New Yorks Excepter blends early industrial, noise, psych and minimalism among other influences. The aesthetic of their sound has been described as a sort of aboriginal futuristic overtaking mixed with zombie vocals and casio dub. Their newest release “Presidence” consists of material recorded between 2003–2009. It helps that Singer John Fell Ryan is a master editor mining musical gold from hours and hours of improvisational recordings. Presidence is a 2-CD set filled with half-hour plus pieces. If you are already familar with Excepter, listen to the 2nd disc first. It explores new sounds and focus’s on repetitions and riding out patterns rather than progressively changing from one to another, giving it its minimalistic aspects. I was able to chat with John Fell Ryan from Excepter and their newest release “Presidence” in the interview below.
s.o.t.r.-Can you describe your creative process? Do you use experimenting and improvising as a means to stumble across musical epiphanies as a group?
J.F.R.-You come across things in a group that you wouldn’t find alone – and vice versa. Sometimes, it can be like using Formula One cars in a demolition derby,thrusting our carefully-built custom electronic systems into the chaos of free-form band play – but out of that destruction our power grows.
s.o.t.r.-Tell us about your newest release “Presidence”?
J.F.R.-It’s a good record for washing dishes, doing a quick vacuum, then passing out on the couch. Saturday Afternoon it is. It was mastered to sound good on a boombox, so you don’t have to sweat out your neighbors with the subwoofers. Probably sound alright on a long car or train ride. Not too many lyrics so you can read or do homework to it. Despite our cosmic trappings, we like to make functional records for everyday life.
s.o.t.r.-Listening to your music is like a mind altering experience from the normal consciousness, have psychoactive drugs played a role in creating your music?
J.F.R.-Sounds like we just saved you all sorts of money! Hate to disappoint you, but we have a young kid at home and there’s not too much in the way of night tripping going on. We just dream big.
s.o.t.r.-What are you listening to as of recent?
J.F.R.-I’m one of those maniacs who listen their own music all the time. I’ve been trying to take a break from it all by making compilations of the British bands I liked as a kid: Public Image Limited; New Order; The Cure. And as always, Moritz Von Oswald; The Fall; Lee Perry; Krautrock (Ashra / Popol Vuh / Kraftwerk/ Neu and spinoffs). Been dipping into Dion and Swans, too.
s.o.t.r.- Any recommended films, or literature?
J.F.R.-With a kid at home, we straight-up do not see movies in the theater anymore. Been catching up on Robert Altman oddities … really liked Popeye, Secret Honor and OC & Stiggs. Last year while delaying work on Presidence I got really into The Shining. Watched it over and over again. There’s an entire subculture of visionaries out there into decoding literally every second of The Shining. I got into making maps and superimposing the sets on top of each other looking for concordances. Found some interesting stuff with compass points, the position of driftwood and The Big Dipper – can’t really go into it here. Books? Read every Raymond Chandler novel – that’s my advice.
- John Fell Ryan, NYC, Ides of March, 2010