DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Sypha presents … Mauve Zone Recordings: A Celebration of 10 Years of Sonic Surrealism

mauve-zone-bugs

 

A Brief History of Mauve Zone Recordings

I began recording music in the year 2000, initially under the name Death Head Moths, then shortly later Sypha Nadon: my initial sonic inspirations were Nine Inch Nails and Throbbing Gristle, hence my decision to focus solely on experimental electronic music, created primarily on a computer. But for many years, I had no real outlet for this music of mine to be heard. This situation changed in the year 2005, when my friend (and fellow musician) Ilya started up a netlabel (entitled This Plague Of Dreaming) at the Internet Archive. When he first began this netlabel he was in need of acts and, having heard some of my material previously, offered to release some of the recordings that I had done under the Sypha Nadon name. I took him up on the offer, and 2005 saw the release of my Enter Horus EP and an LP entitled 11 Chants for Russolo! I ended up doing one more release for Ilya, the Threnody for Zumb Zumb LP, which appeared in November of 2006. By this point I was in a state of feverish musical activity and was coming up with many other ideas for future albums. Not wanting to clutter up my friend’s netlabel, I decided to create a netlabel of my own. And it was that train of thought that led to the birth of Mauve Zone Recordings (also initialized as MZR for short).

When creating Mauve Zone Recordings, some of my initial inspirations (aside from This Plague Of Dreaming) were other indie record labels I had admired over the years, namely Industrial Records (home of Throbbing Gristle) and the Come Organisation/Susan Lawly (home of Whitehouse). Wanting to give it an occult glamor, I decided to nick the ‘Mauve Zone’ terminology from the writings of Typhonian occultist Kenneth Grant, who defined the Mauve Zone thusly in his 1999 book Beyond the Mauve Zone: “Mauve Zone: a loaded term signifying the region between dreaming and dreamless sleep, which has its analogue in figurative expressions such as the Crimson Desert, Desert of Set, Voids beyond Daath, etc. It is the state which dawns beyond the abyss that separates phenomenal existence from noumenal Being.” To further add to the mystique, I conceived of an alter ego named Arthur Limbo to serve as the label’s founder and official propagandist.

 

arthur-limboArthur Limbo, Founder of Mauve Zone Recordings

 

Although I came up with the concept for the netlabel in late 2006, it wasn’t until the following year that MZR became a fully operating entity. February 19th, 2007 is the historic date that MZR appeared at the Internet Archive, and on March 6th, 2007, MZR released its very first album. This was Rise Horus Rise, and the band behind it was Boy Destroyer, a fake industrial/power electronics supergroup that I created for the occasion. I will now reprint the original liner notes/press release:

“Mauve Zone Recordings is pleased to announce the release of its first digital bullet, Rise Horus Rise, which is in turn the grand debut of noise supergroup BOY DESTROYER. This supergroup is composed of the following individuals:

Ray Pissed (Vocals and Lyrics). The lead singer for underground punk rock band Ricin, which has released many bootleg singles and is currently signed to Fireball Records, where they are recording their debut album, Drunk on the President’s Blood. Their live shows are legendary.

Isabelle Ducasse (Noise Guitar/Feedback). Isabelle Ducasse is best known as a “Feedback Artist,” world-renowned in the avant-garde community for her sonic sculptures of noise. Speaking of noise, she’s also the noise guitarist for the noise-drone band Deathdrone, who last year released the now-classic (and impossible to find) EP Drone Moon Headache.

Sypha Nadon (Rhythms). The cryptic Sypha Nadon is best known for his releases on the esoteric This Plague of Dreaming netlabel, namely the albums 11 Chants for Russolo! and the more recent Threnody for Zumb Zumb (not to mention the Enter Horus EP). Currently planning an EP for late 2007/early 2008.

From the liner notes: This is sacred racket, pure fucking aggression, punk noise of the highest order Thelemic Anarchy The conquering child manifested in this Aeon as ultra-noise music to immolate yourself to A symphony heralding the downfall of the right-wing reign This is a campaign, it has nothing to do with art BOY DESTROYER is a three piece group who are violently uncompromising both musically and lyrically while possessing a new sense of direction in the spectrum they have very little in common with the current crop of electronic bands and this album should not be confused with such

Keywords: Punk Rock; Noise; Power Electronics; Thelema; Horus; Kaos; Anarchy; Wild Boys; Industrial; Brutalisim

Track listing:

1. Welcome to the Machine (4:55)
2. War (4:49)
3. Spill Blood (1:53)
4. Intellectual Punk (5:09)
5. Raped by a Deer (3:56)
6. Rise Horus Rise (5:20)
7. Human Lab Rats (4:39)
8. We Hate You Conservatives (5:12)
9. Retail Hell (5:28)
10. Electro-Sadism (5:07)
11. Scream (For Terror) (3:56)
12. Boy Destroyer (10:00)

Total running time: 60:31

Recommended for fans of Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse, Sutcliffe Jugend, Wolf Eyes, Crass,
Big Black, Foetus, and other sonic trouble makers.

Says Isabelle Ducasse: “Boy Destroyer declares war on civilization, on society, on reality itself. We will destroy anyone who gets in our way. We’re interested in chaos and anarchy, Uranian poetry, Apollonian Beauty and Dionysian Homosexuality. The world isn’t ready for Boy Destroyer. Too bad for the world, but it had it coming anyway, smug bastard.”

