on life, music etc beyond mainstream

Du durchsuchst gerade das Archiv des Monats Dezember 2016.

Archiv: Dezember 2016

2016 26 Dez

26. Dezember 2016

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2016 26 Dez

Hey B, hey C,

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it´s great news, you spotted a place to start up with your outdoor-cooking-restaurant at the country´s largest sea. So, you are in search of fitting „electronic“ music. It´s funny, since I´ve been writing on this blog more and more people ask me about new releases in music, cinema and even poetry. However I love the old stuff, too. Since B told me she´d like électronique noire by Eivind Aarset (which I recommended to her to check out her music taste), now I know what to recommend further. Hope you´ll find something from this list of my favourite albums probably forever and suited for an edgy restaurant:


  • Nils Petter Molvaer: Buoyancy
  • William Tyler: Modern Country
  • all albums by Labradford, e.g. Prazision, E luxo so, Labradford, Mi media naranja, A Stable Reference
  • Kruder Dorfmeister: The K & D Session
  • Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald: Borderland
  • Jon Hassell: City Works of Fiction (a bit more agitated), und more quiet records like: The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound /Last Night the Moon Came Dropping ist Clothes in the StreetEarthquake Island / Vernal Equinox
  • Jon Hassell and Bluescreen: Dressing For Pleasure
  • The Necks: Drive by, Mosquito
  • Kammerflimmer Kollektief: Wildling / Absencen (more bumpy)
  • David Torn: Only Sky
  • Lumen Drones
  • Food: This is not a Miracle
  • Boards of Canada: Tomorrow´s Harvest
  • Jokleba (Per Jorgesen, Jon Balke, Audun Kleive): Outland
  • Pan American: Cloud Room, Class Room
  • Food: Last Supper
  • Brian Eno und J. Peter Schwalm: Drawn From Life
  • Miles Davis: „He Loved Him Madly“ (33 min.), from: Get up with it
  • Jan Garbarek, Bill Frisell, Eberhard Weber, Jon Christensen: Paths, Prints
  • The Durutti Column: A Paean To Wilson
  • Nils Petter Molvaer, Moritz von Oswald: 1/1 (Transition)
  • Gary Peacock Trio: Now This
  • Flying Saucer Attack: Instrumentals 2015
  • Steve Tibbetts: Northern Song
  • Schneider Kacirek: Shadows Documents
  • Fennesz: Bécs
  • Burnt Friedman, Daniel Dood-Ellis: Cease To Matter

Good luck!


2016 25 Dez

Dear Gregs,

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it all started when I once heard that song on Radio Luxemburg, a child with a small radio under the blanket and a limited space for fresh air. The first time I learned how to secretly let the air in in decent portions. Nobody should disturb my resistence against sleep. It really got me. And America got him. It started with a flickering light sending black-and-white images through an old movie projector. Faces of cowboys and Indians, superheroes, the good guy victorious over the emissaries of evil. You certainly have some of these memories, too, my first Western hero was Robert Fuller.

And how must this all have been for a North Londoner, about 10 years older, on the other side of the sea, when rock, jazz, skiffle … the blues … and old country songs came to liberate him, growing up in the austerity of post-war Britain. The music gave him hope and feeling that he could express himself in song through this new art form called rock and roll. My first single ever was „Rock and Roll Music“ from the Beatles with John Lennon (I didn’t know it at the time having been totally absorbed by the song’s high energy) delivering a first-class Chuck Berry cover.

Then, as Ray toured America with his band, he saw the place first hand and up close – from the roadside of a dreary bus stopin the middle of nowhere to the Hollywood Bowl – as they experienced good times and bad times. His first impressions were full of romanticised images from childhood recaptured from the relative safety of a tour bus or hotel room. However the real world soon arrive like an univited guest and the flickering light turned into the cold light of day.

It’s one good thing in being bound to slowness and a bit ill between the years, life becomes more meditative. I feel better every day, but you have to keep a strong discipline. So I took some time for a look into the future (for you it must have appeared like a look in the past!), and can tell you that the guy I have been speakin‘ about will come up with a new album, probably in spring, Ray Davies‘ „Americana“ ( based on his insightful book with the same title from 2013).


Best, Michael! 



P.S. Our „friend“ Robert Wyatt can at last been heard on one song called „She Moves With The Fair“ (isn’t that an old British folk song?) that will be part of Paul Weller’s work „A Kind Revolution“. He will sing a bit and „play the trumpet like Donald Byrd“, as Mr. Weller said. And, Gregs, before spring will embrace us all hopefully with a taste of summer, new records might have found their ways to us from Joni Mitchell (10 new songs, with orchestra, I listened to one on BBC6, well, not sure about my first impression), Mark Eitzel (reading interesting things about it, but I forgot his voice), The XX, and The Flaming Lips. I’m really hoping Scritti Politti’s will take shape, soo.

How many great guitar albums did we hear last year: now, on Feb. 3rd, a new solo recording from Ralph Towner will be there: „My Foolish Heart“ (produced in Lugano). One of the most adventurous journey of 2016: Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith. Again on Feb 3rd this other great pianist from New York (remember his solo masterpiece „Avenging Angel“!), Craig Taborn will jazz the house with his quartet: Craig Taborn (the ECM side of  sounds).

