the following article was published in N-SPHERE January 2010 issue.


December ’09 Live in Berlin

Considering that it was not your first gig in Berlin on December 1st, how do you find Germany’s scene in relation to the music and the message you are trying to send across?

I had a great time and it was nice to see people out at our show —

Does touring the US seem more “at home” because of your cultural roots and your upbringing in America?

For me the further from home the better — so I like to tour in America but much prefer to visit other countries —-

What are the first thoughts on your recent European tour, besides “tiresome” considering the many places you’ve pinned on the map? How was it for the newest members of the band?

We all had a great time — the new guys got to visit a lot of places they have never been — It really feels nice —-

Your long-awaited work “Six” seems to be a layered spectrum of dichotomies: heaven/hell, love/hate, life/death, the Christian cross and the inverted one on your album cover. To what degree do you believe that this ambivalence is necessary in the creative process?

It’s life — the good and bad — u need it all — sweet and sour —-

Do you think that by positioning yourself, as musicians, at alternatively one edge and the other [heaven/hell, love/hate], a dialogue that breeds creativity is generated? Differently put: a black/white dichotomy, used as a creative vehicle, does it lead in a sense to a reinvention or does it generate annihilation of the persona you create as artists?

I write what I want and don’t try and think about it so much it just comes out and that’s what it is —– it’s like a tunnel a maze a blind cave to the center of the earth and I am lost at every turn, always searching for a way out – and happy for every move – words are gifts that I don’t control or choose —

A recurring theme on “Six” seems to be the urban environment as either opressive or spreading its disease (Rats/Wasteland). Should this be put in relation to nature as a welcoming force or to the absence of restful places?

I would say it’s a way of looking at the world and all the horror —- no rest

Where do you draw your inspiration from and what influences led to the creation of this album?

This album is part fiction and nonfiction – parts of life elaborated on with imagery and the hopeless feelings that surround us —-

“Six” also seems to operate with religious elements starting from its name (I have Saint Augustine’s Six Ages of the World in mind) and continuing with apocalyptic themes. Was this a conscious decision on your part?

Yes in some ways — other times words are like dreams that you remember the next day – like a bad trip —

Another recurring element is the Lover (presumably female) as both Destroyer/Creator. Could that be tied in with the Ocean feeding the death instinct? (“Standing in front of the ocean/I see the waves they’re coming for me”)

This line is reflecting ones life and the future ahead – and the fear and decision to continue onward

How does the Cross of Lorraine symbol relate to the Black Heart Procession aesthetics?

Heaven and hell — life and death — love and hate

And because I am trying to keep this relatively short: What should your listeners be expecting of your future works?

Darkness — black as pitch

questions & photo by Diana Daia

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE January 2010 issue.


Back in the 80’s and 90’s even the slasher films were the horror genre’s bread and butter. Audacious, explicit, gorey even, they tended to prove that your reaction towards cruelty in real life may say “no”, but our unseen eye says a definite “YES”. After all, serial killers are quite popular, are they not?

Why this hunger? Very simple: because films succeed to portray an intimate side, a side which we cannot see in the everyday life. We see these killers played by actors and for two hours (or even more) we assume that we are observing one. And since it’s not real, it gives us enough comfort to sit through it all, but since some films are so well crafted, those particular films might linger in our memory long before we have seen them.

One of the first of this kind was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Based on Robert Bloch’s novel with the same name, which itself was loosely based on the life of serial killer Ed Gein, the film took its audience in places they have never been before. On the one hand, the film gives the idea of horror a new dimension, that emerging from the “human–monster”. Norman Bates seems very quiet and nice on the outside, but underneath the social mask there is no Norman Bates at all. Raised by a very possessive mother, Norman was induced the idea that a boy should love his mother for granted, which might have not been a first and still, not many serial killers emerge after this kind of treatment. However, the device is more complicated: it is all based on a request – response system. The environment (in this case, the mother) sends a request, let’s say. If it is sent in an aggressive manner and the recipient is too weak to (re)act on his own beliefs, the answer is shy, mechanical. Since the energy on that answer itself is virtually inexistent, then something must have been channeled elsewhere. No one may notice, but in time some sort of alter–ego is formed. It is fed by frustrations and fear until it takes shape. There are people who believe they can overcome their tyrants by reinventing them. Norman seemed to be one of those people. Due to such insight, the film still remains powerful even today.