Says Ray Pissed: “I had to change my vocal style a bit for this one, as it’s the first noise record I’ve ever sang on. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Seriously, though, this is some intense shit. Hardcore with a capital H. Total punk rock, just not rock & roll.”

Says Sypha Nadon: “The edge or stick some crush see baby not insect.”

 

* * * *

 

Following the release of the first Boy Destroyer album, MZR began releasing various Sypha Nadon anthology releases. When I first began the netlabel, it was my intention that it would initially function as nothing more than a depository for my Sypha Nadon albums, my albums recorded under other aliases, and for Cat Band archival releases (The Cat Band was a band created by my younger brothers back in the 1990’s… some of you may recall a Cat Band Day that I created for this very blog a few years back, in 2014 or so). But a few months after I began MZR I thought it would be pretty cool if I could get other artists involved as well, to at least give the impression that MZR was a record label of some sorts. The first album to appear on MZR that wasn’t a creation of my own was an album entitled Hard and Evil by our very own Thomas Moronic (the date of this album’s release was June 30, 2007). In the years that followed, a few other people contributed albums to MZR: mainly The People’s Tongue, Bryce Clayton Eiman, Michael Karo, and T3. But for the most part, MZR has mainly served as an outlet for my own musical projects, obsessions and fetishes: Sypha Nadon being the primary one, followed by Boy Destroyer, and also Zyklon Vagina, James Champagne, Cadaver Synod, and Death Head Moths.

When MZR first began, during its first year or so, I desired for it to have a kind of seedy, unpleasant image. Inspired by how Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse would often use questionable/disturbing imagery of little girls in their lyrics/album art/promotional material, I decided it would be funny to have MZR to do the same, just with boys (naturally, this all tied in with the homoerotic William Burroughs inspiration/influence as well). This can be seen especially in the early Boy Destroyer albums and the first issue of TRANS/MISSION. By 2008 I had grown a little bored with this tactic so I began restyling the label as a sort of cryptic occult-obsessed secret society. When MZR first began I classified it as the musical branch of the Necronomicon Transhumanism Society, the latter being a website I had created around 2005-2006. In September 2008 (no doubt inspired by Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P./Black Glove storyline that was ongoing at that time) I came up with the concept of the Dark Tentacle, a sinister umbrella organization made up of the Necronomicon Transhumanism Society (the philosophical branch), Mauve Zone Recordings (the musical branch), Black Dulia Press (the literature/publishing branch), The Sodality of the Holy Shadow (the religious branch), The Final Church of the Zumb Zumb Apocalypse, The Ghooric Order of the Shoggothian Nuns, The Cultus of the Locusts, and so on and so forth. This led to the first of many grandiose and bombastic press releases at the MZR blog, such as the following:

“We would like to tell our dedicated listeners that recently Mauve Zone Recordings was purchased by the Dark Tentacle. This will not change our present direction or ambitions.

Mauve Zone Recordings is now the musical branch of the Dark Tentacle, just as the Necronomicon Transhumanist Society is the philosophical branch, and the Sodality of the Holy Shadow is the religious branch (more on this later). Coming soon will be Dark Tentacle Publishing, our literature and publications branch, whose purpose will be the distribution of Neo-Goth Narratives.

We would also like to welcome aboard our Insect Trust a new member: Dr. Gargoyle. A mastermind at sound experimentation, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Induction Trigger Phrases, he’ll be hard at work on the ultra-secret Project Noir, which will be released to the public next year.

More details to come.

The Insect Trust:
H.P. Lovecraft: Our Spiritual Founder
Arthur Limbo: MZR founder and owner
James Champagne: Art, Production, Text, Promotion
Sypha Nadon: Mauvian Symphonist
Dr. Gargoyle: Science, Sound Experimentation
The Fabulous Mr. Meaningless: Dada Muse
The Booda Carrot: Our Godhead”

 

dark-tentacle

 

On October 28th, with great fanfare, the Dark Tentacle website was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. It was a short-lived triumph, as a week or so later my computer suffered a catastrophic crash, which resulted in the loss of many files that I was unable to back up. This led to a somewhat sheepish announcement on November 25th, 2008:

“The Dark Tentacle website is no more. With all of the computer problems I had, the original files I had for the pages I had up already were lost, thus making it impossible to edit (even though the site remained online). Even more galling, I lost the original HTML NTS pages, so almost all of the documents I had related to the NTS are gone (with the exception of some of the artwork and a few text documents). So I cancelled the site today. Probably for the best, really… trying to run 4 “secret” societies had become kind of a pain in the ass, to be honest. I still want to have an MZR website up one day, but it seems that now is not the time. I’m trying to simplify my life as it is right now. And it kind of makes sense to bring The Dark Tentacle to an end around the same time that the Black Glove storyline on Batman comes to an end.”

Some other notable dates in the history of MZR:

3/20/2007: The release of the first issue of TRANS/MISSION, the official newsletter of Mauve Zone Recordings (for more info on TRANS/MISSION, see the end of this article)

4/23/2007: On this day I created the official MZR logo, which features a photograph of Luigi Russolo posing with one of his Intonarumori devices.

