Oliver Ho is a man of many names, an artist comfortable working across genres and formats, but underpinning his work spanning over a decade is a common thread of exploration and passion. Whether it be the energetic techno of his releases under his own name, the raw disco of his Birdland project, the stark minimalism of Raudive, to the industrial excursions of the BROKEN ENGLISH CLUB he has always mixed experimentalism, eclecticism and an uncompromising aesthetic. This, added to the fact that he’s been a huge favourite of ours for many years, means that he was a perfect choice to take the reins of The Ransom Note as part of our Guest Editor series.
We start the series with this interview with the man himself, where he outlines his vision for the project.
Tell me a bit about what you wanted to achieve when guest editing for us?
When first asked to do the guest editor feature I was really interested in the idea, as it feels like a way of bringing together different interests of mine, and things that have been important in my development over the years. However it’s also difficult to focus on just a small number of things, as I’ve been very influenced by visual art as well as music over the years. There’re also a lot of different things that have influenced me over the years, so ultimately this feature is a snap shot of who I am.
What's you're connection with the artists that you've chosen to feature and why do you think people need to be hearing more of their work.
Well its relevant to me, and I think there may be people out there who have similar interests to me, so its a way of consolidating those things, there’s a thread that goes through a lot of the things I am interested in, also there a themes that always crop up on a lot of the music I like.
There’s people like Silent Servant and Danny Passarella who I have worked with and spent time with in recent years, and artists like Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia, who were a huge influence on me, and who I think were important in the genesis of the techno scene.
You have an album out in November right? Tell me about that. What were you trying to achieve sonically?
The album is the best way I know how to really present a full idea of what BROKEN ENGLISH CLUB is, its like a movie to me, its something you can immerse your self in, and travel through. It’s very much a place that has certain qualities to it, there’s an emptiness and dread to the album. I am interested in exploring these bleak scenarios; there’s a romance and dream-like quality to them. It feels like a physical place to me, some of it comes from the imagination and books, and some comes from places around me. There music takes a lot of different forms, but its all communicating the same ideas. There’s more noise and slow stuff on the album, because that’s what I am about too, I love the drudgery of something slow, as well as fast relentless music. The music has taken a long time to sculpt, it’s a picture I want to create, so I look at it like painting.
Tell me a bit about the project you're about to drop with Danny Passarrella. How did you link up and how does this play out aesthetically.
I first met Danny when I was in a band called called The Eyes In The Heat and we played live with him. His band is called Passarella Death Squad, I knew the debut album well, and it’s an incredible record. We kept in touch, and always talked about doing something together, eventually we came up with 4 tracks, that felt all related. We are both really into conceptual art and music, so it was natural for us to create a project entered around specific ideas. He's also into working in different mediums, it progressed quite organically, and eventually we ended up with MULTI, which is a project that works as music, video-art, graphic art and performance art. These are all linking together to create something that exists on different levels.
To me, you've always been a bit of a shape shifter. I first knew you through your stuff under your own name, then Birdland, then Raudive through to the BROKEN ENGLISH CLUB stuff. What has been the drive to always reinvent yourself and what's coming next?
Its not really a desire to reinvent myself, its more a way of capturing a set of ideas in a single vessel, using a pseudonym is way of doing that. It’s like casting a spell, the name evokes the spirit of something, and it holds a certain amount of energy and intent in it too. I use a name to focus my intent; to meditate on something, it works for me. Next year I will be setting up a label to release my ZOV ZOV project, this is a project I’ve been working on with Tommy Gillard over the last 10 years. The time has come to present this properly as an album. The album will also connect to a video-art piece too, which aim in the process of putting together.
I love creating and working, this means evolving and doing things in new ways.