Patricia Kokett – Diabel. Album Review

Pictures by Ugne Steponaviciute, Aleksej Sokolov, Laima Stasiulionyte

A psychedelic treat was dropped for the experimental dance music community. Full of hypnotizing patterns and echoes, Patricia Kokett’s latest release on Knekelhuis takes us on an alien adventure with a content that is both emotionally and physically stimulating. Four track EP “Diabel” stands out with its metallic indigenous rhythms giving sensations of mystery and euphoria as well as taking listeners on a visual trip guided by the abstract but suggestive sounds.

Gediminas Jakubka aka Patricia Kokett had already performed some of the tracks during recent live acts in local venues transmitting ecstatic sensations to the audience, as well as providing an adventurous experience for everyone who enjoys being high on music through body and mind. Accompanied by su~y, who adds an additional visual stimulus to the equation, Gediminas transforms the dance floor into an extraterrestrial ritualistic chamber charging the atmosphere with energy for people to feed on while they dance.

Being released under a certain music label could tell a lot about an artist. It provides a context even before listening to the artist’s tracks. It is hard to describe Knekelhuis as a label in a one sentence but it has a sense of dark romanticism, deep meaningful sounds and a mix of a tamed raw energy. We could say the same about the sounds of Diabel which is a fine addition to the collection of music the label provides.

Not being short on words Gediminas tells us quite a story about his creative self during our interview. Take your time and prepare for a thoughtful read.

“I like to call my music an adventurous electronic music or some kind of twisted mental state music.”

Q: Tell us what Knekelhuis is to you and how does your music stand in the context of the label?

patricia kokett, diabel, EP, review, interview, knekelhuis, calypso

A: Obviously, I’m pleased to release my music on Knekelhuis label. It feels like at the moment it’s a right place for my sound and I’m very happy about the fluent and smooth communication with Mark. The qualities that you described could be concluded as modern underground. And the artists contributing to the label are from niche environment, passionate musicians with elaborated attitudes. Romantics or experimentalists, you name it, but definitely travelling on the fringes of this musical journey and that’s beautiful! Speaking about the label concept more technically – there’s a distinct sense connecting all the records. If you would listen carefully – you’ll hear that there’s a sound quality which unites the music – very broad and wide with analog warmth, yet punchy sound. I could relate that with a wide horizontal pool which is filled with sound elements and those are cooperating very organically as the sea creatures do. And I really love the idea, that Knekelhuis is not tied to any specific genre or style, it’s a free form musical voyager offering you precise quality.

Q: The album sounds as if it has some kind of central narrative, a story that is being told intentionally. It feels like the listener is being led into some kind of mystical place or altered state of mind. What is it there that hides within the sounds?

A: I like to call my music an adventurous electronic music or some kind of twisted mental state music. And that’s a very personal approach, although in a record store you’ll find it under industrial/wave/electro tag, haha. Diabel as an entity subordinates each track and together with the artwork it creates a unified life form. Mythological creatures and exotica reflects in my music and finds a special place. The amazing artwork drawn by Petra Peterffy shows interpretation of Japanese mythological creatures Nure-Onna and Rokurokubi. They are destructive and negative. But the mythology itself is neither good, nor bad, it shows imaginary world of people, gathered through times. I take it as an inspiration and filter through the ongoing environment. And then Diabel comes out. Diabel is produced out of fundamental love to music and creativity itself because I don’t have anything to protest against, nor do want to prove anything to anyone. Contrariwise, I do propagate the idea of having a good trip, haha. While mixing Diabel, I often invited friends to listen to tracks. One of the closest friends after checking Mmuo track told that it creates a feeling of travelling through a dense middle east rainforest and finding a luxurious temple which is filled with elephants generating electricity. You could see electrical currents and bolts flowing everywhere and feel some kind of distorted druggy hallucinogenic state. And that’s what I love to hear, that’s what excites me!

patricia kokett, diabel, EP, review, interview, knekelhuis, calypso

Q: As an artist you stand out with mysticism, symbolism and indigenous language that surrounds your creative material. What is your relationship with these phenomenons and how does it connect with your latest release? Tell us a bit about the symbols that are most important to you.

A: It’s not that I’m doing it intentionally, it comes out naturally, hand in hand with my interest in getting familiar with the unnameable reality. I’m astonished by particular symbols, especially by serpent imagery, both cosmological and mythological. It’s not a coincidence that this animal gathered so much attention through the human history. An instinct driven cold killer, which has the most artsy body patterns, is the poison and medicine in one. Must admit that I’m a collector of african wooden carved art and these frozen wooden faces generate inspiration, as well. Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana masks, whether you want it or not – you get the mysterious affect. To me that’s the unnameable reality, I am a white european and will never be fundamentally tied to African rituals. But I have inspirations and music to recreate my own “rituel electronique” vibes. I have one very special statue from Papua New Guinea and usually take it to the event series Isla. That one is truly mind blowing, precisely carved piece of ebony hardwood with enormous genitals and smiling skull.

Q: We would like to hear more about the names and the language that you have used. How does it correlate to the creative part of the EP? This is the moment where you could also reveal a bit about your musical creative process.