 

mzr-logo-official
the official Mauve Zone Recordings logo

 

For the curious, this is what the MZR prototype logo looked like:

 

mzr-logo-prototype

 

9/26/2007: On this day I unveiled the official Mauve Zone Recordings blog, which still exists to this day (see “Links of Interest” section below).
12/22/2007: The release of the second (and final) issue of TRANS/MISSION.
10/28/2008: The release of A Dream as White as the Death of a Seagull, the first compilation album put out by MZR.
10/31/2009: the release of the netlabel’s one (and only) eBook, James Champagne’s Grimoire (eventually deleted when the book was published for real in 2012).

 

Our Latest Release: Beyond The Mauve Zone [MZR040]

Early on this year I realized that MZR had reached its tenth year of operation. To commemorate such a historic milestone, I decided that a number of albums should be released. First there was the re-release of the label’s very first (and long out-of-print) LP, Boy Destroyer’s Rise Horus Rise, in a deluxe edition meant to celebrate its ten year anniversary. Along with all 12 tracks off the original album, it also featured tracks from the Wild Boys EP, and a PDF/booklet containing the album’s original liner notes, lyrics, and other ephemera. Then on June 17th there was the release of Selected Ambient Twerks, the second Sypha Nadon “greatest hits” collection. The following month saw me releasing an album of all MIDI music entitled Second Report, and it was the first album I recorded under the Death Head Moths name since the year 2000. A few months later saw me releasing an album under my own name, this album being Experiment XX. However, all this was mere build-up to MZR’s 40th release: Beyond The Mauve Zone, the label’s second compilation album (and a sequel to 2008’s A Dream as White as the Death of a Seagull).

Track listing for MZR040:

1. Orchestra 23: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman (Intro) 3:37
2. Boy Destroyer: Leonardo 4:38
3. ▼RIL Y▲: We Are The Void We Worship 8:08
4. Cadaver Synod: Five Billion Years of Hell-Engineering 5:52
5. The People’s Tongue: Shooby Laboof Propulsion 2:09
6. Thomas Moore: Sling 9:09
7. James Champagne: Beyond the Mauve Zone 7:19
8. Orchestra 23: Intermission 2016 1:54
9. M. Karo: Tiempo Peligroso 7:47
10. Zyklon Vagina: Bass Decay 3:19
11. Bryce Clayton Eiman: My Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist 4:27
12. Death Head Moths: Eraser (Polite) 2:29
13. Sypha Nadon: Melenkurion Skyweir 4:28
14. Orchestra 23: Dark House (Outro) 3:37
15. Mystery Guest: The Grand Feline-ale 3:19

Total Running Time: 72:15

Although I’ve designed the album covers for a great majority of MZR’s releases, it’s very rare that I draw any of the art by hand (the exception to this rule are the first 3 volumes of The Cat Band anthologies, all of which I personally illustrated). Therefore, as a way to acknowledge the special nature of MZR040, I decided that I would illustrate the cover art by hand, the result of which may be seen below:

 

mzr040
the front cover art of MZR040

mzr040_coverback
the back cover art of MZR040

 

The back cover of the album utilizes the Steffi Grant illustration that appears on the back cover of her husband Kenneth Grant’s book Beyond the Mauve Zone, further modified by myself (namely, I added the rainbow filter, the text, and the MZR logo).

Beyond The Mauve Zone may be downloaded/listened to for free on the MZR page at the Internet Archive, the link of which is below:

https://archive.org/details/MZR040

 

The Future of Mauve Zone Recordings

There was a period of time earlier this year where I was thinking that maybe Beyond the Mauve Zone would be the last MZR record (the title of the album itself even hints at that notion). After all, I have been working on this label for 10 years now, and 40 is a nice number. But eventually I decided to maybe keep things going. Obviously, the label has had its lulls: though 2007-2009 were very busy years, there were only 2 releases in 2010, 2 in 2011, none at all in 2012, and only 1 in 2013 and 2014 (indeed, there is a two year hiatus between MZR026 and the release of MZR027). Yet 2015 saw 6 releases (granted, mostly Sypha Nadon archival material), and this year has seen 6 as well. I do see it going on another small hiatus in the future, as it’s become a distraction from my writing career. And yet, I do hope to have at least one new release of my own come out in 2017, and I’m toying with the notion of once again opening up the label for submissions (it has been closed to submissions for years now). The last 2 years the label’s pretty much been flooded with Sypha Nadon products, and I think greater diversity is needed to keep MZR from becoming creatively stagnant. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you’re a musician and you think your work would be a good fit for MZR, feel free to drop Arthur Limbo an e-mail at mzr777@gmail.com. Obviously I’m in no position to offer cash as MZR is entirely non-profit, but one could say the honor of being part of this illustrious family is payment enough!

