French Industrial Record Label (Interview)

~Translated version, from French to English, see the original interview here >> http://www.nuitetbrouillard.net/interview2.htm


I Since when NIGHT AND FOG there as a catalogue of distribution exists? What gave you desire for creating it? How your meeting with this so particular type of music was held?

The existence of NIGHT AND FOG as a catalogue of distribution goes back to 1991. At that time this one included/understood only some references, of the cassettes mainly, some labels and formations with which we were in contact and thus we appreciate work and the step: HITHLAHABUTH RECORDS, MAJOR DISSENSION, FOG REC, NEW PROPAGANDA...
The development of a catalogue of V.P.C was not considered but was done a little itself, gradually... The continuation of a work of "distribution" already started a few months before: orders grouped place near certain labels intended for close friends, knowledge and with ourselves; nothing of thus premeditated in all celà...
Our meeting with these "particular" musics so was not it, on the other hand not fortuitous. It resulted from a will from discovered of different sonorities corresponding better to our personality, answering better our tastes, our waitings out of artistic matter that those which had been given to us to hear hitherto. A search for more intense, sincere and extreme emotions.

II You did an emission animate for a long time of radio, can you reconsider this period? (programming, evolution, experiment selected, withdrawn benefit...) Which are the circumstances which justified the stop of this emission?

We indeed animated an emission on a free radio of the Metropolis inhabitant of Lille of 1985 to 1997. The programming evolved/moved with the wire of time, primarily according to the tastes of the speakers, the current members of N&B while being the core with knowing two people. It was an interesting, punctuated experiment goods and worse memories. Which benefit drew some?... Financially not large thing (the programming still does not nourish its man)... Emotionnellement much more: pleasure of initiating the ears of a more significant number people than our only vicinity...
The circumstances having justified the stop of this emission... without any doubt the lassitude... moreover it was not possible any more for us to ensure programming worthy of this name (at least with regard to the preparation of the texts, of special emissions...), the activities of distribution and production taking a considerable time to us...

III For all these years, how have you seen the evolution of the musical scene "industrial" in France, in Europe, and in the world? Can one can notice that there is a typically Scandinavian sound, a typically Germanic sound, typically American, Japanese, in short, one does not make the same music in all these countries, how one explain that?

For these years, the "industrial scene" has not admittedly ceased evolving/moving... But this evolution was not done uniformly in the world. Thus you one has been able to observe in the middle of the Eighties the emergence and the development of many labels, structures and formations in Japan, in the United States, in Italy and especially in Germany while in Belgium, in Holland and especially in France they rarefied.
But the central element of this evolution does not reside so much in the quantity or the quality of the musical projects only in the "professionalisation" of the reception facilities: labels producing of the discs "to the chain" in increasingly luxurious conditionings, increasingly many and provided catalogues of distribution, formations living from now on of their art, which seemed still inpensable 10 years before.
If it is true that each country - or groups country - has a typical sound that less holds, according to us, in the conditions geographical, climatic, demographic etc that with the annoying tendency which have certain juniors to copy the work of their ainés. Thus does not count the your any more young followers of IN NATIVE SLAUGHTER, ARCHON SATANI, MORTHOUND in Scandinavia, of GENOCIDE ORGAN and ANENZEPHALIA in Austria and Germany, of WHITEHOUSE and Con-dom in England and in the United States, of MERZBOW in Japan.... groups of reference produced by labels to strong notoriety, mainly in the countries of origin of these same formations.
These specificities remain however less and less valid, musical information circulating better and better between the borders.

IV isn't difficult to survive as a distributor among all the other catalogues? Does your seniority ensure you a faithful public or as in a "traditional" business it is necessary to fight not to run?

The support of a faithful public tends to becoming a less and less valid element with time. The appearance and the multiplication of new distributors, labels and formations with the aimings and practical openly commercial tend to involve more and more this scene towards the laws of the market, supply and. The presence of these opportunist, useless and harmful, exert a pressure on the most sincere and creative structures, obliging them "to put water in their wine" not to sink. It is to only observe to convince of them certain productions of the most significant labels in the face left these last years.

