been building Destruktionsanstalt. 

A furious monster of a project described by Per as “Back to basics death-industrial with atmospheric psychedelic overlays”.

Per also keeps himself busy with other projects God Cancer and Left Hand of God
as well as exploring his funny side with The Gordon Ramsey Orchestra.

I had a quick chinwag with the man himself to find out his thoughts on current events, themes behind latest Destruktionsanstalt release “Ex Bello Volaptus” and how he is worming his way into the art world…

Listen below and you can read my thoughts on the album after this interview.

DMD: How did Destruktionsanstalt get started and from where does the name originate?
Per Najbjerg Odderskov: Destruktionsanstalt was an attempt to get into more extreme sounds, whereas Lidane Livering lies within the boundaries of ambiance and electronics. 

As for the name, I think I read it on the side of a truck driving by full of dead, stinky farm animals.
I remembered seeing a cow’s leg hanging over the side of it. A Destruktionsanstalt is a place where you burn dead animals which have died from a sickness. 

DMD: How is the scene in Denmark? 
PNO: Depends on where you are in Denmark, most of the stuff is happening in the capital (Copenhagen) and a few things are happening in Aarhus and Aalborg. Otherwise, it’s quite dead. 
Right now I’m living in Viborg, which was the capital in the really old days. 

I think I’m the only one here doing this kind of music. 80% of all people in Denmark doing some kind of "extreme" music make some kind of death /black metal mostly, 15% of which are doing Electronic / Industrial live in Copenhagen and the last 5% are spread across the other parts of Denmark.  

DMD: Growing up, what music did you tend to listen to?
PNO: Back in the late 80s as a kid I grew a general fondness of electronic based music, it was just way cooler than someone with a guitar. 
Why I had that view is beyond my understanding. I guess one of the reasons was growing up with a Commodore 64, and listening to the music coming from there. 

We had cracked games for it. These software pirates would leave their musical demos with the games. I fondly remember these low-bit cover versions of Kraftwerk, OMD and Depeche Mode. 
When I got older in the early 90s, early techno and house music were where my interest was. I think my first real influential idol back then was Aphex Twin, later on, I stumbled upon LFO, Orb, Biosphere, Model 500. 

There were the first artists who gave me the idea of producing my own music, so I had my first creations on my Amiga with a sampler. It was just some hardcore techno rhythms with a sample of Margaret Thatcher on top of it! 
All of a sudden I got fed up with the rave and love issues that were around techno and house music, and one day a good friend of mine got hold of this tape with a band called Skinny Puppy so that probably changed my direction at that time. 
This band blew my mind since I was already heavily into cyberpunk-based roleplaying games and of course horror based like Call of Cthulhu. 

To actually hear an act, which made this sort of in-your-face soundtrack thing just blew my mind. 
All of a sudden I was creating my own sounds on my newly bought PC. I was heavily inspired by the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Brighter Death Now and Scorn. That was in the mid 90’s when I made Fragments vol.1 (Lidane Livering).

DMD: How did you first discover the darker side of experimental with genres such as Dark Ambient / Noise /  Death Industrial etc?
PNO: When I decided that the extreme stuff was way more interesting than electronic body music and industrial rock, I was searching for whatever act that reminded me of Throbbing Gristle.

I stumbled upon this website/mail order underground thing, which sold all these weird-sounding acts which I didn’t know. 

They sounded interesting so I bought a couple of em, turned out that they were all released from Cold Meat Industry. It was Brighter Death Now, Raison D´être and In Blind Embrace (Controlled Bleeding side project). And again, it blew my mind. I was just thinking why the hell was I wasting my time on industrial-techno with guitars haha! 

Brighter Death Now was the most frightening and challenging shit I had ever heard, Raison d´être was incredible, beautiful and dark at the same time and In Blind Embrace combining powerful classical opera inspired music with harsh industrial aesthetics. 

That kind of stuff was soo fucking unique, so I kept my primary focus on this scene for many years!

DMD: What is your recording setup?
PNO: Following off whatever I learned from software on my Amiga and PC. 
Using Soundforge, Audacity, synth emulators, fields recordings and grabbing samples from movies etc.

