on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2019 21 Nov

Michael‘s list of 2019, crammed with meanderings

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 39 Comments

It‘s a wild thing, and never loses its grip. Recorded in tiny spots, jazz clubs, lofts, real studios, private rooms (at least so it seems),  it‘s overflowing with that sense of adventure that has been part of the best jazz in an around  Chicago since the early days of the AACM. In no way giving history lessons, it all comes down to a breathing, never-ending line of searching, finding, celebrating. Junius Paul‘s ISM is extraordinary in the way it sounds, too – no high end studio perfection required when an idea has a room, and the room is sparsely equipped. The lesson: make an empty room dance! (M.E.)
We find ourselves, in the words of the late, great chronicler of Los Angeles and other mysterious worlds Harlan Ellison, „face-down in Gloria Swanson’s swimming pool“. Paradise was always a trap. The American dream is a fiction containing all the wrong truths. Arthur Conan Doyle once posed „The Final Question“: David Thomas has devoted his artistic life to answering with a final solution. (Ed Whitelock, in his brilliant PopMatters-review on the stunning late work by Pere Ubu, „The Long Goodbye“)
„Oh bliss! As a long term Crimson fan (I bought their original album on the day it was released back in 1768… well it does seem an incredibly long time ago)“  (Mark Sheckelford‘s  funny time traveling accident)










      1. Arve Henriksen: The Timeless Nowhere (Box)
      2. Underworld: Drift (Box)
      3. Thom Yorke: Anima 
      4. Joe Lovano: Trio Tapestry (use the word opus magnum carefully, use it here!)
      5. Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest
      6. Lankum: The Lifelong Day (ear-piercing Irish drone folk)
      7. Wilco: Ode To Joy 
      8. Nick Cave: Ghosteen 
      9. Rabbia / Petrella / Aarset: Lost River (no way to get over a sense of wonder)
      10. Oren Ambarchi: Simian Angel (the art of the invisible guitar, and other apparitions)
      11. Sunno)): Life Metal (you want it primordial?)
      12. Lana del Ray: Norman Fucking Rockwell („This is a record that won’t win Jan Reetze’s sympathies, what can I do, I love it. Most of Norman Fucking Rockwell exists in some timeless, catgut-strewn place where 3am bar pianos and washes of keyboards serve as the tear-stained mat under Del Rey’s glass slipper of a voice – until, that is, a song such as Cinnamon Girl suddenly unspools an unexpectedly long, lyrical instrumental coda, in an electronic-tinged echo of Young’s famous meandering.“)
      13. Junius Paul: Ism („a hypnotic double shot of low-end groove adventurism“)
      14. Rustin Man: Drift Code
      15. Brittany Howard: Jamie (her sharpest cocktail yet of folk, blues, gospel, jazz and soul, pure flow of passion in a raw and experimental setting)
      16. Will Burns & Hannah Peel: Chalk Hill Blue (search this blog for excellent translations of some of Will‘s poems by Martina and Astrid!)
      17. Lambchop: This (is what I said)
      18. Leonard Cohen: Thanks For The Dance (if it is an artefact, it‘s purely authentic, love and loss all around, who needs fucking entertainment)
      19. Torn / Berne / Smith: Sun of Goldfinger (sound goes round, enter tribal drums and gritty alto saxophone, drums  add a modern swing touch soon, electric guitar in glooming mode, no fireworks in the opening minutes, more the clearing of a field, a jungle feel, life on all niches and corners, call it swirling around. The alto goes for a long ride, not the leader of the pack, a textural thing in the wilderness, turbulence code red. The guitar is changing dialects, the lion doesn‘t sleep tonight, fair warning.)
      20. Louis Sclavis: Characters On A Wall 
      21. Hilliard Ensemble / Jan Garbarek: Remember Me, My Dear (ghost music of highest order!)
      22. Lee Perry: Rainford (& dub twin Heavy Rain)
      23. Pan American: A Son (introspection, space, and Shenondoah)
      24. Areni Agbabian: Bloom 
      25. Ingrid Laubrock & Aki Takase: Kasumi
      26. A Winged Victory for the Sullen: The Undivided Five
      27. Lumen Drones: Umbra
      28. Tinariwen: Amadjar 
      29. Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse: Colorado 
      30. Swans: Leaving Meaning
      31. Ethan Iverson w/ Tom Harrell: Common Practice (i swear black and blue, these standards fly high and higher)
      32. Matmos: Plastic Anniversary (restlessly inventive for decades)
      33. The Comet is Coming: Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery (in the wake of legendary Impulse recordings from the 70‘s)
      34. Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka (Marvin Gaye sends his warmest greetings from the tower of song)
      35. Kit Downes: Dreamlife of Debris
      36. Mats Eilertsen: Reveries and Revelations
      37. Purple Mountains: dito (funny, profound, and ultimately heartbreaking)
      38. Aldous Harding: Designer (meticulously executed, and eerie nonetheless)
      39. Big Thief: U.F.O.F. 
      40. Pere Ubu: The Long Goodbye (you might want to watch Elliott Gould in that Altman/Chandler-movie afterwards)







