Cutting Up Men, a five track limited edition CDr with individual covers is now available on my bandcamp account. Conceived as a critique of masculinity, this album refers to Wendy Carlos, Colette Peignot, Valerie Solanas and William Burroughs.
My tape album Subsongs is now out on Econore: 10 tracks in 38 minutes as a soundtrack for a movie that was never made. The post-dramatic plot revolves around the lucid-dark, a forged mythology of the Anthropocene, birds, unemployed negativity, and the ghosts of capitalism. Go here for a PDF with extended liner notes.
Also now available now on my own Bandcamp account is the EP The Endless Torture of Hans Zimmer b/w Entropy Come Play with Me (C20 tape, limited edition, custom covers).
Matt Nauseous has written a review for these releases over at Clean Nice Quiet. “ […] 10 tracks of fascinating noise textures, complete with field recordings of birds. Very impressive and inspiring.“
„There’s something very peculiar about this album that goes beyond just haunting or unsettling. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds, un-human. Not as though it is attempting to be aggressive and boisterous, just subtly yet very consciously alien.“ (Subsongs review by Lars Haur – On The Fringes Of Sound)
Ömschen Kerm has released a new Waschzwang compilation. This time the accustomed USB stick is enclosed in a soap dispenser. The compilation contains tracks by Tin Tin Patrone, Jetzmann, Ansgar Wilken and many more. Also includes my new song Curfew.
Get the wohle thing either as a figital download or physical object via Ömschen Kerms bandcamp.
‡‡‡ – limited edition of 5 C60 tapes is now available on bandcamp
Making use of the last remaining C60 tapes in my stock of used cassettes, this release combines six tracks with a stylistic range from almost metal to almost ambient with noise as the combining element. All tracks reflect on the general atmosphere of 2021 so far. Contains my first recorded bass playing in years, some appropriated song titles, the longest song I ever recorded (23 minutes and two seconds) and the general goal of turning unpleasant experiences into something more or less listenable.
was originally planned as a concert performance by Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, David Wallraf, PAAK and The Oval Language during the blurred edges festival at MS Stubnitz (4.6.2021, Hamburg / Germany). Due to the pandemic the event had to be cancelled and we decided to put some new pieces – created for this occasion – on bandcamp as a simulation of the live performances. The interludes are accidental excerpts from radio waves, produced by anonymous people and swirling around the globe (Radio Commune).
The term zubehören is a hybrid combined out of the german words „Zubehör“ (equipment/accessories) and „hören“ (listen).
This virtual concert is part of blurred edges 2021, festival for contemporary music in Hamburg and is supported by the Culture Office of the City of Hamburg.
Get this free album here.
Use Value – limited edition of 10 tapeloops now available.
If you consider buying one of these items, please note that it is not a standard tape. Each of these 10 cassettes contains an individual tapeloop of approx. 5 seconds (or potentially infinite, depending on your perspective) playing time, cut randomly from a mastertape of a 45 minutes noise session. This Non Fungible Tape is of questionable use value and its exchange value is debateable. Here it is set to 7,- Euros per tape and only one per customer.
New digital EP now available on Bandcamp. Dark respiration is a biological term for the metabolism of plants in the absence of light and also a fitting metaphor for the act of breathing during the pandemic.
Wie klingt das Politische? Auf welche Weise werden Macht und Widerstand hörbar? Mit welchen Begriffen lässt sich eine Theorie des Akustischen entwickeln, die diese Kräfteverhältnisse berücksichtigen kann? Grenzen des Hörens widmet sich jenen verdrängten Seiten des Hörbaren, die als Lärm, Rauschen, Geräusche und Störungen vernehmbar werden und die sich mit dem englischen Wort Noise zu einem differenziellen Begriff zusammenfassen lassen. Ausgehend von Noise als einem subkulturellen Genre, das die traditionellen Parameter der Musik dekonstruiert, wird der Begriff bis in Diskurse der Akustik, Thermodynamik und Informationstheorie nachgezeichnet und eine politisch-ästhetische Theorie des Auditiven entworfen. Dabei stützt sich die Arbeit auf die im angloamerikanischen Sprachraum erschienenen Schlüsseltexte zu Noise, deren Kernthesen so erstmals in einer deutschsprachigen Publikation versammelt werden. Der philosophische Ansatz wird in einer Auseinandersetzung mit den Protagonisten des Poststrukturalismus und der kritischen Theorie entwickelt: Spuren von Noise werden in der Dekonstruktion Jacques Derridas, in den Arbeiten von Jean-Luc Nancy, Gilles Deleuzes Differenzphilsophie und der Ästhetischen Theorie Theodor W. Adornos aufgespürt.
