Posh Isolation : Whip not speak

Posh Isolation est un label de Copenhague qui existe depuis 2008. Il est lié de près ou de loin à tout ce que le pays a sorti de bien ces 5 dernières années (Iceage, Sexdrome, Marching Church, Lower, Lust For Youth, Vår, etc). Le dernier projet extrait de leur cave humide : Croatian Amor, un duo ambiant d’europop bruitiste. En plus de son interview à lire en français sur NOISEY, Loke Rahbek m’a proposé une playlist musique sans paroles que vous pouvez écouter plus bas. Avec un fouet ou pas.


Who is behind Posh Isolation ? How did you come to found a label ?
Christian Stadsgaard & Loke Rahbek. The label started as I think many others did, by a need to put out our own music. Things have since evolved and today we release work by many other artists, still only people we are close to, in one way or another. 

Do you have a personal studio ?
We and most of the bands around the label all rehearse and record at a placed called Mayhem in Copenhagen, that doubles as a venue. Mainly for experimental music.

Viewed from here, Copenhague looks like an active city.
The Alternative music scene of Copenhagen has grown alot the last few years and is in a good place now, better than i think it ever was before. Besides that it is a small big city, like many otber small big citys. The city is a city, its what you put into it.

Posh Isolation has an austere website, use over-minimalistic themes, doesn’t «communicate»… Is it a strategy ? Are you behind the graphic violence too ?
We do most of the graphic work and have done so from the beginning, it has always felt important to be in control of that aspect. To be able to present everything as parts of a whole, a bigger picture so to speak. Yes, we dont speak, if there is nothing to speak of. If the work is strong enough, it should voice its own opinion, don’t you think ? 

Sure, but people need explanations about everything. Some of the bands you release have outrageous names and use provocative references. Did you already got problems with that ? 
I have a hard time thinking of a single posh isolation release that is half as provocative as pretty much anything played on public radio today, or a piece of artwork that would be more indecent than any advertisement you are forced to look at every day. Still ofcourse there are always someone ready to feel insulted.

You have more than one hundred records on your catalogue since only 4 years. Impressive. Some with a very small quantity. What has been the most «successful» one ?
Successful, in what way ? What release sold the most, or had the nicest compliments, or felt the most right ? I could not and would not answer a question like that. Of course we strife to make the next one better than anything before, but generally I look at the discography as a whole, that every release works with the one before and the one after it.
I meant successful at a DIY scale, obviously. Seems important for you to build a real unique label in every way. Do you still believe in the term «alternative» ?
I guess the obvious question is alternative to what ? In that way I like the term alternative, it implies another way. Today, alternative music seems to be a sticker you can put on just about everything, if you use a delay pedal on your guitar you are an alternative rock band. But if we go away from the meaning the term has adopted and go back to the word, alternative, it implies experimentation, and experiment is what it all comes down to. So lets call it that instead, experiment.
Why do you love tape format so much ?
Tapes have been a very important part of our work from the begining, for so many reasons, when releasing the music we do, often difficult and demanding music, a difficult and demanding format seems to make alot of sense. There are so many reasons for tapes to be an ideal medium for this kind of label, they are cheap, they look good, they sound good, and you can do it yourself.

Posh Isolation i also a shop you run in Kobenhavn. What kind of clients come there ? I once read a feature about it in a glossy french girly magazine, I was a bit surprised !
Well, I would lie if I’d say that we have alot of glossy french girls coming by, besides from that, we have a various clientele.

Haha. What are you selling ? 
We sell music and litterature. Presenting a small but, in our opinion, well curated stock of titles. Besides that, it’s a place for people to meet, a place to exchange ideas and opinions.
You’re also booking shows, right ?
Posh Isolation rarely books shows, it happens from time to time when something seems important enough. There have been many good ones, the best would be to come and see for yourself.

I will. To finish, and since you’re not the most mouthy man on earth, give me your top ten instrumental tracks.

1. Brian Eno – « Ambient 1 », Music for Airports.
Mon père avait ce disque quand j’étais gosse, ça a été mon premier contact avec l’ambient music. J’en pensais pas grand chose, mais il était juste là. A l’âge de 13 ans, mon père m’a filé sa platine avec tous ses disques et je me souviens d’avoir toujours vu ce disque, sans jamais l’écouter. Quand j’ai eu 16 ans je me suis rebellé et j’ai tout revendu, sauf le Brian Eno, pour une raison inconnue. C’est un des disques que j’ai le plus écouté ces dernières années.
My dad had this record when I was a kid and it was perhaps my first introduction to ambient music, I didn’t think much of it, it was just there. when i was about 13 he gave me his record player and all his records and I remember having the record but not listening to it, when I got 16 I rebelled and sold most of his records but for some reason not this one. The last few years I have heard this record more than most.

