California Walling [2021-12-21]
For over a decade now Koobaatoo Asparagus has been active in both walled noise and harsh noise scenes. Behind the project is San Diego based Michael Scott- and in total the highly prolific sonic venture has released four hundred plus releases. I tracked down Michael for an email interview focusing largely on the walled noise side of the project's output.
M[m]: What was your first encounter with the more extreme form of sound? And was there any one track/ and or album that was impactful on you creating your own noise?
Michael My 1st encounter Jhones Silva aka God Pussy 2010/2011 album called Manifesto Dadaista released on Love Torture Records Small Net / DIY label currently out of Southern California, run by David Lucien Matheke.
M[m]: So what was it you found impactful about Manifesto Dadaista release?
Michael Manifesto Dadaista release was very intense with high pitch squealing noise very harsh it caught my attention while I was more of making circuit bending sounds & right there is where I wanted to know how they were producing the noise ...& discovered it was guitar pedals right then I was hooked.
M[m]: tell us a little bit about how and when Koobaatoo asparagus project came about? And was this your first venture into noisemaking?
Michael Koobaatoo Asparagus was created in 2010 I was getting bored of producing hip-hop beats. So I discovered circuit bending starting going bending crazy & was already into experimental sounds back in the mid-'80s, while one-day smoking PCP aka Angel Dust Sherm I came up with the name Koobaatoo Asparagus- there’s no meaning to it I just wanted a name that stood out.
M[m]: You mentioned producing hip-hop beats before you got into noise- could you please discuss this further, and are there any examples of your work online?
Michael I have been making hip hop beats since the 80's Casio sk-5 & Tascam 4track drum machine & noticed my style was more of experimental abstract sounding sampling a lot of jazz & funk albums....and as time went by early 90's I started making Funk beats.
I have 51 tracks I produced for San Diego Hip Hop acts on Soundclick.com https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=261173 ... we pressed about 300 hundred CD's, but we never continued- the project never took off, and a few of artists died and some went to prison. There was no support at all back then early 2000s coming out of San Diego, ca HipHop Scene. and that's when Koobaatoo Asparagus was born- friends thought I lost it mentally, as I‘d stopped making Hip-hop & started making Noise
M[m]: Do you feel your former working with hip-hop beats ever coming into/ influence your noise creation?
Michael No Hip-hop & noise don’t fit together with me at all. Noise to me has no boundaries, Hip-hop has boundaries & can start sounding the same to me. I heard of a hip-hop noise act named Clipping- who does sound pretty cool, but it's just not for me.
M[m]: It’s interesting you came into noise via Hip-hop when more often than not noisemakers come in via extreme metal- is this a genre you ever enjoyed? And what other genre did you like before you found noise?
Michael I Have enjoyed late 80's metal bands when I was skateboarding such as Metallica, Anthrax , Dio, Godflesh and such but never picked up a guitar before noise it was mainly hip-hop acts such as Run DMC, Fat Boys, Slick Rick, NWA, Too Short, E40
M[m]: Please discuss how you came out with the projects rather wacky name and did you have any other names you nearly used?
Michael I always had a wild imagination known for thinking outside the box it had to do with a lot of psychedelic drugs.
M[m]: The use of drugs seems very impactful on your noise creating- do you still regularly participate in the use of substances- and if so what do you feel are the most effective when playing/ listening to noise?
Michael As of now no more heavy drugs- I actually overdosed smoking sherm laced with methamphetamine back in 2003, thank god I'm alive- never again!. It’s just a little reefer & beer with a vodka shot getting my creative juices flowing, but also in moderation nowadays.
M[m]: Please discuss your present set-up, and what are your favourite pieces of kit?
Michael My current setup is the Death Metal FX86B, MXR 10 band EQ, Zoom B1on and Contact Mic Recorded straight to Tape. My fav is the Death Metal FX86B
M[m]: Discog lists the project having three hundred and thirty-six titles to its name- but I’m sure you’ve released more than this, as you are so prolific. What pushes on you onto creating work, and how often do you record?
