Music

Murcof and AntiVJ‘s Simon Geilfus @ Berlin Atonal

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Yesterday we experience one of the most immersive experience with the collaboration between Mexican electronic composer Murcof and AntiVJ‘s Simon Geilfus at Berlin Atonal. With large, semi-transparent screens, they create a fully immersive environment in which microscopic particles, geometric grids and organic elements are mapped in wondrous 3D perspective to the sound of ambient and droning electronica. As amateurs pics I took with my iphone will not make justice to the show, I have collected some professional pics from this collaboration that already last 4 years (2009).

Photo credit: Mathias Verjeslev
Photo credit: Mathias Verjeslev
License: All rights reserved by Simon Geilfus
License: All rights reserved by Simon Geilfus
License: All rights reserved by Simon Geilfus
License: All rights reserved by Simon Geilfus
All rights reserved by Itaú Cultural
All rights reserved by Itaú Cultural
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‘Schwarz oder weiß, es ist mir gleich. Es gibt keine Farben in diesem blauen Reich’ Joris Van de Moortel @ Künstlerhaus Bethanien, January 17th, 2013

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Joris Van de Moortel is concerned with architecture as an important medium of our mental and physical experiences of space. Besides musical performances, he  creates assemblages, which often resemble stage sets or the remains of a performance. For his generally large-scale installation works, Van de Moortel uses pedestals, walls and boxes or a number of things that seem to have been found by chance: towels, musical instruments, door leaves, a single window, or an old cooking pot are combined into unpretentious artefacts, which seem to bear their own, expansive dynamics within them. The artist bundles, ties, screws, and then shuts up his work in wooden or acrylic glass cases, or he has them hang from the ceiling in bin-bags. His environments  – often in conjunction with musical performances – are inspired by found situations and often they have no clearly defined beginning, middle or end. Thus, the artist often ‘recycles’ the work at the end of an exhibition by destroying it, and constructing a new work with the help of the resultant junk. In this way, the “undoing” in Van de Moortel’s work becomes an important aspect of the “doing”.

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Joris Van de Moortel is a grantee of the Flemish Government in Künstlerhaus Bethanien. As the 17th of January were also Open Studios at Bethanien, this last picture is an installation in his studio.

The video below correspond to the last 25 seconds of the performance that accompanied the exhibition-installation… all is blue…

EXHIBITION: 18.01. – 10.02.2013. Tue – Sun: 2 – 7pm. Admission free.

Text source: http://www.bethanien.de/en/exhibitions/automatisch-gespeicherter-entwurf-2/

Noisekölln presents Justice Yeldham @ West Germany, April 28th, 2012

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Lucas Abela (aka Justice Yeldham) cheeks are flattened by the glass, the foot of his tongue presses against his instrument like some over-satiated worm, blood eventually cloaks the glass in a pink fluoroscent haze, and then … he bites the glass into pieces until it’s nothing but a bloodied mound of shrapnel at his feet. The noise his instrument emits ranges from a subterranean death rattle through to a squalling motorised melee, with plenty of sonic variations in between.

According to Bruce Russell – WIRE magazine, Justice Yeldham is “the most exciting performer I have seen in the last three years – in fact, since I first saw Iggy Pop. Ecstatically Abela purses his lips against amplified glass whilst deftly employing various vocal techniques ranging from throat singing to raspberries turning the discarded shards into crude musical instruments, resulting is a wild array of cacophonous noise that is strangely controlled and oddly musical. The instruments simple, original and effective premise is a welcome riposte to over complicated musical performances of modern times. A one of a kind act re-defining the expression ‘don’t try this at home’ this show quite simply needs to be witnessed to be fully appreciated, let alone understood”.