2. Vangelis – « Blush Response », Bladerunner Soundtrack.
Des années après avoir vu le film, quelqu’un m’a filé la bande-son. A Noël 2012, j’étais en vacances à L.A. et j’en ai profité pour aller visiter l’immeuble de Frank Loyd Wright qu’on voit dans le film. Il était en pleine rénovation mais on pouvait le voir vu du dessus en grimpant par le mur à côté. Durant le voyage retour, je me suis rendu compte que j’avais la B.O. dans mon téléphone et elle a tourné en boucle pendant tous mes voyages suivants. « Blush Response » est en plus un des meilleurs titres jamais trouvés, c’était d’ailleurs le nom de l’album The World de Croatian Amor lorsqu’on bossait dessus, avant qu’il sorte sur Posh Isolation l’année dernière.
Many years after watching the movie someone gave me the soundtrack. Christmas 2012, I was in LA and went to see the Frank Loyd Wright building from the film. It was being renovated but we could climb onto the wall and see it from there. When we were driving back I found that I had the soundtrack on my phone and listened to nothing else for the remains of my travels that year. The title Blush Response is also one of the best titles I can think of and was the working title for the Croatian Amor album The World that came out on Posh Isolation late last year. 

3. Coil – « Dark River », Loves Secret Domain.
Comprendre Coil m'a pris des années. Les gens m’en parlaient tout le temps et je ne pouvais jamais rentrer dedans, ça n’avait aucun sens pour moi. Puis un jour, il y a un an ou deux, tout est devenu limpide. Désormais, peu de groupes me semblent aussi ultimes que Coil.
It took me years to understand Coil. People would always talk about them to me and I couldn’t get into it, it didn’t make sense. Then all of a sudden one day, about a year or two ago, I got it, it all made sense. Now there are very few bands that make more sense to me. 

4. M.B.Symphony for a Genocide.
Maurizio Bianchi ! Aucun mot à ajouter.
Maurizo Bianchi ! No words needed. 

5. Age of Love – « Age of Love », Coma Records compilation.
Quand on a ouvert le magasin Posh Isolation, un pote nous a filé toutes ses compiles dance des années 90 qui sont vite devenues les uniques disques qu’on écoutait cet été là. Je me rappelle de cette scène marrante, quand ce mec « indus » venu de l’étranger s’était pointé au shop pour échanger des raretés et qu’il s’est aperçu que le lieu était rempli de jeunes gens bourrés qui jumpaient sur de l’euro dance.
When we first opened the Posh Isolation store a friend of ours gave us these 90’s dance compilation records that very quickly became the only records we would listen to that whole summer. I remember an incident where an « industrial » foreigner came by the shop to trade records and found a basement full of drunk young people listening to euro dance music. 

6. Michael Nyman – « Fish Beach », Drowning By Numbers.
Lors de la première répète qu’on a faite avec Vår (qui s’appelait encore War à l’époque), j’ai fait écouté deux choses à Elias : une cassette de Lust For Youth et cette chanson, en lui demandant d’essayer de faire un truc qui y ressemble. Aujourd'hui, j’essaie encore de composer des chansons qui sonnent comme ce morceau.
The first ever rehearsal with Vår (then War) took place after I had played a Lust For Youth cassette and this song for Elias and asked him if we could try and make something that sounded like that. I still try and make songs that sound like this. 

7. William BasinskiThe Disintergration Loops.
Il y a à peu près un an, j'ai fait des kilomètres pour aller rendre visite à une amante. Elle vivait dans un immense immeuble industriel et sa chambre consistait en un cube en bois perché au milieu d’une énorme salle des machines. Comme une cabane dans un arbre, tu devais grimper à une échelle pour pénétrer à l’intérieur, les murs étaient rouges et des fleurs séchées tombaient du plafond. Chaque soir on allait au lit au son de Basinksi et chaque jour, on se réveillait avec Basinski.
About a year ago I travelled far to visit a lover. She lived in a big industrial building and her room was this small wooden house under the ceiling in a much bigger old factory room. Like a tree house, you had to climb a ladder to get to it, inside, the walls were red and dried flowers hung from the ceiling… We went to bed to Basinski and woke up to Basinski, every day. 

8. Erik Enocksson – « The State The Sea left Me In», Farväl Falkenberg Soundtrack.
Quasiment tout ce que Erik Enocksson a fait est magnifique. Apan fut mon premier contact avec sa musique, un disque sorti sur le label suédois Release the Bats. Depuis, j’essaie de mettre la main sur tout ce qu’il sort et a sorti.
Pretty much anything that Erik Enocksson has ever done is beautiful. My introduction to his work was the record « Apan » that was put out by the Swedish label Release the Bats, ever since then i have tried to get ahold of anything he has done or does. 

9. Burial – « Come Down to Us », Rival Dealer.
Celui-ci, je l’ai entendu il y a quelques semaines seulement, et de tous les gens avec qui j’en ai parlé, aucun n’a voulu m’avouer qu’il aimait, même si c’était vraiment le cas. Tout ça parce que le disque se trouve dans la catégorie plaisir défendu. Donc je vais être le premier à dire que j’aime absolument tout sur cet album, même ce qui est exagéré et « too much ». Il y a des voix partout sur ce titre mais allez, je le mets quand même.
I heard this only a few weeks ago, and so far everyone I have talked to about it can’t say that they only like it, it finds itself awfully close to the guilty pleasure segment. So I will be the first to say that I like everything about this record, even what is « over the top » or « too much ». I realise there are vocals all over this track, but I put it on anyway.

10. Burzum – « Hermo-r A Helfer », Daudi Baldr.
Ce disque au contraire, possède un nombre incalculable de défauts, et pourtant, ça fonctionne. Le titre que j’ai choisi lui par contre, est strictement parfait.
This record on the other hand, got an endless list of things that are wrong, and at the same time it works. But about the track Hermo-r A Helfer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with.

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