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hypnoskull is the solo-project of patrick stevens, who is formerly known as member of the duo sonar (together with dirk ivens - dive, ex-klinik). hypnoskull still exists since 1992 in the international tape-nettworkscene and patrick stevens is known for his extravagant multimedia installation's and video-performances as well as his harsh sonic bombs. hypnoskull fits perfectly to concept of the other ant-zen label-mates like páaál, noisex, imminent starvation, ars moriendi, synapscape. he combines the power of pure analogue electronics with harsh rhythm structures - an anarchic assault of noise, electronic abuse and techno-industrial. besides the sonic output 'rhythmusmaschine 1/2' is also a concept album about media manipulation and noise terrorism.

tracklist:
n.o.i.z.e., rhythmusmaschine eins - zwei (original), desire, touch the button, imaginary scenes of a realistic movie - szene 'du bist verloren', ignition, rhythmusmaschine eins - zwei (d&b rmx), give it to me, let's go, media terrorist (1997 rmx), rhythmusmaschine eins - zwei (h-rmx), the choice, loop check, psychotic bass.

hypnoskull webpage

hypnoskull. basic information.
after playing obscure electronic music in projects like ectoplasmic embryo experience (1990-1992) and boy rapes boy (1992-1993), hypnoskull appeared as a solo-project of p. stevens (1993). before he did solowork under the name of godwin (1992-1993). p.stevens also experimented with ritual-mythical music in the form of das schreckenskabinett(1992-1994). all the musical activities can be captured as electronic industrial in all its styles, although hypnoskull is a strictly enlined concept of ideas and sounds, as you will see furtheron. besides hypnoskull, the projects hautnah (1995-1997, industrial ambient) and noshinto (1996-?, techno) appeared, as well as the recent cooperation with dirk ivens (dive, ex-klinik), which resulted in the band sonar (1996-?, rhythm industrial).

hypnoskull. idea.
the skull is the container of our being. we live in our head, not in our body. our bodies are just functional ''helps'' for the main reason of living: the mind. in our society nowadays, computers take over the task of our brain, and leave peace inside our brains, so we can use it for something else. we think, write, create, think, write create,... over and over. this results in an over-thinking-over-kill. hypnoskull tries to link the ideal digital world to the natural brain. not in a physical way, but in a mental way. it's the good old story about being balanced between good and evil. the computer does no judge. we do. in many ways it is judgment that defeats us. we throw ourselves in front of trains, because we (mis)judged our society and its "crimes". hypnoskull tries to clear the good or bad question by creating an unpolitical, structural, neutral atmosphere. this does not mean that this is an superficial atmosphere. to say it clear: the sound is a machine, loud, harsh, in fact very destructive. but not at all negative and destructive. as all styles and sub-cultures in music have own "atmospheres" , slang-languages and topics, industrial music has his own... it becomes ridiculous: all the bands that sing about 'dark', 'devlish', 'negative', 'black' matters and so on. only a few bands in the scene try to do something with their emotions about industrial music, most of them are just parrots that produce records for lucrative record companies and for the fans of the "dark". hypnoskull music is very destructive, but never at the cost of another human being. hypnoskull is the most extreme sonic nightmare if you want. the content of the music is clean: non-discriminating, non-political. destruction is a concept, something that comes before everything new. if you want to change, you have to destroy certain things, certain attitudes. this is whet hypnoskull is all about: the changing of a conservative attitude into an open-minded atmosphere. hypnoskull wants to give the public some minutes of extreme passion, some minutes in which they can forget their daily problems without the radical help of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes... passion is the beating of our heart, the feeling of a happy mind, in a working body, that exists for the individual, who exists for the people around. hypnoskull wants to be open towards all forms of media, and is searching for the new possibilities of those media in electronic music. a new and important area of the information age is the "gatekeeper" function. we all have to learn to select the enormous amount of information we get! we have to do this, in order to survive as human beings! to take the time for ourselves and the people around us. we have to select in order to specialise and to come ahead. hypnoskull is not just a musical project: it's a project based on a certain aspect in culture; technology. not technology as we buy it in the shops, but the "theme" of technology. the impact of technology on our society, on our lives: technology as the ultimate eraser of the human body. hypnoskull activities are based upon human and mechanical thinking patterns and structures. all activities are meant to confront the audience with the meaning of everything: the element of all: duality, instability, extreme destruction but also construction. hypnoskull tries to confront the audience with repeating loops of industrial rhythms and very loud noise. every audience is different but never indifferent. this is no music. this is noise. rhythm as a guide, an instructor in clashing noise. this is not a question of "to be open towards this", the noise will let you obey. a harsh sound experience for unexpected audience. hypnoskull is a process towards the creation of biomechanoid beings, structures and life-forms in sound experiences. the sound will grow and mutate, expand and recreate. there is only one goal: the absolute structural and clinical prothesissounds, in which technology plays the replacer of the body.

