Tag Archives: 2000

4 interviews with Uwe Schmidt

Hurray! Flanger is back! To celebrate, here’s four interviews with Uwe Schmidt, as published in [uzine] 1999-2002 (pdf, 28 kB)! Some excerpts:

Interestingly, I am very often confronted with the word ‘irony’ or ‘kitsch’ when it comes to certain works of mine (Señor Coconut is another example). I can assure you that I am not an ironic or sarcastic person at all and that I even highly dislike sarcasm or irony since it usually dequalifies cultural elements, perspectives and after all ‘truth’. Geeez ‘n’ Gosh therefore is not ironic, and the inspiration and intention is absolutely sincere and real. To me ‘irony’ and ‘kitsch’ are brought into discussion usually when the listener is unable to see the entire picture of a certain work, as proved quite clearly to me with the Sr. Coconut project. For those who can’t understand ‘belief’, ‘religion’ in a contemporary context always has to appear as irony. Perhaps my work should be seen as a tool to expand perspectives, rather than to laugh about contents one may not know.

The distance to the subject of interest is still the only way to see things clearly … I am trying hard to move myself into orbit to earth, of course in a non-literal way. My friend Burnt Friedman tends to call it ‘the alien perspective’ and I think this describes it very well. Remove yourself out of any existing set of values, as much as possible (of course). This will give you absolute freedom. Whenever I am coming back to Europe I see everybody working on the same project, which in my eyes is a camouflaged capitalist project. Musical and design minimalism for example are direct extensions of the capitalist streamline idea of human existence, though nobody seems to see it – much rather they believe that their project is a real alternative or ‘progress’. That’s why I am denying music and design rules … and rather try to create confusing moments that seem to fit, but then don’t …

Spiritual ideas in general have always been much more important to me, no matter where they came from. One thing I have learnt, though, here in Chile, is what practically a ‘religious’ life means. I find that extremely interesting, not only for the music I make, yet for life in general. Central Europe, all the so-called ‘first world’ countries, perhaps Germany especially, have established an aseptic, anti-spiritual society, which is something I feel very strongly these days. Also, I very much believe that whatever social / global solutions we may look for, we won’t find them without to some degree coming back to spiritual or religious topics. (…) Santiago offers a lot of interesting cultural moments which are totally unknown outside of Latin America and which are truly inspirational since they refer to a unique set of parameters. I have just been to Argentina for example and there you also have huge musical movements, totally ‘mainstream’ which are not existing outside of Argentina at all. They are proofs to me that ‘globalisation’ is a totalitarian concept without future.

Some weeks ago, for example, I was invited to Cordoba, Argentina’s second biggest city. On my last day, I visited the concert of a ‘local hero’ from Cordoba called “la Mona”. I did not at all know what to expect, and believe me, it was a totally astonishing experience. The music is some sort of electronic, yet extremely cheesy 150 bmp ‘tarantella’ (Italian folk) mutation, which sounds a bit like the Central American ‘merengue’. You see thirteen musicians on stage, some behind huge towers of synthesizers, others playing e-drums, congas, etc. The crowd: six thousand kids between 16 and 25 years old, mainly lower class people. Best of all: everybody dancing ‘cheek to cheek’, in a very oldfashioned dancing style! A total massive cultural movement that denies all first world ‘globalization’ ideas. I am sure those ‘micro worlds’ exist all around the globe, yet to a much lesser degree in so-called ‘first world’ societies. Latin America is very rich of those moments which are very unpolished and non-standard.

I find it a bit difficult to talk about musical ideas, I mean those musical ideas which do not refer to ‘content’. When I was conceiving the Geeez ‘n’ Gosh concept, I had a certain sound going on in my head, something which I find almost impossble to put into words… a certain groove and a certain surface perhaps… and I knew how to achieve that idea on a technical level (technique). ‘Bass’ was a parameter to a degree, that is true, though not a main one … rather a parameter I allowed to appear I would say.

rip reg

RIP Reg Presley of the Troggs – as famous for his hits as for his temper – cf. 1972’s “The Troggs Tapes”.

