Like a nine-headed abomination, stitched together on the fringes of music, Necro Deathmort is like The Future Sound of London gone wrong. No - fuck that. We couldn’t pigeonhole this band if we tried and any attempt to do so would result in the kind of hack language above or a phrase like ‘Evil Ulver’. Let’s just say that listening to NDM is like giving your paranoia its own soundtrack. It’s a deeply uncomfortable - yet beautiful - mix of morose soundscapes, electronic beats and thick basslines, topped up with distorted guitars and screaming. Uh…wait, that’s just one song. You know what? Let’s cut the BS before we get into a train-wreck of metaphors, poor syntax and Russian Sci-fi. You can hear it for yourselves on the 22nd of October and who better to tell us about the music than Matthew Rozeik, one half of the band.
Walking around London in 2021 with Necro Deathmort jacked into your brain feels kind of like acting in a movie with your own neuroses - plus beats. Is that what you're going for and why does your music seem so suitable for times like these?
Matt: Our aesthetic is well suited to isolated dystopian experiences, so it's a shame that we couldn't really cash in on it.
For the uninitiated... <what> is the band at this current time and in your own words? What do you want us to feel when we walk away from one of your concerts?
The band has been mothballed during the pandemic, so we didn't really get going until a few months ago when we started going through archives. I think ideally, I'd hope people walk away from our shows feeling like they had an immersive experience. The most successful shows are usually the ones where the audience is silent throughout the gig. I really feel like we've managed to create the right headspace at those sort of shows.
How did we get to where you are now from the days before Music of Bleak Origin? We have this image of you or AJ walking around listening to Andy C and Skibadee in the 90s and then somehow falling into this bottomless pit of extreme music without a ladder... I swear that I can hear some cheeky traces of DJ Brockie too... even on some of the darker tracks!
That's not entirely untrue to be honest. I'd grown up listening to hip-hop, hardcore/jungle, early Warp Records stuff, Mo Wax, and a bit of grunge: the heaviest band I listened to in the 90s would have been Sepultura. Around 2003, I started getting really into death metal, doom, sludge, and went down that particular rabbit hole quite hard.
When AJ and I met around 2005, he was the only other person I'd met who liked electronic music, dnb, as well as grotty rock music. We swapped mp3s constantly, as well as our own tracks, and ended up jamming regularly. There was no plan whatsoever with NDM, we didn't even really see it as a band until somebody wanted to release our music, and once we started getting offers to play live, our relationship with the project changed and we started to realise that we'd fomented our own sound.
All musicians have some kind of archetype for how music should sound in their heads, so what do you and AJ respectively think a 'good' NDM track should convey or sound like before it tracks on one of your albums?
We have a pretty unconscious method of making music to be honest - we tend to just jam freely without really concerning ourselves with what we will end up with. Sometimes it's a steaming pile of shit. Sometimes something pops out and we both feel like it's got legs. The way we construct albums is a little different though: we only really work on an album once we have a few tracks that have a shared vibe - sometimes a track that's been in the archive for a few years will make sense in that context, so we'll throw that in, then start working on new material with that aesthetic in mind. Our main objective for any release is to make it flow coherently in a way that allows the listener to immerse themselves in it.
Friday is your first gig in 2 years, the last ones being that mad night in Dalston and some dates with Gold before that. How do you feel about getting back onstage and can we expect anything out of the ordinary? Maybe some variations on existing tracks or...dare we say it, new material? Covers?
We're both pretty glad to be getting all the kit out again to play live, it's been too long. For this show we'll be playing a few unreleased tracks, something brand new, and some revamped older tracks that we seem to never stop tinkering with. One track sounds different every time we play it too, so I have no idea how that will sound on the night...
Shameless plug here - what are some of your past experiences with our venue?
This will be the first time either of us have actually played Electrowerkz, so we're both very excited to finally get to do it. My personal experiences with the venue include dancing to industrial music, working with ultra-safe staff and being called a wanker from the stage by the singer of Extreme Noise Terror when he felt there was inadequate beer provided for him at a show I promoted there.
