|This is one of our "noise masters"
interviews, where we attempt to explore the inner workings of noise musicians - how they
perform their craft and why. In case you are not aware, Crippled Ninja releases noise and
electronic music, mainly from the output of one man, Mark Price. Here, we ask Mark
Price a few questions about his sound-creating method.
1) What is the
premise behind the How To Sleep cassette series? Like what is the music made of, and what
are the mentioned "late night noises"? Each copy is different, so for each
cassette, the music is made seperately? What other stuff is interesting about that
The how to sleep series is always going. And its not really restricted musically to
what will happen. But is usally is quite noise or minimalistic and spooky. Usually
something that could be played while going to sleep. Or trying to sleep. Maybe. As far as
how it is made: I will usually rig up a good amount of stuff so I can make the tape live
[no over dubbing.] (I use) samplers, toy keyboards [just got a sk1 sampling keyboard at a
flea market for $7!], sometimes I will throw in some moog synth tones, also prerecorded
material on cassette, cdr or reels...also I will use a turntable to spin sound records and
manipulate them [ie. scratch]. Usually (I will use) odd, old sound fx records... ambient
environment records and other weird stuff. Yes, each tape is made seperately. I don't make
a master copy and then duplicate that. Each one is a "master copy." I do this
because I will end up just fooling around with equipment [late at night usually making for
the "late night noises"] and will want to put it to tape so I have a
documentation of what I did. I may end up not listening to it again so that is why I
started this, to sort of get rid of them. And maybe someone else would be interested in
hearing what I was up to. As for what else is interesting about the release, they are
packaged in handmade covers on board with splattered red ink and type writer text. So it
looks all bloody and disturbing. I like it.
2) The How To Sleep video tape also sounds intriguing; how did you collect the
footage? What type of footage is it? Where was it collected from? How were the images
Alright. I would say that 99% of the footage was shot by me. Spanning over a year plus.
Its really all over the place. Some footage is from short movies, others are of back yard
wrestling, claymation, pixalation, animation, just recording while driving around or
walking around...I think most of it is from recording in Pennsalvania. But also a few
scenes maybe from Maryland and Delaware. So what I did was I had about 10 vhs tapes full
of these "home movies and recordings" and I played them back in my vcr
player...on the television I would adjust the settings of the contrast, brightness, tone
and so on. The images would look oversaturated in color and be bright and unnatural. I
would then record with my camera off the television screen. The resulting would be these
pixalated fucked up versions of the original films. I would then take the new versions,
put them to vhs...and repeat the process of recording it off the screen and they would
look really messed up. And interesting?
3) I like this whole video game music genre idea. How is the music made? Is it
actually based on existing video games? Who is this "math" guy?
I use a few different computer programs for my music. Math was a project using
the programs...this very simple tracker style program called Mod Plug that actually can
fit on a regular 3.5 disk. One would import their own samples and program them on the
grid. One would have the ability to transpose all the sounds and make it quite complex and
layered...Using multiple grids and sequencing them together. Now the way I did it as Math
[yes, it's just me] was I collected a bunch of sounds, not even that video game sounding
for the most part, and programmed them randomly by just doing alot of button pushing. Math
was not actually based on previous videogame music though. I was able to get another
tracker style program that is contained in a game boy cartridge that can be played on any
game boy unit. It was programmed by this kid in Sweden, I think... he made it him self
with some help and is selling it @ www.littlesounddj.com. This is great for making video
game music on the go, because you can fit it in your pocket and it is made on a vidoegame
system so you know it will be totally 4bit sounding!
4) As well, all your other projects sound really neat; is there any info you'd like
to give about the other things? Any information about the 2nd vhs or the other projects in
the making? What is the whole process of hand-crafting the packaging like?
Thank you. Well I just finished up a new two song cdr called "Observer or Spy
Mission." This was fun because I went out with a friend to do field recordings down
the street at a 24-hour landromat. We hopped on our bikes late one evening, armed with a
Fisherprice tape recorder and a microcassette recorder. We collected all sorts of washing
machine, drying machine, change/coin, vending machine, banging stuff around sounds. Then
we went out to the payphone on the street and started fuckin around with that getting all
sorts of feedback and keytones. So that cd is those sounds spliced up and sequenced into
complex beats and rhythms. the 1st track is the landromat. The 2nd is the payphone. Also,
I just finished up the first issue of my zine "crippledninja zine" focussing on
electronic music, noise, local music, graffiti and more. The first issue is only 12 pages
but has small type that's packed in there so there is a fair amount of stuff to read.
Hopefully with future issues it will grow in size! As for the 2nd vhs, it's still in the
process. Still collecting and shooting new footage. So far I have footage of Bike riding
at night, some drawings on video, and a lighting storm. Now this doesn't go for all of the
packaging. But a few have silkscreen printed covers [math, rog11, the How To Sleep vhs]
and I also used rubber stamp printing for the 3way split cdr. The others maybe photocopied
or colorcovers [glass of juice, math remix, observer or spy mission] My main thing was to
make them look nice and make it so people would like them in their music collections.
5) Any other information would be greatly appreciated!
I am a big supporter of trading with people. As opposed to using money. I will trade
for music/noise or good/interesting zines or MIXTAPES. Please visit www.difmin.com/crippledninjas for online
catalog and news. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for
additional info or questions.