on music beyond mainstream

During the first ten years of the new century, Brian Eno has released some albums that come close to his classics of the seventies and eighties, for example DRAWN FROM LIFE, with Peter Schwalm, or the brilliant song cycle ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH. Now, the creator of ambient music has released his first solo album on Warp Records, specialists for experimental, electronic pop. And he is working with some soulmates, Leo Abrahams (guitar, laptop, weird sounds) and Jon Hopkins (piano, electronics, strange sounds).

Good companionship for a purely instrumental record that reaches far out – and starts almost too beautiful, with the ambient sugar of EMERALD AND LIME. But even this soft starter has some grainy elements of total emptiness in it – the picture of a silent sea springs to mind (a picture Eno has often recurred to in his songs). The following three soundscapes belong to the 1000 places you will have to go to before you die. COMPLEX HEAVEN, SMALL CRAFT ON A MILK SEA and the driving, irresistible rhythms of FLINT MARCH contain everything you expect from great Eno pieces, a sense of wonder, and an ambivalent field of emotion. On FLINT MARCH, the elastic drums add to an exercise of nearly uninhibited joie de vivre (but even here, as repeated listening reveals, some dark forces are working in the background).

This 15-track journey then continues with some wild pieces, a quiet foreboding of danger, and rough passages with frenetic guitar playing: sometimes Eno loves to push sounds to the verge of falling apart. The listener is getting lost in a very interesting way – between child-like moods, disturbing fields of sound, apparitions of naked beauty. And, finally, after some upheaval and dancing on a razorblade, the quiet atmospheres of the beginning re-enter the scenery: WRITTEN, FORGOTTEN & LATE ANTHROPACENE explore a quality of peacefulness and yearning beyond kitsch and wrong happy endings by just touching a deep zone of human experience.

This is definitely a record for Eno-friendly minds and a lot of newcomers will return to again and again. SMALL CRAFT ON A MILK SEA is so fresh, so full of wonder, so far away from being a repetition of any other Eno album. Of course, there are some spirits drifting: on COMPLEX HEAVEN Eno sounds like channeling his early piano treatments for Harold Budd. The first track, EMERALD AND LIME, has a kind of Roedelius flair. But, well, on this great work even the memories are inventive – playing tricks under a strangely coloured sky!

2014 23 Apr


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“The 1979 Talking Heads tour, promoting the release of their Fear Of Music album, would be the last to feature the stripped down quartet lineup and the first to gain them significantly more exposure in America. These excerpts are from their appearance at Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music, which was one of the wildest and most memorable performances on this breakthrough tour. With the original B52′s opening this show, there was plenty of momentum before The Heads even hit the stage. This, combined with playing before an intelligent and relatively home turf audience, ignited an inspired performance. The band’s sound was clearly evolving, containing more complex rhythmic structures and song arrangements. The overt awkwardness that frontman David Byrne’s unusual vocal affectations were engaging and the music was clearly beginning to resonate more deeply, particularly in a live context (Performance will be released in May).”

Dark humour.
Brilliant acting.
Beautifully shot.
Fantastic script.

A Letter Home Intro
Changes (Phil Ochs)
Girl From The North Country (Bob Dylan)
Needle Of Death (Bert Jansch)
Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
Crazy (Willie Nelson)
Reason To Believe (Tim Hardin)
On The Road Again (Willie Nelson)
If You Could Read My Mind (Gordon Lightfoot)
Since I Met You Baby (Ivory Joe Hunter)
My Hometown (Bruce Springsteen)
I Wonder If I Care (Everly Brothers)

What do you mean by lost classics?

Well, it’s not a critical term. It’s me that never found them. So they may not be lost after all. I just didn’t catch them at any point before now.

Why classics?

The kind of record that you know is a keeper on first listen. Keeper being an American word that means something you will (or are likely to) stick with over the long-term. Personal classics, universal classics? Who knows.

What does sleeps with the fishes mean to you, as a phrase?

Death and comedy. It comes from Cosa Nostra -speak. Someone who sleeps with the fishes is someone who’s been chucked off a bridge, presumably into the Hudson. The comedy comes from the use of the plural fishes rather than fish. Fish is the plural form of the word as well as the singular. Fishes is plural only in the sense of multiple species of fish. There’s a joke in there somewhere, albeit submerged. Made me laugh, and that’s what counts.

Anything else?

Ophelia. From the Shakespeare play. The record reminds me of all those 19th century paintings of the character in death, as well as Laertes’ line …  Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears.

Best track on the album?

