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Interview with the Hybryds, conducted via e-mail - 6/10/98

Jester: While much of your previous material has been very tribal, recent Hybryds material has become more mechanical and utilized a large number of Science Fiction samples. What brought about this change?

Magthea: The latest releases "Mistrust Authority", "Cortex Stimulation" and "Tectonic Overload") are more industrial and electronically than our ethnical and ambient releases. Actually these new releases are based on the music I made in the beginning of the 80's, before I got involved in the Belgian band the Klinik.

Then I made primitive electronic noise for the reason I had no equipment at all, everything was real primitive and second hand. It is only now we have the equipment to record properly. On the other hand there is no difference for us between industrial, ambient or ethnical ritual. It comes out of ourselves, sometimes an ethnical piece turns out to become a heavy industrial one or vice versa. We also consider the contemporary technological culture, such as computers, and the Internet as the primitive start of some great future things.

Jester: Are you trying to now focus more on 'Modern Primitive' issues such as the use of samples from Johnny Mnemonic on "Cortex Stimulation"?

Magthea: When we take samples from movies its because we feel those movies bring interesting aspects and ideas to us. In the books of William Gibson there is a very tangible image of the nearby future, a world dominated by technocrats and technology instead of religious and political leaders and their spiritual and politic systems. We as individuals have to teach ourselves to use a computer so we can decentralize power, so nobody can establish a technological fascistic state.

The technology and the web will change our way of thinking and living. We are standing on the borders of a cultural and social earthquake, and " small " people, like us have to be aware of the danger of manipulation by the authorities.

Jester: What do you think of the sudden popularity of the rhythmic noise acts both in Europe and in North America?

Magthea: For me here in Europe, noise music has always existed. When I ran a tape label in the beginning of the 80's, this kind of music was widely available on cassette. Its only now that technology made it possible to release it on CD, with much better audio quality and impact, which I think made it more popular. By the way, 90% of these noise releases are bullshit, boring, easy made rubbish. There is not much stuff I enjoy.

Jester: Whose idea was it to package the "Tectonic Overload" on Ant-Zen inside of a 12" cardboard package?

Magthea: Stefan from Ant Zen wanted to make an art edition, first he got the idea of making the cover in plexi but this was too expensive, but it is still a beautiful result.

Jester: How did you meet Christian Pallentin of P*A*L to work on the "Tectonic Overload" album?

Magthea: After being in the scene for years, people start to meet each other on festivals or through releases by the labels. We did some mail music together and maybe in the future something live on stage.

Jester: The number of musicians that the Hybryds have collaborated with is an ever expanding list that crosses many genres of music. Do you feel that your own music is greatly enriched by such collaborations?

Magthea: Of course that is why we collaborate with others, it brings new ideas and confrontations, it is a creative way of working, normally only me and Yasnaa are making the music and others bring things in we could not do by ourselves.

Jester: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Magthea: We do not have a list of wanted collaborations, who comes by, comes by, the only restriction is that we have to like the others in a creative and spiritual way and vice-versa.

Jester: How did you first get involved with composing and recording music?

Magthea: We do not know anything about music. We do not consider us as musicians nor composers, we create structured sound. I think calling yourself a composer if you do not know how to read and write music is stupid. When I was very young most of my friends played guitars and were playing in small groups. I never got a decent sound out of a guitar, and actually I hated the sound of guitars very quickly, so conform, such a small spectrum of sound. I always was interested in the soundtracks of science fiction movies, I found those sounds much more exiting than a melodies. And lucky I discovered things like No pussyfooting from Eno, the soundtrack from Kubrick's 2001 and Tonto Expanding Headgroup, early 70's and completely different from all what was on the market. My friends felt asleep on this music, I discovered different worlds in it. When I was sixteen I visit my parents who were living in Africa and they showed me a real ritual, an virility dance of young girls in trance. This took me were deep. That strange uncontrollable power in the monotonous percussion music, the trance of the people involved, this went much further than boring rock and roll.

It was only in the beginning of the 80's I could buy a synthesiser and started to work on sound instead of music. I try to capture the intensity of that primitive music with technology. Its funny, but now we almost use no synths. We sample acoustic sounds which we digitally process with filters and effects devices. I love Techno and Dance music but it is a pity it sounds always the same. Presets make it so easy to call yourself a composer.

Jester: Your recent material seems to have found a home with Daft and Ant-Zen Records. How did the relationship with Dirk Ivens and Stephan Alt come about?

Magthea: I've know Dirk Ivens since the beginning of the 80's. Together with Mark and Eric we formed the Klinik. So it was no problem to release on Daft, we do not have an exclusive contract so we can release where we want. We met Stephan through his releases. Ant Zen is specialized in art and limited editions and we like this a lot. Daft is completely not interested in the visual and arty part of music. But we also released on Old Europa Cafe and other labels.

Jester: Hybryds material is often difficult to find in the US due to poor distribution. Have you had any luck with trying to find a label to domestically re-issue hard to find material?

Magthea: The manufacturing and selling of CD's in the United States is much cheaper than in Europe. If we have to sell to the United Stated this will be expensive import. And most of your distributors never have payed for our music. They know we live on the other side of the world and the amount of money involved is too small to make a case, so in the past we have been cheated by US distributors. That's why we released "The Rhythm of the Ritual" on Charnel House in the US and recently "Ein Phallischer Gott" on Crowded. These two releases contains remixed, hard to find, deleted and new material.

Jester: One of my favorite Hybryds tracks appears on the Release Your Mind Volume II compilation on Release Records. What other Hybryds material sounds similar to that track?

Magthea: I think "Clavis" on Old Europa stands close to this piece, but I could be wrong of course.

Jester: Who is responsible for your web site on the Internet?

Magthea: It is done by Amphion, a small multi media company with cultural roots. We got the web space free from Antwerp city as a kind of support for art. Amphion makes also our web site for free which is exceptional. So we are still waiting on our update with an art gallery, interviews and discography. But paying customers come first. I do not complain. It is nice from Amphion they help us with this. We ourselves consider us as Lo-Teks, it is only two years ago we could buy ourselves a MAC. Before that time we never worked on computers.

So we learn the language of the future by trial and error. I am a graphical designer, with a very classical background in design, currently designing in bits and bytes and Yasnaa is going back to school to learn this also. So in the near future it will be possible we will design our site ourselves, but as long as we do not have the financial possibilities to go on the net, in Belgium phone is very expensive) others will take care for us.

Jester: What does the future hold for the Hybryds?

Magthea: Our future? Like the destiny of every "small" man, trying to survive. And learning to use our just bought second hand Atari / Cubase, which will give Hybryds a new sound.

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