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Archives: November 2014


Tin Roof: Charcoal Owls

Gregors Platte des Jahres:
Scott Walker + Sunn O))): Soused
About this record lots of people wrote interesting or less wise things, I would not rather write about my record of the year other important or boring sentences, but: „Just listen to the collaboration of Scott Walker and Sunn O))), it is exciting!“ (g.m.)
02) Paul Bley: Oslo Concert
03) Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots
04) Ensemble Economique: Interval Signals
05) Charcoal Owls: Tin Roof
06) Frode Haltli: Vagabonde Blu
06) Erik Honorè: Heliographs
07) Martha Argerich / Claudio Abbado: Mozart: Klavierkonzerte 20 & 25
08) Konstantia Gourzi: Music for Piano and String Quartet
09) Anouar Brahem: Souvenance
10) Mike Cooper: Trout Steel
11) Bill Carrothers: Love and Longing
12) Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems
13) Frode Haltli: Vagabonde Blu
14) Jean-Louis Matinier / Marco Ambrosini: Inventio
15) King Creosote: From Scottland with Love
16) Neil Young: Storytone (nur Soloversion)
17) Hauschka: Abandoned City
18) Anja Lechner / Francois Couturier: Moderato Cantabile
19) Tigram Mansurian: Quasi Porlando
20) Hakon Stene: Lush Laments For Lazy Mammal

King Creosote: From Scotland With Love

Michaels Platte des Jahres:
Sidsel Endresen / Stian Westerhus: Bonita
Listening to the duo, I forgot my standard aesthetic vocabulary, the word “postmodern“ lost any meaning. Sidsel Endresen is the most expressive female voice in modern music since Meredith Monk, and guitarist Stian Westerhus is playing with fire extending the vocabulary of his fucking old electric guitar with a grim smile on his face. (m.e.)
02) Scott Walker & Sunn O))): Soused
03) Eno/Hyde: High Life
04) Anouar Brahem: Souvenance
05) Erik Honore: Heliographs
06) Fennesz: Becs
07) Damon Albarn: Everyday’s Robots
08) Eno/Hyde: Someday World
09) Jokleba: Outland
10) Daniel Lanois: Flesh and Machine
11) Mirel Wagner: When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day
12) Sun Kil Moon: Benji
13) Polar Bear: In Each and Everyone
14) Supersilent: Supersilent 12
15) David Sylvian: `there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight´
16) Hakon Stene: Lush Laments For Lazy Mammal
17) Thomas Köner: Tientos de la Nieves
18) Janek Schaefer: Lay-By Lullaby
19) Owen Pallett: In Conflict
20) King Creosote: From Scotland With Love

2014 30 Nov


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I think it was in Hamburg, but I’m not completely sure. I walked along a street. In my hand I held a black umbrella. It had a switch. If I switched it on, the umbrella started rotating, and I could fly with it. The problem was: The rotation speed was a bit too slow, so I couldn’t really start. I remembered I once had done it over the Alster, and it worked fine there. You had to run for a lift-off, but once airborne, it was an easy flight. But not this time. I tried to start a couple of times, running along the street, but the umbrella just lifted me up only one meter or so. For some reason I also ran through a toy store or something like that and left some chaos there, and after that I tried it again running along the street. It didn’t work. It became obvious to me that the umbrella had to be recharged. I wanted to walk to the house where my parents lived (apparently they were still living) because I knew there was a recharging station in front of the building. A passer-by asked me what I was doing. I told him. He said something like: „Oh, I’ve never heard of anything like this.“ I answered: „Oh, these things are not really new anymore.“ I don’t know whether I reached my parent’s house because I woke up and couldn’t stop laughing.