For me, it’s Several Times 1.  As a composition it’s not like anything from Havergal Brian’s Symphony No.1 – but there is an important similarity. Moonlight. This is the sound of moonlight. And in April, when the moon is higher in the sky than it has been in the preceding months, it’s a good time to listen to this stuff.

What other records on 4AD are you a fan of?

Coincidentally enough, The Moon & The Melodies by Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd. Which also does the water thing (Sea, Swallow Me). Moon and water – must be a 4AD thing. Although George Orwell maybe kicked the whole thing off with his 1946 essay, The Moon Under Water, which was about his ideal pub. I wonder what was on the jukebox?


Faster than your Daddy’s car
North Star
Half Moon
Street light

Faster than your Daddy’s Car
Knuckles like lanterns
Laughter in the dark
Children in the dark
Bronzed and stress-free Father’s


Section 25 at A Factory Night for RSD, Ruby Lounge, Manchester 19th April 2014.

1) Ensemble Economique: Interval Signals (Ausschnitt), aus: INTERVAL SIGNALS“We learn that she who screams the loudestMakes he who fears most run / And who is ruled by fear, Is oft ignored by fun / Still there is a way to be, If we die many times, Then let death come to me… / This is the last song of its kind. Now you can be, Now you can be” (Will Oldham) 2) Bonny Prince Billy: Royal Quiet Deluxe, aus: BONNIE ´PRINCE` BILLY 3) Cedric Brooks & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari: Rockfort Rock, aus: ONE TRUTH 4) Eno/Hyde: When I Built This World, aus: SOMEDAY WORLD 5) Jon Hassell: Choir Moire, aus: DREAM THEORY IN MALAY 6) Eno/Hyde: Witness, aus: SOMEDAY WORLD 7) Jean-Marc Voltz / Stephan Oliva: Reminiscence, aus: Visions Fugitives 8) Eno/Hyde: To Us All, aus: SOMEDAY WORLD 9) rmillis: awaj arepo, aus: RELIEF  (“This World Is Unreal Like A Snake In A Rope. A film (DVD, 1000 copies only) by Robert Millis, Folk cinema from the eternal never-ending collage that is India. A journey through the ancient Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu featuring Hindu trance ceremonies, street music, festivals, nagaswaram improvisations, impossibly loud cities, ancient temples, processions, devotions, decay, fireworks, abstractions and more. India is impossible to know: it is impossibly old and impossibly new, impossibly rich and impossibly poor, quiet and chaotic. Offered here is one perspective, raw, captured live and in the moment, with an emphasis on India’s complex and mesmerizing sounds.”) 10) Ketil Björnstad: Intet er lite, aus: SUNRISE – A CANTATA ON TEXTS BY EDVARD MUNCH 11) Laraaji: Essence, aus: ESSENCE / UNIVERSE 12) (possibly a surprise, a kind of hard-hitting, soft “bang”, or just drifting into nowhere with Laraaji, depends on time)

The Veils sind wieder auf Tour! Es ist gerade mal ein Jahr her, dass ich dem ewig skeptischen S. vorschlug, auf eines ihrer Konzerte zu gehen. Es war auch unser gemeinsamer Freund P. dabei, den S. vor hundert Jahren in der Logikvorlesung in Freiburg kennengelernt hatte. Und wenn auch die soften Jungs von der Vorband unser Lebensgefühl nicht so ganz trafen: Von The Veils waren alle begeistert. Die wunderbar handschriftlich gestaltete Setlist habe ich von der Bühne aufgegabelt und mitgenommen. Voilà:




Montag, 21.4.14, in Prag
Dienstag, 22.4.14, in Frankfurt am Main
Mittwoch, 23.4.14, in Berlin
Donnerstag, 24.4.14, in Köln
Samstag, 26.4.14, in Paris

2014 19 Apr

Neunzehn Vier Vierzehn

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Neil Young spielte letztens vier umjubelte Solokonzerte im Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles; und von dem was ich mir von diesen vier Konzerten schon angehoert habe, muss ich sagen: all die, die Eintrittskarten hatten koennen sich nur beglueckwuenschen: eine gut gemischte Setlist, ab und an zwischen den Songs erzaehlte Anekdoten: Neil halt !

Im Netz, in den newsgroups wird viel Gewese darum gemacht, dass Neil Young nach 36 Jahren (!) wieder einmal „Trasher“ vom „Rust Never Sleeps“ Album gespielt hat; ein Song, der mir immer sehr nah war, weil er eine mitunter schwierig zu lebende Halterung umschreibt: den eigenen Weg gehen, sich nicht allzusehr auf Andere verlassen, neudeutsch: seinen Stiefel durchziehen.

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