Harsh noise -and more- project Mai 12 is the spontaneous action of creating spontaneous and personal concrete noise. A digital destructive sonic outfit, emerged as a follow up (among two other sound projects) to our visual arts collaborative venture. The name signifies a date where all took form and a stream of togetherness unleashed its power and that power still remains. Mai 12 operates with d.i.y. punk ethics and approach, in a sense of making things on our own and without any help/support from any institution or academy. We conceive our noise to be dadaist punk but with a different sound and aesthetic. Our work was and will be always conceptual and/or commentary/critique on or about a given subject.
Doing its first steps in an urban landscape (Thessaloniki, GR), the sound of the first album “Asaotpu” (October 2017) captured and described the whereabouts of an urban life, the agoraphobic feeling of being packed in concrete constructions, but also -and most important- the feeling of doing stuff together with a comrade in life and arts. In this point of view, “Asaotpu” is an album about love in the post industrial era. The only album so far, that was born in such environment.
Then we relocated in the tiny volcanic island of Nisyros (GR), and there we made 12 regular cassette copies (“Minimal Edition”) and 12 hand-made box-sets (“Zanax Edition”) for this album, besides the initial digital release. We choose the hand-made approach as a part of our general d.i.y. preference. We love to make things by hand and as alive and sometimes visually not “perfect”, as life itself. All materials for the box set were gathered by hand and crafted slowly. Each box set is unique as the rusted locker or part of a lock is unique.
Playing more with the materials and found objects, we created some unique copies of the “Asaotpu” album, just for the pleasure of doing so. These will remain in our hands.
The relocation took our lives and sounds to a completely different turn. In that lovely, isolated and deserted piece of land, in a tiny village on the top of the volcano, in the total silence and virgin nature, we created ten more albums of total noise, in serious contrast with the silence and the serenity of the place. All our Mai 12 work here in Nisyros, is based on field recordings which we process them, in order to achieve the noise we want. Engraved in these sounds are portions of our daily lives, sentiments, aggression, tenderness, isolation, inner and outer dialogues, visions, discussions… Our noise is our current diary and everything here revolves around this process.
“Singularities” (November 2017) is our second album, a noise essay and a critique against "crutch type" relationships, where people are desperately looking for other people in order to fill gaps with any means. Overcoming the traditional "couple" models/roles and moving towards togetherness of singularities or shared individualism, a bond stronger than life. Cassette j-card is made from an old medical x-ray with artwork and info attached on it. Comes wrapped in orange paper with a DIY, hand-painted sticker with the artwork on it.
“Nikiá” (December 2017), the third album and our first sonic diary, where we are riding together on our motor bike, road is like a stream through wild trees on mountain slopes. Everything looks majestic. The sound of this excursion is captured, a diary of the event.
A re-construction of Andrei Tarkovsky "Mirror" film in noise and the experimentation on how that can be was the basis of our fourth album, “Concrete Mirror” (January 2018). Audio of "Mirror" was our raw material and three physical versions came out of it. “Minimal Edition” where the CDr is housed in a hand-made case out of velvet matte paper, attached together with an obi strip, “Transparent Minimal Edition” where the CDr is housed in a hand-made case attached together with an OBI strip -both case and OBI are made of transparent rice paper-
and the “Total Concrete Edition” where the CDr is housed inside a 2.9kg hand-cast concrete case with disk cover printed on rice paper and attached together with an obi strip. This version is... heavy in any sense and each copy is unique...
More albums came, more noise, more feelings, more isolation. “Dialogue Practices” (fifth album, February 2018) is a critique to dialogue, an almost failed concept yet to be destroyed… Prometheus' fire wasted in the absence of the art of dialogue. We rarely speak anymore, so kill words, only body language is real!
On March 2018, a split ep with Ирен Попова (sister project of Mai 12, about which we’ll talk more in another text) came up next, where the same track reworked by both projects in their own vision and aesthetics. Togetherness and individuality once again. And more…
“Catamaran” (sixth album, March 2018), a diary in sound. Conceived and recorded aboard ship Dodekanisos Express, during an almost psychedelic short trip from Kos (GR) to Nisyros (GR).
“Metaptose” (seventh album, April 2018), a narrative about some looped incidents of reality anxiety occurring lately, just before daily routine. A grenade (metaptose) in the head, with the firing pin pulled.
“CarpenterAnts” (eighth album, May 2018) and a true story: a sudden carpenter ant infestation in a house (our house) can be seen in various ways. Despite the damages or material loss, it is interesting to describe this occurrence under philosophical analysis. A breach in personal space not by the state or authority, but in a very natural context, this of carpenter ants. “Yellow” (June 2018), ninth album, which is a self-commentary about a period in which yellow color is more than evident, present and consuming and “Avláki” (July 2018), our latest album, an aural diary about a tiny specific place (Avláki, Nisyros, GR) we love enormously. Monolithic landscape, ruins, volcanic rocks and the sea. Our noise is in contrast with the total silence of the place. This album is the third diary, after "Nikiá" and “Catamaran” albums.
Two releases are in the works, a split album with the French project La Nuit Qui Tombe and a box set by Inner Demons Records (USA), plus the next album out on August 12th. Always gathering resources for more physical releases of our past albums and material and resources for future ones…
Find all the material at Bandcamp, free download/stream it, trade (preferred)/purchase copies from there, communicate with us and propose collaborations, delve in it and dig it, or not…
Karl Grümpe & Rene p.g.
Two visual and sound artists, Karl Grümpe and Rene p.g., met back in 2015 and joined in life and arts ever since.