I came across Jana Dark’s “Darkrad” about a year ago through the website of the label Cold Meat Industries, which led me to You Tube to listen to her stuff. The first song I heard was called “When They Scream”, which is an eerie piece that has an equally eerie video to go with it. I have since listened to quit a bit of other Darkrad stuff and I enjoy it a lot.
Jana agreed to allow me to interview her and we discuss the difference between Dark Ambient and other types of Dark Music, as well as her project and any live plans. Hope you enjoy it:
For those who are not familiar with the style, what is Dark Ambient music?
Dark ambient is a music genre, using elements of ambient music, but transforming them into ominous, dark, sometimes even sinister atmosphere. This music genre is somewhat melancholic, is often associated with dramatic feelings, such as loneliness, isolation, solitude… for myself, this is the music for meditation, for dreaming away. I often listen to dark ambient to escape from the real world, into the world unknown, explore myself, the dark and hidden passageways of consciousness.
As in industrial music, dark ambient uses drones, noises, distortion, processed sounds, different elements and effects, such as light percussion and rhythms, voice samples…not dynamic, but stretched, slow, meditating. It is an illustration to the darkest moods and phantasies.
I’ve read that Simon Heath of Sable Sun and Atrium Caceri goes out in nature and records a lot of different sounds for his music. Are there any special sounds you use to make your music?
I record sounds, but I don’t use too much of field recording. I use a lot of voice recording. It is fascinating, how far a human voice can go and how much can be done with it. I think voice is one of my favorite instruments. Most of my sounds come from various synthesizers and gear. I currently don’t use live instruments, but I’m thinking of adding something from this area and collaborate with artists playing instruments such as cello and violin.
What do you draw on for lyrical inspiration?
Lyrics are never a problem for me. Often a track starts with lyrics and then I hear sounds elaborating around them. I write quite a lot, sometimes short texts, sometimes poems, or longer stories. In fact, I will publish my first book soon. A lot of my lyrics for Darkrad are based on stories I wrote, but adjusted to the musical environment. I also have a dream diary and I write down dreams I had, that I consider can be of any use for future creative work. I often write passionately, quick and short, trying to capture the sense in a few words. This kind of writing is easily transformed into lyrics for my tracks.
Do you perform any other types of music?
As a musician I currently have only one project Darkrad. It isn’t quite a dark ambient project, rather experimental electronics, where I merge various styles, but still keep them under one dark thrilling creepy atmosphere. But I have a plan to start a new project, in minimal wave style of electronic music. I’m currently exploring this area and it gives me new inspiration. As a DJ, I have a vast style experience and play different kinds of music, starting from industrial, noise and finishing synthpop, techno, electro.
If you have the funding, would you tour and if so where?
Yes, I would definitely tour. I love playing shows. I’m particularly interested in South and Central America tour. In fact, I have already started working on it, and got in touch with promoters over there. Also, the fact that I currently live in the USA makes it somewhat easier to organize. I also dream about Asian tour. There is a lot going on there. Everybody is so centered on European scene, but I find that Asian scene has so much to offer.
Last, but not the least, I want to do more touring in my home country Russia and former Soviet countries. I have toured in western part of Russia, but I have never been to the east.
Basically, I’m interested in everything. The world is so huge and sometimes I feel life is not enough to cover it all.
How can one obtain your music? I personally like to buy cd’s and vinyl.
You can always contact me online. I have official website http://www.janadark.net
Also, you can use bandcamp: https://darkrad.bandcamp.com/
And anything else you’d like to say?
I would like to thank you for your interest in my music and my activities. This means a lot for me! I wouldn’t be able to stay creative if not all those, who appreciate my art. And I wish you, your blog and its readers success and all the best. Let the darkness be with you…