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Du durchsuchst gerade das Archiv des Monats September 2017.

Archiv: September 2017

In my memory, it was a hot summer afternoon in Schwabing, 1981. There was a record shop in the underground, and I remember, on my regular visits to the city, to stop by and look for exciting new albums. And I remember at least two records I bought there, Egberto Gismonti’s „Solo“ (the material on the cover had a special feel), and Jon Hassell’s „Dream Theory in Malaya“. Both stayed with me ever since.

I had my special Hassell experience, when nearly diving into „Possible Musics“, the Hassell-Eno-collab from the year before, on a never-ending bathtub session in Würzburg, all candles on! So, to hold this album in my hands (I stumbled upon it, didn’t read anything about an imminent release), to look at the surreal Mati Klarwein cover, to see the names of Eno (gongs, bells, bass) and Lanois (mix) on the backside – that all was the perfect ticket to ride.

And this was my first contact with the world of lucid dreaming, Jon Hassell’s story about anthropolgist Kilton Stewart (dating back to 1935, a golden era of Malaysian life, before brutal colonialism left its marks) made it very clear that Freud’s dream theory urgently needed some up-dates from the everyday culture of distant, ancient tribes. Two years later I became a serious student of lucid dreaming, had read the standard books of Stephen LaBerge and Prof. Tholey (the German pioneer).

In this quite short span of time, between early 1981 and early 1983, I lived in a tiny village in the Bavarian wood. This was hard stuff for a townie, and, playing smart Alec, I tried to learn my lessons  from Henry David Thoreau. In fact, I learned more from a bunch of records, and „Dream Theory of Malaya“ belonged to the top of the pile. Now, the re-release of the album contains an extra-track, „Ordinary Mind“ (a quite misleading title for such an oceanic piece), offering, 36 years later, an undisputable, perfect ending of that classic.

 

P.S.: To work as a psychotherapist in Furth i.W. with alcoholics in the early ’80s, following a well-planned research program based on modern extensions of behaviour therapy, seems like a decent first stage of a career in psychology. On the countryside. Looking back, it was a heaven-and-hell ride, including secret road maps, love and desaster, witches and shins and hypocrites, mushrooms, dragons and, well, volleyball. Not to forget the first, very raw album of the Go-Betweens, „Send Me A Lullaby“.

„Scary stuff usually seems tamer in retrospect; Hassell’s masterpiece is ever more shivery and fraught, a perfect soundtrack to mad and bad times, and not in the slightest consoling.“

(Brian Morton, The Wire)
 

„When has Jon Hassell painted his masterpiece? There’s more than one actually. Certain shades always prevail, the twilight zones for sure, with their  sense of threat, otherness and lost paradise.“

(MHQ)

 
 
 

 

2017 29 Sep

Hans Zimmer meets Radiohead

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Ich wäre noch tiefer in die Rhön gefahren, aber nach der Begegnung mit einigen Pilzsuchern in teilweise Handke’schem Outfit (habe ich je verraten, dass Pfifferlinge meine Lieblingspilze sind?), und einem Besuch einer geschätzten Lautsprechermanufaktur, wollte ich nur noch meine 800-Kilometer-Tour durchziehen, als ich plötzlich doch den kleinen Hunger verspürte. Leider hatte das leise vor sich hin sinnierende Örtchen Mellrichstadt schon am Mittag Marktplatz und Bürgersteig hochgeklappt, und es bedurfte einiger Pfadfindertugenden, noch eine offene Pforte ausser der des lokalen Beerdigungsinstitutes zu finden. Wenn alles so herrschaftlich ausgestorben scheint, fällt noch rascher auf, was für eine Stimmungskanone ich sein kann. Also ergaben sich, im gewitzten Dialog mit der Diensthabenden eines kleinen Museumscafés auf der Hauptstrasse, die auch Hinterlandstrasse hätte heissen können, ein paar Einblicke ins fast völlig zum Erliegen kommende Treiben ringsum. Lugte die Sonne mal kurz durch die Wolken, wurde es richtig warm, und ich ertappte mich dabei, uralte italienische Schlager hören zu wollen („mit der süssen Vera an die Riviera“). Isabella stellte dieweil Stühle im kleinen Hinterhofgarten auf. Sie erzählte von Senioren, die regelmässig kämen, mit treuen Hunden, und diese „Oase der Stille“ geniessen würden. Mittlerweile war mein Traum von einer fangfrischen Forelle ausgeträumt, ich gab mich mit einem Stück altdeutschem Käsekuchen zufrieden, schoss noch ein Foto von der von jedem Windhauch befreiten Idylle des Hofes (die Alten würden sicher bald herbeiströmen, die Szenerie in ein Konzert von Kuchengabeln verwandeln, ich hatte schon mein Solo) – und machte mich, nach erstaunlich munteren Abschiedsworten, auf den Weg. Am Rand nahm ich noch wahr, wie verriegelt die Dorfpizzeria war (ein Schild mit der Aufschrift „GESCHLOSSEN FÜR IMMER“ hätte mich nicht aus dem Gleichgewicht gebracht) – doch erst im Nachhinein wurde mir klar, wie leicht ich hier, am Ende der Welt, die Zeit hätte anhalten können. Ein idealer Ort für Liebende und Verlorene. Hinter der Ortsgrenze hiess das erste Lied, das ich hörte, „Hawai“, von Neil Young, er sang es 1976, in einer Sommernacht, auf seiner kleinen Ranch nahe Malibu.