Michael Yeah, I had over 400 more releases on Internet Archives but I put them on cdr's & removed them all from the sites. What pushes me is I'm a die-hard noise fan & love creating new things on a physical format such as tapes & CDs. I record almost every day and if I like the final product, I will go ahead make a master tape copy with a few for trades and such
M[m]: I know this might be a difficult question to answer- but do you have any favourite/ stand out releases from your massive output?
Michael I really enjoyed a 4way release with me Koobaatoo Asparagus, Torturing Nurse / Lipcreem & Exedo released by Fall Into Void Recs a 2xc60 release mainly enjoyed this release because of the awesome artist on the 4way got me really excited to put out some harsh stuff link below
M[m]: You mention that you work on noise most days- is there a certain time of the day you find best/ most creative? And what percentage of what you work on do you release?
Michael Lately, I've been recording when the sunsets out here in California I love this time of the year Fall, Winter it gets dark here around 4:30-5 pm I tend to get creative then ... depending on the sound I'm trying to go after…. I either twerk knobs creating sounds harsh scrap metal feedback. Or I just want to focus on HNW textures & try to make it sound unique from other releases. It’s fun to me because it also releases stress & the sounds mostly comes out different from other releases.
M[m]: you list your project's output as Harsh noise/ HNW/Power Electronics- what noise sub-genre do you think makes up the most of your output?
Michael Harsh Noise is what I gravitate to the most and on occasions HNW
M[m]: Koobaatoo asparagus theme focus is very varied- what attaches you to a certain theme, and what do you see as some of your favourite themes?
Michael My themes are usually what’s going on in Life and what I’ve, either seen or lived. I done pretty much sex drugs & violence, I really enjoy the sex part as of sex doesn't hurt anybody unless it's bondage roleplay lol
M[m]: I’ve noticed of late on your bandcamp a few releases from a new project Janky Funeral- please could you discuss how/ when this came about, and what you see as its sonic/ theme focus?
Michael I wanted to start another project based on more harsh scrap metal feedback with less pedals sound source contact mics pure chaos of alot of bondage themes as master & sub’s women’s rights No rights. I started this project as of the beginning of the pandemic as I'm already a hermit so when everyone was on lockdown I came up with the name Janky Funeral the meaning is basically we all gonna die & that's kind of Janky lol
M[m]: You’ve been actively releasing walled noise since the early 2010’s- how do you feel the scene has changed/ developed over the years? And what do see as the pros and cons of the scene as it’s gone on?
Michael It was hella fun back in the early 2010s & still is for my Diagnose for P.T.S.D wall noise keeps me calm & helps with sleep. But nowadays I see it's was once a very small elite group, that has become popular to the hipsters that jump in or have jumped out
The pros are HNW is very relaxing & the cons is I'm seeing more of fast massive releases on the Bandcamp with just a lame artwork & some bland noise, but hey I guess most things gets saturated but I will remain to stay no trend here its Life
M[m]: What have you got lined up next release wise?
Michael Going to start making more Janky Funeral harshness & be on the lookout for a few Tape releases of Koobaatoo Asparagus HNW'S
M[m]: Have you ever performed live, and if not is this something you’d to do?
Michael My last performance 2013 with guest Wet Dream Asphyxiation, Brandon Ralph, Dive Signals & Opacities Link Below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5Yf0GvQwq0 . I then after that got a Divorce and Became a single parent with little kids. It put a stop to live performances. . As my kids are older now & this pandemic is hopefully calming down I will be doing Some shows such as Santa Ana Noise Fest & also Los Angeles invites me to come out & play. Right now I just do youtube home videos of bedroom sessions
M[m]: Other than noise what else do you listen to? And over the last year or is there any releases-no matter of what the genre- that made an impact on you?
Michael I've been on a Harsh noise Bandcamp, discogs, youtube hype. discovering noise heads old & new and digging the whole scene been listening to Richard Ramirez's band camp, Placenta Lyposuction, New Forces, Ominous Recordings, Death Bed Tapes & also Phage Tapes... really been digging what they all been putting out. really been having an impact on me .as far as other genres really haven't been listening to lately.
Thanks to Michael for his time and efforts with the interview. To check out the projects work head over to here.