H17 C64

Heaven 17 using a Commodore 64 in 1983 … halfway between thìs vanguard masterpiece 12″ ep (1979) and thàt Detroitish slice of pre techno (1984) … Hey! and don’t forget to check that brand new Sid Chip Sounds: The Music Of The Commodore 64v/a 2lp (19 tracks) or cd (18 tracks) on Robot Elephant … and do check our review of “Micro_superstarz_2000” (Domizil 2000) via http://uzine.posterous.com/issn-13773828 … or those Input 64 (A Collection Of Commodore 64 Game Music 1984-1989)and Output 64 (Input 64 Remixed – 15 Ideas How To Treat Commodore 64 Game Tunes In The 21st Century)v/a comps on Enduro / LadoMat (2001) … (RIP Jack Tramiel 1928-2012.)

listen whitey

Noted music producer and scholar Pat Thomas spent five years in Oakland researching Listen, Whitey! The Sights And Sounds Of Black Power 1965-1975“. It also chronicles the forgotten history of Motown’s Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum (1970-1973). The tracklisting (listen to tracks  1, 5 & 12 below) on Listen, Whitey!(named after Huey P. Newton’s 1972 lp on Folkways) does miss God bless America for what(1972) by the once again forgotten Swamp Dogg, though – imho more relevant than Roy Harper‘s I hate the white manwith its rather vague lyrics, however poignant their delivery  … Even so, and especially with the accompanying book on Fantagraphics, this v/a compilation is a great addition to “(Rich Mix Presents) Back To Blackon Lo (2005), the Black & Proudcomps on Trikont (2002 & 2005), the two Stand Up And Be Counted – Soul, Funk And Jazz From A Revolutionary Erav/a volumes on Harmless (1999 & 2000) and What’s The Word? on the revamped Harmless (2011). Extra (viva RotA): Mable Hillery! And Denise Sullivan‘s book Keep on pushing – black power music from blues to hip hop(ISBN 9781556528170, Chicago Review Press / IPG 2011-07)!



dropped in unconditionally

Yes, the Big Lebowski classic … bùt do note: the original version is by Jerry Lee Lewis, off his Soul My Waylp (1967)! Mickey Newbury didn’t release his own version of his song (a Jimi Hendrix favourite) until his 1968 debut Harlequin Melodies“. The First Edition‘s version (featuring Kenny Rogers) is from the same year. Bettye LaVette‘s wonderful cover version (1969) of Just dropped in (to see what condition my condition was in)can be found on Trikont‘s first Dirty Laundry – The Soul Of Black Country(US-0333, 2000) v/a comp … whilst Sharon Jones’ version (with the Dap Kings) dates dates from 2002 or 2004. Carcass frontman Jeff Walker’s cuntry metal version dates from 2006, Supergrass’ Condition is off 1995’s Alright / Timesingle, and die Haut‘s is off 1988’s Headless Body In Topless Barlp and features Nick Cave. Got that?

ken lovecraft & hp nordine


When in Chicago … Indeed, Ken Nordine has contributed to the second HP Lovecraft lp (1968, limited 2011-06 reprint via Subway, most recently on cd via Rev-Ola, in 2000 via a now deleted Collector’s Choice cd)! As for the source of the other tracks here (1957-1960) … I’ve added extra sleeves & an addendum to a previous Nordine post which you can access via http://uzine.posterous.com/kool-ken-nordine

jim flora & alex steinweiss


The mastery of Alex Steinweiss (1917-03-24 > 2011-07-18)! The Alex Awards are named in honour of this design & packaging pioneer … And then the energy of James aka Jim Flora (1914-01-25 > 1998-07-09)! Illustrator extraordinaire, not just of record sleeves … (Images 1+4 are by Flora, 2+3 by Steinweiss.)




http://books.google.com/books?id=4TV_yvOL9eIC  (for lack of a link at http://chroniclebooks.com/)

http://books.google.com/books?id=VUS-mvbd5wQC  (for lack of a link at http://papress.com/)