INTERVIEWS AND MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES


A Conversation in CARS & WOMEN MAGAZINE #1


 

TODAY WE HAVE A TALK WITH ANATOMY OF THE HEADS - KIRIBATI'S HOTTEST EXOTICA INSPIRED JAZZ-FUSION BAND THAT IS SURE TO GET YOUR GIRL TANNED. WE TALKED WITH THEIR GLORIOUS LEADER MICHAEL VAN GORE WHO AGREED TO TALK TO OUR HUMBLE PERIODICAL. ENJOY!

 

WHAT WAS THE CLOSEST THE BAND HAS COME TO REENACTING A SCENE FROM SPINAL TAP WHILE ON TOUR?

Our biggest Spinal Tap moment so far occurred during interviews. One time we played together in an art gallery in Germany. That wasn't under the name Anatomy of the Heads though. We were hired by the organisers to do a noise show, and we were expecting edgy artwork with random naked people and screaming women. However, it turned out to be a gallery of children's artwork created as part of a project funded by the city. So the kids were there with their parents, the organisers introduced us, and we were baffled. If I had been a parent, I would have been furious. But we went, "200 bucks for noise you bought. 200 bucks for noise you're getting." All the kids and parents walked out, and we played for the organisers and some weird art guy. Afterwards we were interviewed and had to give this pretentious art gallery talk: "Our work explores the relationship between postmodern discourses on UFO sightings. With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and John Cage, we distil new insights from the explicit and implicit structure of their works. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of non-human extraterrestrial relationships. So we performed an improvisation for you, and what began as contemplation was soon manipulated into a manifesto of temptation that left you, the listener, with only a sense of dread and the inevitability of a new beginning. As momentary replicas are distorted by emergent and academic practices, you, the listeners, are left with a tribute to the darkness of your own existence."


THAT SOUNDS FUCKING TERRIBLE. WHAT WAS THE RECEPTION LIKE?

Oh man, in their own delusion, the organisers saw it as a success and thanked us saying "Great show, guys. This is something you really have to confront people with, you know. These people [meaning people who didn’t go to college] would never look for this kind of art on their own." I would fire that guy for ruining what could have been a wholesome event.

 

WHAT A DUSH. IF THERE WOULD BE A PLACE YOU PLAY WHERE WOULD IT BE, AND WHAT WOULD THE SHOW LOOK LIKE?
I would like the idea of Easter Island. Maybe a one-off gig, fully decked out, entering the stage via war elephants, surrounded by the all-encompassing fog of incense, torches at hand, scantily clad hula dancers and a big band. We would play two sets, one at sunrise and one at sunset, film it, sell it as a pay-per-view and retire to a pineapple farm. That would be peak AoftheH. Alternative locations suitable for such a thing would be any large ancient temple. Come to think of it... we could do it at a fraction of the price if we just did it in Yogjakarta. Mhhh, stay tuned for that.

 

TELL US ABOUT A LIVE SHOW YOU WENT TO, AND WHAT MADE IT MEMORABLE FOR BETTER OR WORSE...HEY, REMEMBER GOING TO SHOWS?
I have to be honest, I've never been to a good live show, or maybe I have and it's my problem, but yeah.
I CAN PICTURE YOU STANDING THERE WITH YOUR ARMS CROSSED, JUST INCHES AWAY FROM AN ACTIVE MOSH PIT AND PEOPLE STAGE DIVING
That's me. But here is one of my favorite stories. It was a small club that hosted a black metal night three bands. The headliner was something famous and the other two bands were regional. The first band was an occult-whatever-not-your-typical-black-metal-band. They played mostly mid-tempo to slow stuff and the audience hated it. After 10 minutes they had a little break in between songs and the reaction of the crows was zero. You could hear a pin drop. I however liked it and was the only one going WHOO *CLAP*  *CLAP*  *CLAP*  *CLAP* Then I noticed that I am literally the only one reacting and went „fuck you, people. I am not shutting up“ and my art appreciation intensified.
I HAVE HAD A FEW INSTANCES OF GOING "Y E A A A A A A A A A A A A H" LIKE A METAL VOCALIST AND APPLAUDING (CYCLOPS HANDS ALLOW FOR THUNDERCLAPS) AT ACTS NO ONE LIKED EXCEPT ME AND SOME OTHER GUY AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE ROOM. I'VE LEARNED TO JUST SCREAM THINGS IN SPANISH WHILE CLAPPING SO EVERYONE JUST JOINS IN LOL
La sangre de abuela! *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*
EL DIABLO! *FRANTIC THUNDERCLAP*
Okay, well then I got another one. Similar set up, but teenage black metal band from the suburbs of Germany decked out in hot topic clothing and supportive parents and other relatives in the front row camera in hand and all. In between songs the parents and relatives go WHOOOOO GO TOBIAS! *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* YEAH TOBIAS, GOOD SOLO YOU ROCK *LOOK INTO THE CAMERA*
HAHAHAH. OH MY GOODNESS, THEIR RIDE BACK HOME WAS MOM AND DAD
Hahahah. That was truly awesome
"TOBIAS DO YOU WANT ANYTHING FROM MCDONALD'S?"
You just know they had McDonald's afterwards for celebration *BIC MACS ALL AROUND, GANG. GOOD SHOW!* and of course Tobias is LORD ANAL DESECRATOR released by 666420 Productions

 

TOBIAS, THAT IS SUCH A WHITE SUBURB NAME
I mean cool guys and cool parents and all, but the optics of the whole thing are just so bizarre. Anyway, this is what I mean - musically I don’t care much for shows, bands mostly play weaker versions of material you already know, and it's a let-down. But live shows are a magnet for weird people and their delusions, so you’ll be entertained anyway.

 

IF TWO PEOPLE YOU ABSOLUTELY HATED ENTERED A KUMITE, WOULD YOU BE SAD ONE OF THEM IS VICTORIOUS OR DELIGHTED AT ONE OF THEM LOSING?
I say better them than me. I would be happy if there were fewer daggers with my name on them.  As a glorious leader and dictator, I have to be on guard all the time anyway.

 

SO, KILL’EM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT?

Allah, but yes. Stop complaining or complain more funnily. The beatings will continue until morale improves

 

YOU'RE STUCK IN AN ARCADE FOR THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON WITH INFINITE CREDITS. WHAT THREE CABINETS DO YOU CAMP OUT UNTIL YOUR RELEASE?
I would say Nightstalker for the Atari, Elevator Action for the Gameboy and Final Fantasy 8. Nightstalker captivated me with its artwork that looked like David Hasslehoff was trapped in a futuristic maze. I kept playing it because it has that distinct Atari hypo effect and because I had the crazy idea that something magical would happen when you roll the score over. Some secret ending or glitch Y2K-style. Of course, usually nothing happened. I even considered playing Nightstalker at a competitive level, but eventually stopped playing video games at all. Elevator Action is the exception to the Y2K disappointment. If you max out the counter, it gets stuck on a number that converts all power-ups to health, the enemies are on steroids, and you get stuck with the weakest weapon. So imagine a frantic game+ mode where everyone is shooting at you, you can only defend yourself with a peashooter, but there is health everywhere. Also, I'm a big RPG player, especially strategy RPGs, and Final Fantasy 8 is basically the game I'm most invested in, and to me, it has stood the test of time for me. The best game ever, I'm going to die on that hill.

 

I HAVE A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION RELATED TO 9/11. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE TRACK TITLES. WHO COMES UP WITH THE TRACK TITLES AND HOW?
I think them up. I use three main tools for this. A notebook in which I write intriguing phrases that come to me or that I find in books, films or overheard conversations, a digital cut-up machine that mixes up texts, and a high-concept approach to making an album. So I have a bunch of raw material that I either use directly or cut up to create or at least inspire new phrases. Finally, I selected those that somehow seem to fit coherently into the album by suggesting some kind of narrative. We never have a specific goal when we make a record, other than to make it good. So we have no idea what we want to say. Working on the album is like a discovery process for us, where we get to know ourselves, and in the end we have basically figured out what is on our minds.

AND WHAT IMPORTANT MESSAGES FOR THE LISTENERS HAVE YOU DISTILLED THIS TIME?“
Never flush a tampon.

 

THE VOICE OF A GENERATION, LADIES AND JERKS. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORBIDDEN DAY FOOD/NIGHT FOOD COMBINATION?

I regularly get in trouble with restaurant staff and my wife when I mix pineapple or other fruits with meat. Pineapple and beef are my opium, and even after some 30 years of living here, I complain about day/night food in general. Because I want it the way I want it. I have been spoiled by the king. 

 

FOOD FOLLOW UP. WHAT IS A FOOD OR PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE IN INDONESIA THAT WITHOUT HESITATION YOU'D PISTOL WHIP SOMEONE ELSE'S NEMESIS TO DEATH ON THE STEPS OF A CHURCH FOR?
The grass is always greener. When I am in Indonesia, I miss some European food. For example, bread that is not white bread, curd cheese and yoghurt. These are all unspectacular grandpa foods, but the craving for them is sometimes so strong that I would gladly commit murder for them.

 

DO LEFTISTS EXIST IN INDONESIA? IF SO, WHY?

They do, even though Marxism is banned here. You find them, ironically, in Islamic studies, where they try to combine the altruist parts of Islam with communist theories, and in everything to do with the environment. They become vicious during elections and riot in universities and schools. They often set fires or cause other forms of property damage there. I actually have a story about this. My wife has a favourite park that she used to visit a lot as a child. It is called Tiger Park and it takes its name from a big tiger statue that is in the park. She used to go there to picnic and play with her family. We visited it recently and were disappointed to find that the place has become a battleground for all sorts of lunatics who demonstrate and riot there. Now the noble tiger statue is covered with graffiti from hammers and sickles, ACAB, SS runes, DOWN WITH CAPITALISM, DEATH TO ISRAEL and so on. It is a shame.

 

WHAT IS A SONG THAT MAKES YOU GO 'WHY YES, A TWO HOUR VERSION OF THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT' ?
According to my YouTube history, I'm really into William Shatner supercuts. There's one where Kirk climbs a mountain and it's just insane. Apart from that, my mood swings, and currently I'm into a guy called Koshiro Yoshimatsu. All his stuff is on Youtube, he recorded all kinds of styles in the 1980s, but every record has this dreamy 4-track band sound that's just magical. We always strive to get that sound for our own records, and with modern recording equipment it's getting harder and harder because it's just too good. We actually always spend a lot of time dirtying everything up. I'm in the process of going through his discography right now. Koshiro Yoshimatsu - check him out.

 

THIS HAS BEEN A CONVERSATION WITH ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING IT AND FEEL NOW ENTICED BY THEIR CAPTIVATING PERSONALITIES TO GIVE THEM ALL YOUR CASH. CONSIDER LISTEN TO THEIR NEW ALBUM A BANISHMENT OF BLOODSHED AND SUPERSTITION. FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER AND VISIT WWW.AOFTHEH.COM FOR ALL THINGS ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. AND JUST IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING BANDCAMP IS THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT THEM.

Interview in TQ45


TQ45
TQ45

 

So, who are Anatomy of the Heads and who am I speaking to this morning? I can find credits for; Michael Van Gore (High treasurer, God of Dangdut, Luau-Master, Batik shirt, Hawaiian shirt), JH (bass, death cult rumbling, bassoon, beard), Gay/J Rome Fish (orgon generator, moral superiority, reichsabwehr guitar, stunt guitar), Christ Orf Gutsch (bass), Jonas of Mt. Ararat (electrified cacti, Dionysian mysteries), Gimhae-Clan (bird calls, goose whistles) and Heidenreich (homeopathic treatments). All a bit mysterious.

Michael: It is I, Andy - Michael van Gore. The stallion of liberty and supreme leader of Anatomy of the Heads.


Jonas: Hi, I am Jonas Heidenritch and I play bass.


Jerome: I am Jerome and my morals, as well as manners, are allegedly impeccable.

Where are you guys based, when and how did you form, and is it principally a duo, trio, or a band? Maybe even a solo project? Possibly all of the above!


Jonas: Well, I think primarily we are friends hanging out and making music.


Jerome: We met in University. Although Jonas and I met before we were introduced to Mikey by a shared friend who already made music with him.
Jonas: ...which was technically the original bassist Christ Orf Gutsch because he worked on some parts of Adoration in Prayer and Ritual. I'd put it somewhere around 2013 or 2014.


Jerome: As far as current location is going. We have settled on Indonesia. But we move around a lot through the years.
Jonas: The idea to form a band came from a research trip to Kiribati, where we had to interview people and ended up accidentally joining a cult.


Michael: As far as initial plans go, the only thoughtout thing was basically the economics behind AoftheH. How can we make and sell music without living the lives of professional musicians?
Jerome: Because we heard that sucks.


Jonas: I'd rather be a day-trader.


Michael: Building a mobile home studio to record demos, getting our own PA system and go from there. It's a classic, ‘having your cake and eating it too’ scenario. No physical releases, print on demand, no unnecessary permanent liabilities, rent out the PA system and studio to other people and so on to recover costs.


Jerome: Like we said, we'd rather be day-traders than touring or session musicians.

So, when you started out did you have a particular mission or plan in terms of what you were going to sound like and the aura you wanted to create?


Michael: Personally, I always thought that I was going to be in a black metal or goregrind band. You know, anything pretentious. But turns out I suck at playing stuff like that. I like listening to it, but not making it.
Jerome: So, jazz it is.


Michael: Indeed it is.


Jerome: By the way Tarquin, just to de-baffle you, Mikey plays all the jazz guitar stuff while I primarily use my guitar to make noises. Hence, I play the ‘stunt-guitar’.


Jonas: Jerome and I were really into grunge, stoner, garage and post-rock stuff. We played in some local bands that never went anywhere. But now...


Jerome: ...now it is just Barry Manilow.


Michael: The actual sound is just what has developed over time from jamming and sharing music together.


Jonas: I guess you could say we wanted to create something that on one hand makes sense and has conceptual continuity while on the other hand accommodates all our eclectic tastes.


Jerome: Nothing would be easier than to say we are death metal or some other genre band, but we are too promiscuous for that.


Michael: Yeah, and this is not a democracy. I reserve the right to change everything.

Given the nom de plumes (and a dig into your site) there’s a tinge of mystery about you, I assume this is intentional. Is this done as a bit of fun, or is there some darker secret attached to the anonymity?


Michael: Well, Tarquin, it all started in 1978 in a small bar at the beach. There was a girl named Lola, she was a showgirl. She used to merengue and do the cha-cha.
Jonas: Here we go, again...


Jerome: Yes, tell us about your mother, Mikey!


Michael: As I was saying, some bar patrons got into a fight about said woman and a fire broke out that left me horrifically scared. Ever since my accident I have been cursed to hide my monstrous visage amidst the underbrush of the jungle and pray upon local villagers and their livestock for sustenance.


Jonas: Are you really willing to give away your tragic backstory for free?


Michael: He asked politely.


Jonas: I think you sold yourself short on that one. You should have waited until you are more famous. You could make Christina Aguilera money for that kind of tragic biography striptease.


Michael: You have to spend fame to get fame. I just laid the groundwork for your tragic origin story and subsequent biopic.


