in midst of my late night enjoyment of what i wanna call #covidwave = this distinct early 2020 mixture of doomjazz, dark ambient / drone and vaporwave, i just read this: not only released the nine inch nails with “ghosts v” and “ghosts vi” two successors to their awesome 2008 instrumental improv album “ghosts i-iv”, they’re giving it away for free.
the series’ title itself couldn’t fit these days any better…
if there is this one melody, this melody deeply and inseparably attached to and connected with the very core of your soul, this melody your mother maybe played on her electric piano when she was pregnant with you, this melody you still catch yourself humming every now and then… if there is this one melody, i warmly recommend taking the following steps:
- choose your favourite hour (mine: 2 am)
- get your favourite drink (mine: absinthe)
- download your favourite free audio workstation (mine: lmms)
- download the midi of this one melody (mine: “kometenmelodie 2” by kraftwerk)
- download your favourite soundfont (mine: roland sc-88)
- import the midi
- assign the soundfont
- select your favourite patches to start with
- take another sip of your favourite drink
- hit “play”
- repeat steps 8ff until you
- find yourself launched into the innermost spheres of your( )self
rest in peace, florian schneider
(autumn evening. single-family house surrounded by nature. daddy and daughter on the corridor. loud music played in her room)
daddy: “i’m curious what music you’ll be listening to when you hit puberty!”
daughter: “i already did… girls usually do at the age of 11 and i am 12!”
daddy: “in your puberty, you’ll listen to music that clearly separates you from the oh so boring adults!”
daughter: “i don’t know any adults listening to sunrise avenue and ariana grande!”
daddy: “no, no. the music i am talking about won’t even be called ‘music’ by the adults!”
daughter: “if so, when does your puberty end?”
in a couple of weeks she’ll turn 13… the party just started i guess.
leaving the concert hall after an anna Þorvaldsdóttir concert and entering men’s restroom is a one of a kind experience. no chance you fully realized / digested what you just heard by then. and so you’re standing in front of the urinal, eyes closed, and the silence in the restroom appears as a dynamic and complex composition of nothingness. as a magically choreographed dance of its countless particles, more and more assuming form, color and shape before your inner eye = as part of the concert. struggling to find a proper description or name for this, you finally come up with “artistic silence”. still hypnotised by these dancing particles, it takes a certain while until you wake up again and discover that you are still standing in front of the urinal. so you hurry packing your business, washing your hands, getting out of the restroom and back into the concert hall, just to take a quick shot of the prepared piano in order to get an evidence that everything really happened. out of the corner of your eye you notice the composer, talking to those who obviously are more familiar with what happened, looking happy, grateful and nice, holding a bunch of flowers. for a second you look at her, wondering what might have taken her here…
you know, i have quite some experience with contemporary / neoclassical pieces of experimental and/or ambient fashion, intensifying gloomy undertone and i even own “aerial“. all in all i was rather sceptical towards the potential outcome of an acreage that was so heavily farmed and harvested by ligeti, pärt and cage – but i was disabused impressively.
now i am sitting here, enjoying the aftermath of all this, witnessing the artistic silence getting slowly replaced by regular silence… i still have some brennivín somewhere!
i never really listened to music from my year of birth – with the great exception of kraftwerk which happened because of kraftwerk of course and not because of 1981. “computerwelt” was kraftwerk’s 8th album and released may 10th, according to discogs. obligatory quote: “the machine featured on the cover is in fact a hazeltine 1500 terminal, not technically a computer”. thanks much, agent weisenheimer, haha!
the first time i asked myself the question “what happened in 1981 musicwise? what’s to be discovered here?” was like a week ago. so i started a little exploration tour, got a fair amount of releases relatively quick, filtered out all the big national (roedelius, schnitzler, göttsching etc.) as well as international names (numan, legendary pink dots, throbbing gristle etc.), gave it all a try and figured out the following top 5 of releases by artists i never heard of… that’s what an exploration tour is all about, right?