2014 29 Nov

David Virelles – Mbókò

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Once again it was the body more than the mind listening to a piece of music like a leaf that is whirling in the wind slighty falling towards earth and then again uprising, surprised by a deja-vu kind of evidence reliving – and by chance relieved to have one more album released in 2014 to put on a best-of-list. The deja-vu came from the remembrance (a long term retention) of two wonderful ecm-published Jack DeJohnette records: Oneness on the one hand and on the other Dancing With The Nature Spirits. So now again, while listening with body (and soul) to a song called „Transmission“ I feel that Mbókò by David Virelles one by one unfolds its power.

2014 29 Nov

Daniel Lanois – Flesh and Machine (Video)

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„I wanted the mental and geographical landscapes to be more indeterminate – not Indonesia, not Africa, not this or that … something that COULD HAVE existed if things were in an imaginary culture, growing up in an imaginary place with this imaginary music…. I called it ‘coffee-colored classical music of the future´… . What would music be like if `classic´ had not been defined as what happened in Central Europe two hundred years ago. What if the world knew Javanese music and Pygmy music and Aborigine music? What would `classical music´ sound like then?“ Famous words of the composer, trumpet player and music philosopher Jon Hassell.  The re-release of the month December, POSSIBLE MUSICS, was listed among the genre-crossing 100 masterpieces of the 20 the century in DIE ZEIT when Konrad Heidkamp was still alive. I think he even wrote the review. Ars longa, vita brevis. I met Jon Hassell more than once and wrote a kind of non-review of the album telling stories of floating tanks and leaving it all up to you. I didn’t want to retell the old facts again and again. Lajla has written a review about a German philosophy book thst tries  to appear clever, but fails on many levels, the thriller of the month goes much deeper,  will carry a well-known name and will  have a record player on its cover – and the album of the month is the most Enoesque (meant as a compliment) album of Thomas Köner ever filling white spaces between Music For Airports and Neroli. You wouldn’t call that „drone music“ anymore. To quote another review: „Köner“, to borrow the words of Canadian poet Anne Carson, „moves each note through time `like a needle stitching together the two moments that compose nostalgia´“, the strike of the piano keys and their enhanced echo. Like Music For Airports‘ „1/1″, the titular artist does not play the piano—Robert Wyatt did for Eno, the far less-known Ivana Neimarevic for Köner – but Köner does the celestial shaping. Each note connects the listener to the dramatic action but each echo separates him from it. It is a captivating meditation on the longing in the life of sound.“ (Stephen Fruitman)

2014 29 Nov

Uwes Favoriten 2014

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01. Nautic Dephts: Submental Vol. 1
02. Ketil Bjornstad: A Passion For John Donne
03. Marcus Wiebusch: Konfetti
04. Stoppok: Popschutz
05. Stefano Bollani: Joy In Spite Of Everything
06. Eels: The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett
07. Helge Lien Trio: Badgers And Other Beings
08. BayardOne: Zwischen Industrieruinen
09. Jack White: Lazaretto
10. The Hilliard Ensemble: Transeamus


1) Tobias Christl – Wildern
2) Henry Grimes / Marc Ribot / Chad Taylor – Live at the Village Vanguard
3) Meret Becker – Deins & Done
4) Andreas Schaerer / Lucas Niggli – Arcanum
5) Kappeler / Zumthor – Babylon-Suite
6) Robert Wyatt – Different Every Time
7) Olcay Bayir – Neva / Harmony
8) Einstürzende Neubauten – Lament
9) The Rough Guide to Arabic Café
10) Die Fantastischen Vier – 25 Years
11) Levantino – Chapter One
12) Bobby Blank – Electrified
13) Les Deux Love Orchestra – Lamyland
14) Anthony Joseph – Time
15) Los Agentos – Tom Waits Project
16) Vijay Iyer – Mutations
17) Neneh Cherry – Blank Project
18) Maya Beiser – Uncovered
19) GoGo Penguin – V 2.0
20) Henryk Gorecki – Symphony No.3

2014 29 Nov

My top 10 +

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My top ten this year so far is easy.

