"..ominous embodiments can excite us and bring a sense of aberrant pleasure.."
After several contributions to compilations and one 7 inch release here is the long awaited debut album called 'Puur' by Dutch Electronic project Distel. Their sound is not easy to define... When seeking for references you could say that Distel has all the originality and talent of Coil and the sound is like that of Autechre on a dark trip. What is evident is that the waiting for this album was worthwhile as it is one of the artistic highlights from the house of Enfant Terrible. It is beautiful and complex and grotesque on all levels.
Hello, how are you?
Fine, thanks.. or 'busy', as is the more common saying for a Dutchman, which, for us, somehow indicates that things are going well in general.
What are you currently listening to?
I'm actually in the middle of a recording session for two new releases by my other band Hadewych and at such a time I try to refrain from spending too much time listening to other music. Still, today, on my way to our rehearsal space, the last things I listened to were Swedish black metal band Craft, Caspar Brötzmann Massaker, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Virgin Prunes ... Mainly because I enjoy rhythmic stuff while riding around.
What's the story behind the band name?
'Distel' is Dutch for 'Thistle'. I like the sound of the word and the aesthetics of the plant itself. And the stingy bit.
Whom or what inspired you the most to create the kind of music you do?
For Distel that would be a childhood filled with Kraftwerk, Jarre and Marouani.. and a quite some years of trying to make sense of the first 20.
Care to shed some info on your latest LP 'Puur'; theme, favorite track(s), etc?
There's no real unifying theme on Puur. Recurring elements are the purity of failure and being trapped in compulsive behavior. My favourite tracks are "hxxx" and "vxxx", mainly because of the way they stand out in their directness. Some trivia; the album itself was written and recorded within a two year period (2009-2011) in both Nijmegen - my hometown - and Paris; most tracks on it were hand-played, apart from some sequenced percussion parts and the album title (which simply translates to 'pure') can in Dutch refer to both something exalted and something raw or too strong for the average taste…
Will you be touring extensively for said release?
This Autumn we will play some shows in Scandinavia and a few in the Netherlands together with Europ Europ from Norway. Apart from that there will be no extensive touring - just your occasional show here and there.
Got any other projects we should know about?
Not if you were looking for something that resembles Distel. Currently I'm participating in about 8 other projects and bands of which the most important one is Hadewych. I'm also in the process of setting up a small music/art object label that will issue its first release - by free jazz/noise duo Dead Neanderthals - near the end of this year.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
For me personally Distel's music has become such a world on its own that it does not easily allow non-musical elements to accompany it, without them seeming banal or just an inane abstraction of what is actually there. Still, a movie which I think creates a similar kind of dense and saturated atmosphere on a visual level is Merhige's 'Begotten'.
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
None. I'd rather live with the memory of all that I've heard.
Are you living your dream?
More and more, but not primarily due to my musical endeavors...
Distel is currently going slightly unnoticed, let's turn this around people, posthaste..