In 1974, another film made its presence felt. It was called Black Christmas and was directed by Bob Clark. While overlooked all these years, the film remains important, for cementing the path of the slasher subgenre and also for employing techniques and ideas that were used later, in the slasher smash–hit Halloween. Relying less on blood and gore, and more on the effectiveness achieved by using a technical and minimalist approach, the film serves as an example not only to Halloween, but also to other genre hits such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, for example.

Some role in all that might have been also played by the context: the murders occur during Christmas in a convent. Of course, right now Black Christmas might not be as tempting as it was 35 years ago due to the dozens of copycat films that followed it; even if its modern–day predecessors might have had enough blood and gore to bury its audiences in it, let alone every character present in the film, most of them lack both the feeling Black Christmas had and its visual mastery.

…and there is also a delicious plot twist in the end I’ll let you discover for yourselves.

If in ’74 was “Merry Christmas” and Santa hung down the chimney, four years later it was time for “Trick or treats”. John Carpenter’s (The Thing, Big trouble in little China, Starman, In the mouth of madness) Halloween achieved its far greater success by employing the same techniques as its snowy predecessor. But it was more straightforward, more “in your face” and this time we actually know a thing or two about the killer. His blank mask is like a mirror, we can project anything and anyone we want on it, while it also expressed… lack of expression. There is nothing more frightening than a cold expressionless killer.

On the more gorey side of things, there is the no less important Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1975, Tobe Hooper – Poltergeist). Its documentarystyle approach gives the viewer a better sense of the setting and places, making him a witness of the horror that was about to befall on a Sally (the protagonist) and her friends who decided to visit her grandfather’s old farmhouse after learning that the Texas cemetery where he was buried had been vandalized.

Among the highlights of the show is Leatherface, a guy who was wearing a human skin mask on his face and obsessively wielded a chainsaw. Again, we face the lack of expression, underlined in Leatherface’s case by the absence of an intelligible vocabulary. The film was said to be based on a real case, which doesn’t sound actually surprising, but its power doesn’t come from that, but from its style, and from the way the “villains” were portrayed. It was difficult to see something through them. In other films, we take shots, we guess, we find a way into the killer’s mind; here we do not benefit from such luxury. It’s horrific enough to have someone wielding a chainsaw in front of you, or following you, but it is more horrific to know that besides the things mentioned, there is no way to penetrate his mind.

After ’74 there were other sequels and copycats, but still, Texas… is not to be repeated. It is a one–time recipe, which makes me feel sorry for the sequels and copycats. Following uninteresting efforts such as Friday 13th, or real shockers–for–shock’s–value such as The Beyond, in 1984 a new slasher marked its territory. And this time the territory was one between reality and dreams. The film’s name: Nightmare on Elm Street, its “hero”: Freddy Krueger. Built on an inteligent premise and benefiting from a colourful character (Freddy, that is), Nightmare soon became a cult favourite.

This time it wasn’t the minimalism or the inner terror, it was the idea – someone that can kill you in your dreams – that made it all happen. However, after tons of sequels, and an ’96 marked by a film that was more likely a selfparody (Scream, that is) and that generated itself a series of deplorable copycats (I know what you did last summer series), the slasher began to fall apart. Yet, some of the films remain worth seeing, for “they do not make the horrors they used to make, nowadays…”

Movie still: Freddy Krüger in Nightmare on Elm Street

review by Shade

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE January 2010 issue.


For those who are not familiar with the Amoelbarroco Atelier, how would you introduce your body of work and phrase it for our readers?

I use to define Amoelbarroco as not–a fashion label exactly. It’s more an exercise of imagination, a kind of arty experiment about philosophy of clothes or the construction of personality through aesthethics. A way of showing ideas and frivolizing (don’t know if this well said) fundamental concepts. These creations are the support of a thinking and reflect an ideal of beauty created from personal preferences and experiences revised and reinterpreted by this crazy head.

Is it demanding working with yourself as a model or does it help you illustrate better your concepts?

During my fine art studies I got the bad habit of being my own support for almost every art exercise I did. I suppose this is a continuation of this behaviour. I like to use other models too, but finding people that I really like to appear in these pics is difficult for me… I like people that show personality in their poses, not standart models and neither standart–model bodies. Maybe that’s the reason that most of the times finally my other models use to be my close friends or myself.

Which of your past projects do you consider to have been most demanding and how does the creative process usually develop in the making of a clothing item?

