Manafonistas

on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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Wenn man so will, eine Petitesse unter den Wiederveröffentlichungen. Radioheads OKNOTOK überstrahlt vieles, es lohnt dennoch ein Blick zu den Rändern – alte Filme, alte Soundtracks zum Beispiel, ein Martini für Mancini! Als in der alten Bundesrepublik abends um sieben die Welt noch in Ordnung war, in trügerischer Ordnung natürlich, da einigten sich die Väter des Wirtschaftswunders, die Aufstrebenden, die Mittelklassebewohner, gerne auf Exotik-Urlaube in Spanien, Italien oder Südfrankreich. Im Kino wurden parallel europäische Träumereien angekurbelt, die, in den besseren Fällen, auch Raum liessen für Risse, Verwerfungen, Tumulte in Liebesdingen, selbst dann, wenn Hollywood die Himmelsgeigen zahlte. Stanley Donens „Two For The Road“ (1967, das Jahr von Sgt. Pepper, Audrey Hepburns Garderobe ähnlich farbenfroh wie das legendäre Cover!) war so eine Gewebe aus ultraleichten Schwingungen und Beziehungsdrama, kunstvoll begleitet von Henry Mancinis Soundtrack. Wie Nino Rota verstand es Mancini, in Evergreens kleine schwarze Löcher einzuflechten – alles Glück viel zu federleicht, um nicht im nächsten Moment ein Hauch von Nichts zurückzulassen.

 

 

There’s an „intimate immensity“ to the album: it’s close in your ear, as though you’re sharing the room with Jones as he plays, and yet the outdoors recording grounds the album in the natural world, too. Jones talks about the effect of having passers-by as incidental audiences, of engaging with the immediate environment and the “tiny coincidences of sound“.

(from a review of Crescent’s „Resin Pockets“) 

 

Hi, Erik,

 

your second solo album, titled „Unrest“, possibly to be released in October on Hubro – and you’re right, it’s the dark „sister“ of „Heliographs“. It avoids all too obvious „signifiers“ of the „Punkt family“ and knows about sidestepping. Though there are known elements, the overall atmosphere tends to the „unknown“.

A music critic (dealing with Arve’s „Towards Language“) recommended writing a soundtrack for a horror movie. Seems a bit far-fetched, but here it is, the dark one, if you leave out the cliche sounds of the genre and stick to the ethereal field of the ungraspable. The better name would be „Unheimlichkeitsmusik“ (have fun translating this!)…

I think I’m good in sequencing tracks (after so many years of radio making – looking for common ground between the most disparate material), so I can say this sequence is top notch. For example: the places for Sidsel’s vocals, brilliant. For example: the penultimate, slightly percussive track, „Processing“, every other place on the album would lose that track’s impact. Arve and Sidsel are nicely separated as the two „lead vocals“ of the whole album.

I like your loose, free piano playing on the first two tracks, the Sidsel pieces are heavenly stuff of the dark matter resort, a thrilling performance of emotional in-between-states (really sad she hasn’t put out out a solo album in years, I wonder why).

Another highlight is your kind of singing or vocalising on the final track. The voice on „The Park“ has an entrancing flow, the melody is, if that makes sense, irresisitible in a low-key manner (no pushing, no crescendo). It has something of the „Weltentrücktheit“ of Brian Eno’s „Julie and I“… (and, you won’t believe it, but it’s true, you should do a vocal album in the future, not necessarily a-cappella ) …

Stuart Moxham would love that tune and, if he had found it decades ago for himself, he would have put it on The Gist’s „Embrace The Herd“ :)

The Gist was a follow-up of the legendary Young Marble Giants‘ „Colossal Youth“, one of my all time faves, and, just in these days, before going to Wales, I have been reading the book from the 33 1/3 series …

The great unmade album: Erik Honoré and Jan Bang invite Alison Statton for a song album that transports the ascetic sparseness of her magic anti-virtuoso-singing of 1980 to the Nordic spheres … or an Alison Statton-Erik Honoré-vocal double album: Lee Hazelwood would send flowers from the tower of song, no kidding …

I digress. Fine.

Look for a nice room with cozy chairs and free Capirinhas for the first pre-listening sesssion of the album at The Punktfestival 2017! In case there is one …

 

Best,

Michael

Hi Michael,

 

Thanks for this – much appreciated.

