Interview | Yanni Papadopoulos
Planet Y, a Philadelphia duo consisting of Buchla Music Easel master Charles Cohen and guitarist Yanni Papadopoulos, will provide an opening set for Acid Birds on Friday night at Kung Fu Necktie. This is a very rare appearance by Planet Y, whose sole recording, 2007’s Space Station, is available in mp3 format through Thrill Jockey. Papadopoulos, well known as a founding member of Steve Albini-recorded power trio Stinking Lizaveta, spoke with Ars Nova Workshop in preparation for Friday’s show. Also be sure to check out the recent post by Pitchfork's Altered Zones about Cohen and Planet Y.
Stinking Lizaveta embrace metal and jazz. Often shoved into opposite corners of the sonic landscape, most people miss the overlap of these two categories. What are people missing?
Jazz and metal share a heroic quality. John Coltrane wanted to be a superman of his instrument in the jazz idiom. He destroyed jazz to recreate it. Similarly, Black Flag’s Greg Ginn aspired to be a superman of punk, and destroyed punk with Family Man. The "shredders" of jazz and metal are of the same mind, that's why Bill Laswell worked with Buckethead and Tony Williams in Arcana.
What metal record would you recommend to a jazz fan? What about a jazz record to a metal fan?
To a jazz fan I would recommend Leviathan by Mastodon; to a metal fan, Iron Path by Last Exit.
When did you meet Charles Cohen, and what was your first impression of the sounds he was making on the Buchla Music Easel?
I first met Charles at a noise festival called "Infest" at the Killtime in 1994. I thought the Music Easel perfectly expressed zen.
In Planet Y you play a dg-20 Casio digital guitar. How does this instrument compliment Charles’ Music Easel?
I send out a time code, so we are magically in synch. All our sounds are synthetic.
Planet Y released only one album, 2007’s Space Station. Are there any plans to release another?
I'd love to do another record. It will happen.
What should new visitors to Planet Y be ready for?
Acid Birds and Planet Y perform on Friday, February 4 at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 N. Front Street).
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. ANW informs, inspires, and challenges listeners to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation, and experimental music in contemporary culture. ANW events provide a forum for discourse, emergent trends in contemporary music, and unique forms of cultural exchange, while nurturing a diverse community for innovative music.