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Inerview with Job Karma

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K: "Strike" is the fourth album of the band Job Karma. Starting with extremely experimental "Cycles for second", you consciously develop your unique style. At the same time your music is becoming clearer and clearer (of course within the post-industrial aesthetics). Is it a result of new ideas or a natural progress?

-JK: It's rather a natural way of things. The world is a constant change - so we undergo the change as well; our surroundings, country, people change, we witness the empires' fall. the permanent progress, change are inscribed in the existence of the kind called homo sapiens... Before recording our CD we do not make any preparatory presuppositions, we do not discuss what or how we should play. We simply sit at our instruments and we start creating, the sounds come to us in a natural way: it usually happens in the right place and time... out of a sudden we feel that we should say something in music and we do it... the effect of such impulse you may esteem yourself later while listening to the CD. Fortunately, we do not have a contract that would bind us to record a CD, let's say, once in a half of a year, which contract , in my opinion, is a nightmare of many artists. We have a psychical comfort of creating – so the average frequency of our publishing a new CD is once in 2 years. As for us it's a perfect time for new ideas to get a final shape.

: Job Karma's music is a real spectacle of emotions. Do you like combining seemingly opposing elements ( e.g. dullness of the machines with the appealing melodies)?

-JK: It's true that our music is to some extent the reflection of our emotional states, our fascinations, perception of the outer world, thoughts on the human condition, conversations, journeys... hence the combination of such distant elements like e.g. machine-like rhythmics and the nature sounds. In the “outer” world the duality of everything that surrounds us is tangible: to use rhetorics of industrial way od expression - by means of electronic weapon we reflect the emotions we experience while walking on the streets, watching tv news or traversing the last lonely bastions of wild nature...

: Taking the unique audio-visual frame of your sets into consideration one could think that you have something to say in politics and social matters. Is it done on purpose or is it one of the techniques used to create the spirit of the spectacle?

-JK: The specific quality of the music we play is that we do not use words, but emotions, which is to evoke in the listener a certain association of images with particular sounds... we are neither missionaries, nor we try to get into politics too much. I don't feel like commenting our techniques we use during our live performances as I think the individual approach is more advisable...

: It often happens that the bands of dark ambient or post - industrial origin use some noble ideology to support their music. In your opinion, is it caused by the fact that such art isn't popular in medias?

-JK: The bands of that style have often used the technique of shocking , which was to de-assembly certain social taboo. However, the things that were shocking 25 years ago do not surprise anyone today: TV serves some of them even in commercials. Recently, I was talking to my old friend Glaukos and we reached the conclusion that some bands of the industrial environs (like e.g. Blutharsch, Boyd Rice or DIJ) have been exploring the taboo that the society wishes not to remember, namely the fascism. By surprising with its stylistics and surrounding themselves with aura of mystery, the artists mentioned create wonderful music which, unfortunately, often faces complete misunderstanding... Hence now we're witnessing the agrowing tendency to create the projects which glorify the sinister ideologies... Well, that's sad, but some people do not understand the allegories and they take everything straightforwardly ... it refers both to the artists and audience - total mixing-up -characteristic for our times. We do not want to have anything in common with it, though ( and because) the history of 20th century is the topic of our interest and also influences the music and films of Job Karma.

: The song extinguishing on you new CD - "Ecce Homo" – is one of the greatest songs in Job Karma's history. During the live performance it is supported by Arek Bagiński's film, which presents the industrial interpretation of Christ's Road to the Cross. How was this peculiar construct started?

-JK: Both film and music were made especially for the multimedia spectacle Rytuał II, which took place in Wroclaw in the Cathedral of St. Magda Magdalena. The film as a whole was shown on a big screen in cathedral's presbytery and on 14 big tv monitors (on each there was shown different part of this specific Road to the Cross). During the spectacle we were performing the music live, standing in the usual altar's place. Taking the piece of art as a whole into consideration I still wonder how it was possible to succeed in it in such place and country...

: What do you think about condition of Polish experimental music scene?

-JK: I believe the condition of our native scene is getting better... the scene that literally hadn't existed before the borders were opened is starting to create a draft of “something” of the western style. The new labels like Wrotycz, War Office Propaganda, Beast of Prey are being established; the wellknown and respected ones like Obuh, Nefryt, Ignis or Requiem are still active . There are a few good printed fan-zins published, like e.g. Apostazja or Anxious, as well as internet ones, there are many new projects emerging which are appreciated in the West ... the worst thing is , I believe, with concerts... (I know it from my own experience, apart from Łódź, Gdańsk, Poznań or Wrocław it's extremely hard to organize a concert of experimental music), but even here things are starting to improve... 7 years ago the situation was much worse... so if the progress keeps that dynamic- I think in the next 7 years it can be really interesting... I'm an incurable optimist about it haha...

K: The battle with the institutionalized and depersonalizing aspects of our life has often been a good material for literature (i.a. F. Kafka's prose). What's the way you perceive such form of expression? Are you inspired by it, I mean, by the world of literature?

-JK: Oh.... You hit the point - I must say I have always been partial to Kafka whom I perceive one of my favourite writers. It's a pity he didn't publish any more literary pieces ... oppressive, claustrophobic and obsessive atmosphere of his novels is in a way close to what we express in our music... By the way, I think it would be great to compose a soundtrack to the screening of, let's say, “The Castle”... You know -fo r a couple of months I had a chance to work in such a castle – it was an edifice of Wrocław Provincial Office. The building was constructed during the Second World War by the Germans. “Kafka's rules” are saved here; a petitioner who crosses the gate is overwhelmed by the lenght of the corridors and the endless row of doors behind which the anonymous crowd of clerks works. S/he feels like no one while clashing with the incomprehensible forces that pull the strings... the real Castle. It was the time when our, in my opinion, most “oppressive” CD was made - “Newson”...

: And at last, the final, quite trivial, question: where is this world, created in your music landscapes, going to? To the perdition or harmony?

-JK: The destruction that is perdition is said to be rooted in human nature, so in order to be in harmony with oneself, the human needs to destroy... We're incurably ill kind which by destroying itself, destroys everything that surrounds it. Hence the harmony in our music coexists with apocalyptic musical landscapes and I believe it will stay so...

Translator: katakan
Add date: 2005-11-09 / Interviews

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