Cyclic Press is the new publishing division of highly respected record label and mail order distributor Cyclic Law, the label responsible for releasing the music of some of the finest ritualistic and ambient artists creating today, including Lamia Vox and Northaunt.
I was extremely excited when I discovered about the launch of Cyclic Press, and, as a publisher myself, was eager to find out about the experience of establishing the division, and putting together the press’s first publication, INLUMAEH by Krist Mort. Founder and owner of Cyclic Law/Press Frederic Arbour kindly agreed to an interview.
When did the idea to form your publishing division Cyclic Press originate, and was there ever a point where you felt hesitant about branching out into the book world? Who did you approach for support during the establishment of the division, and is there anything you would have done differently?
The idea to establish Cyclic Press, as a branch of the record label Cyclic Law which I founded in 2002, has been in the back of my head for quite some time. Cyclic Law as a label has always put a lot of emphasis on the graphical aspect of it’s releases, by choosing special packaging formats, textured papers and inserts etc… High quality graphical designs have always accompanied the musical content presented. With Cyclic Press I want to reverse this process in a sense, to put forth photography and graphic art and design and have music accompany these. Things are open to evolve as far as formats and contents of future books, but for now the joining of the visual and aural will be the basis of the upcoming book projects.
I was not hesitant but was waiting for the right project and moment, ideas come and we can’t manifest them all but some ideas do come to life at the proper time, and Cyclic Press is a result of this process. It is a solo endeavour of mine and an extension of Cyclic Law and for this first edition I asked the help of some close friends for their expertise in their given craft, Kim and Trine at Trine Og Kim design studio for the book layout and a local friend, Audrey at Ovate, for the linen bags used in the special edition of the book. Their input and talent were key features in the outcome of this first project. I think everything turned out quite nicely and would not want it differently.
The first publication through Cyclic Press is INLUMAEH by Austrian photographer Krist Mort. When was the idea for the book conceived, and how long was it from the initial spark to completion?
I contacted Krist over 1 1/2 year ago at least after having discovered here work some time before. I really enjoyed her approach and vision and the idea to gather her photographs into a concise book project took form. We then took the time to properly conceive the whole project and fine tune things as new ideas of the final result we wanted would come.
Yes it was actually pretty straightforward, no obvious obstacles came in the way, everything came together quite naturally so nothing was challenging really, it was definitely the right time for this project.
Trine og Kim Design Studios are responsible for the striking, immaculate design of INLUMAEH. What is your experience of working with the duo?
Kim and Trine have been good friends of mine for some years now, I often visit them in Oslo and always admired their craft and singular visions. So it was a logical process to ask them if they wanted to collaborate and bring their input to this project, which they gladly accepted.
INLUMAEH is available in two editions. I’m aware the special edition has sold out already, but can you talk about the importance of the book’s handmade packaging, and the additional extras that accompanied it? How did you decide on what was going to be included alongside the book?
The special edition came with 2 7×10 posters, “Rites” incense handcrafted by myself and the whole was placed inside a silk screened linen bag created by Ovate. The idea of adding the posters came first, then I was starting to experiment with incense making and though it would be a nice addition to the book project, to make it a complete visual, aural and olfactory sensory experience. Then while thinking of how to put it all together in a nice packaging I had the idea to ask Audrey / Ovate if she could help in crafting some bags to place everything in. Once everything was put together the final result was quite impressive, and I’m very satisfied at how things turned out.
Both editions of the book are accompanied by an audio CD by Russian esoterist Lamia Vox. How did you arrive at the decision to include an audio CD, and how did Lamia Vox come to take on the role? In your own words, how you would say her music works to accompany Krist Mort’s photography?
As mentioned before, the idea to have a musical element accompany the books was part of the initial idea, to keep the labels mandate linked in some way to the book publishing branch. Alina (Lamia Vox) and Krist have known each other for quite some time and Krist’s photography is planned to be used for Lamia Vox’s next album cover. So it felt natural to ask Alina if she wanted to create a special soundtrack to accompany Krist’s book and both were of course very enthusiastic about the idea. Lamia Vox’s tracks for this project are simply perfect, very ritualistic, eerie and infused with an intense feminine energy, as is the books content and author obviously, so the joining of these forces made the whole project’s energy even more potent. I wanted to take things further than doing a simple art book.
Yes it has been quite well received and I’m very grateful by the response and support it got and also mostly grateful for Krist, who deserves all the praise she can get for her outstanding work.
Is Cyclic Press going to focus on publishing art books, or can you see the division venturing down other paths?
So far art books are the main focus but there are talks and ideas of branching out to other content, time will tell if these ideas come to life and I remain open to any interesting venture.
There are 2 new publications in the works by Pär Bostrom of Kammarheit from Sweden, they will be compendiums of his paintings, photography and graphic art. One book covering his more obscure art and another for his brighter counterparts. Both books will also feature his music, under Kammarheit and the other under his own name. There is also talks of doing a compendium of the graphic art of Dehn Sora of Treha Sektori from France. Another by French artist Nihil with music by In Slaughter Natives is being planned also. There’s a few other ideas but it’s still early to mention them.
What do you aspire to achieve in the long run with Cyclic Press?
I simply hope this venture can be sustainable and that I can help bring to the artists concerned the recognition they deserve. In an age of web based media I feel that keeping visual art and also music in tangible, long lasting formats, and in carefully crafted objects is an absolute necessity.
(All images are from the Cyclic Press Facebook page.)