DMD: Name 15 records you couldn’t live without
PNO: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works vol.1

Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats

SPK - Leichenshrei

Brighter Death Now - Pain In Progress

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

Autechre - Amber

Ministry - Twitch

Caberet Voltaire - Code

Earth - Hex

Klinik - Time Plaque

Front 242 - Geography

Tangerine Dream - Stratosphere

Jean M. Jarre - Equinoxe

Atrax Morque - In Search Of Death

Megaptera - Extended Chaos

DMD: Tell us about your other projects God Cancer, Lidane Living and Left Hand of God
PNO: Lidane Livering explores heavy raw ambiance and cold rhythmic brutalism. The themes are mostly dealing with human-made atrocities to real life horrors. Otherwise, it deals in various post-industrial soundscapes. It was my first project, and it kick-started all my projects more or less. 

Left Hand of God started as an occult based esoteric ritual ambient act. Drawing ideas from NON, Archon Satani, and Ain Soph. 

Today, we´re dealing with a religiously inspired act which gets its ideas from the scene of HNW.
I’m thinking, the voice of a judgemental and all knowing god would probably sound to the human ear like a wall of some kind. That’s what I’m trying to do. 

God Cancer is a free based improvisational project which explores sounds and moods without boundaries. Not focused on any sub-genre or anything. 

DMD: What can you tell us about the new Destruktionsanstalt tape Ex Bello Volaptus?
PNO: It´s a more brutal, raw and heavy then former releases. 
The themes of the album also work within shocking taboos connected with death in one way or another. 
Victims of a serial killer, biological weaponry and its experimentations on humans, necrophilia etc…

Whereas former releases worked with sickness and the loss of a close family member. 
In lots of ways, it´s the heavier brother of Vivens Monumentis (released through Craneal Fracture records), which had a slightly more psychedelic approach I think. 

DMD: What inspires you to make music? 
PNO: Whatever I read or experience in the news mostly. It’s the whole idea of doing some kind of soundtrack music that reflects the world we live in, a harsh reality that we in the western world choose to ignore on a daily basis.

DMD: Back in August 2016 you released a cassette of two Destruktionsanstalt and Lidane Livering live performances what was your experience recording these? Do you have any plans for more live releases in the future?
PNO: This was without a doubt the best experience I have ever had, it was actually a music concert in classical terms. It was part of an art venue, where it all concerned sound and installation art. I was so lucky to know some insider people, so I managed to squeeze myself into the art-world. 

The audience was satisfied and bought some releases from me, so I was satisfied too. 
As for the moment, there are no plans for live performances. But I am keeping an eye for another opportunity. 

DMD: What can you be found doing when you are not making music?
PNO: Doing family man work. Cleaning, changing diapers, cooking, shopping etc ... And when I’m not doing that, I spend most of my time being tired at night while watching a supernatural or sci-fi themed series on Netflix over a beer or two. 

Besides that, I read a lot and am trying to find the time to listen to all of my records and tapes and stuff. 

DMD: What does Ex Bello Volaptus mean and what made you choose this title?
PNO: It means the results of war, whatever happens afterward if it all chooses to end which it sadly doesn’t.
A monotonous continuation which carries on like the constant bombardment of information overload.
All about being constantly fed with news about tragic and war, almost to the point of getting numb. 

Something which has been going on in a western democracy. "If we’re comfortable, then why should we concern about others. We have soldiers to do that kind of dirty work".
To me it´s also a reaction against being in the company of people being like that, just being "normal" and being unconcerned about everything. I find it frightening!

While young moms are drinking their caffe latte in a nice and fancy cafe, someone is having their kids ripped apart by militias. I just find it sickening. 
The only tracks on the album that don’t concern this are the last 2 tracks on the album. 
They work more or less like a 2-track EP. These tracks are about the connection between love and death more or less. I also used a sample/recording of a necrophilia trial that I got approval to use. 

DMD: What music do you enjoy listening to these days?  
PNO: These days. Always depends on my mood .. Think I’m still stuck with the dungeon synth and noise wall tapes .. Re-listening to Con-Dom and Grey Wolves, some moody post-punk bands from the 80s like Magazine, Gene Loves Jezebel and Fields of the Nephilim sort of stuff.

DMD: Tell us about your blog (
PNO: My Blog…Well, whenever I feel like reviewing a tape release I put something together. It’s focused on obscure electronic based tapes mostly, and moody stuff with an atmosphere, kind of dungeon synth and noise wall releases.

DMD: What does the rest of 2017 hold for you? 
PNO: So far, there is work to be done with God Cancer. I have some cassette releases with this project in the near future. I’m also holding an art exhibition in July at Aarhus artspace 2017, regarding a video and sound /art piece I’ve put together called ‘10000 Fahrenheit - Traffic Collisions’. 

