Fischerle – Interview

We spoke to Warsaw based producer Mateusz Wysocki about his work under the pseudonym Fischerle, the origins of Pawlacz Perski the avant-garde cassette label he co-runs with Leszek Nienartowicz and the ideas that went into his recent EP Post-functional Dub Objects.

Can you tell me about the story behind your pseudonym Fischerle?
Fischerle is a name taken from the book Auto da fé by Elias Canetti. Fischerle is a pretty ugly figure, a bar moth with a twisted wing. The creature in a pretty perfidious way tries to exploit Kien a reclusive academic with a large library. I liked the topic of explicit abuse mixed with completely abstract activity.

What inspired the album Post-functional Dub Objects and what is the concept behind this recording?
The concept behind this EP is a need for recording extremely muffled, withdrawn material. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of music is currently being created so that it fills the whole frequency range from 20Hz to 20kHz. Music that gives the listener a carefully crafted, coherent (or playable coherent) sound creation, a world in which the listener can relax but cannot add too much himself. This passivity of the listener and exposing him to your striking distance, just like a Turkish seller in front of his stall, I associate with methods of popular and applied music, or something to avoid in order not to get sick. I spent a lot of time listening to electro-acoustic improvisation from labels such as Erstwhile and For 4 Ears, which I appreciate very much for the kind of restraint and reduction of the starting material. Frequencies above 10kHz correspond mainly to space (reverb), air (instrument separation), some sense of balance, and communication. Above the magical 10kHz there is a very unpleasant band for people who like to smoke. At the right time, I started to play with equaliser sliders, I cut everything above 10kHz and checked what was left of my tracks. In the future I would like to go down to 7-8kHz and record the sounds of sleeping moles.

Your music usually follows a certain concept. What excites you about this way of working?
It seems to me that getting away from the concept or some assumptions just makes it easier for me to work, somehow it naively colours and enhances my interest in the topic. I don’t think, however, that these assumptions (aside from the technical issues such as the tone or composition of the work) could be later, when the pieces are ready, be verified in any way. Language is a very grateful tool at the beginning, but when it comes to sounds the language disappears.

In the past, you’ve been inspired by everything from Playboy, porridge to Tatar fairy tales. In what way does something trigger your interest?
I think it’s impossible to trace it exactly. Outside there are many interesting things and some of them stimulate my imagination in a certain way or appear to be completely indifferent, shapeless, which can also be inspirational. Sometimes people give me some ideas and points of attachment. I regularly work with a few musicians and it also has a lot of influence on me.

One of the recurring themes in your music is the use of different words / conversations in your music. How would you describe the association of selected words/conversations with your music?
I do not know if this description is possible, because on a deeper level, below the narrative, music and the sense generated by the words simply do not fit. My approach to voice has changed with every project – I first tried to find new types of relationships, other than naive, film illustration, but it turned out to be more difficult than I expected.

Whilst working on Karaim fairytales it occurred to me that in stories whose content allows such possibility, for example by the presence of a storm, to start drowning the reader and so I did. On the other hand, in “John, Betty & Stella” recorded with Krojc, the connection between dialogue and music seems to me the most loosened and intuitive. My last experience is with Krzysztof Bartnicki (translator of the book and at the same time a lector), where together with Łukasz Kacperczyk and Wojtek Kurk we prepared a sound interpretation of one chapter of James Joyce’s Finngans Wake. It was a fierce endeavor, because the text itself is so multilayered and multitectoral, that it is impossible to refer to it by any sound. Joyce’s book is in my opinion a refutation the concept of an entirety. We spent almost two years on an hour plus long piece, contemplating over, for example, on issues such as “Can synthesis of FM be used to create a sound equivalent of fractal?” These are great things that make me realise that we are all just at the beginning of some road.

The funniest thing is that the spoken word entered my music through the backdoor, and I think of these projects that use spoken language as a supporting activity and often forget that I did them at all. Apart from soul, funk and American rap, I listen to music with voice only if I have to.

You also co-run a record label with Pawlacz Perski. Can you tell us how Pawlacz Perski started?
I founded Pawlacz with my friend Leszek Nienartowicz quite spontaneously. We needed a place where we could put our joint recordings – Porcje Rosołowe, Poszmeg, Jeremy Spill.

We also released our solo stuff without any genre censorship – Owczy Pęd, Szubrawy Kot, Ślepa Sonia, Rzut Znajomym, The Wig Orchestra and musicians from Torun such as Jesien, Hubert Wińczyk and Perpetual Motion Food. After about 3 years of such unorganised activity, we thought about a few things and decided to start releasing music on cassettes and invite people from all over Poland to join us.

What would you like to achieve on the label? And what have you learnt from this experience?
I would like to continue to publish Polish independent music and as far as possible, bringing interesting musical inventions to listeners. It is impossible to hide that we have a relatively modest tradition of avant-garde and experimental music. In such a situation, it seems fair to me to give voice to the people who are currently doing this in our country.

What can we expect in the near future from you in the context of both the record label and your music?
At the beginning of July we will release new material Rhythm Baboon thorugh Pawlacz, sound hybrids in a loose way referring to the footwork flow. After summer, we will publish two more releases – the agile audio collages by Adam Frankiewicz and the new Hubert Zemler project called Melotons. In the second half of the year in FASRAT we will release the third Mech with Michał Wolski.

There will also be some new material by Bouchons d’Oreilles, this time with the mountaineer Wojciech Kurek (Dinzu Artefakts), two or three solo recordings from Fischerle and the vinyl Fischerle & Stefan Jós made for the label Blankstairs. Also some time ago, during the cycle of Waywords and Meansigns, a recording of Bouchons d’Oreilles with Wojciech Kurek and Krzysztof Bartnicki appeared.


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