The first thing that comes to my mind is an initiative called LaCripta (Madrid, 2005–2006), a musical session at a big club. The most demanding part for me was to treat with a big audience constantly, I’m a shy person (although I might not look like that!). Nowadays, this is still the worst part for me, I understand fashion in a not usual way but I’m in the obligation of selling my stuff. In my case, I’m all alone in this label (of course this has its advantages too) and I have to develop almost all the process from the first idea, that most of the times is been altered during the creative and technical part, to the materialization-pattern, cutting- (unless sewing it) or the advertising/selling subjects. I really enjoy all the creative proccess, but I don’t like at all the business matters.

If I am not mistaken, you described yourself at some point as a “dead dandy”. Does this tie in with the concept of gender inversion through clothing and androgyny, especially in a 21st century background?

Hehe, you’re right! I use this concept very often in an ironic way, I’m a woman, so I’m not supposed to be a dandy although I fullfil all the “requirements” for being one. I propose a neodandysm, I’m very interested in the relativization of genres and I’d like to go beyond with this, but I didn’t find still how to do it properly.

The images of the archaic you employ can also be seen as a nostalgia for bygone eras. Do you believe that reworking the past leads to selfawareness or is it more of a degree of aesthetic fetishism which we all have for dead artforms and currents?

I guess it’s a mixture of all that. In my case, I grew up in contact with a lot of antiquities thanks to my grandparents: old medical stuff, fetus preserved in formol, walls covered of damask, clocks with sculptures, oil lamps… and a bunch of art and traveller books (here starts my fixation with Venice or the ancient attire from baroque and rococo paintings, for example). I feel this stuff like something familiar to me and really are fetish objects full of nostalgia and signification.

In the nascent dawn of late capitalism, do you consider yourself a postmodernist who collages different forms and ages or as an artist born several decades or centuries too late?

Absolutely postmodern, we have at our service all art and history to do with them whatever we want! That’s the power of postmodern thought, and the conceptual collage is a rich and versatile way for developing creative works in my opinion.

Do you believe that ecclecticism stands at the ground of art today, disabling the artist to create truly transgressive works?

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to make something really transgressive today within the prevailing conformity in which we live and most of the times the answer is… yes, we can. We still have rules and a standart/polite behaviour and I guess that not doing the correct sometimes is also a way to express yourself or going against.

Engagement with earlier centuries also traps the artist in a sense, sometimes leading to postmodern anxieties about authenticity. Have you experienced this while creating and displaying your work?

Everything is done already, everything is invented in our time so, maybe, the way of being different or genuine is just the way that one manage and show the work of art. So, I don’t see my work like something “truly” original, I guess my aportations are my elections, my way of re-invention and mixture of the subjects that I choose. Sometimes I feel in a trap, crisis moments… time to think more and more in how to do it my way.

You mentioned that you are interested in secret societies; is your clothing a way of proclaiming your membership in an elite subculture or is it purely a form of celebrating your individuality?

I wish I’d have the chance to design an uniform for some secret society! I have the sensation of belonging to an artists gang (Amanda, Kemê, Laura Wächter, Alejandra…), but this is not a secret neither “oficial”. We feel very close in our thinking, but everyone has their personal caracteristics and this is not directly related with clothing… so maybe I’m not answering this question, hehe.

In your list of hobbies you’ve also made a note on automatons. How would you describe this appeal for human replicas?

I love every object that imitates life, I think it’s fascinating. There is a long tradition about automatons in our history and literature and it’s related also with the strange of our own lifes… human body is also a consecutive repetition of natural process, a machine somehow. The creation of “the other”is a search of responses about ourselves.

Dressing and clothing in general also gives a sense of otherness to humans, as they are being gradually transformed into symbols. Would you argue that the clothes you make might be used as tools for masking and erasing individuality or the reverse?

I won’t lie, I like to make the difference. Even the most standart way of dressing has its philosophy or “not-philosophy”… I just make wider the offer with my proposal of aesthethics. After all, they will choose what they want to look (and to show)!

How were your creations received in Spain and abroad? Do you believe there is an already existent audience in your home country or have you been involved in the creation and establishment of new patterns there?

I found a great reception in general and luckily I usually have regular costumers (on the last times mostly from Spain) also collaborated recently with Shien and Dances of Vice (New York) as sponsor and hope to do more things together in the future. In my country I haven’t seen another similar project before, but don’t know if people perceive Amoelbarroco as a new pattern. I use to think with humility about this.