hypnoskull statement 04.98
"considering the rhythm machine as a device that imitates an acoustic drumset is an insult. unless earlier attempts to try to create an electronic drummachine that sounded like the real 'rock drummer', nowadays we use these divine machines to create new forms of 'music' or 'sound' with it. harsh sounds and loops completely opposite to the sound dictated by general music institutions. although this movement is clearly rooted in the late punk-days, it seems to be a phenomena that feels at its best during the last years of this millenium. it is nowadays not just the end of a century, you know ? speaking in musical terms, 'industrial powernoise electronics' are not just meaningless pieces of electronic hardcore music, just because there is no lyric inside the track. think for yourself and find out what's behind that sound. hypnoskull emerges as a media terrorist. his ultimate electronic weapon is in this case a rhythm machine. by using some media in a specific way and manner, the original meaning of the medium becomes reshaped into a completely different one. a musical instrument can indeed become a cultural weapon (in some cases and some places...). media terrorism is a non-violent way of terrorism concerning the physical aspect, but an ultimately psychological warfare method. over the top-extreme noise can be a weapon. think about the fbi using loud music in some sectarian cases in the u.s.. hypnoskull however does not want to use this sound as a possible weapon towards any group of people as such, but as a cultural weapon against cultural organisations or responsable organisers. as a weapon in the fight against 'mass-media-culture'. by using the same techniques as used by any other common special-police unit or terrorist group. infiltration, adaption, mutation, shadowing... and when the decisive moment comes, the action follows : in a military way the action turns from bright sunshine into the worst sonic hell you can imagine. in the past hypnoskull managed to change common techno-raves into a distorted noise-like chaos untill the organisers stopped the 'terrorist attack'. it is clear that these actions were unique actions, that cannot be repeated. every action will therefor be another scene, adapted to the audience. never expect what you want to have. you will get it in a slightly different way, presented to you like the greatest surprise you could get under a christmas tree. but after the unwrapping of it, it seems be a horror gift. for those who indeed do like that gift, hypnoskull only has one message : sisters and brothers, unite and fight the psychological war against mass-media and popular culture. cause you decide what goes on, and not those corporate-ass bimbos in a three-piece suit."

reviews:

anon
hypnoskull ist das solo-projekt von patrick stevens, einem der beiden mŠnner am sonar. dieses bedeutet natŸrlich, da§ auch hypnoskull dem hšrer industrial vom feinsten bietet. durch das Ÿber 70 minuten strikt eingehaltene konzept des albums erhŠlt man einen hšrgenu§ der besonderen art. ein elektronischer drumcomputer stellt den rhythmus zur verfŸgung, der durch krachige elemente und samples angereichert ist. eine produktion, die an bands wie dive oder sonar durchaus heranreicht!

aural fixation
hypnoskull is a solo project of ex-sonar member patrick stevens and this release proves that dirk (ivens also of the band dive) wasnt the only talent in the group, as some might have said. an initial warning is that this album is not for the timid, nor for anyone who cannot stand abrasion or repetition. if you are expecting verse-chorus-verse, youre in for a surprise. hypnoskull doesnt need it. rhythmusmaschine 1-2 starts off with a looped sample of the word "noise" that is meant to prepare you for the onslaught that is this album. after getting a taste for the brutal beats and abrasive sounds of "n.o.i.z.e.", you are met with the title track. available in 3 different mixes, this may just be the closest thing youll get to a "club friendly" power electronics/ebm single this year. with relentless bass drums only a few scarce beats per minute away from gabber (at times) and an unusually light sample, "rhythmusmaschine 1-2" kept me pressing the back track button. the remixes of the title track were great, but i prefer the version on the ant-hology compilation best. some of the tracks slow things down a little bit ("desire", "lets go") while the majority of the album seems to want to destroy your speakers. one of those tweeter-reducers is the driving "give it to me", where you think for just a brief time that the song wont get noisy, but of course it does! "touch the button" was the musical equivalent of being strapped to a roller coaster car in some broken down carnival funhouse, full of speaker crackling goodness and grinding beats. another favorite is "the choice", with a vocal sample a la crazy dennis hopper, i think. its like an mc-303 groovebox on nightmare delay. the one thing i wanted more from this album was more vocals. those that had some, whether english or german, tended to be mainly vocal samples. nonetheless, an incredible release and more than worth picking up if you find it. fans of noisex, synapscape, and even techno animal will slobber all over this one.

