Genre Shifting Grimness [2012-05-03]Jute Gyte is Missouri based multi genre project, which since 2006 has jumped from & mixed together various musical genres. The projects work has gone from: bleak ambience with noise blasts, onto all out noise wall building , through to violently cut-up musique concrete, onto sinister IDM, through to bleak clunking mix of ambience and industrial tone, and in the last few years experimental black metal. Behind the project is just one person- Adam Kalmbach, Adam also part runs Jeshimoth Entertainment- the label that releases Jute Gyte work, along with other often quirky multi genre projects like Pumpkin Buzzard. Adam kindly agreed to give M[m] an email interview, and below he discusses both Jute Gyte & Jeshimoth Entertainment
m[m]:What are some of your earliest musical memories, & how do you think these have shaped your varied sonic tastes?
Adam My early musical tastes were informed by bands like Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana as well as by the soundtracks to DOS and Sega Genesis video games. I was introduced to Napalm Death, and thus extreme metal, by their inclusion on the soundtrack to the Mortal Kombat movie. Barney Greenway's roars had a profound effect on my 11-year-old mind. In retrospect I see some attributes I still favor in these musics: unpitched vocal timbres (screaming, growling, etc), liberal chromaticism, and heavy audio processing. Later in my teenage years I encountered things like black metal, noise, power electronics, etc.
m[m]:What was your first induction to Black Metal? & is there any particular albums that influenced you to start making your own black metal?
Adam Burzum's debut album was my introduction to the genre and remains a favorite. If I had to name the black metal most important to me I might choose the first four Burzum albums, all of Judas Iscariot's albums save the last, Darkthrone's Goatlord (if it counts), the first few I Shalt Become albums, Havohej's debut, and Inquisition. Burzum's "Key to the Gate" is, for me, the finest black metal track and the model to work from as an artist: dynamic structure, heavy dissonance, shifting meters.
m[m]:Tell us a bit about how Jute Gyte project first came about? Why you chose it’s name & what the name means to you?
AdamThe name is invented and without meaning. I prefer the freedom to explore a variety of sounds, moods, and themes, and don't want to be tied to a single concept.
m[m]:Jute Gyte sound really changes from release to release- one release may focus & concentrate on a more black metal sound, another release may dwell in sour & unwell IDM/ electronica, or another release may focus of noisy industrial batterings. Why do you think the projects work swims in so many genres & is there any genre’s you’d like to try out next?
Adam I like a variety of music and can't imagine limiting myself to one genre, nor being satisfied by partitioning off different styles under different project names. I hope to soon begin working with field recordings, something I have not done before
m[m]:Can you tell us a little bit about what you hope to do with field recordings in your work?
I'm not yet sure. I doubt I'll release "pure" field recordings - I'm likely to simply use them as sources and do a lot of layering and processing
m[m]:Nearly all your Jute Gyte albums seem to have been recorded over a year or so period- so do you steadily building up enough material for one specific genre album? & how much planning goes into each album you put out for the project?
Adam I work on several different kinds of material simultaneously. I record my black metal work one instrument at a time, with recording sessions sometimes spread out over several months - guitar tracks in January, bass tracks in March, vocal tracks in April - so there is ample time to pursue other styles in between. I prefer to work like this because I am better able to return to a work in progress with fresh ears. Additionally, sometimes a track will sit around incomplete for years before it is finally finished and included on an album.
AdamThe amount of planning varies from album to album. Black metal albums require the greatest planning, in part because they have lyrics. I find lyrics very laborious to create and often cobble them together from a variety of appropriated sources. Electronic albums come together more easily, though I usually end up discarding a a lot of tracks before arriving at a final tracklist.
m[m]:You talk about it been more difficult to create your black metal albums, than your other work- can you give us an insight into to your writing progress? And what comes first album theme/ concept or musically ideas? For example could you take us through how “Young Eagle”, my favourite of your black releases thus far, came about?
Adam Music always comes first, followed by lyrics. Lyrics generally take longer than the music and are in part cobbled together from various sources. "Young Eagle" uses lots of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The music is much easier. I record guitars first, then program drums. After that, I add bass and finally, after lyrics are complete, vocals. I prefer to do vocals straight through, with few overdubs or second takes, so vocal recording doesn't take much more time than it takes to listen to the album. I like to record the vocals according to the final track order, so track 1 is usually contains the first vocals recorded, track 2 the second, etc. The composition itself is the most pleasurable part of the process - I rarely run into dry spells creatively like I do with lyrics, and it lacks the tedious repition that recording a performance entails. Composition remains enjoyable because I try to challenge myself to try new things and avoid developing routines, but some of my consistent goals are an avoidance of 4/4 meter and a dense chromatic harmony achieved via layers of independent polyphonic guitar.
m[m]:Seeminly all your black metal albums have some sort of vague theme running through each of them- is this the same for electronic albums? For example is there any theme or concept running your recently released Jute Gyte electronica album “Volplane”?