There seems to be a connection between the music you like and the aesthetics of clothes you make. Does the reverse apply as well? Are persons from these subcultures interested in your body of work and would you consider collaborating with bands from these areas?

Yes, inspiration sometimes comes from music too. I know that people from some bands enjoy my work, but for the moment I didn’t have the chance to collaborate with any band in this sense. I remember that one day the Tiger Lillies left a comment on my myspace saying that I have good taste, that was very flattering for me!

Do you have any collaborations in progress now? From what I’ve seen, Amoelbarroco is branching out and getting involved in more than one project simultaneously, which is a compliment coming from a procrastinator like me.

Haha, I should confess that I’m a procastinator too, but yes, I use to be involved in several projects (even metaprojects) at one time. I always have plans with the people I use to work in photography (Kemê, Alejandra Vacuii, Amanda Daniela) or illustration/design (Laura Wächter), a video creation collaborating with Twins Factory and my own collections and artideas. I should start working now! I love to mix formats and share my creative anxiety with all this people.

Judging by your complex background, Your artistic expression spans on a number of artistic fields. Does clothing design posits itself at the ground of your creative endeavor or is it a temporary phase?

Sometimes I feel that clothing design is a bit narrow for what I want to do really, that’s why I always want to incorporate this in bigger image or conceptual projects. The most important part for me is developing the idea and translate it into the material world as accurate as I imagine it… this is SO hard, even when you don’t have all the means you’d like. I live seeking forms of “translation”. Today, designing garments are the main “channel”, but tomorrow never knows!

What inspires Amoelbarroco now and what projects are on their way?

Now I’m a complicated moment, I want to experiment with new forms and introduce some self-created objects in pictures and videos accompaniying the designs and scenaries, also want to create some eccentric-bombastic hats and accesories, let’s see how it works all together… I’m very excited also about my participation at the Alternative Fashion Week in London-April 2010.

Thank you for taking the time to answer this and the spheres are keeping their eyes on your future releases.

Thanks so much to you for appreciate my work! Hope my English is not too bad!!

questions by Diana Daia

Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE January 2010 issue.


Name: Murat Harmanlikli

Location: Kocaeli, Turkey

Occupation: Full time alien

Definition of personal sphere: “How much longer do i seek you, house by house, door to door? / How much longer, corner to corner, street by street?” ..As Rumi said, it is a ceaseless story.. A story of deliberate searches of a desperate lover..

Artwork in 4 words: One word is enough: “loneliness”

What is inspirational for you: Everything can be an inspiration.. It depends on how you perceive the sound of things and how you compose them.. Personally, I love streets; the magical chaos in streets.. Trying to catch the harmony between things and people in the street is definitely a theraphy for lonely souls..

Currently favourite artists: A lot of.. Those who express their own worlds with a unique style always impress me. On the other side: a good novel, a good book always stir my imagination more than a photograph.. And lastly, my reverence & deep respect for Krzysztof Kieslowski

Tools of trade: My sick mind via my eyes..

Current obsessions: Trying to get rid of all my obsessions is a very tiring and futile obsession for me nowadays..

Personal temptation: “Y” is a good temptation.. :)

Artwork: Untitled – Detail


Full article here.



The following article was published in N-SPHERE January 2010 issue.


Fresh smell of flooded street made me think there might be a chance for your redemption. Instead an image of ruins vast guarded by the spectrum of your failure is all there is and can ever be. You reminded me of the dying flowers you left behind, sick offerings as thin as air, worthless now that those times are long gone.

“Hideous words you say there. After all this time I’ve been dusting off your fingerprints from the bodies laying dormant at the bottom of your shrine of misplaced words and abused mentalities.” “Well, we both know there must be collateral damage of this mindless present. But for now, you can unveil your maniac splendor on the stage you see right here. I prepared a nice line–up of spectators for your entertaining purposes.” “Looks to me like some cosmic getaway, at the edge of your conscience. And I get to drive.”

He was telling me about this voice in his head, and all of the fears transpiring through his eyes. I looked, saddened by the voracity of the truth therein, endless trials beyond broken mirrors of self deceit. My mind wondered astray as he poured venomous words on me. “Let me show you the darkness inside; an uncomfortable presence I learned to accept, and sometimes even consciously use against me.” “I’ll have your soul now, take it to the drycleaners.”

Every now and then, I listen to the rumors in the flooded street. It still tries to entice me in believing you are eligible for redemption. But I know better.

by Bahak B

artwork by Vel Thora

Full article here.