The line up at West Germany on the night of April 28th was:
Justice Yeldham: http://dualplover.com/abela
Ill Winds: http://illwinds.bandcamp.com/
Moon Wheel: http://www.moonwheel.org/
Anna Vo & Peter Newman: http://annavo.wordpress.com/ & http://peter-newman.com/

The video below shows Justice Yeldham at minute 0:00, Anna Vo & Peter Newman at minute 1:56, Ill Winds at minute 2:40 and Moon Wheel at minute 3:15 

Text source: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeYeldham/info and http://www.messandnoise.com/icons/4224165

data.anatomy [civic] by Ryoji Ikeda @ Kraftwerk Berlin, April 18th, 2012

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data.anatomy [civic] is a new audiovisual installation by the acclaimed Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda,arising from a unique collaboration with Mitsuru Kariya, the development leader of the new Honda Civic. Exhibited as a 3-screen video projection, data.anatomy [civic] immerses viewers in an intricate yet vast audiovisual composition derived from the entire data set of the car.

The unprecedented cooperation is the result of numerous discussions. They concluded with the artist invitation to explore the complete and uncensored technical vehicle data. In his work, Ikeda abstracts the complexity of the physical object into a captivated aesthetic experience.
“The core of my work is the composition of music, materials, physical phenomena and abstract concepts. In this project the invisible multi-substance of the vehicle data is subject of my composition” said Ryoji Ikeda. “As a Japanese artist, I have great respect for Honda’s long tradition of excellence and innovation in engineering. My installation verse on the diversity of ideas, beauty  and ephemeral concepts that are embodied in the car”.
“Over the past four years my team and I were dedicated to the design and development of the new Civic. The way our work is interpreted by Ryoji Ikeda is an extraordinary honour for all of us”, says Mitsuru Kariya, technical director Honda Civic. “Everyone who is involved in the project, is thrilled by the result”.

The installation opened at MUMA (Kraftwerk) Berlin on April 19th and last till May 5th 2012.

The amaaaaazinggggg video shown below was created by data.anatomy team on the installation with some insights from Ryoji 

Free translation by me from original in german at http://www.mumaberlin.de/programm.html

Club culture: Untuned, Mathias Meindl @ Brunnen70, March 30th, 2012

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The cultural association Zurmöbelfabrik -that promotes contemporary media and free art- opens  a new space. Faithful to their principles, they opened a space for images, music, cabaret and its prospects. They use cooperation as mode of working as it guarantees variety and flexibility. The  new place is located in Wedding, because the prices are moderate and the area is still left without commercial pressure. It is a former furniture store with the 70’s charm. The only access is through the elevator, there is not any sign for the entrance. There are many rooms and many doors. No one knows where are they, not even the owner… The building has a foreclosure. So before it ends in the hands of real state speculators, everyone here does something, as used to be and as it should be. At nights the place is musically dedicated to electronic music, but open to any other directions, as they specify in the web site.

Zurmöbelfabrik declare in a kind of manifest in their web site: “Wrong people want to think they are doing the right thing. In ‘the land of plenty’ we do not have intellectual babblers, at the contrary they have potentially the rave-o-tionary (rave-o-lutionären) folks of the nation. Therefore the have formed the Elektronische Befreiungsfront -EBF (Electronic Liberation Front) in which they hardly believe. They proclaim that sound system is amazing, the plates and the the control board are provided to create transitions, reverb, delay and echo. The system reach since the vocals to bass lines and medium scales, if it otherwise does not get further… RAVE-O-LUTION IM UNTERGRUND ORGANISIEREN! = RAVE-O-LUTION UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATION!”

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Every last weekend of the mount, Untuned (UD) organizes an event here. The video below correspond to Mathias Meindl set.
Text source: Very, very free translation for German in the Brunnen70 web page: http://www.brunnen70.de

Manuel Göttsching & Joshua Light Show @ Tm – HKW, February 4th, 2012

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The performance programme of transmediale reflects the relationship between “old” and “new” media. A range of works will be presented which use digital “listening devices” to analogue media and thereby lure out the “ghosts in the machine” that gives name to this performances programm.

Joshua Light Show perform in a setting which combines analogue with modern digital projection techniques. As a special highlight, JLS featuring Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra, de), know as Krautrock / cosmic / minimalism giant, will be bringing together analogue and digital sound-production, and featuring exponents of so-called hauntology and hypnagogic pop.