Re:Mote Induction
The first impression of an album is not necessarily going to be the music. You will find yourself standing in a shop or having ordered it through the post - you will be holding this "package" with artwork, track listing and (hopefully/helpfully) liner notes. On this cover we have a picture of a person, face obscured up to their eyes - quite sinister - impression of a terrorist ? Track titles include "Touch The Button", "Ignition", and "Media Terrorist" - all of which are strong and potentially threatening. Placing the CD into the player and pressing play, we start track one as we remove the booklet from its case.
The album starts with a voice repeating the phrase "noise" and we read the essay we find in the booklet entitled "The Power Of Noise". The essay introduces us to the idea that we should be properly paranoid about everything. So we realize as we read that what we have here is an instruction set - guidelines against misuse of an essential piece of neural softwar. The first track is short, leading us into the original version of the title track. The remix of this track which appeared on the Ant-Hology compilation, coupled with my knowledge of Stevens' other project, Sonar is what made me so keen to hear this album. This version sounds similar to the Ant-Hology version - certainly more so than the two versions further into the album.
Desire is unpredictable (that sounds like a life philosophy !) - a discordant erosion with a girl's voice buried in the mix. She mutters imploringly in and out of focus "I want to be close to you". Somewhere in here is a sexually charged ambient track trying to breakout. Touch The Button is harsh - blistering beat with the feeling of something breaking up around the edges. Little shards of sound breaking off in a shower - a Sonar-like collision, though with enough speed to fu/-/ck with the heads of the complacent.
Then we enter Imaginary Scenes Of A Realistic Movie, which is a child's sing-song mixing into rapid fire speech. The beat bubbles, building from a single drop into a presence. This is not harsh but it does attain a forcefulness. Flowing into Ignition, we have what sounds like a meditation bowl to me, where a priest generates a high pitched sound by running a rod around a bowl. However this oscillates hard - more caustic than any priest ever envisioned. The sound is manipulated in and out of a drum pattern, battering bass and clacketing lines of beat - it would certainly take an altered state of conscious to meditate to this.
The next track starts with a whirring tune as produced by an anarchic spinning toy. Drum and bass beats vie for attention alongside a girl's breathy "oh-oh". This sound builds until this is infectiously danceable - bursts of noise joining in with a teasing admission that this is indeed a remix of Rhythmusmaschine Eins Zwei which gives way to the equally danceable Give It To Me, with its techno elements degraded by noise stylings.
Let's Go starts with a curiously slow "jazzy" drumming beat, before being joined by a regular pounding and distorted vocals. This is a minimal repetitive track, and in this context where we are expecting more, it just seems to be one of the albums lesser moments, although the album is constructed in such a way that it flows quite nicely and it may just be the case that we are so totally in the groove by this stage that things don't stick out and are taken for granted.
Boom-boom-boom,boom-boom-boom - the constant repetitious beat of Media Terrorist. It works at a level that penetrates the mind whether in solitude or in a physical gathering. Insinuating in a hypnotic fashion that surely puts the hypno in Hypnoskull. It is followed by the final version of Rhythmus...which feels bigger and more three dimensional. The last three tracks move into power noise territory in the form of repetitious grinding beat work: The Choice, the most Sonar moment of the album, Loop Check, the unraveling of sound and Psychotic Bass, as its title suggests, and excellent with that.
RVWR: PTR, August 1998

seven
this is rhythm-and-noise at its best. hypnoskull presents rather simple noise structures that turn out to be very powerful and addictive. i guess it is the same kind of control and power that was used in the tribal gatherings. it is the power of the beat, the driving force, the noise that it unleashed on the listener - pulsating, vibrating, hard and driving. it is raw force and tribal energy, it awakens something primitive, very basic and violent in the listener. hypnoskull exploits this with its creations assaulting you with repetitive powerful distorted beats, occasional piercing noises, and heavy-weight harsh sonic structures. the music is clear from "industrial" or "electronic" music cliches and is ingenious and extremely addictive in this purity and simplicity; the album definitely has a hypnotic effect on its audience.
the packaging contains an essay titled "power of noise" that extends the influence even more (slightly off music (and noise) topic, but rather amusing in itself).
my favorites on the album are "rhythmusmaschine eins-zwei" - most famous track on the disk presented in three versions (original, d&b remix, and h-remix). "media terrorist" - almost danceable light track with jumpy beats, "the choice" - another lighter track on the album, "let's go" could be easily mistaken for a noisex track with its dark feeling and rippled twisted sound, "desire" - very harsh and heavy track with sudden ear-piercing bursts of noise. "psychotic bass" - another rhythm'n'noise as it should be - repetitive, hard, and powerful.

