Few artists submerge you in darkness in fairly the identical means as Christoph De Babalon. With engulfing atmosphere, depth-charge bass drones and hyperventilating breakcore and jungle beats, the Hamburg-raised, Berlin-based producer has, for over 20 years now, etched an unmistakable sonic persona onto an more and more greyscale planet.
With a catalog spanning over 20 singles, EPs and albums throughout labels like Digital Hardcore Recordings, V I S, A Colourful Storm and his personal Cross Fade Enter Tainment (CFET), de Babalon has constantly captured up to date dread with a rawness and candour solely out there to these for whom the sensation shouldn't be a fleeting fixation, however an amazing norm.
How becoming then, that in 2018 – a 12 months which noticed acts like Low and Gazelle Twin deploy equally harrowing manufacturing methods to decry socio-political calamity – De Babalon’s enduringly sinister 1997 LP, ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It’ could be reissued. The restricted vinyl repress in January would launch the sprawling assortment far previous its as soon as cult standing to pull new ears into its cavernous depths. Where the likes of John Peel and Thom Yorke have been amongst followers of its unique urgent – the Radiohead frontman referred to as it “essentially the most menacing document” he owned earlier than inviting him to play support on their ‘Amnesiac’ tour – the remaster ignited a protracted overdue curiosity in his physique of labor, making it tempting to elect him because the sonic director of our impending apocalypse.
But De Babalon doesn’t see it that means in any respect.
“Look, in case you make a darkish document it is going to match with nearly any time,” he tells DJ Mag over a suitably distorted cellphone line. “There are darkish data from the ‘20s. There is darkish music from the 19th century. It nonetheless matches now. The darkish data which are being made now may slot in 20 years as effectively.”
Christoph de Babalon isn’t taken with being a spokesman for doom. He apologises greater than as soon as when dialog steers towards his dour mythology. He laughs off the concept his music is something greater than a vital private pursuit, and he definitely doesn’t assume the world needed to hit this notably low tide to correctly recognize the 15-minute drone dirge of ‘Opium’ or the convulsive percussion of ‘My Confession’.
“The world was unhealthy after I made [‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It’] too,” he says. “and it was unhealthy 10 years earlier than that within the ‘80s after I was listening to thrash metallic and Napalm Death. All these individuals have been conscious of the place the world was heading and have been essential of it then too.”
Armed with a dry sense of humour and shrugged stoicism, De Babalon crucially doesn’t succumb to the persistent darkness, however does, as he says, “put a leash on it. I don’t let it take me over.”
“I have to do it for my sanity,” he says. “It's only a means for me as an individual to take care of all of the unfavorable affect and switch it into one thing that's inventive. It sounds very idealistic perhaps, I do not know, however it might be one thing like that.”