However the development of consumer loyalty of a public is essential with the most innovative and just structures when those wish to go from the front one, to produce new formations, really original projects. Moreover energy déployéee by these first to be maintained with flood, not to sink vis-a-vis the commercial structures slows down them in their dash, preventing them from devoting itself to more creative and constructive activities: promotion of new formations, production of discs of quality, organization of festivals and concerts, etc.
The responsibility for these current commercial drifts is thus divided on several levels: fickleness of part of the public, too great taking into account of the request and waitings of the purchasers by certain labels and distributors, emergence of parasitic structures.

V Y-a it of the formations with which you maintain the privileged relations?

Obviously, we maintain with certain labels or groups the relations other than strictly "commercial", relations based on the friendship, the appreciation and the respect of their step artistic, sincere, personal, visceral and very often, radical. The list of the latter would be too tiresome to establish because we would be likely to forget some and useless so much that transparait in our programmings, (festivals, concerts), our chronicles, our productions...

VI Which are the criteria according to which you choose to include or not a production in your catalogue? Y-a it of the productions which you refused? Why? . Your catalogue in addition presents a number impressing of productions, how did you arrive at such an exhaustiveness?

Some productions, were indeed refused in distribution mainly because they did not present the artistic minimum of quality which one could expect. Our objective is not to distribute the maximum of references but the maximum of productions of quality. The choice is done in very first place, according to our personal tastes but also of the integrity of the steps. Of course, we must also hold so much is little account of the request. Thus ceased from now on almost completely distributing cassettes, those Ci being sold more or if little. What naturally we find strong damage....
Certain references of a label could be taken even if we as from the moment or we do not appreciate them like the other references or seem to us to be of quality. It was the case of the 25 cms of NIGHT at TESCO, of the discs of SANCTUM, PUISSSANCE... at C.M.I., of the box of DER BLUTHARSCH, etc.
Finally our structure could not be used as platform with the propagation of ideas politically too supported, whatever they are... Particularly when artistic creation remains subordinate to the ideology, when it is used only as medium with the latter.
It is thus a question of a balance - not always obvious - to hold between various poles, different imperative.

VII Why to have chosen this name for your association? How many people are impliquéés there?

We chose this name for various reasons that those are of a personal nature or call upon various references. On the historical level, HARMS AND FOG (NACHT UND NEBEL in German) is a reference to a décrét Nazi, promulgated on 7 December 1941 and signed by KEITEL, head of the WEHRMACHT in the west. The expression seems, it even borrowed from the work of WAGNER, type-setter particularly adulated at that time. This décrét, applied to resistant arrétés by the German regular army in the occupied countries of the West, tansférés of continuation in Germany, condemned, imprisoned or carried out, always in the greatest secrecy, intended for disparaitre in the Night and the Fog. With the débacle, the order had been given not to drop any NN alive to the hands from the Allies, or the losses higher than the average of the political deportees in the KZ. The name preserves in the collective memory an at the same time romantic connotation (borrowed from the Black Romanticism) and distressing, very strong . We thus chose this one to illustrate our action: an action of resistance, on our level and with our means, a cultural combat aiming to the development and a greater knowledge of the musics in which we believe, shamefully still "ignored" musics (forgotten) of large the médias.Il is to be also announced that NIGHT AND FOG is also the title of a medium-length film of Alain Resnais, superb moreover, and that it was the name chosen for the first industrial festival in France, which took place in Paris October the 4, and 5 1984 (appeared in it by order of passage DIE FORM, BERLINERLUFT, WHITEHOUSE, not coming (psychic TV envisaged initially) Nox, ART AND WOLKEN.
As you have already to include/understand it NIGHT AND FOG is composed of two people. It always was thus and it will be always the same unless one of the two members does not decide one day to entirely leave the structure what will imply then, I believe it a renaming.

VIII the problems of image were connait (sometimes justified), that this scene connait, think you that the ambiguity is nécéssaire to make react the public, of involving questions about what is proposed to him, or is this for you a source of incomprehension for this pblic or the traditional media in general, which can often involve difficulties for that which wants to organize a concert, a festival...

