Please give a short history of DSM and biographical notes about its members. Why you decide to work with sound and what the place it takes in your life?

I personaly originate from a background entirely focused on the visual arts, having received practical education as a child in museums and private institutions. Once pushing the stroke into the third dimension I created tiny box-set scenes, involving every material at hand. Electric equipement from model trains had been my first sound source, motors, radios and then a first cassette recorder and weekends with a microphone of a hobby-filmmaker friends completed my set. But this was still considered by me in a pure visual art manner, meaning one assemblage of objects in front of an individual beholder. The usual age discremination in the visual art world together with the then dominating wave of german neo-expressionism made it that seriouse exposition was more or less out of reach to me. Luckely, dispite the rare exposure someone made it to eye and ear contact anyway and the question on the music (???!) was posed. Something that I never before considered as an individual, isolateable expression out of the contextual whole. A first cassette wrapped in portions of records made it on the shelfs of the, then 2 possible shops in Berlin and they even got rid of them. A little later on the invitation appeared for 2 release, with international distribution and a more apt form on Cassetten Combinat and Graf Haufen Tapes in Berlin. A first invitation for concerts outside of Berlin had been received in '83 for 3 dates in Holland. I got hooked. Things then developed slowly with the involvement of other people and a growing collection of "equipement" so to say. Through the live-shows that always had and developed more and more into performance works as well as through the rather usual extravaganca in packaging design in the cassette network the visual factor never got lost and I still consider myself rather as an artist then a composer/musician (we also created i.e. installations with no music at all), also I admit the differenciation is blurred. This view is also due to the many creations involving collaboraters out of different fields from other artistic disciplines to electronic- and computer engineers, people in robotics and medical and in medical-technic educated people. Permanent collaborator since '85 is Isabelle Chemin, having studied art in Bordeaux she went to Berlin after having received her diploma, were she meet the writer Jean Ren» Lassalle, who already gave us a hand at different occasions. Having two kids now, she is for the moment more or less exclusively working in illustration and the creation of internet pages. I myself have since some three years concentrated soley on music, released some more CD's and give concerts with my collegue Samuel Loviton.

As far I know, DSM is highly conceptual band. Using texts and graphics lets us speak about DSM as multi-media project. What means the term "multi-media" for you? Where are the roots of conception, and what is a purpose of conceptual art? Can we extend it to philosophy, politics, psychology or something else?

Things get rather big here I see. I don't feel at ease with such labels. It's all just made to fit you in one category and not into another. Multi-media has tried in times to embrace image, text and sound by the means of the digital on a single platform for the purpose of artistic expression, but has finished as a supermarket sticker reducing it to mere pavlovian on-screen push button activities offered pretentiousely as creativity you can buy, hence a difficult term for an artist to deal with. So let's better forget about it. Expressionism, always had been a term that makes resonating a sense of urge with that I can identify, forging into a diversity of possible, often combined supports might be an alternative description if any is needed (technical terms as labeling a creative approach have always failed, just like electro-acoustic music or media art, one has always the impression the means are there before the artistic-desire to offer a specific eperience to share, industrial- therefore was an appealing label but its contense unfortunately got corrupted). Dealing with recording equipment as the central instrument, electronics have always been an important part and have simplified much the approach to so called new technologies, independent if it was consumer electronics or very specialized expert-tech, but this has never excluded traditional means were they still made sense and had not just been commonplace. I would mention at that occasion that we all are indeed bookworms and narration and forms of novel and prose have certaily shaped how we approach our subjects. I beliefe that words still remain the fastest mode to evoke images. What the origins of conceptions are may differ not only from person to person, but also between aimed at subjects and the moment and circumstancies in which it is done. I'm scepticaly on anecdotes of a just go for it spontanity in creative acts. I can not imagine to act without having a conception of how to get closer to an intended goal, even if one is completly wrong or the steps preconceived are rather small and include a couple of returns on the same road. For conceptual art, meaning the concept is estimated more important then it's realisation I have little admiration. I live under the permanent impression that there is already enough that remains undone, I don't realy see the point of intentionaly adding to it, also I would grant that there can be an interesting aura being associated to deal in the obviously impossible, as is the case with compositions to those realisation one can only approach, but that are beyond the (currently) possible. To our case it might give a hint to say that we try to express an as much as possible coherent set of ideas by placing elements of it on different routes. Fragmentation here is not an compelling obligation, but rather the appropriate form to think in and to make emerge in, the to me ultimate form in which to suggest ideas. I beliefe that there is always a way that is more apt then another for a given task (the lesson out of chance and indeterminacy), but it depends on ones experience to decide for the right one on the first take. Those a text has been used on a record cover an other made it on an internet-site and again another was recited in a composition or become part of a video shown in a performance. A composition had been part of a performance, but never made it on a record, the subject of a performance had been adapted to an internet-site and a video endet in a dustbin for good reason. I could not imagine myself saying I'm a painter or composer or what else and now make everything either fit into this form of expression or not taking into account. I don't know if it makes much of a sense to intend to extend it to philosophy, politics, psychology or something else in that vain? I suppose I would fear the dogmas involved in this disciplines and I struggle already enough with them in the arts. Philosophy has once be part of the usual self education during on the way to adulthood and when starting to live in France there was no way round the usual palette of contemporary names, but if any philisopher ever has let a trace on me it was Wittgenstein, also I wouldn't say that any word of him made it into any oeuvre of mine, but his ability to doubt the most widely accepted concepts amazed me.