A: I do love these words how they sound phonetically, how they look graphically, as well as the meaning they produce. Of course there’s a distinct correlation between track names and the music. Name Diabel sounds very soft and it means “devil” from Polish and that’s an unofficial dedication to Zulawski’s movie “Possession”. It has a certain “breakthrough” moment and raw energy, it stimulates a lot. “Serpiente” just sounds so right in Spanish and reflects lots of reptile stuff spoken before. Different region African languages trigger me pretty much, especially when it’s related to ritual happenings. “Mmuo” means spirit or ghost from Igbo language in Nigeria. “Agbogho Mmuo” – the event when Igbo men dress like existing or non-existing maidens and dance. It might be Patricia Kokett’s concept as well, might it?
Certainly track names come up very spontaneously according to the mood they carry and my digging and reading progress. The whole creative process comes out from a genuine passion and dedication to music. I’m also a pretty much maniac, I could immerse into this foxhole of non-stop sessions for 8 or 12 hours easily. But it’s both – very natural and wild, as well as structurally reasoned. While recording Diabel EP, I went real nuts playing all the synth patterns just in one take. And that’s what I call rawness – grasping the moment of intensity as it is and not faking the process of cut and paste.

“Certainly track names come up very spontaneously according to the mood they carry and my digging and reading progress. The whole creative process comes out from a genuine passion and dedication to music.”

Q: Your behaviour on the scene is performative and captivating, it helps the audience connect with the music a lot. How and why it is happening, how do you feel during your live performances?

A: Thank you for these beautiful words. Live performance is always a great feast for me. If there’s a strong connection with audience, tension and proper sound system – then a great exchange of energies happens. I do sometimes freak out, if technical aspects do not distract me too much. Sometimes I perform alone, sometimes with a visual friend su~y, whose analog graphics give an extra sultry sexy vibes to the show. Performance is a sensory experience and Patricia Kokett live session is an invitation for you to step outside of your rational reality.

Q: I believe that every artist has a vision for their creations. What is your creative ambition?

A: Hmm, I really do not want to fake or bullshit as well as drown into tragicomical seriousness. This is a very good balance, I guess. I’m 120% sincere to myself firstly and do what I really love to do. So the ambition would be to maintain the intensity, dedication and focus as well as not become boring and be bored. Always evolve and explore. And deliberately reject all cliches. Genesis P-Orridge would definitely add: “Never repeat yourself”, haha.

patricia kokett, diabel, EP, review, interview, knekelhuis, calypso

patricia kokett, diabel, EP, review, interview, knekelhuis, calypso

Q: It is common for artists to constantly change their perspective about their own work, especially when it is released and starts to live its own life. How did you feel about the tracks during the production and after you finished them?

A: I don’t think that it’s possible to finish a track, haha. But when it reaches a point where it gives enough pleasure – that’s the moment where you have to stop. I always monitor myself not to overproduce and leave enough headroom and fluidity. Also, not to overthink about the tracks when they’re released – they live their own life and it’s beyond artist’s responsibility.

Q: Do you have any extraordinary stories that surround your release? Any happenings, positive or negative accidents, any mysterious coincidences that occurred during the creative process and release of the music?

A: Yes, while recording Diabel track I was abducted by the devil itself, but thanks to the conducive circumstances – my studio is in front of a church, so the holy spirit came down and exorcised me just right away, hahaha. Ha, no, not really but, super stupid me, sometimes I overwrite or erase existing sequences on my main synth. Most recently it happened to the track Diabel, so it will never sound the same as it’s in the record. During the recording of EP, I deleted the main bass sequence of Mmuo track. So, actually, it’s a remix of an original track. During the climax of creativity, the rational thinking simply logs out and shuts down.

“I always monitor myself not to overproduce and leave enough headroom and fluidity. Also, not to overthink about the tracks when they’re released.”

Q: And the last traditional but very important question – what should we expect from you in the future?

A: Well, lots of things are forthcoming. I am very satisfied to contribute to a track called “Luxor” for the upcoming Knekelhuis 12″ compilation called “Testimony” which is planned for sometime in October. A few very notable mixes are glowing in the perspective, as well. Working on a sound for semi-documentary movie about taxidermia. This one will be a very picturesque thing. I think one year is a perfect timeframe to produce a new record. So I hope next autumn there’ll be a third EP. The next record will definitely have the same sort of subliminal trippy messages. I am already waiting for a couple of new synths to land to PK warehouse and have some concepts in mind. To make it more effective I need to travel to Bali for the right on the spot gamelan experience, so this is one of the highlights in near future. Also, carry on with the event series Isla that I organise with a bunch of talented friends. People seem to be very fond of the freedom and open-mindedness that we offer.
The key thing is not to find a reason to postpone things and just take the right steps to manage the time. This aforementioned situation is one of the greatest failures of humankind, so I bet the future will be generous enough to cope with it.

You can now order Patricia Kokett’s Diabel on Knekelhuis bandcamp page.

Also, visit Patricia Kokett’s Soundcloud account for more sounds.