Huren Interview

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It’s difficult to find long-lived musical projects that have remained intact since their inception. We have seen many artists succumb to fads, many big names who have failed to adapt their outdated style to the new era, and fortunately, there are also projects that are born with a less conventional musical purpose to which they have remained faithful throughout their career. Huren, pseudonym of Dave Foster, is one of those projects that have remained unchanged for more than two decades.

We should start by talking about your long career, as you have been releasing music as Huren for more than two decades. You have released a few albums under other aliases, but Huren is your most prominent project, how does it differ from your other monikers and why is it your strongest bet?

Well this mess has gone on so long – one could say I’ve worn out my welcome! Well past the point of absurdity hah!. I Always appreciate anyone paying attention at this stage. So many have come and gone since this all started…

Three decades since the teste release now and several abrupt shifts and detours along the way. Everyday is a miracle for me.. I discuss some of it in this great discussion with Ron here… More than one could possibly stomach . But thats why its authentic! This music is ultimately from a place of alienation and chaos. The sound of Shut-Ins and psychotics… So why/how to sugarcoat it?

I find most of recent “industrial” is just heavy kick drums from sound Library packs and some distorted synths which would lead one to wonder what is just so extreme about it. I recommend reading these tomes as an introduction (1) (2) – a good Primer “Starter Pack” for those interested. For me the influence was immense! Some unpleasant subject matter and lets say QUESTIONABLE people involved but life is kind of like that as much as one tries to edit it out as we see more of these days.

We see that many artists with a career like yours have been adapting their style according to fashions, but your style hasn’t changed that much in 20 years, still, the kind of sound you work with is much more visible now than before, is it a good time for musical genres that feed on corrosive textures like rhythmic noise?

I dont think its necessarily a bad thing when an artist evolves and makes stylistic departures. Most obvious for me is Cabaret Voltaire who had several great eras for example. A bad example which I heard the other day in the Mediamarkt- is Human League (from the same era and city Sheffield) who started off very avant garde and confrontational (BEF and The Future, Clock DVA etc) and their early electro pop was good even if I wish I never hear “Done You want me baby” ever again.. Then they ended up making what we used to call “Muzak” like shit one hears in the elevator or the dentist office. Then just retro tour drivel til the end. “SUPERSTARS OF THE 80’iezzz. Gramps big night out!!

But this is the fate of many bands. Most obvious example is the Rolling Stones- the fabled early era when they were very extreme and “dangerous”- then one could say were awful for longer than they were good… But hey they were well compensated for their blandness.. And that is the old formula of the music biz. Have an explosive radical period then just do safe shit to cash in as long as possible, ALWAYS disappointing to a hardcore fan like myself of some bands ! I mean it’s all so plain to see BUT hey life is long and people lose interest…
ALSO as for whether things are good for the sound. Well all I know is in Berlin it was at a high point in the period from say 2014-19 which led me to relocate. When the massive clubs were all about the EBM and industrial techno crowd. “The Black clad Berghain” trend. For what it was – it was an inspiring time I can conclude. I lived several lifetimes!

Now thats pretty much passe as it’s now the Hard Trance, Happy “Hardcore” IG influencer fashionistas. As I always say things go in cycles… I mean the music I hear promoted on all the lamestream networks is pretty boring so again #lifestyle-choices they’ll move on to something else. Best to not pay too close attention. UNFOLLOW is the way… On and on it goes…

Do you consider that your musical style, as well as the sonic treatments you apply or the approach you give to your music, is an inheritance of your punk tastes?

Interesting that these days I consider the punk term pretty cringe for so many reasons. Definitely it doesn’t translate to hashtag culture… If I see someone calling themselves “punk inspired” I stop reading any more… As it’s just lazy mechanical use for PR… Basically what would be “punk” now is not what we characterize as such…

Music over the years loses the impact and relevance and context. Life just wears it all down. People die and things change etc etc… Gotta enjoy it while you can! Like to use all the same aspects of the cliches is just tired and I gather even people much younger than myself would see it as pretty shit.

All that said I can’t lose sight of the impact it had on my life. Probably now these days remaining in the form of PTSD. “In my day you’d lose an eye in the mosh pit”, “the singer is a junkie – he’ll inject you”! etc etc! Not necessarily warm pleasant memories..

I think if I had to use a term for my stuff it would be “outsider” or cult/kvlt – but like everything else these terms are open to a lot of dubious shite… However it does afford an audience one doesn’t need to explain anything to.- like Industrial Complex ;)) Whereas commercial fare is always watered down for the general audience and people just following the latest media hype. Which changes as much as ones spotify playlist these days! #lifestyle accessories

NO FUN NO TREND$$$!

Someone like you, who started releasing his first records in the mid 90’s, will have witnessed the gat technological changes in music production, how do you think this has affected the quality of the sound?

Actually its been since the early 90’s with the Teste project and I had been in bands since the 80’s to be thorough 😉

In regards to technology well the technology that most impacts music lately ISN”T about the sound. Its the image and again the influencer lifestyle culture or culture parasites one could say. But ultimately its whats here now regardless.. We’re all sucked into it as hey I got the profiles myself as do we all…

My stance on the music tech though is very positive from a PRODUCTION standpoint – things are better than ever for what one can choose from. To be able to do great production on a phone or tablet is definitely amazing. Also certain aspects of the past are pretty much extinct- like the tape cutting and certain aspects of the fidelity. But thats just the passing of time.

I don’t think any sound is “Better’ than another though. Some of my favourite recordings are from very shit technology- home tape decks and dictaphones (remember those!?)

In 1998 you released your first release on Zhark Recordings, and on this label you have continued to release your music until very recently, what are the virtues of working with such a long-lived label and what is most different from a label that has only been around for a few years?

Well Patrick and I go back basically a lifetime now. A very strange journey its been… MORE THAN ENOUGH INFO OVERLOAD here.

The difference is we have this history together. Similar experiences and perspectives on the way things were during a certain place in life which form ones aesthetic.

I dont think things are any better or worse for music from a creative sense – as theres always the hope of something new. The “biz” or whatever has definitely changed like a quantum shift. IN that theres very little to no money opportunites like before.

I was watching a music doc just before writing these responses and I can say that things were basically “you had to be there”. It will never be the same and well it doesn’t do a lot of it justice hearing the music removed from the time and place in the majority of cases But I know this is way its always been at this stage. All these Dj’s sayin ” ah this record changed everything” and then you hear it now and you’re like. Musta been the drugs Buddy. 🙂 Sounds pretty fackin corny now.

Are you still working with Zhark Recordings?

Funny you ask as I had a release I’m pretty proud of that happened just as everything shut down Zhark 032. But hey thats the way it is. More will follow as Patrick says we’re still crazy enough to keep at this nonsense…

In 2016 you opened the catalogue of Darko Kolar’s label Jezgro. You did it as MRTVI, what has become of this project?

Good question as around that time I also attempted it on the Noiztank split I did with Kareem.

One thing I’ve learned over time is never say never. But at this stage no plans to continue it.

Darko I recall was frustrated how just a slight alteration in the name confused people as I was still credited as Huren on it I believe. Although to me as someone who likes mysteries I was satisfied.

“In my day” lolol you used to go to the record shop and all the hot shit had no names on it- just catalogue number and you would imagine WHO the FUCK did this crazy shit hahah! This practice is a lost dimension in IG ego stroke times..

Actually I heard the Violet Poison remix recently out when i was at a club and even asked the DJ what it was – hey my brain is addled from all the music over the years and it was the MRTVI so i’m proud of that one! I think its a great representation of the 10’s era industrial techno thank you very much! And I will continue to use it in sets for the foreseeable future.

Regarding Jezgro, we have talked a few times about this label, Darko has even collaborated on our label and we also interviewed him for the first edition of our print magazine. Jezgro seems to us an incredible label, what do you think about this kind of record projects, with a style so complicated to make visible and with a firm commitment to the vinyl format?

Well he has definitely has a dedication more than most out there in these times. These are the kind of things that keep one motivated is all I can say. Harder to do lately.

So far, you have appeared in the 3 releases published by Flux Musical Art, what is your connection with this project?

Flux has been a strong supporter of my work and in the vein of Darko – I prefer to work with people that are driven by the concepts again instead of the PR hype etc..Coming from a pure place.

In NOISE AUSSTELLUNG you and Tomohiko Sagae provide two original tracks each, and Imminent and Sirio Gry J collaborate with remixes of both artists. Unlike any Various Artists, this album is conceived as a work created jointly between the 4 of you, how did you approach this release?

Well the thing I liked about it was that I could avoid the current climate of making “bangers” haha.

Its interesting how this whole “Banger” approach to tracks is in the harsher music vein of late. I don’t deny I’ve contributed to it over the years but one needs a break from the formula. All to produce vinyl that no one will ever play in a club anyways! Kind of absurd when one thinks about it!

For me this release works as a cassette format- classic style! Cassettes are likewise an absurd medium . Never thought I’d be making them still but here we are!

A few months ago we talked in Industrial Complexx about NOISE AUSSTELLUN, we defined $UPERVI$ED BEATING$! as a track that starts with a clear rhythmic background that evolves into a great mix of frequencies, and My Dwelling Is A Donation Box is created directly from the noise, how would you define these two tracks and with what reason you create that development in $UPERVI$ED BEATING$!?

the $UPERVI$ED track not to get too deep into the process is something that evolved over years actually and I can’t recall specifics as it was made on software i no longer use and plugins with some clashing “sonic environments” some taken also from youtube clips for that extra fidelity hahah. and I had some fun overlaying some gibberish about MONARCH MIND CONTROL!

Also my Dwelling is a donation box is something I would throw into my sets as a mood changer. Classic industrial bad vibes!

Regarding Sirio Guy J’s remix, it’s curious that he makes a version of both tracks in one, did you conceive the idea between the two of you?

Well not directly as well I can’t deny I’m no the best to keep in communication with for various reasons. But in any case I had worked with Sirio before on a Monolith comp and hey he knows what I’m into so I just said what I thought might be an interesting approach.

As lets face it MOST remixes are just a slight alteration of some stems and loops with a kick ;)))

And finally, what can you tell us about NADRYV 01 and your track Autiomaa?

Ah again another one from the “vault”. The vault of time and experience. The original its sourced from is an old live set I did in Toronto in a bygone era then re-processed and through the wonderful mastering of Dadub gained as much fidelity as it will ever have! Natalias visuals also add another stirring dimension to it.

This is something I tend to do a lot – is revisit ancient demos and unfinished sketches which I think naturally adds something vibrant to the lost. You might say HOPE!

Nadryv like Flux and Jezgro are very committed to the pure aspects of this scene. Maybe even dangerously so!

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