 

Mauve Zone Recordings: Discography
(all cover art designed by James Champagne except where noted)
Below each album listing is a link to the relevant Internet Archive page, where each album may in turn be listened to/downloaded.
Key: album #/artist name/album name/catalogue #/release date/format

mzr01

1. Boy Destroyer: Rise Horus Rise [MZR001] March 6, 2007 (LP)
DELETED (later reissued in a deluxe edition as MZR036)

 

mzr02

2. Sypha Nadon: Universe A: Distant (Anthology 1) [MZR002] April 13, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR002
(This archival release was later made redundant by the far superior recording MZR030)

 

mzr03

3. Sypha Nadon: Universe B: Closer (Anthology 2) [MZR003] April 13, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR003

 

mzr04

4. Sypha Nadon/Zyklon Vagina: Malkunofat Disko [MZR004] June 8, 2007 (EP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR_4

 

mzr05

5. Thomas Moronic: Hard and Evil [MZR005] June 30, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR005
(cover art by Sian Macfarlane)

 

mzr06

6. The People’s Tongue: Sonny Bono’s Favorites [MZR006] July 7, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR_6
(cover artwork by ????)

 

mzr07

7. Bryce Clayton Eiman [MZR007] September 6, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR007
(cover art by Bryce Clayton Eiman)

 

mzr08

8. Bryce Clayton Eiman: Mono [MZR008] November 3, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR008
(cover art by Bryce Clayton Eiman)

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

9. The Cat Band: Anthology Vol. 1: The Early Years [MZR009] November 29, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR009

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

10. The Cat Band: Anthology Vol. 2: Cat Forever [MZR010] November 29, 2007 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR010

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

11. The Cat Band: Anthology Vol. 3: Cat Band’s Greatest Hits [MZR011] 11/29/07 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR011

 

mzr012

12. Sypha Nadon: The Black Omen Soundtrack [MZR012] January 28, 2008 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR012
(the soundtrack to a non-existent computer game: perhaps my favorite SN LP)

 

(MZR013 Cover Art Lost)

13. Boy Destroyer: Wild Boys [MZR013] March 2008 (EP)
DELETED (though the majority of its tracks may be found on MZR036)

 

mzr014

14: Various: A Dream as White as the Death of a Seagull [MZR014] October 17, 2008 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR014 The historic first MZR compilation album. Cover artwork by Erik Visser.

 

mzr015

15. Sypha Nadon: Universe C: Beyond (Anthology 3) [MZR015] February 28, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR015

 

mzr016

16. The Cat Band: Anthology Vol. 4: Off-White [MZR016] April 24, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR016
(cover art by Tom Champagne)

 

mzr017

17. Bryce Clayton Eiman: Sex in Heaven [MZR017] May 18, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR017
(cover art by Bryce Clayton Eiman)

 

mzr018

18. Sypha Nadon: The Nightmare Factory [MZR018] June 17, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR018
This was the first Sypha Nadon “greatest hits” album.

 

mzr019

19. Sypha Nadon: Our Lady of the Flowers of the Red Night [MZR019] June 28, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR019

 

mzr020

20. James Champagne: Grimoire [MZR020] October 31, 2009 (eBook)
DELETED
(you can buy it though: https://www.amazon.com/Grimoire-Compendium-Narratives-James-Champagne/dp/1608640388)

 

mzr021

21. Boy Destroyer: Socialist Boy Scouts [MZR021] December 4, 2009 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR_21

 

mzr022

22. M. Karo: Funky Afternoon + The Slow Fish Remixes #1-5 [MZR022] 12/19/09 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR022

 

mzr023

23. Sypha Nadon: Orheculegenias [MZR023] August 14, 2010 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR023

 

mzr024

24. T3: Frag Out! [MZR024] October 29, 2010 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR_024

 

mzr025

25. Sypha Nadon: 4NIC8 [MZR025] August 22, 2011 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR025

 

mzr026

26. James Champagne: Halloween Time [MZR026] October 17, 2011 (single)
https://archive.org/details/MZR026
(cover photograph courtesy of my mother)

 

mzr027

27. Sypha Nadon: Litch [MZR027] December 1, 2013 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR_027

 

mzr028

28. Sypha Nadon: Canadian Atheist [MZR028] November 11, 2014 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR028SyphaNadonCanadianAtheist
(along with The Black Omen, one of my personal favorite SN albums)

 

mzr029

29: Sypha Nadon: First Report [MZR029] January 20, 2015 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR029

 

mzr030

30. Sypha Nadon: Distant [MZR030] February 8, 2015 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR030

 

mzr031

31. Sypha Nadon: Decadence [MZR031] March 6, 2015 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR031

 

mzr032

32. Sypha Nadon: GAP [MZR032] April 1, 2015 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR032

 

mzr033

33. Sypha Nadon: Society of the Spectacle [MZR033] May 2, 2015 (2xLP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR033
(to date, MZR’s only double album)

 

mzr034

34. Sypha Nadon: Monolith [MZR034] August 13, 2015 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR034

 

mzr035

35. Cadaver Synod: The Great Filter [MZR035] February 8, 2016 [LP]
https://archive.org/details/MZR035CadaverSynodTheGreatFilter01AbstractHorror

 

mzr036

36. Boy Destroyer: Rise Horus Rise Deluxe Edition [MZR036] April 9, 2016 [LP]
https://archive.org/details/MZR036
(ten year anniversary reissue of MZR001 + select tracks from MZR013)

 

mzr037

37. Sypha Nadon: Selected Ambient Twerks [MZR037] June 17, 2016 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR037
This is the second Sypha Nadon “greatest hits” album.