  1. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  2. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  3. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  4. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  5. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  6. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  7. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  8. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  9. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  10. John Coltrane – Live at the temple


Flesh and machine is a recording that changed/s how I listen to music, or as I prefer to say: how music listens to me.


„Well at the moment I am using a digital multi-track machine now called RADAR. I have been using that for years now and that works very well for me. What is so great about that is that I can quickly copy a multi-track and get on with some deconstruction without breaking up the original work. What we normally do in the studio is we will take the song to a certain place. And then we will take a break from it and start thinking of how we can have a different angle on it. And that may mean erasing some tracks in order to do this, but the digital side of things will allow me to just press one button and I will get a copy and it will allow me to go and work on the next version of the song. In regards to the analog equipment, I still use all my favorite tools from the different eras I have worked through. So if I had a good microphone or a good delay box, or a good distortion box, I have made sure that I maintained them so that they remain in my tool box. That way I can just go back to that sound if I need to.“


For me the John Coltrane – live at the temple is for me strong feeling of coming home. This music is playing inside me – and it continues playing when the album is finished.


„Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe … That´s what I would like to do. I think that´s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician´s is through his music.“


11. Colin Vallon – Le Vent


After being introduced to Julian Sartorius in one of Michaels broadcasts – this recording found me. The piano and the bass player does display to much personal identity in their playing on this record, quite restrained, but not always. Vibrant, alive, present. It is music that quite often leaves the listener the freedom where to focus – but sometimes it just grabs the attention. Listening to it with the idea of the piano being a choir is actually a good way for me to grasp what happens in this music.


„I have always been moved the most by vocal music (and especially choral music). Nothing like a voice can go directly under your skin. It is the most direct, rich in timbres and original sounding instrument, qualities which are difficult to achieve on a piano. Actually, in my opinion one must always have another instrument or sound in mind in order to obtain a personal tone on the piano. In my case most of the time I hear a voice or voices when I play.“


12. 13. Brian Eno/Karl Hyde – Someday world / High life


These albums haven´t really made it all the way for me. It´s like we haven´t decided completely how to relate to each other yet. So far we keep a bit of distance, not allowing each other to enter into each other. Yet. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. I will stick around – maybe we just need some more time.


„A conversation does not start with someone talking, it starts with someone listening.“

14. Bob Dylan – Another Selfportrait


Me and these songs meet regularly, a few tracks a day. Every track on repeat 3 times before i move on the next. We don´t stay together for long time, we know each other, we enjoy our company and we listen to each other in bits and pieces, like archaeology, triggering memories, then moving on.

Just saw it was published in 2013. It found me this year.

It is a timeless snapshot.


„If I was a poet/And could write a fine hand/I’d write my love a letter/That she’d understand.“

15. Leonard Cohen – Popular problems.


I would like to spend some time alone with him, just him. Maybe make the musical space surrounding him even more naked. Really like a cell with a bed, a table, a chair and a window. Empty walls and nothing more.

I don´t feel the female voices are a integral part of the songs – the naked walls would perhaps show more interesting shadows.

But maybe it is why he still makes records, to meet some people, and to make sure that some of them are women. And that is ok.


Did I ever leave you / Was I ever able / Are we still leaning / Across the old table.

16. Anouar Brahem  – Souvenance.


I have only heard one track from this record, but if it is as good as what I imagine so far, I expect us to have a serious relationship. Possibly invest in a house and a dog, go on frequent walks together. Possibly.


„With this project I feel I’m improvising differently. It’s a response to the identity of the pieces. Sometimes a few notes are enough. All the instruments had to wait to find their place in this music.“ This can be challenging for musicians coming from jazz, where claiming the space to make a personal statement belongs to the territory. „That space still exists in Souvenance but it’s become more subtle, more directed. As the writing and arranging developed, the role of Björn’s bass became quite strong and central. The responsibility of Klaus’s bass clarinet this time is harder to define, but it’s an important element, and it’s not easy, as a listener, to know which parts are improvised and which are written.“


Already having the feeling this album might move up into the top ten. How many spaces it will occupy there? I am listening forward to find out.


