We can do better.

It has been a very long and unlikely week.

Last Thursday Nick and I got on stage at Kinetik and played the best set either of us have ever played — a 50 minute performance, but it’s the last five that everyone’s talking about.

We had a message we wanted to deliver, and we did it. And a week later, the conversation about it is still going strong. It’s funny, before Nick and I went on stage we were talking about what could happen. We thought maybe a few people might get behind it. We also thought maybe we might get booed off stage. Worse yet, we thought maybe no one would notice or care.

Seven days, hundreds of shares, and 10k+ views later, people are still talking about misogyny and racism in industrial music. We’ve had hundreds of people get in touch to tell us how much they appreciate what we did. I’ve lost count of the number of women who’ve told us that this kind of imagery is exactly why they left the scene. And if I told you how many people (men and women alike) cried when they spoke to us about it, you wouldn’t actually believe me.

So, it’s a week later. The message is as clear as I could make it. Andy and Thomas have both said their piece on it. There have been articles, interviews, and editorials. And people are still talking about what it all means. About sexism, about racism. About art, communication, and community.

What does it say about our scene, that this resonates so strongly with so many people? What does it say about the conversations we haven’t been having? And what will happen if more people continue to say: We demand better.

I hope we’ll get to find out.

Six Degrees of Awesome

From me to Johnny Cash in 5 steps.

  1. I (Ad·ver·sary) was remixed by J.F. Coleman (of Phylr)
  2. J.F. Coleman was in Baby Zizanie with J.G. Thirlwell
  3. J.G. Thirlwell was in The The with Sinead O’Connor
  4. Sinead O’Connor wrote “Don’t Give Up” with Willie Nelson
  5. Willie Nelson was in The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash!

Huzzah!

Goth·ver·sary

Gothtronic reviews A Bright Cut Across Velvet Sky:

Ad·ver·sary is the powernoise/IDM project of Jairus Khan. In 2008 he made quite a name for himself with his album ‘Bone Music’, which was available as regular cd edition on Tympanik Audio, but could also be downloaded for free in high quality. […] A very good remix album. Although some songs get remixed three times, all the tracks have a reasonable different sound, so it doesn’t get repetitive. Together with the addition of a couple of new tracks this is really an album you should have in you collection!

I agree with this man! You should download the album (it’s free!), or pick up a CD (on sale now!) from Tympanik.

A Bright Cut Across Velvet Sky

The new Ad·ver·sary disc is finished. I’m listening to the final master now to make sure there’s no glitches, and then off it goes.

Tracklist:

  1. Ancients (Cyanotic Remix)
  2. Waiting for Gira (Patience is a Virtue Perceived Remix by ESA)
  3. Creatura (and the sea)
  4. Just (Spookier Remix by Iszoloscope)
  5. Bone Music (Disparition Remix)
  6. No Exit (Sartre Wasn’t Kidding Remix by Candle Nine)
  7. Friends of Father (Oil Sands Remix by Monoculture)
  8. Dresden
  9. Waiting for Gira (Still Waiting Remix by Stendeck)
  10. Darker
  11. Just (Boo! Remix by Synkro)
  12. Waiting For Gira (Phylr Remix)
  13. Number Nine (Square Prime Remix by Autoclav1.1)
  14. Just (Passed Away Remix by Salt)
  15. Cyanotic – Deface (Ad·ver·sary + Dirtybunny = Industrial Strength Mix)

Fuck yes.

trying to break into an electric lightbulb

It has been a long winter, and I’m finding myself in places that I never thought I would be.

I don’t know exactly how I got here, and I don’t know exactly what comes next, but I’m happier and more optimistic about where things are going than I have been in years.

The next few months are going to be busy: finishing production on a friend’s album, releasing an Ad·ver·sary remix album, going to SXSW Interactive, preparing for Kinetik, and a half-dozen other Big Things — but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Good riddance to 2008.

First time anyone’s caught the sample in No Exit, too.

A new review of Bone Music, this time from the Grave Concerns e-zine:

What really sets apart Khan’s work from most of his contemporaries in the dark electronic scene is a fondness for more traditional sound sources. While there’s no shortage of electronic ambience and computer-generated percussive sounds, there’s also plenty of mostly unadorned rock and classical instrumentation. “Waiting for Gira” backs its rumbling percussion with the heavy throb of low-end bass guitar, for example, and “Friends of Father” sees what sounds like old-school guitar distortion and clattering snare drum emerging from a fuzzy wash of static. This more organic sound translates especially well to Khan’s use of rhythm. Often, his beats sound less like programmed sequences than tribal percussive ensembles, especially on the ominous “International Dark Skies,” which evokes imagery of some midnight voodoo conjuration, and title track “Bone Music,” which despite the morbid imagery of its title is actually possessed of a sense of fun not unlike Einsturzende Neubauten’s mellower instrumental experiments.

on the road to delphi

I can feel autumn wrapping around the city like a blanket, whispering about the winter to come.

