Attention music media, meet the latest genre you'll bastardize: ambient thrash.
Istanbul's Pinar Üzeltüzenci makes stomach-turning surrealist jewels as Biblo. A music that constantly changes, seemingly genreless except in its sharp sphere of moods and experimental nature; it gives you an intense panic attack and simultaneously melts your heart, lulling you into unfamiliar places. Biblo's music can be a blast of bass drone, a meditative field of glitches, undanceable techno, whispered vocal slices conjuring Alison Shaw's seemingly helium-soaked siren calls, tumbling skyscrapers, or a frail lonely child chanting in an old wagon by the sea.
Pinar got her start in the Liars-tinged rock outfit Proudpilot, where she played alongside her sister and fellow self-contained noise-minstrel Ekin Fil. Seemingly unknown, Pinar releases records worldwide and has toured with her sister across Europe; she’s getting people hooked but it’s all still at a very underground level. To this degree, perhaps writing about her for Impose is mistake, but at least we’re not Pitchfork.
I recently got the chance to talk to Pinar who was able to explain her chaotic beauty with pristine clarity.
Can you describe how you compose? Is there a strategy or is it ever evolving? When do you know a song is finished? Do you use many collaborators?
Well, I usually start with a sound and I find my way through playing with it, processing it, combining it with others. And this happens in a very quick way, for I don’t want my instincts to lose their motives on the way. But every now and then, just the opposite can occur, I start with something very solid in my head and try to build the piece according to that, in a slow and relatively detailed manner. To me, my music always seems open to new contributions, that's why they are not finished at all to me, on stage I can always add some more sounds, bend them and connect them all together.
I haven’t done other collaborations aside from Ekin Fil. She's my sister; we live in the same apartment so it's always easy and comforting to have her around.
I've seen clips of you where you are mainly relying on samples. How do you find your samples? What instruments do you rely on the most?
I love samples. I can either create them, or cut them off from prerecorded material – be it a François Hardy song or some field recording. Prerecorded sounds are magical for they can take you to places you wouldn't ever dream of or inspire you to explore deeper and plant seeds in your head. I believe it's always very important to be partly sober during these processes for you can easily get lost within it and lose your sense of self and become something else; once you borrow them you need to make them your own. I try to keep some distance with the samples I borrow from other music.
I mostly rely on my computer with my music. I manipulate the sounds both through interfaces and pedals. I use Ableton live. And I love using my bass too.
Your music jumps from doom to drone to beautifully ambient and spiritual to electronica to … well, you get the point. Is there a conscious sound you are trying to create? What would you call it?
Well I think what comes out as my music, is the result of all the things I've been living, all the music I've been listening to, all the books I've been reading and every person I have been in a relationship with. I have never been a “ task person,” I usually work in a very real-time manner in all the things I do. This is unconscious, or I don't know, maybe it's just easier. What I am mostly into is the “ moods” in all music – not instruments or the melodies, but moods. And I somehow believe they are best expressed with sounds rather than notes or good production. Or a nice balanced combination of those could also work. I love using the term “ ambient thrash” while defining the music I make, but I doubt how convenient it is.
I understand you recently toured Germany with your sister, Ekin, both playing your solo material. How did it go? When did you begin making music? How have you grown together as musicians?
Yes, she's my sister. I am 30 years old and she is 28. We have been close friends since our childhood; we grew up together and shared everything. We always were listening to music and dreamt of making music one way or another. We are self-trained musicians; we always wanted to make music for the sake of it, nothing more. We have been in various bands together and right now we are in a rock band called Proudpilot.
The tour of Germany was lovely. We played in 3 small places- 2 of them were record stores and one of them was an old wagon by the seaside. We had been in communication with people from abroad and thought may be we can take our things and take a trip to do gigs wherever we can find them, and then some nice people were interested and with their great help we were able to do it. Though it was very very cold in Germany at that time, we had a great time.
You are from Istanbul? Have you interacted with other Turkish-based experimental musicians? Perhaps in Istanbul, Izmir, or Ankara?
I live in Istanbul but I do have friends from other cities you mentioned. Though we did not interact in a very direct way, of course, I am affected with the motion going on in these places. I think by means of Internet, people are now able to share what they have been doing in their homes for a long time, more easily. Proudpilot helped me to be more courageous with sharing my music. Through PP, we met great people who would appreciate any sincere effort on music and that was really encouraging.
Biblo means “trinket.” How does this fit into your music vision?
Well, sometimes your name shapes you and sometimes you fill in your name. I think it worked both ways for me. I originally chose this moniker mostly for its phonetic beauty and then the frozen, nostalgic meaning it carries. And the fact that it does not sound as something only belonging to one language is another thing. It still sounds nice to me. Maybe it fits the repetitive, monotonous and frozen quality of my music. I don't know, but we're happy together.
Pick up Biblo's latest 12-inch On Ugliness out now on Quetzi Records or contact her directly.