A MOMENT WITH – DEATH GENESIS
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Pete Bastian humbly announces during each release that he is merely the conductor of the equipment he uses. It is the machine, or collective of machines,that is the true musician – leading to the concept of Bastian creating “techno-organic” experimental music.
From harsh noise wall works as King Shoji or the more subdued power electronics of his most recent Death Genesis project, Bastian’s approach has led to a prolific catalog of works prior to joining MUZAI Records.
When the opportunity rose to release Bastian’s Death Genesis works, we leapt at the chance; and in an effort to foster more knowledge (and drive more sales, let’s be honest), we conducted this interview shortly before the announcement of Death Genesis.
Who is Death Genesis and where are they from?
Death Genesis is Pete Bastian, otherwise known as King Shoji. From Metro Detroit, Michigan.
What led you to using the mantle Death Genesis? Is it in regards to the beginning of the end of something, or is it a reference to something else?
I have always viewed death as simply the beginning of another form of existence, and that it is an endless cycle. I believe nothing ever truly dies, with Death being a Genesis for new life on another astral plane. The word genesis has also always had a place in my life it seems; Sega Genesis being my first console, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of TG, it has been in my life for a long time.
For those unaware about it, how do you define “power electronics”?
Power electronics means giving complete control to sound machines. The operator becomes one with them and the sound machines take over any human thought with their powers, this lends to the occult aspect of it. Luigi Russolo and the Italo-Futurist movement has an immense impact on power electronics and its concepts. Most power electronic setups consist of the operator setting up the machines (patching them, adjusting signal chain, levels, etc.) and simply letting them run wild, morphing and melting sonic waves with little to no human interference.
Are there any musicians in particular you would cite as “power electronic” musicians?
Some musicians would be Tim Drage and Lisa McKendrick of Isntses, Frame Rust, Fred Nipi, Reclusa, and Controlled Bleeding. Anyone who makes some sort of cosmic connection with machines I would classify as power electronics.
Is there any music from other genres that have an influence on power electronics?
Free jazz, traditional Eastern music, and death metal all seem to play their own parts. The use of chaotic noise, drones and atonality brings one that much closer to the Higher Power.
What made you decide to work in this realm of experimental electronics as opposed to, say, noise wall or industrial music?
I went towards experimental electronic simply because it’s much broader of a genre. It allows for melding of multiple types of electronic music- I can go from classic industrial to techno to harsh noise and still put it under the umbrella of experimental electronic. It also gives more credit to my machines, who do a lot of the work.
How long have you been working on your music? Has power electronics always been something you’ve worked with or did it branch out from other works you’ve been involved with?
I’ve been working on music for 4 years now. I started with a Korg Volca Keys and a TE Pocket Operator drum machine and would record anything I thought sounded good. Over the years I have accumulated many different synthesizers and noise making circuits and it sort of all came together slowly after months of recording.
It feels like the album, “Death Genesis”, steers close to the aesthetic of gorenoise – do you feel the album has a certain auditory goriness to it?
This album is definitely laden with auditory gore. I do, however, want the listener to see and hear the beauty of the gore, and the goriness of the beauty.
A couple of the tracks have almost biblical sounding names. What led to naming tracks such as “Heavens Toxic Waste Dump”, “Archangel” or “Spirit of Life in Death”?
I felt I came into contact with the Higher Power during the recording of this album and I found the names to be fitting. For example with Archangel, I sampled John Coltrane saying “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation, oh God…”
What is “Satan’s Oscilloscope.”
Satan’s Oscilloscope is what he looks through to see the physically manifested waves of human misdeeds, and how he wants to manipulate them. The sounds are an auditory representation of what is being fed into the scope. It was also inspired by the Black Flag album “The Process of Weeding Out”, with Satan looking at sperm cells under a microscope.
Some of the tracks venture into 10 minute territory; was there a concern at any stage keeping some of the works concise or would that be to the detriment of the creative process?
I feel that having such long tracks is integral to the meditative and occult aspect of the recording/listening process. I want the listener to feel that cosmic connection, and that can’t be properly achieved in three minutes or less I believe.