Click Interview with Human Vault: ‘A Good Track Is About The Author Who Writes It And Not About The Audience’

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Hungarian born Gyorgy Turoczy aka ‘Mortum’ has been releasing music as Human Vault since 1997. Operating from (USA) he released an impressive discography. While nearly all of his work has been (self)released on Exabyss Records he joined hands together with Aliens Production unleashing a kind of retrospective work featuring songs composed between 2011 and 2021. “God Under Construction 2011 – 2021” is an album appealing for lovers of intelligent and sophisticated Electronic music reminding artists like Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Mortal Constraint ao.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: You’re already  involved with music for quite a long time, but can you tell us how you got in touch with Electronic music and how Human Vault saw the daylight?

Mortum: Well, in 1987 my sister bought a cassette album of Pet Shop Boys, the title was “Actually” and I did love it a lot. However, the old accountant guy next door had quite a big vinyl record collection, and he showed me 2 albums, both from the legendary project, Tangerine Dream. “Phaedra” and “Rubycon”, they were my first real encounters with Electronic music. No whining, crying and high pitched ‘male’ vocals that you can hear on almost every synth pop new wave album. No dancefloor oriented rhythms and easy listening melodies. Tangerine Dream opened a door to an entirely new realm of soundcrafting and sound miracles. It was just a matter of time for me to start seeking for deeper and more daring sounds.

A few years later, when I got myself into occult literature, I found a label with amazing music. That label was Cold Meat Industry from Sweden. I became obsessed with its releases [not the dungeon synth Mortiis] and super soon I found myself collecting European Industrial music as well.

Over the years I gradually emerged myself into creating sounds, field recordings, super cheap synths and noise boxes, tape modulations and found objects with contact mics. Human Vault as a music project slowly became part of my life. No exact date when the name was first used as the official project name, but the first cassette release of mine was named as Human Vault in 1997.

Q: You’re involved with an impressive number of projects, which makes me say music clearly is a true passion. What does music mean to you and what makes the differences between all of your projects/bands? Is there any project more important than another?

Mortum: Music means everything to me! I listen to music for hours and hours a day. I also can do both of my favorite activities together at the same time, reading and listening to music, which is great and a serious time saving, too. I know I am involved in a good number of projects and it can be many times very exhausting.

Lately I have put an end to many of my projects so that I will be able to focus on the few remaining ones in the future. Hence the answer to your question, yes I consider Human Vault, the Hungarian Nadragea and my super deep and personal project, Stone Wired the most important ones. All the rest are fun and cool, and I love them, and I am serious about them, but if they are over I will not shed tears for them.

Q: Human Vault is clearly driven by good-old EBM standards, mixing power with dark atmospheres. What are your main sources of inspiration and what’s your global approach in composing the songs for Human Vault?

Mortum: When I write a song for Human Vault, I focus on rhythms. Otherwise I would end up writing another Stone Wired Death-Industrial-track. My inspiration comes from different sources. I Love Death-Industrial, Dark-Ambient music more than EBM. I also prefer old-school Dark-Electro music and here I am not talking about this Aggrotech, Trancy, Cyber Glitch, ‘cheesy’ Electro. All these influences will eventually get in the flow of composing a new song. A good track is about the author who writes it and not about the audience. I want to express something, tell something in a way I wanna tell, and I really do not give a damn if you as audience understand it or not. The problem here is that people think they are so important that music should be about them, about their feelings, their life…. that music is made for them, to entertain them, to satisfy them. At the beginning of time music was created in order to tell you a story, a story that has nothing to do with you and your feelings. A story that gives you meaning and not the other way, you give meaning to the story. Human Vault is being written with no restrictions and limitations. Human Vault does not care about anyone!

Q: You last year released the album “God Under Construction 2011 – 2021”, which is a kind of retrospective, right? How do you perceive this ‘retrospective’ and how did you see Human Vault evolving?  

Mortum:  “God Under Construction” is the actual essence of Human Vault. If one does not want to spend hours and hours listening in order to get familiar with the project, then this compilation is the right and perfect way to go. Although this release does not show the entire evolution of the music due to the fact that I had to omit tracks recorded in the very first period. Anything before 2011 is considered as a constantly fluctuating Experimental era where Dark-Electro and Death-Industrial could walk hand in hand together. Another reason why I really could not add tracks from that ear to this compilation is that I unfortunately lost all the archive files of the songs and all I have left is DAT / regular tape recordings. After 2011, Human Vault has been focusing on authentic Dark-Electro sounds putting experimental recordings aside so that I focused on this era only when I selected the tracks for the compilation. 

Q: Most of your work has been released on Exabyss Records, which is your own label and a platform for most of your projects. What have been your experiences so far and especially considering aspects like: distribution, promotion, physical formats vs. streaming platforms? And what might you expect from another label like Aliens Production?

Mortum: When I started distributing my recordings in 1997, I went through clubs, music related communities, from person to person interactions. I grabbed my cassettes and spread them amongst people, real people, not virtual existences. It took an enormous amount of time and effort, it drained my energy down to the core but it worked. People started asking me where to buy my releases. I had no platform for selling so I let it sink into oblivion. What a mistake I made. If I had grabbed that opportunity I could have built a good foundation of a fan base, but I missed that chance.

So in 2005, I officially launched my own label, Exabyss Records, and I faced the reality of a very indifferent market, a society that has been overrun and overwhelmed with abundant music. Just in the EBM genre now, at least 10 hours of new music can be reached via The Web with no effort daily. While in the 90’s, in my small town in Hungary, the EBM club community counted around 100-150 people and only 2 persons who wrote music, now in the same town the EBM fun club counts only 50 people at the most and 20 of them who write music. Put this standard pattern up in a big city scale like New York City where I live now. Only big names, such as Front 242 recently did, can draw in people in number over 300 for a live gig, which is far less than acceptable and way less than enough to pay the bills and create profit. There is no EBM club in NYC any more, and I am not making this up, that is the reality presently. All the darkwave and goth clubs can generate 80 to 150 people per club night, which is outrageous and sad. What about the musicians? Oh my gosh, NYC has got at least half a thousand musicians in the industrial genre and its sub-genres that regularly release music via the internet. You just can not keep up with this! Quantity over quality! You are tired already of digging through hundreds of hundred hours of new music just to find the real and good ones. In brief, as Exabyss Records, I realized that operating a record label is just adding to the global problem. I truly believe that stopping all distribution of music would give people time and space to breathe and relax as well as time to start appreciating music again. Therefore, as Human Vault, I create music for myself only. Aliens Production is willing to release my recordings and I am more than happy with that since I know there is a close circle of fans there that my sound can reach through the label, and that is enough for me.

Q: You’re Hungarian born, but living in the US. What are the main resemblances and differences when it comes to music and music culture?

Mortum: I honestly and truly have to admit that there is no difference between the music and its surrounding culture in the US and in Europe. Dead music market, ignorant audience, too many musicians and even more music, no appreciation on all levels, fashion freaks who dont give a damn about the music or its culture. There is no culture any longer! Only music! An overwhelming amount of music that no one listens to!
What we all have got, though!? An unoperational and deeply damaged society. A collective mind cracked open! People who scroll down the timeline of their social network and click on the like button without even reading the post or clicking on the link just to give at least a second listen to the song posted. People who gather virtual friends while not giving a damn about any of them! People who have no time to do something real in real life instead of spending hours and hours on social media networks where they also have no time to read or react to the posts. People, who are shallow and hollow in their heart! People like me, who are just meaningless and useless parts of the big machine… and we all know it but we just don’t care about it anymore!

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