You have not so much releases to date since the inception. Don't you think your work is bothered no one except some noise ears around here? Or it takes really long time to produce an album?

I would say there's quite a list of releases coming together through the years, also of course I'm not mentioned in every third VITAL newsletter. My music is not only existing in the form of CD (or any other support) also we don't do any performance or installation work for the moment. I don't feel challenged to release every little bit I produce on CD and it is true that it takes me quite a while if ever to conclude a composition. I'm not to be satisfyed by just superimposing a couple off held for odd sounds. In fact the ample dominance in attention given to sound over composition in most electronic and especialy noise music rather upsets me. It has realy become an all else excluding fetish, also with the equipement available today every bloke can stumble over some usefull rings if given enough time, but to design the right context to value it is another story. Composing to me is the creation of worlds, sounds are the bricks and the furniture. But most things I hear seem only to be long, straight walls build, that never embrace a space, as best traverse a terraine as odd marks, curiosities by their lack of significance, but never provide a place to dwell upon. I'm maniac in details and I often also need to take distance from a work I'm onto, take up something else and get back to it with fresh ears. I also like to keep what I think is finished for at least a year under lock and only consider it for a release if I still like it then. Now since some three years I'm nearly exclusively in music, but before the performance and installation works have taken a big deal of time which also keeped me away from composing if it was not for the use in this creations, but it is very difficult to make this work fit into a domestic listening situation. Many compositions that worked live realy well had been rather inappropriate for listening in domestic situations. There had been some cassette release with the same titles as the performance, but this had been very different versions (not even, say re-mixes) and mostly they had contained music created in the same periode as this or that performance than realy containing the actual soundtrack. Nowadays I play live some more again with my collegue Samuel Loviton and we work on creating the next CD with a web of extracts from live recordings mixed into the studio versions of the same pieces.

You told me that you performed live. To be honest, I can't imagine how it could be like - in our country we have no opportunity to produce these events. Please tell me about you most interesting shows and maybe about you recent stay in Berlin? What is the difference between working in studio and live?