 

mzr038

38. Death Head Moths: Second Report [MZR038] July 4, 2016 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR038

 

mzr039

39. James Champagne: Experiment XX [MZR039] October 9, 2016 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR039

 

mzr040

40. Various: Beyond the Mauve Zone [MZR040] , 2016 (LP)
https://archive.org/details/MZR040

 

TRANS/MISSION

transmission

 

Shortly after the release of the first Boy Destroyer album, I decided that it would be pretty neat if my label had an official newsletter. After all, Industrial Records had had their Industrial News, while the Come Organisation had their Katas. With this in mind, I created TRANS/MISSION, which became the official newsletter of Mauve Zone Recordings. Initially my goal was to have one every two months, but that seemed like a lot of work so in the end I decided it would maybe be one every 4 months (though I eventually dropped that idea as well: yeah, I’m lazy). The first issue of TRANS/MISSION (released 3/20/2007) was chiefly devoted to Boy Destroyer, and it was 23 pages long. The second issue of TRANS/MISSION came out later on that year, on December 22, 2007, and it was twice as long as issue 1. A third issue was to have been dedicated to The Cat Band, but it was never created. Because Mauve Zone Recordings has never had an official website, people who wanted to read TRANS/MISSION had to download it from my Necronomicon Transhumanism Society website. But when I suffered my big computer crash in 2008, I ended up losing all the HTML files associated with the NTS website, and thus no longer had TRANS/MISSION files on hand either.

For many years I despaired of ever being able to lay my eyes on TRANS/MISSION again (I had never even had the foresight of at least printing out physical copies). But then, on November 18, 2016, I did a Google search for “Mauve Zone Recordings Transmission” and to my surprise saw that on October 22, 2008, our very own Dennis Cooper had uploaded the PDF of the entire first issue on the Scribd website! It can be viewed/downloaded here: https://www.scribd.com/document/7448278/MZR1

Sadly TRANS/MISSION #2 seems to be forever lost to the mists of time. I forget most of the content but I do know that it featured 3 long interviews (with The People’s Tongue, Thomas Moronic, and Bryce Clayton Eiman), along with further Boy Destroyer lyrics. If anyone reading this has a copy of this PDF on file, PLEASE contact me ASAP. You have no idea how desperately I would like to re-read that document!

 

Mauve Zone Recordings: The Failed Projects

Although MZR has seen the release of many albums, there have been just as many albums that have never seen the light of day, for a number of reasons. Here is a list of a few such projects.

THE JAMES CHAMPAGNE SOLO ALBUM: mentioned as far back as the first Boy Destroyer interview, I initially intended to have a solo album released under my own name during the first year of MZR (on my birthday, June 17, to be precise). Alternately known as James Champagne 1 or Imagine the Music, this album was apparently finished but unreleased because it was deemed subpar (I say ‘apparently’ because I don’t recall finishing it, but the MZR blog says otherwise). Two tracks recorded for this project, “Worm Food” and “Vow of Violence,” would later appear on the Sypha Nadon/Zyklon Vagina Malkunofat Disko EP, with Zyklon Vagina given credit for the tracks. It would not be until October 9, 2016, that I would release a full-fledged album under my own name: Experiment XX (itself an album that I had initially recorded under the Sypha Nadon name back in the autumn of 2009, yet for some reason held off on releasing).

THE ROSS GELLER EP: mentioned in the first Boy Destroyer press release was this project (set for the spring of 2007) that I never bothered to actually carry out: there was an episode of the TV show Friends where the Ross Geller character torments his friends with his experimental/ pretentious electronic music: the idea was I would record the few songs they show him playing and release it as an EP.

BOY DESTROYER: SEXY TERRORISM LP: Initially Boy Destroyer’s second album was to have been an EP entitled Disobey! As I worked on it in 2007 it gradually got longer and longer, until it became a full-fledged LP entitled Sexy Terrorism. Then in March of 2008 I decided to abandon it and just went back to my original idea of doing an EP (which became MZR013: the Wild Boys EP). Sadly I no longer possess the unreleased tracks for Sexy Terrorism.

ANTOINE ET AMELIE: longtime readers of this blog will need no introduction to the greatly missed Antonio Urdiales. Back in 2007 Antonio and I were in contact with each other constantly and he was very interested in MZR. Being a fan of his music I commissioned him to do an album for MZR (under his band name Antoine et Amelie). In the spring of 2007 he told me that he had locked himself in his closet/recording studio to do the album, and that he was apparently in contact with “beings from outer space!” In later e-mails he informed me that the album was done, that all that was left to finish was the artwork. But as the months went by this album was never delivered, and I gradually got tired of asking Antonio how it was going, so I eventually just dropped it. One of my big regrets was that MZR never got to release an Antonio album… I wish I could have heard what it was he was working on for me at the time, but I have no doubt it was brilliant.

THE CONGO LP: for some bizarre reason I thought it would be funny to create an album composed entirely of samples from the much-maligned 1995 film Congo. Though two tracks were created for this novelty record, they were lost forever in the aforementioned computer crash of 2008. Kind of a shame, they were pretty amusing from what I recall.

