on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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In the Flaming Lips’ song and video “Mother Don’t Be Sad” frontman Wayne Coyne tells the tale of being held at gunpoint as a young man when he worked at Long John Silver’s … it cines close to story Rchard Brautigan might have written. Coyne obviously didn’t die all those years ago at the fast-food restaurant – he wasn’t even injured – but the experience did alter the course of his life. “Well, until then, I could probably say I didn’t realize I was really alive … I never really thought about it. We were living such an insane, healthy, wonderful, happy life – my brothers and all of our friends just running around doing the craziest shit ever. But then I’m laying on the floor thinking: ‘This is how I’m going to die.’” Coyne said he had a lot of anxiety as a younger man that he didn’t want to follow in his family’s working-class footsteps – that he wanted to go into music. This experience, he says, cleared all that up for him. “After this robbery, for a little while, I just thought, ‘It doesn’t matter. They don’t care. They want me to do music,’” he recalled. “So, I think it helped me in that way – to not feel like I had abandoned these things that my father had worked for. So, I have to say, I think it was probably the greatest gift a young person could have – to suddenly get a new perspective on what’s important in your life.”


2021 23 Jan

Rams 1

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  1. Bright Clouds of Metal
  2. Harmonic Guitar
  3. Unusual Temperament
  4. A Warm Sweet Bed
  5. Beautiful Metals
  6. Designer Piano
  7. Generative Lounge
  8. Design as Reduction
  9. Al’Khwarizmi Piano
  10. Shimmering Future
  11. For A New Design


Praise for ‚Rams: Original Soundtrack Album‘ (out now. The record has recently been released as part of the Record Store Day) / „Subliminal atmospheric timbres and tranquil melodic phrases,“ Uncut / „So still and calm, Rams couldn’t have designed it better himself. A proper Eno prime cut,“ Electronic Sound / Brian Eno’s score adds to the movie’s linear elegance,“ New York Times / „Poignant melodies,“ Prog / „This is striking, ranging between grinding threat and lovely ethereal plinking,“ The Arts Desk / „A joyful journey,“ Hi Fi Choice 4/5


From the playlist of „Radionacht Klanghorizonte“, February 20, played in one sequence without talking except two poems placed in between:


Trio Tapestry (ECM Records) 
Brian Eno: Rams OST
Jakob Bro / Arve Henriksen / Jorge Rossy  (ECM Records)
Brian Eno: Rams OST
Trio Tapestry (ECM Records)



„Between those who stay and those who leave / I remain / But we got swept away… / There is no downside (What do I mean?) /  There is no upside / There is no upside / There is no upside

And I can hold the hand / And I can read the will /And I can read the room / But it’s all against my will / Up and scarper

Three times three plus four / Thanks to the secret beach, we’re going swimming / from the secret beach / and Neil Gow’s Lament / In my thin maniacal charity suit I wow the crowd but / I do not swallow, I do not swallow / I do not swallow a holy word / St Patrick came between us / Of hallowed healers / Shallow pasty-faced revealers / Convenience stealers / And I have felt many times / That I was jumped upon from behind / Hoodwinked, banjoed, misinformed, / Abandoned and Maligned / And this fellow’s family / Was just one curiosity / There is no downside (what do you mean?), / there is no upside, / there is no upside.“




James Yorkston – Vocals, guitar / Emma Nordenstam – piano / Ulrika „Ullis” Gyllenberg – violins / Per Lager – drums / Karl Jonas Winqvist – percussion, bells, vocals / Felix Wickman – omnichord / Lars Fredrik Swahn – bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, vocals


„There Is No Upside“ could be the best song he’s ever written: no bad and no good, life’s only what unfolds in front of us. It’s faultless in its execution, and brought me to tears the first time I heard it.