That's realy difficult to reply to. I had myself seen on stage for the first time 20 years ago and only have nostalgic memories to that. Since then live shows have undergone so many mutations. I would say I have been up to quite different things to as today and that makes it's realy hard to estimate. My first shows had been quite a confrontation with the audience and I realy wasn't in entertaining or pleasing anyone. I was not even into making it "a concert" also the noise and the fuzz had been there. There was certainly more adrenalin then clear thought been involved and the day when I encountered my physical limits came sure and heavy. Then the concert involved more and more performance elements and we ended up with the up side down view of performances with music involved (and occasionaly this had been done by other people, because I was needed otherwise). Today I feel confortable with Samuel and a table full of our equipement, something that has modified a lot as well. We basicaly use an empty multi-track hard-disc recorder and a mini-disc recorder that we load gradualy with fractions from pre-recorded CD-R's, thus we concentrated more on the composition than on designing sounds live, something I have become weary about. I think that Samuel and me we have done some interesting shows together from our beginning together two and a half year ago. Last year in Leeds and in some suburbs of Paris and now in Berlin and the last in Barcelona had been concentrated presented and well received concerts. During my recent stay in Berlin, musicians of the Zeitkratzer Ensemble played during their 3rd annual festival a version of my piece "the CD-player in my life" for Sax, Violin, Accordeon and insidePiano with a CD-player for each instrumentalist containing processed sounds of his instrument from recordings done some times before. This was my first experience with a "written" piece to be interpreted by people who are not involved otherwise with DSM. There are attempts to write another piece for this ensembles saxophonist Ulrich Krieger for saxes and real-time processing and I hope other experiences in this way will follow, because it is nice to hear ones piece without being involved to perform it oneselfs. After that I worked, thanks to the Podewil (a great place to play in) for a month in the studio for electro-acoustic music of the arts-academy of Berlin. There I worked on a (typicaly still unfinished) 4-channel piece based on piano recordings with open and muted strings. Live- and studiowork have little in common also fortunately things have approached considerable, at least for me. This is mostly due to the possibility to base the concert now more on recording as the essential activity then to generated (and process) a sound. Recording, playback and erasing are the three chords I struck today and it allows to construct pieces relatively accurat without that they become ever twice precisely the same or that it is needed to rely on midi or other pre-programmed sequencing possibilities. But still it is different inso far that a concert is adressed to people present, that everybody shares a more or less similar listening condition also attention may vary and that it is a once only experience, were as it completly escapes my volition what people do with an recording of a piece of me, let's say on CD (maybe nothing at all), but of which I have to expect a repeated listening under often very different conditions. Both working situation have their attractive sides, I enjoy the certain spontanity, the imediate reaction to a brief situation and the necessity to take a decision in this very moment that can't be altered, as at home or in a public studio (which is exceptional for me) I enjoy the opposite by similar degree. Exploring by toogling n-times between different possible combinations, delay any definitive decision as long as possible, construct and re- and deconstructed and I hail the invention of the undo button.

Let's speak about your recordings - unfortunately, I still hadn't hear something except your first LP. Can you briefly describe your albums? Please also not forget your collaborations.

