CYBORGS ON CRACK, Tapeworm

Hi Domagoj, we conduct this second interview after the release of your last Cyborgs on Crack album, Tapeworm at Splitting Sounds Records.

Can you remind us what is the Cyborgs on Crack project?

Cyborgs on Crack is a music project I started in 2010 and it’s my main project. The music is experimental with some synth pop, acid house and ebm thrown in, and besides music I also produce cyberdelic computer animations for it that reflect the sound of the project.

What is the meaning of the title Tapeworm?

The title “Tapeworm” came to me from the word bookworm, you know the word commonly used for people who read a lot of books. Well, since this video album was gonna be recorded on a vhs cassette and I love cassettes (and it’s also a name of a disease) I decided to use it. I liked how it sounded, it fit the atmosphere and the image of COC. Originally this album was going to be called “Neverending Sleep“, a title that I thought kinda summed up how people are today, everybody wants change and a better life but they forget about it 5 minutes later and continue to watch television, eat manufactured bullshit and just basically turn off their brain, forget about all their problems and basically “sleep”.

Tapeworm sounds like a compilation of experiments, a bunch of very different experiences which form a whole, a unity.

Every track has it’s own characteristics. I didn’t want to make an album with all the tracks sounding the same. I just can’t do that, if something has been done already, why repeat it again?

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I will give your my impressions and thoughts about each of your tracks. Can you please react.

Ok

Deus Ex Subterranea starts on a well-paced electro beat reminiscent of the 90s like John Carpenter and his Escape from New York soundtrack. It evolves then into a post-industrial electro accompanied with samples. A cyberdelic with an abrupt ending like a disconnection.

Deus Ex is also a very famous cyberpunk video game. Is Subterranea a reference to the eponymous album by the progressive punk rock band IQ?

Haha not really, it’s a reference to one amazing group on Facebook I’m part of called Deus Ex Subterranea so as a appreciation to them I created a song with that title. I’ve always wanted to make kind of a ebm / pseudo-breakbeat track just to hear if it would blend good together. I was planning to record vocals for it too but it sounded good on it’s own without any vocals.

High Frequency Bowel Movement feature an original mix. A pure industrial style answer a very catchy synthpop.

The title and your video is like reference to a gastrointestinal VR route ^^

That track is just a result of me wanting to make a kind of a techno rave track, it’s good but I think it could’ve been better. I chose the title because I thought it sounded good. The video for HFBM is the only one on the video album that is full 3D. I enjoyed making it very much, even though the tunnel scene was a pain in the ass to make.

Butcher Is A Good Talker is a gentle ambient electro while remaining upbeat. Its theme is centered on consumption of food?

One of the better tracks on the album, it’s about a dream I had one time where I was in some white room talking to a japanese butcher. We had a good conversation and then I left hahaha. I first added only meat in the video but then I just added more food so the theme of that video is obviously, food. Oh and it has the creator of Playstation, sumo wrestlers and Pavarotti.

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Sesquipedalophobia is pure synthesizer, robotic and melodic. Some parts make me think of Japanese rhythmic like Ryūichi Sakamoto / Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Are fear of complex long words or simple Newspeak?

Now this track is based on an old track I made last year when I was working on a minimal synth album that was gonna be COC but like other albums that I was trying to make for COC, it was scrapped. I started the work on the new COC album in 2012 after the Mind Teardown album. Originally it was going to be something close to the sound like in Sesquipedalophobia but more stripped down.

I’ve made three tracks (one was Anorexic Flesh Chewer) and then later something got to me and I decided to start again and make a techno rave album. I finished the album (it even had artwork and all) and I was planning to release it and then in the last minute I decided not to release it. This is when the self sabotage started.

After that was scrapped, I started making an “minimal techno” album and there was going to be single and all (btw the track Hope Plastic was recorded during this time) and then what happens? I cancel it again. I just kept thinking “no this isn’t good enough, it has to top Drinking Air, it has to be way better”.

I went back to recording a minimal synth album hahaha. And you probably guessed it, it wasn’t finished, again. I then took a break and then finally, near the end of 2013 I started working on Tapeworm. I had this idea of a video album with software in 2010 but I didn’t have the knowledge to do it…

Anyway, back to Sesquipedalophobia. The original was called “Holy Car Engine” and it’s about a tiny church inside of a car engine. The lyrics in this version are the only thing that’s left from the original. I found the title “Sesquipedalophobia” at wikipedia when I was reading about phobias. The video features sports cars and various televangelists (previously sampled in TV Gods).

Surveillance is a synthpop with your vocoded voice singing from the deep cyberspace. It sound like an echo of a world where media try to corrupt perception, hypnotize, promote mental drowsiness.

A baroque and classical Gregorian tone pass through the song. A moment of spirituality in an electronic world a bit like Kenji Kawai style.

