2023The Molehill Report

The Molehill Report #12 – August 2023

August 2023: We present excerpts of an interview with Dan Hekate aka The Wirebug, there are two recent releases in the Praxis Digital Remix Series, Alex Buess has relaunched Skin & Speech Recordings, Controlled Weirdness presents his new podcast “Tales from a Disappearing City”, Stewart Home has a new book out and Sozialistischer Plattenbau has re-issued Kovert’s Hybrid Riddim.

Welcome to episode 12 of the Molehill Report!

Christoph Fringeli: It’s been a while since the last episode, but the Molehill Report is back! In this episode we bring you some short excerpts from an interview with Dan Hekate, also known as The Wirebug, new Praxis releases in the Digital Remix series, the relaunch of Alex Buess’s Skin & Speech recordings, Controlled Weirdness’s new podcast, Stewart Home’s new book and a repress of a Kovert record.

Music playing:

Dan and the Hekate sound system have been longtime friends and allies and our Noise & Politics channel already featured some footage from the live sets of C_C, Les Trolls and Dan himself from the Hekate 25th anniversary party in Lyon last year, as well as other Hekate-related material, including trailers and video clips.

Dan is, of course, under his moniker The Wirebug, also the producer behind the album Factory Food, which came out in 2019. We’re talking about the origins of the sound system in the mid-90s and the development of the music and the counterculture it is a part of, and taking it up to the present, discussing Dan’s own adventures in music and what led him to become a feature film director.

Dan Hekate: I was always attracted to the harder and faster and darker music. We were able much more as a second room or a sound system that you’d find at the back of a Teknival to really experiment and give an opportunity to a sound that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. The whole power of our sound system came from the team, from the ability to move from Ska music into Jungle, into Breakcore, into experimental, into Gabber and range across all these musical genres and create a night that surprised and engaged you.

I’ve always been into creating stuff, I’m now a filmmaker and still a musician. The time I was hugely interested in music and excited very much by live sets.

CF: Check out the long version of the interview on our channel, the link is in the description.

As far as Praxis releases are concerned, two more remixes came out in the Praxis Digital Remix series. One is by Nihil Fist of the Base Force One track The Point of No Return and one by Alex Buess of Welcome to Violence, also by Base Force One, both originally on the 1997 EP called Welcome to Violence.

Check them out, you can stream them for free on Soundcloud and YouTube as well as on Bandcamp where you can also exclusively buy the downloads in super high quality format.

Alex Buess has also been active with the relaunch of the Skin & Speech label. Skin & Speech was originally founded in the mid-80s and released several cassette tapes by the likes of Hirnschlag, U&U, Melx and others. The first sign of Skin & Speech re-emerging was when the classic 16-17 album Gyatso was re-released as a collaboration with Praxis. The latest release on vinyl is a live LP by 16-17 with a recording from the Taktlos festival in 1995, released as a co-production with the label of the Platfon Recordstore in Basel, Switzerland. Another is a collaboration with WV Sorcerer on the P/O Massacre, Alex Buess and Merzbow double album called Aural Corrosion. More is in the pipeline.

Controlled Weirdness featured in the Molehill Reports No. 2 and No. 5 and of course in the longer versions with his accounts of warehouse parties and clubbing in the 80s in London and New York, has started his own podcast on his YouTube channel as well as the usual podcast platforms.

Controlled Weirdness: My new podcast is called Tales from a Disappearing City. It’s basically like just stories about subculture, talking about stuff with friends of mine. So far I’ve talked with Black Mass Plastics, Howard Slater aka Flint Michigan, Neil Transpontine and The Dexorcist, not forgetting Simon Brown aka The Dexorcist aka Booze Brown. I’ve also just spoken to Ben Deadsilence and I’ve been in Berlin and I’ve been talking to a legendary counterculture figure via Basel, London and Berlin, Mr. Christoph Fringeli.

I’ve been doing it kind of every three weeks and the plan is to keep doing it until I get bored or run out of people to talk to. So yeah, we’re up to episode nine. I believe the ones with Christoph are going to be episode 11 and 12. They should be out in five, six weeks, something like that. So that’ll probably be September, October time maybe. I’m planning to do lots more on the YouTube channel. Lots more live videos in my studio, jamming out tunes. Also I’ve got a few little documentary projects I want to get going and they will be up on the YouTube.

I always put stuff like my radio show goes up there and yeah, all sorts of stuff is going up there. So subscribe, Controlled Weirdness.

CF: Datacide author Stewart Home has a new book out titled Art School Orgy, which is a fictional account of David Hockney’s life as a postgraduate art student, which promises a zillion perversions which would probably get this video banned if I were to mention them. Billed on the back cover as the “sickest novel ever published”, it was rejected as too scandalous to touch by dozens of book publishers, but is now available in printed form from New Reality Records.

Back in Print is also his very first novel, Pure Mania. The copy I have here is the original from 1989. The reprint actually looks like the book pictured on the cover. Classic stuff. And finally Back in Print.

Also available again is a limited edition of 150 copies of Kovert’s 2006 release Dubcore 5, with two mixes of the track Hybrid Riddim. Kovert, of course, is not only a contributor to Datacide, but also to the Praxis and Sub/Version records catalogues. And this is an excellent release on Sozialistischer Plattenbau and definitely worth picking up.

That’s all for now. We’ll be back with a new episode shortly. By the way, we’ve got lots of exciting material coming up on the channel, so please subscribe and I shall see you in the next Molehill Report.

Music playing: Kovert: Hybrid Riddim

The Molehill Report #12 was produced in March-August 2023 in Berlin by CF and Linxi at the Psychic Defence studio.

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