I would carefully atempt to describe the music of DSM as rooted in musique concr’te also I would renounce a lot the distinction of source material for which I have no particular preference that has last. Important is only to have it captured on a support that allows its further use, which today includes nearly every once emitted sound and renders genre distinction somewhat hazy. The first LP, published in 1990 on Discos Esplendor Geometrico in Madrid had been an personal milestone that marked our archievement in ten years of cassette productions. Were many things created in this time had been kind of reports on experimences and testdrives to find our way on a rather blanc terrain, the production of the following years rather tried to approach ideas almost precisely conceived ahead. żberlebensformen and The Harvest of Magnetism, the titles of this LP had been produced with relatively rudimentary technics again, because many of our equipement couldn't be transported or had been sold in order to go to Barcelona. It is those a real tape work based on sounds derived from assemblages of found materials, recordings done in our immediate surrounding in Barcelona and the imperative fuzz of effect pedals. All this had been mangled in an, often described as "organic" rush in which the numerouse cuts and splices had been indistinguishely blurred and those keep on in a virtualy homogeneous mood. In later releases this has shifted to a voluntary audible increasement of alternation, often confrontation of opposed moods that now has found its culmination by ever more precise montage technics with the use of the computer and the possible use of silence that is not just tape hiss + vinyl cracks minus the intended noise. In a way the digital realm has guided to a revision of the time when working exclusively with open reel tape and ratherblades. Concerning the mentioned roots in musique concr’te I would like to mention that I see processing as possibility to appropriate a sound to me and to forget as much as possible its origin which contains little interest for me. Indeed I like to consider captured sounds as orphan entities and that composition is an atempt to give them a new home. I like the idea that a recording can enfold a conserved fraction of time and space within anotherone were things happen those cause remains nebulouse. That's why the fragmented thinking and carrying out of ideas seems so important to me. If you listen to a bang on a can on a record of a percussion group you will keep the actual motion that causes the sound in mind, were as the same sound in a collage linked and at once divided from other sounds actual annihilates its referencial cause. I am realy anti "cinema for the ears" which I think is a realy stupid notion. I believe my music is very well anchored in a european tradition of composition. I enjoy to create a sense of tention and a dynamic dramaturgy in a piece also I make intervene many different, often irregulary dotted lines at once. In my early years in musical life in Berlin I had the oppurtunity to become exposed to the industrial/noise thing and become at the same time introduced to the academic contemporary music scene, the two lenses that still shape my vision of music. That maybe is the reason why my music is still more complex then plain noisy. Collage certaily is a keyword to capture the essential formal principle of my composition. I don't like to much to insist on that point, because it is always associated to have origined in dada and surrealism, which is true as for it concerns its appearance in art. But the dadaists had been inspired by freudian psychoanalysis and a technic of random association, beliefed to be a tool to access to the unconsciouss. To a given word one has to reply as fast as one can with another in an ongoing chain. The freudian psychoanalysts conviction had been that the occuring random association would contain and reveal significance concerning the individual case. It seems more likely that significance had been deliberately forged into the resulting chain of words, however, this significance, projected or revealed is exactly what interests me more then watching torn out newspaper shreds pasted together.

I haven't done so much "fruitfull" collaborations. There is a LP with Frans de Waard and Ios Smolders from '92? that is expected to be re-released on CD. A CD with J∆rg Thomasius and one with MSBR and ERG and I'm looking for a label to release the first volume of my BRIEF ENCOUNTER series with a CD of collaborations with ERG, The Oval Language and Artificial Memory Trace carried out at different occasions in the last years. This are always enriching and challanging collaborations, but I won't get on this jazzy carrier ladder to record or play with everyone I come across. It takes me also a lot of time to work on that there appears something new and not just a sandwich combined of the known archiefements of those involved. I also have done a "7 inch a while ago entitled "drum" my first work with Samuel that opens a series of composition in which I will work on a single acoustic instrument. This is kind of a private homage to Berios sequenzas series. I already recorded trombone, oboe, violincello and saxes, but still have to work on that material. It's nothing I'm in hurry with, but that's nevertheless a very important venture for me.

The music scene in France is very rich and different, but this country is world wide known as the center of electroacoustic/musique concrete. On the academic level, many centers are exist, many contests are organized. But it seems that your music fall in some more extreme cathegory, of which I can only remember Francois Douris. What is going now in France?

Extreme in relation to what? I don't know, I cannot deal with such terms. Maybe consequent or uncompromized, but who can estimate that. I'm dealing in art/music since 20 years, I feel I have learned a great deal and I do as best as I can. That's it. My intention is not to be or do in the extreme, that's far to easy. The imperative intention must always be to create works of significance. I don't mind so much about what's going on around me artisticaly or musicaly. I take note of it, but it doesn't effect my personal re/search. I cannot imagine myself shaping my music to make it fit into what ever is en vogue or beneficial.

