“Derek Rush is a New York City-based musician, producer, and visual artist most often associated with dark underground music using a combination of electronic and live instruments.” [discogs.com]
How would you summarize this past year on artistic and personal level?
This has been a great year for me on both those levels. Compactor, begun as a frustrated side-project with no aspirations other than to get it out, seems to have struck a chord with noise/industrial lovers as well as hardcore techno people and others. There were several releases and live shows, and this year it was signed to Industrial Strength Records and was released on a compilation. I did my first ever installation, at the FigmentNYC arts festival, called ‘Fields Of Waste’, with a soundtrack by Compactor. I was also involved in a lot of shows, including a few mini-tours organized by or with Annihilvs Power Electronix, an association that has been massively inspiring to me. In fact, because of that, in May I started a monthly night called Morbid Monday to book “dark” bands who normally come from different but related genres and/or scenes, and that’s gone pretty well. Annihilvs also released the third album by A Murder Of Angels, which played its first shows since 2009 live debut. Crucial Blast released the Theologian CD ‘Some Things Have To Be Endured’, which I added to musically on every track. I’ve been DJing again. Fans have been more engaging and supportive via social networking than ever before. On a personal note, I’ve met someone very special with extremely mutually compatible weird ideas about the world, which is akin to a miracle.
What album you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2013)?
Rips of the out-of-print Vatican Shadow tapes, especially ‘Byzantine Private CIA’. Those really need reissues.
What was the best cultural experience not related to music?
Karlynn Holland is a visual artist who puts on a group show about twice a year called Dreams Were Made For Mortals. In September, my work was included for the second time and I sold one of my photographs.
And best trip? Most beautiful or magic place you visited this year?
This may sound odd, but The Rat Hole in Minneapolis. It’s the most awesomely disgusting DIY basement venue I’ve played or been in so far. Bizarre colorful wall art, amplifiers piled up all around the back of the room, and the entire lining of the space from floor to ceiling dripping, rusting, and decaying around us…beautiful.
What was your greatest disappointment of 2013?
Not being able to do a live Dream Into Dust show due to all the members’ prior commitments to other projects.
Did you learn anything particular this year?
The group of friends and peers I have now are the best I’ve ever had. There’s no point in chasing after the wrong people, because the right ones will find each other.
Plans, hopes, expectations for 2014?
There will be a Compactor full-length album on Industrial Strength Records, as well as a split cassette with En Nihil on Enemata Productions, and another split with Auditor, label as yet undecided. Morbid Monday will resume in the spring. I’m hoping to crowd-fund the 15th anniversary vinyl reissue of the out-of-print Dream Into Dust CD ‘The World We Have Lost’. I’m also trying to do ‘Fields Of Waste’ on a larger scale through an art gallery. Bryin Dall has once again asked me to produce, arrange, and play on an album of dark country covers, following up his ‘Deconstructing Hank’ LP with Kris Kristofferson songs. I’ve promised remixes to multiple bands including Amy’s Arms, Theologian, and Nursing Home, and I’m in the middle of mixing the full-length album by current_working_directory. I’m also starting three new projects: a death-industrial one with John Binder of Arkanau, an apocalyptic folk one with a female singer, and a doom-influenced one with Lee of Theologian and Bob Bellerue of Kilt. And of course live shows with as many of the bands as time allows, including a projected tour with Nyodene D and Requiem. There’s more, but I shouldn’t say yet. I’ll definitely be busy!