Adam My electronic works are usually absolute music - music with no program - and as such any theme inferred from track/album titles should not be given excess interpretive weight. Any themes running through an electronic album are of a musical sort, related to a common method of working on the collected pieces. In Volplane's case the tracks are mostly based on ostinati that are gradually changed over long stretches of time through extensive audio processing and rhythmic complication/corruption. Broadly speaking this is a minimalist approach but the music doesn't have much in common with Reich or Reilly. The pieces on Volplane use many layers of sound processing that shift over time, rhythms that accumulate distortions, multiple simultaneous shifting meters or tempi, and combinations of these processes. The two electric piano solo tracks are based upon the gradual polyrhythmic accumulation/removal of chromatic pitches spread throughout the registral and stereo spectra. The album's ostinato material is inspired by vintage IDM and old 16-bit chip music, as well as Nancarrow, Parmegiani, Xenakis, and Varese
m[m]:Can you tell us a bit about your recording set-up & how often do write/record work?
Adam I record guitars direct-in and process them digitally. I program drums. I play a cheap Squire strat. On my last black metal album, Impermanance, I also played lap steel (also cheap) and ukelele. I am fortunate to have ample free time and I work on music almost every day.
m[m]:Have you ever played live with Jute Gyte?
Adam I have never played live and am not particularly interested in doing so.
m[m]:What made you want to come back to your past Harsh noise work with the recently released Jute Gyte Andreyev's "Lazarus", and what do you see as the concept behind this album?
Adam I've never exactly left harsh noise, in that I have many noise tracks sitting on my hard drive that I could potentially release. I release noise work less often primarily because the tracks are long and thus take a lot of time to evaluate and edit. The unifying features of the tracks on Andreyev's "Lazarus" are their dense composition from many layers of sound and the use of several sound sources: digital granular synthesis, analog feedback loops, guitar, vocals, synth.
m[m]:tell us a bit about how the Jeshimoth Entertainment label came about? And what’s the origin of the labels name?
Adam Jeshimoth Entertainment is a small label I ineptly co-own and operate with a friend. Jeshimoth is dedicated to releasing unusual music regardless of genre, from noise to metal to pop. The word "jeshimoth" is hebrew for "house of deserts" or "house of wastes", the latter of which is perhaps an apposite description of both our roster and our coffers.
m[m]:What other projects on the label are you involved with?
Adam I'm involved with most of the label's releases in some respect, often handling graphic design. I collaborated with Griz+zlor for a noise release called Colossus of White Tar.
m[m]:One of the most prolific projects on Jeshimoth Entertainment after Jute Gyte is unwell & often deranged multi-genre project Pumpkin Buzzard. Can you tell us a bit about whose involved with the project & how the project came about?
Adam As you say, Pumpkin Buzzard makes unwell and deranged music in several genres, sometimes simultaneously. The group has a shifting membership ranging from one to seven people depending on the album/track and is mostly based in Missouri, USA.
m[m]:You seemingly have all past Jeshimoth Entertainment’s release in print all the time- has this been a difficult thing to do considering you’re a small label & what sort of number do you press of each release in?
AdamThe full-length albums are unlimited editions, in print all the time barring catastrophe. The mini-CDs are limited to 50 and only in print because not enough people send us their money. With modern small-run pressing options it is easy enough to keep things in print, though I nonetheless sometimes dream of moving to a digital-only format.
m[m]:Please selected your favourite 10 Jeshimoth Entertainment releases & explain why they are?
Adam I'd have a hard time making a list, but three releases that I listen to a lot are the Jeph Jerman, Women in Tragedy, and Hentai Lacerator mini CDs. In each case the material is both strong and original and I'm happy to have played a part in releasing it.
m[m]:Whats been the most successful selling item on the label thus far?
Adam My black metal albums are the most popular releases, though I can't say they pay my bills.
m[m]:What first made me aware of your label was the Griz+zlor release CXXIV: Untitled that you put out in 2009- do you think you’ll release any more HNW release in the future?
Adam My recent album Andreyev's "Lazarus" arguably contains HNW elements, and I have some other noise material that is similar in style and may see release in the future. There are no plans to release HNW by other artists at the moment.
m[m]:Whats next out for Jute Gyte & Jeshimoth Entertainment?
Adam I will be releasing my fifth black metal album in May. Beyond that I have several black metal and electronic albums in various stages of completion.
m[m]:Can you tell us a bit more about the new Jute Gyte black metal album due in May?
Adam The album, titled Isolation, continues in the style of my previous few albums, with lots of dense guitar layers, dissonance, and strange meters, but has a different feel than the previous albums, with more midtempo, math-rock-ish sections and some other new features. One of the songs is based on a twelve-tone row and its retrograde/inversion/transpositions. The album has an unusual variety of tracks and took me by surprise as it came together. Like all my albums, it will be available digitally and physically, and will be up for streaming in its entirety at my website.
Thanks to Adam for his time & efforts with the interview. Jute Gyte bandcamp page is here where you can hear some of the projects sonic wears as well as buy the projects back catalogue. Jeshimoth Entertainment website is here where you can also buy Jute Gyte work, along with a whole host of other creative mixed genre projects work