(Marianne Gallagher, clashmusic)

Enchanting vocal lines, always open for surprising diversions, and, gosh, all the other voices and instruments intuitively joining  in! Moreover, the album has an unbeatable sequence with its seven songs, and affords itself the luxury of ending with a down-tempo song where uplift and good vibes are usually taking center stage. First verse: „All of my friends are solitary creatures.“

(Michael Engelbrecht, manafonistas)


2021 15 Jan

Tropische Gelüste

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Carla Bley: „Tropic Appetites“ (1974)Am Mikrofon: Michael Frank. Drei Jahre nach Veröffentlichung der epochalen Triple-LP „Escalator over the hill“ erschien 1974 die zweite Sammlung von Bleys genresprengenden Kompositionen zu Texten von Paul Haines. Inspirationsquelle der surrealen Gedichte waren längere Aufenthalte des Autors in Indien und Südostasien. Obwohl nur eine einzelne LP, ist das von einem Oktett eingespielte Album „Tropic Appetites“ alles andere als ein Anti-Klimax zur Jazz-Oper „Escalator over the hill“. In den komplexen, mehrteiligen Stücken gibt es Anklänge an Songs von Brecht/Weill und fernöstliche Tönungen. Zu hören sind auch Jazz-Rock typische Bass-Riffs und feurige Soli von Tenorsaxofonist Gato Barbieri – und ein ganz besonderes Kinderlied, gesungen u.a. von Bleys damals sechsjähriger Tochter Karen Mantler. Ein weiteres Highlight des Albums ist die Stimme von Julie Tippetts, die nur wenige Jahre zuvor unter ihrem Mädchennamen Julie Driscoll Erfolge in der Popwelt gefeiert hatte. (Die Sendung kann sieben Tage in der Audiothek des Deutschlandfunks nachgehört werden. Der Link findet sich in comment 3.)



Mit den Soloalben von Jeff Tweedy und Nels Cline und einem umfangreichen Box-Set von Summerteeth aus dem Jahr 1999 sind die Wilco-Fans in letzter Zeit nicht gerade ausgehungert worden; falls doch, könnten sie jederzeit Tweedys Anweisungen in seinem neuen Buch How To Write One Song folgen und selbst welche machen. Weitere Abwechslung kommt jedoch von einer unwahrscheinlichen Quelle. Es stellt sich heraus, dass Barry Jenkins, der Filmregisseur von Moonlight, eine subversive Liebe zu Wilcos Meilenstein aus dem Jahr 2002, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, hat. Daher „Yankee Purple Foxtrot“, Jenkins‘ Remake des gesamten Albums (streaming auf, in dem er  über verwandelten Versionen von The Chopstars singt, den Meistern des „Chopped and Screwed„-Remix-Stils, der aus dem Houstoner Hip-Hop entstand. Das erweist sich als gewitzte Idee: die ziemliche Verrücktheit des Produktionsstils verstärkt nur die seltsame Unheimlichkeit dieser Songs: „Voices escape singing sad sad songs“ – in der Tat.  (J.M. & M.E.)



Hi Michael, Hope you are doing fine! Good here, despite it all, enjoying the winter and the cold with skiing, keeping myself busy with small things, fex making records! New album coming on Fenruary 5th. Solo live-performance from Oslo in March 2020 recorded and released now. New, own label (!) „Hemli“ (the solo album will be available on  CD, LP and downloads via Bandcamp.) (soon up…) / No streaming yet (stop the steal). 

Got the chance to develop a solo-set last year when no concerts suddenly was the reality. This is I guess a subtle set, dynamic, delicate, dreamy. Daring? Somehow standing on the shoulders of the work I did with my release Reveries and Revelations, but this time all live, in the moment, Subtle effects and acoustic bass over it.
good and hopeful greetings fro the coming months for us all!
Mats [Eilertsen]


2021 1 Jan

„The Two Brians“

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Brian Eno and Prof Brian Cox join Shaun Keaveny for their 5th annual Special – this year recorded remotely from locations in London and Suffolk.

Previous years have seen the two Brian’s joining Shaun at the top of the BT Tower, the Greenwich Observatory, Brian Eno’s studio … and the local pub! But this year, due to social distancing guidelines we joins the chaps from their home locations, recording this programme remotely.