ultime atome
patrick stevens est un garon bien comme il faut pas, du genre ˆ tra”ner tard le soir dans les arrire-boutiques les plus malfamŽes, tenues par des bouchers-charcutiers hydrocŽphales. il a derrire lui quelques quintaux de son qui ravage l'Žmail, avec dirk ivens (dive, klinik), sous le nom sonar. quand il jardine, bche, pioche et dŽtrousse les cadavres tout seul, c'est sous la bannire d'hypnoskull... bref, encore un nerveux ˆ capuche qui ne rigole pas tous les jours : dans ma grande mansuŽtude, je conseillerai ˆ thomas bang'halteres de ne pas tomber en panne sche la nuit du c™tŽ de chez patrick : m'est avis qu'il y laisserait, au mieux, quelques dents. mais trves de sottises, quelle que soit l'austŽritŽ outrancire de l'auteur, cet album est saisissant. massif et farci de trŽpidations dŽvastatrices il s'avre au fil des Žcoutes nettement plus "variŽ" qu'il n'y para”t, Žvoluant habilement du shaker trash saturŽ (Žcole "ensplendor geometrico", par exemple...) ˆ des scansions rythmiques plus "classiquement" binaires. la deuxime partie du cd piŽtine mme, la bave nitrique aux lvres, les plates-bandes de caustic window ou somatic responses. du bruit, du bruit, du bruit, toute une palette d'agressions auditives, exhalations vilaines. prŽcepte industriel, volontŽ de chaos, ˆ laquelle on adhre ou qu'on conclue allgrement. de toutes faons l'auditeur est prŽvenu "this is not music. this is noise". un dŽgueulis sonore de haute volŽe donc, naturellement salvateur, si infusŽ aprs une bonne session de "beverly hills". par exemple... un peu de musique anti-consensuelle (et anti-tout), histoire de rŽveiller la bte (coccinelle, langoustine, blatte, footballeur), qui dort en chacun d'entre nous.

black #12
hypnoskull ist das projekt von patrick stevens, dem zweiten mann bei sonar und welcher aber mit dem schreckenskabinett, hautnah und noshinto noch andere projekte hatte bzw. noch am laufen hat. hypnoskull existiert schon seit 1992 und unter diesem namen hat er schon Ÿber 15 tapes veršffentlicht. nun ist nach vielen live-aktivitŠten und unŸberschaubaren compilationsbeitrŠgen endlich die erste cd erschienen, ... Ÿberraschenderweise nicht auf daft sondern ant-zen?! auf der -anthology- gab es ja mit dem exklusiven remix von "rhythmusmaschine eins - zwei" einen vorgeschmack auf die 70 minuten dieses albums und dieses schlŠgt weit technoidere klŠnge an, als man erwartete. ganz in der ant-zen labellinie fŠhrt hypnoskull im fahrwasser von imminent starvation und dem bayrischen alec empire (p.a.l.), kombiniert analoge elektronik mit tekknoiden rhythmen und arbeitet im gegensatz zum instrumentalen sonar-sound mit vocals und sprachsamples. am auffŠlligsten auf dieser cd wŠren da die drei versionen bzw. remixe des schon oben genannten tracks, wobei mir die hypnotische orginalversion doch am besten gefŠllt. bei "give to me" und "desire" bekommt patrick female unterstŸtzung von miss mieke maes, wobei ersterer track richtig eingŠngig ist und absolut dancefloor kompatible ist! vom gleichen schlage ist auch "media terrorist" und ich kann nur sagen, das hierin die zukunft des industrial liegt! ... und wenn jetzt die schon etwas komisch riechende old school-fraktion wieder mal die nase rŸmpft und verŠchtlich die augenbraue hochzieht, sage ich ihnen, da§ trotz aller modernen elemente der sound mitunter recht harsch und rauh ist und es auch live eine harte sache sein soll - ich bin gespannt! (m.f.)

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