I’m hoping to use this time now to get things done before the snow settles on the city. I know that once winter is here, I’m going to have a much harder time with everything, and I’m trying to turn that awareness into motivation: Finish building restraint. Finish producing Mike’s album. Gut and rebuild my bedroom. Get the Ad·ver·sary remix boxset done. Make more personal space.

I used to have limitless drive for these things, but I can’t sustain it anymore. I don’t think it’s age that’s weighing me down (although in frankness, I am terrified of turning 30 next spring), nevertheless it feels like something has crawled into my skin and hidden that energy from me.

Or, more likely, something about the way that I’m thinking and the things that I’m doing is feeding back.

By speaking this aloud I may very well be invoking it (or so Thelema would caution me), but I’m privately and extraordinarily concerned about attendance to next Tuesday’s show. The last month has been the quietest month at Zaphods that I can recall (on par with the doomed Mono No Aware show years ago), and if what is traditionally the biggest night of the year ends up being a dead show, not only will it be financially crippling but also a tremendous kick in the balls.

Next year would be the 15th annual Industrial Strength Halloween (would’ve been this year if Eugene hadn’t preempted last year’s party), and the idea was to go balls-to-the-wall all out for it, but if Tuesday has a weak showing then we may have to reexamine our expectations.

…with that said, if next Tuesday doesn’t have the attendance we’re looking for, it’s not the end of the world. We have a ton of new promo material on the way, we (finally) have management that supports us and has a free hand to help, we’re trying to rent a bus to ferry people to industrial night from Kanata after the NIN show in three weeks, and there’s more in the pipe. So even if, hypothetically, everyone who had ever been out on a Tuesday vanished tomorrow, we’re not dead in the water or anything along those lines

But it would be really fucking disappointing.

Maybe I need a pilgrimage.

My new favourite translated review

From the Belarusian site Machinist, and translated by the helpful robots at Google:

Jairus Khan about ten years led an active life in the Canadian di-dzheyskuyu/promouterskuyu underground techno-industrial stage, but three years ago, decided to form their own musical project AD VER SARY. The most meticulous and informed of you probably have heard his remixes of the tracks on the CONVERTER and ISZOLOSCOPE.

In May 2008, a musician in the court ruled his public debut album “Bone Music”, which contains a powerful, energetic and melodic cocktail of power rhythmic noise, Industrial, an organic landscape ambience, idm-electronics and tribalnyh ancient rhythms. As you can see, nameshano lot, but the result sounds very harmonious and fresh. What’s immediately striking when listening to the album is a very good balance between the rigid, harsh, aggressive and beautiful, including imagination, causing emotion sounds.

Many of AD VER SARY based on attacking rhythms perfectly adapted to the club environment and able to strike and disperse the noise-industrial human biomass on tancpole to very high speeds and orgazmicheskih sensations. For example, a turbojet accelerators can choose to drive such downhole, technique execution and not deprived of intelligent charm of tracks like “Ancients”, “Bone Music” or “Number Nine”.

It is a pleasure to listen to music groups and dance outside the site. Because it such a multi-layered, deep and diverse. Moderate eksperimentalizm it is also not alien. Rapid and robust, well unwind devastating tribalno techno-industrial songs, alternate militants on the album with a calm, measured and atmospheric rooms, which tend to be powerful, painted mrachnovatye mysterious tone of the industrial trip-Hopu ( “Friends Of Father”), gratsioznym Forms of hard-techno ( “Just [Spooks]”) or pleasure to shake tribalnyh rhythmic waves of steel dark ambient ( “International Dark Skies”). The album also includes remixes good ANTIGEN SHIFT, TONIKOM and SYNAPSCAPE, as well as a remix AD VER SARY on track URUSAI.

Finally, add that you can download a free peer-album, including the complete design, the official site AD VER SARY on the Internet. And, believe me, it is worth it! Album: “Bone Music” really good and I suspect must come to taste fans of groups such as THIS MORN’OMINA, EXOCET, REMAIN SILENT and ISZOLOSCOPE. [8 points]

hello there ladies and gentlemen

Connexion Bizarre has published a new Ad·ver·sary interview that I did for Wounds of the Earth. It’s a lot more disarmed and personal than other interviews I’ve done, because I didn’t really expect it to see any kind of traffic at all (which is why I never posted it here). Let’s see how many angry messages I get about how I’m destroying music:

What is the motivation behind the choice to give your music away for free?

There are a lot of reasons behind it – I want people who download music to get a high-quality version instead of some ‘FWYH’ release full of errors, I think if more people hear the album more people will support it by buying it or spinning it, I download a lot of music myself and I’d have to be a pretty big jerk to tell others not to download mine – but the only reason that matters is that I think music should be free. I don’t agree at all with this artist-centric view of intellectual property; I think the idea that you’re not allowed to listen to something or read something unless you get permission first is completely absurd.

you got your earth in my wounds! you got your wounds in my earth!

My new favourite Bone Music review came out on Wounds of the Earth today. I wish most reviewers were half as critical (or as detailed) as this one.