Prof Cox goes enthusiastic about Joni Mitchell‘s Miles of Aisles-album, and Brian Eno remembers high risk touring with Roxy Music in America.

There will of course be some incredible music choices from the two Brian’s but mostly we’ll be looking back on 2020 and their views on the Covid-19 Pandemic and how this has changed human interaction and our relationship with leaders and science. Plus, as its New Year’s Day – what can we look forward to in 2021?


The Two Brians Special

available for 29 days (the conversation parts start at 39‘00‘‘)



Im Jahr 1977 brachte die NASA an Bord der Raumsonden Voyager 1 und 2 vergoldete Schallplatten ins All, die eine Art Zeitkapsel des Lebens auf der Erde darstellen. Die kleinen grünen Männchen, die das Glück haben, die Bilder und Töne zu entdecken, die auf jeder Platte enthalten sind, darunter eine 90-minütige Auswahl an Musik, können sich an Bachs Brandenburgischem Konzert Nr. 2, Walgesang und einer Aufnahme von Gehirnströmen eines verliebten Menschen erfreuen. Man könnte den Inhalt der Platten durchaus mit Samples aus einem Avalanches-Album verwechseln, und in der Tat betrachtet das dritte Werk der australischen Elektronikgruppe, We Will Always Love You, die spirituellen und kosmischen Implikationen, die von diesen Platten präsentiert werden.

Ich möchte hinzufügen, dass ich die Avalanches CD ganz und gar enttäuschend finde. / m.e.

2020 22 Dez

Letter from Minneapolis

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Most self-taught musicians analyze the music they love and have loved, trying to understand how the music found its final form.

There is music that I adore and have some understanding of. Hendrix’s “Moon Turn the Tides” is one of the first compositions in the realm of popular music that used the recording studio as an instrument in itself.  It is complex and groundbreaking, but I do comprehend the moving parts; I see Eddie Kramer and Hendrix moving faders on a mixing console, one hand on a tape recorder feeding delay into the console, another hand manipulating an Echoplex, the analog mixer dotted with pieces of tape marking EQ and volume levels.  Musicians like myself have had the thought, “Maybe I can do something like that.”  We’ve tried and failed.

Then there’s music that can be appreciated, but is understood as being outside the musician’s musical capabilities.  “A Love Supreme” is much more than just Coltrane, it’s Coltrane-Garrison-Jones-Tyner as a hydra-headed musical animal with decades of passionate, luminous experience to draw from.  They spent an enormous amount of time with their instruments and each other.  Musicians hear that music and think, “Well, maybe I could do that, if I could only go back in time 50 years and practice 10 hours a day and find the right people to work with.”  Not possible, and even if it were, doomed to failure.

Finally there’s music that seems to come from nowhere.  It’s music created by a fellow creative human, but for many of usit’s difficult to comprehend the mind and the setting of conventional time and space that could give rise to something like “Kommtihr Töchter” from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.  

Years ago we played a gig in Leipzig and had a day off to wander the town.  I walked past St. Thomas church and wondered how a writer or composer would converse with J. S. Bach’s about his creative process.  The opening chorale to St. Matthew Passion seems opaque to inquiry.  What questions could even be asked?  “Did the music come all at once, was it a struggle, were there lots of revisions, did you just sit in a room with only a pen, ink and staff paper, did you ever despair?”  It seemed slightly incredible that there was a time, several hundred years ago, when this work did not exist, and then a time, several hundred years ago plus several months, when it did.  

“The Suspended Harp of Babel” (Cyrillus Kreek / Vox Clamantis – ECM New Series; added by M.E.) seems to be in this third class of work, or close to it.  This year, 2020, I came back again and again to this music from nowhere, especially the compositions Päeval ei pea päikeneJakobi unenäguAlguslaul and Issand, ma hüüan Su poole.


Steve Tibbetts



„Coney Island“ (Official Lyric Video)


(recommended by JS)


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