ZYKLON VAGINA: probably the most ambitious of the many failed MZR projects. In 2007 I came up with the idea of my netlabel “discovering” and releasing some long-lost albums put out back in the 1970’s by an obscure Industrial band known as Zyklon Vagina (an obvious spoof of Throbbing Gristle). I came up with the track listings for 4 albums, invented fake biographies of the 4 band members (I recall one of them was named Nigel Semen-Cornflakes, a parody of Genesis P-Orridge)… at one point I even planned on adding entries to these fake records on discogs to create a sense of myth about the project… in the end though my habitual laziness kicked in and I abandoned the project, though I did record one Zyklon Vagina album in May 2007. Entitled Zyklon Jubilee, it featured a total of ten tracks, and was something of a spoof of the most cliché industrial/power electronics album you could imagine (cue samples of Hitler, Charles Manson, songs with names like “Auschwitz Medical Experiments,” “Silling Castle” and “Nazi Disco”). I decided people might not get the joke behind the project so this album was never released, though 4 tracks did make it on the Malkunofat Disko EP, which was a split with Sypha Nadon (the 4 tracks being “Worm Food,” “Rape Machine,” “Viscous,” and “Prelude to Mass Slaughter,” though that latter track ended up being attributed to Sypha Nadon). Since then, Zyklon Vagina has only manifested on the two MZR compilation albums.

BRYCE CLAYTON EIMAN: THE BISEXUAL IS THE MAGIC NEGRO OF THE BEDROOM: this was a 12 track album mailed to me by Bryce Clayton Eiman many years ago, that I had planned on releasing at some point but for whatever reason never did. I would still like to release it one day: I re-listened to it for the first time in years a few months back and thought it sounded really great. Maybe a 2017 release?

PERICHORESIS: In 2008 the MZR blog made mention of an upcoming Sypha Nadon album to be entitled Perichoresis, which would be released in 2009. I have no information as to what became of this project… no doubt it was most likely never even started, though. In another blog entry I also make mention of Sypha Nadon working on an album entitled Funeral Music for Horselover Fat, which also never seems to have been finished.

THE CAT BAND VOLUME V: it was always my intention that there would be five Cat Band anthology albums, with the fifth volume being a recording of the Cat Band’s final live show (which was taped back in 2002). I still would like to release this one day, I’ve just dragged my feet on it, primarily because it’s not exactly the band’s most shining moment.

TAKIN’ IT ALL OFF: the softcore 1987 film Takin’ It All Off was the first “dirty” movie I ever saw, and a few years back I had the idea of releasing a soundtrack for it on MZR. The idea was to record the film, cut it up into individual tracks, and just release that. But though this project was completed, in the end I decided not to release it, perhaps for copyright reasons. Though who knows, maybe I will put it out there one day, just for the lulz.

 

Links of Interest

https://archive.org/details/mauvezone&tab=collection
The Mauve Zone Recordings Internet Archive page.
http://mauvezonerecordings.blogspot.com/
The official Mauve Zone Recordings blog.
https://archive.org/details/tpod
The This Plague Of Dreaming Internet Archive page.
https://www.scribd.com/document/7448278/MZR1
PDF of the first issue of TRANS/MISSION.

 

