Checking in from Northern Finland where we are having record breaking temps this summer.... It is ghastly to see the damage of this heatwave ripping through Sweden in the form of Forest Fires at the moment. I have heard there are many small farmers there with no fire insurance who are losing their land to this summers fires. Let´s hope the best for them. Strangely enough I just started my new painting entitled "Fuel for the Fire" a couple weeks ago, which is supposed to be a dark trail in a forest, giving away to ritual fires.... a bit creepy as that is exactly what is happening in my neighboring country.
"WORK IN PROGRESS"
I have been very active this season. Painting, planning, swimming and getting things together to relaunch ZHARK INT. in the Autumn. I will write more on that after my travels to Czech to perform at my favorite festival on Earth.... BRUTAL ASSAULT!!!
I was already planning on going out there to see BELPHEGOR and of course some other old friends this year.... Imagine my surprise when a couple weeks ago Jan from INSTINCT PRIMAL (CZ) asked if I would perform live with him on the new Dark Ambient / Absinthe bar stage "The Keep" which they have added next to their Horror Cinema for the first time this year! Of course, I have been on stage once there as a totally trashed dancer with PUNGENT STENCH which was hilarious ... but performing there is even better - and a great honour! The lineup this year is KILLLLLER! Can´t wait! <3
My exhibition opening with SASU KERMAN at GALLERIA MUSEO BREMER in Karkila went very well and is finishing up this next week after a 2 month run! That was a wonderful invitation to display my ceramics!
SCORE MAGAZINE just did a new interview with me which can be found here !
I will also copy/paste the text here as well for you!
Keep in mind..... as far as the question of producers I would like to work with.... HELMUTH from BELPHEGOR after reading the interview last night agreed to FINALLY record those guitars this October which is gonna be awesome!
On that note..... Have a great rest of summer out there! and BLASSSSSST!
SEE YOU AT BRUTAL ASSAULTTTT!!!
July 15, 2018
WOMEN IN ROCK: RACHAEL KOZAK
S: You have a vast background in the extreme music genre, when did you first discover it?
R: To answer this first question as bluntly as possible... I did not discover extreme music, it discovered me! I grew up in an extremely violent household, my father loved rock n roll... especially Doors, Hendrix, and Kiss. The first concert I ever saw was ASIA with him when I was about three or four. He named our dog, FOXY LADY after the Hendrix song! :)
My mother used to read me Stephan King and Brian Lumley novels to fall asleep, also in the bathtub as an infant. I started reading Anne Rice around eight or so...
My older brother got into DIO and IRON MAIDEN (two bands I still cannot fathom ever listening to) – We only saw eye to on Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath when I was about eight or nine. From there I rented the Sid and Nancy movie at Blockbuster at ten. Also Clockwork Orange. Life changed. Divorce. Remarriage. I was taken in by the older punks around eleven. They got me into DANZIG, MISFITS, CROMAGS. From there... I explored lots of stuff like BUTTHOLE SURFERS, GG ALLIN, DEPECHE MODE, JANE´S ADDICTION and eventually got turned onto underground raves at 16 in the heyday of Detroit Techno!
After a few years raving, I became disenchanted with the drugs and macho electronic worship and found the likes of THROBBING GRISTLE (Journey Through a Body was first one) and Toronto Jungle/Breakbeat…. From there I moved to NYC and the ever-evolving process and doors opened wider.
I guess finding Black Metal came later as I was raving in abandoned warehouses when they were all murdering each other and burning churches. I did feel some affinity of course as I was always drawn into darker aspects of life and the Occult – which resonates with my chosen name of HECATE.
S: What was your first instrument, do you still have it?
Good question. In retrospect, I would consider grabbing that KISS LP of my fathers and putting the needle on the record when I was about four. Turntables are still in the stable of my musical instruments. I prefer spinning real vinyl to CDS, or USB sticks of course! More physical on every level and good exercise to lug around to gigs!
I was trained in piano for about four years as a child. My first ever composition was entitled “Natasha´s Fields” at about eight years of age. That performance went well, and then I quit. Totally lost interest until finding electronic synthesis and making beats at around seventeen in Detroit.