Jonas: No dice.


Jerome: The short end of the stick is - our tragic and heartfelt origin stories of disfigurement, love, betrayal and triumph are classified.


Jonas: That's right. They are classified and if we would tell you we’d have to kill you.

Jerome: It is for your own safety Tarquin.

OK – best move on from that subject, I guess. It’s a challenge to categorise your overall sound, (one reviewer described AotH as an ‘..unclassifiable act that is so weird and outside the parameters of anything else, that you can only simply tag this as experimental music’ – Ed) as it varies album to album, so I will avoid doing so. Is there a particular sound you are looking for and do you seek to invoke a particular response from the listener?
Jonas: On top of that there is also the romantic idea of creating a super esoteric record that will break through the human veil of ignorance, destroys your ego and remakes you in the image of the gods that we are striving after.

The cover art is pretty striking and (with the exception of Maximum:Pleasure which readers can seek out themselves!) has an ancient mystic, religious and / or belief connotation. Who creates the art and is the theme intentional as part of the AoftheH aesthetic?
Michael: While we come up with the general art direction together, I am to blame for the artwork, although sometimes when time is short, I outsource bits and pieces. But the general art direction has to stand.


Jerome: Yeah, otherwise you would have to use language to convey visual ideas.

Jonas: And that, my friend, is always a disappointment.
Michael: The artwork usually develops together with the music but faster. Once we got the artwork down it basically inspires the whole record. As far as the kind of anthropological theme goes, it is definitely our attitude to explore the places we write music about. It's less about weird characters like Mack the Knife or Mandy or whatever, but rather a more detached view about groups and goings-on within imaginary societies.
Jerome: If we would have lyrics that would shine through more.


Jonas: Yeah we are working on that. We have kept our Manilow-skills rather scarce so far. But we are slowly working our mouths into the mix.


Jerome: But we'd probably never go full vocal.


Michael: Oh and MAXIMUM:PLEASURE fits right in there. What was the term, Jerome? You have read it somewhere.


Jerome: Japanese techoerotic animism. You know - like in Tetsuo the Iron Man - penis- drill and all.


Michael: Hence human flesh as a temple because it's Japan.


Jonas: ALL HAIL THE NEW FLESH!

I’m grateful for the wrap around cover design for this issue of TQ. Tell me about it. What was the inspiration and intention, what was the medium used, and who designed it?


Michael: You are welcome. Glad you like it.
Jonas: I hope you like spooky scary skeletons.


Jerome: ...they’re coming to get you, man!


Michael: We came up with the concept together, and I made it using all the copyright free art from yesteryear that can fit on my hard drive as well as some drawings.
Jonas: Some would call it a collage, but it doesn't really work for me, since all the material is hundreds of years old. It feels more like directing the hands of the dead.


Michael: The primary idea behind the design was our frustration with the whole corona virus thing and the thought that you haven't had a wrap around cover so far for your zine. And since you mentioned the ritualistic aspect of our work we thought why not go all out with it. Thematically the design is based on the medieval idea of Satan as God's monkey, or Diabolus Simia Dei as it was known in medieval Europe. Which understands evil not as the absence or opposite of good, but rather as the impotence to create as intended. Thereby constructing sinister imitations of life based on good intentions.


Jerome: Like well-intentioned safety concerns that end up being overly oppressive or full- blown tyrannical.


Jonas: Just so you know, we are pretty international dudes and all the Covid stuff has screwed us out of a lot of money and, more importantly, family time. Since it made travelling impossible. Without getting too personal one of us also lost a family member, not to the virus but rather the associated security measures. I know, very egomaniacal of us, but we call it as we see it.


Michael: We imagined the whole Covid incident as an apocalyptic vision in which people are led further and further away from their divine parents through the rejection of the Babylonian dilemma.
Jerome: You know, like the divine virus being something like a natural limit to human cooperation. Instead of living and dying with the virus and accepting it, humans strive to move beyond this, as well as any other given barrier for that matter.


Michael: In this version of the event, humanity is led astray by devilish monkey figures that promise the absolution of death and disease.
Jonas: But it is not paradise proper. It's a fake. A counterfeit version of immortality and wellbeing. It's monkey-business!


Michael: The siren song of altruism seduces people to be willing to nobly sacrifice themselves and ultimately their very humanity for the promise of a better world. This post- humanity has regressed into an imitation of what it means to be human - uniformly masked children that place medical concerns as the "greater good" above their own interests, desires and dreams. The siren song has been a curse all along and the connection with the divine has been severed.
Jonas: Spoken like a true maniac.


Michael: WAKE UP, SHEEPLE! IT IS THE TRUTH!


Jerome: The government is trying to mind control you through your cereal, man.

Jonas: ...and the dead are in on it.


Michael: As I was saying Tarquin, hide your pennies - Eliot Ness is coming for you!

Sound advice – thanks. You have made tee-shirts available depicting the cover art for each of your albums. Are these still available?


Jerome: Most of them will be erased and replaced with new designs.


Jonas: No album artworks, though. All original designs this time.
Michael: Yeah, we have a lot of plans for the merch. For one thing, we want to move away from the print on the demand thing to lower prices. Nowadays, it's kind of normal, but a $30 shirt still seems outrageous to me. We are also looking into other types of clothing. For example would love to do AoftheH themed Hawaiian shirts, leisure suites, action figures with gorilla press action. Everything is possible, it's just a matter of how much people want it. Also look out for our Patreon later this year for more exclusive goodies.

For the An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual album (2017), (TQ subscribers receive a download code with this issue – Ed) I’ve read comparisons with Sun Ra, This Heat, TG, Melvins, The Residents, Psychic TV, Non. Are there any influences in musical style you are willing to share, and what about influences regarding the overall mystique of AoftheH?
Michael: The biggest unheard influence has got to be Steely Dan. Their discography has basically become the soundtrack for everyday life and has rubbed off in terms of composition and approaches to production. They really place instruments in a way that you hear every single one clearly and independently. Otherwise, for me personally, all the more superfluous aspects of black metal. I like the sinister atmosphere, the thin treble heavy production. It sounds like something that you were not supposed to hear. Like the recording of a secret.
Jerome: But we can do without the metal part.


Michael: Again, I love listening to it. But playing it is just not working for me.


Jonas: Other people have compared us to the Sun City Girls or Vas Deferens Organization.


Jerome: I can see that.
Jonas: Yeah, but literally none of us knew these bands before our first release. I would credit Dr. John as another unheard musical influence. The Night Tripper has always been with us.


Jerome: For me its KISS.

I read a review of the Adoration album that referred to it being “complete and utterly unlistenable...one track contains six minutes of bass wabbering for god’s sake!”. What a great review, you must have been pleased with that?


Jerome: Hahaha, was that the Emerson, Lake and Palmer one?
Yeah that’s the one.
Jonas: “When ELP are not enough, Anatomy of the Heads.” That was the best incidental endorsement someone could give us.


Michael: I have to say, we are really not out to offend people, although we do that anyway, but there is a child-like glee when someone gets way too upset about what it is we are doing. People tend to hate the tuning-slide bass piece as well the first three minutes of the record, or the suite format in general.
Jonas: All of this is just a highfalutin way of saying that we love this kind of outrage.

The Adoration album puts me in mind of Isotope, Red Snapper and Nucleus, so I guess the jazz rock genre of the 70s with some experimental sounds added to the mix. It’s very different to the other material I have checked out. Was this the debut, and how come the subsequent material is such a departure in style?
Jerome: We actually have a kinda sorta system or plan for that.


Michael: Adoration is a studio album while Triptych Terror Oriente is basically a triple live record. All of our studio albums will always give you the whole spectrum. The real deal. The primordial soup that contains all the vitamins and proteins to get YOU through the most monotone of math classes. In any other format we are more willing to step away from that and highlight single aspects of our sound.


Jonas: It's Love Beach every day all day.


Jerome: We could imagine doing a solo piano EP or more noise stuff...


Jonas: Basically, whatever we are currently into.


Michael: Yeah, for example the triple live album was the result of many unfinished records and pieces that just didn't really flow all that well together. So in 2018 we had a lot of new music on our hands but nothing that we could turn into a single record in good consciousness.


Jerome: Yeah, and the idea of re-recording the material live is what really added the final touch to the idea.

That album was released in 2017 and then a lull until those three albums all released on the same day in 2019, and since then...silence. Have I got that right? Are the three albums for 2019 all recorded live and if so, were they part of a tour?


Michael: We strive to be on a two-year schedule for releases. We could do one a year, but then our music would be way less developed. The average purist could think that is a good thing to have things as raw and bloody as possible, but in our case that is just not the thing we are going for.
Jerome: Nothing in this movie is incidental.


Michael: As far as Triptych Terror Oriente goes, saying that we were on tour is a bit of an overstatement. We played or contributed to five art festivals and on two of these festivals we showed some film projects we made. So, the AoftheH live experience only adds up to three shows.


Jerome: All of which have been recorded and released for your delight!
Jonas: And when we say live, we mean that we KISSed the recordings. We recorded the music straight from the amps, so that there are no crowd sounds, and further edited the recorded material in the post-production process.


Jerome: Yeah, for example Exorcisme was initially performed with drums.
Michael: ...but I cut them out to serve my humble ego.


Jonas: It sounded perfectly fine with the drums. It was cool.


Michael: But my power electronics sensibilities said, ‘no rhythm section’. That way it was much blacker magic.


Jerome: That is not to say that we sterilized the records. We kept a lot of the mistakes, for example on Copper Clad Coinage.


Jonas: Anyway, since the release of Triptych Terror Oriente we haven't been that silent. We have released some outtakes from our upcoming second studio album on multiple compilations.

Copper Clad Coinage comprises two long form synth pieces; Barnacle Headdress and Island Giantism. I really like the album. Is it true that it was performed live a couple of years ago at the Gwanyongsan Arts and Culture Festival in South Korea, and is the recording of the actual performance at that festival?
Michael: Yes it is. As you can hear some synth lines are out of sync because as it turns out, drawn-out dungeon synth dirges are the last thing drunk Koreans want to hear after a high energy pop performance.


Jerome: But those were mistakes that we decided to keep because the lines oddly go together and create interesting interlocking rhythms that add to the meditative atmosphere of the record.
Michael: So, we had to deal with a bit of a hostile and unappreciative crowd, but we pacified them by inviting the most hostile and most drunk people to make bird sounds with us.


Jerome: None of which made it on the actual record because it's just a bunch of drunk people yelling, but we credited them as the Gimhae-Clan.
Jonas: High comedy.


Michael: High comedy, indeed. Add a slide whistle, and we turn into the Spike Jones Orchestra.

If Super Hot Fluids from the MAXIMUM:PLEASURE album is indeed recorded live in front of an audience, what was the reaction? Many walkouts? Or did the audience know what to expect?


Michael: Hahaha there was literally no one left when we started playing. Because it was a city-wide festival with many locations and the main stage had a much bigger act happening at the same time as us - Mariko... Mariko something. That way we basically had the whole venue to ourselves for a few hours. It was basically us and a few of the performers from the acts before us that drew the short end of the stick and had to keep watching their equipment.

For the piece you were joined by an orchestra. How did that come about?
Jonas: Our tour manager booked us as high art, so we played the same stage as two student big bands that went on sometime before us. Since it takes forever to rig up a twenty-piece big band all the microphones and equipment were permanently on the stage, and we had some contact during the day with the bands because we were traveling on a shoestring budget and had just the bare minimum of gear with us.
Michael: We basically ran around and asked if we could borrow this and that.

Jerome: Apparently, we seemed nice enough.


Michael: It's all Jerome. His manners and morals are impeccable
Jerome: Honorary Japanese.


Michael: When it turned out that we had the venue to ourselves for like two hours until they would tear down the stage we just asked them to jam with us. Although it was not that innocent.


Jerome: The problem was that people in orchestras have a hard time improvising. So we handed them some graphic notations that we just so happened to have prepared.


Jonas: That's basically graphs that represent dynamics and that performers can interpret as they see fit. For example a graph like this ^ could mean start in one pitch raise it continuously and then come back down. Or play what you want, but start out soft, get louder and then become slowly quieter again. We could say luck is the residue of design, but it was actually premeditated murder passed off as improvisation.


Jerome: We had the idea of using an orchestra early on when working on the material for MAXIMUM:PLEASURE because it started out as a commission for a soundtrack to a short film called End of Venus. Long story short, the movie fell through, and we already made 20 minutes of music that featured some midi orchestration as well as pages upon pages of graphic score.


Jonas: We were kind of hoping for something like that to happen in one form or another. It was a long shot but it kind of worked out, and we are happy about it.


Michael: Not everyone in the orchestra made it on the record, though. We cut out some players in post-production. For example there was a lady playing the harp who was literally drowned out by everything else going on and played for nothing, but we credited them anyway.

I’d unreservedly recommend readers of TQ check your albums out and while they are at it, check out your amazing visuals on YouTube. Such a mixed bag of visuals, some not for the feint hearted, one even coming with an age warning. All very interesting. How important is the visual aspect in relation to the whole AoftheH deal?
Michael: Having awesome artwork on a good record is like having a cherry on top of your sundae. Equally, it is very disappointing to see artwork that is really appealing, but then you end up not liking the record. You could argue that artwork is just a marketing gimmick or a superfluous element, and that it is all about the music. But artwork gives works of music a distinct identity that can help to immerse the listeners into whatever it is you want to communicate.
Jerome: Tie that to what we have discussed earlier, and you can see why we are so anal about artwork.


Jonas: It's all about immersion.


Jerome: Well that, and we grew up when music videos were like little movies with big budgets. So just as a fantasy we edit something together out of archival footage. We would love to do more filming, but that's not in the cards, yet.

I have read that there’s an album in the can called A Banishment of Bloodshed and Superstition slated for release late summer of this year. What more can you tell me about this?


Michael: By now mate you should have a pretty good idea about what to expect. Dense vegetation of jazz rock, unnerving jungle drums, much more brass and woodwinds, more refined attempts at exotica, vicious bongos as well as some vocals.
Jonas: As far as the disintegration of your ego goes, this time we partnered with some (better to remain unnamed) benefactors to induce amnesia in the listeners upon repeated listening through the use of something like pulsed microwaves.


Jerome: Get ready to kiss your boring old selves goodbye and embrace Anatomy of the Heads into your hearts and wallets.

I know many readers of TQ like to dig deep to learn more about featured artists. What are the best links to delve into?


Michael: To get your head on, visit www.aoftheh.com for more information about Anatomy of the Heads than your noble frame can stomach.

Many thanks, it’s been a blast. Any final comments for readers?
Jerome: Always remember music and passion are always the fashion!
Jonas: ...and don’t fall in love at the Copacabana.


Michael: Amin!


Track-by-Track Commentary for A banishment of Bloodshed and Superstition


I Heart Noice - Ripping off Brian Eno since 2008
I Heart Noice - Ripping off Brian Eno since 2008

 

Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from Michael van Gore (MvG), J.R. Fish (F.) and Jonas Heidenritch (J) aka Anatomy of the Heads, your favorite ChiChi fueled CIA psyop, honey-pot/money-bomb-operation that will sell all your personal information to Korean gangsters and hot tiger moms.

