MDC Interview#37 "Machine(Clonic)"
"The shows that Machine threw were a prime example of how underground music can pop up in unexpected places. Tightly packed basements filled with people cutting loose, where outside the town seemed mostly indifferent. A dandelion blossom growing out of a slab of concrete surrounded by broken glass, or New Brunswick Diamonds as Machine would call the shards. There’s a duality of resilience and fragility that marks any underground scene. Without Machine’s dedication to fostering his community, we wouldn’t have a place to play, people wouldn’t have a place to go to cut loose in that way, the dandelion wouldn’t take root."
Jim merson / Captain ahab
"the man, the myth, the legend, grandpa breakcore"
Hennie / Redhat
Q.Where are you from? What kind of music environment did have in your hometown?
i'm from new jersey outside of new york city. in the town i grew up in there was a punk store where i bought all my instrumental surf and grindcore 7"s and further down the street was an industrial shop where i spent a lot of time learning to use turntables and roll joints. it's also where i heard my first real hardcore release.
Q.Why you interested in electronic music? What did you like at that time?
from an early age i enjoyed found sounds. i would sit and listen to traffic lights change and sit on platforms to listen to trains speed by. i always liked the openness of electronic music to sound as if it could be signals from a far away planet. at that time i listened to a lot of ebm, industrial, thrash metal, surf and gabber. and contemporary american composition like steve reich and phillip glass.
Q.Did have a Rave culture in your area?
Have you been to Rave or an illegal party? If so, Tell me the most wonderful experience.
there was a rave scene in new york but i mainly saw industrial bands. when i moved to new brunswick it was mainly basement punk shows. early in the 2000s i would go to 23 windowz loft to see all the renegade virus crew and broklyn beats people. a wonderful experience was the first time i saw optic play as headcrash [rest in peace.] seeing duran duran duran play at the ghetto meadow outlaw party in philly was unforgettable.
Q.When was the first time you learned about "Breakcore"? Who was the first Breakcore Live or DJ you saw?
i kind of fell into going to those parties. i quickly became active in the slsk breakcore room and c8 forums.
first person i recall traveling to see was dj scud.
Q.At that time, What was the style of DJ Scud?? How is the cloud responding?
he was at his peak at that point. he was playing that very heavy ragga breakcore style he made popular with his ambush releases. the crowd was small from what i recall, the show was not promoted. those who were there were enjoying it.
Q.At that time, was Breakcore an independent genre? Or, Still categorizing Hardcore's sub genre?
breakcore was very much it's own thing and frequently parties included speedcore.
Q.Who do you think is the originator of US Breakcore? Originally where was Breakcore popular in the United States?
to me it all starts with optic and isolate records. he was always ahead of the curve. events always were attended but never crowded. events seemed to start at the same time in philly / nyc / pittsburgh with cutups and then i began my events.
What impact did his presence have on the US Breakcore scene?
i considered optic a very close friend. i would frequently stay at his place in Brooklyn and he would take me to parties, bars and clubs. i was new to the scene and showed me his world and helped me learn. he was a very special person and he means a lot to me. he played nearly all the my parties!
his label was incredible and introduced a lot of people to breakcore. he rarely did events but we had vsnares out to new york and that was very well attended with amazing energy.
Q.Where did you obtain Breakcore information and records?
What was the important Club, Event, Record Shop, Zine in the US Breakcore scene?
it was usually c8, soulseek breakcore room the demos i got in the mail from my involvement and a lot of personal relationships talking to people on aim. dj nikadeemas of new york took an interest in me and really helped me understand the entire industry and it's history. whenever wrecked distro was in town or i would visit i would grab new releases.
Q.When did you start the event? Did you organize Breakcore events from the beginning?
it was around 2003. i had gone to see knifehandchop who was my favorite producer at the time at john zorn's club tonic at a barrelled party criterion + doily ran. i drunkenly promised them i would bring them back to the states. i ended renting a soundsystem meant for a small theater for $10 dollars randomly and had it in my living room with no heat in winter. it was so loud you could literally hear it a town away! a reviewer from pitchfork media and a bunch of nyc people showed up somehow. cx kidtronic came with society cleaners! end may have been there. my girlfriend of the time had to pawn jewelry so i could pay everyone as i recall. the show was very loud, very cold and had an amazing line up. optic, donna summer. belladonnakillz(rest in peace) knifehandchop and c64.