The “unheimlich” reference works fine for me, be it a reference to Freud (or Hitchcock …) or just “uncanny, dreamlike”.

Funny that you should mention a “vocal album”. Several of the tracks on “Unrest” actually started as demos featuring vocals. They had to be sacrificed for the greater good, and were banished to the “outtakes” playlist … I don’t have enough confidence in my singing to do a vocal album – or at least it would demand a lot of work to bring it to the required level.

And yes, Sidsel should definitely do a proper solo album soon – her “Manafon” – where she crystallizes her development since the “ECM songs albums” into the masterpiece she definitely has in her.

Again, thanks for your feedback. It means a lot.

 

Best,

Erik

2017 27 Jun

Pure archaeology

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„After the rapid success and demise of Young Marble Giants in 1980, I lived for a while in London, then Nottingham and finally Ilkeston, before prodigally returning to my home town of Cardiff.

I began to use multitrack recording, as a method of composition, whilst holed up in Nottingham, initially on a TEAC four track reel to reel and later a new-fangled, four track cassette Portastudio.“

All songs, singing and instruments written, performed and recorded by Stuart Moxham except where otherwise credited.

I took the title “Holding Pattern” from a recent, as yet unrecorded, song because I needed something pronto for this album. It wasn’t until I started writing these sleeve notes that I saw its significance; the music here having waited 35 years or so to land. Almost as bad as Heathrow.

Thanks to Drew, Stav, Spike, Deb and Ian K, for all their brilliant contributions and to John Henderson for seeing the value and having the faith, enthusiasm and stamina to make this record happen. Artwork by Leka and Aleksandra Mladenovic.“
 
release date: August, 24

2017 24 Jun

After 20 Years

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„OK Computer never stopped sounding timeless. In its new form as OKNOTOK, unreleased songs feed off beloved B-sides, forming a web that supports the concrete themes of the original album so as to make its points even sharper. For a record of technological dread and personable anxieties, it never felt so good to be reminded of what a dystopia the future could become — a future we’re already living in — and how predictable our very existence is that we already know how it’s going to end. Perhaps Radiohead’s greatest feat with this record wasn’t predicting the future, but accepting it. They don’t welcome it warmly. Rather, they accept it as an inevitable evil, and the intimacy that comes with peace of mind like that can be heard from top to bottom, all the way down to a the knowledge that the only option is to move forward, no matter how harrowing that direction may be.“

(Nina Corcoran, consequence of sound)

2017 21 Jun

Jeff Tweedy’s quiet hour

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„Laminated Cat“ (Video)

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Als Jeff Tweedy mit seinem Sohn tourte, war es eine „family affair“, nichts Grosses, allenfalls vermittelten mir die Tweedys einen Hauch von Truthahn und Hinterhöfen der Kindheit. Immerhin, eine Herzenssache, Wilco blieb die aufregendere Welt, und mich wundert nach wie vor, dass in den Köpfen so vieler Daddies mit nicht völlig entschärftem Hippiebewusstsein so selten der gezielte Koboldsprung von den Eagles zu Wilco geglückt ist. Gut, ich gebe zu, es ist ein kleiner Umstieg vom „Hotel California“ ins „Yankee Hotel Foxtrot“. Wilco ist eine fantastische amerikanische Rockband, welche immer schon unvergessliche Stimmungen, experimentelle Kraftfelder, und Melodien der Marke „heartbreaking“ unter einen Stetson brachte.

Wenn Jeff Tweedy nun allein mit Gitarre und Harmonika in einen Loft, mit dezent analoger Aufnahmetechnik, die „coffee table“-Version ausgewählter Lieder aus Jahrzehnten auftischt, nehmen Innerlichkeit und eine Portion Verwundbarkeit die Position der Risikozonen an diverse Grenzen getriebener Sounds ein (kein Glenn Kotche, kein Nels Cline in der Nähe), nur das Mikrofon, die Lieder, und der geneigte Zuhörer. „Together At Last“ erscheint diesen Freitag, und aus reiner Sentimentalität (ich liebe Wilco und den Songschmied) empfehle ich die Vinylversion. Dass von  Neil Young in Kürze ein lang in den Archiven schlummerndes nächtliches Solosingen aus dem Jahre 1976 das Licht erblickt, passt richtig gut ins Bild. (m.e.)