 

Turning Cattle into Dust
F: Okay, first title. What do we have?
J: The chainmail bikini is definitely the highlight here.
MvG: I want to say right at the beginning that this is the most challenging track on the album
F: I still think we should have put “Frightful Green Panic” at the beginning because it’s the most accessible track.
J: Yeah, why didn’t we put that one at the beginning?
MvG: Only true believers! Okay, let’s talk about the chainmail bikini, as people have dubbed it.
J: For the record, it wasn’t a bikini.
MvG: During the first part of the track there’s this rather out-of-sync metallic percussion that runs through the whole track. We added that because we had the basic instrumentation of the track, but it still felt kind of empty. So we played around with different ideas, added another guitar, noises – whatever. I can’t remember how we came up with it….
J: We noticed that the metallic percussion really penetrates the sounds, but we couldn’t find a rhythm to go with it.
MvG: Right, so we ended up hiring a ceremonial dancer, the kind you hire for weddings. She came up with a dance beforehand and then came to us in an outfit of metal beads, did her dance in like what – Three takes? And we cut the best parts together and that was it.
J: She was quite out of breath afterwards.
F: You have to get your money’s worth, after all.
J: Another thing that carried over from Triptych Terror Oriente is the intro.
MvG: Yeah, we doubled down on that. “You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world…”
J: THE BEE GEES
F: TATTOO
MvG: THE MICHAEL VAN GORE SOLO EXPERIENCE
J: That’s also the track that features vocals for the first time.
MvG: Yes, one of the biggest stylistic differences between this record and our debut is the introduction of vocals. In the lead up to the record, we released a lot of individual tracks on compilations and experimented with a variety of vocals. Until we figured out what best suited our music. The music video we did for the second part of the track really helped contextualize the progression of the composition for the uninitiated.
F: I really like how much mileage we got out of that silent movie footage. We’ve been wanting to re-cut and score a silent film for ages, and now we’ve finally done it.

MvG: Does anyone have anything else to say about this? No? Okay, let’s move on.

Obsidian Spears
J: This track is pretty straightforward and one of the most accessible tracks. There are a lot of new instruments though.
MvG: We’ve had the electric piano and organ on previous albums, but on a much smaller scale, which I always felt was gimmicky. But this time the electric piano, organ and flute really do a lot of the heavy lifting.
F: Also, we had a new production team on it because of the Rona™, as the kids would say.
J: Yes, I did the mastering. Some people are surprised at how our records sound. They immediately think we have crappy equipment. Actually it’s the opposite, we have good equipment that sounds way too clean. As far as production goes, we spend a lot of time dirtying everything up.
MvG: I think that this sound is essential to Anatomy of the Heads. We make exotica or fantasy music, if you will. It should sound like something you hear in a dream.
F: Others say it sounds like it’s played through a bunch of pillows.

MvG: You see, dream music.
J: That kind of production really adds a lot of – I don’t know – magic to it. It would be a very different record when produced bombastically and direct. Our sound is more menacing, peripheral and stealthy, which suits the compositions well. Because the melodies are really not straightforward. There’s always something secretive about it.
F: Can I take this opportunity to ask why you think I’m a leprous & humorous dwarf?
MvG: No, let’s move on.

Perfume of 100 Teeth
MvG: Well, that’s it – the heart of the album.


J: Dude, my favourite lyric is “love goddess of love”.
F: Talk about wordsmithing….


MvG: Silence, peasants! What works, works, even if I have to rhyme love with love.
J: That being said, I think you did a good job, and I think overall we found a good balance with the vocals on this record. Not too much, not too little. The sound of the vocals also changes throughout the record.
MvG: Yeah, because I’m really not a big singer in terms of range. We definitely keep vocals as part of our palette, but I would never do a full album with vocals.
F: Maybe you just need singing lessons.
MvG: Only time will tell. Anyway, there’s not much to say about it. Normal song format. It’s a mood piece.
J: The moodiest piece of them all.
F: It certainly paints a picture with the bird calls. These birdsongs, by the way, are a mixture of real birds singing and us and friends imitating birds. Not only on this piece, but on the whole album.
J: Yeah, sometimes you just need a bird call with expert timing, so you have to do it yourself.

MvG. It’s the first time we’ve done a basic song. I wonder when we’ll have our Herbie Hancock moment and go from Sextant to Headhunters?


J: I’d say we’re saving the pop sensibility for when at least two of us hit a midlife crisis.
MvG: That sounds fair. Okay, let’s move on.

Bat Pig Medicine
MvG: Bat-Pig-Medicine. Jonas has an extended bass part here.
F: Spotlight on the bass.
MvG: You did that well.
J: Thank you.
MVG: That’s basically the flipside of the album. No more vocals, and especially on this track, more experimental sounds. On our last release, Triptych Terror Oriente, we indulged in noise and related genres. So we wanted to cut back on those aspects on this record and bring jazz rock, fusion – whatever – to the forefront.
J: Don’t drag us into that! The whole thing was more of an ego trip for you guys.
F: We like that stuff too, but like only for a minute.
MvG: Yeah, I tend to get into it. I could do concept albums for days. I’ll give you an example: I had a desire to do a 30-minute solo piano album that was just a hypnotic sequence of octaves and fifths overlapping each other.
J: You really want to be more pretentious than Emerson, Lake and Palmer, don’t you?

MvG: I’ve taken that criticism to heart. Another indulgent album would have been just 30 minutes of sampled doorbell organ solos.
J: Thank God you got that out of your system.
F: I, for one, am waiting for autotuned tuba solos.
MvG: COMING SOON! Anyway, we put all these ideas into one segment because they worked surprisingly well together. The first part, which we called “A Meditation on the Inverted Flora of Hell”, is the only post-rockfish part of the first record. In the end, we abandoned the post-rock aesthetic in favor of a jazz-rock or fusion approach, mainly because I came to terms with my role as dictator. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. The prefix post should designate an abundance of sounds, but I can’t help feeling that all post-rock bands sound the same.
J: True, but its the same with free jazz. It becomes what it is.
MvG: Amen. Okay, let’s move on

Frightful Green Panic
J: Okay, the last one. We have reached the end.
MvG: This is one of those tracks that turned out really well. We had the basic framework of this track lying around for ages but never knew how to finish it. So we tried our new palette on it, like vocals, saxophones, organ and so on, and off we went. Suddenly it all fell into place.
J: Do you remember the track by track commentary we did for An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual? We came up with a narrative for the album. What did you have in mind for this album?
MvG: Yes, I remember. That was eye-opening in many ways. Because usually we figure out what we want to express with our music as we make it. We never really thought about it like, “Hey, let’s make an album about…. Radio Towers” or something like that. If I had to sum it up, I would say An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual is an expression of civilizational melancholy.
F: We will never strangle and eat a gazelle in our lifetime.
J: The horror. I don’t really eat meat, but I would love to fight and eat a snake one day.

MvG: We all do. Well, this time we had a little more time to prepare and incorporate a story into the artwork, and if you’re ready to dive deep into the story of Anatomy of the Heads, you should check out the booklet, the artwork and all the liner notes. If you do, you will discover a narrative to the album. However, I myself would hesitate to commit to any particular meaning. It is too early for that. Maybe ask me again in a year’s time.
F: That’s fair. There is also an outro on this track that sheds some light on what this album is about. It represents a kind of ordeal, and if you get through it, you are rewarded.


Okay, that’s has been our track by track commentary. I hope you enjoyed reading and feel now enticed by our captivating personalities to give us all your cash. Stay tuned for the sequel in 2023! Follow us on Twitter and be sure to visit www.aoftheh.com for all things Anatomy of the Heads. If case you’re wondering, Bandcamp is the best way to support our band. Never leave the internet and may the volcano gods smile on each and every one of you.

Article in SIX IN THE HEAD #9 (2021)


SIX IN THE HEAD  #9

TWO WAR STORIES MINIMUM: AN OLDHAMMER BATTLE REPORT DARK ELDAR VS. TYRANIDS


In this epic segment of foggy memory and heavy embellishment, MICHAEL VAN GORE of Anatomy of the Heads (interviewed in Issue 8 of the zine) tells SIX IN THE HEAD of a most glorious time, when the Dark Eldar faced a devouring Tyranid swarm in a 2000pt game of 3rd Edition Warhammer.

The two armies clashed in the definitive standard mission of the era - Death Match, where two armies deploy in a 'hammer and anvil' position and there are no points, no primaries, no secondaries, no command points, no tactical card mumbo jumbo - nothing - just the eternal glory of a death match! Whoever kills all the minis in the opposing army first wins (although a victory by submission is also possible). For the uninitiated, let me sum up what these two armies are all about. Lore wise the Dark Eldar are tragically hedonistic space pirates that, after millennia of orgies, need to enslave and torture others to replenish what little is left of their dark souls from being consumed by demons. On the table they are the definition of a glass hammer. They can dish it out like the best of armies, but they cannot take anything and fold like cardboard when hit by the rain. Their only defense is their mobility and high initiative that makes them strike first in close combat. The Tyranids, on the other hand, are a body horror from beyond the galaxy with no individual minds to speak of. There is only the hive and its hunger for biomass, which is why this faction is also known as the great devourer. On the table they are a horde army with some giant monsters that are as tough as they come. They rush the enemy and decimate them in melee combat. That being said, both armies mix as well as oil and water in lore as well as on the table. Since Tyranids feel no pain and can't nourish the twisted desires of the Dark Eldar, while the Dark Eldar are too few and far between to make a good meal for the Tyranids. Equally, a horde facing up against a glass hammer can go either way with no clear advantage, so it is up to clever game play and lady luck to determine the outcome. Now that we're all up to speed, let's begin our tale of love, lust and bloodshed.

 
ROUND ONE

The armies were set up on a goblin green grassland table with some sparing industrial scatter terrain and a giant crater in the middle of the board. I knew from the beginning that Round One was going to decide my fate. If I seized the initiative, my Dark Eldar could unleash hellfire on the Tyranids. If the Tyranids seized the initiative, I would suffer crucial losses to the Biovore (imagine living weapons shooting spore grenades) artillery.  As luck would have it I made the initiative roll. With childlike glee I moved the few things that were able to move. Since I decided to spam as many dark lances as possible, my army was quite immobile for a Dark Eldar army. Even so, with this setup there were some crucible moves to be done in the movement phase. I had one mobile squad of Warriors (the common foot soldier of the Dark Eldar) with anti-infantry weapons that was on the mission to move as close as possible towards the Hive Tyrant (an Alien Queen© but without the egg sack) and its bubble of monsters to drop a webway portal so that the Archon (an ancient arrogant guy with a whip) and Incubi (armoured warrior monks with sci-fi halberds) could emerge from the webway and kick some ass. In order for that to work they would need the protection of a screen of flesh-crafted monstrosities. The basis for this wall of flesh was a few Grotesques (abominations made from the twisted flesh of slaves and something that is straight out of a Hellraiser© movie). In this edition of 40K, Grotesques are invulnerable towards anything below strength six, which renders them invulnerable to the horde of Hormagaunts (the bugs from Starship Troopers©) they would likely encounter. But they are also stupid, which made them unreliable movers as you have to pass a test for them to move without a supporting character. Hence, the need for a Haemonculus (basically a Cenobite©). To make the wall of flesh even more durable as well as to add some firepower, I threw a Talos into the mix (a sentient mobile torture chamber in the shape of a scorpion). Lastly, I put the Wytches, (gladiatorial space elves that provide the unwashed masses with the spectacle of pain and agony) on the Raider (an open-top flying pirate ship) and manoeuvered into a position that enabled them to flank the horde of Hormagaunts and deliver the death blow to them once they would be thinned out by the flesh priests. Then it was shooting time. Seventeen dark lances searched for a target. As much as I wanted to tackle the bubble of monsters at the end of the table, I had to get rid of the Biovores, whose artillery weapons were the bane of all squishy infantry troops. With that many dark lances it was no problem at all. Also, the Talos as well as the splinter weapons of the Warriors squads scraped off some Hormagaunts, here and there, but the giant horde would prevail for many more rounds. As effective as my turn was, the swarm of alien monstrosities marched on unaffected. The hive tyrant and her entourage of copyright infringements made up of two Carnifexes (imagine the spawn of The Hulk© being facehuggered), and six Warriors (basically mini hive tyrants) moved towards me like clockwork. In between the blob of Hormagaunts and the monster bubble was a squad of Genestealers (literally Alien© but with four arms and a less penis-shaped head), but the whole army would need another two turns to dish out any real damage in close combat. In awe and terror I made, drank and enjoyed a cup of coffee as the millions of Hormagaunts moved six inches. The opponent's strategy was clear. Use a cheap horde of Hormagaunts to bind as many of my units as possible in melee combat to give the second wave of heavy hitters time to advance and wipe the table with me. This type of glorious melee combat would be unavoidable, but I had to buy as much time as possible to soften them up. As predicted the Lictor (the Predator© if he would be a worm) popped out behind the five squads of Warrior to distract some dark lance fire. Then, all the venom cannons emptied their loads of bioplasm upon the Ravager (an open-top pirate gunship), and with a few more than lucky dice rolls the vehicle was destroyed. Finally, the Lictor went to work on the first heavy weapons team who offered little resistance to its rending claws, and I knew that depending on the situation, I would have to make strategic sacrifices to the Lictor in order to keep up the pressure on the monsters


ROUND TWO

This was it. First contact. At the end of this turn I would engage the first wave of Hormagaunts with the Wytches and Hellraiser© units. I moved the wall of flesh aggressively forward, the Wytches disembarked from the raider and emptied their ineffective splinter pistol fire into the mob. Even though, with a bit of luck they would be able to dish out five attacks each when attacking, the size of the swarm made every dead body count. The webway portal team fell behind and got ready to stay out of close combat and circumvent the large brawl that was about to take place in the crater. The Lictor was still busy with the last six survivors of the warrior squad and would probably chew its way through the rest of the warrior squads in the next few turns - a sacrifice I was willing to make as long as I could knock off as many monsters as possible. So this time twelve dark lances went into the two Carnifexes and the monster turned into the type of primordial soup they were made out of. Also, some more Hormagaunts died because of splinter fire, but the sea of bodies that filled up the table knew no end. And just like that all the shooting was done. The Talos, Grotesques and Homunculi, as well as the Wytches, declared a charge against the Hormagaunt mobs. At this point it must have been still seventy or eighty models that filled the crater in the centre of the table. The Wytches knocked off another fifteen Hormagaunts, the Talos got lucky to get four attacks and the Haemonculus brought the body count up to twenty with some very unfortunate rolls on his scissor hand. But overall the blob of bodies was reduced by half at this point. The only thing left to do was to watch the Lictor devour the last two warriors of the first unit it had attacked. This time there would be no coffee... Everything went by swiftly and brutally. The monsters moved towards the brawl and focused all of their venom cannon fire on the second Ravager and blew it up, which meant that only eight dark lances were left. Another two would be tied up by the Lictor. By this time every single shot counted. But of course the main event was the giant melee brawl. Without the charging buff the damage output of my units drastically went down, and I only managed to take another ten Hormagaunts out before the sheer number of their imbecilic attacks took out half of the Wytches. However, the Hellraiser© units stood boldly and impervious, and I was confident that they would eventually burn through all the termagant bodies. Meanwhile, the Lictor gorged on another four Warriors...