Manuel Göttsching’s (de) carrier spans over 40 years. First known in the early 1970s as a founder of the German cosmic rockers Ash Ra Tempel – later known as Ashra – Göttsching earned a reputation with his usually atmospheric and subtle guitar work. After a number of albums throughout the 70s, Göttsching’s most decisive and enduring work was released in 1984: E2-E4, a masterpiece of economy. Its hypnotic, treated synth and drum machine loop morphs and unfolds gradually over the entire first side of the album without ever loosing focus – before side two continues with Göttsching’s unique guitar-playing, which unpretentiously blends into the soundscape. With its stringent funkiness and minimalist sonic precision, it became a touchstone for much of the electronic dance music that would later emerge from Germany and internationally. Göttsching has remained active throughout the years while maintaining his position as grand seigneur of Krautrock, cosmic and minimal music.

Text source: http://www.transmediale.de/content/joshua-light-show-ft-manuel-göttsching

Zodiak revisted V featuring Qluster @ Club Transmediale – HAU 2, February 1st, 2012

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The Zodiak Free Arts Lab was legendary music and performance space, opened in 1967 by Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Boris Schaak.  It was located in the ground floor of the actual HAU 2  (Hebbel Am Ufer) and remained active till the end of 1969.

A novel platform with an open-door policy and a serene disregard of filters such as “education”, “skill” and “virtuosity”, The Zodiak served to incubate and launch the musical careers of Kluster (trio composed by 2 of The Zodiak’s founders: Schintzler & Roedelius plus Dieter Moebius), Ash-Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, … as well as other projects of the “Berlin School” closely related to krautrock.

“Qluster” (whose video is attached below) is a new formation to follow “Cluster”: its two main members Joachim Roedelius and Onnen Bock will continue to work under the concept of improvised music with electro-acoustic sound sources that in 1969  started with “Kluster”. Text source: http://www.ctm-festival.de/ctm-festival/specials/zodiak-revisited.html

History of krautrock

The 1968 German & Italian student movement, French protests had created a class of young, intellectual continental listeners, while nuclear weapons, pollution and war inspired protests and activism. Avant-garde music had taken a turn towards the electronic in the mid-1950s. Minimalist music emerged in the beginning of the 60s with the works of Americans La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich using drones and loops (often with synthesizers and tapes) in a kind of psychedelic and space-oriented music.

The key component characterizing the groups gathered under the term is the synthesis of rock and roll rhythm and energy with a decided will to distance themselves from specifically American blues origins, but to draw on German or other sources instead.

These factors all laid the scene for the explosion in what came to be termed krautrock. Like their American, British and international counterparts, German rock musicians played a kind of psychedelic music, however, there was no attempt to reproduce the effects of drugs, but rather an innovative fusion of psychedelia with jazz, free-jazz and the electronic avant-garde. The next few years saw a wave of pioneering groups. In 1968, Can formed by two former students of experimental classical music composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen  added jazz to the mix. The following year saw Kluster (later Cluster) begin recording keyboard-based electronic instrumental music with an emphasis on static drones. In 1970, Popol Vuh became the first krautrock group to use an electronic synthesizer, to create what would be known as “kosmische musik”. By 1971, the bands Tangerine Dream and Faust began to use electronic synthesizers, tape manipulation and advanced production. The bands Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Sand and Cosmic Jokers, all linked by collaboration with Klaus Schulze, would follow suit in the years to come.

Bands such as these were reacting against the post-WWII cultural vacuum in Germany and tending to reject Anglo-American popular culture in favour of creating their own more radical and experimental new German culture and identity, and to develop a radically new musical aesthetic.

In 1972, two albums incorporated European rock and electronic psychedelia with Asian sounds: Popol Vuh and Deuter. Meanwhile, kosmische musik saw the release of two double albums, Klaus Schulze’s Cyborg and Tangerine Dream’s Zeit , while a band called Neu! began to play highly rhythmic music. By the middle of the decade, one of the best-known German bands, Kraftwerk, had released albums like Autobahn and Radioaktivität , which laid the foundation for the British 1980s synthpop/new wave music, electro, techno and other styles later in the century.

By the mid-late 70s onward the terms electronic rockelectronic musicnew instrumental music and new age have been used more often than Krautrock and Kosmische Musik. A common rhythm featured in the music was a steady 4/4 beat, base of all actual electronic music.

Text source: http://www.scaruffi.com/history/german.html