Puzhaki interview by Lawrence English


On Puzahki’s debut offering It’s Just Noise, Brisbanite Craig Parry flexes his audio splicing skills and unleashes a record of diced drum’n’bass and lurid innuendo. It’s a solid listen and highlights a great deal of potential in its creator.

Tracks like ‘My Daddy’, which will now be released as an EP via Alias Frequencies in the new year, collage together a sometimes confusing array of vocal cut-ups that examine sex in its many forms and uses – entertainment and pro-creation being the centre of attention.

While sex is a recurring theme for some of what Puzahki is about, it’s not the singular focus.

“Um, Shit,” Craig replies when asked to outline what he addresses with his chopped sound, “you’ve really gotten yourself into something with this one. A lot of things I guess, although none of them are really conscious. At the end of the day I think I make music because I don’t have a choice. Most of the time it’s the only way that I can adequately express my feelings and emotions in purity without tripping over the formalities of superficial communications such as language. Clich’ maybe, but true.

“I also think that it’s a purging of sorts for our ‘hyper info-consumer’ culture, like some sort of information/cerebral faeces that’s only going to otherwise manifest itself into something very ugly and very bloody. Some days I’m sure that I’m living in a commercial and that kind of makes me sad(istic).”

There’s more to Puzahki’s formation than a desire to unleash personal views. Sex, that recurring theme also played a role as well. What part of “sex” you ask?

“My libido” He laughs, “I have an insatiable sexual appetite that’s never entirely slaked so I guess the frustration needed an outlet somewhere. I think if I got laid twice a day I wouldn’t need to make music. Actually, when I first started making music I didn’t even know that there was a genre for it – this was mostly attributed to the fact that I was residing on the Gold Coast.

“My musical head was well and truly up my arse, so it came as quite a shock when people started recommending stuff that was similar for me to listen to, although I still haven’t heard anything that is really quite like Puzahki. I hate self-psychoanalysis but I’m sure my upbringing has had something to do with it as well. My childhood was like Kramer Vs. Kramer on steroids, directed by a born-again-Catholic David Lynch with a penchant for Brandy Alexanders and Dexedrine cocktails. Sometimes I think I have A.D.D.”

While Parry may have birthed Puzahki in a musical vacuum, his work has nonetheless drawn numerous comparisons to the usual suspects of cut-up electronica. Even though he’s not particularly bothered by the remarks, he is disappointed by people’s lack of comparative scope.

“I usually tell them to fuck off and find their own bandwagon,” he comments about his feeling towards comparisons to artists such as Squarepusher. “I mean sure, once again respect should be paid to anyone whose shit is original and interesting but for God’s sake people, it does not start and end with Aphex Twin and Squarepusher! Get over it! I’m more than certain that there were a lot people doing what they were doing before it became pop. The only difference is that they got given access to the distribution channels early in the movement. The net has helped that though. You can find heaps of wicked independent IDM artists on the web now.”

Outright comparisons and accusations of ripping-off artists are unjustified in Puzahki’s case. Listening to It’s Just Noise, tracks like ‘Steam Boat’s and ‘Entropy Excuse’ (now a side project for Parry) largely sit outside any Warp-related comparisons.

When questioned about his thoughts on the importance on individuality in his work, Parry isn’t afraid to let fly with words.

“Some days I think that the notion of individuality was the worst thing that ever happened to the human race. We really lost perspective of the importance of co-existence and human kind. Christ, I’m not a bloody socialist but thanks to Jerry fucking Seinfeld and the ‘corporate sponsored’ likes, everyone thinks they’re living in a fucking caf’ latte fuelled sitcom don’t they? It makes me just want to scream at some people to shut their narcissistic, self-touting talk holes for just one second and take a good look around. Fuck this, I’m going to be political. I’m going to pretend for just a minute that my irrelevant, perspective-less opinion actually means anything. I’m a fascist libertarian by trade. I’ll kill to make people love each other. Ahhhh…that feels better. Puzahki 4 peace kids! Yeah!”

There are other challenges for Craig to face up to.

“Trying to keep a straight face is one. I have a lot of stuff that I’ve written that tends to get a bit carried away with itself. This may sound elitist but that sort of stuff probably won’t end up getting released for a while because I don’t think people are quite ready for it yet. I get a lot of funny/bored looks from some of the music that I write. I find it very difficult to keep things structured as well. I don’t like it when people make structure because they feel obligated, but if you’re trying to tell a story I guess people appreciate a start, middle and end (although you can play with that concept just as you can in film). A lot of noise purists might find that mentality a little ‘conservative & bullshit’s but I’m personally sick of hearing self-indulgent ‘noise-art’.

“Suddenly everyone with a computer thinks they’re the new John Cage. Fuck that! While respects must be paid, at the end of the day, if you’re on a stage, you’re nothing more than an entertainer of sorts. Although they might pretend to, people don’t give a shit about your emotional connection to the music, or how much trouble you went to lowering a microphone down a thirty foot stormwater drain to get the sound of running water with a natural reverb. I think that moulding your messages and exorcising your demons in a format that people can connect with, can sometimes be an art form in itself. And no, I am not bitter and jaded.”

As for Puzahki’s next move, remixes and interpretations seem to be the call of the day.

“I’ve kind of lost perspective on the tracks after hearing them so many times,” Craig says frankly of his new release, “I think that it fucking rocks, but then my opinion probably isn’t valid. I mostly only listen to my own music so I guess I’m keen to start writing again which I already have. The version that’s to be released locally will be a double CD, multimedia extravaganza containing a HTML browser, more than thirty tracks, a film clip preview and shitloads of info.

“The first CD will be the ‘My Daddy’ maxisingle containing the crunchy stuff with remixes from Yanto Browning, Matt Weimers, I/O and OK Sushi. The second disc is an ambient side project I do with Sir William Gull called The Entropy Excuse. I’m not sure what the final product that is to be released on Alias Frequencies in February 2003 will contain. Heaps of new and improved stuff hopefully. Sorry I’m not much of a sales person. Uncle Puzahki Says “steal money from your parents and just go out and buy it kids’.”

Lawrence English