 

ROUND FIVE AND BEYOND

From the blood of one hundred Hormagaunts rose a glorious melee brawl that has since been ingrained into my memory and is the sole reason for this tale; three of the tyranid Warriors, twelve Genestealers and the hive tyrant vs. ten Incubi and an Archon. The webway portal had successfully dropped and everything had died. I was the one who could charge and dished out thirty-eight attacks that ignored any armour. The warriors died and the hive Tyrant took as much damage as possible to protect the many attacks of the Genestealers that were enough to cut through my forces. When these attacks came down, a particularly poor dice roll together with the might of the hive tyrant lead to the destruction of all Incubi, but the Archon was still unscathed. The Archon hit back and wiped out half the squad of Genestealers in retaliation. Then there were no more bodies left to protect the leader of my army. His shadow field would be tested to its limits. For the uninitiated it is necessary to point out what this is. The 3rd Edition rules for Dark Eldar described it as follows: 'A shadow field provides the wearer with a two plus invulnerable save' (which is like the best armour in the game), but if the save is ever failed then the field is destroyed. As this situation would have it, I had to roll twenty-eight dice, one after the other. While the attacks of the Genestealers were many, they would only inflict one wound but 3rd edition Warhammer 40K also had a Sudden Death rule that came into effect when the strength of an attacker was at least twice the toughness of the opponent. Which means, a wound lost to one of the Hive tyrants attacks wound insta-kill the Archon. Rolling ones was not an option and I rolled all these dice one-by-one and succeeded. After the twelfth successful dice roll my opponent began to become frustrated and shouted “DIE! DIE! DIE!” with every roll I made... By the time I rolled over twenty successful invulnerability saves a small crowd had gathered around the table to see where this was going and how much damage the Archon could absorb until tragedy or triumph. The Archon survived, and finally took out the rest of the Genestealers.

Now it was mano a mano with only the damaged hive tyrant clawing at the Archon, and again I passed all six wounds. Everyone was invested and smiling; it wouldn’t matter who wins because the build-up was so epic and the finale so razor-thin. The crater was filled with dead bodies and hip-high blood, but apparently that is a turn off to lady luck, who, fickle as she is, left the table and the Archon failed to do any damage. The Hive Tyrant struck back and my first roll was a one. Everybody groaned and that was it: I had lost... But it was a damn cool match-up.

Interview in SIX IN THE HEAD Magazine (2021)


SIX.IN.THE.HEAD.  #8

No better way to introduce ANATOMY OF THE HEADS than with the text from their own Bandcamp page: "Your favorite ChiChi fueled CIA psyop, honey-pot/money-bomb-operation that will sell all your personal information to Korean gangsters and hot tiger moms". Baffled? You're about to get whole a lot baffleder. So grab yourself a drink, grab yourself a download code a few pages over, and enjoy one of the most personal, x-rated and insane band interviews SIX IN THE HEAD has ever done.

 

First of all, apologies that it took me so long to send these questions over. You probably hate me right?
MvG: From hell's heart I stab at thee. Words fail to convey my feelings of disdain towards thy humble frame. You, Paul are truly the epitome of scum and villainy!
H:I don't hate you. Hell, I don't even know you.
J: Yes, thank you for keeping us in the loop on the marketing, Mikey. Hi Paul, I have no idea what's going on but nice to meet you.
 
Who do you hate?
MvG: People who wear hats in [current year], you, and hippies. Although I am sure there is a substantial overlap between the three categories. Just to be clear, I don’t hate hats. In and of themselves they are fine but something about seeing people wear them, and it's not the 50es in black and white irks me the wrong way. For some reason it just comes of pretentious. I don’t know.
H: Europe has taught me to hate the taxman.
MvG: Oooh, that's a good one. I want to hate him too.
J: You had your pick, and you chose hippies like the old fart you are. Where can do you even find hippies nowadays? I personally don’t hate. I work daily on to overcome such negative impulses and to give peace a chance!

How you been holding up?
MvG: Traveling is a bitch. We all visited family for Christmas.
H: Yeah, and Jerome and me are still stuck overseas.
MvG: I left early and got out just before they closed the borders in Indonesia.
J: Yes, rub it in, lucky bastard.

Who or what is Anatomy of the Heads and what should people know about him/her/them/it?
MvG: Anatomy of the Heads is...
J: ...a dream.
H: … the sexy pin up-girl, suddenly winking back at you.
MvG: … the rustling in the trees.
J: … the howling of the wind on a moonless night.
H: Anatomy of the heads is ...
MvG: Kiribati’s hottest exotica inspired rock bands.
H: See that's how you do an introduction.
J: Well, ideally we would hire someone to hype us up before entering the room or doing an interview. But you know it's in the works.
MvG: That being said, we are open for advertisement deals - just saying.

Who am I speaking to and what do you do/play (laptops/instruments etc)
MvG: Hello there, I am Michael. My favorite color is purple and when I am not busy being the dictator of this humble little musical outfit I like to enjoy long walks at the beach and making love by the fireplace.
H: Hey-hey, I am Jonas…. I play bass. I am an executive by day and wild man by night. I romance you with a nice bath with Champaign and candles. Do you happen to like Bon Jovi?
J: I am Jerome, and I am feeling marginalized, because I am the only one here that doesn’t have a Christian given name. Stop oppressing me, with your naming conventions! I also play guitar and make noise.

When did the project start/how did it come about?
MvG: I don’t really think of it as a project. Since we are all buddy-buddy it is something way more permanent. We basically met in collage and started the band on a research trip to Kiribati, accidentally joined a cult and now spreading the teachings of our primordial water gods.
J: That is exactly what we do.
H: Hear hear.

Where did the name come from?
H: Martin Denny and Les Baxter are to blame.
MvG: It basically a reference towards exotica music. Since exotica is fantasy music it represents whatever is in peoples heads, therefore the anatomy of the heads. In spirit, we play the music of imaginary peoples, places and topographies that have developed inside our psyche.
J: See, there is the collage for you.Toh-poh-graph-y!
H: Yeah, next he is going to talk about society!
MvG: Oh ho-ho, soh-cie-ah-ty! I think that's more Jerome's thing. Come on, let’s see them collage skills.
J: Your words are a social construction that cannot hurt me. There you go.

Where are you based?
MvG: Indonesia!
H: I am in Switzerland.
J: I am stuck in the USA.

What’s it like there?
J: It’s like the Corona power-hour. They never shut up about it, and I am trapped with extended family since Christmas and can’t go home.
H: I have eaten more potatoes in three months than in my whole life, and I’m being told that I can’t flush the toilet after 10 PM. Also, they don’t shut up about the Corona-stuff.
MvG: Indonesia is and always will be fine. The whole corona thing is more of a recommendation than a law. Although, hard on some people, there are enough loopholes and stuff to get around literally all aspects of it that happen inside the country. Even the restaurants are open again.
 
Does it have a McDonalds?
MvG: Yes, McDonald's is huge over here, but they sell chicken and rice.
J: Yeah, it's on their permanent menu. Burgers come and go but chicken and rice is forever.
H: In Jakarta there is a McDonald's with monkeys living next to it. And I swear it is hands down the best thing ever. You sit down with a coffee and enjoy the drama of people defending their food until a guy that the restaurant hired to fight the monkeys comes to the rescue by spraying the monkeys with water from a spray bottle. Hours of entertainment with every meal.
 
What’s your typical order from the McDonalds menu?
MvG: I don’t go that often because my waistline is being monitored at all times, but I am all about the heart attack,Paul. Egg McMuffin (if I am early enough), the McRib (if they resurrect it) and the McFlurry (if the Ice machine is ready). Come to think of it. All the products I like come with strings attached to them. Maybe that is why I don’t go there often.
H: I really just go there when there is nothing else, but snacks like fries or coffee is perfectly fine.
J: I like the chicken and rice. If I could build the perfect chicken and rice menu it would be the chicken from McDonald's because it is fried to perfection. Not too crispy - just right - so, that it doesn’t cut the roof of your mouth. Combined with the Indonesian KFC sauce. It's differently spiced in Indonesia than in the USA, and it's the bomb.

If McDonalds offered you $1m do make music exclusively about McDonalds for the rest of your life would you take it?
H: That’s a tough one. I mean we mostly do instrumental music. So, it wouldn’t really matter, I guess? Just slap some beefy artwork on the tunes and make bank.
MvG: Once my wife hears about the million dollar offer, I would have to take it. But I would see it as a job to distance myself from it. I invite some musicians and making the music all wholesome. Songs about living on a farm and waking up early to milk the cow that will later be the burger. Telecasters twanging with some Nickelback vocals.
H: Corporate is loving it. But you might want to consult your accountant on that. Paul gives you Euro -bucks. I bet you lose half of them to the taxman.
J: That's what you get for selling out, man. The corporate machine is just a control mechanism for the fascist government conspiracy.
MvG: Spoken like a true hippie. Even 400k would be kind of alright. Take it as a nest egg for when you are old. Maybe buy some stocks or get into real estate. If it were taxed, I’d only begrudgingly take it. I get the artistic integrity point, but at a certain point it becomes irresponsible.
H: The words of a married man.

Can you cook?
MvG: Yes, but I have to hide it well, otherwise I’ll be the one who has to cook at home. 
H: I am single. I wouldn’t survive if I couldn’t.


J: Yes, but I rarely do. I normally just order stuff on Grab
 
What’s your favourite dish to cook?
MvG: Pineapple banana beef bowl!
J: That’s disgusting. Nobody in Indonesia would eat such a catastrophe.
MvG: You are just jealous of the alliteration.
J: I’d might not cook it, but I could go for rendang any day of the week. That's like Indonesian slow coked beef.
H: I would go for gado-gado.
J: ...that's Indonesian salad with peanut sauce.
MvG: Is Spain feeding you, Paul? You seem hungry!

I remember you telling me the other week how much you love Jay Kay from Jamiroquai. What is it about him you love so much?
MvG: I told you that in secret. But yes, he is my favorite e-girl from the 90es. Although, I’ve never given him money or listened to a full album, his video-clips never fail to enchant and delight. As far as post-1990 mainstream music goes, I’d take Jamiroquai any day. That being said, I love him for his ample headdress and firm dance moves.
J: I don’t get the headdress. Does it have a message or something? He just sings about Godzilla and makin' whoopee".

H: Makin' whoopee!
J: You love makin' whoopee"!
H: Yes, but it's been quite some time since I heard the word whoopee".
J: So, how does the nookie fit in with the headdress? Does the headdress give him sexual powers? Is his bedroom build on an ancient Indian burial ground?... and isn’t it technically a hat that you said you hate?
MvG: See, that's what I like about Jamiroquai. You have somebody yelling at you about something, and the guy just spins, grab his crotch and disco-dances out of the conversation. It's the ultimate rhetoric device to win any argument. And my man Jay Kay is the king of that.
H: Words are over-rated.
MvG: Overrated, indeed.
 
What’s your favourite Jamiroquai song?
H: The Godzilla-one
MvG: You peasant! Even the band doesn’t like that one.
J: That is also the only one I know too.
MvG: Pearls before swine, Paul! Pearls before swine. It is clearly “Little L.” It has an extended whoo-whoo-whoo-synthesizer part that, quite frankly, makes me want to dance.
J: Dude, the Godzilla song was their biggest hit ever. It was everywhere.
MvG: Yes, but it was the lamest Godzilla-movie.
H: Yes, but that way they balance each other out. Cool song, shitty flick, yin, yang - The world is in balance.
MvG: Go hug a tree!

Would you have sex with Jay Kay for $1m like an Indecent Proposal type thing? It’s a lot of money so you should think about it seriously.
H: I would.
J: Same, I can pass it off as tolerance instead of greed.
MvG: I would have to talk it over with the wife. But I think there would be no McDonald's like scenario with this one. But I am willing to dress up Jerome to pass him of as me. Jerome already declared that he's willing to take one for the team. So don’t worry, we just get the guy to some coke put you in a toga he won’t know the difference.
J: Yes, but why would I do it for you if I would do it by myself and get one million guvnors
MvG: Yes, but what if he doesn’t ask you. He asks me because I got the all the crumpets and cheerio’s he wants. You should be thankful, I am cutting you in on the deal. Look at Jonas, he is unloved and poor. I am rich and cunning while you have money and smell of sweat and regret.
H: I don’t need Jay Kay to feel loved, man.

Have you ever dabbled in tabletop gaming/the miniatures hobby?
MvG: I used to be really into it when I was in high-school in Germany. In Indonesia, it is not much of a thing, although there are some die-hard clubs here and there. They use whatever at hand to play the game. Some re-cast miniature out of epoxy, while others use paper-cutouts and so on. Anything to play Poorhammer. But it's very niche. The city I was in even had a store where you could play. It was Games Workshop only though. So, I really got into the whole Warhammer 40,000-thing including Necromunda and Inquisitor. I played Dark Eldar.
H: What’s a Dark Eldar?
MvG: Do you know the movie Hellraiser?
H: I’m familiar with it.
MvG: Imagine a Hellraiser-planet. But the guy with the nails is also a pirate.
H: So, he comes out of the water? Or is there, like, water in the box?
MvG: There is no box...and no water. He just appears with a spaceship to probe you.
H: Ah... riveting.
MvG: I have apparently undersold the idea of a torture pirate in space. What about you Jerome?
J: Nope.
MvG: BTW, what the hell did you guys do in high-school, we never talked about that.
H: I focused on growing a beard and being cool. I always thought that shit was for nerds.
J: ...says the bass player.
MvG: Yes, says the bass player. How about you Jerome?
J: I did engage in various projects as a volunteer to bring about world peace.
H: How did that go?
J: … I regret nothing.
MvG: Ok then, as you can see Paul, war gaming is the thinking man's hobby and - as my fellow heads so vividly illustrate - a superior option to drugs or child labor.

What do you think about it?
MvG: I followed the lore casually, but I am currently getting back into it. Children are on the horizon and I think it would make a cool hobby for them to get into. Arts and crafts and all. It certainly beats them staring into the phone.
J: So wait, you are into space pirates?
MvG: ... Without going into detail - yar.
H: … and isn't your wife Bugis or something. You know the pirates that the Dutch are afraid of.
MvG: ... Without going into detail - yes.
J: My god, it all makes sense now.
H: We’ve cracked the code.
J: What's next? Gold tooth? Peg leg? Making us walk the plank?
H: Scurvy?
MvG: I swear, if I get scurvy we all get scurvy.
J: What's that supposed to mean?
MvG: I am going to rape and pillage you.
H: Ouh là là

Do you think I’m an idiot?
MvG: I think you really want to give me 1 million pounds! If you have them let’s talk. We can work something out. I stalk celebrities or pimp out my bandmates or whatever. We will find a way to take all that heavy money off your back.
J: Nah, you seem nice. For an interview in a wargameing magazine the questions are surprisingly light.
H: Yeah, I thought we would be talking about...scales and stuff… dices even.

