InterviewsLabel Interviews

Invasion Wreck Chords: an interview with Alexey Protasov and Natasha

Bringing the ethos of punk to the electronic and industrial scenes, Invasion Wreck Chords is the brainchild and publishing arm of Bielorussian heavy-electronics duo Ambassador21. In addition to Ambassador21 and its side-projects, this label is also home to acts such as Boot-Sector-Viruz, Monoid, Rasputeen and, more recently, Spanish hardcore sensation CTRLer.

Alexey Protasov and Natasha1 – How and why did you come about starting Invasion Wreck Chords?

There are two ways to start record label – either you’re looking for artists or you have an artist(s) looking for a label. With us it was the latter. We started the label for Ambassador21 and it consists of A21 members who run it and are involved with promotion, design, internet, video, mastering, photo, merchandising etc. In the beginning it was quite hard for two people to do everything but we have many friends who always supported and helped us, such as Stefan Alt (Ant-Zen), Thomas Hein (Maschinenfest) and others.

2 – When you started Invasion Wreck Chords, were there any labels that you could say were a reference/inspiration for your efforts?

Yes, of course. First of all there was Ant-Zen, Hymen, Hands, Ad Noiseam – independent electronic music labels that work with very high levels of professionalism. These people do great work for promoting noise and experimental music and it’s because of them this scene emerged from the underground.

3 – Almost mandatory question, how did the name “Invasion Wreck Chords” come about?

Before we started the label, we worked for a long time as radio DJs and did a show called “New Invasion”. It wasn’t about electronic music – it was about all types of non-commercial music. So when we stopped working with radio, we just kept the name. “Wreck Chords” is a bit of an homage to our punk youth. ;-)

4 – Since the inception of Invasion Wreck Chords, are there any events in the history of the label that you’d consider as particularly relevant, from difficulties and setbacks to successes?

The most important event was our fifth anniversary, and we already feel confident with ourselves that we are still a young label and have a long life in front of us. Difficulties? Sometimes it happens. Life is life.

5 – So far what would you consider as special highlights (or successful) releases and artists in the history of Invasion Wreck Chords?

Well, obviously there’s Ambassador21 which has had a lot of great releases. Later when we were grounded as a label, we started to work with other artists – our side-project Suicide Inside, Rasputin, Monoid, Fragment King, Boot-Sector-Viruz (German invasion – haha!) and now CTRLer (“Spanish Wing” ;-) ). These artists have full-length releases on the label and are very different musically, but all of them have two main similarities – they are serious musicians and they are our friends. These factors are necessary in order to be on the label. And, of course, many other artists who are not on the label but always contributed their music into our remix and compilation projects – Synapscape, Mimetic, Roger Rotor, Klangstabil, P.A.L, Proyecto Mirage, and others.

6 – Are there any releases in particular that you would recommend as good ‘introductory material’ to the Invasion Wreck Chords label?

Ambassador21, of course. The new album “FUCK ALL $Y$TEM$” is coming out on October 12. Ultra fucking destroy! Also our annual compilation project “Invasion & Friends 2k…” which we’ve released since 2004, and “Caution! Invasion & Friends 2k7” – a DVD release I also strongly recommend. Breakcore fans should check out “The Scariest Weapon” trilogy – a powerful compilation series which includes the best breakcore producers from all over the world.

7 – Looking back, do you have any regrets with the label? If you could go back and change something, what would it be?

Trying to go back or worry about something in the past that you can’t change anymore is the last thing to do. We have no regrets and don’t think about it. For us, running our label is a big pleasure, so no negative comes from that.

8 – An obvious question, but what is Invasion Wreck Chords’s ‘relationship’ with the Internet? From promotion tool and digital sales to file sharing and piracy, how has it affected you?

We have a very strong presence in the internet and we also use it to our benefit with new contacts to sales, whatever. Sure, we are not very happy about tons of our pirated mp3s out there, but this is a symbol of the times. We try to keep a philosophical outlook on this problem.

9 – Slightly related to the previous question, how do you see the concept of ‘netlabels’ and, as a labelhead, what is your perspective as to the future and evolution of physical media (CDs, vinyl, etc)?

Virtual things are not the same as physical as they are parallel and support each other, but there is a big difference between virtual and physical. Phone sex can’t change real sex. Now that virtual media is getting stronger than tangible media, we’ll see what the future holds.

10 – Perspectives for the future, what lies in the horizon for Invasion Wreck Chords? Can you share some long-term goals and where would you like to see the label heading to?

We would like to increase our presence in the scene. So far we’ve gone to America with the new Ambassador21 full-length album which is licensed by Vendetta Music. We are looking forward to discovering Japan, both for the label and for tours. There will definitely be new “Invasion & Friends 2k8” compilations (2k9, 2k…), we will continue to work with our artists, and there are will be new names added to the label. We also plan to continue running our air radio show “Caffeine” in Minsk (http://fm.ambassador21.com).

11 – What other labels/artists would you recommend at the moment and why?

We recommend all our friends. Why? Because they are the best. Just go to the links section at www.ambassador21.com/links.html.

12 – Thank you for your time, do you have any final comments?

Thank you. More music – good and different!

Relevant links

Ambassador21 / Invasion Wreck Chords
Invasion Wreck Chords @ MySpace
“Caffeine” radio show

— interview by Kate Turgoose & Miguel de Sousa (September 2007)

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