Surveillance is one of the first songs I recorded when I started work on Tapeworm. It’s about those people who are like slaves of technology, they type all day on their smartphones while not knowing what’s going on around them. If they don’t update their facebook status after 10 minutes they will “die”. It’s a really bassy track thanks to the DX10 synthesizer. It’s used all over this album.

Dry Mouth [feat. Sputñik]. This song has a very English sound. It reminds me Depeche Mode or Pet Shop Boys.

It speak about the politician way of life?

Yes It kinda is. It’s about how politicians will just keep screwing with people and the people will keep taking shit from them and blindly believe that everything is gonna be ok. People just sit on their asses and think the problem is gonna solve itself, if they want changes they better do something about it.

Can you introduce us Sputñik?

Sputñik is a great band from Novi Sad, Serbia and they play synth pop / indie music. Their singer and my good online friend, Žikica Milošević did a great job with the vocals on Dry Mouth. It really all clicked well with the track. I think Sputñik is also in a way responsible for this album having a synth pop edge because I recorded some synth pop tracks for them and it made me realize that of all the genres, I feel like I enjoy making synth pop the most.

How was your cooperation?

It all went very smoothly. I’ve asked Žikica if he could record vocals for this track I made I knew it was gonna be a great single. He said he’d love to do the vocals and he absolutely loves the track! I think we will keep collaborating in the future too.

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Hope Plastic is a version of MindVision previously published. This is a perfect ambient to close your album.

At the time I spoke of sounds that remind me of Akira. A reference to this major cyberpunk work?

I don’t know, I wasn’t trying to reference the film but I did see it. Great film even though I gotta admit, I’m not a fan of anime. It’s actually the same track only shortened down, I think the original was 9 minutes or something.

You made video clips for all tracks. Visually they seem directly come from the 90s, an analog past. Colors, 3D effects, I feel seeing some oldschool VR environments like The Lawnmower Man movie. How did you made them?

All of the 2D sequences were animated using Flash and then they were individually exported and edited in Powerdirector. The 3D sequences were made using a 3d modeling software called Anim8or. When all videos were finished I edited it all together and recorded it onto a vhs cassette to get the desired look.

Another feature of your album is VBooklet software full of goodies, informations, discography, artworks and an article about cyberpunk ;)

I hope people don’t think it’s some kind of a virus hahaha. I didn’t get much comments on the software. It wasn’t made just to take up space ya know. :)

There is a COC digital 12” single special edition with remixes.

Yes, the “bonus” digital 12” released by the absolutely awesome X.O Skeleton Musick! It has an extended dub version of Surveillance, alternative mix of Dry Mouth and a exclusive track called Bedpans For Hams which is a cassette loop I made using some old tape, scissors and sticky tape.

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You just start Amputacija Ruke (Arm amputation) can you tell us about it?

Amputacija Ruke is a small side project I decided to start for fun. The original idea was that it would be a video only project meaning that only one video song would be released per year but it seems people really like it. I might record a full lenght album someday…We’ll see…

What are your next projects?

Right now I’m working on a new Mind Teardown album that will be quite different than the earlier releases. I was also thinking about making short computer animations like in my videos. Kinda like those late 80’s 3D demos from Amiga. Oh I forgot to mention that I’ve started a project with a great chap called Dan Kilmartin titled, “Doom Zoom“. There’s going to be a release on X.O. Skeleton so keep an eye on them. ;)

You also Work with or under different labels: TACHYON, CRIME SCENE RECORDS, Rubbing Tonsils Records, Room Tracks … Can you explain us how you make your choices and what are the differences?

There isn’t really any special choice, any label that’s willing to release my music is good for me. I recently started working with a label from US that I mentioned before called X.O. Skeleton Musick run by Dan Kilmartin and Alex Spalding. I think they are a wonderful label and I’m very happy that I can work with them. Another label I’ve started working with is called “Splitting Sounds Records” based in Serbia and run by Dražen Đorđević who also did the mastering on Tapeworm.

The question that is important to me: do you plan - soon - other albums of MIND TEARDOWN?

Yes there will be a new Mind Teardown album, I’m working on it at the moment. :)

Can you remember us the links to follow all of your projects?

Here are some links :

You can watch the COC video album for free online here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KDNqzv8d0Y

The regular audio version of Tapeworm that comes with software can be downloaded here http://www.mediafire.com/download/83j1unudip13jkt/[OFFICIAL]_COCTapeworm2014.rar

COC is also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/CyborgsOnCrack

I’ve also made a COC tumblr, you can find my artwork there http://cyborgsoncrack.tumblr.com/

Mind Teardown is also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mind-Teardown/531739760170550

Here are links to some labels:

Domagoj, thank you very much. It is always a pleasure to share these moments around your music, you really are a great cyberpunker artist !

Thank you for this great opportunity to do an interview! Cheers!

Tannhäuser Gate 2013-06-22

See also: http://yeahiknowitsucks.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/cyborgs-on-crack-tapeworm/