Interview & Mix: Obsidian Festival + Tackle

Obsidian Festival launches this November, welcoming Container (USA) as part of an eclectic lineup of dark, experimental electronic performers from at home and abroad. One of the artists, Melbourne local Tackle, has put together an hour of industrial weirdness for your listening pleasure. 

Tell us a bit about the background of yourself and the Obsidian team.

There’s three of us – Josh Wells, Cooper Bowman and myself Mat Spisbah. We all just know each other through music. Cooper has been running the outstanding Altered States Tapes label for 10 years or so, playing off kilter electronic music under various aliases (Roman Nails, Kneeling Knave, Cooper Bowman). Josh is part of dark heavy Resistance/Restraint crew and plays under as many aliases- Nerve, Correct Line, Hemlock Ladder. I used to be part of labels and now just run a small online distro called Files and Folders and make music under a new solo project called OIL.

How did you come into contact with one another initially?

I think Josh had the idea to bring Container out and hit up Cooper who had organised a show with him previously (when he was down for Sound Summit). I was picking Cooper up from the airport at the time and he was telling me about it. I jumped on board then and it all kinda grew from there. This was about 18 months ago… so it’s been a pretty gradual process. But we’re all big Container fans… it just grew out of that.

What were the ideas that helped to creatively shape the project?

We all share a pretty similar taste in music, so it wasn’t hard to agree on a lineup. We haven’t modelled it on other festivals or projects or even any other ideas – we just started making a list of acts we wanted to play. Then when it got to 20 strong, it was like fuck – that’s not gonna fit into one day. So we decided to make a second show as a more experimental and chilled arvo follow up to the banging first night.

Musically, what were you looking for in your lineup? What appeals to you specifically about Container?

I guess its the avant-garde impulses mixed into an overall aesthetic that we’re about. There’s nothing specific that we tried to nail down in terms of curatorship, but all the music has a kind of bleak abstraction or disillusionment to it. I’ve heard it called antisocial surrealism, which I think is pretty fitting. With Container’s music… it’s the heavy punishing rhythms with his choice of samples and loops that’s so hypnotic. It’s so accurately simple, yet chaotic. It’s that that’s so captivating, and the rising sense of tension through every track just keeps you pining for destruction.

What can we expect as attendees of the event/events? Anything special planned non-musically speaking?

You can expect a night of antisocial surrealism I suppose… hah. we haven’t got anything planned outside of the music for the night. We’ll definitely have some visuals going, and we’re gonna have acts downstairs in the front bar as well. So it’ll be the full gambit… anywhere you go in the venue.

What else do you guys have planned for the future?

Nothing at this stage, but we’re all pretty keen to do it again. We wanted to bring this Polish artist called ‘Kosel’ out for the same show but that didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll try hook that up next time, we just have to find the right string of artists to bring over.

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