Maybe we should have a fight and if you win I’ll give you £1m what do you think?
J: Here we go with the millions again. Maybe you do have money to spend.
H: I’d challenge you to a game of backgammon. A high-roller like you should have no problem beating me. *wink* *wink*
MvG: I have no Idea how built you are, but yes, I would take that action. Depending on the rules of course. I would agree to no weapons, wins are declared through submission or knockout, best out of three, shirts optional.
J: Just gather two of your associates and come to Indonesia, and we set the whole thing up.
MvG: Yeah, we can even provide one or more volcano as a scenic backdrop.
H: Yes, but I am too handsome to fight. So, one of you have to fight me using backgammon or any respectable card-game.
J: ...except 52 pick-up.
H: Yeah, except that one.

Let’s talk about your music I guess. What’s the album or recording you are most proud of and why?
H: Oh, we are proud of everything we have released so far. If we wouldn’t be we wouldn’t release it.
J: Let’s say I am personally less proud of Exorcisme Langsung Di Dataran Minahasa because it was a bit of a power play by Mikey that surprised Jonas and me. Initially we recorded it live with some drums that gave the thing a completely different feel - imagine something like the Spirit Animal-album from the band Zombi.
MvG: Exorcisme is a personal favorite. It has got that dull dark radio sound that makes the best of power electronics tapes. When I listened to how the recordings turned out I knew I had to cut the drums and going full noise.
H: That being said. The studio album represent more what we are all about. We will use EPs and Live-records to experiment and do all kinds of stuff.
J: Yeah, the studio albums will never be just one thing.
MvG: Expect nothing but primordial soup that’s everything and nothing!

There are a lot of elements to your music. It’s like a world of its own. You have voices, noises, static, free improv stuff, drone… It’s fucking great. What’s the environment like in which you create it?
J: Thank you!
H: Yes, thank you! Glad you like it!
MvG: There are a few things. We are using something called techniques of re-enchantment to make our records. It is basically the intentional forgetting of compositions to become paradoxically more indifferent as well as more enchanted to them. If things turned out according to plan, all this band would be is very dry high concept albums like “Hey let’s do a 35-minute record with compositions made out of nothing but bell sounds.” We do stuff like that constantly, and then we start working on it until the idea looses steam, and we shelve it until we forget about it. Rinse and repeat with various concepts and over time the initial idea fades and looses its grip over us until we are ready to break out of the initial plan and are willing to change, sculpt, and sacrifice the initial idea for something new. The re-enchantment part comes in when listening to it. We have basically forgotten how the sausage is made and can listen to a piece of music we made as if other people had made it and can become enchanted by it. If that happens. We know the pie is done.
J: The other thing is basically the that way it we compose. We are very seldom all together in one room. So its usually one of us with Mikey. Its very laid back and quiet. That way the music becomes much introspective and looses most of the bro-dynamic that happens when we all hang out.
H: Techniques of bro-down!

When we spoke on DM a while back, we were talking about how we would make the world a better place if we were both billionaires. What was your idea again?
MvG: With pleasure, It involves...
J: ...giving everyone scurvy to reduce the population!
H: ...burying the gold to dig up later!
MvG: It basically involves education in financial literacy and setting up charity foundations that engage in welfare and financial education activities on a city level to use the country specific tax deductions for charity as a way to collect donations on a mass level. Just as an example: Industrialized countries like Germany offer a 300 buck annual tax deduction for charity. Basically everyone who has to file for a tax return can use this deduction to reduce their tax burden. So, imagine a place that doesn’t promote “Give as much as you can” but says “donate €300 for charity, and you get it back from the taxman”. Not that much people are using tax breaks as much as they could because they either don’t know about it, don’t do a tax return or choose charities that engage take the money out of their communities and use it for long term innovative projects.
H: That is the gayest thing I have ever heard. I think you are ready for Jay Kay.
MvG: Yeah, but I think that's the good thing about it, it is something that’s close to the status quo, is already implemented although underutilized. Its basically just a strategy change for charity. Instead of targeting high income individuals for large sums. I’m imagining charities geared towards the average person, promoted charity as a tax avoidance scheme and that keep the funds in the cities of the respective donor. Thereby helping to have maybe one less homeless person, or whatever program people want to spend the money one. Let them propose stuff and vote on it. Even a program that would teach people that there is an average of 2% annual inflation and only 0.1% - 1% interest for money saved in the bank would be huge. There are enough people in Europe that still don’t know that and keep their money in a worthless savings account.
H: I like to remind you that we are a rock band.
J: Too late, we have entered the dad zone.
H: We should do this interview while grilling and three dad jokes per minute minimum.
MvG: I think knowing me is the ultimate dad joke.

I said to you the system is rigged and if billionaires could make the world a better place it would have already happened by now. If I remember correctly you said I was 100% correct and practically a genius? Do you want to tell people about that?
MvG: I told you, Paul. You are the epitome of scum and villainy for spreading your teenage nihilism to wargamings impressionable youth. I would argue that the whole private charity sector works overall, or at least better than government initiatives. But I agree that most charity organizations focuses on rather abstract and long term things like technological innovations, research, or in other models themselves. Resulting in little or no change in the everyday life of people. Anyway, I remain optimistic. In Indonesia there are charities for literally everything and I have seen a lot of positive change in peoples lives through a combination of basic economics, low taxes and charity.
H: I once fucked two girls after a Guns and Roses show while being on LSD.
J: Thank you for breaking the tax-talk.

What you got planned next?
MvG: We got a new album coming later this year.
H: A Banishment of Bloodshed and Superstition!
J: It is based on techniques described in declassified CIA experiments that aim to induce amnesia through the use of pulsed microwaves and will be accomplished, as always, by some videos. So check out our YouTube.
MvG: On the album we are going to drop the full-blown noise and electroacoustics from Triptych Terror Oriente and further embellish our jazz prog whatever side. A Banishment of Bloodshed and Superstition promises to bring YOU, in a non-legally binding way, a pilgrimage through dense vegetation of exotic jazz-rock.
H: Follow the light of the blood moon!
J: ... and join our Patreon for exclusive content which we will have set up by then.

Alright, I guess that’s it. Anything else?
MvG: You know I started out hating you, but you have grown on me little Spaniard. I have to say it was a pleasure.
J: Didn’t we have something planned for the end?
H: On three …
MvG / H / J: HI MOM!

Feature in Car & Woman Magazine (2020)


Car & Woman Magazine #365

Welcome to another episode of IN THE CAR. The segment of the magazine where we escape from the world and retreat in into the woods during a ten-mile drive through picturesque Manitoba. This time we find our ride restricted by the government-issued COVID-19 restrictions, however these restrictions provide us with a rare opportunity to break with tradition, go beyond any physical proximity, and to reach out to artists who would normally be beyond the reach of a drive through Manitoba. Just like Anatomy of the Heads from the small island state of Kiribati in the South Pacific. Joining us on the Zoom is Michael van Gore - guitarist composer and chief medicine man for indefinable exotic music.

The world renowned philosopher Plato once stated that 'Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.' I ask the reader to keep in mind that Plato lived in time when the word 'gaiety' meant happiness and carefree-ness. And when I listened to your debut record, my mind just sprouted wings and flew to new levels of mathematical and conceptual understanding previously unknown to man. "Wow, that's a bit much, but I like it." We here at Car and Woman Magazine are glad to hear that. What time is it at your place? "Let's just say that I am speaking to you from the future and its almost midnight." In the spirit of the plague. Tell us a good PG-13 Corona story! "Okay, so I am in an Airport in Indonesia at a security checkpoint where they screened for corona. A Dozen people are jammed in the narrow corridor with plastic


barriers on each side and suddenly I feel my nose itching. I held my breath. I held my nose shut, but I couldn't stop it. So, I went ACHOOOOO! So, I was officially THAT guy. Everybody turned into a public health agent. People were horrified and started asking where I come from, if I'm sick or have allergies and blablabla. It was morbidly hilarious how sudden the mood shifted after I sneezed." Ah, Persona non grata. A travelers curse. Anyhow, back to the music. What we find most interesting about you is isolation.

You were born into a time and place when there was an abundance of traditional music that you could experience first hand. But at the same time you experienced popular music almost laboratory-like as just this phenomenon on the radio or on records. How did this influence your musical development? "I didn't knew that the song Nothing to lose by KISS was about anal sex, and I was under the impression that The Melvins were millionaires. You know, the whole scene-aspect to it was completely lost on me. The only glimpse into this world was provided by the few pieces of artwork or band pics featured on records. In short any cultural subtext was lost on me and I related popular music into my personal experience with the world. Also, English is not my first language, so neither did I understood the lyrics. I experienced these records simply as absolute music that are not particularly about anything. Later on, I noticed - wow these lyrics to this song I like are horrendous, or hey this is funny. But stuff like that was never a deal breaker. Because even now it is easy to just tune-out the lyrics and to be ignorant among the depths of the internet. So, the very romantic idea of absolute music and music as individual expression always appealed to me. Kind of the way I think it still should be from an artistic standpoint." Interestingly enough we became aware of your music on the radio-show Aural Bazaar. I guess this romantic sentiment resonated with us too. Can you give us a little teaser for the upcoming album? "The album will be a sequel to our debut record. We keep and embellish what worked turn up the exotica-factor. On the first record most allusions to the genre where purely conceptional or something aching to an insight joke. But the upcoming album will scream Martin Denny." During the South East Asian tour you premiered two video projects - are there any plans to release them in the future? "Yes, we will release them after the second studio album to bridge the gap to the third studio record." So it is going to be like Triptych Terror Oriente 2? "Yeah, in a way - it has been the tour that keeps on giving." The resurrection of the weird exotica will be a marriage of opposites. Imaginary traditional music in balance with the best of Western experimental genres. Sonic brilliance, or devious marketing strategy?? It's up to you to decide.


Thank you for joining us!

Our Chi-Chi Add (2018)


The "Chi-Chi: A History"-add as it was printed in multiple underground music magazines in 2018

Attention shoppers,

do you like making love at midnight and cutting through all the red tape? Then you'll like the Chi-Chi. Like Piña colada, Chi-Chi is a creamy, sweet drink that makes you think of real or imaginary holidays. However, in this tropical cocktail, the characteristic taste of rum is exchanged with vodka. By using vodka as the basic spirit, there is more room for other ingredients such as spices and nuts. Discover the taste of an unjustly forgotten cocktail from the 1950s, which dominated the Tiki bars for several decades, and experience a piece of history that reflects the rise and fall of exotica music. This pineapple and coconut delight, relatively unknown since the death of Exotica, made a small comeback when it was introduced as the Hawaiians' favorite drink in an episode of South Park in 2012. But what exactly does the name mean? Is it the name of an ancient kingdom of Hawaiians? A fearsome jungle predator? Well, as the band Home Grown famously declared: "Man, she had the biggest Chi Chis I've ever seen". However you want to flavor your drink, shake the ingredients vigorously to create a frothy, creamy cocktail. Ideal for settling down and celebrating a highly romantic depiction of faraway island kingdoms with Anatomy of the Heads.

Ingredients


Vodka.......................................2 oz
Cream of coconut.................1/2 oz
Pineapple juice...................1/2 cup
Nutmeg...............................1/4 tsp.

Cinnamon............................1/4 tsp.
Cloves (grounded)...............1/4 tsp.
Macadamia (grounded)......1/4 tsp.

*Serve with whipped cream topping (optional)

Directions


1. Pour all ingredients into a Shaker.
2. Shake until smooth.
3. Pour into a chilled glass
4. Garnish with pineapple


Interview with Haunted Age Magazine (2020)


Haunted Age Magazine #3

 

 

Welcome to this month's featured interview of Haunted Age Magazine #3. The magazine for the monsters of the Anthropocene. My name is Eric Pounds and today we have the honor to play 20 question with the guys from Anatomy of the Heads and talk about music, women, and the future.

 

EP: In true Haunted Age fashion we would like to start this interview with a question that sparks much debate in the Haunted Age community. Who has the better rack Charlotte Flair or Billie Eilish?

VG: I have to google them both. I have no idea who that is.

JH: Billie Eilish for sure.

VG: Oh, you know them.

JH: Yeah, dude. I have Netflix.

JR: Let me see them tatas.

VG: Ok, so this is Charlotte Flair.

JR: Looking good. But that's not the one you picked?

JH: Nah, dude I don’t like her Face, she has way too much chin.

JR: But it’s about the boobs.

VG: Yeah, face got nothing to do with it.

JH: You can’t have Boobs without a face. Also, she looks like has the blue vain going.

VG: Spoken like a true gentleman.

JR: I can see the chin and vain thing, but speaking in terms of boobage, they look firm and strong.

VG: Ok, now the other one, what was her name again?

EP: Billie Eilish, she is a singer.

JH: Believe you me, she's got it going on.

VG: I see what you mean. She has the size advantage.

JR: Yeah, but proportionally speaking they seem to big for her small frame. She looks a bit lopsided.

JH: The hell you talk about proportions?

JR: You literally just now brought in boob with faces. Hence, proportions.

EP: So what’s the verdict?

VG: With the power invested to me by the Singapore Airlines Kris frequent flyer program I cast my vote for Charlotte Flair. Her awesome boobs are fit to lead the people.

JR: Same here, size is not everything. You need some balance. Plus, I think Billie Eilish looks like she has very large nipples. You know the type that cover the whole breast.

VG: Yeah, but it's not the nipple it's called areola.

JH: What's called areola?

JR: The dark space around the nipple.

JH: The more you know.

EP: So, do you stay with Billie Eilish?

JH: Yup, she is my girl - I stand by that.

 

EP: All right, that settles it. Let’s move on. You guys have been notoriously hard to get a grip on musically. So, describe yourselves and what you do music wise!

VG: Attention shoppers, Hyperbeast Records presents the most inspirational island prog band in the world. Anatomy of the Heads. Featuring the very best in good wholesome family entertainment. With such righteous jams like Island Gigantism and other modern classics. Our music is not available in stores, so order now!

JH: I’d say we try to solve a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is inside a goat on a farm run by lesbians.

EP: Lipstick or dyke?

JH: Clearly lipstick.

JR: Think of it like something out of Dracula. We are three deformed hunchbacks living in Gothic castles and try to resurrect the dead. While pitchfork wielding peasants storm the courtyard on a full moon night. In retaliation, we set their thatched-roof huts on fire.

EP: Who exactly are the peasants?

JH: Taxes.

JR: Death.

VR: The guy that takes phone calls way to loudly in restaurants or other public areas.

 

EP: What’s the best rumor about the band that you’ve ever heard?

JH: That we are from America, Germany or Israel because no ones knows about Kiribati.

JR: Blasphemy! We are Kiribati's number one band!

VG: That one or all of us are romantically involved with a woman named Nora Baker who stalked REM in the 80es. According to some internet rumor she extracts money from us to sue Michael Stipe for their alleged lovechild.

EP: What? Explain.

JR: As far as we can figure that out, it has something to do with the guy who masters our albums in Hawaii. He was involved in some sort of major music industry hubbub way back when, before settling down in Hawaii.

EP: How do you mean?

VG: Well, the only thing that I can think of that would make sense of it is that he could potentially be or has been connected to a woman from that crowd. We use his services, he gets cash, gives it to the woman, so she can have a lawsuit.

JH: The story dies for me with the money part. What money? Do we make money?