Ein zentrales Konzept der Arbeit ist das Auditive Feld des Sozialen, als ein begriffliches Tableau konzipiert, auf dem das Politische hörbar wird und auf dem Sound und Noise in einen Widerstreit treten – nicht als antagonistische Prinzipien, sondern als Bezeichnungen und Zuschreibungen, die ihre Plätze tauschen können und die sich mit Machttechniken und Widerstandskonzepten verknüpfen lassen. Eine kritische Ergänzung zu den Sound Studies, die Geräusche und Lärm als irreduzible Bestandteile des Alltagslebens und der Musik beschreibt und einen Hörraum abseits der glatten Fassaden des Sounddesigns erschliesst.
Mein Buch Grenzen des Hörens. Noise und die Akustik des Politischen ist erhältlich und kann u.a. bei Transcript bestellt werden.
Hier eine überarbeitete Version des dritten Kapitels als radiophonische Vorlesung:
What is the sound of the political? In what ways do power and resistance become audible? What terms can be used to develop a theory of the sonic that can take these power relations into account? Limits of Hearing is dedicated to those repressed sides of the audible that become perceptible as noise – both an acoustic phenomenon and a differential concept. Starting from noise as a subcultural genre that deconstructs the traditional parameters of music, this concept is traced to discourses of acoustics, thermodynamics, and information theory, and a political-aesthetic theory of the auditory is sketched. The work is based on the key texts on noise published in English, whose core theses are gathered together for the first time in a German-language publication. The philosophical approach is developed in an examination of the protagonists of post-structuralism and critical theory: traces of Noise are found in Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction, in the works of Jean-Luc Nancy, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of difference, and Theodor W. Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.
A central concept of the work is the Auditory Field of the Social, conceived as a conceptual tableau on which the political becomes audible and on which sound and noise enter contestation – not as antagonistic principles, but as designations and attributions that can exchange places and be linked to techniques of power and concepts of resistance. A critical complement to Sound Studies, which describes sounds and noise as irreducible components of everyday life and music and opens up a listening space beyond the smooth facades of sound design.
I’m wrapping up this sickening year with a new release. ||| || | ||| is the second in the ’skull series‘ of tapes, containing two tracks recorded in 2020. On the A-side there’s Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair. The title is taken from Patty Water’s 1965 version of the song. It’s not a cover by any means but listening to her song is highly recommended. The high pitched sounds on this track were generated by plucking human hair attatched to a contact microphone (taken from a very special person with black hair). The B-side contains Year Of The Plague which sums up some of my impressions of the last 12 months. The limited edition of 20 tapes with individual covers and/or a digital download is now available through my bandcamp account.
New Delhi’s gallery ONKAF comissioned international sound artists and musicians to produce works for their Life Inbetween series, running 03-12 October. My contribution, the 09:30 min. track Psyche – A Model of Infection is now available on ONKAFs website and on YouTube.
The Greek word psyche, analogous to the Latin spiritus, originally meant breath as well as soul or spirit. The invisible and ephemeral phenomenon of inhalation and exhalation connects the inside and outside of the body, it is both a carrier substance of language and of airborne diseases and also a sign for the liveliness of bodies.
Breath is the starting point of this work: a single and solitary breath, recorded with a throat microphone. The inside corresponds to the body of the individual in a symbolic isolation, which becomes a social reality through the distancing measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This isolated sound, a reference to the desire for interaction with others, is linked to field recordings. These sounds were recorded during the recent years in places that are no longer accessible or difficult to visit due to travel restrictions (a collage of street sounds from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Tokyo and Warsaw). Due to the currently unbridgeable distance, the acoustic reminiscences of these places are charged with nostalgia.
On a further level of the work, an interplay of four different waveforms produced by analog oscillators unfolds in the stereo image – sine wave (left channel), triangular wave (right channel), square wave (half left) and sawtooth wave (half right) appear in a fixed frequency ratio and form a chord. At minute 03:45 a noise signal begins to modulate the first oscillator, the random voltage distribution ‘infecting’ the homogeneous sine wave. The resulting ‘symptoms’ are fluctuations in frequency, a distraction from the normal or ‘healthy’ state. This audio infection is passed on to the next oscillator, while maintaining the characteristics of the sinusoidal oscillation – it is no longer the same noise signal, but a ‘mutation’. This process is repeated until all four oscillations are infected. At the end of the cycle, the output of the last oscillator is fed back to the first – an exponential growth of modulations/infections that changes the characteristics of the whole system.
What remains is the sound of breathing, but no longer as an isolated sound event. By using a vocoder, the sound of breathing becomes the envelope for the collected field recordings, a hybrid sound event that refers to the singularly plural dynamics of the social.