“Bone Music” is a really weird album. It took me quite a few listens to fully wrap my head around what is contained herein. There are two main faces to the music. One is a highly organic and ancient – almost primordial – sound. The melodic and textural aspects of the album take on this sound. The other sound is more industrial…it is that of a dilapidated factory spewing out pollution and shrapnel. This sound is found in the rhythmic aspect of the album.

Somehow the juxtaposition of these two very dissimilar sounds is melded here with astonishing results. […] I can’t say that this album sounds much like anything else on the planet and I think that the Ad-ver-sary sound is truly unique.

does i go electro-metal?

A second review of Bone Music hits ChainDLK.


Another new and yet-not-discovered-before new signing to the growing Electronica armada of the Chicago Heights-based Tympanik Audio label. We had this act already presented here with a review and a well deserved interview, I nevertheless come a bit later on this too. AD-VER-SARY is a solo effort by Jairus Kahn and long-year active Techno- and Underground-DJ. He has already shared some collaborations with acts like CONVERTER, TERRORFAKT or ANTIGEN SHIFT – and CYANOTIC. After having read this and heard the first both tracks, I really thought: “does Tympanik goes Electro-Metal”? Okay, those guitar riffs are sampled, stretched and manipulated, but it seems that some or another of the collaborations has left some organic influence on the musically outfit.

Luckily Jairus leaves the Coldwave-Industrial-like influence after the first tunes. AD-VER-SARY’s playing field is a rather straight oriented form of Electronica music, here and there infiltrated with a promising mixture of Dark Ambient (“International Dark Shies”), Powernoise (“No Exit”) and some Down-Tempo/Break-Beat impressions (“Friends Of Father”, “Bone Music”). It is promising, since the try to include diversity seems to the intended and outstanding point behind this release. Three additional remix work provided by mouthwatering Ant-Zen7Hymen-recording acts like SYNAPSCAPE, ANTIGEN SHIFT or the mysterious TONIKOM (marvelous!) fulfill a quite great release, whose magic can’t get discovered after only one listen. This album needs some more spins to reach fully satisfaction, which is at least guaranteed.

AVS + CB

MOAR! MOAR REVIEWS FROM THE REVIEW GODS!

“In this day and age, where excellent electronic music is abundant and generally not very hard to find (if you make the small effort to search for it), it’s rare that I’m actually moved beyond the aesthetic pleasure of hearing something really good. Maybe I’ve just become jaded from being exposed to so much music throughout the years, I don’t know. But Ad·ver·sary’s (a.k.a. Jairus Khan) debut full-length album, Bone Music, moved me to feeling… more. […]”

It’s an Ad·ver·sary Disco Party

Another AVS interview, this time with ChainDLK:

Chain D.L.K.: Some critics have argued that industrial/dark electronic music is pretty much dead. Do you agree with this view? What is your opinion of the current state of industrial/EBM music?

Ad-ver-sary: Have you ever listened to the lyrics of ‘Chickenshit Conformist‘ by Dead Kennedys? That’s how I feel about industrial. The music is doing fine, it’s the attitude of the people involved that’s the problem. A lot of people have gotten into a routine where they’re going to an industrial night week after week wanting to hear something familiar, instead of going week after week to hear something new. My partner and I DJ every week, and there’s always enough great new music that we never have to play Dead Stars or Head Like A Hole. FLA and Ministry’s last full-length were their best albums in at least ten years, Diskonnekted and Brain Leisure have picked up where Haujobb left off, and there’s a lot of people pushing the edges of the genre. Insurgent Inc. is doing some fantastic industrial-metal crossover, same as Left Spine Down’s doing with punk and Memmaker’s doing with old-school rave. So, no, I don’t think industrial music is dead, I just think there’s a low signal-to-noise ratio. A lot of people have forgotten that industrial is an experimental genre, and if DJs and audiences don’t participate in that process by being open to new music, what they’re really saying is “forget the industrial, I just want the pop.”

This Tuesday is the official Bone Music CD Release Party at Zaphods, with Hound guesting on the WHEELS OF STEEL. I am excited!

ReGen Jumps The Shark

ReGen Magazine is hosting an artist Spotlight on Ad·ver·sary, with interview:

Jairus Khan has spent the better part of the last decade developing his craft in the Canadian techno/industrial underground as a DJ and promoter. Making music under his Ad·ver·sary moniker, Khan has had the distinction of remixing and performing alongside such acts as Terrorfakt, Antigen Shift, Convertor, Cyanotic, and Iszoloscope, all the while composing his own original songs. Assembling a demo in late 2005, titled International Dark Skies, Khan began shopping for labels, all the while continuing to hone his skills, before finally landing on burgeoning experimental industrial label Tympanik Audio. Released under a Creative Commons license, the debut Ad·ver·sary album, Bone Music is an intriguing collection of tracks that combine caustic industrial beats with lush ambient beauty, running the fine line across varying genres of experimental electronic music.