This interview was published in Robot Zine, early 2004. Top image: Rajapinta (Niko Skorpio & Ibrahim Terzíc) live at La-bas, Helsinki, spring 2004; photo by Ovro.
First of all, Could you give us latest news about yourself?
The main theme for the beginning of the year have been a few shared releases with different people. First, there was a Reptiljan / Ibrahim Terzic split 7″ on my label Some Place Else (Reptiljan = me). Then I had a split CD with Kouhei Matsunaga on the Deserted Factory label from Japan. Related to the split CD is another split 7″, on Some Place Else, namely Kaaos in Eccentris / Liddikoatight & Leif Elggren split 7″. I’m involved in KiE whereas Kouhei plays in Liddikoatight, so you see there’s a connection between these two. They were also released simultaneously.
In near future there’ll be a gig with Rajapinta (=me & Ibrahim Terzic live duo), and also some performances with Helsinki Computer Orchestra that I’m involved in. In the Summer we’ll probably have some more gigs and a couple of new releases out.
When & how did you start ? Who is NIKO SKORPIO?
Short bio, please …
My “musical career” started in 1990 with the doom metal band Thergothon.
Since then I’ve been involved in several bands and projects such as Cold Once Turning Dust (industrial, dark-ambient, isolationist), This Empty Flow (dark goth/psychedelic pop), A\H (minimal glitch-techno), Rajapinta (electronic / experimental / noise), Reptiljan (digital grindcore, breaks’n’noise) and most recently Kaaos in Eccentris (improvisation group with flexible line-up). Besides these I work solo as Niko Skorpio since 1997 or so.
That’s basically who I am, as my life revolves around music and related activities. Well, I also do graphic design work and web design, photography, painting etc.
What are your your equipments? Basic or high-tech? Laptop?
a. Do you use always laptop for your music & live acts? Same time, do you use analog set -up or have you every used it?
b. Why do you prefer laptop? Nowadays, a lot of electronic musiacian
prefer laptop ?? I know masami akita , he’s also too… you know he came from
analog set up……..
I prefer the laptop for the obvious reasons – with it I can do almost whatever I want, wherever I want. However, that doesn’t mean I would limit myself to laptop only, but it’s just my basic multipurpose tool for making and recording music. Otherwise I’ll use whatever at hand that seems to work for me. The bass, synth, location recordings, my voice, etc.
The laptop is good for gigs, also abroad, as I can fit all the gear I need in a backpack.
Naturally I cannot play all the same stuff that can be found on my releases but I don’t intend to either.
Live situation is very different from studio work and I accept and respect that.
I’m aware that some people say laptop gigs are boring as there’s nothing to see etc.,
but we intend to change that. And still I think the most important thing is what it sounds like.
Your musical influences? Any particular artists, ideas, themes,etc…
I’m sure the work of several artists I admire has influenced me. David Lynch, Coil, Celtic Frost, (Fields of) The Nephilim, Tricky… Hakim Bey, Austin Osman Spare…
I find their works and ideas interesting and inspiring.
Tell us about your latest stuff (release,etc)? Silence is king 7″ EP?
Are you satisfied with early cd “Stainway to heaven”?
I’m more or less satisfied with everything I’ve released. Well of course, when looking back you see how things could’ve been done “better” or otherwise differently, but being as they are the old releases document the views, ideas, states of mind, the available tools present at he particular time. Actually, only after some time has gone the deeper values of music, if there are any, start to surface. I think the best music is timeless.
The releases you mentioned are quite different from each other. The tracks for Silence is King 7″ just appeared as a side-product of other work. I found they worked together pretty well so I decided to release them on a 7″.
Stainway to Heaven, on the other hand, was very much planned the way it became, and it contains themes and ideas very close to me personally and very relevant to myself, especially at the time. Its companion album might be released this year, or whenever I manage to finish it. It should have come out as another EP already in 2002 but apparently it needed more time to focus and manifest itself in a coherent way.
The most recent tracks I’ve made can be found on the split CD with Kouhei Matsunaga (released on Deserted Factory, Japan early 2004). Despite some minor details in mastering etc. I’m quite happy with those tracks, they’re all quite different from each other and for me represent the period of Autumn 2003 very well.
What’re your plans for future? And your side projects?