To be continued.



Würden Sie ein Buch kaufen, das Ihnen jemand so beschreibt: „… verzweifelte Existenzen werden zu Sinnsuchern … Mechanismen der Traumlogik … verstörendes Stück Literatur … liest sich wie ein Traumtext …“? Diese Fragmente hatte ich notiert, sie liegen immer noch in dem Buch, das ich damals sofort bestellt hatte, ohne zu recherchieren. Das war vor zwölf Jahren.



„Festgebunden am Mast meiner Träume, bevor auch noch dein letzter Strick reißt – so will ich dich haben.“ Der erste Satz. Kristin lacht. Mit diesem Satz begann die Stellenanzeige, die der Bewohner inseriert hatte. Ein Bild, das seine oder ihre Vergangenheit oder Zukunft durchzieht. Ich hatte bis Seite 70 gelesen und auf Seite 71 abgebrochen, vor zwölf Jahren. Maybe too hard stuff.

Unsere zahlreichen Manafonistas-Psychologen werden das Phänomen erklären können. Du nimmst ein Buch in die Hand, brichst es nach einer halben Seite ab und zwölf Jahre später verschlingst du den Text oder – so ist es bei mir – du genießt langsam Seite für Seite, manchmal Satz für Satz, manchmal ein Wort, und hast das Gefühl, dir ist eine Menge an Lebensgefühl verloren gegangen, weil du damals nicht dabei geblieben bist. Bei Jürgen Ploog ging es mir genauso. Beim Raumagenten. Da verschieben sich auch die Synapsen.

Strange days have found us. Ich mag es, wenn in Büchern Schallplattentitel genannt werden. Auch Lektüreerfahrungen. Deshalb hab ich die bunten Zettel eingeklebt. Und wie diese Songs zur Atmosphäre passen, die Geräusche auch, étude d´exécution. Wenn Sie irgendeinen Geschmack ausgebildet haben, werden Sie letztlich immer feststellen, dass Ihre liebste Musik und Ihre Bücher, die Filme, und alles, alles zusammenpasst. Und alles sich abgrenzt. Thomas Bernhard mochte Thomas Mann nicht. Neither I do. That way.


  1. The Jesus and Mary Chain: April Skies
  2. Industrial Rave (was ist das denn? kann mir jemand Titel nennen? MW)
  3. Liszt: Études d´exécution transcendante
  4. Industrial Music (da fiel Steve wohl nicht mehr ein, eigentlich schade, wie wäre es mit Mika Vanio: Kilo? Die Platte erschien allerdings in diesem Jahr. Was gab es denn im Jahr 2002 an Industrial musik?)
  5. hey – und Audiokassetten mit indonesischen Gesängen, Surreal Bebop (?, MW), Gamelan-Regenlieder (?), Soundtracks von Dokumentarfilmen über den Krieg, Saint-Saens, Wasserglocken, jamaikanischer Dub, Funksignale der Polizei, Aufnahmen von Brüllaffen
  6. The Doors: Strange days have found us
  7. Chopin: Nocturne
  8. Jerome Kern
  9. The Yardbirds: Over Under Sideways Down
  10. Joy Division: Days of the Lord


Etwas annähernd Geordnetes zu schreiben, verbietet sich. Das Zeitalter des Nihilismus. Eine Zeitschleife? Hab schon oft gehört, dass all diese Creative Writing Kurse an angloamerikanischen Universitäten der Tod der Literatur seien. Von einem Professor oder Übersetzer wurde wirklich dieses Wort verwendet. Der Tod.