France has gained a certain image established by GRM and IRCAM and Bourges, but I have no relation to them other then having a casual consumation of their production and concerts. Like for eveything else, things happens in clans and that's a very general phenomenon, valuable as well for much less recognized organisations and I'm not part of. I have gone occasionaly to the acousmatic concerts organized by GRM at Radio France, but that's more of an agreeable audiophile experience rather that I would say it satisfies me from a musical point of view. However, I think the time were a given locality has a significant distinction to another as related to centers of creativity have past. People travel a lot and are quite well informed of what's going on here or there. Studio equipment has become also more and more uniform and maybe the spectral thing was the last, let say school for a while to emerge as specific to one countries composers. I'm not doing much in France, it's to demanding, their is always more effort needed as anywere else. I just live here, two hours away from Paris (just in case) , 15 minutes from the see and a mouse click away from the rest of the world. Recently I got involved with some improvisers St»phane Rives and Agn’s Palier. I like Toy Bizarre of Limoge and his label Kaon, it has some interesting releases as has Sonoris in Bordeaux and the young label Schambala in Paris as well is worth to mention. There are some zine of which Piece Warriors appeals most, besides Waves there is another shop in Paris named Bimbo Towers, that is always nice to visit, I guess that's it if you are not in beep beep electronica.

What are your feelings towards new technology and equipment regarding music? Your band name sounds very technical, functional - I always thought that it's close to scientific attitude...

There's no civilisation without progression I believe. Luckely to me computers have become effordable, were in times of mere hardware it was much more difficult and expensive to keep up with the evolution in case it was desired. Off course today I deal much less with all my effect pedals, analog sythesizers and the like, but I still work a lot from that kind of source material and profit from what I have learned with it. I beliefe that the combination of different technologies is an advantageous approach. I had been quite attached to everything that had names like compressor, expander, gate, ducker, equalizer and so on and fumbling around with them in the digital domaine is far more efficient, but on the other hand I have an analoge stereo studio flanger/chorus as well as a dozen or so distortions and there are combinations were no program ever got close to. Editing in digital also allowed for real silence which with my former analoge equipment was impossible to obtain and which is an important element for me. Our name means the "sythetic mixture of fabrics", something that was written on labels in shirts at times were to wear plastic was fashionable. But at least in german this names meaning is expandible mostly as poining to the potential mixture of usualy unrelated matter (thus back to the freudian association thing). But I grant that I mostly like the way this name sounds.

The music is often understand as something that unites people, make them closer. Are you ever experienced networking and what you think about it in general?

I started from the cassette network, running different labels, a journal and an import/export distribution service when I used to live in Berlin. In '87 when finaly living in Barcelona I gave all that up and concentrate on the performances and had my releases published on others labels. Also I tried to stay in contact with as much people as possible money and time reduced that to only a fraction of what it was before. On the other hand I got involved with many other people through our stage productions. After our first LP had been published a single followed to the catalog of the catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta for a exposition of his work at the contemporary arts museum of Barcelona. Evidently it had been distributed in a completly different circuit as usual for us. A first CD had been published by SFCR in Bordeaux were we used to live after our 4/5 years in Barcelona. He cared for the distribution and I still had little to do with it what suits me well at the time. What brought me back was concerts with ERG and The Oval Language, the participation to the compilations R»g»n»ration - D»g»n»rescence by the label KAON and Tulpas, the mammoth project of RLW on Selektion, as well as the fact that progresively all the to me interesting people got at least an email. Things got intensified with the CD Geosynclines together with ERG and MSBR on Koji Tano's label Flenix in Tokyo and nowadays I have again to pay attention to not spend more times sending emails and licking stamps then doing what is the actual reason for all that. I would agree that any subject you share with others can overcome geographic distances, can approach people and can as well disapoint them when actualy meet. At least it loosens the dependence that may exists to get comfortet by other people with that you have little more in commen then to share the same postal code. But I suspect it's all a question of expectations one has and it helps to develope the awareness of not being alone in the world doing what one is doing and those the possibility to share ones experience and archievements with others.

Are there any connection between music and real life or it's more abstract, sophisticated, isolated world? Do you have some influences, or try to clear all external sources?

