Well, there should have been an inner-view with Thorsten, head-honcho from Highpoint Lowlife, as part of my not particularly ongoing series of future stealers (as documented here and here) but I think that things are changing a little re: Highpoint Lowlife and so he's been a bit reluctant.
Still, I've managed to contract a couple of Remote (Inter)Viewers from the backslides of Chard and Steeple, a mere ectoplasmic slick from the Idiot's Guide Temple in Taunton* and now I think we're just about ready to dig into Thorsten's mindmoulds.
((((((((*follow an etymological path from River Tone - the moon mood musick, tidal tones, Tone-Loc, The Anti-Group's Teste Tones - "we hear the lapland, the laps on the land.." and then reverse-turn from the Tau and end up in Mithras, inside the Taurobolium pit, letting it rain tears of blood )))))))))
Ok, Thorsten, lets have it:
1) first, tell me a little about the label - how did it all get started?
Well, it started out as a legal form of tender, legal here that is. Really, it was the endpoint of a whole chain of events - for example, the coinage issues of mid to late 20s, where no one really knew how to spend or save... I...
(Here Thorsten pauses, as if remembering an evil clown)
... You see, if you weren't there then... this is going to sound odd. Maybe I shouldn't start from the beginning because...
The label started because at that time we were using releases as legal tender, as coinage. We'd started with feathers and leaves then progresseed (with little fortune, though don't print that) to shears and bottle-tops, to compensate the townfolk who couldn't get out much. Next the limes and the goblets, before returning to a particularly crazed (and actual) coin which looked the same as any other except had a number of extraneous moral messages indented into the edge.
Then someone decided that records and CDs might be more useful and Highpoint was born. The Lowlife, as i'm sure you know, came later.
2) is there a label out there that served as inspiration?
This isn't just a visual pun. The Tate and Lyle label has been inspiring, for many reasons. In the Book of Judges 14:14, Samson was travelling to the land of the Philistines in search of a wife (plenty there, apparently). During the journey he killed a lion, and on his return past the same spot he noticed that a swarm of bees had formed a comb of honey in the carcass. The similarities between this and the genesis of Highpoint Lowlife are obvious, I think... Carcass? Lion? Bees? Well, I particularly like the use of the Samson riddle on the label: "Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness" because it reminded me of the Coil song, Ostia which I know you're going to mention because you always mention Coil in every fucking post...
3) who would be your ideal signing?
Shane McGowan's techno project with Morten Harket from A-Ha... best thing since Alien Sex Fiend went techno.
That or Prince. We could do a job on that little guy, I think.
4) Which release has been your favourite so far?
So hard... so hard... I guess I'd have to say that it's Magnetism, That Electricity beccause that's the one that really got noticed by the staff at our favourite blog An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming...
(I look at him, searching for clues. Too late.)
Nah. It's probably one of The Village Orchestra things. Love those girls. Incredibly hot, all three of them and well up for a bit of promotion, if you know what I mean. Really couldn't give a shit about An Idiot's Guide To Dreaming.
5) Highpoint Lowlife aside, tell us your five favourite albums of all time
Highpoint Lowlife aside? Fuck you.
Oh, I guess...
Peter Gabriel 1
Peter Gabriel 2
Peter Gabriel 3
Peter Gabriel 4
HNAS - Melchior
6) What's in the future of Highpoint Lowlife?
(A long pause. A long pause. He comes back sometime in the next decade)
There. Is. Nothing. I. Have. To. Say. About. Time. Of. Any. Kind.
7) Suggest a track for my funeral
Yeah. Abso Glasto Lutely! A track of dreams, man. Pure energy. I'm ot dying, I'm dyeing... You know. A Death's Head Dylon fix! God, yeah. Libby flipped Kipling y'know. Kipling. Made cakes and wine, got caught at the back end of a bull, caned Del Monte (as in Del Boy). Car salesman and all round mean-giver. Blown fuses and spark plugs for noses...
(At this point I assumed he was speaking in tongues and I turned off the tape for ethical reasons)
8) Any films or books that have acted as an inspiration to you?
(Thorsten is a lot calmer now, though now sucking on oxygen through a nosepipe like Gary Oldman in Hannibal)
Well, it'd be hard not to mention HP Lovecraft, especially after all the difficulties we faced getting The Starry Wisdom project off the ground...
(He gives a little subsonic whistle here. At least, I think he does)
...the estate, the fucking ghost of Osman Spare, all that creeping around Dunwich and wherever... clashing with the feral girl gangs responsible for those English Heretic plaques... but Lovecraft, or rather Cthulhu himself, is behind an awful lot of the releases on Highpoint Lowlife - an atmosphere more than anything, a guiding black light... Lovecraft and electricity, the buzzzzzzzzzzzz, y'know... what you said about the 10-20 album... neurobashment... to me, that is so HP, you know.. such a sauce... love him, love it... I think we had a better thrash at Cthulhu than anyone.. I really do... we may even have charged some brains...
(Tape unspools. Didn't even realise that digital recorders could do that...)
The final 2 vinyl releases from this label, soon to be deaded (truly awful news, this is genuinely one of my favorite labels of recent years), are by Roof Light and then they'll close with albums Depakote, Erstalub and The Village Orchestra and an epic DVD-r compilation featuring pretty much everyone who was ever released on or worked with the label.
Can't wait for that one.
After that, Thorsten Sideb0ard will moving on to focus on writing and drawing a graphic novel entitled "74", which is set in a near future post-industrial northern UK city...
The machine rolls on...
Cheers for all the great music, Thorsten; I've still got you down as a future pioneer...
To end, here's a link to the recent Highpoint Lowlife show on Exotic Pylon.