Tag Archives: electronica

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.

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zeichnete läufer

“For the first time since it was recorded in East Berlin over 30 years ago the music of Martin Zeichnete can finally be heard. A disciple of the Kosmische Muzik of the likes of Kraftwerk, Can and Neu! he heard drifting across the Wall from the West, Martin’s idea of using the motorik, hypnotic beat of krautrock in the training of athletes was taken and exploited by the DDR’s state run Olympic Committee. Unable to obtain a licence to play his own music Martin embarked on what he called a decade long ‘invisible career’ with East Germany’s athletic elite his only audience. Mixing electronics with live instruments Martin produced an incredible range of work including music for warmups, running, ‘ambient’ music to be played in gyms and pieces for artistic gymnastics. The committee called this program State Plan 14.84L, Martin and his fellow musicians called it ‘Projekt Kosmischer Läufer’ (Cosmic Runner). Beginning with Volume 1, a program for a 5 kilometre run, Unknown Capability Recordings will bring Martin Zeichnete’s vision to the world at last.” Source: http://www.kosmischerlaufer.com/  Most tracks are cosmic, some have Motorik, e.g. this one.

french cosmic machinery

It’s da bombue! The Cosmic Machine – A Voyage Across French Cosmic And Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980) v/a cd or 2lp+cd on Because (released 2013-10-14) boasts twenty tracks on either format, two of which previously unreleased (by Bernard Fèvre and by DVWB = Daniel Vangarde & Wally Badarou). Sleeve by Philippe Druillet, music selected by Uncle O, who’s already compiled the Shaolin Soul series, and there’s a 12″ with a Prins Thomas remix too. Hecque, even Serge is on board! Interviews via http://wadmag.com/words/files/uncle-o-cosmic-machine/ and http://www.90bpm.net/2013/10/cosmic-machineuncle-o-itw/ and http://www.lemouv.fr/diffusion-cosmic-machine and see also http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/cosmic-machine-la-compil-des-pionniers-de-lelectro-made-in-france-143505 and http://www.franceinter.fr/blog-loreille-en-pointe-cosmic-machine-la-compile-retro-futuriste-made-in-france & whatever comes next!

all about money and personal space

Hey! how about a reprint of Spontaneous Overthrow’s “All About Money” album (New-Ark 1984)? Urgently!?! Its hazy title track alone is utterly brilliant – and you can hear both Mr Burns and Dr Dylan in it if you listen closely to the outro. Discovered it via Chocolate Industries’ mighty “Personal Space – Electronic Soul 1974-1984” v/a cd / clear vinyl 2lp (2012) – another winner, not just for fans of Sly, Timmy or Shuggie but also for fans of James & Paradinas! Just listen to Starship Commander Woo Woo’s “Master ship (excerpt)” below.
http://www.discogs.com/artist/Spontaneous+Overthrow
http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2010/05/spontaneous-overthrow.html
http://www.musicismysanctuary.com/forgotten-treasure-spontaneous-overthrow-all-about-money-1984/
http://www.chocolateindustries.com/blog/2012/02/personal-space/
http://www.chocolateindustries.com/catalogue/personalspace.php

2012-09-28 & 2012-10 dallas goes live

Dallas is preparing to go live and will play try out concerts on 2012-09-28 in De Singer in Rijkevorsel and on 2012-10-04 @ Trefpunt in Ghent (Gent), Belgium. Later on, gigs will follow at the AB Club in Brussels on 2012-10-05 and at the Arenbergschouwburg in Antwerp on 2012-10-11. The debut album by Veerle Baetens and Sandrine Collard“Take It All” (rec. 2011, rel. 2012 on Aka Music via Universal) – was produced by Jeroen Swinnen and is to be filed under electro pop (e.g. “Emotionshaker”) or even Schlager (cf. “Chaque jour” or “Égocentrique” or “Take it all”).

gary sloan’s clone harmonica blues

The wonderful title track of the rare “Harmonitalk” lp (KM 1980) by the Alaskan synthesizer trio Gary Sloan and Clone, equally consisting of Paul Alexander and Kurt Riemann. They were heavily into ARP gear, also using Poly-Moog and Emu. Finders Keepers sublabel Cache Cache have just reissued their gem before Summer started (2012-06-17). The cd edition (CACHE04CD) has a twenty minute bonus track “Mix he said (jam)” (see below), taken from a privately released cassette of “Clone Jam” sessions … which are now being rereleased on K7 by Cache Cache too: “Clone Tapes” (CACHETTE002). Not to be confused with http://www.deltaboogie.com/deltamusicians/sloang/ … More info: http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/discog_cache04.html  [info on bonus track not correct] + http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/discog_cachette002.html

can’t wait for hologram mashups

After reading http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2012/06/live_fast_die_y.php one kind of wonders whether some sort of Hexstatic Negativland projection mashup might be possible, orchestrating a Dead Legends Supergroup … As for the clip above: http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/wiki/Jerry_And_The_Holograms + http://www.discogs.com/artist/Gerry+And+The+Holograms