 

Richard Harrington gehört als DCI Mathias zu den leidgeprüftesten Ermittlern der jüngeren englischen Kriminalserien. Selbst seine Kollegen in Broadchurch besitzen, zumindest in Momenten, einen trockenen Humor. Sie müssen in den vier Staffeln der walisischen Serie HINTERLAND  lange nach den Spuren eines Lächelns suchen. Da die betörend langsam erzählten Geschichten fortlaufend im Dunkeln forschen und im Dunkeln stranden, wirken auch die Landschaften recht trostlos, und was immer hier für ein „product placement“ betrieben wurde, das walisische Tourismusbüro hatte bestimmt nichts beizusteuern.

Dabei schwärmen manche Freunde von Wales, von den Küstenstreifen, den Rad- und Wandertouren, und sogar von der walisischen Küche. Bevor also der Toyota nach Dover übersetzt, mit E-Bikes, mit den Mailadressen von Alison Statton (sie arbeitet als Physiotherapeutin in ihrer alten Stadt) und den Brüdern Jones von Crescent im leichten Gepäck (ihre wundervolle neue CD Resin Pockets kommt natürlich mit, neben dem Klassiker YMG!),  studiere ich in Ruhe Landkarten, Wegführer, die passende Begleitlektüre (nein, nicht Dylan Thomas, vielmehr Adrian McKinty!), und etliche Empfehlungen des geschätzten Richard Harrington, die nach Aberystwyth führen, und ins wahre Hinterland. (m.e.)

 
 
 

Sunset and low tide at Ynyslas beach, north of Borth


 
 

„What I really like to do is go to Borth, which is north of Aberystwyth on the coast, and walk the sand dunes of nearby Ynyslas. It’s an extraordinary place, very mystical. It takes you back to the fundamentals of life. Borth also has an animalarium with meerkats, a black panther and reptiles all looked after by these bohemians. The kids love it up there.“

„I love the coastal path that goes through Aberystwyth. I’m a keen runner and 15 miles up and down that is better than any marathon. I did the Marathon des Sables [a six-day ultramarathon] a couple of years ago in the desert and I did most of my training here.

„Aber has a Welsh-speaking community but it’s a multicultural town because of the university. So you’ve got scholars walking around, hippies walking around, creative people walking around… It’s a place for everyone. It’s almost like a festival. If I didn’t have commitments elsewhere and if I was approaching 65, I would think about coming here to retire.“

„The Glen on the seafront has one of the best sun terraces I’ve ever seen and the view is absolutely stunning. It’s a lovely pub: very friendly, good food, exotic beers. There are some great bars for sport and the rugby club is always good fun if there’s a game on. There’s about 30 pubs in Aber, all in all.“

„The arts thrive here. There’s poetry, music, loads of Welsh folklore. When we finish work, I like to play music. There are a lot of virtuoso musicians on the crew and our Hinter-band plays the pubs of Aberystwyth. I play the drums and sing.

„The world’s first camera obscura was built in Aberystwyth in 1880.“

„I love the springtime here because you can almost see the Irish Sea calming, instead of spitting and snarling at you every waking moment. It has no desire to come and reclaim the land. And I like the magic hour in the springtime: when the light gets very bleak before night falls. It’s a fantastic time to shoot. It looks extraordinary – almost like a dream.“

„Go to Charlies hardware store. I can go to Charlies and stay there all day without buying a thing. It’s tool porn. I might be proving my age here. Opposite Charlies, there’s a really good restaurant called Medina. It’s an Ottolenghi sort of place where you can pick up a picnic. There’s a friendly fishmongers right next to it who have a gorgeous little restaurant down in the harbour called Pysgoty.“

„You can surf at Aberystwyth or up the coast at Borth. I haven’t surfed here yet but I do like to go and watch them.“

„There’s another lovely place called Baravin down on the front. „Bara“ means bread and „vin“ is obviously French for wine. They serve all sorts: oysters, pizzas, lovely salads, a great array of beer and wines. I just wish I had more time off to indulge.“

 

2017 18 Jun

Some Time Ago (1980)

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