The one good thing my ex-husband ever did was show me I can actually play guitar, but I have to play left-handed. Until then, many friends tried to teach me and it was actually absolutely impossible!
Of course, answering this question is rather difficult as it calls up a lot of bad memories. Back in 2011/12 in Berlin, I had MY ENTIRE MUSIC STUDIO STOLEN. Expensive synths! Two computers! All my hard drives! My spirit folio mixer! MY FAVE SENNHEISER classic mic! Effects Pedals! EVERYTHING! I was so destroyed, I just left and moved to Vienna. I still have about 1500 vinyls in Vienna.... over 1000 here and probably 1000 in Switzerland! Hard to steal that of course as you would need some real effort!
S: Can you tell us about your new Art Exhibition?
R: Working in the ceramic studio alongside Katriina Kerman two years ago, I eventually met her husband, the multi-faceted visionary filmmaker, and painter, Sasu Kerman... Building our friendships and collaborations, Sasu utilized a part of the last musical offering of mine...“FINALPLANET666”I made with Albin Julius and his Der Blutharsch project which makes an appearance in the documentary of Caspar Corander.
Caspar is captured in this thirty-minute documentary as he is.... a raw, Finnish primitive Shamanic entity. I have heard a myriad of stories about Caspar but my favorite is that he is actually politically “exiled” by the police and government from entering Kuopio. A shame I was not around when he was a sought-after artist in these nether regions, back in the 90s. I fathom wrecking an Orthodox Church as your new “installation” would be enough for exile, although it all seems a tad medieval to me. Nevertheless, “IRON MAN OF THE NORTH” is by far, my favorite film of last year and one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Tragic. Poetic. Searching. Destroying.
Several rooms of the MUSEO BREMER GALLERIA gallery host Sasu ´s color-drenched paintings... Playful and bright to most eyes, many pieces also touch on the deeper mysteries of light and soul. Ghosts give way to prehistoric psychedelic predators.
I would rather write a diatribe about Sasus paintings than go on about my ceramic works, as .... thankfully I have already written a piece I used for the official exhinition... Let me feel free to cut and paste that for you :)
“As a dedicated multi-disciplinary artist, Rachael Kozak has pushed the borders of expression internationally from the stage to the canvas. Her notable audio offerings, digital art and multiple video appearances have served as the conduit to over 20 years of work under the guise of her alter ego known worldwide as Hecate. Having had exhibitions in Vienna and Berlin in recent years, she is now presenting her Fine Art in Finland for the first time.
Being based in Kuopio for over two years, she has gone back to her roots by channelling her love of dark and decadent subject matter into the next of her mediums. Ritualistic and raw in its primitive form, ceramics have provided Rachael with an intersection which bridges her concepts from two dimensional transmissions to her love for all things physical. In this collection which accompanies Sasu Kerman ́s “Iron Man of the North” installation, she reminds us of the masks of virtue and vanity which lay ever so close to the impending undertaking which stands as the ultimate protagonist to all living beings. The Shaman. The Courtesan. The Phantom. Death. All brought to life under her focussed eye and hand, showing to the public for the first time here at Museo Galleria Bremer.
This exhibition which runs for two months, will also feature an entire room presenting 20 large scale paintings of Sasu Kerman which pull from the inspiration of Science Fiction. The second room which serves as an video installation of Sasu´s brilliant documentary piece, Iron Man of the North, is also the room in which Rachael´s four new ceramic sculptures are to be found.”
S: What are your views on the challenges of being a woman in an extreme music genre and is this something which you’ve faced, or even wish to comment on?
R: I could write an entire book on this subject, as it appears to be a pervasive issue even 20 years after I originally founded my sub-label “THE HOMEWRECKER FOUNDATION”, dedicated to enabling and inspiring women to delve into electronic music production, back in 1998. After running that for five years with five female produced 12”s, two 7”s and a CD – I concentrated my energies elsewhere.
If you have not heard or realized, I actually take much strength from the subset of a society dedicated to worshipping women. There is a large, sometimes unrepresented section of society which holds women in high regard. This is found in the darkest dungeon corners or even in the minds of your bank teller, politicians, or next door neighbor. Many men yearn to lay themselves before a powerful, sadistic woman who insists her every whim be fulfilled to the most exacting standards.
