Interview with Datamask

Continuing our series of interviews with different netlabels, we ran into the recently created Datamask netlabel:

Can you tell us a little about who the people behind Datamask are? Where are you from? What do you do for a living?
Datamask is run by me, Ghostwerk, from North Hollywood, California. I don’t do anything for a living besides making music, because I’m 17. Releases have been from friends of mine on irc and otherwise.

How did you get involved with netaudio?
Ever since I was a little kid I have been interested in computer music and the culture around it, netlabels and trackers being a part of that.

Datamask is not a “normal” netlabel, can you tell us a little more about your concept and format for releases?
Datamask is a module based netlabel, the releases will be in tracker module formats like .it (for impulse tracker or schismtracker) or .xm (fasttracker or milkytracker).

All of your releases are tagged as being released in 1999 even though they were released in 2014. Why the fascination with 1999? On your website you mention Inpuj, Milk and Mono netlabels as your inspiration. Why those three in particular?
1999 was a time in which mp3 netlabels hadn’t really taken over module labels, and the tracker scene was still flourishing, the fascination with those three labels are just examples of influences on the style of datamask releases and their presentation.

Can you name some of your favorite releases from those labels?
After having religiously listened to Inpuj, Milk, and Mono releases for so long I can’t really pick any favorites, but artists I love that have released on them are Ilkae, Proswell, Temp Sound Solutions, Meek, Vim, Mortimer Twang, Xhale, H.Kyllonen, Ylikulju, Emit, Muira Puama, the list is neverending…

All 3 of those labels eventually turned into mp3 labels and revamped their image. Inpuj is still active after a few relaunches. Why is the old format more relevant for datamask?
The old format is romantic to me as I’ve always felt like I was born too late to really be a part of the tracker scene like I wish I was, and with a bunch people still making modules I felt that it’d be cool if I brought that netlabel paradigm back.

Is Datamask only focused on IDM and experimental electronics then?
Datamask is indeed focused on experimental electronic music, some would call it IDM but even that’s a bit too restricting for the types of releases that will come out.

Can you tell us a little more about your latest release?
The latest release is katovaa.it by Henkka Kyllonen under his tainnos alias, which I definitely had to release because henkka doesn’t track that often and it was really nice of him to make an .it specifically for datamask! The style is sort of influenced by my stuff as Ghostwerk but infused with his style.

I’m out of question, anything else you’d like to add?
Soon Datamask will be releasing a music disk organized by vim (Keith Baylis) who is one of my big influences in the tracker game, it’s honestly really great to have people you respect and are influenced by want to work with you!

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