Cervello Elettronico - 'I like reading about chaos. It makes me feel more grounded.'
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Out on Crunch Pod (USA) and Rustblade (EU) is "Process of Elimination", the new Cervello Elettronico album. Expect hard rhythmic experimental beats to pulsating electro EBM bass lines spread over 14 tracks with extra guest vocals from Karloz M of Manufactura, Uberbyte's Richard Pyne, and Ben Arp from American industrial dance act C/A/T. The EU version also holds exclusive remixes from French break beat artist Zeller and EBM Industrial act Aesthetic Perfection. Together with "Process of Elimination" you can also expect "Bipolar", Rustblade's exclusive box release for the new album and strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide. The set includes the regular album plus an additional disc featuring remixes by P.A.L, Geistform, Detune-X, Xotox, Sandblasting and many more. Also included are original alternate versions of "Demonize" and "Crystal Lines", both from "Process of Elimination". Reason enough to pick up the release and for us to grab David Christian by the hand and drag him into a sofa with our most curious interviewer, Elise coached by our chief editor... (By Bernard Van Isacker & Elise Din)
SL: Your debut album "Negate The Instigator" was released on Crunch Pod only but now "Process of Elimination" also gets a release via Rustblade with 2 extra tracks. Things are going well for you?
DC: Unlike my debut, Negate the Instigator which was only released by Crunch Pod worldwide, the new album "Process of Elimination" is out in the United States by Crunch Pod and available, by the Italian label Rustblade, for Europe. I think things are at a good starting point for the project. Besides having support by two labels, It's easier for people to buy the album in Europe and the US now. The European version does have extra material along with a box version "BiPolar". It has been pressed by both labels in limited quantity so there is just enough to go around. I'm proud of this album. Both labels were excited to release it and I expect more people to discover it as time goes by. I'm definitely not in this for the quick money.
SL: On "Process Of Elimination" you have clearly tried to naturally evolve with your music avoiding to emulate your excellent debut. How easy or should I say difficult was that?
DC: I think it would have been more difficult for me to emulate CE's first release. I believe in moving forward with my music. There is a lot that inspires me and because of the loose boundaries this project has, I'm able to work in different directions. I also had some different sound tools to take advantage of during the creative process on the new album. This made it easier for my ideas to translate into sound.
SL: "Process Of Elimination" sounds harder and more industrial-like. How come?
DC: It might be because I wanted to try more digital sampling on this album. That's one of the qualities that attracted me to post Industrial bands like early Ministry and media sampling pioneers EBN. Before I started writing the music, I spent several months collecting samples. I recorded and processed anything I could think of that would possibly sound interesting like metal tools, plastic bottles, ripping paper, etc. I also tried to find audio from media that was alienating or fit a particular mood. On this album I sampled everything from black box recordings from doomed aircraft crew to Kanye West but you probably couldn't tell, it's heavily processed. Process of Elimination is a harsh album, and that was intentional. It's about leaving behind everything negative in life to be content.
SL: Your music doesn't really need a vocalist, so why bring in guest singers like Karloz M (Manufactura), Richard Pyne (Uberbyte) and Ben Arp (C/A/T)? What did you want to reach with their addition?
DC: Just as choosing a particular synth or drum beat, I was a very big fan of each of these vocalists' style and I thought it would fit with each song respectively. It had been suggested by many people in the past that I write music with vocals and I didn't want to do this unless it felt right and fit with my ideas. On this album with these songs it definitely felt right.
SL: The vocals have been produced in way it all sounds more like an extra vocal input instead of a real singer. Why?
DC: Cervello Elettronico isn't a project originally intended for vocals. The only way I could think of adding this new element was to process the tracks I was given like any other sample. Each vocalist hadn't heard the final song before recording their vocals or spoken word, in Karloz's case. It was definitely not intended to sound like conventional vocals. Hopefully I can experiment more with this again in the future.
SL: The "Electrophobia" album was released online through file sharing networks. Why put all that work in an album and then give it away for free? I feel that your explanation of it being some sort of an act of appreciation to everyone who has or will buy your latest album a bit too obvious?
DC: Electrophobia was released as a free download through Vampirefreaks.com. All the work put into the album was more like a learning process for my benefit. It was also intended for another project that never materialized. Instead of the music being shelved, I reworked it and brought it to light online through vampirefreaks.com. I thought that was the perfect place for it to be appreciated by fans and people who hadn't heard of CE before. To charge people for that didn't seem appropriate. Besides, I wanted to move on with the next album. I'm not sure why or how it also was able to get up on torrents and other file sharing networks, but it is interesting to me. Someone took the time and effort to do all that, and it was completely free.
Get your Cervello Elettronico CDs at the following eBay sites:
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SL: What were the results of this action?
DC: I received a lot of good feedback on the release. Even though it was released digitally for free, people still emailed me requesting physical copies. I made up a limited quantity of CDRs and sold most of them. There are about 10 copies which I can not locate to this day. Maybe one day I'll be able to find them. There are people who still share the album online through various websites and I think it has helped get more fans for the project. I will be great to do something like this again.
SL: Since the project's inception in 2001 and just before you had "Negate The Instigator" released, you self-released more stuff as well. Was this material not fit enough to be re-used, I remember some was really great?
DC: All of the pre-Negate The Instigator material is available in it's original quality online for free. I believe in moving on and at the moment I don't feel a reissue of any of that material would be worth my time. I'd rather work on new material. To be honest I am not happy with the sound and quality of the older songs. I've learned a lot about sound design and electronic music since I first started out 10 years ago. Maybe one day I'll revisit the past if there is still interest.
SL: David, what's actually your background? Studies, daytime work etc... and how do they or not interfere with your musical work.
DC: I started out studying music theory at City University of New York 12 years ago. Only the music part grabbed my attention so I left to pursue other interests. I now have a full time job unrelated to music and it is quite frustrating to balance work time and the music. There's also difficulty getting motivated when work has sucked the life out of me on certain days, but since it is a way for keeping myself sane and something I love doing, I am willing to do both.
SL: Back in early 2000 you were even a lead guitarist in a local New York goth/rock band. Why did you quit that genre, too restrained? I remember you said that you had no creative input in the music you were composing and playing... but then why did you play in that band to start with?
DC: This is true. I was actually 18 when I joined the band because I really wanted to play music live and in front of people. I don't think I had the ego of a live guitarist but I did the best I could. It was a band that had already been established locally which was managed by the singer. We had similar musical interests and joining the band helped me learn a lot about the creative process, although I didn't have any control over the songs. We played some shows live, even a gig in China, and recorded an album. After a few years things drifted apart and I turned to electronic music. I would love to go back to goth/rock one day, or even any music unrelated to electronic. This genre is just the best way for me to work alone and be in total control to write music that fits my inspiration.
SL: Final question, re-reading "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury lately? And any books we should read and why?
DC: I have not re-read that one lately but I heard they are making it into another movie. I haven't had time to read lately. The last thing I picked up was Tropic of Cancer. It's one novel I never read before which I always wanted to finish. William Burroughs' Junky is another good one to check out. I like reading about chaos. It makes me feel more grounded.
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