Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Exeter Experimental duo DIETER MUH recently turned into a solo project for Steve Cammack.... he's supporting the awesome SILVER APPLES at the Cavern on Tues 3rd August. I did this short interview with Steve to find out more about his avant garde and sometimes extreme music.

When did you guys start and what were the bands that influenced you?

Dieter Muh began way back in 1994. I was living in York at the time; Dave and I were making sounds on to tape and mailing them to friends etc. A chance came to support local band Suicidal Flowers in York, but that fell through. We were still keen and curious to try our hand at a live performance so we asked Tim Bayes to join us and Dieter Muh was born.
Our first live performance was with our friends from the Finnish label “Sahko”; they happened to be in the UK at the time. Illpo of Pan Sonic & Jimi Tenor. To watch their approach to live improvisation was inspirational, as was the occasion a few weeks later when we played with Zoviet*France in Bradford. Colin Potter (of Nurse With Wound/Current 93) came to watch us a couple of times and offered us time at his studio which was then based in North Yorkshire. Colin produced our first album “Black Square”. He is another big Muh influence.

Tell me about the bands you were in before DM, and the 80s Industrial Scene which spawned your band

Just in case you did not know; Dieter Muh gets its name from 3 different projects we were all involved in during the 1980’s. “Die” from Diet Of Worms, “ter” from Schuster and “Muh” from Muhviertel. In the mid 1980’s Tim and I were I.B.F. We released a slew of cassettes on various labels and appeared on a few compilations at the time. The LP “Songs Of The New Internationals” that Recloose Org put out being the most well known. Harbinger Sound released a 12” EP last year of some old I.B.F. recordings. I think they’re all gone now though…
I used to be a drummer in a punk-pop band called Total Strangers back in 1981. We did support Crispy Ambulance!
The 1980’s would have been post-industrial, no? Most of the originators had retired or were mining a seam that did not appeal. Put Cabaret Voltaire’s “Microphonies” against “Voice Of America” or “Jack The Tab” against “Heathen Earth”. Technology, digital technology took over in the 1980’s with samplers and Fairlights overtaking the cut + paste cassette looping technique. “Industrial Music” in the 1980’s was owned by Canadians and Belgians (or so it seemed). There were more interesting DIY/Experimental field happenings at the time. The likes of Soviet France, Pornosect, Nocturnal Emissions, O Yuki Conjugate, Last Few Days, Whitehouse, Maeror Tri, Esplendor Geometrico etc and releases from Birthbiter, Flowmotion and Broken Flag. Good stuff. “Interchange” and “N.D.” magazines carried the industrial ethos and became bibles. Like in the late 1970’s – it was time to get back to grass roots.

One of your albums is called Tertium Organum - have Ouspensky/Gurdjieff 4th Way thinking been an influence on your work?

Dave (the other half of the original Dieter Muh) would have loved this question!
“Tertium Organum” is perhaps our best known album as it was released by a major independent (Tesco Org) with worldwide distribution.
Our four previous albums had all been “studio” albums, where Dave and I would meet for a few days (a lost weekend) and we would record for that project.
“Tertium Organum” was different. Dave collected almost two years of recordings made either at the Muh Studio (in Nottingham) or from live recordings and created “Tertium Organum”. Ouspensky’s book “Tertium Organum” has been on Dave’s bookshelf since I have known him, whether or not he applied his philosophy to the production / editing of the LP I cannot say – I have not read Ouspensky. I have dipped in to Gurdjieff in the past, but during the times of recording the album this wasn’t discussed. The cover of the album is by Barry Hale, one of my favourite artists.
There's a photo of you with Lon Milo Duquette - has his writing on Magick etc been an influence?

We both have a mutual friend in the O.T.O. It was at his suggestion that we collaborated. Two live performances (both in London) came before we embarked on the studio project that resulted in the LP “The Call” in 2008 (on my own imprint Haemoccult Recordings). Dieter Muh is set in the occult. Occult; arts, ritual, politics, magick, literature etc. I think of Dieter Muh being a representation of this. Of course Lon’s writing has been an influence, I thoroughly recommend his latest book “Enochian Vision Magic” and a visit to his website. Dieter Muh have been invited to perform in Edward Keeley’s castle in Prague in 2011.

You were booked in to play The Cavern in Jan - then the split occured. Is it something you want to talk about?

Over the past few years I have been “putting on” gigs in Exeter. So far I have brought Hair Police, Nocturnal Emissions, Mark Durgan and Astral Social Club to Exeter. Bands/projects that would not usually come this far south. I like to do one gig a year in Exeter. 2009 was busy for us and we concentrated on two shows in London. The St. Giles-In-The-Field church performance and the Equinox Festival. So I wanted to do an Exeter gig in early 2010. I had Nocturnal Emissions and Duncan Harrison lined up and then Dave quit, so I had to cancel the show.
Since Dave left I have had to build a studio here in Torquay, and collect new effects / instruments. I do not believe in “laptop” music. It has taken a few months but now I am prepared….
Dave’s departure came as no surprise, throughout 2009 it was becoming obvious that his life was changing and Dieter Muh was becoming less of a priority. He did not enjoy our participation at The Equinox Festival and shortly afterwards he decided to leave.

How is your music developing as a solo performer?

I am really enjoying it! There was that moment when after a partner of 15 years and friend of 30+ throws in the towel I thought; should I carry on? But the moment did not last for long. Dave was a master of sampling. Sampling films and TV Recordings, a lot of Dieter Muh included this technique. I don’t do that, I concentrate on processing / altering sound from instruments and field recordings…in that sense Dieter Muh will develop.
There has already been two appearances on compilation CD’s this year and I am working again with Tim Bayes. He lives in Australia now, but he sends me sounds to work with – I will be using some of his samples at the gig at The Cavern. Hanson Records in USA also want a new I.B.F. album. There will be new Dieter Muh albums on Licht Und Stahl (Germany) and Verlautbarung (Sweden) labels next year, and a split 7” on the Plymouth based Intergalatic Beard label due before Xmas. This was recorded with Michael Parker (of Appliance).
After Exeter there is Paris on 9/11 and London on 2/12. Check the MySpace site for more details.

Many thanks

Thank You and look forward to seeing you in August.