This summer I produced Philomena Lauprecht’s album Against Evil Company. She is an artist from Hamburg who recently moved to Berlin and also plays in the art-pop band Die Maßnahme. Against Evil Company is her first solo recording and I feel honoured by the trust she put into my abilities as a producer/engineer. It is availble as a tape on Philomena’s Bandcamp and will soon be released on Econore records.
Against Evil Company is a re-working of the songbook Divine and Moral Songs for Children, first published in the 1720 by Isaac Watts. It is a collection of little Hymns and Prayers that were recited as songs and poems to direct children onto the right path. Philomena’s re-interpretation of these songs confronts the influential and cognitive power of morality and religion. Against Evil Company is a grim tribute to the aesthetics of hymn-writing. It also contains a cover of Bruce Haack’s 1972 song Rain of Earth.
For At Land a score was developed while Meshes of the Afternoon was more improvised. For both films the instrumentation was modular synthesizer, loop player and modified zither.
On June 1st I played at Kino 46 cinema in Bremen as part of the Flickertunes series.
On August 29th the films were screened at Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte as part of the Sommernachtskino event. Also playing that night was Ansgar Wilken who accompanied the Maya Deren films A Study in Choreography for Camera and Ritual in Transfigured Time. Due to technical difficulties the recording of Meshes of the Afternoon contains some unintended distortions.
The final screening took place at Kunstverein Flensburg on October 26th.
Will play MS Stubnitz in Hamburg once again on Thursday, October 17th at the finissage of No Escape Room exhibition. Also playing will be Die Deutsche Post Punk, plus a performance by Alexandra Stadnik and Junya Fuyita. Free admission.
A field recording I made of bats in a park in Hamburg (pitched down several octaves so that the animals become audible) has made it on the compilation DSR#170 | Sound Imagery by Default Standard Records from Greece. Lots of other great recordings from various locations around the world to explore there.
Also, my track Stuck In The VIP Lounge is included on Syrphe’s compilation Sri Lanka – ශ්රී ලංකාව among songs by Cedrik Fermont, Isuru Kumarasinghe and many more.
This is the statement by Cedrik Fermont who compiled and mastered this release:
„A compilation dedicated to the Sri Lankan people, all benefits will be given to Raise Sri Lanka, an organisation that collects money in order to supply medicines to those in need.
Sri Lanka is one more country that faces a huge crisis due to political, economic and agronomic mismanagement and corruption. For the first time in its history, the country is facing famine. This is not due to climate change and bad weather conditions but to corrupted politicians whose noble ambition to entirely ban pesticides was implemented from one day to another without prior knowledge of the dreadful consequences of such badly planned action. A switch to organic agriculture is important but it is obvious that such change should be done slowly and carefully. There is no need to be a genius to understand that organic agriculture produces less than the current agricultural model, especially if farmers have not been taught how to deal with organic farming.
Some people never learn.
History has showed us what kind of disaster politicians with little understanding of agriculture and land management can trigger, even when they come from a farmer family (I think about Chinese leader Mao Zedong and its attempt to eradicate sparrows that led to a booming locust population that ate everything in its path, therefore, grain production in most rural areas collapsed and a massive famine began but I also think about the Khmer Rouge policies in Cambodia that had foreseeable and avoidable consequence and that despite the regime’s leaders awareness of their catastrophic effects continued to be strictly enforce and led to a famine too).
In the Khmer language, two words exist to define „famine“, one is „turaphik“ (when starvation is due to natural causes), the other one is „bong-ot“, that implies human causality.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his clan brought an entire nation to its knees by misguided ambitions that are unfortunately leading to „bong-ot“.
