“…they all have their own interpretation of cryptic names artists use and every one of the interpretations is every bit as valid as the original reason the name came to be.”
Huoratron is in his own world, composing deep, hard, techno beats that are loved by both heavy metal fans and punk kids. He was first discovered in 2010 at a Metal Festival in the Netherlands. His high-energy sound can only be rivaled by the energy of the crowd. He claims to have an intricate reciprocation with the audience:
“My energy reflects things like my relationship with the crowd and the crowd’s relationship with my music, more so than my ‘civilian’ personality or life. If the crowd gives me energy, I feed it back to them. The adrenaline hits and I engulf myself in the sound.”
The sound that he produces reminds me of organized chaos. When searching for something remotely comparable I could only think of abstract art installations, somewhat chaotic when looked at piece by piece, take a step back and the whole thing seems to make sense.
Huoratron learned his trade when he began dissecting the sounds from Gameboys and transforming them into a sound no one has laid their ears on. Although he’s no longer using Gameboys to craft his sound, the mad scientist reproduces high-octane sonics that I didn’t think speakers were possible of handling. And those sounds are exactly what his fans go to hear. Huoratron on a night after a set in Eastern Finland:
“Somewhat charming if not particularly scandalous encounter happened after a festival show in eastern Finland, quite close to the Russian border, last summer, two punk rockers came to talk to me with tears in their eyes. Apparently my gig had restored their faith in the power of electronic music.”
Huoratron produces the kind of music that makes people purge their inner feelings to become one with the sound. His upcoming album doesn’t fall short of that description. Cryptocracy will have you wanting to thank the mad scientist himself.
Magnetic got the exclusive chance to ask Huoratron aka Aku Raski some questions. The following interview might leave you wondering how a man this down to earth with such an extroverted, respectable and humble view of life and music could make such loud, glitchy, somewhat disturbing, techno-tronic perfection. This is a fantastic view into the mysterious life of Huoratron. Enjoy.
The album is scheduled to release April 24th on Last Gang Records. Pick it up if you need to be awakened.
Do you have a pre-show routine?
On the day of the show, it’s important to hang out with good people, eat good food and partake of the finest drinks. In other words, enjoy life. Most of all, it’s important to get away from the venue.
What exactly, if anything, does your moniker Huoratron mean?
Reading about or hearing bands or artists explain their names often make me feel embarrassed for them. Fans, random passersby, the mailman… they all have their own interpretation of cryptic names artists use and every one of the interpretations is every bit as valid as the original reason the name came to be. I’d prefer if people held on to theirs and left me with mine.
How’d you get your skills?
I was born with 0% of my skills. I was probably born with some cognitive biases, a potential emphasis for certain skill sets that come in handy in this line of work, like the ability to concentrate for long stretches of time, the ability to grasp the whole, attention to detail (even where other people don’t see any)… For the most part, what you hear is a result of the life I’ve led since I was born.
“The secret to me doing what I do is zero tolerance for compromise. Staying focused on what is important for me, regardless of whether others understand it right then and there.”
Speak about the hierarchy of skill (craftsmanship), style (your unique aesthetic) and emotive content in your work.
None exists without the other two. They’re interlocked, intertwined and interdependent. This comes about as a result of an evolutionary process. You have to go through many phases, hit your head against many walls, before it all clicks. I’ve gone through countless sometimes radically different iterations of what I am as an artist before arriving at this point, where people will pay me the ultimate compliment and say I have a signature sound.
Inform us as to your typical creative arc. Take us from alpha to omega with a project.
I produce countless iterations of each song, creating multiple layers and going through several rounds of processing. The challenge is to keep the essence, the core idea, within your grasp, staying true to the allure of the original idea. Sometimes it’s rendered unrecognizable fairly soon, other times it’s obvious, on the surface, for a long, long time… But it’s always there in the finished song. It’s important to remember that you have to make choices, even in this technologically advanced age. You can’t put everything in one song. Eventually you reach a critical mass. Recognizing that point is a skill. The song is then done.
If you were to describe your sound as a scent, a signature fragrance as it were, what would it be called?
It’s the scent of something burning.
What’s the secret to your success?
The secret to me doing what I do is zero tolerance for compromise. Staying focused on what is important for me, regardless of whether others understand it right then and there.
Describe a moment of what may or may not have been “paranoia” in your life.
Many people have lost a part of their innate self-respect and they never even noticed. It went with the loss of their personal privacy. Most notably, but not limited to, online privacy. What some people see as an online utopia is probably an anti-utopia. Whether or not this is true, still remains to be seen.
Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
People often say that in the end good wins out… I doubt it.
How will you feel six months after your heart stops beating?
Famished. I’ll probably eat a horse.
Does character invent style or does your style invent character?
First of all, I feel it’s not up to the artist to analyze one’s self. It’s another one of those areas where the potential for embarrassment is great. All an artist really needs to do is stay true to his or her vision. Secondly, I think this is another one of those areas where things are intertwined and inseparable.
The movement from CD to MP3 is seen as the most recent paradigm shift in the music business. Look ahead for us, into the future. What will be/cause the next big shake up?
Prognostication will get us nowhere. No one saw the current shake up coming, really. Some people saw aspects of it, probably through sheer luck. And they were dismissed as cranks. Change is a constant, as is resistance to it. I can only stay true to my vision and myself. I have no plan for “winning,” Mr. Sheen is on top of that.
Do you collect anything?
I don’t know if it counts, since it’s not collecting, per se. I don’t do it for the sole purpose of acquiring stuff, and the world is drowning in useless crap as it is, but… I’m hooked on collecting high-end audio electronics and, of course, analog modular synthesizers. The great thing about them is that in addition to being fetish totems, they are brilliant tools that can take me where I need to be, sonically. I’m good at making machines work for me.
What made you pursue your craft?
So far, everything that has happened has happened as a result of me pursuing my vision, without compromise. It wasn’t a conscious career choice, but a natural artistic evolution. I always dedicated as much time as possible to this pursuit.
What were you doing the last time an idea for a song came to mind?
I have a ton of notes, drawings of song structures… There’s always an idea. I rarely just start noodling and see what comes out, throw shit at the wall and see what sticks. The idea undergoes a long process, gaining focus and clarity. For a good song you try to preserve the original spark that catalyzes a series of successful mutations over time. The mutations happen as a result of rounds of processing. This is where the aforementioned high-end audio gear and modular synthesizers come in. It’s like bending metal. You feed it through the rollers time after time, until you know it feels right, until the form you perceived in the confusion finally shines through.
Thanks again Aku.