It was a regular day on an afternoon that for no specific reasons my legs walked to a park. In the park they surprisingly went out to walk even more. Through the lanes, the woods, the neatly groomed grass and they even walked on top of the lake. I don’t recall it being frozen but my feet have been known to sneak out sometimes to discuss their manic Jesus obsession with a psychiatrist who on her part had an obsession with talking feet.
As it was a regular day I didn’t think too much of it and begged my feet to rest a bit against a tree of my choice. My feet could go on for hours but they gave into my request and took the rest of my body to the tree where we sat down and enjoyed the view together.
Suddenly I could feel the earth rumble. It was just a couple of seconds long, but it felt as if for those seconds the earth ground was shaking like a working washing machine. ‘What on earth’ my lips mumbled. ‘An earth quake?’ My thoughts answered in question form.
Before really understanding what had been going on, a purple rabbit with a gigantic modern wrist watch jumped over my legs. ‘Too Late! too Late!’ The rabbit shouted tumbling over my big toe.. The rabbit came to a quick halt before brushing off his coat and apologizing to my big toe.. ‘Sorry, Sorry.. Got to go .. I’m too late!’ And the rabbit went in a quasi speed hopping and running while constantly peeking at his ugly wrist watch.
My feet (under leadership of the big toe) didn’t find the apology enough or perhaps wanted to know more of this mysterious purple rabbit as they stood up and began jump-running in order to follow the rabbit. I had no choice than to comply as unfortunately we where attached to each-other.
The rabbit ran and jumped through the grass, over the lake (yep, it might have been frozen..) , over the trees, up the hill all the way to the top of a random volcano. The rabbit disappeared in the Heath of the moment. My feet had been chasing the purple long eared one close to its tail and they jumped gracefully over the scenery, up to the top of the volcano that the wrist watch wearing rabbit had disappeared in.
Before my body knew what was going on, my feet jumped in what seemed to be a rabbit volcano hole. My toes (especially the bigger ones) thrilled from a certain surprise of adrenaline.
The opening was big but underneath the rabbit volcano hole became gigantically large as I tumbled down.
I screamed but my fall was quicker than sound and the walls of mud and dirt absorbed all shrieks like a sponge. The state of tumbling seemed to go on forever and ever.
Magical things could be seen; hands that try to touch me indecently, blurry visions speaking of bitrates, pictures of volcanos in wooden frames on the walls of the tunnel.
I tumbled and tumbled down until a gigantic carrot cake broke my fall.
I looked around and the view of a large room could be seen. Someone tapped my back and when I turned around I stared right in the eyes of the purple rabbit that my feet had followed earlier on.
‘My carrot cake! What have you done to my carrot cake?’ The purple rabbit asked quite frustratingly. I’m sorry for falling over your feet but do you really have to sit on the carrot cake? What am I going to do? What am I going to do?’ the rabbit said while scratching his head and looking on his ugly wrist watch.
You know what? There on the table is another carrot cake; if you take it down for me there won’t be any hard feelings.’ The rabbit said deceitfully.
When my eyes followed the direction that the purple stressed out friend pointed my eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing; a gigantic table with a minuscule carrot cake. ‘Hear eat this carrot’ the rabbit said before forcing a carrot down my throat.
..than it happened, my body grew and grew. Out of proportions like a large version of myself. The gigantic table became of normal size and the rabbit on the ground became microscopic as well as the miniature carrot cake on the table. My head hit the ceiling and it was hurting a little but it somehow stopped the grow.
Without too much thinking I grabbed the miniature carrot cake with my little (now gigantic) finger and couldn’t resist giving it a lick with my tongue.
As quick as possible my body shrunk smaller and smaller until the miniature cheesecake and the purple rabbit was of normal size and I was back to my normal form. It was a bit of a extrovert way of being a human elevator this experience. I gave the carrot cake to the purple rabbit when I just noticed that my body was still getting smaller. ‘No worry’ the rabbit said as he picked me up and placed me on top of his head. ‘Hold on tight, as I got to go and you might as well come with me, I’m already too late!’ The rabbit said in a exciting rushed way.
I grabbed his fluffy purple ears and the rabbit hold on to the carrot cake when going for a speedy jump run through additional cave tunnels. Opening doors mysteriously named 001 , 002 , 003 , 004 , 005 , 006 , 007, 008, 009 all the way through the last door number 000.