    ONE  –  Brian Eno w/ Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno: Apollo – Atmospheres & Soundtracks (Extended Edition – the classic one, and a new album of the same trio, nearly as stunning as the one from the golden days of Ambient Music, can‘t remember of another group reunion after 35 years – the soundtrack definitely has a life of its own, but the recently remastered blu ray version of the film the music was made for, Al Reinert‘s „For All Mankind“ (with extraordinary extras),  is just another mind-blowing experience) / TWO – The Beatles:  Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Edition (Deluxe Box Set) / THREE –  Mark Hollis: Mark Hollis (vinyl remaster –  The album was cut over several months with a pair of mics set in the centre of the studio’s live room. Sessions occurred around them, the musicians seated in different parts of the stereo picture to give the impression they’d played together simultaneously. Sonically, Mark Hollis is nearperfect, yet pockmarked with alluring human flaws; soundboxes creak and knock, bows clatter on strings, reeds squeak. Despite there being no electronic instruments, on The Gift there’s a sound like very high feedback, possibly a wind instrument, and on Inside Looking Out, something keeping the tempo is heard in the background for a little while, perhaps bleeding through headphones. These ‘mistakes’ were allowed to remain.) – FOUR – V.A. – Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 (an audio feng shui guaranteed to spark joy) / FIVE  – Michael Rother: Solo (Box Set) / SIX   – Don Cherry: Brown Rice (vinyl only) / SEVEN – Prefab Sprout: I Trawl The Megahertz / EIGHT    – Eberhard Weber: The Following Morning (one of many highlights of 50 reissues from 50 years of ECM) / NINE  –  Phil Manzanera: Diamond Head (from ex-Roxies, still-Roxies and no-Roxies comes a pure delight of heartwarming pop-charades, the missing link between Canterbury lightness and prog rock ambition, or, in the words of Mr. Manzanera: “The things I wanted to do are all there; the little cameos like the dance number, the three minute type guitar instrumental, the classical number. Certain of the songs were written with suitable people in mind and eventually it all came off.”)  / TEN –  Frank Harris & Maria Marquez: Echoes (vinyl only – we‘re in the middle of the 80‘s here, with a strange amalgam  of avant-pop and electronic experimentation. Imagine synthetic soul and traditional folk melodies, this album contains exotic moods, singalongs and sophistication,  poignant melancholia, farmyard field recordings throughout, Venezuelan vibes with a surreal twist, and even traces of sultry lovers rock.) /  ELEVEN   – Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds Of Fire (Speakers Corner vinyl remaster) – („When the needle drops on the title tune, soon after three assertive gong strikes announce it, which soon explodes in a maelstrom of sound, uninitiated listeners might run for the exits. Stick with it, though, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most passionate and tight ensemble playing on record.“) /  TWELVE – Jimmy Campbell: Half-Baked (from the label with the vertigo-inducing logo, came an album, at the beginning of the 70’s that was a strange mixture  of baroque instrumentation, a singing ego on the verge of falling apart, and a series of dreams about life’s losses in a time when everybody seemed to be a winner. Of course, the album is a deeply buried treasure. it can still be found on Discogs.) /  THIRTEEN – King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King (another 50th anniversary edition with an unsurpassable surround mix)  /  FOURTEEN The Kinks: Arthur (50th Anniversary Edition, the full package)

    (In the first half of 2020, an early Jon Hassell classic will be reissued, on vinyl and DL at first, Jon Hassell‘s „Vernal Equinox“. I met the guy in Kristiansand, Arnaud, who has already listened to it and who was impressed by the improvement of the sound quality. Funny enough, later this year, he has been responsible for the installations of sound and vision of Sophie Turner‘s wedding in a castle in deep Provence, ah, she‘s better known with her name Sansa Stark from „Game of Thrones“. Small, wide world.)



    Afterglow, part 1 (starring Bill C , Carla B, Mark N,  Michael R, Sasha M, Will B, and Lankum from Ireland)


    (1) – “I was aware of Bill Callahan through Smog and that, but I think these latest records that he’s done are amazing. They’re quite abstract in a way, it’s really quite something, the lyrics are really good but the music is also really imaginative and the song structures are quite weird. He definitely doesn’t stick to the pop song structure that I was talking about earlier on, but it is melodic, it’s not atonal or anything. His records have a natural, very close sound, but it isn’t straight folk or anything like that, the instruments are acoustic but then he goes off into these different realms. I think the latest record, that I’m just trying to get my head around at the moment, continues that. He’s really thought of it as an album, it’s a double and it’s split up into four sides, and I know that when he was letting people know about it they released a side at a time, so it’s conceived as those four or five songs sitting together as a suite. It’s the best record I’ve heard in ages.“ (Jarvis Cocker on Bill Callahan‘s album)

    (In February 2020, an album will come out at  Jazzland Recordings that will find many friends here, the second duo album by Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang, purely instrumental! And, still living for music after 50 years of ECM, Manfred Eicher was talking to me, fully excited, about his recent production of another Carla Bley Trio album in Lugano – a pure solo work of Jon Balke will also be prepared for release, surely a joy for those who were stunned, for good reasons, when listening to „Warp“ in 2016.) 


    (2) – „Throughout Lankum‘s The Lifelong Day, drones reign supreme, whether it’s Ian Lynch’s uilleann pipes on The Young People or Radie Peat’s magnetically creaking harmonium or bayan accordion on The Wild Rover. Make no mistake: this is as deep a seam as anything ever mined by Gorecki in his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs or by Bonnie “Prince” Billy in I See a Darkness. In a strange way it‘s a companion album to a work that sounds totally different, but also offers a bath in deep melancholia: Framed by two brief dulcimer instrumentals, Pan American‘s „A Son“ most resembles „a folk time-capsule from an alternate dimension, where June Tabor and Brian Eno formed a Depression-era, well, Roxy Music. Songs about trains, family troubles and fading memories are delivered in Nelson’s quiet whisper-sing style, amidst a spare assembly of unfussy guitar and muted electronics. The direct confessional tone is countered by the untethered and timeless feel of the recording, delivering slow, steady laments that are fading like a box of old Polaroids.“


    (3)  –  „Eine Radiostunde mit Rother“


    (4) – “The old paths, the old buildings, the sight of a chalk hill blue or a greater butterfly orchid at the Ragpits – we don’t need these things for nostalgia, or for some sentimental reverie, we need them for the depth of life they summon, and to live through the world in all its wild abundance and richness, however small. To cultivate our own story-making of the earth as all that it can and should be.”  (Will Burns on Chalk Hill Blue) 


    (5) – Every once in a while there comes along an old-fashioned, experimental song album that is overflowing with ideas and melodies, nevertheless focussed and carefully assembled up to the tiniest details, at the same time extremely relaxed (close to an ancient J. J. Cale vibe), with a broad palette of rare sounds and a stunning theatre of voices (mainly from the man himself) – altogether a wonderfully performed manual in getting lost, though always linked to a deeply human agenda of our existence. Rustin Man‘s „Drift Code“ is such a work. Paul Webb has learned some reverberating lessons in the nights and months of Talk Talk‘s „Spirit of Eden“ recording sessions, and following an old tradition from the likes of Scott Walker and Robert Wyatt, he‘s not hesitating to nearly disappear for many years (after his marvelous expedition of „Out of Season“ with Beth Gibbons), risking dust from the history books, just waiting for the music to finally fall into place (exuding an energetically pure and primordial atmosphere, nothing less). Drift Code“ may be the perfect album for those armchair travelers who love to listen to albums from start to end, with a knack for the strangeness of things they only think they know about.


    (6) –  my photo of the year („Brimming With Life“ –  „Abbey Road 50 Exhibition, Liverpool, Autumn 2019“; „She came  in through the bathroom window“)





    Afterglow, part 2  (starring Richard Williams, Ernst Augustin, Rupert Thomson, Arve Henriksen‘s treasure grove,  and Michael Caine in Vienna)


    (1) No heroes, no masters, no gods.  No one is chosen, elitism is fuck. All saints, what else. But, well, thinking of my breakfast with Englishman Richard Williams in Kristiansand, one of the „true hero journalists“ of my youth, that I would call a honour. (Like it was a honour to get everlasting lessons for life from my English teacher Dr. Egon Werlich.) Richard Williams followed many routes in his life, the latest leading up to his forthcoming book „A Race with Love and Death: The Story of Richard Seaman“. In his book „The Blue Moment“, Arve Henriksen receives much more than just some honorary mention. Circles closing.


