02.05.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

"Hello, Rene Hell!"

One couldn’t help but be drawn in by last year’s ‘Porcelain Opera’. Throbbing and pulsating, all cracked industrial moods and spidery strings of noise. Then this year Rene Hell followed up with ‘The Terminal Symphony’, a tight and intricate work of digital and analogue composition. For these are very definitely compositions as opposed to jams. Which puts Rene Hell more in the avant-classical, minimalist tradition, as opposed to those who come at noise from a more spontaneous angle.

As well as Rene Hell, Jeff Witscher is one third of the more dance-oriented Cuticle, alongside Driphouse’s Darren Ho and Nimby’s Brendan O’Keefe (no websites, sorry). Their ‘Merciful Swound’ EP, a beguiling, scrapbook-like collage of house, disco and techno, is out now on Amanda Brown’s (LA Vampires, Not Not Fun, you know) label 100% Silk.

In light of such a back-catalogue, we decided it was time to say “hello”. Read the interview and get acquainted below, and download an MP3 from ‘Terminal Symphony’.


Jeff Witscher.



Current Location?

Sangres, Portugal.

Your sound?

Carnegie hall with a nas tank.

How do you record?



A. Russell, L. Cohen.

Last release?

‘The Terminal Symphony’, Type Records.

Next release?

Japan benefit comp from Draft Records.

There’s something very organic as well as quite harsh about your work as Rene Hell. Where do the ideas for the sounds you use come from?

Influences from early to contemporary electronic music, obscure and popular. Visualizing an idea for a piece & writing a patch that capture the feeling as a voice. Rushing towards what my friend Eric says “blistering statements for 21st century electronic music”.

The album art work for you new record ‘The Terminal Symphony’ is a damaged violin. Both that and the title of the record got me thinking that classical music might be an influence. Is this the case?

Definitely. Classic, minimalist, contemporary. The aesthetics & principles have a great impact on me. Touching on what feels “off limits” for reinterpretation as well. I only wished I possessed the skill to master a traditional instrument.

Could you tell us about your project Cuticle and the reasons for getting involved with that?

My friend Brendan is the mastermind, it’s his vision. He works with a lot more house/techno infected styles. We were living in the same town & I jammed a bit on the record. Originally it was Daren & Brendan though he & I are touring together this summer.

Tamara El Essawi interviewed Rene Hell over email on 16th April 2011.

Type Records released Rene Hell’s ‘The Terminal Symphony’ on April 18th


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