The rabbit stopped running and I looked around.. It was a cozy room with a sofa and a table, music equipment in the corner, some pictures of volcanos on the wall and a person with a horse face.. What? A person with a horse face?
The purple rabbit gracefully jumped on the table in front of the horse faced person that had placed itself on the couch.. ‘I’m sorry, I hope I am not too late.. But ‘Happy un-Birthday Cryovolcano!!’ The rabbit said rather theatrical.. Here is your favorite carrot cake!! Oh and I brought a friend down here too..’ The rabbit continued.. It’s a chicken..
A chicken I thought? Where? Before my brain could understand all; the rabbit stuck a microscopic carrot in my mouth. I started to grow back to my normal size almost flattening the purple rabbit with my weight. ‘Toxic Chicken!!’ The Horse Faced person said rather jolly.
It’s me! The Cryovolcano!‘ At this moment in time the bells of knowledge began to ring. ‘I’m toxic chicken and this horsed faced person is lobit hero ‘Cryovolcano!’.
I had never seen his face before, had no idea how he looked like and had definitely not thought he would be having the face of a horse, but ‘wow’ this must be the home of the legendary Cryovolcano!
I have been a huge fan of him for years, his music is in my ears one of those things that makes lobit so awesome. The music of Cryovolcano is so well done, using vocals, excellent moods and melodies that are of a great quality and.. Wow I can’t believe my eyes and ears to be in the same room with Cryovolcano!
*awesome place you got here, my friend. Really awesome! I can’t believe to end up here with the real Cryovolcano.. It’s like a dream that came true.. Do you mind if I stick around for a bit and hang out with you and perhaps ask some questions to quench my outmost curiosity?
The Cryovolcano>Of course! I’m always happy to have some company, unless I’m not.
I had never thought you would have a horse face.. You always manage to surprise me in many ways that’s for sure.. Do you really enjoy carrot cakes and is it really your in-birthday today?
The Cryovolcano> It truly is my un-birthday this very day! Carrot cakes are delicious, but best reserved for special occaisions such as this. As far as my equine visage goes, it’s not permanent
I’m really flabbergasted and quite start struck to be honest.. Just never thought to meet you in real life.. You must know I really appreciate your music and sorry for not net-releasing your album straight away before it will come out on a tape. My internet is mostly down and broken at the moment and I’m a bit obsessed with a blog about ‘music’ which eats time. Talking about ‘time’ you have been very active in lobit land creating lots of albums but took a lengthy break.. What have you been up too?
The Cryovolvano> I reached a point where I was no longer getting satisfaction from creating music with a computer anymore. Everything sounded too perfect and soulless (yes, the guy who is known for robotic vocals found it too soulless). My music is strongly influenced by early synthesizer music like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Suicide, Gary Numan… music that was in part created by the very limitations of the instruments themselves, and here I was imitating that sound in a medium that has almost no limits at all! It started to seem silly.That’s what started my hiatus.
The Cryovolcano>Around that time I began creating ambient noise using an analog noise synth and effects pedals. It was nice to get away from my desk and move the sounds around in real time. I recorded some albums and even did a couple of live preformances in this style, but I knew in the back of mind I wanted to return to the Cryovolcano but with a method that gave it more authenticity. So I spent some time gathering the equipment I needed and learning how to use it.
The Cryvolcano>And concerning the upcoming release of Cryovolcano 010 on both cassette and digital download simultaneously, it speaks well of the business savvy of the executives over at L0BIT Records.
The newest album of The Cryovolcano is so good I really felt like one big bliss of emotional nostalgia and hope for a futuristic lobit future while pre-hearing it. Are you stronger than ever and ready to explode with creativity?
The Cryovolcano>I’m glad you dig it! I don’t know about “stronger than ever” but, yes I have a lot of ideas spewing forth at the moment.
You are self-releasing this album on tape, right? What do you like about this format and does it go well together with the lobit format that you are so famous for? And most importantly where can people get a hold of the physical side of this record? I know some people licking their lips in order to get this goody..
The Cryovolcano>Yes, I am dubbing and packaging the cassette version myself here at the Cryovolcano headquarters, there’s my tape deck over there. Also, that old refrigerator over there is full of blank tapes. You gotta keep them fresh.