„David Wallraf’s Нет Войне is 20-minutes of insistent anarchist noise-dub, with the release’s title transliterating from Cyrillic to English as “NO WAR”. Opener ‚I Hate My Government and I Hate Your Government‘ presses go on drum machines that beat out a Kingston-by-way-of-Sheffield pulse, a steady march which wobbles through buzzing oscillator tones that mass overhead. From the Iron Works there emerges a loping bass groove, which is swallowed up in a haze of static; on the other side of the clag, it continues its march, careening unto the void. ‚Congagement‘ takes a step back from the brink and subsumes the steady metronomic pace of the assembly line, a waning crepuscular crescent in which radiophonics dance and a tidal force of noise wash ebbs against the mix at low water. In ‚Everything is Going According to Plan’ the emphasis shifts to consider the ideological absurdities of nationalistic fantasy which keep the war machine in motion. A dubbed-out groove emerges from a shrouded woodland; nocturnal reverberations, dewy synthesisers and stuttering echoes lead the glowering bassline back to the factory floor and the trance of machine rhythm. Insistent bleeps and discordant signals build themselves into uneven steeples of tone — multi-layered sonic ecologies, leaden with the necropolitics of the imperial war machine — before erupting in a spew of industrial clatter and buzz.
Produced in solidarity with the LGBTQ people of Ukraine, all proceeds from Нет Войне will be donated to Nash Svit, an organisation who for more than twenty years has documented violations of LGBTQ people in Ukraine and advocated for the protection of the rights and interests of the Ukrainian LGBTQ community. Just before the war, Nash Svit advocated for the criminalisation of hate crimes on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and the adoption of legislation on same-sex civil partnership. At the time of writing, Nash Svit note that the Ukrainian LGBTQ community is experiencing many of the same problems as the rest of the nation due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, though the organisation highlights that there are a number of specific and pressing issues affecting trans*people: “They may have problems with necessary medications and discrepancy of their documents to their appearance, especially when crossing the state border. In addition, Ukrainian society still remains quite homophobic and even more transphobic. In the current grave situation, many Ukrainian LGBTQ organisations are experiencing shortage of funding necessary to work and help the community”. Further information on the organisation and donations available here:
Crisis (as well as critique) stems from the old Greek κρίνειν (krínein), meaning „to distinguish, to differentiate” or “to separate”. The original meaning of apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις) is „revelation, disclosure, unveiling”.
At least since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, crises have spread on a global level. Climate crisis, political crises, wars, refugee crises, pandemics etc. have become ubiquitous, are interlinked and seem to multiply by the month. If etymology is of any help in understanding the current situation, one could say that the concept of crisis is in crisis itself: if too many differentiations (between before and after, between ‘normal’ and ‘unprecedented’ etc.) happen at the same time, the terrain becomes unstable, confusing and seemingly undifferentiated. Crisis as something that forces a Kantian critique to its limits because reason is confronted with too many fault lines to distinguish between. The ‘new normal’ becomes its own ontology, leaving the old one behind, crisis becomes perpetual and tiresomely quotidian. When crisis becomes the mode of normalcy itself, something else happens: the gradual revealing of a different world we are all going to inhabit; apocalypse not as the end of the world itself but as the end of a certain way of living in this world, of viewing it, structuring it, giving it meaning and interacting with and within it. This apocalypse strikes hard in the places where a certain concept of ‘normalcy’ has been central for stabilizing the social, political and economical status quo (e.g. affluent, white, heteronormative etc.). The world (i.e. certain concepts of the world, ways of viewing and explaining it) is ending for sure, what is going to be unveiled will be the result of the struggles we are currently living through.
On July first I will perform live scores for two silent movies by Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and At Land (1944) at City 46 Kino in Bremen. Deren (*1917 in Kiev, Ukraine, † 1961 New York City) was an American director, film theorist, avantgarde dancer and expert on Haitian voodoo. Her unsettling early films bring a decidedly feminine perspective to the aesthetics of surrealist filmmaking, something I enjoy after last years score work for Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali.
Tickets are 10,- € or 7,50 € reduced and can be bought from City 46. Recordings of the show will be made available here.