Inside count 0: An interview with label co-founder Adam Askov
We recently caught up with Adam Askov, co-founder of Danish label ‘count 0‘, to chat about his personal musical journey, the count 0 philosophy and how they’ve found life in the industry as an up and coming label.
Tell us about your musical journey up until founding count 0.
I have been composing music inside my head since forever. .The first time I attempted to translate any of those ideas into music was when I met Thomas S. Browning from Testé (well-known for their classic The Wipe record on Richie Hawtin’s Probe Records). My initial plan was to release some of Thomas’ music on a new label I had aspired to start, but we got along so well that he eventually asked me to join him in the studio. Together we produced music under the name Gender, and ended up playing a live show. The rewards did not feel ample at the time, but I have slowly come to realise just how important that period was for me. It made everything that came after it possible.
It would be a couple of years before I had the luck to meet Troels B-Knudsen, and through him, Alexander Salomonsen, but it was immediately clear that we, despite our individual differences, had enough common denominators to make count 0 a reality.
How did you first get into music? What people, genres, artists, releases influenced you?
Music has been a constant throughout my life, to a point where my own personal history and musical experiences have become impossible to distinguish. This has caused me to gravitate towards artists that have made this approach an artistic principle. A prime example of this would be Per Yngve Ohlin who used to front the Norwegian band Mayhem, or even someone like Stelarc. I find their audacious devotion profoundly inspiring, and it has pushed me to follow a similar path.
How would you describe the philosophy of label?
I would say our shared philosophy is one of transcendence. Both in terms of the music and the technology behind it. We constantly aim to alter and manipulate the barriers of our craft, however material or incorporeal they may be.
What is the meaning behind the cross-like symbol used on your covers?
The cross represents a union of the material (the horizontal branch) and the abstract (the vertical branch), while the vacant space in the center represents that which is yet to come. But, more importantly, it represents the totality our work at the moment it is gazed upon.
count 0 is the manifestation of our burning desire for something that simply wasn’t there; a local techno scene with the same artistic ambitions as ourselves. It is a thrill to finally see it happening.
We are heading over to Copenhagen soon, what would you advise checking whilst we are there?
This is really a tough question for me to answer, as most of the places I used to frequent no longer exist. But I would advise you to seek out the local Momentum parties at Bolsjefabrikken. There is something perfectly radical about the atmosphere there, which I haven’t encountered in Danish techno before. DJ Ibon’s sets have been especially intoxicating.
What are the defining records that led to establishing label and releasing music?
Plastikman’s Consumed album taught me that techno can be much more than just sounddesign. It can be a vehicle for the expression of personal experience just as vigorous as any other genre. It is a shame that so few have sought to explore this evident potential, but it offered me an opening. I realised that there was something here that could be done.
How have you seen the label develop since establishment?
count 0 was more than just a label from the get go. We do everything ourselves from the conceptual stage, to the production of the music, all the way to the designs and layout. We have now reached a point where we have been through the process a couple of times, and this has led us to better ourselves quite a bit. It’s crazy to think that it has only been a year, and we’ll soon be able to celebrate our fifth release.
As a relatively new label, what are the biggest challenges you face?
My biggest fear is not living to make that one perfect record.
Tell us a bit about any upcoming projects to look out for?
Life seems to be in a state of perpetual acceleration these days. We have just put out a tape by Istrefi aptly titled “Interminable Pacing”, played two very successful local gigs, and the debut record of Funeral Future will follow early next year. The latest member to have joined our group is Anastasia Kristensen, who will be delivering her powerful DJ sets at our upcoming events. My main personal endeavour outside of these projects has been a collaboration with Pan Daijing from Shanghai, with whom I share a multitude of special interests. I hope that some of the resulting material will come to light in the near future, but nothing is certain as of right now.
You can check out more about count O here: