This is a mail interview with Gary Mundy (in this case for RAMLEH), after the resumption of the project. The new curse sees two new tapes: the first one a split with an Holland band (Ain Tow, BF 57), and the second one is called HOLE IN THE HEART (four RAMLEH's tracks, BF 59), both are very good (buy, buy, buy). A new LP will be done in early 1988. Write to Gary for more informations and the Broken Flag catalogue.
M: What motivations were behind RAMLEH when you started out?
R: RAMLEH began as an attack on the music at the time (1982) which we felt was masquerading as "experimental" or "avant-garde" because it was all unoriginal, weak, and obsessed with disco rhythms. It was also an attack on the new morality which we saw springing up (today of course it is much worse). We deliberately investigated and promoted taboo subjects as a means of keeping the doors open for freedom of expression.
M: Have the resons determined the nature of your sound, its noisy structure or was the relationship between theoritical project and subsequent realization a looser one?
R: At the time we thought it was neccesary to match our music and imagery. The music came first and was hard and violent. This was the music we wanted to play. The imagery was deliberate also and happened to fit the music well.
M: Why did you shelve your project in 1984, and why was it resumed in 1986?
R: RAMLEH was not actually halted until 1984. We stopped for two years. We stopped because we felt that it was needed to do other things in order to approach RAMLEH with fresh ideas. Those ideas now seem to be there, so things have been started once more.
M: What are the many extra-musical influences?
R: The music of RAMLEH is not influenced from outside sources (certainly not intentionally). The subjects dealt with are influenced by things we see, hear, read, and experience. HOLE IN THE HEART is a reaction to the death of Jean Genet, but there is no direct "influence" as such.
M: In A RETURN TO SLAVERY (LP), there were no words. Is it a normal choice or was it a consequence of the title (because slaves are not allowed to speak)?
R: On one side of A RETURN TO SLAVERY was "Slaughter at Random" which is my good friend at Libertarian Recordings (also known as Philip Best of Consumer Electronics and Whitehouse). This side is totally instrumental, which was Philip's intention. The other side is "A return to slavery" by RAMLEH featuring four songs which were written with words, and recorded in a special mobile manner to give a feeling of space and motion. The sound and emotions present are more relevant than the actual words. The title referes to a return to the old values. The idea that the word is re-gressing/not progressing and also refers to medical slavery. Diseases attack us and leave us slaves to research even after death (hence the autopsy photograph on the cover).
RAMLEH STATEMENT: THE WORLD TURNS
The world turns. Backwards. Why return to the scene of past failure. Lack of new ideas. Lack of imagination forces grasphing at straws. But success can be attained through continuation of discontinued partial success. It is not wrong to look to the past. It is only wrong to mis-read it and to recreate disaster. Less is now permissable. More work is needed to retain what is still left. Celebrate and promote that which remains in order to
built further towards the heights once attained. Music need not be brutal at all times. Sublety also has it's place but we must have originality. It is said that in this day and age nothing is original. Fuck that. It is the view of those resigned to failure whose brains are incapable of anything but recycled garbage. Let the world progress one more. Soon.
(c) RAMLEH 1987
CONTACT: GARY MUNDY/59 CHAPEL VIEW/SOUTH CROYDON/CR2 7LJ/ENGLAND.
(Thanks to Evan at Gevalt HQ for the transcription.)