on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2021 9 Dez

Conor and his head trips 2021

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

Ich bin im „Jammertal“ angekommen, ein Ferienresort, aufgrund der Waldlandschaft und der Temperaturen erinnert es eher weniger an „The White Lotus“. Ein Tor zum Münsterland. Am ersten Abend sass am Nachbartisch – kein Witz – ein gewisser Herr Engelbrecht. Ich fragte freundlich, ob es sich da um eine Verwechslung handele mit dem Namensschild, aber nein, er heisst tatsächlich Engelbrecht, Markus Engelbrecht. Wie konnten in Kürze jede Art von dramatischem Zufall ausschliessen und stiessen mit einem Frischgezapften auf die Namensgleichheit an. Am gleichen Abend hörte ich, angeregt durch Conor O‘Briens  kurze Anmerkungen, in Ruhe „A Beginner‘s Mind“ an – was für eine leise Freude in der Behaglichkeit meines Zimmers mit Märchenwaldstockfinsterblick. Conors jüngstes Album „Fever Dreams“ (unter seinem Markenzeichen „Villagers“) ist einfach soooo gut, und nimmt den Platz 22 in meiner Jahresliste ein, direkt vor Sufjan Stevens‘ filmreifem Album mit einem alten Kumpel.


For me, the Best Thing is a toss-up between Sufjan Stevens & Angelo DeAugustine’s album, A Beginner’s Mind, and Promises, the Floating Points album with Pharoah Sanders. The Floating Points record dropped in the middle of myAlice Coltrane/ spiritual jazz obsession, so it arrived at the perfect moment. It’s like an inner journey – sometimes deeply intimate, then zooming out to take in the full orchestra.

The Sufjan record – oh my God! There’s almost too much to say about it. I’ve listened to it again and again, googling the lyrics, ’cos each song is loosely based on a different movie, but they only use the movies as starting points. One of the songs, Back To Oz, is based on Return To Oz, which is the creepy, weird Wizard Of Oz sequel from 1985, where Dorothy’s getting electro-shock therapy. It haunted me as a child. And Sufjan turned it into this really trippy, dreamy track.

This year I returned to Linda Perhacs’s Parallelograms, because there’s a quote from an interview with her on my album. She has that Laurel Canyon hippy thing, but there’s a naivety that’s really appealing, a pure authenticity and a desire for a positive future for mankind. Then in terms of new discoveries from the past – the record that sticks out is The Peaceful Side [1963] by Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington’s right-hand man. It’s the sound of the dreamiest piano sprinkled with occasional sleepy barbershop backing vocals drenched in the creamiest reverb ever. I love it so much.“

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