One of the most intriguing artists hanging about in the online underground is ϟ†Nϟ. Of course he is very active at local level, in his hometown of Toronto too. Maybe you know him for his powerful sound forces, his gloomy dark videos or remixes, or perhaps you have seen his spellbinding visual art that is sometimes explicit, always arousing and very beautiful. You could imagine them hanging on a wall on set in a 2016 David Lynch movie. He did the artwork for Mishka’s Halloween mixtape ‘Grim Harvest’ and has the most gorgeous and rare aesthetic for the cover of his sell out Black Bvs Records, Murmur EP. Get a free download of that HERE.
Everyone knows/loves the CRIM3S and Crossover remixes he did. Recently ϟ†Nϟ played the Crystal Castles afterparty, opened for oOoOO and Gatekeeper. He also has dudes from The Occult Research Bureau wearing his sell out merch. He’s got that sexy black metal dark electronic look going on and like any good dark artist; he’s mysterious as all hell.
I thought it was about time I asked a few questions of this Canadian who (spiritually) follows Thelema (a philosophy or religion that was developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley ~ Wiki).
TWPS: You released the Murmur EP on Black Bvs Records earlier in 2012. The artwork is captivating and layers mirrored retro-femme imagery under what looks like sigils. What is the power of ‘murmur’ to you? Why use such images? What do the symbols mean?
ϟ†Nϟ: The symbol is the sigil for Duke Murmur from the Goetia. The images were from old pin up magazines. Most of those women are probably dead now. I am fascinated by the fact all beauty fades and eventually dies, even our solar system will one day die. Knowing this has deepened my appreciation for the beauty around me. All the art was designed using techniques from sacred geometry. Ancient religious icons were designed in a similar fashion. The underlining compositions are the same as structures found in nature, because of this it creates a calming, soothing effect which is somewhat entrancing.
TWPS: The word ‘Sin’ takes on varied meanings worldwide from the Christian view as a violation of god’s will to the Hindu view of creating bad karma. What does it mean to you? Why the name of your project?
ϟ†Nϟ: “The word of sin is restriction.” ~ Liber al vel Legis 1:41. After saying SINS so many times it has lost all its original meaning to me. The word is just some vowels and constants and I wished to give them a new context. When someone evolves on a spiritual level and is performing their True Will, they have no need for the state or church to define for them what is right and what is wrong.
TWPS: You reference religion in the title of the Cops and Christians track. What does this mean? Why Cops and why Christians?
ϟ†Nϟ: I fuckin’ hate Cops!!! And I really don’t like Christians too much either! They are the oppressors. Many world religions have a path were a person can reach for enlightenment. Whereas Christianity says “sit down and shut up, don’t do anything wrong or you’re going to hell for eternity”. Right wing Christianity is evil. Their message is not one of love and tolerance, but one of hate and condemnation. For example, these Baptist ministers with their signs saying “God Hates Fags”, many of my homies are gay, lesbian or some of the other miscellaneous things these people seem to hate. If anyone ever came near me with one of those signs I would probably break it over their face. SINS stands against all forms of oppression.
TWPS: Your CRIM3S/Holes remix was called ‘Church Burning’…?
ϟ†Nϟ: Similar to the answer before, except while working on the remix I was simultaneously watching footage on youtube of the Norwegian Church Burnings. I found the imagery of the flaming churches went really well with the remix and helped inspire me to tap into that primal place I need to be to make cold, bleak music.
TWPS: Aleister Crowley?
ϟ†Nϟ: I believe that A.C. did more for the spiritual evolution of mankind than anyone else in recent history.
TWPS: What are common rituals you undertake when creating a piece of work?
ϟ†Nϟ: Every day, I meditate for up to an hour, I perform Liber Resh, banish, invoke, align myself with the universe and with my True Will. I am an initiate into an order and I have intensive work that I need to do for that as well. My process is less about doing a particular ritual prior to creating and more a product of years of daily ritual work.
TWPS: You once described to me your live show visuals as dark and mildly satanic. What does ‘mildly satanic’ actually mean to you? What have been some public reactions to your live shows?
ϟ†Nϟ: I think SINS is better live. It is more immersive and there are the aspects of improvisation and the chaos of a live atmosphere. My friend SARIN helps me with my live shows. SARIN is an amazing video artist. Everything is synced to video and the video is dark but playful. Cops cruising each other in a gay bar, Mad Max, Nuns hanging themselves, The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers, Kenneth Anger, etc.
Recently a young lady started freaking out after my set. I think she must have had a drug induced psychotic break, it literally looked like she was possessed, she was in an extremely agitated state of fear, was pulling at her face and it took two big cops to restrain her to stop her from hurting herself. I said to you something like “I hope my mildly satanic imagery didn’t set her off”, kind of as a joke. The footage is mildly satanic in the sense that it has a lot of occult imagery and it’s pretty dark. My idea is to create in the audience a sense of ‘Life is kinda fucked up, it can be ugly and tragic but it is also beautiful so I might as well just dance.’
TWPS: You once told me you had a leading figure in the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) and Thelema staying at your house and you were “nerding out” with him. What did you guys get up to?
ϟ†Nϟ: Yeah that was a great weekend. I helped organize a lecture with Dr. Shoemaker called ‘Initiation and the path of the return’. He is an electronic musician as well, so we played with my synths a bit and I picked his brain about the path that I am on. He was a student of Phyllis Seckler, who was a student of Jane Wolfe, who was a student of Aleister Crowley. It is amazing to have access to such a direct lineage to Crowley.
TWPS: The online underground music communities tend to thrive on fast and constant transition. Does this ever affect you as an artist?
ϟ†Nϟ: Having access to a constant stream of new information isn’t the solution, learning how to navigate that information and edit the good from the bad so as to effect positive change in your world is the real solution. I don’t think people understand that yet. This focus on fast and constant transition used to affect me in the sense that it annoyed me. I stopped talking to a lot of people in the industry because they would post things like “genre X is dead, you heard it here first people” I got super annoyed at these nerds thinking they can control the music industry from behind their little laptop screens – because they can’t.
I have been messing around with synths since I was a young teenager, and I have seen little change at all in the big picture of electronic music, except that it is now more popular than ever before. Styles come and go, technology changes the soundscape marginally, but in the end not much changes. I try to not stick to one genre very long when I DJ and I try to illustrate this with my Two Headed Snake mixes, they are constantly switching genres but mostly everything is electronic and everything fits together fine.
TWPS: What’s the next step for SINS? What can we see over 2013 from you?
ϟ†Nϟ: I am planning a big release on Pretty Pretty Records, which will be a vinyl release. Pretty Pretty is definitely a label to watch for in 2013. As well as working on some remixes for HUREN, Mauzoleum and Owl Vision. My new album is inspired heavily by Mad Max, 80s biker sluts, New Beat music, Norwegian Black Metal, fighting oppression and transcending my own personal struggles.
I have two live SINS shows coming up in Toronto. Dec 21st with the crew from Pretty Pretty, Tarantula X, Ell V Gore, Kontravoid at Bambi’s and New Years Eve with a party I help organize called Shit Fun, which is essentially a noisey dance party, at Double Double Land… And my mind is set on a tour soon, there are some legal issues with me crossing into the U.S. of A., but I am getting that sorted out. And of course SINS needs to tour Europe soon too.
If you want to get to know him eeeven betterrr and suss out what motivates him artistically (if u can) – stream/download a TWO HEADED SNAKE mix.