Incendiary interview Drvg Cvltvre

Also, it depends on what music has been playing in the office. If someone has been playing singer songwriters all day, there will be distorted kicks and heavy bass lines.

 

Vincent Koreman - aka Drvg Cvltvre - is a Head extraordinaire who has been involved in making things happen in the Netherlands since as long as we can remember; whether as a musician, or as one of the driving forces behind the brilliant Incubate festival. Given Koreman has recently signed to Nervous records, and is about to crush Rewire with his 'uncompromising dance music' (for want of a better phrase) in early November, we thought it was high time to give him a call.

 
 
IN: The name; Vincent, tell us about the name because I think it's some form of statement of intent. Please, unravel the provenance of the name, "Drvg Cvltvre”
 
DC: The name and the idea kinda started when I was playing gigs as RA-X in the '90s, early '00s. I made a couple of heavy electro techno records and got asked to play these all night raves where everybody got fucked up on drugs. Didn’t really matter what you played, as long as there’s a kick drum pounding away. The moment you pull it out and drop it back in everybody went nuts. It was just really silly. I was doing live sets mostly and trying to be very serious about the live thing and all these people didn’t really care about any of it. At one point, me and Kettel, a righteous fellow and awesome producer were daring each other to just keep only a kick drum going for as long as possible without anybody noticing. I quit playing as RA-X not long after that, but I had a part in the set where I slowed down the tempo immensely and that was really my favourite part of those sets. I told myself if I was ever going back to electronic music it’d have to be a bunch slower.
 
IN: As to your music: I have a few things to ask. I'd like to talk about the uncompromising elements in it. Because I think you make incredibly focussed music. I want to find the gaps in this monolithic sonic structure you seem to have thrown up.
 
DC: It’s part of my heritage of noise, punk and black metal I think. Besides that, slowing things down makes everything very open yet very sludgy. I try to add layers of noise and drones to all the DC tracks, even the more simple ones, just as hints in the background. And also to keep you tuned to whats happening. What's the fun in compromise anyway? It’s my own thing, so everything is up to me. I’m not trying to please anyone, why should I?
 
IN: First - your sound - it's "stoer", tough, unsentimental, proudly provincial in one way. It reminds me of long hours working on the bulb packing machines in the Bollenstreek.
 
DC: Is that a question?
 
IN: A suggestion...
 
DC:It’s machine-made music so its bound to sound like machines no? Just be glad there’s no whiny voice on top telling you stories about their love life or synths that give you that ‘euphoric’ feeling…
 
IN: Second - it's as if you look to map these voids; give a beat to the Vortex. Are you a nihilist? Are you trying to find a darker dark in your work?
 
DC: I’d like to call myself a realist, but most people and my wife sometimes call me pessimist or just really really negative. If anything, I’m trying to escape a darkness in my music. No; that’s a lie. Not escaping, but knowing it's there and giving it a boundary to where it can go. I’ve had many periods in my life in which I just would lay on the couch watch Sopranos over and over. Cheering at every kill. Taking joy in that bleak outlook that’s so present in there. I genuinely hate people. To quote one of my favourite writers and thinkers, Sartre, ‘Hell is other people’.

IN: Third - is your music comes on like some 5 year plan... like some form of mad 1960s Brutalist town planning in the form of music? Cold concrete everywhere... Are you brutal in your approach?

Please don't tell me you want people just to have fun…
 
DC: My music is the lightning rod. Music is communication and when I’m sick of hearing my own negative comments, I just resort to cranking up the machines and work on the communication through that channel. I must say my tracks have gotten a bit more industrial over the course of the last two years, mostly because I get bored with melodies sometimes, and will just make a couple of empty beats with not much in 'em. Also, it depends on what music has been playing in the office. If someone has been playing singer songwriters all day, there will be distorted kicks and heavy bass lines..

IN: It's also fair to say your work is incredibly varied, in a sort of incremental way; a myriad of variations on a theme. Why the different approaches? Mood at the moment of creation?
 
DC: I try to make new music every day. And anything can be a trigger for a new track, so the way I start on a track varies daily. That means that I can start from scratch each day and let the moment and things I bumped into each day decide what's going to happen. It’s like a Captain's log if Picard or Kirk would have a love for sludgy, slow techno... There is no template I use, or set amount of elements a track should have, or something like that. There are stretches of time where I only make drones or beat-less stuff, that gets incorporated in a track later. Sometimes I’ll just record analogue jams or freak on the micro brute or ms-20 that get re-used. But mostly I’ll be there, working on a track. That track should ideally be finished that same day.  I’ve tried working on several tracks at the same time and finishing them off in one mixing session, but they tends to sound too much alike and I like the diversity in using weird kicks or mix down levels sometimes.
 
IN: And this variation seems to chime in with the glut of releases on different labels. Is there a policy or a worldview here? I know you've just signed to Nervous, but before there were a whole host of releases and collaborations. It's as if you share things in a very open-handed manner AND have this uncompromising, nailed down vision (in making the things you freely share). I can see that may work out practically, but in terms of personality, doesn't it make you fray at the edges?
 
DC: No there’s no policy at all. I make music and put it in a folder. A label or collaborator contacts me and I give them the link to that folder. I don’t go back to those tracks, I don’t keep the arrangements, so I can’t make alterations when its finished. Its like: ‘this is it. Take it or leave it’. Some labels don’t understand that I give a away a lot of tracks for free, do a lot of digital releases and cdr’s and cassettes and stuff. And when I send them a link to my sound cloud, I get a lot of ‘where’s the stuff nobody heard yet’. Well. There is none. Mostly when I finish tracks it goes out into the world. I've been dumping a lot of tracks on YouTube lately, just to add weird bits of film to the tracks. So use Google if you want to hear the latest stuff. Music has changed a lot the last 10 years and labels need to keep up. Two really big deals fell through due to my attitude towards my music and the ‘industry’. So called ‘cool’ underground labels that want ridiculous things, like exclusive rights to all your new stuff. You can’t keep up folks, let it go.