Sula Bassana Interview
You started in bands like Solaris and Yttrium, then you formed Liquid Visions.
I started as an electric musician, playing synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines only. But in early 90’s I decided to stop and try to play bass. We founded Liquid Visions in late 1994 and we started playing live in (I think it was) May 1995 and some time later we recorded our first promo tape. Years later it became our self titled debut LP and CD.
You made four albums with Liquid Visions.
The debut was recorded in one or two hours at the rehearsal room, on a Fostex X-15 4-track-cassette recorder with 4 microphones! We made around 500 tapes, 500 LP’s and 1000 CD’s and sold them quickly! What a great success with little expense! Nasoni Records released the vinyl. Also the 2nd album Endless Plasmatic… That was recorded also in the rehearsal room, but that time with the built-in microphones of a trashy Ghettoblaster! No one was thinking about recording for a release, it just happened and we liked what we jammed! The live song were recorded on a festival on a 2-track. Hypnotized was a proper studio recording that took weeks. I like the album a lot as well! From The Cube was our last recording, done in a cheap studio, while I left the band.
In 2000 we started a lot of recordings on my 8-track tape recorder but haven’t finished the vocals. But in 2005, Robert did the vocals and I mixed it, and Nasoni released it on CD and 2-LP as The Lost Recordings. Great album! Very psychedelic!
You had many other projects including Growing Seeds, Weltraumstaunen.
I joined Growing Seeds in their last year of existence (on drums), after they did the Miraculous Journey LP and CD. We traveled to Portugal and recorded a lot on my 8-track-cassette recorder, but sadly never finished the recordings, except 3 tracks for a 7” vinyl EP called Mr. Moog. We also recorded some tracks at that time and released it as Weltraumstaunen (mostly done by Andi and me). In 2004, Andi and me recorded the second album in one hazy week at Andi’s rehearsal room in Bavaria.
You also formed Zone Six.
It was born by surprise. Because Liquid Visions got a festival gig offer but couldn’t play there. So I grabbed Hans-Peter (guitarist of Liquid Visions ) and Claus Bühler (ex-drummer of L.V.) and we started a cosmic jam project. That was in August or September 1997. One week before the festival we recorded a jam session in a rehearsal room of some friends (The Butlers, thanks again!) and I produced our first tape out if it, adding some synthscapes and some slight overdubs. Later we recorded Jodi Barry’s vocals to that stuff and that became our debut CD. Jodi left in early 1998, before the CD release. Later the lineup changed a lot and we did two more studio-albums (on Sunhair Records), one live CD/2-LP (on Nasoni Records) and a compilation with outtakes and unreleased stuff (on Sulatron Records). We just started new recordings in a new lineup, with Lulu and Alex (from Electric Moon), Paul Pott (ex-bass player of Vibravoid), Martin (old Zone Six member, also Modulfix) and me. There will be a split LP with Vespero (from Russia) and a new CD or CD-R later this year!
Back in 2002 you released Dreamer.
It’s a kind of collection of my earliest recordings where I play all instruments by myself (bass, guitars, drums, synthesizers, organ, sitar…). The whole thing took very long to finish. Like all my solo albums. The Night took years as well and my very new one, which is at Eroc’s ranch for mastering now, also took years! Ah, by the way, there was a split LP of Vibravoid and Sula Bassana on Nasoni Records, but it’s sold out for years now!
Yes, limited to 100 and sold out. After some years with Liquid Visions I recorded some electronic music tracks here and there (I think it was between 1995 and 1998) and released them on this CD-R. I still love old Synthesizers and Drum machines!
Neumeier Genrich Schmidt is another project you started with legendary Mani Neumeier (drums) and Ax Genrich (guitar).
Then one year later you released another album called The Intergalactic Travel Agency.
It was very interesting! We invited Ax for some gigs with Zone Six also! Ax can play really mind expanding. But he is very shy and sometimes too shy on stage. The opposite of Mani. He is an entertainer and entertains too much!
2006 was a very busy year for you. You released several albums.
I met Dirk Müller of Electric Orange in 1991 on a Electronic Music Festival in east-Berlin’s Planetary, where I played with my project. We became friends instantly, but met very seldom. Electric Orange recorded their stuff without bass player and asked me later if I would like to record a bass for that album. And I did. I like Electric Orange very much!
Sula Bassana and Friends was another project. You released album called Spaced Out. It’s over two hours of seemingly improvised space jams with ambient parts.
Chris and Jürgen (both from Johnson Noise. Chris became Liquid Visions drummer in the last years) recorded some jams on drums and bass at their holidays on the island of Hiddensee. They asked me if I like to finish these recordings with guitars or whatever. So I did. Later Silke from Growing Seeds joined me to record some more songs.
The last one from 2006 is Südstern 44.
Silke, Julius (from Zone Six) and me founded Südstern 44 just for having some fun. I was playing the drums in Südstern 44. Our rehearsal room was near a square called Südstern and we all lived in Berlin (postal-area-) 44. Short time before I left Berlin I invited Zone Six drummer Walter to join Südstern 44. After a Zone Six tour we jammed with Walter on drums and me on second guitar. This jam became The Dampfwalze.
Sula Bassana & Modulfix is a project you have with Modulfix. He played synthesizer with you in Zone Six.
Martin (Modulfix) and me did a lot of recordings over the years, but never finished and released stuff. But in 2007 we recorded more straight and finished some albums. And since we had very little money and self confidence we, decided to do CD-R issues.
Silent Music is your next solo release from 2009. You also released Pingpong with Modulfix. Another project you did is called Interkosmos, with release called Интеркосмос.
I do a lot of recordings here and there, so sometimes there is a nice bunch for a release. Silent Music is a collection of very quiet songs. Pingpong is one long jam from the late 90’s. You hear it forward and backward. That’s funny for my taste and a nice spaced out piece as well. Interkosmos was a jam project with Sergio Ceballos (of the Spanish band RIP KC, on guitar), who moved to Austria, where I lived for a few years. And Bernhard Fasching (aka Pablo Carneval) of The Blowing Lewinsky on drums. Bernhard later became the drummer of Electric Moon. We jammed together two evenings and I produced the album out of these two jams very quicky. We had some gigs in Austria and Spain.
Brain Wash was you latest album with Modulfix, right?
Yes, and the best in my opinion!
Around 2010 you started a very interesting project called Electric Moon.
My solo stuff was some time before we took off with Electric Moon. Electric Moon was invented by my girlfriend Lulu (bass). She also made all the great covers for Electric Moon and some for Sula Bassana, please take a look at www.myspace.com/luludesign), Bernhard Fasching (aka Pablo Carneval) on drums (now replaced by Alex) and me on guitar. We recorded some jams and produced the albums very quicky. Our first gig happened at legendary Duna Jam and we later played shows with Vibravoid, Farflung, Ufomammut and more. A great start for a new band! Nasoni Records released 1 CD and 2 LPs yet, and Sulatron 3 CD-Rs! In less than one year!
Your latest solo album is called Kosmonauts.
It’s the official version of Sulatronics 2, with new cover by Lulu, slightly changed versions and proper mastering by Eroc. Very spacey ambient electronic chill out stuff! The Night was my second psychedelic rock solo album. A great space rock trip!
You already released amazing Lunatics Revenge and Inferno this year with Electric Moon.
Yes, we love it also! We also released a 2-CD-R called Live at Immerhin Würzburg, from our last show with Pablo Carneval on drums. A very psychedelic trip!
Most of the bands on my label are friends or friends of friends! It started with the Dreamer CD, followed by Norwegian friends Seid and their friend Annot Rhül and so on… It kills too much time! But my label brings almost enough money for living. And that’s good!
What are some future plans?
Releasing a new Sula Bassana CD, new Electric Orange CD and more stuff from Electric Moon and Vibravoid. A split LP of Electric Moon and Glowsun is planned also.
You always find out about our touring dates at www.sulatron.com or on the band pages at Myspace and Facebook. Myspace became too slow and buggy, so I can’t update the dates there! But you find us on Facebook… There are 2 gigs with Zone Six, and some more with Electric Moon.
Thank you for taking your time. Last word is yours.
Electric Moon rules! We have shirts and stickers and stuff available! Please help us to survive and buy our music and stuff at www.sulatron.com!!! Don’t download too much, we need to sell our music, otherwise we must quit and go to work in a factory or so! THANKS!!! And thanks to you Klemen, for this long interview!
– Klemen Breznikar