Zu Beginn der Jahrtausendwende schwappten erst Übersetzungen aus dem britischen oder amerikanischen Englisch auf den deutschsprachigen Schreibhandwerksmarkt, dann fingen die Deutschen damit an. Noch mehr Literatur, gebaut nach dem Baukasten oder Reißbrettprinzip. Sogar ein Ratgeber zum Gedichte schreiben arbeitet nach diesem Prinzip. Der Verfasser warf mir in einem Interview vor, nicht erklären zu können, was ein Gedicht ist. Sorry, ich kann es wirklich nicht. Aber ich erkenne es, wenn es gut ist.

Dieser Roman bricht mit allen Regeln. Wunderbar abgerundete Figuren erschaffen, ruft der Gott der Romanautoren, James N. Frey, die Wahl der Erzählperspektive, Definition von Spannung, und sogar: Was am meisten zählt, ist nicht das Talent. Bei Steve Erickson ist niemand hübsch im konventionellen Sinn. Faszinierende Muster-Vorbilder bauen sich ziemlich andere Biografien auf, ich kann mir kaum jemanden vorstellen, der sich mit diesen Figuren identifizieren könnte, doch, kann ich, aber das sind dann nicht die Leute, die ein Buch vom Fischer Verlag lesen, Erzählperspektive und Tempus verändern sich innerhalb eines Absatzes, es gibt kaum Dialoge (mostly Blocksatz, viele – eher konventionelle Leser klappen beim Anblick einer solchen Bleiwüste ein Buch sofort zu) und von einer geordneten Erzählstruktur kann keine Rede sein (aber von einer raffinierten). Alles gravitativ, sehr gravitativ.

Wer sich auf das Buch einlässt, wird tief in die Biographie verschiedener Figuren hineingezogen, der Sex ist nicht so gut und fast nie freiwillig. Und was hat meine Familie mit mir zu tun, auch wenn ich es gar nicht will? I fell into the arms of the Venus de Milo. Als ich ungefähr auf Seite 200, am Ende des zweiten Drittels des Romans, einen Zusammenhang erahne, überfällt mich die Angst, das Buch könnte jetzt langweilig werden. Bitte lesen Sie nicht nur nach Seite 71, sondern auch nach Seite 200 weiter. Strange days have tracked us down.


Neulich im Café, in dem ich auch am Abend noch das Frühstück der Woche bestellen kann. Allein schon dafür liebe ich dieses Café.

„Ich glaube, ich habe jetzt den besten Roman gelesen, den ich kenne.“


„Ja, also, ich weiß gar nicht, wie ich das erklären soll. Ich könnte ihn dir zum Geburtstag schenken. Ähem, es geht allerdings etwas gewaltsam zu, und es geht auch um Pornographie.“

„Also, das wäre kein Problem.“

An unsere Thomas Pynchon-Lesegruppe: Der hat sich zu einem Statement hinreißen lassen, das auf dem Rücken des Buches abgedruckt ist. P staunte. Pynchon ist eher nicht so bekannt dafür, dass er sich öffentlich zu etwas äußert.

Inzwischen liegt Rubicon Beach auf meinem to-read-Stapel, das erste auf deutsch erschienene Buch von Steve Erickson. Interessanter scheint mir aber der Titel „Our ecstatic days“, der ist auch schon da. Dass nur zwei Romane Steve Ericksons ins deutsche übersetzt wurden und die an Wirtschaftlichkeit orientierte Verlagspolitik keine weitere Übersetzung zugelassen hat, finde ich nicht vollkommen unsympathisch. Es bedeutet auch Exklusivität. Nebelhörner im Black Clock Park.

2014 28 Nov

The Thomas Pynchon Reading Days

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end on Sunday with last comments of the four people left in the game – looking back and telling us how the big novel is still glowing or has lost some of its impact after the last page and days gone by. On Monday evening, in a refined ritual, the winner of the parallel reading adventure will be announced, and Gregor wants his hands out of it. But, please, we’re all gentlemen (most of the time) – funny enough the winner of typical Manafonista gifts will be announced in a little house at the sea, close to midnight. The suspense is nearly unbearable. Of course, there will be another parallel reading enterprise next autumn!

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