    (2) No more heroes, right, so I have to add another one, one of my favourite German writers who passed away lately, nearly blind, aged 92 – I do well remember  his mystery house in  Munique.  The living room looked like a ship‘s cabin from a Jules Verne novel, well designed by a man rooted in the tradition of fantastic realism. He didn‘t come from Homer and Cervantes (one has to be a fully equipped idiot like Peter Handke to fuel such self-images), Ernst Augustin came from Hirschberg, Riesengebirge. 

    So waren wir Kinder der ‚Ostzone‘, wir kannten keinen Kafka, nicht einmal beim Namen. James Joyce, ein Krimineller? Oder Qualitätsangabe für Teesorten, die nicht zu haben waren. Kenntnis der Moderne beschränkte sich auf ‚Busse wandert aus‘ (1927), antiquarisch bei Petzolt & Dröge in der Bahnhofstraße. Aber immer mit der Sehnsucht im Herzen auf nächtlichen Nebelgängen im verhangenen Wismar.“

    Ernst Augustin had another job in real life, a psychiatrist, working in Afghanistan in days before we were born, and later on in Schwabing.  If I have to pick out three novels – here they are: „Eastend“, „Raumlicht – Der Fall Evenlyne B“, and „Der amerikanische Traum“. One is a love story with a suicidal attempt, and a magic trip to London, one is the fictional and not-so-fictional story of healing a case of schizophrenia (in real life he married her), and one is about dreaming, fleshing out a whole life that is about to end way too early. Circles closing again.


    (3) Speaking of love in war times, one of the most fascinating novels I read this year (aside with Jamie Lee Burke‘s „Dunkler Sommer“, Peter Heller‘s „Der Fluss“, Patti Smith’s „Year Of The Monkey“, and Olga Tokarczuk‘s „Unrast“), was Rupert Thomson‘s „Never Anyone But You“, which was released, as German translation, and beautifully translated, with the same title, in the „Secession Verlag“. Interesting, I wanted to read this book very slowly (knowing that after the first pages) –  in contrast to my reading routines to always sink into a book without distraction, I read it (in parts) while putting on Michael Rother‘s early solo albums, and always drifted between reading OR listening, respectively reading AND listening.  Would probably  have worked with „Music For Films“ or „Apollo“, too. „Hello, darkness, my old friend“. Circles opening.


    (4) „The Timeless Nowhere“ ist eine vier neue Werke umfassende Kiste voller Wunder, ohne Plunder – Arve Henriksen-Musik ist kein „groove monster“, sie ist ein „mood monster“, und, um es mit den Worten eines alten Kinderbuches (war es ein Kinderbuch?) von Franz Hohler zu sagen: „Glück, mein Glück, rück näher ein Stück!“ Und wie sagte es John Berger in einem posthum veröffentlichten Buch so trefflich: „Meaning and mystery are inseparable, and neither can exist without the passing of time“. Das dürfte, egal, wie paradox es erscheint, auch für das „Zeitlose Nirgendwo“ gelten. Verblüffend, man bekommt das Teil nur als „limited vinyl edition“, den vier Langspielplatten sind zwei Cds beigefügt, welche die Musik ebenfalls enthalten. Die Pressqualität, das Design, alles hervorragend, und John Potters liner notes (jawohl, der, der mal beim Hilliard Ensemble war), eine helle Freude.

    In other words:  The Timeless Nowhere is a box full of wonders, complete with four new works, and, to say it in the words of an old children ’s book (was it a children‘ s book?) By Franz Hohler: „Luck, my luck, come back a little closer!“ „Glück, mein Glück, rück näher ein Stück!“ And as John Berger said in a posthumously published book, „Meaning and mystery are inseparable, and can not exist without the passing of time.“ Regardless of how paradoxical it may seem, this also applies to „The Timeless Nowhere“. 


  1. (5) – I listened to „Simian Angel“ for the first time at the end of August, on headphones – all windows directed to the vast nothingness of the universe that possibly hosts no god, no other life. But creepy objects like black holes and brown dwarfs. Heaven seems to be the most lonesome place, where nothing really happens, at least from the point of view of gardening and Japanese tea ceremonies. Well, of course, we had the moon landing, and we do have the astral space music of Sun Ra. Our dreams anyway. Strange enough, we can still feel peace (in harmony) when looking at the night sky. And here we are in company of Oren Ambarchi‘s fantastic album, two long compositions that, in a sophisticated  way, defy definitions, limits, opening a constant feel of joy and wonder, kling and klang. A touch of kosmische music here and there. His guitar sounds like a synth, and an organ, most of the time, and when he plays what sounds like a piano (and is again, made with his guitar – a special treatment really!), you might feel, for a moment, a „Music For Airports“-vibe – just another illusion, up, up, and away, with the blink of an eye. His partner is Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, and when he starts on berimbau at the beginning of vinyl‘s second side, you are in wonderland. Yes, I thought, for another sequence of seconds, of Nana Vasconcelos‘s famous (or not so famous) solo album „Nana Vasconcelos“, the one with violins and violas coming completely out of nowhere, and knowing about Oren‘s passion for a lot of ECM records, I‘m quite sure he might have had a similar memory, for a moment. The music is crossing area after area, you are not able to, and surely not keen on marking a spot. All exit signs on! The earth is never solid, and even the percussion is an invocation of ego-less drifting in the windmills of your mind. Not all riddles solved, be sure.





  1. (6) And here  comes my song of the year (number two is Aldous Harding’s „The Barrel“), and I‘m quite sure it will never receive its karaoke treatment –  S T A R, from Underworld. Taking the Ahlberg’s classic children’s story „Each, Peach, Pear, Plum“ as it’s base, Karl Hyde launches into a tumbling, stream of consciousness list of celebrities in random situations. Like the very best Underworld tracks, it quickly needles its way into the subconscious where it sits, waiting to come out when you least expect it.


