You may have already heard of the mysterious one-person project Entropy Created Consciousness… or you may not. The debut album Impressions Of The Morning Star quietly materialised in digitalised form earlier this year and with its expansive, almost transformative style of avant-garde blackness, has affected everyone who has spent some time with it in unfathomable ways. We took a brief look at it back in Bandcamp Misanthropy – Volume 17, where I called it a ‘gargantuan, oppressive yet strangely hopeful exploration of the internal and external universes’ and said a track-by-track breakdown would result in thousands of words. Well, I’m not here to write those words just yet (it’s been months and the album still reveals new facets of itself to me with every return listen) but today we have something even better: what I believe to be the very first interview with the hidden being at the core of the maelstrom.
While the mist is only slightly cleared, with the information provided we can glean a much greater understanding of the work at hand – and an extremely small amount about its creator, who will perhaps forever remain in the shadows. While this may even be for the best (I personally find anonymity in art seems to enhance and almost ‘purify’ the intentions of the artist and its effect on me), one thing is for certain: with the forthcoming vinyl edition imminent via Throne Records and a beautiful cassette dropping through the great Fólkvangr Records on October 19th, you’ll soon be hearing many more people speaking about Entropy Created Consciousness.
So, read on below and grab a name-your-price download from Bandcamp while you wait for the physical copies to arrive – you’ll have heard nothing quite like it this year.
First of all, sincerest thanks for agreeing to answer these questions. There’s barely any information available about Entropy Created Consciousness or you yourself, so it is very much appreciated. Your excellent debut album Impressions of the Morning Star was released some time ago now, and I have to start with something that’s been playing on my mind since I first heard the album… I’m not entirely sure the response I’ll get here, but: who are you? Who is the entity responsible for this magnificent, alien creation?
– I am someone who isn’t sure a name and a face is necessary for this music. Accountability isn’t an issue; if people know or find out who I am, it hardly matters to me. The anonymity has more to do with removing humanity and ego from the experience of this. Identity is in the sound and the visual accompaniment and whatever response it creates. Perhaps it won’t remain one person, or won’t remain the same person. Who is behind it doesn’t matter.
I find Entropy Created Consciousness an intriguing name for the project, and I’m assuming it could be referring to the theory and recent neurodynamics research indicative of ‘consciousness’ being in fact a mere side affect of our brains moving towards entropy; or in other words, attempting to maximise its own information content (as also evidenced by the use of psychedelics arguably increasing entropy to a primitive or ‘critical’ state; ie. higher consciousness). Should this prove true the implications are fascinating. Is this what the project moniker refers to? What are your thoughts on the matter, and what it could mean for us?
– The first level of inspiration was indeed the research itself. The second is that I see it more as the link between consciousness and chaos. It’s part of why humanity so easily veers in strange directions and can be so destructive. Black metal is inherently occupied with chaos and destruction against the external; these elements weave through the very wide variety of sounds and atmospheres across the genre. It felt appropriate to the material and what I sought to say with it, and is open to expansion ever forward. Things are already veering ever stranger as we speak. Best suited to a name that is not confined.
Another thing I’m curious about is the incorporation of a couple of machinery/technology sound recordings; the entire album itself opens with a brief clip of what sounds like an old-style laser printer. What was the reason behind these inclusions, are they intended to be representative of anything in particular?
– In whole, the sound of the record is an exploration in what technology aids or doesn’t aid in the conjuring of this music. The samples in question are from an ally with a similar curiosity for the sounds of this world, the ways they construct and deconstruct, what they mean and why they are. And with William Blake so central to the album, it seemed appropriate to begin with the temporal gate back to him: a contemporary equivalent to how Blake created his art and embodied his own mythos. It is a view of some of his work through a lens alive now. I have no interest in following the well-trodden paths through the woods already crystallized in the black metal orthodoxy. Only so much can be said using the same tools. With the palette infinite, what is black metal? What does it sound like? Familiar, yes, but also unfamiliar. With the entity currently so personal out of circumstance (or perhaps an unseen necessity), the path is naturally insular to one specific set of neural connections. The entropy in question currently is mine. So too is the path.
That opening track Forgotten Kings of Jerusalem straight up showcases everything I love about this album. From that opening sample to the skittering, shimmering drums over slow, doomy riffs and synth drones it all comes together into something unlike much I’ve heard before, and becomes quite the mind-expanding experience. It’s so subversively weird and wholly unique, I’m curious… Was all of this strangeness constructed by design, or is your creative process more fluid? How do you generally go about composing this intense, transformative cosmic art?
– I began the record and this poured out. It was the template and the proof of concept. And it was as unknown to me then as it is for anyone listening now for the first time. Some of the other material is 11 years old and didn’t make any sense until this was born from the ether. Something sought to be heard, so it was. I don’t know what it is – and I do.
