Curated by Helena MȺrkos
A driving force in the techno scene since the mid-’90s, Oliver Ho originally made a name for himself alongside Regis, Surgeon and James Ruskin as part of the new breed of British techno that drew inspiration from not only the techno scene but the rich heritage of industrial and post-punk music from the U.K. After the White Rats trilogy behemoth that came out on L.I.E.S. records, Oliver Ho’s Broken English Club returns with a startling album exploring technology, reality, spirit, and the self. Coming on Oliver’s own Death & Leisure imprint, ‘The Artificial Animal‘ is a no-compromise journey through raw data noise, feedback, raw dubby techno, and experimental cut-up sound pieces. Throughout the 12-track album, there is a sense of overload and electronic fevered hallucination counterbalanced with primitive rhythmic machine music.
In the present day Oliver continues to take these ideas into club and concert spaces around the world, featuring live vocals and synth percussion, adding a vital energy to his unique techno performance.
Today, he answers some questions about his new album, reflecting on its composition, creative process and the meaning it delivers in an increasingly chaotic state of humanity. The album’s excellent artistic content mirrors its creator’s perception of the modern world and its dynamics. Broken English Club translates the complex fusion of spirit and technology into 12 fierce sonic experiences.
We give you a taste of ‘The Artificial Animal’ by premiering the track ‘World on Fire’, a highly compelling and sensations evoking piece. Here, the artist’s distinctive vocals are accompanied by a merciless kickdrum inducing a purging sense and a mental release.
T.O.P: Hi Oliver, and thank you for accepting my invitation. This interview focuses on your upcoming album, ‘The Artificial Animal’, on your imprint Death & Leisure; a mighty album filled with edgy, intense, thought-stimulating sounds, covering a wide range of musical styles and rhythms. In this work, you bring concepts such as technology, reality, spirit, and the self into play. Tell us a few things about the creative process/journey for making this album and how do you feel now, after the completion of it?
Like a lot of the Broken English Club stuff, this album sits at a kind of axis, around which a lot of different ideas rotate, I’m always interested in connecting abstract noise and heavy atmosphere pieces with more clubby rhythmic music. Theres some pure sound collage pieces on this album, which I’m really pleased with, they are very much fuelled by notions of spirit and technology, and the experience of modern reality experienced through computers. They have a kaleidoscopic energy, that reflects the overloaded sensory feeling of an over saturated world of information.Broken English Club
T.O.P: Was there someone or something crucial in creating this album?
A lot of the sounds on the album were the result of converting digital information into sound, through this process you can convert pretty much anything into sound, and it comes out in the end sounding really chaotic and manic. These types of sounds certainly feed into the energy of the music.
T.O.P: Today, we premiere your track ‘The world is on fire’ and I wonder, how are you experiencing the current socio-political status quo, with the endless tragedies and dramatic, unprecedented changes on all levels? What’s the impact on you as a human being and an artist?
There is a sense that the world is constantly in crisis and that there are an infinite number of narratives for what’s going on because everyone has created their own story, and the combined noise of everyone screaming their version of reality at each other is a kind of never-ending storm of formless noise. This definitely influences my music and the kinds of sounds I am interested in. I am looking for catharsis, a way of processing and dealing with the weight of modern human culture, I exist in it, but I want to transcend it too. That’s what a lot of art is for in my mind, taking us out of our context and bringing us into a more focused and powerful state of being.
T.O.P: What would you say are those feelings that represent ‘The Artificial Animal’?
A lot of it is me trying to process the chaos of the world, and trying to put that chaos into a context, so it becomes almost beautiful to look at in an abstract way. Also its about wanting to make raw body music, music that moves and thuds and klangs. So there’s these two sets of forces pushing and pulling, one which is quite abstract and formless and one which is very primitive, and its that tension that forms the album.
T.O.P: In your opinion, what are the momentous challenges that you think artists face nowadays?
I think a challenge these days is to find a space in which to capture someone’s attention, because everyone has gotten so used to experiencing the world at such a rapid pace, its increasingly hard to get people to concentrate and experience art in a way that they fully submit to it. Thats why I love playing live so much, because in this live music space, people are still plugged into something very primal, that’s amazing. Music is the last access to pure ecstasy and spirit, it will outlast religion, to some of us its more important than religion.
T.O.P: Any plans for the near future?
I’m interested in fusing music and sound with other art forms, and working on some collaborations with difference kinds of artists right now, which will hopefully come to completion this year.
2.The Artificial Animal
4.The Slow Bleed
9.Blood and Wire
12.World on Fire
A2.The Artificial Animal
A4.The Slow Bleed
B4.World on Fire
15 June 2022 [pre-album single]
04 August 2022 [pre-album single]