    Each, Peach, Pear, Plum
    I spy Tom Thumb
    Tom Thumb in the wood
    I spy Robin Hood
    Robin Hood in the cellar
    I spy Cinderella
    Cinderella at the ball
    I spy Henry Hall
    Henry Hall in his house
    I spy Mickey Mouse
    Mickey Mouse in his cradle
    I spy Betty Grable
    Betty Grable is a star

    Each, Peach, Clean Shoes
    I spy Tom Cruise
    Tom Cruise in the bay
    I spy Dr Dre
    Dr Dre on the Towy
    I –spy David Bowie
    David Bowie in the ring
    I spy Dr King
    Dr King on the tele
    I spy Mary Shelley
    Mary Shelley in a drama
    I spy Dalai Lama
    Dalai Lama is a star

    Each, Peach, Cheek Bones
    I spy Tom Jones
    Tom Jones down in Peckham
    I spy David Beckham
    David Beckham on the train
    I spy Michael Caine
    Michael Caine in Vienna
    I spy Ayrton Senna
    Ayrton Senna on his step
    I spy Johnny Depp
    Johnny Depp in the dark
    I spy Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks is a star

    Each, Peach, Red Car
    I spy Lao Tzu
    Lao Tzu long gone
    I spy Barry John
    Barry John with his shirt on
    I spy Richard Burton
    Richard Burton with a book
    I spy Captain Hook
    Captain Hook with a chalice
    I spy Calvin Harris
    Calvin Harris interstellar
    I spy Helen Keller
    Helen Keller is a star

    Each, Peach, Tinfoil
    I spy Danny Boyle
    Danny Boyle made my summer
    I spy Joe Strummer
    Joe Strummer up in heaven
    I spy Nye Bevan
    Nye Bevan at the top
    I spy Iggy Pop
    Iggy Pop at the wheel
    I spy John Peel
    John Peel double decker
    I spy Sally Becker
    Sally Becker is a star


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  1. ijb:

    Ah, da ist der Herr Drift Code ja doch wider Erwarten bzw. wider Ankündigung ganz schön abgeschlagen auf den hinteren Rängen gelandet …

    Ich selbst bin zwar noch nicht so weit, eine Liste abliefern zu können, dazu sind gerade in diesen Tagen noch zu viele extrem vielversprechende Alben erschienen, die ich erst noch wirken lassen muss, höre gerade Julia Kadels fanatisches neues Album, und Matana Roberts hab ich auch erst einmal richtig gehört…. – allerdings kann man vielleicht schon mal festhalten, dass in jedem Fall von meinen Top 10 (möglicherweise sogar 15) keines in deiner Liste zu finden ist … Ich muss aber auch zugeben, dass ich in letzter Zeit mehr auf innovative/zeitgenössische Veröffentlichungen und neue Entdeckungen aus war als auf „alte Helden“, und das spiegelt sich in meiner „favorite albums list“ deutlich wider. Selbst Thom Yorke und Wilco konnten mich 2019 bislang nicht so sehr packen wie mit ihren früheren Werken.

    Am Montag traf/sah/hörte/sprach ich die Herren Torn, Berne und Smith hier in Kreuzberg. Ihr Album muss ich mir auf jeden Fall noch genauer „durch den Kopf“ (=die Ohren) gehen lassen. Ich hab in diesem Jahr nur wenige ECM-Alben gekauft, einfach weil ich so viel Geld für die Produktion der Videos / Interviews ausgab. Da stand mir nicht so der Sinn danach, viele Alben auch noch zu kaufen…

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Nein, Herr Drift Code ist nicht abgeschlagen. Es gibt hier nichts Abgeschlagenes, deshalb schrieb ich ja auch, das sich das alles ganz, von Tag zu Tag, oder mit jedem neuen Hören, also ziemlich rasch verändern könnte. Brille hilft:) Und was heisst schon verändern, das sind in meinen Ohren durchweg exzellente Alben, und momentane Favorisierungen spielen sich meist intuitiv ab nahezu unbewusst. A playful approach towards your love of music. DRIFT CODE ist ein zauberhaftes Werk. Aber prima, dass du mir die Gelegenheit gibst, das nochmal klarzustellen. Und, schwupps, der beschriebene „elevator effect“… es gibt Stunden, da wäre Pere Ubu ganz klar das Album des Jahres.

  3. ijb:

    Verstehe. Stimmt, die Nummerierungen tragen beim Außenstehenden eben doch immer wieder sehr dazu bei, dass ein Platz 25 als „weniger exzellent“ als ein Platz 5 oder so rüberkommt.

    Schätze, ich fahre gerade deshalb gar nicht so schlecht damit, meine aktuelle Entscheidung, keine Platzierungen zu machen, beizubehalten.

    1 bis 10 sind bei mir aktuell diese:

    Mattiel Satis Factory
    Little Simz Grey Area
    Jamila Woods Legacy Legacy
    Barker Utility
    Kim Gordon No Home Record
    Kate Tempest The Book of Traps and Lessons
    Banks III
    SØS Gunver Ryberg Entangled
    FKA twigs Magdalene

    und weitere 15 vielleicht diese:

    Julia Kadel Trio Kaskaden
    Matana Roberts Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis
    Puce Mary The Drought
    Fennesz Agora
    Gianna Nannini La Differenza
    Erlend Apneseth & Frode Haltli Salika, Molika
    Areni Agbabian Bloom
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Ghosteen
    Lena Andersson (Kyoka & Ian McDonnell) Söder Mälarstrand
    Grischa Lichtenberger re: phgrp
    John Luther Adams Become Desert
    Burial Tunes 2011-2019
    Brittany Howard Jaime
    Franck Vigroux Totem
    Jaimie Branch Fly or die II

    Mattiels LP ist dabei immerhin (m)ein sehr eindeutiges Lieblingsalbum 2019. Hat mich sehr auf Fahrten durch Amerika begleitet und schenkt mir zuverlässig zu jeder beliebigen Hör-Zeit Energie und Inspiration:

    Die Garagenrock-Amazone als Goldschürferin

    Nach Fabrik, wie es Titel und Cover vermuten lassen, klingt hier gar nichts. Vielmehr ist Mattiel Brown ­eine Goldschürferin, die im Bergwerk der Rockmusik nach verschütteten oder wieder vergrabenen Schätzen sucht. Knackige Surf-Rock-Miniaturen („Blisters“) treffen auf lustvolle Velvet-Underground-­Kopien („Millionaire“).

    Nach ihrem kunstvoll simplen Debüt, „Count Your Blessings“ (2017), hat die Garagenrock-Amazone ihr Repertoire erstaunlich erweitert. Vintage-Unverschämtheiten wie „Populonia“ neigen dem Pop zu, und einmal wird es sogar ziemlich französisch: Das betörende „Je ne me connais pas“ klingt allerdings mehr nach Rimbaud-Verehrerin Patti Smith als nach Chanson – und Mattiel singt wie eine von aller Eiseskälte befreite ­Nico.

    Mattiel Brown has come up with a very original album full of stories, lessons, straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll, and some genuine humour.

    The music has a distinct retro sound, something out of the early 1980s, but not to the point of being distracting. It has more of the spirit than the exact sound. Each song stands clearly on its own while still forming a cohesive album. Kicking off with tasteful “Till The Moment Of Death”, melodic and energetic power pop that does a nice job of introducing the album. The last one, “Long Division”, beautifully closes the album. Both tracks are perfect bookends for the entire album.