Female Superiority. Sadistic Female Domination. This is what always kept me going, and remains so to this day. All aspects of sexuality enliven my artistic pursuits. Every fetish, every insipid desire is known to man, I have at least read about – pondered and sometimes indulged in. Some of my favorite writers are considered to be the most lecherous misogynists ever published. Aleister Crowley, the Grand Marquis de Sade, Henry Miller..... the list goes on. I take my pleasure and inspiration to proclaim liberty for women from sources which others shudder to consider. Human trafficking, rape, and domestic violence may not be the most pleasant aspects of life to consider, but they are also going on every day and shall stay in the forefront of my work ethos.
S: Is there a musician or artist you would like to work with at some point in the future?
R: Seeing as I have been graced by a multitude of successful collaborations throughout my ongoing 23 year music career, you would think I have exhausted my lust for more.... alas, I do have some projects which have not come to fruition and some people I would still love to just jam out some harsh beats with.
Firstly, you may be aware I have worked as lyricist/Sukkubus for BELPHEGOR since the Pestapokalypse VI LP back in 2006. At some point around 2010/2011 the frontman Helmuth promised me he had some very low tuned Black Sabbath inspired guitar riffs for me to utilize. From there I was thinking of making some electronic rhythms but then decided to enlist the drummer of Sweden´s legendary UNLEASHED, Anders Schultz, to do the drumming as he is also an old friend of Helmuth. Upon that vision, I furthered the project to include Stephane Barbe, the bass player of KATAKLYSM. This has still not come to pass as Helmuth is constantly on the road, still... after recovering from his heart failure in 2011. There might still be a chance in Hell that he actually records those riffs I am sure he remembers, as he has spent years promising them to me and it was part of our contractual agreement :)
If he ever finds a chance in his next recording session – we can see where and how that one song will take shape.
As far as electronic music collaborations go... KHAN OF FINLAND proves time after time (known him since 94) to be an inspiration and although we have spent a lot of time hanging out in several cities have still never really had a focussed studio recording session. I would love that! Another one of his cohorts from back in the Golden Age of techno, Ingmar Koch aka DR. WALKER is someone on my list I still throw around ideas with and am inspired by, as of yet never programmed any synths with but it would be fabulous and fun. The last two times I was in Berlin in the past year I was lucky enough to be able to dance my ass off to AIR LIQUIDE live which is a collab of DR. WALKER and Khan´s brother CEM ORAL..... always a great time! A cool audience in strange, loud clubs! :)
On my last flight to Berlin, I ran into Ilpo, the remaining half of the also legendary long-running electronic project PAN SONIC. Funny enough he lives not too far from me somewhere in Northern Finland. It would be an honor to check out his synth collection and making some groovy, grating beats with him.
Speaking of actual visual art collaborations, I have a very talented media with Antti Peronen (screenprinting, ceramics, sketching, painting, graphic design) for the past 2 years. Our vision is to design a new Tarot Deck together, with accompanying book. This will take a lot of concentration and dedication so I am happy to just bounce ideas off of each other in the meantime and see where it leads! The future is bright!
S: Lastly, have you ever taught a Masterclass? music, film or art?
R: No, I have not been asked to present any “masterclass” on any subject. My knowledge on so many different subjects is vast – yet I stray from considering myself an expert or master of anything. I am constantly thriving to learn new techniques, and in some cases go far out of the way to teach myself instead of learning through youtube or reading books. The best teacher is experience. I imagine I could teach a “masterclass” on how not to pay too much consideration to what people think of you, but that would be a costly night on the students … taking me out on the town :)
Continuing on the topic of self-study and even going so far as considering higher education... I have recently been in the midsts of deciding whether or not to pursue my Masters of Arts at an Art Academy. I think I would thrive in a self-structured artistic program, knowing I was also accomplishing a degree whilst adding to my mountain of bureaucratic paperwork.
Many thanks to Rachael, her involvement in the music, film and arts fields. The best of luck to her future creative endeavors.