Everbody: Noooooooooo.

VR: We have no idea. Maybe ask the REM fans about that one.

 

EP: Name two albums everyone should own?

VG: Dr. John - In the Right Place, Steely Dan - The Royal Scam

JH: Death From Above - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, Queens of the Stoned Age - Songs for the Deaf

JR: Captain Beefheart & Frank Zappa - Bongo Furry, Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air 

 

EP: There is a notable difference between An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual and Triptych Terror Oriente. What happened and how did people like it?

VG: The Triptych terror Oriente albums were recorded live and it was an experiment that just came up spontaneously. We got the chance to play at some art festivals and took it. When it comes to reception of the album, I think the Triptych terror Oriente albums are more linear and less jarring to listen to, which is why “more” people liked it. Then again its noise so it's not that many people. Financially speaking the records where a success. Not a ton of money, but we made more than we spend on making them. So everything worked out.

EP: Let’s go more into detail. Triptych terror Oriente is made up of three albums - any favorites?

VG: Oh yeah, Exorcisme Langsung Di Dataran Minahasa is the noise album I always wanted to make. Its has that very dry, bassy sound that conjures up visions of ancient machinery in a black and white world and combined with the jungle aesthetic it creates the perfect movie. MAXIMUM:PLEASURE is cool and let's call it an artistic success, but I don’t listen to it that often.

JH: For me its Copper Clad Coinage, sometimes I fell like it is a little too long, but I really like how it turned out. It's dungeon synth from the swamps. I love it.

VG: Btw about dungeon synth, dude, check out Thusar - Journes to Jotunheim. I always forget to tell you.

JH: I will. Anyway, Copper Clad Coinage is in my opinion the best of them.

JR: I stick with the debut album. The concept was fun and all, but I am missing the guitars and drums.

 

EP: How would you kill a man?

JH: I guess hire a guy, who hires a guy in a different jurisdiction, who travels to the guy I want dead and then abducts him after work. Force a bottle of Jack Daniel's down his throat and stage a car accident.

VG: Yeah, that's the only direction to go under normal circumstances. Otherwise, just rise to power and have other people do the dirty work for you.

JR: I don’t know guys. I’d like to propose something with fire ants.

VG: I love it. Maybe add to the Jack Daniels’s with honey mustard sauce and let the animal kingdom go to work.

JH: Isn’t that basically what some people used to do. Like there is one torture method with logs, honey and poop.

JR: Oh, I know what you mean - boating.

EP: I think it is called scaphism and if I remember right it's just a legend.

VG: Perfect, we invoke mythical death upon some guy. Scaphism is our go-to method. Officially endorsed by us.

 

EP: But seriously, there was a lot of noise coming from you recently. I liked the debut, the noise stuff is a bit too anti-music for me.

VG: Yeah, we never bought into the anti-music thing. We enjoy noise just like a Frank Sinatra song or any other music. There is nothing anti-music about it. The focus on deconstruction and subversion of expectations is just something that is hyped up by people who went to a liberal arts college.

JH: Noise compositions have movements, with changing instrumentation and textures just like in contemporary classical music.

JR: The anti-music thing is French bullshit.

VG: Of course you need an ear for it. Understanding and valuing noise can be challenging. Its nothing you can dance or sing to. Its more introspective. Curl up with a book and some headphones and have your brain blown out by a noise record. It's like being submerged underwater and I feel refreshed and surprisingly calm or save listening to it.

JH: Its like being back in the womb.

JR: I like to add further that all of us are older than 13 and ate our fiber. So why would we want to listen to something that is going to hurt ourselves. You know what I mean - conceptually.

EP: I do.

VG: In the words of Chris Janson: "We are into them good vibes."

JH: Chris Jahnson BWaHaHaHaHa

[Laughter]

JR: Our Pat Boone factor just increased massively.

VG: Regardless of that, just give noise music another shot. You’ll like it.

EP: That's interesting. To be honest I listened to your new records in the car. And I associated nothing but abrasiveness with most of the material.

JH: No wonder you didn’t like it.

VG: Take headphones, a book and a lazy afternoon. You can’t go wrong.

 

EP: I will. What are the plans for 2021?

JH: Expect to hear a lot from us in 2021.

JR: We are going to do a second studio album. It is almost done, but its very hush hush.

VG: Also we have two video projects left from the Triptych Terror Oriente tour. So we are going to release them as EPs. That is going to be the rhythm for now, we will use EPs, singles and the like to fill the time between the studio albums.

JH: The EPs will be different from the studio albums and contain shorter experiments. Solo work or whatever comes out way that is good enough to release, but is too short and different to be turned into a whole album.

EP: I have a question about that. Why not cut all these mini projects into an album?

JR: We are Rush-fans.

JH: Yeah, that is just not doable. We like to think of our stuff as concept albums and aim for some kind of coherency. Without lyrics this is of course highly conceptional. But yeah we have to fell that an album tells a story.

VG: Yeah, we tried cutting the live albums together into one, but the vibes were just too different.

JR: The vibes, man….the vibes.

JH: Yeah don’t be jiving, daddy-o.

JR: It’s like there's a planet of love waiting in the electrified cosmos in superposition of possibilities, man. So, how should you navigate this unlimited planet, dude? It can be like so totally difficult to know where to begin. Although you may not realize it, you are holistic. You can no longer afford to live with turbulence. Only a wanderer of the infinite may reveal this fusion of growth. You may be ruled by selfishness without realizing it. Do not let it disrupt the knowledge of your mission.

JR: It’s all about Consciousness, man. It’s the driver of transformation and consists of four-dimensional superstructures that generate psionic wave oscillations of quantum energy. An energy that could be described as the maturing of the non-local, do you know what I am saying?

VG: Namaste, turbulence is the antithesis of inspiration. So no worries there will be guitars, intricate instrumentation and bird calls aplenty on the next studio record. It won’t sound exactly the same of course, but it will keep what made the first one great and elaborate on it.

 

EP: Well that's good to hear. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?

VG: Live your life in a way that keeps lawyers and bureaucrats away from you.

JR: Never trust a woman with bruises on her knees.

JH: I grew up without a father.

VG: Dude, you should live your life in a way that keeps lawyers and bureaucrats away from you.

JR: So you are his father now?

VG: Yes, my boy. You don’t need you to call me dad if you don’t want to, but I demand obedience or it is five across the eyes!

 

EP: We are getting close to the end of the year, what are your best records for 2020.

VG: I had this amazing where-the-hell-do-I’ve-been-for-the-last-century-moment, when I was checking out Van Halen, DLR and Boz Scaggs records. It's all awesome and I listen to them quite a bit. Skyscraper and Middle Man are two records I played on loop this year.

JR: Yeah, but that's not 2020 - that is you being an ignoramus.

VG: Nah, that's me being a teenage sad boi. I always knew Van Halen, Hot for Teacher and all, but I never listened to a whole record. I dismissed most of the 80es mainstream heavy metal stuff as being too happy. But now, having ate my fiber and stayed in school, I love that stuff. As for 2020 I’ll go with Cirith Ungol - Forever Black, Abhomine - Proselyte Parasite Plague and Ak’chamel, the Giver of Illness - The Totemist.

JR: For me it's the new Deerhoof and Boris. I have been following both bands a long time, so it has been a pretty good year for me.

JH: I go with Paysage d’Hiver and Jaga Jazzist.

EP: Any disappointments?

VG: Oh yeah, there is a new Zombi record, but was mediocre. That was a disappointment, because we realy love Escape Velocity.

 

EP: One last question, is anyone of you simping on Onlyfans?

JH: Nah, dude. Why in the world would you pay for something like that? I mean really, have you ever been on the internet? It’s 60% porn and most of it is free.

JR: Exit the cave and actually talk to a member of the opposite sex.

VG: I am married, so I am not even going to dignify that with an answer. But as we are not making money, expect us to become DIY-folk trio singing socially aware songs about the coming Onlyfans-based economy in a college dorm room near you.

 

You heard it here folks, enlightened boomerism is alive and well in Kiribati. So check out, Anatomy of the Heads collection of live records named Triptych Terror Oriente or their 2017 debut An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual and look forward to 2021 for all things Anatomy of the Heads.

Michael’s Letter to Penthuis Magazine (2002)


You’d thought you could get away with it, didn’t you?

But we know...naughty boy!

 

For your reading pleasure we will present to you a letter that was published by the Dutch version of Penthouse Magazine in 2002. The story was published anonymously, but it is signed 'MvG' and features a pineapple - so you just know it's him. We even called up Penthuise and got permission to post whole page scans of the letter. It is important to point out the letter was originally published to accentuate some spicy pictures of a foxy model. Which means that the story in the letter is not about the lady in the picture, although we would wish it for him. Further, the letter unfortunately does not extend into the juicy pics - bummer. Nonetheless, a big thank-you and much love to everybody involved in shaming our bandmate for his obsession with heaving bosoms. Don't forget Fabio hates you.

 

Without further ado, enjoy!

Dear Penthuis Forum,

 

I’d never thought something like this would happen to me, I experienced an event of sexual perfection and just have to brag about it publically. So, I have been lusting after a certain woman for years. I see her every time I go to this crappy little market at the end of the month when money is short. Day in day out she sits on a cheap little plastic chair selling fried fish in a clothing market. And yes, hers is the only stand that sells food there - who does that? And honestly she must be annoying everybody with the smell, but then again... she is gorgeous. She can do whatever she wants. I secretly asked the other merchants about her. Each one told me the same: everyday she sits there, elegantly, in a tight-fitting dress that doesn't show much skin, but does a good job showing off her tight little body. Her hair is covered up too. The only thing you can see are two made up eyes with mascara, eye shadow, lashes - the works. And despite being in front of a cauldron of hot oil and fish all day, the smell of jasmine envelops her. You can even smell it when you walk close by her stand.

 

Everyone can tell that she is more than meets the eye. Her perfectly manicured hands are as out of place as the rest of her stand and on top of that she seems to be the only one having fun in this crammed rundown place. While other merchants get beat down by the boredom and heat, she is always playfully bopping her cooking utensils to last years pop hits coming from an old radio that is quietly playing in the background. An air of aloofness surrounds her. It is like nothing concerns her, not the little radio that is stuck between two channels and plays lots and lots of static, not the desperate salesman trying to make a sale and not even the petty thieves that wait for a lapse of attention to relief a tired merchant of some bothersome goods. She and her little stand are an island upon themselves. I always knew that I would regret not talking to her. But, until last week I didn't even had the balls to buy some fish from her yet. But money was short again, and I thought - what the hell? I got nothing to lose. Set up for failure but hoping for more, I approached her stand and ordered some fish. She gave me the food but literally nothing else - no smile, no nothing. Begrudged, I sat down and ate my food. I wasn’t able to enjoy it at all. I waited till business was slow to return my plate, the radio played a song called Soak Up The Sun. I made eye contact, grinned like a horse and jokingly said “Do you want to soak up some sun, too?” Her eyes, softened up, and I was sure she was throwing a smile at me under her scarf. It was like something out of a fantasy. We made chit-chat for quite a while as no new customers came to her stand. We talked, and suddenly she touched my hand and said “Let’s go to the beach.” Instantly my cock tented in my trunks. She closed up her stand, I took her on the back of my moped, and we headed towards the beach. She held on to me while I embarrassingly tried to hide my erection and leaned in her touch.

 

I knew that I've hit the jackpot when she took off her scarf and dress right then and there in the parking lot. It turned out that her parents made her dress like that while working the stand. And just like that she stood in front of me in panty-like bikini bottoms and a sleeveless next to nothing blouse. She had pitch black hair, a gorgeous smile, and I could see her nipples forming into hard little pebbles. Again the moment was right out of a fantasy. I followed her dutifully to the beach. I didn’t swim but rather spend most of the time admiring her gracefully playing in the waves. I was so hard I could barely stand it. She perfectly knew what was on my mind and played it up big time. She let the waves take away her flimsy blouse and flashed bits and pieces of her breasts. It drove me crazy, and my cock stood blazingly erect, throbbing with every beat of my heart. I grabbed her, and she let me know she loved it. She jolted and squealed with pleasure in my touch and immediately began rubbing herself against my blatant bulge. I embraced her touch and kissed her deeply to sample her unique taste. Even now the taste of jasmine still lingered on her. She puckered her lips and began to greedily suck on my tongue while I held her perfectly heart shaped ass in my hands.

 

As soon as we left the water and found a more comfortable place, she tossed away her blouse and slid down her panties to reveal a perfectly kept bush in the form of a racing stripe. I could think of nothing but how much I wanted to feel my cook drain into the plush warmth. From the beginning she was exceedingly responsive and told me how she wanted it and showed no inhibition to the pleasure she was giving or receiving. Rather, she wanted this moment to be special for the both of us. She reached into my trunks and planted her hands on my mushroom head and started to entice me by stimulating the sensitive flesh. Her gaze locked onto mine as she stroked, massaged and grazed my crown with her manicured nails, while pre-cum spread across her fingers like nail polish. Finally, she asked me if I wanted to be inside her while biting her lower lip. I speechlessly nodded and pushed her playfully into a large beach chair. She receded to the edge of the bank with her legs with her legs spread as if to invite me deep into her. I grabbed her hips and spread her legs to give me the leverage I required to pound her like a jackhammer. Her head turned side to side, she cried out in momentary pleasure and soon giggled “slowly but surly.” Her wish was my command, and she blushed in a thousand shades of red. From this point on she was like putty in my hands, being overcome and worn down by waves of orgasms. Overcome by a passionate exhaustion, she communicated with the desperate language of her toned body that she wanted it faster and harder again. I affirmatively grunted as our vocabulary shrank with every passing second. During the act my eyes closed and thoughts of our possible future invaded my mind. But I forced myself to stay in the present as it was so much better than everything I ever experienced. I desperately hoped that we could be suspended in time and that this moment could last forever. When I opened my eyes I saw her returning my gaze with an ecstasy drunk face. The look of her hazy eyes hit me like thunder and made me not want to miss another moment of her pleasure. Her limp arms lazily worked up their way to her breasts. She kept a hold of them and squeezed them playfully. I reached down with my upper body to suck on them while I kept pounding away at her. My body strained, and I felt it harder to breath in this position. But these breasts needed to be sucked. Her limber body flexed and a groan of animalistic delight announced one last orgasm. I proudly grinned as she announced her ecstasy. She was so wet that I could drown in her juices and I longed to decorate her body with stringy beads of cum. A moment later, while she was in the pleasant state of orgasmic afterglow, she held me closely, and I came deeply inside her.

