Tag Archives: 2001

IM Leonard Cohen

… and still proud of this album review / contemporary assessment of Cohen’s career : 2002 review of Leonard Cohen’s Ten New Songs album !

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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.

verdinterview / pas de deux over brussels

Sunday nigth 2014-01-26 at 22 o’locco Pas de Deux will reform and perform at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels as closing cat of “The Sound of the Belgian Underground 2014”, a festival with mostly young & new acts, e.g. Hantrax and Miaux. Links below.

To celebrate the occasion there’s lots of interviews in Belgian media today & earlier this month. Here’s an interview we did with Walter Verdin in 2001: taken 2001-04-18, e-mailed 2001-05-04 as part of [uzine 01.07]. The 2001-06-28 erratum of [uzine 01.09] has been processed in the text below.

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Walter Verdin is one of Belgium’s finest artists, especially as a videast (see also his website – cf. the URL below), but ironically Verdin is still best-known for his appearance at the Eurovision Songfestival with Pas de Deux, who represented Belgium in München anno 1983. Backed by the big band of Freddy Sunder (another Belgian legend), a trio consisting of Walter Verdin, Dett Peyskens and Hilde Van Roy (now a journalist for VRT-tv, who interviews royalty a.o. people) danced their way onto the stage to give a maximalist ((the big band’s belting “baaa-waaa baaa-waaa ba-bààà”)), almost dadaist performance ((the lyrics “Rendez-vous / Maar de maat is vol / En m’n kop is toe” were delivered by two brilliantly coiffured women dancing metronomically)) that would earn Belgium little or no points. Thus, it was a performance that was up to a par with Telex’s minimalist meta-pun on the songfestival in 1980 (Den Haag), which had already ranked Belgium among the most surreal countries Eurosongwise and other…  Later on the band would split (with the Parsley record label going broke at about the same time).

The following interview was conducted around April 18th & mailed out May 4th 2001. Readers who have access to the free weekly newspaper “Brussel Deze Week” might also want to read Michaël Bellon’s elaborate interview with Mr. Verdin in 2001’s June 20th issue (no.793, p.7), in which it is revealed that Verdin even designed record sleeves, e.g. for the Neon Judgement.

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rip gibb

At the end of Robin’s reign … no more tearjerk tremolo … IM Mr Gibb (1949-12-22 > 2012-05-20). Btw: highly underrated band, those Bee Gees, cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Where_I_Came_In_(song)

matching mole one

MamoSMMatching_mole02_1003_08Santascoming

An alternative triad of that most moving triptych “O Caroline / Instant pussy / Signed curtainwhich so brilliantly opens Matching Mole’s untitled first lp (CBS 1972), with Robert Wyatt writing and singing one of the most beautiful and (deceivingly) simple songs of heartbreak in history – ultimately meta. All off Esoteric’s Matching Mole (Expanded Edition)2cd (ECLEC 22311, 2012) … Do rush out and buy it, if only for the long (lp) version of O Carolineor for the previously unreleased “Horse” (1972-01). Hey and more on Matching Mole in the previous post!

 

matching mole two

RedrecordOntheradio_big3

Esoteric have reissued both Matching Mole albums as “Expanded Edition” 2cd’s with BBC Radio One ànd previously unreleased bonus tracks on a separate disc … There’s no significant overlaps with “Smoke Signals” (2001, live in Europe 1972) and “March” (2002, live in Europe 1972-03) on Cuneiform, though. These two tracks are off the second album “‘s Little Red Record” (CBS 1972, Esoteric 2012 cat. no. ECLEC 22312) as produced by Robert Fripp … Brian Eno plays VCS3 synth on Gloria Gloom(ulloder Richard D James), andGod songhas the most exquisite Robert Wyatt lyrics. “Starting in the middle of the day we can drink our politics away (take one)” and the utterly zany “Mutter” were recorded 1972-08 during album session recordings and have been previously unreleased hitherto.
http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3532
http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/matchingmole.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matching_Mole%27s_Little_Red_Record
http://www.disco-robertwyatt.com/images/matching_mole/index.htm
http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=33653
http://www.btinternet.com/~stephen.yarwood/bmc.htm
http://calyx.perso.neuf.fr/bands/matchingmole.html
http://www.strongcomet.com/wyatt/mole/index.htm
http://www.hulloder.nl/rw-mm.html

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.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64
http://c64-music.blogspot.com/
http://c64music.blogspot.com/
http://www.c64audio.com/
http://www.remix64.com/
http://www.hvsc.c64.org/