Interview by Qataari, June 1996
THE BIG SEIT OHR_KÄSTRA has always been, and will probably always be, the most unique, obscure and mind-challenging orchestra for my 1000 selves. I came across the group around 1989 when there were only tapes of them existing, and these tape releases were difficult to get, at least in good ol fuckin GerMoney. The only possibility to buy them, if you werent deeply involved in the international cassette-network, was via the Artware mail order at that time. So I did. I was wondering when I first listened to the orchestras sound. They sounded mostly abstract and surreal, but always with a special flowing note. Noizes were built as if someone was trying to create a big acoustical building or so.. loop after loop, sounds towering higher and higher... strange kind of voices.. humouros even. You felt as it was a totally other dimension, a very special dimension of their own. A dimension of noizes and strangeness(es). This kind of music was someting new to me, and so I tried to collect more and more tapes. A deep love began...
Soon someone told me that BCO had already released a few dozen of tapes, maybe even more than hundred, and it would simply be impossible to get them all. I was truly impressed, because all the tapes I got were excellent. I wondered why they still hadnt released any vinyl or CDs at that time. There was so many shit being pressed on CD/vinyl, so why didnt anyone pick them for a release??? So, I collected and enjoyed every new tape I could gather from BCO in the following... until...
Yeah, until I got the chance to be the first one to press a 7" vinyl single of them in 1994! BCO had changed their actual style at that time (and they still do), less surrealistic flowing soundscapes, more crazy and humouros, radio-play-like... this was even stranger, but still so mind-challenging and extraordinary I couldnt even think of rejecting the material they sent. Still I dont understand a group can be so creative and strange... Now thay they have some CDs out they seem to become a little bit more well-known and get the well-deserved attention. It gets harder and harder to find the older tapes from the 80s. I can only advise the conscient (we know how you are) TDR-reader: if you can get a BCO-tape anywhere, you shouldnt hesitate!
Im almost sure BCO will stay one of the most creative groups of the so-called non-academical experimental scene (therefor, they are illuminated!) in the next few years. I believe, to confront yourselves with the BCO-sound/concept/whatever will only have a positive effect on your brain....
Baraka[H], April 1996
experimental recording with a lot of manufacturing-type
sounds--machinery, clanking metal, etc.--though it does have some
electric guitar crashes thrown in. It reminds me a lot of Eraserhead.
The CD release includes what appear to be 10 bonus tracks comprising the
"Beeg Sitty Arkestraw Sound Effects Library , which are just
loops of interesting samples with amusing titles.
..this is what alien abductors might
subject you to during your brainwashing.
yes, any big city, sometimes, lots
"I was first introduced to these charming and odd art movements by two charming and odd women around 1992. They kept saying what youre doing is just like "whoever" did back in "blah blah blah". So, I started looking into it all a bit. Alisa had several great Kurt Schwitters books (I find out ub=:merz... kind of). Lawrence worked at Anacapa, which is a very known dealer of rare art books, Id go and visit, ask too many questions and actually found a few things I could afford (like the Charles Ives biography by Henry Cowell)."
"Ive taken quite a lot of art courses in college, but never any history, just the use of tools, basically being afraid of being influenced, pretty damn dumb... since we just regurgitate what we know. Ive since learned the wider the diet the brighter the pallet. In the interim Ive inhaled quite a bit, and now have a fairly extensive library of books and recordings, (and looking for more) dealing with dada/futurist/surrealist. If anyone sees any John Heartfield... send it to me. There are of course all those other eccentrics, that were separate of movements; Tinquey, Jarry, Schoenberg, Barron Storey, Gysin, Roussel, Pierre Louys, etc."
"BCO has always been a bit iconoclastic, not quite fitting in anywhere. The press will jump on a particular project, making it a part of their hype machine. I just wanted to drift and bob along on the tides."
betcha it is, and the same one who iz/woz in Big City Orchestra and
sometime involvement with Over the Edge as Kings?somethingerother???,
Negativland's radio show on KPFA. How's Rob W? Whatever happended to
David, who played turntables with Big City back in the mid-late 80's?
I used to see you guys around and traded a lot of tapes with Rob, who
had a great collection of live old SF punk stuff like Tuxedomoon. Say
hi to Rob and ask him to stop whistling so loud next to my mic! ;^)
I think dAS has produced some live shows of Daevid and/or played with
him some years ago... also think he was involved in a mid 90's single
that's a cool cover of a Robert Wyatt song, if it's the same person.
dAS, I think we originally met when we shared a bill once when I
co-produced the first few NoiseNacht's in SF in 1985 and played in PGR
with Kim Cascone that night.