Q.What was the first Breakcore artist you booked?
before that show i did a test run show with mr. proxxxy(sonic terror) and i think ill cosby (car crash set)
What kind of environment (place) organized the event? How did you promote the event?
Did the UK / EU Breakcore artist also appeared?
i did all the booking, sound, travel arrangements, promotion and my incredibly talented future house mate did the majority of the flyers i didn't make myself. promotion was online and physical flyers. we had out many, many eu artists..
Q.People who came to Clonic had fans of what genres besides Breakcore fans?
again, a lot of the nyc crews would come down, renegade virus, broklyn beats, hellz army, cock rock disco, and the philly breakcore crew 215 noize. the locals were mainly punks and noise folk. a lot of people that hosted weird radio shows locally.
Q.How large is the room and basement?
the room was a basement with low ceilings and an entrance from the kitchen of the house and cellar doors from outside for artists to load in. there was a small room in the front towards the street and one behind the stage area. at best you could fit 40 very sweaty people in. when there were shows there always an additional 30 plus people throughout the house. i would estimate the entire space was 10 meters by 5 meters with 2.5 meter ceilings with a lot of support beams and couches all over the place.we had a banner made up for the venue. my housemate booked indie rock and a friend booked noise there and we all called it the clinic on fliers.
Q.What is your favorite Live Act on Clonic?
mekagojira was always a stand out. i believe he only put out one track and a guest on venetian snares records. and of course captain ahab always tore the place down every year they played.
Q.Please tell me an unforgettable experience at Clonic.
it wasn't breakcore but john wiese from bastard noise played an increidble noise set with huge lights and fog machines. i honestly don't even know if i booked it may have been my roommate earth crown. he booked the noise acts at the venue.
Q.When Pale (Twenty Knives) was still a teenager, he appeared in Clonic.
What did you think of his music? Were there other young artists like him?
first time i had steve play i found out his parents had dropped him off as he was only 16! i had heard his music on the internet and loved it, and as a person he was a real pleasure. i don't think i booked anyone that young but we had some upcoming artists that were most certainly younger than i was!
Q.Please tell us Top 5 of your favorite Breakcore release.
sonic subjunkies - molotov lounge
doormouse - digitalhut noisecore volume 1
rokhausen - demo
maladroit - cathar heretic
mourningside excursion - demo
Q.I think that Breakcore was popular(not big) all over the world from 2002 to 2006.
When was the most popular in America? Why do you think breakcore became popular?
i had good momentum from starting shows in 2003 until about 2012 and then everyone started to do more bass oriented stuff like the trouble and bass crew.
breakcore filled a void as being right between jungle and hardcore with a punk aesthetic. at some point drum and bass got a much tougher sound and it bridged the gap and somewhat pushed out the style.
Q.What do you think is the most different between US Breakcore and JP's Breakcore?
jp breakcore was always closer to j-core to me. acts like warst, m1dy, technorch and sharpnel feels like they could play either kind of party where in the us breakcore was very anti rave party.
Q.Why do you think Breakcore did not get popularity long in the United States?
honestly it was just way to weird and aggresive.
Q.What kind of music are you interested in right now?
currently i listen to a lot brutal industrial techno from labels like raven sigh, uvb-76, variant electronics. zuur, otomo and mekanikal bloodshed. i still love hardtek like fky and mackitek records. some dark electro and a decent amount of the wave sound on yume and terrorhythm. instrumental horror surf and plenty of baseball podcasts!
Q.What is your definition of Breakcore?
breakcore was a type of convergent evolution. it was appeared all over the world at once.it followed stuff on zero tolerance and praxis in this totally new sound that had no regard to anything around it. it was a a perfect thing at a perfect time for it! the abilitly to download any song / sound made the entire world a sample bank!