DMD:  How did that all come about?
PNO: Well. At one point I was living somewhere in the sticks. I lived quite close to a road which had high levels of traffic and there was a lot of noise from lorries and trucks driving by. 

I wanted to document that in one way or the other, so I just laid my mp3 player up close to the road.
Afterward, I manipulated the recording and added some extra distorted layers to it. 

I downloaded a 60-minute video about car crashes in Russia, removed the audio, made it black and white and laid my own recording into the video itself.
Then some people I know mentioned that I ought to send it in to Aarhus Artspace, which I did and to my surprise they approved it. 

I’m going to show this installation on a big screen, in a pitch black room with the volume at total maximum. So it’s pretty much bound to overload your senses!

You can watch 10000 Fahrenheit - Traffic Collisions here

My thoughts on Ex Bello Volaptus

Moving swiftly away from the enthralling dark ambient work of previous album Swedenborg (which comes highly recommended if you haven’t already had a listen) Ex Bello Volaptus marks the combination of a slight return to the classic Destruktionsanstalt sound with rabid experimentation that looks to the future of the project. 

A difficult balancing act for sure, but can it be done? Let’s find out!

The sampling is back in a more prominent position, right there in plain sight on first track ‘Caedes' (the slaughter).

The record begins with an infamous clip taken from the 1969 movie Easy Rider, where Jack Nicholson pulls out a bottle of Jim Beam and declares “Here's the first of the day fellas, to ol' D.H. Lawrence” takes a swig, and well, you can hear what happens next…

Nicholson’s madcap reaction is quickly breached by a flood of heavily distorted synth stuck in a droning loop. The mass of gurgling sound is expanded by a handful of field recordings that have been laid about the place and some more unsettling noises also get added to the melting pot.

It sizzles loudly like a dish being prepared and at one point even replicates a computer mid dial up that someone has set on fire, when it reaches it's peak the gas is turned off and it all cuts back to the main ‘gurgle’ which suddenly whooshes off out of earshot.

Next up, Tacet Occidere (killing is silent) quickly changes the scene to a news report describing President Assad’s use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.

Musically, the track’s base is full of low rumbles while the top layer features anxious sounding synths cut in and out and the use of delay makes them dash off into the distance which all helps to give the track a very frantic edge, matching well with the current mood of the war torn Middle East.

Cranking up the decibels, the intro for Salo (based on the film of the same title) offers a near deaf experience with a series of eerie tinnitus inducing sounds.

These are joined by an ethereal effect and a grating metallic hum, along with a children’s choir and a brass movement that all mingle within it’s patchwork, resulting in a well executed soundscape but it's one that your ear doctor would probably advise that you avoid. 

Centrepiece ‘Agony of Plasma’ is an extended reinterpretation of the same track by Australian Industrial giants SPK (which appeared on their 1982 album Leichenschrei).

Those already familiar with the track will instantly recognise the looped breaking glass and bloodcurdling screams, although in this case they haven’t been lifted from the original. There is good use of dynamics on this track and in my view does the SPK version justice, making it one of the album’s highlights.

Imperium Suffocatis (control of suffocation) kicks off with the use of pitch shifted helicopter blades manipulated into a brisk, unpredictable pulse that shape shifts rapidly while field recordings of background chatter that help to fill out the space.

Semper Amare (always love) brings back the dark ambience of Swedenborg this time with some very fine isolationist drone entombed in a glitchy static shroud. Left with it’s remnants to loiter ominously at the track’s end it’s a ghostly presence that makes for a spine tingling listen.

Final track Suggero A Mortuis (provides a dead) begins with samples a group of people discussing the actions of a necrophile before igniting a bristling wall of sound that rises and falls in tension, constantly hinting at some more ear damage that doesn’t arrive. Almost personifying that Destruktionsanstalt is a project that doesn’t thrive on predictability.

Overall it’s a punchy, diverse release with a strong creative flair running throughout it’s 37 minutes that continues Destruktionsanstalt’s ongoing evolution.

Being at an age where some critics would consider his musical contributions nothing more than desperate attempts to remain relevant, it’s excellent to see that this album proudly displays Per's never lacking enthusiasm for creating music that is all things uncompromising, unnerving and challenging.

Ex Bello Volaptus will be made available in physical form on the 6th of August.


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