I prefer not to talk about future plans too early as things often change anyway. But let’s see…
With Kaaos in Eccentris we intend to play live a lot, private and public sessions, and also release something new. KiE have recorded hours of music, some of which I think is very good. Same with Rajapinta, more live action and hopefully finally an actual release of some kind. As for myself, making new plans, putting finishing touches on several tracks and then new releases.
What do you think about these topics (SHORT PLEASE):
– the beat and the flow
– the womb and the face
– bad infections usually caused by the parasites
– which one? either way, I’d rather communicate than worship
– the necessary evil, or maybe an unnecessary evil
– the power source in the garden of delights
animal rights > whale & dolphins ,
– quoting someone I forgot; animals exist for their own reasons and for our own benefit we’d better respect that instead of short-sighted exploitation.
– potential artists stepping on someone else’s Will
art > Dada> Futurism,
Industrial> Noise music,
– at best, reinventing itself as ever fresh and vibrant
analog > digital system
– useful tools
– interesting tools/platforms, unfortunately full of rubbish
– more useful tools
modern life style> technology,
– a matter of personal preference as usual
– a country I live in.
Tell us something about your label
a. SOME PLACE ELSE & labels’ activities?
b. Why a cd-r label?
c. Why didnt find an another label for your music & your friends? I guess if you want, you can find…. why do you release your own works in this way? DIY spirit?
a) Started in 1997, on top of my previous label Demonosound that was running since 1993 (officially 1995).
b) Some Place Else is not just a CDR label. We started out with CDs and vinyl, and continue to release these formats as evident recently. CDR has its pros and cons just like all other formats, pros include the possibility of making small editions quite fast.
c) Well I did release my music on other labels, and will continue to do so in future as well. Releasing your music on your own label or letting someone else release it, both have aspects that can be seen positive and negative. I like being in control of things and also participate in every part of the process of release… DIY spirit, definitely!
On the other hand, self-promotion is a job I don’t really like at all. So, sometimes it’s nice to let other people and labels take care of part of the job. Moreover, as a small label Some Place Else wouldn’t have the resources to release each and every release we want to put out…
How’s the electronic, experimental, noise music scene in your country?
I think it’s great.. One of my friends has been to an audio visual festival in Helsinki.. (I wanna get in touch the festival & organizers…. if you know, the festival web please send me by email) He s seen great performances…. You re luckier than us………
There are quite a bit of people nowadays making experimental music here in Finland, and in Helsinki there’s even a kind of scene for it. However I more or less consider myself an outsider, partly because I don’t live there and also because I seem to have more or less different aesthetics on certain things. Here in Turku there are people who organize gigs for a kind of industrial, neo-folk bands, and on the other hand there’s electro and all kinds of dance stuff. So we kind of fall inbetween these
“scenes”. It doesn’t bother me, though, it just means you have to do everything yourself.
How could you describe your music? Post electronic, experimental or whatever?
Tell us about “SAMPLE TERRORISM” in your musics…. Is it a way of creating your own sound?
Sample terrorism is a term that came up in a conversation with a late friend of mine. Not unlike plunderphonics as I see it… but I really dislike trying to describe my music or my label’s artists’ music with these catch words or categories. They usually fail and give false impressions anyway.
Myself, I make different kinds of tracks that probably wouldn’t fit into any one particular style. Well there were some silly desriptions floating around, such as sick-hop, power ambient, doom dub etc. which I find nice in the ways they contradict, but do they really tell anyone anything?
What do you do for a living? SOME PLACE ELSE? What ‘s the meaning of your
music & label in your life?
It is a major part of my life, something you could call a lifestyle. Everything revolves around music, it’s the most important thing in my life along with visual arts. I work as a graphic designer & web designer, so I’m not dependent on the music sales.
As you see, nowadays, we live in a Computerworld (like Kraftwerk said) everywhere
in the world!… In future, Will we (humans) become robots /androids? How?…..
With the help of biomechanics and nano-technology undoubedtly… There might be interesting times ahead unless we blow up the planet before that.
Would like to add anything, last messages & words?
Thanks for the interview. Anyone interested are welcome to download music from our websites (www.someplaceelse.net, www.nikoskorpio.net) and of course also buy some music. Your support is appreciated!