The Electrowerkz is good place to come and see bands that don't fit the usual pigeonholes, which makes us wonder - how difficult is it to be in a band that straddles so many genres and none of them at the same time in a world of 'scenes'?
It's definitely a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we've got to play with an incredibly diverse set of bands and play festivals that would probably be off limits to a heavier band. On the other hand, the fact that we're so closely aligned with some of the metal scene means that we rarely get to play with electronic artists, as we're seen as a metal band posing as electronic artists.”
You and AJ first and foremost are music-heads. We're most likely to see you uploading sets to mixcloud, working shifts at a certain record store or drinking in the capital's various dive bars. What are both of you spinning right now in the post-pandemic world?
In no order, here's some music we've recently shared with each other:
Funki Porcini 'Fast Asleep'
Technical Itch 'White Label 003'
Michael O'Shea 'Michael O'Shea'
Sendai 'Monad XVIII'
Eero Koivistonen 'Original Sin'
The Ruins Of Beverast 'The Thule Grimoires'
Cygnus '100% Dope'
Ghost 'Two Thousand' (the UK garage producers, not the shitty metal band)
Bedouin Ascent 'Science, Art, Ritual'
Ink & Gremlinz 'Triton'
Scattered Purgatory 'Kua-Chhiu'
Handle 'In Threes'
Second Layer 'World Of Rubber'
Von LMO 'Future Language'
Ut 'Confidential (Peel sessions)'
Lioness feat. Queenie, Stush, Lady Leshurr, Shystie & Little Simz 'DBT (Dead Black Ting)'
There's also a rumour that one of you sticking around for a DJ set after the gig... go on, give us some hints?
I'll give you a hint: I'll be DJing after the gig. I'm choosing the setlist right now, I'm treating it like my birthday.
When we had the idea for this gig, it was really about creating a vibe and getting some bizarre talent together. We know a bit about you now, so what do you have to say about the other bands on the bill - Khost and White Bastard.
Khost have played with us before I believe - they have a cool Godfleshian vibe, with oodles of teeth-hurting noise, which is all good and proper.
White Bastard are assembled from humans I actually know in corporeal realm, though I have yet to see them play. If Killdozer were drunk/Scottish/living in North London, then can we really say for sure that they wouldn't be White Bastard?
Can you give us a brief album-by-album summary of your past work? One sentence (or one word!) to describe each of your releases.
I'm going to have to check Discogs to remember everything we've released, so...
This Beat Is Necrotronic
- Messy, silly, noisy, but necesarry
Music Of Bleak Origin
- The first album where we developed our own coherent sound - we started playing live while recording this, so it's a bit more "songy".
The Colonial Script
- Dense and claustrophobic, apparently a fan fave
- The first time we felt confident doing 'unheavy' music, quite bleepy
- Probably our bleakest and most metallic record
- Our most melodic work, pure Kraftwerk attempt
- The first of these tapes, a dense patchwork of old snippets, all layered together
- We were making a lot of techno at the time, so this happened
- More coherent than the previous one, the last track is a staple of our live shows now
- I really like this one, it's got a 90s acid vibe. The last track is cool too, I think I played my parents kitchenware as percussion.
- One of our most coherent works, and it came together really fluidly. It's got a bit of a sci-fi vibe
- These were all newer outtakes, so it's a little more polished than previous volumes. The last track is 100% improvised from a rehearsal.
- Probably the best snapshot of where we were heading, and the first real time we brought in other musicians, as we were in danger of becoming a 'synth' band.
- Possibly the best one of these, it has a really organic sound. There's a lot of field recordings on this one too, and some tracks were recorded in really memorable circumstances.
Most of all, where the fuck can we find your music and why is all of it sold out? Get thee to a vinyl factory.
There's vinyl and CDs floating around on Discogs, but I have no idea what, if any shops stock our music. We're also on Spotify and all that, or you can download them illegally from Soulseek and send us 0.006p by post. I encourage the latter...
Last words are yours!
Everybody watch the film 'Braincandy'
Necro Deathmort performs at the Electrowerkz on 22nd October, 2021 in our downstairs live room. Tickets available via DICE FM: https://link.dice.fm/FgSesrTMYjb