Sticking for a minute with Forgotten Kings of Jerusalem, then we come to the piano melodies in the latter half of the composition that send an almost ‘Paradise Lost – One Second’ vibe creeping under everything… That doom-y feeling carries throughout the album, too. Did you consciously draw inspiration from the old doom masters, or from any other artists or works throughout the creation of the album?
– Doom metal is certainly one of the conspiring parties in what this is. The works of My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Anathema, Paradise Lost and other leading names in the genre are part of the foundation built upon. I would have a very different vocabulary without them.
When I saw the third track was titled Proverbs of Hell I was immediately keen to hear it as William Blake‘s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell has been a longtime personal favourite and affected me greatly as a young man. Please correct me if I’m wrong as I can’t quite make out all the lyrics, but I believe the track to be at least mostly comprised of recitations of the ‘Proverbs of Hell’ contained in that book. Blake’s work has long influenced musical artists, most notably Ulver and Judas Iscariot in the black metal realm in particular. What is it about the proverbs that speaks to you personally?
– The use of the Proverbs of Hell is a piece of the puzzle. Ulver’s use of his work introduced me but it was Blake himself who showed me the path of this album. The more of his work I studied, the clearer the vision became. It was merely waiting in mist for something, me, entropy, to see it and crystallize it. I sought to do justice to the vision.
Upon spending further time with the album I came to realise that you seem to reference Blake’s work in all song titles for the remainder of it, and possibly follow his mythical system wherein Albion, the primordial man divides into four ‘zoas’ including Urizen, the creator of the universe and who places laws upon humanity. There also appears to be a song about his counterpart Ahania. Is this correct? Not being able to read the lyrics myself, could you possibly expand on any of these themes and their significance for us?
– Blake is the constant. All the work refers and defers to him. Rather than cheapen his brilliance and reduce him, it felt more appropriate to show nothing and simply allow him to fester in the mind of the listener as he did for me; to present this ‘mist’ and allow it to conjure for others in their own way. Most importantly, I chose works highlighting characters from Blake’s mythology that are, stand in for, or are analogous to Satan. When I thought about his work and drew parallels across it, it became very essential, very clear to me. Mist cleared and all that stood was one shape containing both. If the earth cracked open and Blake dragged himself out from the soil today, what would be his voice? This is the vision, and why entropic consciousness and black metal became its vehicle. Everyone should read his work. It’s easily accessible now.
Given the intricate themes you delve into on other aspects of the album I’m sure there’s a reason it is entitled Impressions of the Morning Star, too. Is the ‘Morning Star’ here meant to reference Blake‘s painting When the Morning Stars Sang Together? Or, is it meant to be taken in another astrological or theological sense?
– With the concept concretely spoken now, the morning star probably has a clearer meaning. This painting is yet another in the long line through his work which this album takes extracts from. Why else are they called the morning stars?
The cover art is also interesting, it appears to depict a landscape with old buildings, perhaps a town. At first I thought it might just be a composite image but now I’m not so sure; does this location hold any special significance to you or the themes of this album?
– These are ancient images of Jerusalem. Rather than bastardize Blake’s artwork by simply reproducing it, there was something more genuine in linking the ancient and contemporary this way instead. The colours suited it. And it was important to depict a holy place twisted by the logo reaching ever downward and outward.
Themes aside, as previously mentioned, I love the unique sound of it all. Did you have any favourite gear, or any unusual instruments or techniques you used throughout the recording process?
– Things became more refined as the process went on. No rules exist. And so it was that a 5-string bass became a guitar too.
The vinyl should be out any day now through Throne Records and the cassette via Fólkvangr Records. The Throne Records vinyl was announced some time ago when the digital release was still fresh, while the cassette edition has only recently been announced. What has it been like working with both Throne and Fólkvangr on the physical releases?
– I sought both out specifically for their clear dedication to high quality presentation. There are many out there who take advantage of the dedicated by selling them cleverly disguised garbage. Throne was first to respond with interest to release it, which obviously meant a lot, given the total lack of establishment and the strange music involved. And Fólkvangr later responded with the same enthusiasm for it. I had no doubt given the track record of both labels that the work would be treated well.
And finally… what lies in the future for Entropy Created Consciousness? Have you been progressing on any more music, or perhaps working towards any live shows?
– Plenty of followup material is ready. The path is clear and specific. A 17-minute appendix to Impressions further examines Satan in Blake, and also bridges into the next album’s musical approach. I have moved on from Blake but he continues to colour what is made. Live performance is currently impossible.
Once again, I’m immensely appreciative of your time spent answering these questions; it’s been fantastic to have the veil lifted ever so slightly and I can’t wait to see where you take the project next. Do you have any final words for anyone reading this, or for someone looking to dive in to the infinitely expanding universe that is Entropy Created Consciousness?
– Expect change. Don’t expect change.
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