 

 
 
 
Skydeck, 19. Stock im Düsseldorfer Hafen. In einer Rechtsanwaltkanzlei. Was für ein F (f)all!

2 Violinen and all these loop tabs.

And there she is: Maarja Nuut. Sie ist jung, hübsch, sehr schlank, hat Birkenherbstblätter Haare und graublaue Ostseeaugen.

„UNE MEELES“ heisst ihre neue, zweite CD auf Estisch – und wie auf Deutsch? Auf Englisch klingt das nach luzider Traumerfahrung:“ In The Hold Of A Dream“ … In dieser Welt lebt sie im Norden von Estland. Was ist Ihr Geheimnis? Maarja steht -singt, geht-spielt, tanzt-erzählt auf der Bühne. Ihr Aschenputtel grauer Plisseerock wirft Wellen über ihren Goldschuhen. Ihre Stimme schaukelt wie eine rostige Barke. Wie macht sie das? Sie erzählt auf Englisch ein Märchen aus den Wäldern von Estland und verwandelt sich selbst dabei immermehr mit ihrem Violinspiel in Cindarella. Sie summt, sie dront, sie steppt und loopt sich selbst in die nächste, offensichtlich traurige Geschichte, mit einem Gesicht, das an Liv Ullman in „Die Stunde des Wolfs“ erinnert.

Maarja baut ihre Musik interessant zusammen. Sie schafft allein durch Hauchen ins Mikrofon einen Klang von leichter Brise, loopt ihn, zupft ihre Geige und spricht wie zu sich selbst, bevor sie mit ihrer betörenden Stimme anhebt. Ihr gelingt es mit minimalistischem Einsatz einen großräumigen Echosound herbeizuzaubern. Wer Maarja Nuut in der weiten Musiklandschaft entdeckt, sollte sich von ihr hypnotisieren lassen.
 
 
 

 

 

Lanzarote, eight o’clock in the morning, October 10th (!) – Papagayo Beaches (we’ll meet on the second bay from the right side, be careful while climbing down – this happens in collaboration with the former head of the festival Musica Visual de Lanzarote)

The sandy beaches are a unique natural feature between mighty lava rocks. You can drive by car almost to the beach itself. For the more ecologically inclined, a walk over the hills will bring you to one of the many bays. You won’t need a bathing costume here, but you will need water to drink to take with you. Little bars and snack restaurants are only on the hill next to the last parking area at the end of the dirt road. 

… the weather will be fabulous, the sea another invitation … swimming, talking, scrambled eggs with canarian potatoes … part of the morning program will be a deep listening session of Lucinda Williams‘ re-recording of her old time album „Sweet Old World“ – and a brand new interview with her (to be listened to on smart, waterproof  UE BOOM boxes drifting on the surface of the sea nearby.) She talks on  childhood, re-visiting the past, and the ghosts of Highway 20.

This is definitely no joke, but Ildefonso (the special guest) and me might be the only ones regarding the short time of preparation. Just check your time resources. Unexpected guests are welcome, too. It never rains in Southern Lanzarote. I will stay there between Oct. 8 and Oct.15. – and live in a house by the sea that César Manrique built.

In the early years of the century I was the go-between between the Deutschlandfunk (Harald Rehmann’s jazz- and far-out-of-jazz-department) and the annual festival, buying the best concerts from the caves for broadcasting, and meeting beloved musicians, David Darling, Eberhard Weber, young Christian Wallumrod, Arve Henriksen (who, in a hotel in Costa Teguise, invited me to come to the first Punktfestival of Kristiansand) – Bang on a Can performed „Music For Airports“ – and Brian E. did a live-concert at the bottom of a volcano. „Asanti habari habari habari / Asanti nabana nabana nabana“ … 

 

Björn Meyer’s solo album for electric and acoustic bass guitar (and few electronic effects) occupies a peculiar place within a long tradition between solo guitar and solo bass albums on Manfred Eicher’s ECM label. At the beginning of the year Dominic Miller’s solo guitar work (with some decent percussion from skilfully helping hands) has been a study in clarity, lyricism and intricate suspense (in relaxed atmosphere). The sound of Björn Meyer uses different ways to create tension and release, momentum and quietness, and it is still surprising after all these decades how  many of theses solo journeys don’t follow well-trodden paths. The magic still works.

