Revelation 21:1 – Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
JOHN 3:16 is Philippe Gerber. Philippe is also co-manager of the label Alrealon Musique, who have created several mixes for this series in the past. Here Philippe has crafted something really special, an assemblage of loops and fragments from a wide selection of artists from whom he draws inspiration. The result has been so heavily reworked and overdubbed that it is in effect a unique new work from JOHN 3:16.
This composition presents bits and pieces of music from the 3 Johns (Carpenter, Cale, Frusciante), Michael Durek (theUse), Pas Musique, Mark Harris, Jan Swinburne, Ryan Campos, JS Bach, G. Verdi, Plastikman, Jordi Savall, Nightfall, Tribes of Neurot, Jeanann Dara, Tarantula Hawk, Anthony Donovan & JOHN 3:16.
Tell us about yourself, about your work and the origins of JOHN 3:16, and your involvement with Alrealon.
Hi, I’m Philippe Gerber, aka JOHN 3:16. I started the JOHN 3:16 project in 2007 while I was still recording and playing live with the London-based trio Heat From a DeadStar (Ace of Hearts Records, Boston). After HFADS disbanded in 2009, JOHN 3:16 became my main focus.
As for the name JOHN 3:16, it comes from the fact that I always wanted to start a project based on metaphysics, mysticism and the occult. The Bible seemed like the perfect subject matter for that. I’ve always been interested in the mythological aspect of the Bible. The frontier between the mythology and history is never really defined. That makes the whole book even more intriguing, and there is more darkness in these texts than anywhere else in literature.
As JOHN 3:16, I released a bunch of tracks, remixes, EPs and one full length album (Visions of The Hereafter) via White Label Music (UK), Alrealon Musique (USA), Trace Recordings (UK), 75orLess (USA), Sirona Records (France), P6M Records (USA), Flood Records (Japan) and Midnight Radio (Germany). Over the years, I have had the chance to collaborate with many talented artists including Robert L. Pepper (Pas Musique), Michael Durek (theUse), Chris Gilmore (FluiD), Carolyn O’Neill (Rasplyn), Philippe Petit, Mark Harris, Christopher Glasklinge, BLK TAG and Anthony Donovan.
Alrealon Musique is the experimental label I’m co-managing with my friends Robert L. Pepper and Chris Gilmore. I started Alrealon in 2008 when I was living in London. I had no idea the label would be still around 6 years later. We have released more than 70 albums, EPs and singles so far and we are going to keep working on new material for years to come.
Since April 2015, my friend Michael Durek, aka theUse, and I are co-hosting a weekly radio show hosted by Little Water Radio (NYC, Saturdays 6-8pm). We present 2 hours of experimental music at its best. “A full blend of Electronics, Jazz, Ambient, Avant-Garde, Drone, Psychedelic, Classical and vibes from outer space.”
Tell us about this mix, your process, what went into it, your raw material and crafting a unique mix-album.
This new mix presents bits and pieces of music from the 3 Johns (Carpenter, Cale, Frusciante), Michael Durek (theUse), Pas Musique, Rasplyn, Mark Harris, Jan Swinburne, Ryan Campos, JS Bach, G. Verdi, Plastikman, Jordi Savall, Nightfall, Tribes of Neurot, Jeanann Dara, Tarantula Hawk, Anthony Donovan & JOHN 3:16. Using Ableton Live, I created loops based on tracks from the artists cited above. I added some overdubs to the whole piece including guitar parts, keyboard lines and even beats I programmed. This mix can be taken as a completely new JOHN 3:16 imprint.
Perhaps you’d prefer to let the sounds “speak” for themselves, but anything else you’d like to say regarding the message underlying the work?
From Darkness To Light may sound monotonous and dreary at first, and I can say it’s the darkest piece I have created in years, but I added many layers to the mix, as I usually do for JOHN 3:16. A deep listening will unveil some of the guitar melodies I buried in the mix.
Any plugs for upcoming projects/releases/etc?
I just released an album (CD+Digital) with Anthony Donovan called ‘Of The Hex and Its Likenesses’ released in Japan on Flood Records (Tokyo). We received great feedback including reviews in A Closer Listen, Obskure Magazine (France) and Peek-A-Boo Magazine (Belgium). Right now I’m recording a full album with the British ambient artist Mark Harris (I’m very happy with what we have so far) and I’m very excited to be working on a split with the Cali band PORCH (ex-PRIMUS, ex-Today Is The Day) to be released in 2016. ‘Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand Angels’ is the new JOHN 3:16 EP I’m finishing this year and it’s a prelude to the the second album ‘The Sun Shall Be Turned Into Darkness, and The Moon Into Blood’ to be released exactly four years after ‘Visions of The Hereafter – Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory’ (Alrealon Musique). I have a couple of shows coming up in NYC, DC and Philadelphia including a gig featuring Michael Durek / theUse and with DinMachine, Glockabelle, Brian Chase and Ron Anderson at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan on September 29th.
When I’m not busy recording as JOHN 3:16, I spend time on my two other projects that I’m really dedicated to. mNIPK is the Electronics/Techno act I started in 2010. Chris Gilmore recently joined me and we have a bunch of new kooky tracks we can’t wait to release/play live. Robert L. Pepper and I have been working on a new project called EYRYX (Electronics/Industrial/Noise). We have a full album ready to go and we should start playing live in 2016.
Photo by Carl Roccia / ISO Photography