    Mattiel’s voice is quite unique and she has already developed her own style. There is no point comparing her to anyone, because she has developed her own sound. Combined with expert musicianship, the end result is an absolute pleasure to let us spend some time in her world.

    The songs are inviting and warm, while being somewhat stripped down. This is not folk, it is rockabilly at times but then again, it is all over the genre map. Traditional country fans will enjoy this album, as much as the alt-rock crowd. It is a well-produced album that is full of fun, surprises, and strong melodies. The lyrics are pretty darn good too!

    Satis Factory is a brilliant album. It is an album that cries out to be played on repeat and one that you will be glad you did.

    Neulich lief im Radio „Keep The Change“, die Single des zweiten Albums von Mattiel, und was daraufhin in der Küche, in der das Gerät stand, geschah, lässt sich schwer nacherzählen. In etwa schien es so, als würden den Tassen Flügeln wachsen, als tanze das Besteck in der Schublade, schmiegten sich die Teller enger aneinander, rieselte der Staub von ganz alleine vom Regal. „Keep The Change“ ist ein magischer Song, voller Energie und gleichzeitig voller Verzweiflung. The Supremes haben früher solche Songs aufgenommen, vor einigen Jahren gelang Basia Bulat eine ganze Platte mit Liedern dieser Art, nun gelingt Mattiel dieses Kunststück.

  4. Olaf:

    Sehr spannende Liste, bei mir gibt es nur Schnittstellen mit den hinteren Plätzen – UFOF und der Komet sind bei mir dann recht weit vorne. Ansonsten: Kate Tempest, Terkel Norgaard, Avishai/Avishai, Blume, Mäkynen. Vieles für mich interessantes habe ich auch noch nicht gehört, u.a. weil ich in den letzten Wochen Neil Young für mich wieder entdeckt habe, von dem ich viel zu viel nicht kannte, gerade aus den 70ern.
    Kamikaze Musike hört sich interessant an, danke für den Tip.

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Die hinteren Plätze, Olaf, sind immer ziemlich weit vorne:) Für mich sind die afterglow-Kapitel die, welche mir am meisten Freude machten. So lässt es sich wunderbar seitwärts treiben, erhellen, Sounds und Bücher am Rande auflesen, und Neugier entfachen. Selbst meine eigene Neugier. Wer kennt schon das Foto aus der Abbey Road-Ausstellung!?

  6. Brian Whistler:

    Nice list and a lot of reading to do. I will check it out more deeply when I have time.

    By the way the album ROAD has been rereleased and remastered. This is Paul winter’s best album (from 1971) a live record with Oregon and David Darling backing up him up. I’ve looked for this for years on CD but never could find it. Anyway it’s up on Bandcamp now for a mere seven dollar donation. Just listened to it and it sounds very good. Certainly brings me back to that time.

  7. Michael:

    Thanks. I have not even heard about this album, tough I know the band and had an album with short passages of whale (and bird?) singing on it. The whole bunch. I would like to time travel to his legendary farm, so long ago. Where a special vision and more than one style did evolve.

  8. Brian Whistler:

    You know, best of lists never really cut it for me. I don’t think like that- It’s sort of feels like a chore to do one. To tell the truth, I can’t even remember 20 albums that I bought in the last year or even 20 new albums that I streamed all the way through. 

    In all honesty, I’d rather listen to one great album for 20 hours than 20 mediocre albums for one hour each. If I did buy 20 albums, Chances are most are not new releases. Many of them are old recordings that I rediscovered. I’m not even sure which albums that came out in 2019 I’m still listening to. 

    You on the other hand seem to have a vast appetite for new music And possess the ability to metabolize these new releases. You also seem to be quite the epicure of various styles and genres. I wish I had those kinds of ears, but mine seem to take a long time to understand and grok a new album, and even longer to decide whether it’s a keeper. 

  9. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Brian, I totally sympathize with your point of view. Of course, if you have the ambition at night time to present the most beautiful / heartbreaking / adventurous / interesting „music of my world“ over thirty years, you have to develop strategies to metabolize all those new releases.

    The trick is: I normally don‘t need to listen more than once to get into a record, deep listening.

    The trick is, no joke, my limitations: for god‘s sake, no classical music, no salsa, no hip-hop, no 99 % of techno, no this, no that, no boring stuff at all. I recognize boredom rather quick, in seconds and minutes.

    The trick is: leave space for the unknown. And the sounds you think you know. I thought I had my decent anount of Irish folk, and then i fell in love with the darkness of Lankum‘s latest offering. As deep as deep can go. Deeper even. In Norway‘s folk it‘s the Hardanger fiddle that came upfront from the hinterland and old times: a scene rich and overflowing: Nils Okland, his terrific Lumen Drones, or Benedicte Maurseth, beautiful solo work.

    The trick is: I never lost the passion to listen to a great album again and again and again. I could live with Don Cherry’s BROWN RICE alone a long month at the Northern Sea. And there I was, yesterday, umder headphones, listening to the magic of Brian Eno‘s „Before and After Science“. Company forever.

    Btw, I had to wait weeks to be in the state of mind, to go deep into Nick Cave‘s new double album. I was quite sure I wouldn‘t connect with it that much, I was wrong.

  10. Brian Whistler:

    Thanks for posting my email, as it really is my truth on this subject. We are all so different. Yeah, and if I had a long into the night radio show and didn’t want to repeat myself all the time, I would probably adopt your strategy. I certainly understand your fascination with Brian Eno’s Before and Afternoon Science. .

  11. Michael Engelbrecht:


    And please, don‘t correct this beautiful error:

    Before and Afternoon Science.

    Deep listening, too, is afternoon science. Easy-peasy, if you just go with the flow. The trick is: I normally only listen to stuff I like or love. I listened to the new Cohen album today, three times in a row.

    And think of our deep knowledge of the ECM history. We can move through decades with elegant movements and stop by at every here and there we want. As I did yesterday. Picked up After The Rain, by Terje Rypdal. Of course I know the album, nevertheless I got lost in it in most beautiful ways.

    We have enough keys.

    And they will return, always, the albums that were once a commitment and blocked our record players eight days a week, and another week. The wonderful seductions. The gate openers. The lessons in love via songs. The joy flooding the body. Exstacy, fulfilment, yearning, a space to cry, to open up, to turn the inside down.

    We even shared the venue, Brian, Fillmore East, the three evenings with The Allman Brothers. Full volume. I keep returning. Always. In memory of Elizabeth Reed. Mountain Jam.