The ’80s cannot rival, musically, with the magic density of the two earlier decades, but they are a suitable playground for aural archaeologists. Discovering hidden treasures is the name of the game, and Michelle Mercure’s „Eye Chant“ is a stunning example. A woman who works the space between sound and image, sound and machine, nature and science, without any „smart-Alexa“-concepts, a woman with playfulness and a detailed sketch book: wouldn’t be surprised Boards of Canada would have had found their perfect role-model here. More probable: time is not always too kind to artists on the margins.

Oh, I could write long stories of living with the music of the Go-Betweens. It all started for me when I got their first album, the garage band version of the Brisbane trio, in the Bavarian wood. I followed their ways from start to end, the group, the solo efforts of the two songwriters, the reunion. They became soul food company, and they became one of my favourite bands ever. Robert Forster’s biography is utterly sincere, a great study of creative peaks, traps of illusion, short highs, and slightly longer lows when being part of the indie rock scene. Reading his book, I’m strolling through familiar places, Notting Hill record shops, the Donau river at Regensburg, I remember concerts and interviews. Everything filled with great expectations, great losses – the love for life, for  music, and the prize you pay, in sensitive balance. Heartbreaking stuff.

In a world that seems to suffer more and more from sociopathical presidents, the dirty return of fascism, darkness and devils prevail. It’s no longer true that the devil gets away with the best sentences, the banality of evil is overpowering any smart move. There are no smart moves of fucking scumbags. „American Crime“, the title, may sound like pure mainstream, but, substantially,  the series, some years old by now,  has nothing in common with cheap thrills, on the contrary, it is deeply rooted in American misery, disappointment, and nightmare. Nightmares have a long history. Read Bill James‘ „The Man From The Train“, and you know – not easy to digest, and unforgettable. Out of respect for the dead.

2017 26 Sep

Count Five

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Ein Bild aus Wim Wenders Film „Alice in den Städten“ aus dem Jahr 1973. Im Vordergrund Rüdiger Vogler, wie immer in Wendersfilmen als Philipp Winter unterwegs, hier als Reporter. Er hantiert mit dem Prototyp einer Polaroidkamera, einer SX70, die damals noch niemand gesehen hatte und überall große Aufmerksamkeit einbrachte. Der Autohändler hatte 300 Dollar für die Kamera geboten und es ernst gemeint. Aber, so Winter, es ist nie das drauf, was man gesehen hat. Rechts im Bild, etwas im Hintergrund, ein Cameoauftritt von Wim Wenders, mit Hitchcockgeste. Wenders steht vor einer Jukebox, er hat „Count Five“ von Psychotic Reaction gedrückt, sein damaliges Lieblingslied.

 

2017 25 Sep

The Walter of Life

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To the music of Walter Becker (Feb 20 1950 – Sept 03 2017)
 
 

Have you ever beeing bored by a fusion guitarist who was able to hit the ten-second mark in a relay race with John McLaughlin and thereby running empty as a dried up rain butt in the Mohave desert? Then take a look to the west coast – to California, home of Steely Dan! It will bring back to you the refreshing Walter of Life. Guitarist Becker was somehow a slowhanded counterpoint to the fastness of McLaughlin and part of the duo Donald Fagen & Walter Becker and their joyful mix of jazz, folk, blues and fusion elements combined with witty lyrics and songwriting. The result of this hybrid, multicoloured culture product was always something bigger than the sum of its parts and sustainably lasting like the flashbacks of a joint.

„Way back when, in Sixty-seven …“ – it was in 1980, previously doped and musically beeing hooked by dealers like Joe Zawinul, Joni Mitchell, Lowell George, Robert Palmer, John Martyn and Jean Luc Ponty. One expected, after the great pleasure of The Royal Scam, new stuff from the californian west coast and that came along quite under-cooled. The cover however is like a Picasso painted statue of the ever-dancing couple – elegantly and with that same subtle irony as the clever lyrics of the Zeitgeist-architects from the westcoast. Texts were not fully understood at that time anyway, despite language courses in Cornwall.

The dandy mistaken for „Gaamakiii“ was not that bon vivant woken up by an early-morning cock-scream. As the gamma chi he was rather high up – and just by listening one never would have been able to enscript what nowadays you can easily read by having insight to the written lyrics. The story of the albums perhaps best and still listenable song is quickly told: the protagonist travels from Boston to Scarsdale, two and a half hours on a public bus to meet a nineteen-year-old girl. He is irritated because the teeny doesn’t know „Retha“ Franklin and he feels his age. But the Mexican tequila and the Colombian grass make the night a wonderful thing – same as the salsa spiced ending of this song: sweet and delightful in the aftertaste.

 
 
„Hallo Neunzehn“ (Hey Nineteen) – remixed and translated.

2017 25 Sep

The luck

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H

k

to listen to the Allman Brothers‘ „Mountain Jam“ 

full volume, I mean, really full volume,

sitting, on that 5:1-mix, in the auditorium,

Fillmore East, 1971,

Duane, Greg, the heavenly rhythm corporation,

the fuckin‘ organ,

and melt away

 


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