Neizvestija makes dark ambient electronics. Neizvestija resides in Stockholm, Sweden. Neizvestija likes wheat fields, deep forests and mass movements.


Interview with Neizvestija

1. Can you tell us a bit about the project.

Neizvestija originally grew out of my experiments with modular synths, and the first album, based around modular synthesis, was finished in the spring of 2010. It was never released, but can be found on my Soundcloud page:

The first album that saw a release, Black Books, was released in 2012 on Dutch net label Het Donkse Oog. It’s partly recorded live onstage and partly improvised at home. I had then moved on from modulars to Elektron gear and hardware FX.

After Black Books, I ventured into different ways to conceptualize my music. Majak evolved out of reading about nuclear disasters and how the Chelyabinsk area has been contaminated with nuclear waste for over half a century.

Post apocalyptic landscapes are mostly imagined as dark, gloomy and uninhabitable, like the devastation caused by thermo nuclear war and subsequent atomic winter. But the Chelyabinsk countryside by the river Techa is a beautiful as ever. Death is invisible and creeping. The people unfortunate enough to have to keep on living there have to keep on burying their dead from different kinds of cancer, brought on by the radioactive contamination everywhere around them.

The 1979 film Stalker by Russian film maker Andrei Tarkovsky is a point of reference, with its pastoral landscape that looks perfectly calm but contains unknown horrors.

The reception of Majak has been overwhelming. While the number of people to actually hear it might not be that many, all reviews I’ve read have ranged from approving to outright praise. Also, in a way I believe to be quite unprecedented for an obscure Swedish dark ambient album mostly marketed through social media, Russian news sites picked up on the story which has thus been widely spread in the country where the conceptual frame of the album is set.

2. What are your influences?

Numerous, but to name three – Brian Eno for Ambient 4 On Land, one of the greatest ambient albums ever; Nordvargr for opening my eyes to the world of dark ambient; and Pete ”Sleazy” Christopherson for the sheer brilliance of Throbbing Gristle, early Psychic TV and Coil.

3. What does your studio or recording space look like?

It’s my bedroom, literally. I have access to the Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm, but rarely ever use it for Neizvestija (though I occasionally go there with other projects). A computer with Pro Tools, Elektron synths and samplers, ace hardware FX. What I need, really. Except time.

4. What do you feel as you record music?

I usually improvise, lot of stuff is done live. I sink into it, become immersed. It’s intuitive. I never think ”Hmm, how did Lustmord achieve that sound on that great album of his?”. I just do it.

5. If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

I’d have to go with Sleazy I guess.

6. If you could meet someone living or dead,who would it be and why?

I would love to spend some time with the late William S Burroughs, one of the most intelligent people of the 20th century.

7. What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?

Nothing I can think of.

8. Who is your favorite prophet?

I really don’t approve of prophets. There is wisdom to be found in a lot of places.

9. Any last words?

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