‘Click Interview’ with Moris Blak: ‘Music For Warehouse Raves In Towns Run By Esoteric Cults’
Moris Blak started in 2016 after almost a decade of experimenting with electronic music production, and performing in metal bands. The name is actually a reference to a true crime documentary. The American solo-project released a few EP’s on Blind Mice Productions. The official debut album “The Irregularity Of Being”, released by the end of 2019 on Negative Gain reveals a solid mix between EBM and industrial sound treatments. The work has been accomplished by the addition of guest singers: Pete Crane, Amelia Arsenic, Angel Metro, Slighter and Noire Antidote & Johnny E. Veil. This interview is an introduction to the sonic universe of Moris Blak.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: What have been the main ideas and influences to set up Moris Blak and what kind of sound did you want to compose?
MB:Moris Blak combines modern bass music and the cold aggression of the industrial genre. A typical studio session draws from unnerving atmospheres of horror films, the mechanical opera of cyberpunk, and walls of heavy bass from the main stage of an EDM festival. I like to say that I create music for warehouse raves in towns run by esoteric cults.
Q: I noticed you define your music/sound as ‘industrial bass’. The bass lines clearly are solid, but what’s the deeper significance and your own quest when it comes to sound creation?
MB: Historically, industrial has been a fairly insular scene. It’s influenced in large part by the early days of experimental electronic music, and most modern artists in the field are still paying tribute to those pioneers of noise.
I discovered new gods in the bone-rattling frequencies of bass music. There is a dark energy and ‘Lovecraftian’ dread that brews below 100hz. I fully indulge in the headiness of that, and encourage my listeners to do the same.
Q: You released a few EP’s and other digital productions before your debut album “The Irregularity Of Being”. In which way is the album the apotheosis of your earlier work and/or a kind of consecration for all your efforts. How do you see the evolution from the early work towards the album?
MB: My early EP’s were very experimental in their sound design, till trying to find their footing. A new artist’s first release often evidences a desire to break all the rules while at the same time wearing their influences prominently…
Although I’m proud of those releases, it wasn’t until my EP “Femmes d’le Obscurite” that I learned to use the proper tools to create the sounds I had been hearing in my head. This began a shift to much more heavily-distorted modulating basslines, and started collaborations with some incredibly talented vocalists and producers that I had been a fan of for years. It’s been a real honor working with them.
Q: What did you keep in mind from the writing and recording of the album? Did you have specific criteria and/or references to work with the different guest singers on the album?
MB: I chose my singers based on their exceptional catalogs, giving each full creative control with the lyrics. I gave them a mostly completed track, and let it guide them in how to create a complimentary vocal part in their own style. This lack of initial oversight helped the track to develop and grow naturally. I wanted each piece to be a true collaboration, and I believe this approach creates a much richer and more immersive environment.
Q: How did the recording and production of the vocals happen? What can you say about the lyrical content and the deeper significance of the album title?
MB: As I mentioned, these talented artists recorded their parts at their preferred studio space with little direction from me. It was really about trusting them to bring their own style and talent to the table. I’d give some insight into what I was aiming for in terms of lyrical content, but each artist’s words were their own response to the bleak soundscapes I provided.
The title of this album, “The Irregularity Of Being”,is sort of an acknowledgement of my own personal battles on the road to producing and releasing it. Writing my first full album took a decade of battling imposter syndrome, and questioning a lot about myself and the world I found myself in. It takes a while to find your voice, creatively, and your twenties is when many people find that existential bearing that will guide them into the future. “The Irregularity Of Being” is a reference to the book “The Conspiracy Against The Human Race” by Thomas Ligotti, a collection of grim, pessimistic examinations that acknowledged my own reflections on the nature of being.
Q: Live shows have been cancelled due to the Corona lockdown. What do you expect about further live shows and what are you actually doing during the lockdown (artistic wise)?
MB: Despite all the negatives of this situation, the isolation of lockdown has actually been an opportunity for me to dig deeper into creating music. I have been hard at work on two new releases for Negative Gain Productions. Both releases will be a collection of collaborations, remixes, and originals -details coming soon. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be releasing some new remixes as well. This pandemic has allowed me to produce some of my heaviest material to date.
2020 was the year that I had planned several tours, and planned on playing several festivals during the summer. Like most artists, I was disheartened by the sudden cancellations and the prospect of live performances completely drying up, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to refine my stage presence, produce new material, and continue planning a full tour of the U.S. and beyond when this is all over.
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