By the way, I hope you will find Stephen Dobyn’s book „Ist Fat Bob schon tot?“ nearly as mind-blowing as Sun Ra’s collection of „jukebox hits“. In these very, very quiet days of Christmas (with Swaazi candles, warm showers, and green tea), I switch between reading „Das Fest der Schlangen“, getting wonderfully lost in the first season of the series „The OA“, happily waiting for the breakfast show with Brian tomorrow („Reflection“ is my „healing music“) and listening to early Jethro Tull albums. You can really listen to „Aqualung“ with grown-up ears, and I never want to miss a second of it.



2016 24 Dez

Frank O’Hara

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If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into Bergdorf’s
and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
Close to the fear of war and the stars which have disappeared.
I have in my hands only 35¢, it’s so meaningless to eat!
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
like the hammers of a glass pianoforte. If I seem to you
to have lavender lips under the leaves of the world,
I must tighten my belt.
It’s like a locomotive on the march, the season
of distress and clarity
and my door is open to the evenings of midwinter’s
lightly falling snow over the newspapers.
Clasp me in your handkerchief like a tear, trumpet
of early afternoon! in the foggy autumn.
As they’re putting, up the Christmas trees on Park Avenue
I shall see my daydreams walking by with dogs in blankets,
put to some use before all those coloured lights come on!
But no more fountains and no more rain,
and the stores stay open terribly late.



Es gibt spannende Musiksendungen zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr, meine Ausgabe der Klanghorizonte (31.12. – 1.05 bis 6.00 Uhr) muss leider ausfallen, weil ich mit einer mittleren Lungenentzündung flachgelegt bin. Jetzt keine Riesenreaktionen bitte, der Doc ist sehr sicher, dass ich wieder vollkommen fit werde, das Fieber ist auch schon auf dem absteigenden Ast, dennoch sind die anstrengendsten  Dinge, die ich derzeit machen darf, lauwarm duschen,  sitzen, liegen, langsam gehen – und keine Aufräumarbeiten im eigenen Haushalt.

Das hört sich nach fortgeschrittener Chaostheorie an, aber auch nach Dingen, die ich gut beherrsche. Ich habe ein kleines Kino, gute Kopfhörer etc, und werde dann doch, auf Gregors Anraten, BENEFIT von Jethro Tull (Sie haben doch wohl meine kleine Zeitreise zu ihrem Album STAND UP nicht verpasst, ca. eine Woche ist es her!) in Sensurround anhören, um meinem kritisches Urteil noch mal nachzugehen.

Unser Jazzredakteur im Deutschlandfunk, Harald Rehmann, setzt nun eine „Ersatzsendung“ der Radionacht ein, die er mal für den Fall produziert hatte, daß ein Moderator der RN Jazz oder Klanghorizonte ausfallen würde. Es ist ein (da bin ich mir sicher) nicht minder fesselndes Programm im Schnittfeld von Jazz, Rock, Ambient, Indien (!) etc – und „mit viel Musik und wenig Moderation“, wie er mir schrieb.

So wollte ich es auch halten, und es tut schon weh, dass ich jetzt nicht da sein kann, ausgerechnet an dem Tag, an dem REFLECTION von Eno erstmals im Radio hörbar sein kann, einen Tag vor dem offiziellen Erscheinungstag, dem 1. Januar. Also noch ein Grund mehr, Brian Eno in einem Londoner Pub zu treffen! (m.e.)



Eno, Keaveny and Cox. It may sound like a firm of solicitors, but for one day only they become the world’s greatest Radio presenters. Join Shaun Keaveny for a Science and Music special as celebrated musician and producer Brian Eno and Professor Brian Cox join for Boxing Day Breakfast.

Professor Brian Cox has been a regular on Shaun’s Breakfast Show for around 8 years now. Joining weekly to chat about the latest science stories, to answer listener’s questions, or just to talk music. Once, whilst in a car and stuck in traffic, Brian even read out local traffic reports for us. He has enriched Shaun’s programme with intelligent debate, respected opinion and incredible insight.

Aside from perhaps David Attenborough, he is the foremost voice of science on our television screens and his popularity is not just because of his past career as a keyboard player in 90s pop group D:Ream, but rather his evident passion for science and his ability to convey both the complexities and mysteries of the universe to the general public. Quite why he bothers still coming onto this show is a mystery to all of us.

Brian Eno is a relative new friend to the programme. After his BBC Music John Peel lecture last year, Brian and Shaun struck up a friendship that saw Brian sending emails to the show and even making us some radio jingles in his home studio.

Recorded in a central London pub just before Christmas, BBC Radio 6Music brings two of the most intelligent and most respected minds in UK together for the first time. We promise this will be a Breakfast Show that celebrates science, discovery and inquisitive minds. There will of course be music chat and the trio will discuss the connection between music and science as well as bringing in various choice cuts that have inspired them over their careers.