 

Immediately a great exhaustion came over me. I fell into her arms and our naked and sweaty bodies seemingly fused into one. With every heavy breath our connection become more real. I practically inhaled her jasmine scent and reflected on how I would always remember this moment even if it would be just a temporary affair. She stroked my hair, and I was unable and quite frankly too unwilling to move. With the sun standing high over the ocean the world went


dark for me and I peacefully fell asleep. I cannot clearly remember what or if I dreamed at all. But I do recall an impression of her smiling and giggling as she walked off into the nearby trees. I woke up in the sand with the sun sitting low above a purple sky. Overcome by her bittersweet departure, I lazily enjoyed the moment as this is the way these things usually end up or, that is what I heard from others. After a while I decided that it is time to head home, but to realized to my horror that I was unable to move. I panicked and desperately shouted out to attract attention, but no sound was able to leave my throat. The world stopped making sense. Even though I felt no pain at all, I could observe my body mysteriously withering away. Within in what must have been an hour I noticed spots and wrinkles on my skin where they were never any. The decomposition accelerated rapidly, and within the next hour a swarm of insects descended onto me. Due to the absence of pain or other discomforts, my initial panic turned into a morbid fascination. My conciseness seemed to exist outside but bound to my former body. Day turned into night and everything would stay this way forever as some creatures must have probably eaten my eyeballs as the decomposing continued. Now, I am dead and realize my mistake. There was a reason the other merchants ignored her. She stole my seed and with it my life force. I don’t know where I am now or what constitutes the basis of my current residual existence. My sense of time has all but vanished since I cannot see, hear, feel, taste, or smell anything. But my impression is that years have passed by now and that my dead body has turned into a pineapple tree. I cannot comprehend exactly how I know this, I just know it as truth in the darkness that surrounds me.

 

- MvG, via email

 

Notes

The original letter has been printed to accentuate photos of Janice Bendiz shot by Ignacio Gutiérrez.

All photos along with the printed version of the letter belong to Penthuis Magazine and have been reproduced with explicit written permission of Penthuis Magazine and Ignacio Gutiérrez.

The Hidden History of Kraton as a Musical Genre (2020)


Compiled and authored by Dr. Yaron Schwebitz-Yamamoto
Professor for Musicology, Laurentia University

 

The word kraton (Javanese for 'royal palace, castle, seat of gods') is an elusive musical concept or idea that is currently popularized by a Kribatian Band named Anatomy of the Heads. A band that fuses jazz, progressive rock and contemporary classical music into an eclectic music language that, according to the band itself is not novel, but rather highly traditional and supose to invoke a transcendental or religious experience of uncertain theological content. The music itself ambitious in scope, and uses large rock ensembles to create a dense, disciplined and ultimately majestic music. However, often dismissed as posturing of the Band. The term however has a long and interesting history that is presented here for the first time in a comprehensive form. In the presented analysis the term kraton, specifically understood as referring to music, can be traced back to early human history according to various sources. Of course it is of note that the elusive nature of the this musical idea makes serious investigations almost impossible unless one is willing to look beyond the narrow scope provided by musicology. As a result the presented results need to be taken with a grain of salt as they refer to mythological accounts of history that have been pieced together from varous sources.  The complied history often negates mainstream sciences, commen sense as well as good taste. The second part of this paper is dedicated to the a detailed musical analysis compiled from testimonies of musically educated people who have experienced the original kraton music. The second section makes also reference to the studio album work Anatomy of the Heads, as people can listen to it right now; while the 'original' Kraton music is harder to come by. As a final side note, the term kraton is of course not to be confused with the similar term kratom, which describes a popular a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, whose leaves contain compounds that can have psychotropic (or mind-altering) effects. Although the similarity is likely not to be coincidental as the celestial and the psychedelic often go hand in hand.

 

1. The History of Kraton

This is a chronology of events related to kraton as a musical phenomenon. Each entry in this timeline is based on one or more written sources which 1) explicitly establish the connection between the word and the subject of music and 2) form a coherent form of narrative when linked to other sources. Due to the revisionist and supernatural nature of this narrative, it is important to note that neither the author nor related editors of this article consider the events described to be true. They are presented here solely for the purpose of musicological research.

 

c. 200. 000 BCE: The heavenly melodies (kraton) appear and are destroyed by a grand coalition of the last tribes of technobarbarians - last remnants of the once great industrial kingdom of homo erectus, which ruled Pangaea in the Mesozoic era; the Panthalassasians - a seafaring pirate people who made a name for themselves as merchants, explorers and warriors; and the reptoids of Mu, who emerged as the dominant race on Earth after the battle. They accelerated culture, science and sorcery far beyond anything that existed at that time. The initial appearance of the heavenly melodies is still shrouded in mystery.

 

c. 100.000 BCE: The reptoid empire of Mu reaches peaks and successfully enslaves the proto-human kingdoms of Pangea. Arrogant in the belief that they are the true masters of the world, the Muvians spend more and more time on esoteric pursuits dedicated to many gods and vulgar pleasures to escape the ennui that set in during their centuries-long life of comfort and convenience.

 

c. 18.000 BCE: A great cataclysmic event probably destroys the old world and ushers in the Hyperborean age.

 

c. 20.000 BCE: According to campfire stories told by mythical creatures in the Mahābhārata, which inspire the Southeast Asian shadow puppet theatre, the remaining proto-human slave tribes, who still remembered the heavenly melodies, were sacrificed and buried in the middle of the ancient temple complex of Gunung Padang. The next morning, an upside down version of the temple complex, complete with the now covered, windowless basalt cities below, hovered menacingly over the megalithic site and was said to be made of "a strange matter such as has never been seen before", only to disappear at sunset when it was said to "ascend into heaven and all creation was spread out beneath it."

 

700 CE: Experiencing a dark night of the soul after the death of his father, the Sufi Saint Abu Hasim (or Jami, Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah) encounters ‘Iblis’ rising from the depths of the Red Sea in the form of a tiger, an elephant, and an asmak 'uwranus (أسماك أورانوس) - probably an ancestor of the modern deep-water stargazer (Kathetostoma nigrofasciatum) - with a strange head not common to any of the animals, with protruding eyes, horns that are said to be "melting without end", the absence of a nose and beetle-like jaws. Abu hasim called upon the powers of Allah, but was instead supported by "heavenly melodies" that "swung in a great wind". The onslaught of "fiery tongues" or "winds" drove the monster back into the blackness of the Red Sea.

 

1476 CE: Haunted by a vision of the battle between Abu Hashim and the sea monster, Prince Cakrabuana of the sultanate of Cirebon orders his vassals to construct a brass head according to his designs. This included a mechanized set of crude lungs to reproduce the heavenly melodies. He ordered the head to be mounted on a war elephant and intended to use it as an ultimate weapon in the expected battle against an encroaching army of the Ming dynasty in today's Jakarta. Prince Cakrabuana never saw his invention in action during his lifetime.

 

1650 CE: The brass head is used by the Cirebon Sultanat in the naval war of Pagarage against the neighboring Banten sultanate. The head was mounted on a ship and is said to have driven the crew and all who heard its sounds into a murderous rampage that brought down friend and foe indiscriminately and contributed to the catastrophic defeat of Cirebon and the public decapitation of their leader by the army of the Bantanian sultanate. There was never an invasion by the Ming Dynasty, and the whereabouts of the head remained unknown for centuries.

 

1933 CE: Dutch East India folk tales about a "vain product of ancient hatred buried in the Java Sea" led a secret reconnaissance team of the Royal Dutch East India Army to the remains of the brass head. The Dutch army searched for all sorts of magical weapons to protect the sovereignty of the Dutch state during the rising tensions in Europe. The head was uncovered after a 60-day search and secretly brought to Amsterdam.

 

1941 CE: The Netherlands are occupied by the Nazis. The brass head is recovered by scientists in the rubble of Rotterdam and brought to Adolf Hitler. He orders that the brass head be reverse engineered as part of the Wunderwaffen program in order to create a revolutionary super weapon. Germany's top scientists collaborate with a secret cabal of Muvian reptoid sorcerers to construct a variety of directed energy weapons from the ancient mechanism. Among them the infamous orbital Sonnengewehr.

 

1944 CE: In a desperate attempt to win the war, Hitler, armed with the Lance of Longinus, activates the brass head to protect the Berlin bunker from Soviet troops. The distorted melodies of the mechanism over-stimulate the fight or flight reaction of all listeners and create "men who could not be de-brutalized". Hitler and 150,000 Soviet and German troops are slain in a massacre of blind berserk rage. Hitler's body and the brass head are recovered by the Soviet military. The Kremlin orders that all reports of this event be destroyed and the event is subsequently erased from all modern history books.

 

1945 CE: The Soviets continued the Nazi experiments with the brass head under the clear goal of creating a global cataclysmic event that would destroy the old world and usher in a new utopian era of socialist equality and brotherhood among all humanity under Soviet leadership. The mechanism is recast in Siberian gold from the notorious gulag Kolyma. The coarse lung mechanism is replaced by an early electronic sound synthesis model. In the search for global destruction, the golden head is mounted on an orbital flight mechanism that would later be used for the Sputnik 1 satellite.

 

1947 CE: The Soviet space program tries to bring the golden Head into orbit from a secret launch station in the Siberian tundra, but the flight and activism mechanisms prove unreliable and the golden Head crashed somewhere in Central Asia. Some sources speculate that the Soviet Union's clandestine recovery attempts escalated the 1947 Indo-Pakistani war. In addition, there are prominent reports from across Asia of a coinciding UFO sighting that are said to have caused unrest in at least three countries (Pakistan, Mongolia and Laos). However, the golden head was recovered and returned to Moscow.

 

1953 CE: The golden head continues to malfunction in tests. It emits nothing but hot air and screams of extreme rage and anger. A dying Stalin suspects Muvian sorcery behind the failed experiments and reluctantly orders the golden head to be recast and fused with Hitler's bones in a necromantic ritual that saw nine million Russians sacrificed as so called ‘class traitors’ in order to gain control of the golden head.

 

1961 CE: After perfecting the flight mechanism with the launch of Sputnik 1, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is ordered to bring the golden head into orbit. The mission is successful, but control is quickly lost. Because the head spontaneously activates itself and uses its powerful flight system to fly out of orbit and escape detection. Nikita Khrushchev speculates that the head has gained some kind of sinister consciousness and abandons the project. He orders all scientists who have worked on the head to be shot.

 

1972 CE: N.A.S.A. discovers the presumed remains of the upside down temple complex of Gunung Padang on the lunar surface in a region that later came to be known as the Sea of Tranquility. But what they really found was the golden head enthroned on top of a dead volcano. It is brought back to Earth for testing.

 

1991 CE: American filmmaker and former Pentagon insider David Blair directs a film entitled Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, which contains numerous thinly veiled references to the kraton phenomenon and its deep history. The film is released on the Internet and David Blair disappears from public view.

 

2000 CE: Several reports in early Internet chat-rooms speak of clear memories of an incident in which a politician wearing a golden mask came to power in Eritrea and united the Middle East thanks to his ruthlessness and futuristic weapons. According to these ‘memories’, after a ten-year reign of terror in the countries of the Middle East, a Golden Horde set out on the road to world domination and unleashed an ultimate weapon that was thought to destroy "all of Europe by sound waves". On New Year's Eve 1999, however, elite troops of the army raged, killing many of their own citizens and friendly military personnel. Later conspiracy theories assume that the space-time continuum returned to zero when the millennium time paradox occurred. The events in the Middle East no longer exist, history is erased, and ripple effects caused by the disruption of the space-time continuum cause some people to remember this alternative timeline. The phenomenon is called the Mandela Effect, because in the alternative timeline the South African politician Nelson Mandela died in his prison cell in the 1980s.

 

2014 CE: The megalithic complex of Gunung Padang on Java is rediscovered and excavated by the Indonesian government. The excavation coincides with reports of mass hallucinations in Southeast Asia and Oceania and the rare conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, which has been described as "fire in the night sky". The strange content of these hallucinations is strikingly similar between people and describes of a kind of eschatological prophecy that summarizes earlier events related to the kraton phenomena. The prophecy reads as follows: On a day more gloomy than night, a monster (or devil) will rise from the waters (some people have described it as a sea or ocean). In response there will be the terrible descent of a crystal mountain. Its shape is in constant flux, carrying the reflections of many fire-eyes in the endless refractions of its complex geometry. It will be as if all the bells will suddenly go into furious frenzy to make a great roar against Satan. Even the wandering spirits and lost souls under his control - those without master, faith or country - will burst into a persistent, whimpering cry. Vibrations will imitate solid walls, and the earth will turn into his vast prison. Satan will continue to rage with eternal hatred and strike relentlessly at the walls of his dungeon. Without drums or music, long pale spider creatures will descend from the crystalline mountain to take his soul, while all struggles, hatred and hope are defeated. And we will rejoice when the spider beings spin us deep into their webs while Satan weeps in impotent despotic fear. Sudden drums from the crystalline mountain will announce the end of the spectacle. Satan's wretched soul is brought to the center of the mountain where the song of bowed skulls in front of an empty throne birth the world in oceans of blood.

 

2016 CE: Research into these hallucinations is carried out by an international team of scientists. Among the people interviewed, several people who are familiar with musicology and classical music theory are identified and asked to describe the intangible and vague musical motive of the hallucinations. All respondents were able to vividly recall the heavenly melodies and were equipped with the necessary musical vocabulary to describe what they heard. They describe it as transcendental maximalism or as a rich musical tapestry full of symbolic meaning. The report explains this in more detail: "The listener does not hear the sophisticated symbolic structures that underlie this music. It is beautiful, it moves the heart, and it creates feelings that can be described as orgasmic, frightening but calming, or simply religious. But the music itself does not convey any theological information that must have been incorporated into its composition. Only by studying its ‘grammar’ is one really able to theorize what has gone into the music and what is happening in it". The report closes with the following words: "It is a kind of music that aims at a deeper communion with the divine. A kind of music that expresses the existence of absolute truths in faith. It evokes and is on the one hand very earthy and earthly, as it is played on raw ancient instruments (e.g. drums, bow skulls, bells), but it also evokes something heavenly in a strange way."

 

2017 CE: A music group from Kiribati called Anatomy of the Heads calls their eclectic music kraton.

 

2. Musical Analysis and Conclusion

Now that we know the rich and baffling history of the genre, a discussion of the actual music is necessary to understand what kraton is as a genre. The compositions, if you can call them that, consist of large, fused sections of unequal length and duration, in which there is a great variety of structural and compositional techniques. From a macrostructural point of view, a piece can often be divided into three parts, which consist of three different subsections: (a a a b) (a a a a a1 b) (c d b1). This structure is in the form of a song in a popular style. Each subsection in it is heard twice, either sequentially or alternately, and often all end on the same note. The popular familiarity of this simple structure is hidden by all sorts of tricks, which will be discussed afterwards. Remarkably, even for occasional listeners, notice the dramatic change between sophisticated maximalist sections of dense composition and technically less complex and formal sections such as long instrumental solos, which are reminiscent of sequences from medieval Plainchants. Symbolically, these sequences can be understood as a musical addition to a sermon, like an alleluia or a hymn response to the incarnation of a world. The perceived impressions of the structures have a certain degree of accessibility, namely through the use of a familiar rhythmic form.

