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Questions Raised Over Dominick Fernow's Collaborations
The Quietus , July 16th, 2021 10:50

Culture journalist Jean-Hugues Kabuiku has shared a blog post highlighting connections between the artist and a number of ideologically questionable musicians

[CONTENT WARNING: The following article includes references to racism and sexual violence]

A blog post penned and shared online this week by writer Jean-Hugues Kabuiku has examined connections between Hospital Productions label boss Dominick Fernow and a number of ideologically questionable figures.

In the post, titled About Vatican Shadow Link With The Far-Right, Kabuiku focuses both on Fernow's questionable collaborations and the complicity of elements of the music press in not interrogating these connections sooner or further. You can read the full post here.

One of the questions raised of Fernow – who is widely known under aliases such as Vatican Shadow, Prurient and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, among many others – surrounds his work as part of Ash Pool, a black metal project founded in 2005, which he forms one-half of.

One of Ash Pool's tracks, 'Shade Of Rape', appeared on a 2008 compilation called Eight Acts Of Origin, which, Kabuiki points out, is "draped in white supremacist codes." Other tracks on the compilation are credited to now-defunct NSBM band Gaszimmer (whose name roughly translates as 'gas chamber') and Akitsa, a Montréal black metal band whose founder, Pierre-Marc Tremblay, has been releasing music by white supremacist bands via his Tour De Garde label for a number of years. Furthermore, Ash Pool's track appears on 'Side 88' of the record. (In white supremacist numerology, 88 signifies 'Heil Hitler'.)

More recently, in 2019, Ash Pool contributed a track called 'Dogs Rape Her' to a split record with Finnish black metal band Thy Serpent, founded by Sami Tenetz. As Kabuiku points out, Tenetz "has a long history with fascist organisations, distributing Nazi music, and appearances at white nationalist gatherings." His record store sold Adolf Hitler pins and another of his bands, Goatmoon, performed at Asgarderai, a Ukrainian white power music festival.

Kabuiku also highlights Fernow's collaborative work with Finnish metal and noise musician Mikko Aspa, who runs the Northern Heritage label and is part of the bands Clandestine Blaze and Deathspell Omega. Aspa also has a pedophilia-themed noise project called Nicole 12, whose releases are largely blocked from sale on the Discogs marketplace.

Aspa, as Kabuiku points out, has stated his far-right-leaning political views on immigration and nationalism in past interviews, referring to "gypsies or street n*s" in one such interview. Varis Verkosto, a Finnish antifascist website, has also previously highlighted Aspa's involvement with the National Socialist group Nordic Resistance Movement.

Kabuiku highlights that Fernow put out a split release as Prurient with Nicole 12 via his own Hospital Productions label in 2005. Another Prurient split with Aspa's Grunt project followed the next year, while, more recently, in 2016, Prurient appeared alongside Aspa's Sadio alias on the latter's Freak Animal label. "Regardless of his intentions, it would be strange to suggest that an artist as thoughtful as Fernow has remained ignorant of his colleague's 20 years of dabbling in Neo-Nazi politics," Kabuiku argues.

Fernow has not yet responded to or acknowledged the post.

tQ acknowledges that it has extensively covered Dominick Fernow's work in the past and not sufficiently raised or researched the above-mentioned issues. Our ongoing series of articles on the far-right in music will be continued this year.

[UPDATE (21/07/21): Since publication of the original article, a number of tweets containing antisemitic, homophobic and misogynist language shared by Kabuiku that date back to 2010 have come to light. He also tweeted photographs of himself wearing a t-shirt of far right group Burzum in 2020. In a follow-up post, he has referred to them as "regrettable," and noted that they were posted as "an angry teenager," adding: "I acknowledge that I was wrong, and I apologize for saying such hurtful things."]