The Cryovolcano>I’ve always liked cassettes. In part it’s nostalgia, although when I started collecting records in the early 90s I was primarily buying cds. However, I loved making mixtapes for myself and that’s what I would listen to in middle school and high school on my walkman and in my first three cars or so. I dig their warm analog sound, especially as it degrades over time. The audio artifacts on beat up old tapes that have absorbed their share of beer and bongwater are the best.
The Cryovolcano>The cassette edition of 010 has about ten minutes of music not available on the net release and alternate (but similar) artwork. You can write me directly at email@example.com if you are interested in obtaining a copy, but it won’t be available until the net release is out.
The Cryovolcano>Of course the net release itself has even more bonus material that’s not on the cassette, if you know where to look. I didn’t give any hints about this inside the net release as I’ve done in the past with similar stunts, so I’ll use this interview as an opportunity to give potential listeners a clue on how to access it. In fact, I just did. What was the hint? Gur svefg fragrapr pbagnvaf n Onpba’f Pvcure.
Personally what I like the most of your albums is that each of them is growing proof that it’s about the music. I mean when the music is strong with a certain structure and than mysteriously brought in lobit rate in which you actually manage to make it sound good is truly something that in my eyes is like pissing in a rich hifi obsessed spoiled producer’s face that in most cases can’t produce half a catchy good sounding cool track with all this super duper stereo 4D Dolby surround posh equipment. I see your albums not only as tremendously enjoyable but also as a quality middle finger that is raised with seriously cool music as a backup. I don’t know.. Perhaps I’m too much of a fantasy figure to think like that, but what is your own thought on this? Are you a quality punk proving a magnificent point with lobit music?
The Cryovolcano>Haha, in some ways I am motivated by that line of thinking indeed. I think if you write a good song it will shine through the lo-fi shit, as it were. Of course, I enjoy the sludgy sound of lo-fi and lobit grime itself, too. But, I don’t hold anything against artists that want a really clean detailed production, I often listen to music of that sort as well.
Ah, I have this important question in my mind.. I really want to know what your favorite color is.. For some reason I feel it’s occult brown, but don’t let that hinder you.. What is your favorite color?
The Cryovolcano>Actually my favorite color is black. If there is such a thing as occult black, I prefer that black. Your guess was good though, because occult brown is my eye color when I am not a horse. Of course, I think it is also most people’s eye color when they are not horses. It may also be most horses’ eye color, but I don’t know that much about horses.
Do you remember your first steps in music land? What brought you to creating music? Is it true that each of your releases can be heard as a personal chapter in your life?
The Cryovolcano>I took my first steps making music on toy instruments with my friends as a child. And here I am making music on instruments that some derride as “toys” yet again! And yes, many of my releases can be heard in this way. 003 details my experience living as a squid in the ocean, 004 documents my trip to Saturn, and 008 refers to the time that I could only hear in one color. The rest are mostly about doing drugs.
I always wondered how long you work on a specific album and what takes up the most time and effort in creating your releases?
The Cryovolcano> It depends on the album, but I find that I am actually faster now that I am working with live synths. Back when I was doing everything on the computer, I would mess around with details endlessly. Now, I have to record takes until I get it right and once I do, it becomes this precious thing etched into magnetic tape for good. No more dicking around with a single drum hit! It’s very freeing.
Of course as a music maker it really is a challenge to make lobit music that sounds as full as your tracks sound like. Can you perhaps give some secret tips how you manage to get this full sound that manages to get all the sounds and vocals out so nice and clearly? Do you have a special work wise that brings the best out of the sample rate you use or…
The Cryovolcano>Thanks! Once you spend some time fucking around with lobit, you learn some tricks. When I was using ogg vorbis files a lot, the main thing to consider was that at low bitrates they become very bassy with a lot treble shaved off. So one thing I would do is pitch the cymbals and snare drums very low so they wouldn’t fade into the ether. Another very specific trick was pronouncing my S’s as Z’s when I recorded vocals. I find that I prefer mp4 as a format these days because it can retain a lot of treble at low bitrates even though it doesn’t recreate the bass as well as ogg vorbis. The most important trick to get a good, clear lobit track is to keep it simple. The fewer layers of sound the better. I learned this from studying the work of c4 (aka Graffiti Mechanism), the undisputed lobit king in my opinion.
What is your favorite lobit rate and can you explain what are the personal benefits for you that this is the one that fits you the most, if any?
The Cryovolcano>I don’t have any particular favorite. It’s just trial and error until I find the sound that I want and it’s different rates for different tracks. In the early days of the Cryovolcano, it was strictly a matter of “how low can you go?” It’s very nerdy, but I am still proud of being able to have released a virtual floppy disk that had over 30 minutes of music and a physical floppy disc that had over 45 minutes.
Your music as Cryovolcano comes across to me as highly futuristic and yet also retro. It’s like robots taking over the internal flows and creating catchy music with a certain structure that goes in the head (and stays there) without going for a cheesy pop sound. Do you have any inspirational sources? How do you keep up the consistency of this sound and how does the futuristic future of Cryovolcano’s world look like?
The Cryovolcano>As a lover of sound, I have been inspired by so many others. My influences for the Cryovolcano include the early synth groups I mentioned before, along with coldwave/minimal wave stuff like Kas Produkt, Solid Space and Dark Day, funkier electronic acts like Cybotron and Jonzun Crew, early industrial like Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb, and modern groups like Crystal Castles, VNV Nation, Sexy Sushi, and White Ring. Also, some artists have influenced my work in less obvious ways like Today Is The Day, Pole, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, SND, Godflesh. And even pop music like Depeche Mode and Prince… I could go on, but, like any semi-rational person would, I see you’ve had enough.
The Cryovolcano>I’m also influenced by movies quite a bit as well. Usually classics like Barbarella, Deathrace 2000, Eraserhead, Metropolis, Altered States, Holy Mountain, Planet of the Apes (with Heston, of course!)… anything old and weird.
The Cryovolcano>As far as retro-futurism goes, that’s the name of the game! I think the Cryovolcano could best be described as Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Ghettolectro Robot Rock. Truthfullly though, I have to work hard not to succumb to a bleak outlook on what our future holds with our exponentially advancing technology. Some days I am convinced we are headed toward becoming a hive-mind collective of cyborgs, but then I remember that when a caveman first invented cave paintings his parents were probably like “well, we didn’t have painting when I was a kid, now everyone is just going to sit around looking at cave paintings all day!” It’s important to remember that almost every new idea is a sort of technology and that everything made by man is natural by definition.
I see the bottle on that table of yours.. Just out of plain curiosity; what are you drinking and perhaps can I have some?
The Cryovolcano> That is a Smokestack Series quadrupel. Of course you can have one! It’s a festive drink for an un-birthday party. Be advised that it may affect your relative scale, though.
The releases of yours are one quite a nice range of (net) and (non-net) labels,
what is your personal relationship with netlabels and DIY releases?
The Cryovolcano>It’s always exciting to submit work to a new label in the hopes that your work will be accepted and find a new home. I like the labels and net-labels that have severe restrictions on format like 8 Ravens, Diskette Ettikette, and the sorely missed 4m@ Records.
The Cryovolcano>I’m all for net-labels and hand made DIY releases, but I’m also a fan of new websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I haven’t used them very extensively myself, but in a way, Bandcamp shows that netlabels were right all along and greedy record labels are almost as dead as doornails. The current system at Bandcamp is beautifully democratic. I only hope it continues to grow without becoming corrupted by its power. Of course, lobit still remains as practically the ONE THING you can’t do there. Don’t they understand that there can be a message in the medium?
I wanted to ask something about your artwork as it’s always very unique and intriguing. I love the graphic graphics so much, they are very strong and easy to recognize as a true Cryovolcano cover. How do you create these pieces of art and do the ideas for it just come and go for you to grab from the sky?
The Cryovolcano>I can’t grab much from the sky living deep underground in a volcano. However, I am fortunate to experience both sound-to-color and grapheme-color synesthesia, so simple shapes and colors carry a lot of artistic meaning for me. Again, minimalism and simplicity are a lot of what the Cryovolcano is about.
Some people had panic attacks saying that lobit had died, but I feel it just had only gone even more underground than it already was. In the old days people posted on lobit forums like lobit_ru but now things get released without really informing people about it, making it perhaps more difficult to find but also a glorious dig when you find out that the lobit releases are popping up below the radar like mushrooms that don’t want to face the sun but taste so deliciously. As you have been living deep, deep under the ground you must have a opinion about this ‘the lobit underground going even deeper underground’ phenomenon.