The ambiguity of an artistic step can be included/understood only if this one is deeply anchored in the personality of the individuals who are in the beginning, if this one obeys major motivations, related very often to lived their originators, or that this one results from the meeting of individuals to the personalities, ideas political, points of view, different, even completely opposite, bound between them by the same passion, in the event music. Short if the ambiguity is accompanied by sincerity, then yes, it is worth to fight to realise it, even if that generates incomprehension, animosity, even of hatred and some difficulties in the organization of concerts and the production of discs. Unfortunately, it is not often any more the case currently. Many new formations cultivate, often awkwardly this one simply to make speak about them, to draw the attention of an immature public or at ends all bonnement mercantiles. That enables them, indeed, to touch a public vaster than that which they could hope for if the music were only used for it of vector, in the event the extremists of right-hand side or left. The frustrated commercial small poor, with the teeth too little sharpened to be able to hope to overcome other wolves elsewhere... Others use this means because they do not dare to openly post their political ideas of fear of reprisals. What do they wait to position? The other element too often forgotten is time. To reiterate the ambiguity of a WARSAW, JOY DIVISION, DEATH IN JUNE or WHITEHOUSE fifteen or twenty years after does not take place any more to be. One cannot hope to cause reactions, questionnements during decades!

IX What does the qualifier mean for you "underground"? Do you think that it is a pledge of quality or at least, a pledge of honesty and integrity of the artist? To be "underground" is neither a pledge of quality, nor a pledge of honneteté and integrity but an established fact. Celà does not result, generally, of a choice: it is right a report of situation in which certain artists because of ostracism of which proof the great media make or in which are placed these same artists place themselves.

X HARMS & FOG it is also a label, since when? Why did you feel the need to widen your activities in this field? Is this part of your activity which you intend to develop in the future? Which will be the next productions?

The activity of production was former to the activity of distribution, the latter having been introduced by this first. Indeed, it is only after having contacted formations for creations of compilations that we decided to distribute cassettes and discs of those. The edition of recordings was always and will remain always the central element, even if this one were slowed down for temporal and financial reasons. In the future, we think of reversing the tendency and of devoting us of advantage to the production, on support vinyl and CD this time. This without neglecting the distribution... To work on all fronts to some extent... Our next productions will be: - CD and a video of ASCHE recalling their performance given during our last festival (DA III). - CD of LAW entitled "The Black Lodge" - PROPELLANT CD. - the video retrospective of various festivals "DEADLY ACTIONS", compiling the majority of the services of the groups present lasting these three editions.... All realized in collaboration with the "Hermetic" PROPELLANT label.

XI Actuellement one can note the multiplication of the labels, proof of a scene all the same alive, do you think that all can survive? Is not there there a risk to lose in quality? I do not think that there is currently a multiplication of the labels, quite to the contrary. In the Eighties, those were much more numerous but their size and the support on which those produced their achievements - the cassette primarily -, the lack of reception facilities - distributors - tended to distort perception which one could have of the industrial scene. This one was, according to us, much more dynamic than that which we currently know. The emergence and the development of Cd-R should mitigate that for best and the worst. The increase in the number of productions and especially of autoproductions- which will result risk from it to disorientate the amateur. As it is necessary as the distributors and especially the media offer clear information, precise and sincere. It is only in this condition that the "industrial scene" will keep its dynamism. To speak about survival as regards artistic production, it is to enter in fact a commercial logic which does not take place to be here. To survive what if not the laws of the market???

XII Internet?
Internet is the new space of freedom which is offered to us. Space freedom but also of control. Too many people forget this last dimension because they grant a blind confidence in technology. It is a new stage in the war of the information about which spoke already, at the time THROBBING GRISTLE. A war souteraine, without bloodshed, but whose stakes are clear: the control of planet and its occupants by the leading authorities.

XIII Or are the DEADLY ACTIONS it video which must leave compiling? In building site!!

XIV There were Deadly Actions three, which were then your motivations? Can one hope for a fourth edition? For when?

The motivation first lay in the organization in concerts and performances of the projects which seemed to us most interesting there at these moments and which carried in them an original and interesting scenic potential visual. Thus had never seen on scene the whole of the groups y having taken part, except DIVINE. It is probable, indeed, which place has a fourth edition but we cannot say some more, the date not being arrétée yet. That one does not hope for however programming in form of "best of". There are very little chances so that more than one group having already taken part rejoue at the time of this next festival!

XV Your personal tastes? Do your influence choices as regards distribution? Or do you manage to put them maximum side for avoirun of objectivity for criticisms and the choices suggested in the catalogue?