*

p.s. Hey. The blog’s lucky streak this week culminates in this weekend-long celebration of the author, music-maker, and net label honcho James ‘Sypha’ Champagne’s raucous and unique, 10 year-old Mauve Zone Recordings. James has put together a characteristically fascinating and thrills-packed guide for you, and it’s your golden chance to both get acquainted with this amazing project and score any titles you might not already have. Luxuriate accordingly please, and please give as much of your undivided attention to James and his efforts in your comments as you can, thanks! And biggest up and gratitude to Mr. Champagne! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. Yes, I think Gus even included Clarke’s ‘Elephant’ among the extras on the DVD for his own ‘Elephant’. ** Bill, Hi. Sounds about right from what I’ve heard and would expect from Arnold’s film. I don’t know Francesco d’Orazio. I’ll change that. Nice that you’ve managed to see as much stuff as you have. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Yes, apparently it’s pretty serious and unusual. The free transport is a nice consolation. I’m from LA, so I’m more than used to being engulfed in smog, but not when it’s cold and wintery outside. Very strange. Yeah, I consulted with French friends yesterday, and setting up the French back account with a year’s rent is apparently what one has to do in my situation. If you’re an artist who makes money in odd, random ways and don’t have a regular job with regular paycheck receipts to provide, you’re considered distrustful. Anyway, so I have to set up the bank account and asap somehow. Oh, how did the work with your photo/video ideas go yesterday? That’s exciting! You’re always doing really interesting projects and things. It’s cool. It’s inspiring. My day was another one where not much ended up happening that wasn’t just me typing at my laptop. Today I’m finally, definitely seeing some art and meeting/working with Zac on the film and having dinner with friends, so the outdoors will at last get more than a glimpse of me, ha ha. I hope you have a fantastic weekend, and I’m of course curious to hear about it. ** Joakim, Hi. I know, right? About Milo. Trippy when that happens to your friends. Obviously, it’s a great thing, but it also feels like a really dramatic change and kind of eerie. That might just be me. I never eat sushi in Paris because everyone I know says that you can’t get good sushi in Paris even though that kind of makes no sense at all given that there are many hundreds of sushi places here and, surely, a few of them are good. And it’s expensive here too. But sushi is one of those foods that always seems massively overpriced no matter where you get it. Especially vegetarian sushi, which is the only kind I can eat, obviously. But then that might just be some built-in American thing because American food is usually served in giant portions. I’m rambling, sorry. Is your school right in the center of Copenhagen? I only know the very center of Copenhagen. Like, how close is it to Tivoli? Have a super sweet and all around great weekend! ** Steevee, Yes, indeed about Clarke. You’re not the first person to express bewilderment at the unavailability of Clarke’s films in the US. Steve Polta of the great SF Cinematheque said basically what you did on my Facebook feed this morning. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you. Like seemingly everyone, at least on your side of the pond, I was a latecomer to his work too. ** _Black_Acrylic, Well, thank you very much for occasioning the post. Without you, I probably would have foisted more theme park rides on everybody or something, ha ha. Dude don’t let the overview post stop you from doing a ‘Penda’s Fen’ post if that idea and desire pan out. I would be thrilled and welcoming. ** Armando, Hi. Yes, I’ll pass on your congrats to Michael, of course. They had the baby in Italy, so I probably see them or the new Salerno in person for a couple of weeks. Well, yeah, old artists can definitely deliver. I mean Godard’s ‘Adieu au language’ might be my favorite of all of his great films, for instance. Okay, I’ll try to remember to let you know when there’s a Paris gig for Gisele’s and my work that’ll happen when I’m here. I totally understand your frustration with the publishing and agent process. It’s almost always very difficult, and it can make a writer feel very powerless. Unfortunately, that thing where a publisher says they’ll get back to you soon and then don’t is not unusual at all. All you can do is keep trying and also trying to stay as tough-skinned about the broken promises and rejections that happen as you can. What you’re going through happens to a lot of new writers, maybe the majority. That doesn’t make it easier, but there’s not much you can do about it other than staying diligent until you get a break. ** James Nulick, Hey. Well, apparently the hassles I’m having to get apartment are standard fare. So, I just have to do my best to fulfill the obligations. Like I said up above, the system is set up for ‘normal’ people who have regular jobs and a provable steady income, not for artists whose money comes in an irregular way. I have to find an apartment, so I will. No choice Thanks for the commiserating. ** Morgan M Page, Hi, Morgan. Yeah, Clarke’s work is very strong. Very worth getting to know. You can watch a few of his films in their entirety via the post, although, obviously, youtube is not a great way to see anything that’s lengthy and that matters. Oh, the French theater director I work with all the time, Gisele Vienne, plus my buddy Zac and I have submitted a proposal plus a partly completed script for a 3-episode TV mini-series to the French/German TV channel Arte. Kind of a strange, funny, bleak thing about a female ventriloquist and her dummy, whom she treats like a real person. That’s to make a complicated story very, very simple. Arte is apparently very interested in it, and we’re supposed to get a thumbs up or down on December 20th. So we’re anxiously awaiting their verdict. Take care! ** Sypha, Ah, the man of the 48 hours! Hi, James, and thank you a ton! I’m so sorry that your mom is going through that grief. That’s tough. It’s interesting how people can have such importance in your life even from great and even technically impersonal distances. ** Jeff Jackson, Hi, Jeff. Thanks, man, about the post. Good, no, great about their interesting and surprising response to ‘Novi Sad’. And that’s cool about that guy’s intrigue with ‘ZFE’. I like his reaction to it, of course. It’s kind of even ideal. Thank you for telling me that. I am an admirer of Susan Howe’s poetry, yes. She’s very, very good. I haven’t read her most recent books, but I would like to catch up. I definitely would recommend you try her poetry. She’s pretty consistently excellent, so you could start kind of anywhere, I think. ** H, Hi. Thank you for coming in. No, I’m past whatever trauma I was going through about the Google thing. Yes, I think Xmas is going to mostly pass me by this year too. It’s fine. Looking at Paris all dressed up for the holidays is enough for me. Have a fine weekend. ** Okay. Mauve Zone Recordings is calling to you. Heed its call. See you on Monday.

19 Comments

  1. The only word for today is WOW!!!!!! Merci Sypha

  2. Hi!

    Thank you for today’s awesome post!!

    Well I do hope the smog situation gets better over the weekend!
    Yeah, I know this attitude towards artists and their (our?) ‘irregular income’. It’s similar here – it makes finding an apartment so much harder. Did you manage to set up the bank account? Or at least to start the process?
    Ah, thank you!! They went quite well. I met my cameraman friend today and we talked a bit about them. I showed him a few videos I find inspirational and he showed me pieces of a project he’s currently working on and it’s fantastic, I really loved it. So now I’m full of these new ‘visions’ about what we might start working on! One of the videos I showed him featured Kris Kidd, I really adore his works. Do you know him?
    Nice, your Saturday sounds very promising! What did you think about the art shows? How was everything else?
    I hope you have a lovely weekend indeed!

  3. Didn’t Boy Destroyer end up attracting some unwanted pedophile fans? Apart from that unwelcome circumstance, your BD press release sounds perfect.

    • Well, I know that Will Decker was a fan, ha ha. Then there was some other creep who invited me to some dodgy-sounding internet chat room… that’s kind of a big reason why Boy Destroyer was somewhat phased out very quickly, actually (the other big reason is that I simply can’t do those screeching-type vocals anymore).

      A lot of the press release was just ripped off from old Whitehouse-related press releases (with a few words changed around) to be honest.