  12. Michael Engelbrecht:

    A propos ECM, this evening, NOVEMBER 13 (!!!) – SWR 2 radio, from 20.03 till long after midnight: a long ECM special, to be listened to on livestream, maybe podacasted – funny, they ordered an old portrait of mine, from the Deutschlandfunk, my meeting with Jan Erik Kongshaug in Oslo, last century…,swr2-spezial-bis-2-uhr-2019-11-23-102.html

    i tell you a story i think you don‘t know:

    Following an extremely reliable source, I found an appreciation and interview with Manfred Eicher, on the occasion of ECM’s 50th anniversary, It includes this interesting passage:

    “I asked Eicher if there were any musicians that he’d tried to record but hadn’t quite managed to pull it off. „At one point, there was talk of a Keith Jarrett-Miles Davis duo album,“ he revealed. This happened in 1976, after the release of Jarrett’s pipe-organ album, Hymns/Spheres.

    „Miles had heard and liked this album.“ But Davis’s long-standing contract with Columbia Records (which hadn’t dropped him when they purged Mingus, Evans, and the other jazz legends a few years earlier) blocked the project from moving ahead. „That might have been nice,“ Eicher mused, „but you can’t record everybody.“

    Aside from this episode on an imaginary record, i am reading Miles liked HYMNS/SPHERES. In the 70‘s Keith Jarrett was my fave pianist, and I nearly loved all of his albums from that decade, few exceptions: one was HYMNS\SPHERES, this organ solo music was unbearable for me. For whatever reasons. Just saying.

  13. Brian Whistler:

    Yes, I keep returning to the touchstones, the music that is the soundtrack of my life. Today it was early Weather Report- I Sing the Body Electric. That first track, The Unknown Soldier.. ThenI did revisit the concert album Road by Paul Winter. Not a big fan of his later work – a little too new Agey for me, but Icarus (produced by George Martin) is such a strong album, and Road is it’s live counterpart. I’m such an Oregon fan, and these are seminal, literally seeds of things to come.

    Speaking of which: I just saw Paul McCandless and Art Lande perform mostly the music of Paul McCandless in a group called Oregonia.. While Paul and Art used to play together quite a bit, it’s very rare now. It was a beautiful show, with a very sensitive young guitarist and a wonderful 2nd reedman and Art, with his stories, reading poetry and his theatrical flamboyant moments, it was a festive evening. No drums or bass- but then with Art (who’s equally comfortable in the drummers seat,) on piano, they weren’t missed. What an intimate sound. Real arrangements too.

  14. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Yes, ICARUS, wonderful

    OREGONIA …. can imagine that ….

  15. Brian Whistler:

    And no, I didn’t know that a Miles Davis Keith Jarrett collaboration was discussed. That would’ve been amazing.

  16. Michael Engelbrecht:

    My favourite interview passage from 2019, and it tells something about love of music, design, and the colour blue.

    And some friends friends told me after hearing this they went immediately back to their record collection to recapture the magic of DIS.

  17. Martin Waldner:

    So vielfältig, und nicht ohne Humor! Vielen Dank für diesen aussergewöhnlichen Jahresrückblick. Den Beitrag über Simian Angel kann ich immer wieder lesen. Dieses Album habe ich mir nach der Nachtsendung gekauft, und bin begeistert. Ernst Augustin habe ich nie gelesen, das wird sich ändern. Keith Jarretts Album wäre bei mir sicher in der Liste der oberen 20. Herzlicher Gruss aus Freiburg!

  18. Sam Genders:

    Thanks, Michael. Such an interesting read!

  19. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Jan R. seems to be quite impressed by Kit Downes‘ second cd on ECM, and I will probably play its last track during the JazzFacts magazine, Deutschlandfunk, Dec. 5, 9.05 pm.

    That show will be special, just looking at the two mini features on latest works by and with Jan Garbarek and Peter Brötzmann. And the hour will contain additional albums by The Comet Is Coming, Lumen Drones, Junius Paul, Inge Laubrock-Aki Takase Duo, and the big Arve Henriksen vinyl treasure box! Thus it will be an interesting mix between the wild and the transparent stuff.

    Still waiting for audio files from Arve and Ingrid. „The Klinger Factory For Voice Optimizing“ (TKFFVO) hopefully will have his laboratory open over weekend…

  20. Michael Engelbrecht:

    @ Mr. Brian Whistler:

    Your text on OREGONIA is an inspiration the KLANGHORIZONTE of next February. I was just asked for my themes, and here they are:

    Klanghorizonte Februar, mit Michael Engelbrecht

    New records: Carla Bley, Oded Tzur, Six Organs of Admittance u.a.

    Theme Hour : „Das dunkle Leuchten“: Brian Enos auf Warp Records (2010 -)

    Time Travel: Paul Winter, Oregon, David Darling u.a.

    I remember my portrait of Paul McCandless many years ago, and his talking about life on Paul Winter‘s farm. Must have been an idyllic area:) … i think you know a lot more about that place, and the birth of a new sound. Genius and scenius…

  21. Brian Whistler:

    Actually I’ve never visited the farm, only heard about it. I believe Paul Winter is still living up there. There’s now an compilation album that Paul Winter put together of Paul McCandless’s best work with Winter Consort. It’s called “Oboe.” It’s a pretty good collection, although mostly for those of us who love McCandless and are completists. Its especially poignant because Paul is no longer playing double reeds at all. There are good moments for sure. Nice to hear the original version of All the Mornings Bring on there. Incidentally, if you don’t hsve it, I still consider Paul’s McC’s first solo album (with Art Lande and Dave Samuels), All the Mornings Bring, an essential part of my collection.

  22. Michael Engelbrecht:

    The playlist of those early years will be easy… Icarus … All The Mornings Bring … Distant Hills… Solos, Duos, Trios … Cloud Dance … Oregon Live … Diary …

  23. HDK:

    @ Michael.

    Betr.: audio files, die dir Arve Henriksen als Antworten auf deine Fragen zuschickte

    – alle stillen Sekunden am Ende sind entfernt (bis auf 5 zum Ausklang)

    – außerdem habe ich ab 60 Hz eine Tiefenabsenkung vorgenommen (wofür ich gute Gründe habe, die ich auf Wunsch erklären würde …)

    – in der Tat: Arves recordings waren sauleise, ich musste ordentlich aufdrehen!

    – obendrein hat er mit 24bit Auflösung aufgenommen, was günstig ist, wenn man die Lautstärke erheblich hochregeln muss, ABER nachträglich auf 16 bit heruntergesetzt werden muss, SONST würde der CD-Player keinen Pieps von sich geben

    – du siehst: mit mir hast du einen kompetenten & wachsamen Ménestrel



    Ménestrels waren im Mittelalter altprovenzalische und altfranzösische Spielleute (Jongleurs), Fahrende und Musikanten. Zum Teil waren sie Bedienstete von Troubadouren, für die sie den Vortrag und die Verbreitung von Liedern übernahmen.

