Information recently surfaced showing that Dominick Fernow aka Vatican Shadow, Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and his label Hospital Productions are affiliated with white supremacists. After this information came to light, little acknowledgment was made by the publications that covered his work over the years or by the agencies and labels that have released his music. We contacted Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, and his booking agency Ostgut in August 2021 directly with our asks (below). Ostgut has quietly removed Vatican Shadow from their booking agency listings, but no other actions have been taken by any of the organizations.
What’s the deal?
Fernow was pictured in a Pitchfork interview by Brandon Stosuy with Mikko Aspa, his frequent collaborator. Aspa makes National Socialist music and spreads neo-fascist music and literature through his record store in Finland. In the same interview, Fernow mentions other Nazis like the band Absurd, whose singer Hendrik Möbus sieg heiled at a concert, posed with Nazi flags at Auschwitz, and “publicly mocked” the 15-year-old that he and his bandmates strangled to death in 1993. Fernow’s label Hospital has released music by Montreal National Socialist Black Metal band Akitsa. With Fernow’s black metal projects, his lyrics have also been sexually violent. This is just a short list of his ties and actions. Dominick Fernow has been very open and proud about his ties to white supremacists. The journalists, platforms, and agencies that have supported him and those who have collaborated with him must have been aware of these ties.
In 2018, Resident Advisor published a long, positive profile about Fernow written by Andrew Ryce. Resident Advisor also published many reviews and news pieces, for his work and for his label. Many of Fernow’s events have been listed on Resident Advisor’s ticketing platform, thus financing his activities. His booking agency Ostgut, is of course also responsible for backing him financially and reputationally.
These entities support Fernow as an artist, but have remained silent on his actions. This is very serious. Propagating and normalizing National Socialist ideology is dangerous for non-white people, Jewish people, Roma/Sinti people, queer people, leftists, and others. Because Resident Advisor, Ostgut Booking and Pitchfork’s support was public-facing, public-facing actions should be taken.
What can we do?
We can join together as promoters, artists, labels, clubs, music journalists and, of course, fans and listeners to demand that Pitchfork, Ostgut Booking and Resident Advisor take public-facing actions against fascism in electronic music.
Call to action
- Sign our open letter in the form here
- Encourage any organizations or individuals in your network to sign
- Post about the open letter on your own channels: hashtag to use #AntifaMusicAlliance