On the pair’s frst collaborative work, the nine tracks that make up ALTER are every bit as heart-wrenching as they are terrifying, mining new sonic territory, it is a fascinating study of light and shade that delves deep into vast uncharted darkness. Their ability to create atmosphere on the album opener “Hiraeth” is second to none, perfectly assembling a harrowing backdrop for Park’s lilting sound of longing. From there, Park’s vocals add all of the emotional depth and power found in names like Kate Bush, Maynard J Keenan and Elizabeth Frasier, perfectly playing against Lustmord’s waves of dark drama and creating a wholly unique record that recalls Dead Can Dance, Massive Attack and Portishead at their greatest.
Considering Park’s credentials, it might be surprising that a collaboration with Lustmord would ft so seamlessly. Utilizing a sound comprised of elements of industrial, synth pop and more, the celebrated Swedish solo artist and member of Norwegian rock band Årabrot utilizes experimentation in her work, blazing trails and bringing to mind the work of her peers The Knife, Scott Walker, Robyn, Depeche Mode and Burial with her darkly-rich compositions. Multiple winner of Norway’s Spellemann award, Park co-wrote the Norwegian entry for the 2013 Eurovision, fnishing fourth overall. But it is the sensibility of the sacred music of her youth that Park adds to ALTER, contributing a powerful vocal that guides the listener through the cavernous, mystical depth of their collaborative work.
All the stars, galaxies and dust in the cosmos that can be seen today make up just 4 percent of the universe. The other 96 percent is made of something we can’t see, detect or even comprehend.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started experimenting with sound in 1980, because the music I wanted to hear didn’t exist. So I had to make it.
While my first album came out in 1981, it took a little longer to get the sound I was looking for as I had no musical ability and no equipment, I had to learn a few things first.
It wasn’t until I bought my first computer that I was able to really do the things I wanted. Before then options were too limiting.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Augustus Pablo – King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals – African Dub Chapter III
Throbbing Gristle – 2nd Annual Report
The Clash – The Clash
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
My only visits to Berlin have been to perform, so my main experiences and associations are hotels and venues. Atonal festival was memorable, as was performing in Berghain, although I was really sick that day. One highlight of time spent in Berlin was hanging out with Rod Modell during a Moritz von Oswald set at Tresor.
But in abstract terms I associate Berlin with youth, energy and possibilities, but as an outsider I may be wrong.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Life is unthinkable without music. I would have to create it.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Out Of The Cold by Heavenchord (Space Of Variants).
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Karin Park. And I just did. It’s the best thing I’ve done.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As a performer it was at the huge former power station Hearn in Toronto, Canada. Berlin’s Kraftwerk could easily fit inside with lots of room to spare. As part of Unsound Festival I was the first act to perform there after the space had been abandoned for twenty years and had just been rotting away.
My live shows are known for their volume and huge bass and the buildings I perform in usually shake from the sound, so when I started my performance at Hearn things started to fall from high above, first rust and nails and small bits of metal, then larger pieces, showering the audience (and me). It was a nice moment and I guess you could say it was true heavy metal.
I quite literally cleaned the place out for the other acts that followed.
As a spectator, it was seeing Joy Division live in 1979 and Kraftwerk live in 2005. I’d seen Kraftwerk before, but the sound at the LA show in 2005 was quite something.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I couldn’t do what I do without my Mac and software.
While I could create without them of course, there’s nothing else that gives me the ability to manipulate sound in the way I can with the processing power of my Mac and the collection of software I use. And even more so with video.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have an older sister but she hasn’t heard much of what I do, but she did see me perform live for the first time in 2019. I know she’s proud of me for doing what I do, even if she doesn’t necessarily understand it.
My family as a whole has no real understanding of what it is that I do and yjey have mostly been bemused by it all.
Photo © Edgar-Bachel