Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Eastern Front

The Eastern Front

The logo at the top of this post may well be familiar to a number of you as it is the symbol for The Eastern Front, the Israeli record label that has released a number of albums by Alex over the years (see photo 2). The label is run by a pair of thoroughly nice people - Nazgul sends hails of friendship to Igor and Tanya - and in the spirit of developing this little area of the Internet devoted to Hugin's works a little further, Nazgul recently took the opportunity of asking a few questions about the label and its relationship with Alex...

Q1. Tell me a little about The Eastern Front (and sub-label T'an! Kaven!! Ash!!!) - what are your hopes and expectations as a record label?

A1. Well, first of all we would like to thank you for the interest in our label. The Eastern Front was born in 2004 while its experimental sub-division T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!! (which means Load! Target!! Fire!!! in Hebrew) was born later, in 2006, as a desire to experiment with experimental music. We separated the two lines strongly between both labels: if The Eastern Front releases deal with more neo-folk, martial, industrial music, T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!! deals more with all kinds of weird, experimental, noise or even absurd music. It could be experimental jazz like Igor Stevanovic mini-album, it could be weird ambient like Maurizio Bianchi and Siegmar Fricke album, it could be very harsh noise like Kadaver albums. But all in all, no one of these albums could not be squeezed into The Eastern Front label line, that is why T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!! was organized. We have no too many expectations about the label, it is not a commercial enterprise and actually what we do we do for our own pleasure. Recently the situation with CDs sales has become worse and in order to cover the expenses on our pleasures we have to be more severe in choice of albums offered us to be released. Nonetheless, we'll keep working and producing music and we hope nothing serious will prevent us from doing this in the future.

Q2. How did The Eastern Front first come to know about Alex and his projects, and how long have you been working together?

A2. It was long time ago, we got a letter from Alex and as we were well aware about his other projects like Uruk-Hai and Hrossharsgrani we were pleased to start working together. Moreover, we became not only partners but good friends and days spent in Linz with Alex, his lovely wife Elisabeth and two sweet kids will be always unforgettable for us because they were very, very good days! You know that Alex has a label too, and our partnership as labels is constant too.

Q3. When - and why - did you first decide to release his Bonemachine material?

A3. The answer is very simple:))) "Vogelfrei" is one of the best Bonemachine’s albums in our opinion and we did not want to miss it! When Alex sent it us we had no doubt, we loved the music, we loved the artwork for this album which Alex prepared, and we loved the concept of 3 parts release. We developed it into the special edition of wooden box and we are totally satisfied with this release. It was rather small edition, so naturally it is sold out quite for a long time.

Q4. Who had the idea to design the great wooden box-sets + contents for 'Another Time' and for 'Vogelfrei', and where were they made? Were they expensive to produce?

A4. The idea of wooden boxes was our one. We are great fans of special editions as they have that individual, so-called 'non-factory' touch, they always generate somebody’s ideas and desires and actually they are valuable rather by their spiritual investment than by their financial investment. Though, certainly, the production of (in our case) wooden box is not cheap, the boxes are not produced mechanically on some factory in China (sorry) but individually designed and cut out manually by a joiner. The process is rather long: first we think over the concept, sizes and design, than bring to a joiner, than bring to a laser poker-work master, than manually varnish it twice. As a rule it takes more than two months to complete the work with boxes... As a result the box itself (without content) costs about 10-20 Euros, so yes, it could be called expensive production but it brings more satisfaction than factory-produced regular CD.

Q5. Can you tell us what other projects of Alex's you have released?

A5. Besides "Vogelfrei" and "Another Time" by Bonemachine we made Uruk-Hai’s "Upon The Elysian Fields", Wach’s 4 version album "The Fear" on T’an! Kaven! Ash!!!, and there was also a Wach track on "...where tattered clouds are stranding." Also we released the "Weiss" split album between B-Machina and Miel Noir on The Eastern Front.

Q6. Do you listen to Alex's music as fans yourself - if so, what are your personal favourites from his releases?

A6. Yes, sure, all that we release is first of all a personal preference, personal taste, if we would not love this or that album we'd never release it. Moreover, in order to release something we need both to love the music. If one of us doesn't like it, as a rule the album is not going to be released. We are not sure it is the very correct way of work of a label but thus we decided for ourself and this what we hold on. We can point out that our favourite album of those which we released is "Vogelfrei", and of other work Elisabetha's "Über Das Prinzip Der Unschuld / Lesungen Zum Prinzip Der Unschuld" released on Beverina Productions.

Q7. Are there any plans for future releases with Alex in the pipeline?

A7. Yes, we think so. There is one project which we are planning to release, just currently we don't want to talk about because what is on air is not on land :))))

Q8. do you have any personal message or thought for Alex that you'd like to relay via the HonourAndDarkness Blog?

A8. First of all, it is great that your Blog exists, it's a matter of enthusiasm and not many people today are ready to dedicate their personal time and energy to such the things. And we just wish Alex to keep composing good music and wish you not to lose your interest and passion and to keep writing and informing all the people for whom it is important. Thank you very much once again!

I think it should be evident from this that both Igor and Tanya have a great passion for the work that they do with their labels, which is shown to the rest of us in the quality of the finished products and in the care and time that crafting them clearly takes. Nazgul thanks them both for sparing the time to answer his questions, and hopes you found this an interesting piece.

Check out what The Eastern Front has to offer for yourself at

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