Life isn't real at all. Art (including music) is the only real thing. Life has multiplied its desperate mimicry of the invented and fictional, most of all its agenda of needs by its corrupt claim to equal what is beneficial and what is undeniable manifest. Art adresses itselfs to the immediate cognitive, may rise questions and revise accepted assumptions, were as the so called real life only adresses itselfs to the boldly reactive, confirming the by saturation near dead affect. Because, if it is not for satisfying apparent needs, it concern is merely to create other that promptly take the place of the former ones and seek the same demand. Art is often said to fullfill no function. That is as much as true as it is the reason for being the only real thing and differentiate it from the so called real life. Only the intentionaly arbitrary, associative interpretation can create meaning (beyond mere causalities), loaded with and turned into significance. People got used to ask what is the meaning of this picture or what ever artefact, because unconscious they already gave up to aim this question to anything that's not the result of a creative endeavour, ignoring their acceptance that only art is the mirror that can provide an answer. The so called real life has to keep the fictious fictive and art on the far opposed side of its own fundamental notion of true and false in order to conserve it own condition.

I already mentioned literature as a major influence, both for form and contents and I would say that the different disciplines I had been exposed to and activities I had been involved in provided a fertile ground to my personal evolution. I mentioned that my early exposure to what went of with industrial and the academic contemporary music scene had been a starting point on a continueing string to me, at least have changed the way I have seen my own creation at that point and the wast possibilities to exploide (and not only musicaly). On the other hand I have never felt being a part of a movement, but rather cultivate a general curiousity and I have enjoyed the exemplary network mostly because it was never defending an aesthetic cause, if it was not for being anti-mainstream, anti-popular. This to me is an obviouse difference to the emerging generation in art/music that seems so desperate for admiration. Neurology and cognitive science had provided the source for the performances we started in 1990. Currently I read books of the Dublin born, in London living writer Iain Sinclair who brings narrative and the notion of literary space quite an enjoyable step forward, if this is influencial I don't know yet. Other peoples music had been often very educative for me, but in how far this has influenced my own creation escapes my estimation, I'm affraid it wasn't much.

What about the financial end of it all? Do you believe the art can be really independent and free from capitalist world?

Well, you can play un-plugged from your balcony to please your neighbourhood, that shouldn't ruin you, but I don't see why especialy art should make the exception. I think that on the contrary artists should be more involving the, as mentioned above, them opposing realities including the economical system in which their creation grows. They should establish enterprises to whitewash money instead of waiting for grants, they should have political parties to make millions disappear, they should have an army to make land-art by occupying foreign countries, they should make it a happening to exploit third world childs to fabric millions of "art rules" merchandise. They shouldn't wait untill their minister for foreign artfairs is invited, but should go and invite themselfs leaving behind nothing like do plagues of grasshoppers. Art should shows its teeth (rotten or gold). It is exactly there opposed to the functional, popular and entertaining where every move is a calculation, propelled opon the longing for success that is measured at an obviousely fabricated plot. It should not enable itselfs to accorde its effords to what is corrupting that, for what it is staying for. Money isn't the currency in which to weight art, but the artefact can well be. This in mind, only the blatant parasitic embodyment, keeping to itselfs the authority to write the script can allows itself the entrance into the showcases of (financial) success, whatever the economic playground. Art when embraced, since being beneficial by ceaselessly spiten rhethorics has to be instable, fluctuative, slipping away from the nail that only want pin it to the wall. What is to leave behind only is the frame to appreciate the spectacular.

Art in association with many other things is propagated to be of minor impact and influence on people and the place it occupies in their lifes (ever heared of a culture or civilisation without music?), those its rates. It can indeed change things, at least give an awareness to certain things. I wouldn't be the person I am with out it. Art/music can proof to serve for something else then pure consumation or quiten your fear in the dentists waiting room. Art/music should not ignore the circumstancies in which it had been produced, neither glorify nor succomb to them and the network for (experimental noise) music ... has certainly proofed in its many years that their is an awareness for unexploited potentials in production and distribution. And hence their is no reason why other forms of creation should depend soley on the established modes of support and exploitation.

What are your future plans?

I already mentioned some releases to be expected. I have plans for concerts with Eric Cordier who plays hurdy gurdy with his trio Schams. There are the both improviseurs St»phane Rives (sax) and Agnes Pali’r (voice) with whom Samuel and me played last year for the first time and we both will certainly be seen somewere round here or there.