Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 27, 2006: Splatt

August 27, 2006: Splatt

Stay tuned for this week's feature on Splatt, and for this week's podcast (episode 109) which will be uploaded later this evening!

I had fun DJing my very last summer event last night, and now am looking forward to a Fall full of studio work. Wish me luck! The event was Density Studio's Art of Design Show, and the winners of the juried competition were Chuck U (First Place), Nancy McCabe (Second) and Squad 19 (Third). The jury consisted of Amy Bemas (Art Director, Peterson Milla & Hooks Advertising), Loie Maxwell (Creative Director of Advertising, Target Corporation), Sophia Svenssen-Huang (Creative Manager of Advertising, Target Corporation), Paul Saarinen (Principal, Brand & Butter) and Izaak B (Senior Designer, L'etoile Magazine). Thanks to the artists, the jurors and to everyone who came out to Density last night!



I first met Splatt at the Bryant Lake Bowl, in October of 2001. I was working with Sound Unseen that year to bring out several sound collage artists from around the world, and Splatt showed up to see one of the shows we organized for that venue. He gave me a CD that night and then continued to send new stuff in the mail just about every month or two, until finally I had about ten original records from him!

At some point, I thought I should do a best-of compilation, just for the SAR library, to make it easier to program his work into the show. When I was done, it occurred to me that the collection would make an excellent release. I don't know that I would have thought about starting the record label (Recombinations) if it weren't for Splatt then, because once it occurred to me that I'd like to put it out, I started thinking of a few other things which had been sent to me, that hadn't been officially released, and started to put together a list of records I would put out if I could. Recombinations was launched in 2004, with an album by The Coherent Encoherence, a live CD by my own project (Escape Mechanism) and World of Splatt, the best-of compilation by Splatt.

I think Splatt falls into a category of sound collage which I've been starting to recognize but haven't come up with a name for yet. It's rough, to be sure, in that it's not always all that musical, but it doesn't qualify as noise either because it's quite organized, and while it is crunchy, it's not abrasive. There's something in it which kind of sneaks up on those with the patience to find it out. I feel fortunate in cases such as this. If it weren't for having to find new work for the show, I don't know that I would have given this the time it needed to sink in. Another artist like that is Jeff Sconce, or maybe even Hal Wilner. I definitely didn't get it at first, but upon further reflection, I'm still realizing its hidden beauties.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Splatt...

*Name: Splatt

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: SPLATT WRECKCHORDS AND ARTWRECKS. "Stuff from the other side of the fence. Stuff that would bug most people."

*Do you use a pseudonym? Always.

*Members: From time to time, there have been as many as 35 and as few as one (me). Some of the more significant members have been (with my apologies to all I've forgot or don't have room to list): Babyfat, Chefboy R-D, Thomas the Tank Injun, Salvador Dolly, Elephant Gerald, Greasy Gerald, Pillzberry, Blind Boy Grunt, Son Raw, Fatso, Ronald Splatt, Kurtis Splatt, Dr. Jkeith, Harvey Splatt, Kenny Splatt, Lars Splatt, Lars Boatman, George Splatt, Little Stevie Splatt...and myself, Michael Splatt.

*Founding Member: Michael Splatt takes full responsibility for everything that has happened afterward.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Probably the first two.

*Another genre descriptor: SFM (spindulator - foldomatic - module mutilation) - or - "Lucky Breaks.” Actually, the way I classify my work is that it's so UNDERGROUND there ain't a hole deep enough to reach me.

*Why you use this descriptor: The first one came to me in a dream about appliances and the second (if not self-explanatory) came to me when I spotted a pack of Luckys on the mixing board while listening to "Real True Freecore" for the first time.

*Location: Detroit/Minneapolis

*Original Location: Detroit

*What is your creative/artistic background: In the first grade, I divided the class up into cowboys and indians. When I was 12 years old, I bought my first rock and roll record (it was either Cream or The Amboy Dukes). I quickly discovered that guys even uglier and geekier than me could score with pretty chicks and make lots of money if he was a MUSICIAN. I bought a guitar. Many, many rockin' teenage combos and sh*** little bar bands later, I retired from public performances. I bought a computer. Fooling myself again, I assembled a revolving cast of MUSICIANS (including some now-famous ones, that I'm forbidden to name) and started SPLATT RECORDS. Many flops and unfinished projects later, I started to create music without the use of any MUSICIANS, and soon without the use of any musical instruments either. Having worked through the arduous, expensive, and arbitrary process of sample clearances, I adopted a new philosophy of "public domain" and started stealing the towels!!!!!! My latest project (before my computer died and put me outa business) was a series of singles made here in the motortown called "MO' SING". It's been fun.

*History: Just counting from the period of SPLATT RECORDS (which you may have noticed has now mutated into SPLATT WRECKCHORDS), it has been 13 years.

*Born: Oh man, you don't wanna know all that. Me, I just turned 50.

*Motivations: It's like Al Jourgenson of Ministry said, "I know I've created a success when I listen to the final mix and it makes my d*** hairs stand up on end."

*Philosophy: Our reality is the existence of multiple, overlapping imaginary universes. Most of my work reflects these universes in collision.

*How would you like to be remembered: By the soundtrack played at my funeral. And maybe also as the guy that turned people on to Frank Zappa.

*Web address: We can't afford one. You can list my email address - - if anyone wants to get some information (or send some money).


Thanks to Splatt for being the focus this week. They don't have a website, but you can find his and other Recombinations records at the Recombinations website. Or contact him directly at the above email address!

No events to advertise for the coming weeks... I'm so excited! I know that seems backwards, but I've been doing too many parties lately and am ready to settle into the studio and roll up my sleeves. Stay tuned to the radio show, of course - I'll still be producing a new episode every week for air on the many syndicating radio stations, and uploading an episode from the archive every week as well, for the podcast. Drop me a line and let me know you're listening - and thanks to everyone who wrote this past week! It really makes my day to hear from people who enjoy the program.

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson


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