  4. That TV proposal sounds great! Hope it comes through for you. When I was a kid, I had such a creepy ventriloquist dummy – which I never ended up learning to use but kept for many years because it was so weird. I kept it in an old suitcase. Don’t remember what happened to it, but I guess I gave it away eventually when I realized I would never bother to use it.

    Jerk is a puppet/ventriloquist situation, right? That’s an interesting recurrent theme. What got you on about ventriloquism?

    Anyway, hope your weekend goes well!

  5. Hey Dennis,

    Did you have a good weekend?

    Yeah – I agree about the trippy part, you just know things are going to be different. But it also just gives me comfort and somehow relieves me when friends I like have children – kind of gives me hope for this circle we call Earth.

    We have to go to Hard Rock Café when I’m in Paris, obviously. Not sure if we can stay at Louka’s parents flat yet, but either way, I’ll work something out cause we really want to come and my mind’s set on it.

    The school is super central, right by Nyhavn (the place with a harbor and lots of colorful houses) The area is called “Kongens Nytorv” which basically translates to “The King’s New Square” and it’s about a 20 minute walk from Tivoli.

    Have you ever been to Kunsthal Charlottenborg? My school is surrounding it kind of. Right now I go to the sculpture school, so that’s why I’m at the garden a lot. If you come to Copenhagen I’d love to give you a tour of the school and the city.

    Another picture of the garden when it’s a tad more green:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BL8eWWaB-g4/

    Also, thanks for the post Sypha! 🙂

    <3,
    Joakim

  6. Sypha,

    I love the liner notes and the back story for the three musicians in Boy
    Destroyer… they are very heavy, very in your face! for the longest time I was the lead singer of an imaginary band in my head. We were called The Shut-Ins. Our debut album was ‘Don’t Answer the Door.’ Five members, each member had their own back story and birthdates, etc. Albums (six total) were released on band members’ birthdays; to hell with new release Tuesday! After 6 albums I got nodes on my vocal chords, and so disbanded The Shut-Ins and started a quiet-core band, Pillow Factory. Our first official album (I say ‘our’ but Pillow Factory was a one man band) was called 300 Percale. After about age 33 I stopped pretending to be in a nonexistent band because I started writing my first novel, Distemper. And now I really feel like a dork because I’ve never told this to anyone before, but hey, thank you for the awesome post! You really shredded it on those vocals! Also, I love the album covers for BD 😍😍

    Thanks Sypha!

    Dennis,

    Glad you received the email, that sounds great!

    I’ve got car troubles today. I went to Safeway this morning. After I was done shopping, I came back out to a flat tire … Now I’ve got the overpriced tire shop blues. Just waiting to see what the magical charges are… wish I had a book with me in the waiting room.

    Much love,
    James

    • James, thanks for sharing the information about your fake band, ha ha. Sadly it was the album covers for BD that got me the unwelcome attention that steevee mentioned above (well, mainly the first two, not the reissue of the first one). I know for the first issue of TRANS/MISSION I did include 3 pictures of the “band,” and for whatever reason used a picture of Poppy Z. Brite for Isabelle Ducasse.

  7. @ Sypha, I’ve long been a fan and have DJ’d out this material for Yuck ‘n Yum launch events in the past. This is a fascinating look inside the Mauve Zone universe so thank you!

    @ DC, I just sent you the Penda’s Fen Day, hope you receive it alright.

  8. i wound up posting quite a bit on LA LA LAND on Facebook, so I’ll just say this is very, very, very far from my top 10 list. Leos Carax’s “Modern Love” scene blows away this film’s entire 125 minutes.

  9. Congrats, Sypha. You nut.

    Dennis, “The Mudge Boy” won Best Picture at the Oscars 3 years in a row 15 years ago, don’t you remember?

    I really liked “Manchester by the Sea.” My friend Cindy said it was too sad and depressing, a sad-bastard film for sad bastards. Though she thought it was good. It was sad and a bit depressing, but I don’t think it tried to be. It just was. Btw, Casey Affleck is fucking awesome.

    But let me sum up this movie with a quote from one of my favoritest ever novels:

    “Try making up a world where having killed someone you love isn’t important.”

    That’s pretty much it. I thought about the film a lot afterwards and I kept coming back to that quote from that book.

    On top of all that, there are a lot of little subtle, nuanced things that happen, some of it just with filmmaking, that you see when you watch it. Too hard for me to go through it all.

    Though I do think you’d like Lonergan’s use of rather long -time-wise- shots in particular scenes. Where nothing really happens…but where everything is happening in that nothingness.

  10. Thanks to all the people who commented today (and who have given MZR a listen in the past)… and thanks to Dennis’ blog for hosting this day! It is much appreciated.

  11. A lovely post today, Sypha.

    Hello Dennis,

    Doesn’t mean to comment late, but I do almost everything (good or bad) at night.

    Revisted Christmas relevant queer films this weekend. One (Kenneth Anger, ‘Fireworks’) is for school work, and others are just for my study and… pleasure, I guess. Um, I can’t think of a finer way of Christmas celebration. Walking around the Marie Menken ‘lights’ kind of city, maybe? Well, sorry for rambling.

    Before I go, …I miss your Santa posts that you made in the past and also, scrapbooks for your next novel. I recall, your scrapbooks had some Christmas themed images & texts. Can you perhaps rerun? Or, updated presentation?

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