Our personal tastes influence, obviously, in our choices as regards distribution.... but less and less, must one acknowledge. Thus we propose from now on a great number of references which we do not like either because they are too distant from what we really appreciate, or because they are quite simply bad. If we distribute them it is because the other references of the labels which produce them interest us more or that they are likely to like others that us. Having tastes electic, it is not too difficult for us to in addition show objectivity in criticisms, primarily descriptive. Except the jungle and the drum & bass that we will exécrons, all the other forms of musical expression allure us. Only the annotations according to the chronicles réflétent what we truly liked.

XVI What do you think of new wave (Winterkälte, NOISEX, STAKE...)? Which are the formations -current or not- that you find most interesting?

About which new wave do you speak? The "projects" that you quote are only during electronic formations of second zone of the Eighties, over which one would have added distortion to excess - music and voice Of pale compromises between the EBM, the techno and the noise... too not very powerful to fall under this first, dancing to be it in the second, not enough extreme to join this third.... But suffisament pretentious and narcissistic to publish moults posters, stickers, bags and postcards with their éffigie. Really too commercial to be honest....
The formations which seem to us essential and impossible to circumvent are, initially, well-sure, those of the first wave ": THROBBING GRISTLE, WHITEHOUSE, S.P.K., CABARET VOLTAIRE, KRAFTWERK, CHILDREN'S NURSE WITH WOUND, NON, PSYCHIC TV... Formations which we did not cease to like despite everything this time and some "artistic mislayings" for some.
Of course, we appreciate considerable other groups that they died or alive, old or current, foreign or French. It is not possible for us to make you an exhaustive list so much they are numerous. Afflicted! Some names however of still existing or recent projects which seem significant to us: SLOGUN, LAW, RADIOSONDE, BASTARD NOISE, SPASTIC COLONIST in the U.S.A., MANDIBLE CHATTER, MLHEST, Dieter MÜH, BAND OF BREAD, THE DAUGHTERS OF CONCEPTUAL SEXDEATH, Condom and GREY WOLVES for England, INADE, ASCHE, TEMPLE GARDEN' S, ANEMONE TUBES, NÖVEMBER NÖVELET for Germany, IMMINENT STARVATION and SEEKNESS in Belgium, GRUNT, ALCHEMY OF THE 20th CENTURY for Finland, HAZARD for Sweden, G PARK, BATCHAS in Switzerland, VROMB in Canada, CONTAGIOUS ORGASM in Japan, ODD TOY in France, BAD SECTOR in Italy, WOLFSKIN in Portugal and always impossible to circumvent Con-dom, GREY WOLVES, B.D.N., TELEPHERIQUE NEPAL, BIG CITY ORCHESTRATE, SCHLOSS TEGAL, VOICE OF EYE, ZOVIET FRANCE, ANENZEPHALIA, SÖLDNERGEIST, SUTCLIFFE JUGEND...

XVII don't the tendency find not only currently in the artistic field, at least for the mass-media which represent the majority of the population is with the standardization? What do you think about it?

Personally, that frightens me... A long ago that we are not interested any more in the mass-media. They, why should we ignore us attach importance to them? Also let us not can not even say you what is diffused on the long waves and the large chains in this moment. The standardization and the levelling down are not a new phenomenon. With the wire of time, the system tightens its rêts, applying policy of an increasingly effective, but less and less visible social control. Effective because it gains all the social classes and all the spirits, less and less visible because people have the impression to be a Master of their destiny and their actions whereas they are controlled more and more and less and less free... And that the filthy middle-class men who listen to "industrial" music cease priding themselves to belong to an elite These even never left the row, too imbus of themselves which they are to think of their acts and their behaviors. The standardization about which you speak key even the music that you listenings. Observe simply the number of clones of existing prestigious groups! Always the same type of sonorities, always same topics approached, always same images suggested... Proof of the system effectiveness even in the artistic movements most marginal. Does technology bring fields of artistic expression to us quasi-unlimited, the topics are also very numerous, the as multiple and various approaches as the individuals, then??? Techniques of control - also subtle and fine are they function only if one wants to subject oneself to it well! its points of anchoring are called idleness, pride, self-centredness and claim... With each one to take its destiny in hand and to react!

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