It’s not every day that a flute/ double bass duo with classical, free-jazz and metal leanings all tied together grace the world with their wild creativity. Do they ever? Well, in the case of Spanish pair Inhumankind, they absolutely do. Having introduced the world to their singular musical vision in 2018 with their debut record Self-Extinction, this month sees the duo’s return. Self-Deification will be released later this month on Italy’s I, Voidhanger Records. I caught up with flutist/ vocalist Pablo Selnik to learn more about this fascinating musical venture.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. Inhumankind has a very distinctive sound, how would you describe your music?
Pablo: It’s always hard to describe oneself’s music, but in summary it could be something like avantgarde/chamber black metal, in the sense of the experimentation and odd instrumentation (for metal, at least), with some atonal and serialistic language, but with some metal approach to our instruments, like tremolo picking, shrieks, growls, blast-beats and so…
I’ve read that your latest release Self-Deification was designed as the second part of a trilogy. What is the concept of the album and how does it connect with your first record, Self-Extinction?
Pablo: The concept of the trilogy is to tell the inner voyage of a person who decides to transcend itself by taking charge of its own existence and cosmovision. Self-Extinction is just the beginning of that travel, the inner death of what we are in search of the arise of a renewed self-being. It could be read in many terms and philosophies, in a transcendental and macrocosmic way, or in the little details of our day by day where we have to improve ourselves to achieve something better in our capacities, physically, mentally or spiritually.
In this new album, Self-Deification, that experience is on its prime, where the full potential of the person is fulfilled.
Was there anything you learned during the recording of your first record that you took into the recording of Self-Deification?
Pablo: Many things, indeed. Any recording is a step further into an endless knowledge that we can’t completely achieve not even in 50 lives. But for this new one I’ve tried to reject any thoughts about stylistic stuff, or how people could react. Just being focused on music per se, and just trying to do good music with my language as a composer and tools Inhumankind normally use.
If the music of Inhumankind were a food, what food would that be and how would it be cooked, or would it be eaten raw?
Pablo: That’s a creative one, for sure! Never thought about our music in those terms, but if I think in IK on live, where most of the times we’re only Àlex and me, with lots of intensity and rawness, then of course, it’s like something raw but refined at the same time. Maybe like steak tartar if there was meat, or sushi if it was fish.
What do multi-pantheon deific masks mean to you?
Pablo: There’s multiple approaches to almost get to the same point at the very end. Personally I work for and serve myself exclusively. But each and every one has to do their own quest, there are no formulae despite some people want to sell them.
I, Voidhanger Records have a great roster of unusual and exciting artists. How did you first come to collaborate with the label?
When I first sent Self-Extinction proposal to Luciano, he not only answered me positively but he wrote an email analyzing any track and sound of the album, any band that comes to his mind listening to IK and everything he felt listening to any song, with a critical sense and vast musical culture besides an open mind and vision, and it was like, that’s great, someone who values and appreciates what we do and also it’s an apassionate of music without boundaries like us… so, go on!
Our readers may not be so familiar with free jazz. For the uninitiated, what artists or releases do you recommend starting with?
Pablo: Interstellar Space, by John Coltrane was my entrance door, but for a metalhead I’d recommend Olatunji Concert, Peter Brötzmann’s Full Blast, and The Thing.
If Alejandro Jodorowsky asked you to recommend a book for him to adapt for the screen, and have your music for it, what book would you choose?
Pablo: That’s a hard one, I’d go for Le Horla by Guy de Maupassant, a short story that I’ve already wrote some music for, to play with Black Flower, a super trio I’m playing with and producing, check out our first album “Kala of the Unspoken”, I’m very happy with the result.
It would be a delight to see Inhumankind performing live. Are there any plans for shows in the coming months to promote the new record?
Pablo: We’re closing some, here in Spain and a few over Europe, some with the duo format and some with Celeste and Marta (the mezzo and soprano who recorded the vocals on the two albums).
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Pablo: Thanks a lot to Blessed Altar Zine for the interest in our work and for all of those who read the interview and listen to our music!
Interview: Tom Osman
Thanks to Pablo for his time. Self-Deification by Inhumankind will be released on I, Voidhanger Records on the 22nd of April. Check the links below to pre-order the album on limited CD and vinyl (for both EU and US customers).
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