UnSound Vol.2 No.3/4 _1985 676w

Brian Ladd and Julie Frith are responsible for a number of projects that include Psyclones, Ladd-Frith label, Objekt magazine. Psyclones music is very difficult to pin-point, the unpredictability is at times almost annoying; each recording is not the next product of a linear progression, it is the continuation of an ongoing experiment where categorization is useless.

Most music labels are not interested in a group such as Psyclones, so the Ladd-Frith label was initiated to release their own music, progressing to releasing music by other artists from around the world. Ladd-Frith is definitely one of the most experimental and diverse tape labels that exist today, music ranging from the harsh noise of Pacific 231 to the pseudo-funk of Smersh, etc...

Objekt magazine is an extension of Brian and Julie's shared interest in music and graphics; contained within the pages are contacts and critiques laid out in a visually playful manner. The following interview was conducted by William Davenport and Tamara F.

Unsound: What is your approach to recording?

Ladd-Frith: We either go into the studio and build a song track by track, or else we use a freeform method, where we "go for it" in the studio. We decide what instruments we want to play, what kind of mix, and sometimes what overall feeling or concepts we want to communicate. Then we improvise over the length of the whole tape.

US: What were some of your intentions behind "Between Space," and more recently "Cult Leader Gang-Raped by Disciples"?

LF: "Between Space" is designed to be one work, and it is an experiment in ambient music, whereas "Cult Leader.." is a collection of excerpts from various improvisational sessions.


US: What are some of the personal discoveries that you have made throughout your musical progressions?

LF: The more different types of music you can possibly listen to -- the better. And that the most interesting music is not the most popular music.

US: Who have you been collaborating with recently?

LF: We are now playing with Schlafengarten and the elusive Gregg. Both are funny and different people, both are creative and individualistic. Schlafengarten plays synth, and loopulator, and Gregg provides spontaneous lyrics.

US: How do you view live performances in relation to your tape work?

LF: They are two totally different things. With tape work, we do all of the mixing and totally control the sound. When we play live we're at the mercy of a soundman who may or may not appreciate our music....


US: Could you describe some of your live shows?

LF: Sometimes, if we know that we're playing with other groups that are more 'popular' (more trendy), we like to antagonize the audience and the other bands by playing shrill, high-pitched noise. This usually accomplishes several things: it makes people mad (it's not uncommon to have our power cut off by the audience); it tests their tolerance to real noise (as opposed to boring, thrash punk noise); and it tests their open-mindedness (can they accept 'new noise?). At several shows we brought no instruments, just tapes, synth and bullhorn, and improvised loudly for half an hour. Each show is different.


US: What prompted Objekt magazine?

LF: The lack of information about an alternative music scene here in Eureka (California). Underground music was basically unheard of at the time. 'Punk' was the fashionable alternative to pop, and no one cared about anything else, no one knew about anything else. We decide to try to 'teach' people about it, and if they didn't care to listen and learn, we were right there to shove it down their throats anyway.

Now it is less of a retaliation, and more of an information source, less local and more international. Distribution is much better now, so the ideas expressed in Objekt have a further, larger impact than before. The spirit of Objekt is that of a ghost unseen ... we've learned how to develop and refine all the different aspects of a magazine, and will continue in this manner.

Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-10-95