5. didier bocquet – sequences (discogs, youtube)
4. tyndall – traumland (discogs, youtube)
3. andreas grosser - venite visum (discogs, youtube)
2. rüdiger lorenz – silver steps (discogs, youtube)
1. jean hoyoux – planètes (discogs, youtube)
this selection is based on my current mood and therefore kind of kraftwerkonian / jarresque synthpoppy ambient. maybe i’ll start an experimental approach one day as well – and there is still this entire noise tape universe left to be explored… but for now i’ll continue floating on the analogue synth wave to what hasn’t changed since my childhood: the sweet imagination of this celestial electronic wonderland.
i should write more about music again i think. i should write more in general again but music is certainly the best way to get back to it…
a few weeks ago andy tweedale and james evans a.k.a. amoss released their debut album called “everything is temporary” on beloved dispatch recordings, which is by far the best drum&bass album i listened to in a long while. a few days ago they released their latest cranium sessions episode which guides us through the tracks that made it on to the album and the ones that didn’t. beyond that it delivers lots of background stories, insights into production process and some of the influences. a true jewel.
cranium sessions podcast is one of the few podcasts i’m delighted to say that i listened to every single episode so far… best in business. perfect summer sound!
for some reason i was rather heavily struck by the passing of dolores o’riordan, for some magical reason that wasn’t too obvious right from the start, for some reason that demanded some serious thinking and exploration of my insides. i mean, i never really got any deeper into the cranberries and their music… i like dolores’ voice and i knew the major hits from the radio but that’s pretty much it. it turned out that it was not the cranberries or their music, it was dolores herself who made her certain impact here.
somewhere mid90s when teenage-me made his first and second music tv experiences, dolores o’riordan entered the stage one day and stood there with all of her irishness, her sophisticated definition of art and her overall scepticism towards pop-hype and shit (same thing with björk, sinead o’connor etc.). for me the main profit of music television clearly was (and still is) the interviews. anyway, she said the right things for teenage-me to feel safe and receive the first pieces for his mosaic called “ideal woman”. with her death i lose a bit of this safety or even secureness of those days back then and another part of my adolescent life.
rest in peace, dolores!
elektrolux (not to be confused with electrolux, swedish washing machine manufacturer) was* a german label releasing unique highest quality downtempo sound – a unique and perfect symbiosis of pure (robotic) ambient with dub / electro elements. the sound clearly stands out from all the other lounge-style chillout kind of mumble pulp crap.
my personal elektrolux heyday was late 90s / early 2000s when the music guided me through countless sunrises after club nights, waiting for the first train home or in car on the empty autobahns. i’m so truly thankful for all this! it’s also still connected with lots of after hours and, of course, the space night series. elektrolux has been mentioned in every blog i had so far and of course it has to be a part of this one as well… even though i own quite some releases meanwhile, there is still much to be collected and the elektrolux hunt is continuing to be part of every music fair visit.
the track packed with the most emotions, warmth and memories certainly is “funkstille” by frank rückert and marcus schmahl alias rauschfaktor. oh boy…
*) the label still exists obviously, got renamed into elux recordings but releases now lounge-style music as well, at least what i heard during a first quick check
so, you are a large city with millions of inhabitants and tourists? you provide world famous landmarks as well as brutally amazing architecture and hidden gems? classic and contemporary art – and even a blistering streetart movement? fast-paced urbanism alongside some of the most relaxing parks? you are symbol and centre of different electronic music subgenres? you serve top-level food to the sophisticated? you have this sexy aura of not giving too much of a fuck in general? you feel real?
congratulations, you are london and this text is for you!
dear, it’s been a while. you still have bad teeth but a conquering smile. your dress is dirty and worn-out in parts but i’d still leave almost any other place on the face of the planet immediately to get back to you. thanks for having me recently, thanks for existing and until next time… there are not many places where underground still feels this alive and kicking. thanks again, hang in there & take care, dark beauty!
occasion-related summary – what great britain stands for (for me… so far):
richard burns, colin mcrae, kris meeke, craig breen, elfyn evans
jungle (brockie & mc det)
aston martin, lola, radical
the it crowd
top gear (clarkson, hammond, may)
drum and bass (amoss, dispatch rec.)
user, utility plastics, serial scratch
brands hatch, brooklands, donington park, lydden hill, snetterton, thruxton
barbican, tate modern
uk space techno
luke slater, cristian vogel, neil landstrumm, regis, surgeon, luke vibert
james graham ballard
to be continued…