 

The strong sense of rhythm connects these phantasmagoric compositions with each other, although individual rhythmic patterns end abruptly or immediately before the point at which the beginning of the rhythmic cycles would reconnect, creating a feeling for the incomplete. This is often done to draw attention to another instrument that picks up or modulates the overall pulse of the composition. In addition, rhythmic patterns are often long or complex and are perceived as an improvised solo. For example, some parts of the album Anatomy of the Heads. Worship in prayer and ritual requires ninety repetitions of the upper rhythm and eighty repetitions of the lower rhythm to find the specific combination of departure. This music device is known from medieval music and is called isor rhythm, in which metrically defined phrases and patterns of stressed and unstressed beats are avoided. Rather, these isorhythmic patterns behave like wheels in wheels, destroying every sense of the meter and thus creating a piece of music that has the feeling of being out of time. The perceived pulse of the piece thus exceeds a simple idea of time. Beyond the use of the iso rhythm, both the upper and lower voices use very structured Hindu rhythms with considerable theological consequences. Because these rhythms match those found on a table of one hundred and twenty Dekî-tâlas codified in the thirteenth century. The underlying symbolic formula contains two equivalent notes (e.g. dotted eighth notes) that represent the entire human rhythmic creation and the subsequent development and shifting through reduction, withdrawal and return of the point. Old rhythmic patterns are linked and permuted in a kind of U-shaped pattern, in which the music does not jump from one extreme to the other, but has to change through movement through the center.

 

Despite the clear composition order and the pulse in the music, it often sounds chaotic due to harmonic overload. This is a music device in which chords are either stacked on top of each other or completed by the final note of the melodic material. While the chords used lie harmoniously on the dominant (the fifth of the scale), the abundance of melodic levels can be built up to all notes of the corresponding major or minor scale, as well as their darker modes (especially Aeolian, Phrygian or Locrian). For traditional western sensitivity to music, the resulting chord, which consists of all the notes of a scale, is hardly standard and questions the entire concept of harmony and dissonance. However, the final impression of a coherent harmony also arises for listeners who have no avant-garde sensitivity through the interplay of harmony and time. A deep (but not always conscious) feeling of harmonic unity is created by the basic chord preceding its harmonic additions. Another thing has to be said about the way in which harmonic addition interacts with time and melody. The exact order in which the additions occur is in itself a melody that interacts with the piece's already rich tapestry and creates something that can be described as micro-sensations, similar to a main theme, but of shorter duration and more subtle. These can be viewed as comments or footnotes that contrast or improve individual melodies. Regarding these micro-sensations, the heavy use of the tritone or ascending / descending chromatic runs is to fill, move or connect one tune with another, with fifths being the most common form in which harmonic overload is built up. In less harmoniously complex passages, an effect similar to the harmonic overload is created by chord movements in which a chord on the dominant is repeatedly transposed both up and down. The result is a kaleidoscopic treatment of a single chord that produces an effect like that of a stained glass window or a light reflected from the water. However, the previously discussed U-shape of permutation is not applied to instruments that carry a melody and appears to be reserved as a rhythmic device. As a result, melodies are used less fluently and more spontaneously, explosively and wildly.

 

Finally, the content of kraton melodies have compared with the melodic lines of ornate choirs such as those of J. S. Bach through his expressive and strict arabesques, which overload the often solemn, long and slow chord progression. However, an obvious difference is the abundance of melodies that lie on top of each other. This transcends any consideration to the skills of an individual actor. Often, the first three melodic phrases (about nine measures) are playful and contain about fifty-three notes: Three added notes in the first phrase, fifteen added notes in the second phrase, and thirty-five added notes in the third phrase, musical repetition of the second phrase. While decorating a melody, which has been transferred to a new mode, is the most common way to modulate an established melody. At least three other compositional techniques are used to alter melodic lines. added-value rhythms to transform original rhythms with the occasional addition of extra time, typically by means of an additional half-value. Second, melodic lines are changed by eliminating melodic notes. While this technique is much more difficult to identify, especially in such an ornate environment, it seems to be used at least frequently in easily observable places. Finally, through the interplay of the micro-sensation discussed earlier, which adds a perfect interval or tritone to the melody line to highlight the note after the added sensation. Ultimately, the relationship between harmony and melody suggests a fairly appropriate correspondence with the other musical layers of the compositions: Heavenly salvation contradicts the standards imposed by the world, and yet the community of faithful voices, despite this gift, sings praises of harmony to the heavenly in frequent harmonic clashes .

 

About the Author

Dr. Yaron Schwebitz-Yamamoto is a Dutch ethnomusicologist, music collector, curator and sound engineer. Schwebitz-Yamamoto's passion for the music of India and Central Asia led him to study, travel, and record various music, theater, and dance traditions throughout India from the late 1950s to the early 2000s. His collection includes original audio and video recordings, commercial records, books, magazine editions, photographs and slides. The Department of Musicology at the University of Laurentia houses most of this collection.

 

Publication Notes

This article was first published as: “We Are All Musicologists Now”; or, the End of Ethnomusicology  in Journal of Musicology (2020) 37 (1): 1-32.

This abridged version has been adapted for Gateway Magazine by Weena Mercator

WHAT WAS THE CLOSEST THE BAND HAS COME TO REENACTING A SCENE FROM SPINAL TAP WHILE ON TOUR?

 

Our biggest Spinal Tap moment so far occurred during interviews. One time we played together in an art gallery in Germany. That wasn't under the name Anatomy of the Heads though. We were hired by the organisers to do a noise show, and we were expecting edgy artwork with random naked people and screaming women. However, it turned out to be a gallery of children's artwork created as part of a project funded by the city. So the kids were there with their parents, the organisers introduced us, and we were baffled. If I had been a parent, I would have been furious. But we went, "200 bucks for noise you bought. 200 bucks for noise you're getting." All the kids and parents walked out, and we played for the organisers and some weird art guy. Afterwards we were interviewed and had to give this pretentious art gallery talk: "Our work explores the relationship between postmodern discourses on UFO sightings. With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and John Cage, we distil new insights from the explicit and implicit structure of their works. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of non-human extraterrestrial relationships. So we performed an improvisation for you, and what began as contemplation was soon manipulated into a manifesto of temptation that left you, the listener, with only a sense of dread and the inevitability of a new beginning. As momentary replicas are distorted by emergent and academic practices, you, the listeners, are left with a tribute to the darkness of your own existence."

 


THAT SOUNDS FUCKING TERRIBLE. WHAT WAS THE RECEPTION LIKE?

 

Oh man, in their own delusion, the organisers saw it as a success and thanked us saying "Great show, guys. This is something you really have to confront people with, you know. These people [meaning people who didn’t go to college] would never look for this kind of art on their own." I would fire that guy for ruining what could have been a wholesome event.

 

 

 

WHAT A DUSH. IF THERE WOULD BE A PLACE YOU PLAY WHERE WOULD IT BE, AND WHAT WOULD THE SHOW LOOK LIKE?
I would like the idea of Easter Island. Maybe a one-off gig, fully decked out, entering the stage via war elephants, surrounded by the all-encompassing fog of incense, torches at hand, scantily clad hula dancers and a big band. We would play two sets, one at sunrise and one at sunset, film it, sell it as a pay-per-view and retire to a pineapple farm. That would be peak AoftheH. Alternative locations suitable for such a thing would be any large ancient temple. Come to think of it... we could do it at a fraction of the price if we just did it in Yogjakarta. Mhhh, stay tuned for that.

 

 

 

TELL US ABOUT A LIVE SHOW YOU WENT TO, AND WHAT MADE IT MEMORABLE FOR BETTER OR WORSE...HEY, REMEMBER GOING TO SHOWS?
I have to be honest, I've never been to a good live show, or maybe I have and it's my problem, but yeah.
I CAN PICTURE YOU STANDING THERE WITH YOUR ARMS CROSSED, JUST INCHES AWAY FROM AN ACTIVE MOSH PIT AND PEOPLE STAGE DIVING
That's me. But here is one of my favorite stories. It was a small club that hosted a black metal night three bands. The headliner was something famous and the other two bands were regional. The first band was an occult-whatever-not-your-typical-black-metal-band. They played mostly mid-tempo to slow stuff and the audience hated it. After 10 minutes they had a little break in between songs and the reaction of the crows was zero. You could hear a pin drop. I however liked it and was the only one going WHOO *CLAP*  *CLAP*  *CLAP*  *CLAP* Then I noticed that I am literally the only one reacting and went „fuck you, people. I am not shutting up“ and my art appreciation intensified.
I HAVE HAD A FEW INSTANCES OF GOING "Y E A A A A A A A A A A A A H" LIKE A METAL VOCALIST AND APPLAUDING (CYCLOPS HANDS ALLOW FOR THUNDERCLAPS) AT ACTS NO ONE LIKED EXCEPT ME AND SOME OTHER GUY AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE ROOM. I'VE LEARNED TO JUST SCREAM THINGS IN SPANISH WHILE CLAPPING SO EVERYONE JUST JOINS IN LOL
La sangre de abuela! *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*
EL DIABLO! *FRANTIC THUNDERCLAP*
Okay, well then I got another one. Similar set up, but teenage black metal band from the suburbs of Germany decked out in hot topic clothing and supportive parents and other relatives in the front row camera in hand and all. In between songs the parents and relatives go WHOOOOO GO TOBIAS! *CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP* YEAH TOBIAS, GOOD SOLO YOU ROCK *LOOK INTO THE CAMERA*
HAHAHAH. OH MY GOODNESS, THEIR RIDE BACK HOME WAS MOM AND DAD
Hahahah. That was truly awesome
"TOBIAS DO YOU WANT ANYTHING FROM MCDONALD'S?"
You just know they had McDonald's afterwards for celebration *BIC MACS ALL AROUND, GANG. GOOD SHOW!* and of course Tobias is LORD ANAL DESECRATOR released by 666420 Productions

 

TOBIAS, THAT IS SUCH A WHITE SUBURB NAME
I mean cool guys and cool parents and all, but the optics of the whole thing are just so bizarre. Anyway, this is what I mean - musically I don’t care much for shows, bands mostly play weaker versions of material you already know, and it's a let-down. But live shows are a magnet for weird people and their delusions, so you’ll be entertained anyway.

 

 

 

IF TWO PEOPLE YOU ABSOLUTELY HATED ENTERED A KUMITE, WOULD YOU BE SAD ONE OF THEM IS VICTORIOUS OR DELIGHTED AT ONE OF THEM LOSING?
I say better them than me. I would be happy if there were fewer daggers with my name on them.  As a glorious leader and dictator, I have to be on guard all the time anyway.

 

 

 

SO, KILL’EM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT?

 

Allah, but yes. Stop complaining or complain more funnily. The beatings will continue until morale improves

 

 

 

YOU'RE STUCK IN AN ARCADE FOR THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON WITH INFINITE CREDITS. WHAT THREE CABINETS DO YOU CAMP OUT UNTIL YOUR RELEASE?
I would say Nightstalker for the Atari, Elevator Action for the Gameboy and Final Fantasy 8. Nightstalker captivated me with its artwork that looked like David Hasslehoff was trapped in a futuristic maze. I kept playing it because it has that distinct Atari hypo effect and because I had the crazy idea that something magical would happen when you roll the score over. Some secret ending or glitch Y2K-style. Of course, usually nothing happened. I even considered playing Nightstalker at a competitive level, but eventually stopped playing video games at all. Elevator Action is the exception to the Y2K disappointment. If you max out the counter, it gets stuck on a number that converts all power-ups to health, the enemies are on steroids, and you get stuck with the weakest weapon. So imagine a frantic game+ mode where everyone is shooting at you, you can only defend yourself with a peashooter, but there is health everywhere. Also, I'm a big RPG player, especially strategy RPGs, and Final Fantasy 8 is basically the game I'm most invested in, and to me, it has stood the test of time for me. The best game ever, I'm going to die on that hill.

 

 

 

I HAVE A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION RELATED TO 9/11. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE TRACK TITLES. WHO COMES UP WITH THE TRACK TITLES AND HOW?
I think them up. I use three main tools for this. A notebook in which I write intriguing phrases that come to me or that I find in books, films or overheard conversations, a digital cut-up machine that mixes up texts, and a high-concept approach to making an album. So I have a bunch of raw material that I either use directly or cut up to create or at least inspire new phrases. Finally, I selected those that somehow seem to fit coherently into the album by suggesting some kind of narrative. We never have a specific goal when we make a record, other than to make it good. So we have no idea what we want to say. Working on the album is like a discovery process for us, where we get to know ourselves, and in the end we have basically figured out what is on our minds.
 

 

AND WHAT IMPORTANT MESSAGES FOR THE LISTENERS HAVE YOU DISTILLED THIS TIME?“
Never flush a tampon.

 

 

 

THE VOICE OF A GENERATION, LADIES AND JERKS. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORBIDDEN DAY FOOD/NIGHT FOOD COMBINATION?

 

I regularly get in trouble with restaurant staff and my wife when I mix pineapple or other fruits with meat. Pineapple and beef are my opium, and even after some 30 years of living here, I complain about day/night food in general. Because I want it the way I want it. I have been spoiled by the king.  

 

 

 

FOOD FOLLOW UP. WHAT IS A FOOD OR PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE IN INDONESIA THAT WITHOUT HESITATION YOU'D PISTOL WHIP SOMEONE ELSE'S NEMESIS TO DEATH ON THE STEPS OF A CHURCH FOR?
The grass is always greener. When I am in Indonesia, I miss some European food. For example, bread that is not white bread, curd cheese and yoghurt. These are all unspectacular grandpa foods, but the craving for them is sometimes so strong that I would gladly commit murder for them.

 

 

 

DO LEFTISTS EXIST IN INDONESIA? IF SO, WHY?

 

They do, even though Marxism is banned here. You find them, ironically, in Islamic studies, where they try to combine the altruist parts of Islam with communist theories, and in everything to do with the environment. They become vicious during elections and riot in universities and schools. They often set fires or cause other forms of property damage there. I actually have a story about this. My wife has a favourite park that she used to visit a lot as a child. It is called Tiger Park and it takes its name from a big tiger statue that is in the park. She used to go there to picnic and play with her family. We visited it recently and were disappointed to find that the place has become a battleground for all sorts of lunatics who demonstrate and riot there. Now the noble tiger statue is covered with graffiti from hammers and sickles, ACAB, SS runes, DOWN WITH CAPITALISM, DEATH TO ISRAEL and so on. It is a shame.

 

 

 

WHAT IS A SONG THAT MAKES YOU GO 'WHY YES, A TWO HOUR VERSION OF THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT' ?
According to my YouTube history, I'm really into William Shatner supercuts. There's one where Kirk climbs a mountain and it's just insane. Apart from that, my mood swings, and currently I'm into a guy called Koshiro Yoshimatsu. All his stuff is on Youtube, he recorded all kinds of styles in the 1980s, but every record has this dreamy 4-track band sound that's just magical. We always strive to get that sound for our own records, and with modern recording equipment it's getting harder and harder because it's just too good. We actually always spend a lot of time dirtying everything up. I'm in the process of going through his discography right now. Koshiro Yoshimatsu - check him out.

 

 

 

THIS HAS BEEN A CONVERSATION WITH ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING IT AND FEEL NOW ENTICED BY THEIR CAPTIVATING PERSONALITIES TO GIVE THEM ALL YOUR CASH. CONSIDER LISTEN TO THEIR NEW ALBUM A BANISHMENT OF BLOODSHED AND SUPERSTITION. FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER AND VISIT WWW.AOFTHEH.COM FOR ALL THINGS ANATOMY OF THE HEADS. AND JUST IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING BANDCAMP IS THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT THEM.