    Der englische Begriff minstrel bedeutet ursprünglich „kleiner Diener“, da sie als Barden und Hofsänger den gleichen niederen Status wie Haus- und Küchenpersonal innehatten. Wie Ministrant ist das Wort von lateinisch ministrare, „dienen“ abgeleitet.

    manchmal bricht bei mir atavistisches Verhalten auf – hier: Rückfall in meine Schulmeistervergangenheit

  24. Michael Engelbrecht:

    @ Hans-Dieter

    Nun war ich in meinen wilden Jahren gewiss ein Troubadour und „womanizer“ und scheute mich nicht, so manches Gedicht zu verfassen, um eine Angehimmelte ins Bett zu bekommen, wenn schon in ihrem Herzen kein Platz mehr war. Aber Bedienstete hatte ich nie, Herr Schulmeister :)

    Nun bin ich natürlich im reiferen Jahren, wenn nicht altersweise, was ja auch mitunter eine verknöcherte Variation von Phlegma ist, so doch noch humorvoller geworden, was in der Mixtur mit schlagfertig eine andere Art des Draufgängertums begünstigt.

    Ähnlich wagemutig an die Wirrnisse des Lebens geht ja der private eye in Ernst Augustins DER AMERIKANISCHE TRAUM vor, und ich empfehle dir die Lektüre wärmstens (das Buch fällt sonst bei dir in einen langen Winterschlaf) :)

    Chin chin!

    P.S. Ingrid aus Hundewick mailt mir hoffentlich am Wochenende die audio-files für die Klinger Factory.

  25. Rosato:

    ich vermute, HDK hat eine gehörige Prise (Selbst)Ironie verstreut, und ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass HDK comment#23 publiziert hat.

    DER AMERIKANISCHE TRAUM wurde von HDK gelesen, das hat er mir versichert. Ich habe ihm empfohlen, dieses verrückte Buch im Jahr 2020 nocheinmal zu lesen.

  26. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Ein HOCH auf die Selbstironie.

    Eine kluge Empfehlung an HDK, es ist eines dieser Bücher, das ich auch zweimal las. Ich habe btw, lieber hdk, in diesem Jahr eine Frau entdeckt, die rückwirkend für 2018 den LitNobPr. erhalten hat. Solche Preise interessieren mich so marginal wie Oscars, aber diese Lady war eine Entdeckung, sie hat gar einen extraordinären Kriminalroman geschrieben, GESANG DER FLEDERMÄUSE. Aber hier wird für jemand anders die Messe gelesen, schön, schön.

    Im Zuge meines Rückzuges von den Manafonisten (der auch darin begründet ist, dass hier in Einzelfällen eine neue Art von „cultural correctness“ Einzug gehalten hat – Zitat: „Gift hat auf diesem Blog nichts zu suchen“, als ich bemüht war, ein wirksames Mittel gegen meine Schmerzarien zu finden und bei einem Opiat endlich Hilfe zu finden schien) sind dieser Rückblick und seine Abschweifungen auch die letzte Spielwiese meiner Gedanken, und sie hat mir u.a. einen regen Gedankenaustausch mit Sam Genders zu dem Potential von Artificial Intelligence für das Schreiben von Songs beschert.

    Oder heisst es wieder: Thema verfehlt?! 💫🎩

    Es sind hier drei Verbindungen zuende gegangen, wenn ich mein manafonistisches Soziogramm betrachte, bei einigen anderen ist der Kontakt konfliktfrei ausgelaufen, einige haben sich bestens gehalten, der Troll aus Altmünster, die doppelte Clara, eine H. besonderer P. (Ratespiel!), hat ausgespielt. Alles ganz normale Entwicklungen. Es ist wie bei manchen langen Ehen. Oft wäre es besser, schon früher getrennte Wege zu gehen.

    Und, fair enough, meine parapornographischen short stories, die natürlich nicht wirklich pornographisch sind (the eye of the beholder), könnten zu Austritten führen. Drei sind fertig.

    Am Ende gilt es stets, Blumen in die Runde zu werfen, aber nicht solche für einen Rosenkrieg. Denken Sie an Scott MacKenzie!

    Rosen im Haar. Keine Diskurse.

  27. Susanne H.:


    Aus dem Handgelenk schüttelst du die schönsten Texte.

    Da ich hier evtl, eine der wenigen Frauen bin, die sich für Free Jazz und seine Entwicklungen interessiert, hier nun auch meine Begeisterung für das Doppelalbum von Junius Paul. Das ist richtig aufregend, vielseitig.

  28. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Danke für die Blumen :) Das alte „Velvet“ war für Junius Paul der Jazzclub in Chicago, in dem er die abenteuerlichsten Erfahrungen sammelte. Hier seine Erinnerungen:

    “It was very much like church. I had some unbelievable spiritual experiences there. You can feel this thing inside of you. There were moments at the Velvet Lounge that were so magical that I’d get scared. I remember a night with Vincent Davis. It was like, oh my God. He can play with that intensity for that long. The Velvet Lounge was the first time I experienced anything like that. I didn’t think that people could do that. And it scared me. You think you’ve heard [some things]… and then you hear something that completely destroys anything that you thought you knew.” 

  29. Olaf S.:

    Micha, mit Blumen kann ich nicht dienen, aber mit dieser informativen Besprechung des Altman-Films The Long Goodbye. Ich habe ihn mir tatsächlich wieder mal rausgeholt, und er ist so beeindruckend wie früher. Klasse, wie Pere Ubu Motive von Raymond Chandler benutzt, und überhaupt hat die Gruppe nie ihre Klasse verloren.

  30. Ingrid Laubrock:

    * 12/7 Zionskirche Bielefeld (in cooperation with Bunker Ulmenwall)
    * 12/8 Stadtgarten Cologne

    Hei, Michael,

    die Musik, die wir in Bielefeld und Köln spielen, ist eine Auftragskommission für das EOS Orchester, ein Kammerorchester aus Köln unter der Leitung von Susanne Blumenthal. Mir ihr und einer grösseren Version des Orchesters habe ich schon in Moers gearbeitet, wo wir in 2017 auf dem Festival u.a. die Uraufführung von Contemporary Chaos Practices hatten.

    Als Gäste habe ich mir diese Mal vier Musiker eingeladen: Aus den Staaten den Pianisten Cory Smythe und den Elektroniker Sam Pluta, die beide sowohl in der Neuen Musik als auch in der Improvisierten Musik zu Hause sind und den Schlagzeuger Tom Rainey. Aus Deutschland kommt der Bassist Robert Landfermann dazu. Ich spiele selber auch als Solistin mit.