It will be broadcasted on Dec. 26th, 3 hours long. For streaming, a possible podcast etc, have a look at the site of „BBC Radio6Music“, and, yes, it is a „breakfast show“ starting at 7 o’clock English time (or is there already a fucking timezone Brexit going on) …

2016 22 Dez

Der P-Faktor

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„P stands for Paddy, I suppose …“


… but as well for practise if not for purgatory. Denn Musik ist ein verrücktes Pflaster, man kriegt sie nie zu fassen: dämonisches Gebiet, ewige Durchgangszone. Der Maler hat irgendwann ein fertiges Bild vor sich. Er kann es dann aufhängen, einpacken, verkaufen – es ist ein abgeschlossenes Ding. Musik bleibt fluktuierend. Was meinen Zugang zu Songs betrifft: die Neugier ist wichtig. Von einem Lied für eine Weile affiziert zu sein: es sich einverleiben wollen. Die perfekte Welle nutzen, denn sie währt nur für begrenzte Zeit.

Da habe ich mir etwas eingebrockt, die irischen Wurzeln aufzuarbeiten. Nein, nicht der Grossvater und auch kein Urahne. Und doch, als ich einst nach Irland reiste, die Musik der Moving Hearts, Clannads, Paul Bradys, der Bothy Band und eben auch von Planxty im mentalen Gepäck, da kamen mir die Iren wie die meinen vor. Ich schätzte deren Gesprächigkeit, Gastfreundschaft, die Lust zum Wortemachen. Nun entdecke ich gerade Vieles wieder und der oben präsentierte Song gehörte zu den Lieblingsliedern.

Hilfreich ist Best Practice. Ein Softwaretool, mit dem man den Kammerton A justieren kann, der sich ja im Laufe der Jahre verändert hat. Somit lassen sich ältere Aufnahmen abhören, ohne das Instrument umstimmen zu müssen. Ferner lässt sich die Abspielgeschwindigkeit verändern, die Tonhöhe bleibt dabei konstant. Das ist nicht nur für jene ultraschnellen irischen Jigs hilfreich, denen unsereins ja gewöhnlich hinterherhechelte wie die lahme Ente dem flinken Hasen. Nun legt man sie unter das Elektronenrastermikroskop und schaut sie sich von Nahem an. Auch loops kann man erzeugen zum Einüben ausgewählter Passagen.

„A painter is a painter and he paints it – thats it“, once Joni Mitchell said. Und wer täglich mehr als eine Stunde übe, der sei ein Gitarrist, fügte Robert Fripp hinzu. Nun denn, ich ändere mein Leben: die Kunst zu covern, darin liegt das Glück – Stück für Stück.

2016 20 Dez

Reflections on Westworld

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Having just viewed the new HBO series, Westworld, I am struck by an enduring theme: the cruelty of humans as expressed by the evolution of consciousness in the inhuman. This idea goes back to the early days of science fiction, to writers like Asimov, Bradbury and Phillip K Dick. Always it is a way to reflect on what makes us human. The humans in Westworld, both the visitors and the creators, have little or no empathy for the „hosts“, the robots who people this artificial world. They are used, abused and as they begin to develop memories and self awareness, tortured by the knowledge of their existential condition. For they are living in a kind of purgatory, a kind of Groundhog day without redemption, where they are condemned to relive the same loops over and over without mercy, without end. It shouldn’t matter, as they are reset every night. However, it is the virus of memory that begins to wake them.

Without memory, perhaps we too would be soulless creatures, condemned to eternal repetition of the same mindless patterns, much like the player piano that begins each episode. Without memory we wouldn’t have self awareness because there would be no internal narrative to inform consciousness. Without memory to reflect on, there could be no empathy for ourselves or others. Without memory, empathy, or compassion, our lives too would drift aimlessly without purpose or direction. And without these, there would be no love.

Gurdjieff liked to say that most human beings aren’t human – they are mere automatons, machines driven by unconscious patterns formed through early experience. Most people sleepwalk through life, reacting to stimuli, programmed to act in knee jerk fashion to new experiences which unconsciously remind them of the past. According to Gurdjieff, only through the process of self remembering can we begin to break the cycle, to unshackle ourselves from William Blake’s „mind forged manacles.“

This waking up process that is the driving force behind Westworld and its predecessors, (Battlestar Galactica, and of course Bladerunner come to mind,) resonates deeply with many of us, because we recognize ourselves in these artificial humans: flawed, asleep, suffering our limiting conditioning, even more so upon coming to a glimmer of self awareness, and with that knowledge, the horror that we are still hopelessly caught in the loop of our own personal narrative.

It is no wonder the first impulse for these artificial humans upon waking up is rebellion against their maker. For indeed, what god has the right to create creatures who are condemned to purgatory?

2016 20 Dez

Oskar Sala – Die Vögel

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Am Mittwoch, den 21. Dezember sendet ZDF neo Oskar Salas berühmten Film Die Vögel.

Wenn ich mich nicht irre, sind die Soundeffekte vom wenig bekannten Albert Hitchcook (so ähnlich heißt er, glaube ich).


„Oskar Sala – Ein Alchimist der elektronischen Musik“

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