The Cryovolcano>It’s true that we grow great mushrooms deep underground. I think in one way, lobit has lost a lot of its political meaning due to Moore’s law making file sizes generally less relevant in richer nations like my own. I wonder if it is catching on in poorer countries with older technologies and slower download speeds and maybe I just don’t know it? However, as an aesthetic choice and an act of willful artistic obscurity it still holds a lot of value. And now that digital dissemation of music is here to stay, I think it always will have that value. This is the fifth year of the Cryovolcano and there are others who’ve been doing lobit far longer than I that are still going strong. Mushrooms may alleviate panic attacks. And they may also induce them.
Perhaps a crazy question but I have noticed that you had added ‘The’ before ‘Cryovolcano’ does that mean that you have closed down some chapter and become stronger than before? Or perhaps something else?
The Cryovolcano>Haha, you are a quite perceptive chicken! I appended the “The” to signify the change from a digital/software based Cryovolcano to the new analog/hardware based one. So, yes, exactly.
I heard a rumor that you are planning to do music together somehow with some underground music makers? Is this rumor true and who might this be and what could we expect?
The Cryovolcano> Yeah, there are some collaborative acts going on around here. My amazingly talented and lovely friend Amber Dunleavy, aka Echolalia, is dropping by the volcano soon to lend some live theremin to a Cryovolcano track or two, my goateed brother-from-some-other-mother Daniel is working with me on a live synth band that is not quite the Cryovolcano proper but very similar in sound and spirit, and you and I are going to swap heads for a release soon, no?
Would you consider in a date in the future to perhaps bundle to Cryovolcano releases for a ultimate Cryovolcano explosion?
The Cryovolcano>Since you asked, I’ll do it this very moment. Consider it a gift for your own un-birthday, and that of your readers, which I assume is also today. Here are Cryovolcano 001 through 009 along with compilation apperances for your binge listening pleasure: http://www.mediafire.com/download/ur71fe5myb6p4uc/Cryovolcano_-_001-009(2).zip
The Cryovolcano>YIKIS readers, if today is indeed your birthday, please have the patience to wait until your un-birthday tomorrow before downloading this!
I feel like I’m missing a lot of questions here, because I still can’t believe I’m with the real Cryovolcano in your very own underground crib.. It’s a bit like losing my mind really which makes it hard to think.. Would you perhaps tell something randomly instead?
The Cryovolcano>I had a pet cat named Melvin many years ago. He was this big, fat maine coon who loved hunting moths and smelling second-hand herbal smoke. One time he had a tapeworm. You could actually see this thin white worm poking out of his anus and moving around. It was disgusting. The veterinarian took care of it and he made a full recovery. If you’re reading this Melvin, I miss you.
The fall to your home was pretty long and the trip on top of your purple rabbit friend was not very easy to go through again. Is there perhaps any other way to go back up to the surface again? Do you have a backdoor?
The Cryovolcano>No backdoor, but you can saddle up on this giant orb weaver spider and ride it back up the volcano walls.
Thank you so much for being the perfect horse faced host and being so kind to let me chill out in your part of the underground. It’s a real honor to finally have met with you in real life.
Do you perhaps have some shoutout or last words to say before I get back to the park so my feet can walk me home?
The Cryovolcano> I guess I’d like to shout out to the others keeping the lobit flame burning, so props to c4/Graffiti Mechanism, Pollux, Obsolete Broadcast Systeme, Microbit Project, Origami Repetika, Rainbow Valley, Consistency Nature, Vlad Shegal, Sascha Muller, Hectic Head, jjoth, and of course Toxic Chicken. There are many more, but you all know who you are. Lo-fi or die. Or don’t.
for more Cryovolcano, please dive deep under ground!
or perhaps (in case you skipped it) celebrate your unbirthday by downloading a package of all the previous released albums of Cryovolcano over here:
and of course check out Cryovolcano’s latest album ‘010’
over at L0BIT (the lobit label):
or even better: support this artist by getting a physical handmade copy by emailing direct to the underground layer of The Cryovolcano himself and get 010 on cassette: firstname.lastname@example.org