    Die sechs Kompositionen (mit teilweise mehreren Sätzen) basieren lose auf Traumtagebüchern die ich über Jahre weg geführt habe. Das Ergebnis ist zwar keine programmatische Musik, aber die Stücke haben etwas von der bizarren und unberechenbaren Art die oft Teil von Träumen ist. Das Meiste ist für das Orchester und auch teilweise für die Gastmusiker strikt durchkomponiert, aber oft mit Improvisationen der Solisten durchwoben und durch Elektronik graduell verwandelt und verzerrt. 

    Ich bin selber sehr gespannt auf das Ganze. Ich versuche als Komponistin immer neue Wege zu finden und ich denke diese Stücke sind sehr individuell geworden – was ganz genau passieren wird weiß ich aber selber noch nicht. 

    LG, Ingrid

  31. Michael Engelbrecht:

    @ Ingrid:

    Da hast über Jahre Traumtagebücher geführt. Mein Spezialthema im Psychologiestudium war, in den letzten Semestern, Traumdeutung, und später gesellte sich die Erforschung luzider Träume hinzu. Wenn wir uns in Köln treffen, haben wir schon mal ein spannendes Gesprächsthema…

    @ Olaf:

    Ich werde nie vergessen, wie ihre ersten Alben „einschlugen“, nicht nur bei mir: „The Modern Dance“, und „Dub Housing“. Und auf diesem Spätwerk jetzt gibt es sogar Songs, die, wie die Engländer sagen, richtig „catchy“ sind. Im übrigen: ich habe auch grosse Lust auf den Altman-Film. Und auf einen anderen des Regisseurs, den ich schon in jungen Jahren begeistert anschaute: „California Split“…

  32. Ben Beaumont-Thomas:

    Brian Eno has released a new song that castigates the Tories – described as “the government from hell” – over the NHS, Brexit, homelessness and more, ahead of Thursday’s general election.

    Everything’s On the Up With the Tories is a jaunty number that sarcastically celebrates the Conservative government. One lyric rhymes Tories with “the gap between the rich and the poor-ies”; another is a direct attack on the party’s management of the NHS: “They’re selling off the NHS to cowboys / they’re cutting back on nurses but investing it in hearses / the nitwits and the we-don’t-have-a-clue boys.”

    The song fears for “a few more years of Brexit purgatory” and another line complains “there’s people on the street without a bloody crust to eat”. Proceeds from the song will go to homeless charities.

  33. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Kleine Story zum langen Abschied

    After the almost car crash at 6.30 am, months ago, after a radio night and seconds sleep on the highway, I was fully awake. Within minutes I realized I wanna stop my radio days within a good year with hopefully good vibes and joy, joy, joy, as well as being looking for a driver, and, when winter is coming to travel to Amrum caring for some splendid isolation (not in the way dumb British leaders are dreaming about).

    Some weeks ago, I intensely listened to Pyroclasts by Sunno))), and that became a revelation, not just soundwise (I enjoyed the high volume (makes sense here), the gloomy drones drawing me inside the music), the music was an encouragement for some decisions to make, an „enhancer“. Listening to Pyroclasts and its twin album Life Metals became a ritual to rely own in darker hours, a natural deep mood changer. The cover looks like a psychedelic equivalent to one of those ancient landscapes of Game of Thrones.

    In the studio, three days ago, my new driver took place in the back seat, listening to my first hour, and he obviously enjoyed the two Underworld tracks. I always like to keep it dark in the studio. In fact these kind of dimmed lights don‘t stimulate the wish for sleep, they add to the flow when you‘re inside the music you love. Green tea adds to staying in the zone.

    If you could take a look at the studio in my nighthawk hours, the place of the record players, you could recognize the cover of Birds of Fire. That remaster from Speakers Corner was my latest time travel experience, the music unfolded with bite, transparency and high dynamics. Remember the days when we had our complaints a la „oh, here comes the usual drum solo“, but Bill Cobham did it not only skillfully, I could simply feel the emotion in the fireworks.

    Before the long radio night I sat on my petrol coloured dream sofa and was looking at the Criterion‘s remaster of Al Reinert‘s movie FOR ALL MANKIND, with Eno‘s music. Interesting: all the titles Brian Eno created for the new tracks with his old companions, brother Roger and Dan Lanois, came from talk and chatter from the original movie. The titles were not invented, they were found objects. Probably all three looked at the movie, in Los Angeles, in Woodbridge, in Notting Hill, to catch the right mood for the new stuff. It worked.

    Everything fades away.
    Through the blue.

    Medication, appreciated: Feuerzangenbowle, Irish Coffee, Weihnachtspunsch, magic truffles, Kratom Bali (use experienced practitioners and books for advice, even a good old Altbierbowle can produce severe headaches)

    Thx for reading Michael, lover of goat skin drums and natural born pagean 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁

  34. Fred Möpert:

    Hallo, Michael!

    Sehr schade, hier keine Texte mehr von dir zu funden. Hatte Deine letzte Jazzsendung mit großer Freude wieder gehört, sogar auch Karl Lippegaus war mit von der musikalischen Partie!Und Bert Noglik war`s auch …

    Waren auch einmal mehr sehr interessante nordische Klänge dabei!!

  35. Brian Whistler:

    Listening to Lankum on the open road heading north to Santa Fe.

  36. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Santa Fe has always been one of my movie inspired dream places, Mr. Whistler. Since childhood days. The places that make your life also consist of places you‘ve never been. Nice you have the opportunity to simply be there. Head on, my friend. What else could I expect from someone who has been in the audience of one of my all time favorite albums, The Allman Brothers Live At Fillmore East …!?

  37. Ulrich S.:

    Ich habe zwei Tage gebraucht, um das hier einmal ganz in mich aufzunehmen. Ganz und gar spannend!

    Das auch von Brian Eno hochgeschätzte Album von der jungen Billie Eilish ist bei mir ganz weit oben.

    Bitte schreiben Sie weiter auf dem Blog!

  38. Russ Coffey:

    Thanks for your mail, Michael. Yes, indeed a great list full of nice thoughts and sideways. I would like to add my concert of the year.

    In July, Neil Young and Bob Dylan played a double bill at Hyde Park. At 73, Young had lost none of his fire and free-form energy. He attacked his guitar like a man trying to shoo an angry wasp. For a couple of hours, he gave an exhilarating display of his various musical personas. Bob, on the other hand, was a little more complex. He sat behind his piano grinning and making noises that barely sounded like notes, let alone his own songs. For most of the crowd, though, his mere presence was enough to transport them to another place and time.

  39. Michael E.:

    @ Russ:

    I knew I should have been there.

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