Monday, December 20, 2010

SoundsXP reviews DVD "The Transatlantic Feedback"

http://soundsxp.com/artman2/publish/special/Monks_DVD_Transatlantic_feedback.shtml

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Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback 
A Film By Dietmar Post & Lucia Palacios

Article written by Kev O - Dec 19, 2010
monks: The Transatlantic Feedback
monks: The Transatlantic Feedback
In 1966 five former-GIs living in Germany walked into a recording studio in Köln and produced a record that was a true ‘one-off’, music that seemed to come out of nowhere and which still has resonance today: it was ‘Black Monk Time’ by Monks.

‘The Transatlantic Feedback’ – now available for the first time in the UK as an official release (although it was originally released in 2008, when it won the Adolf Grimme Award) - tells the story of Monks, in their own words, with clips from the time: from their genesis, to revelation, to diaspora and the second coming. It’s a very human story – funny, sad, and triumphant – about how five ordinary guys came to make, albeit briefly, extraordinary music, far away and unheard of in their homeland, prophets unrecognised. It’s a great DVD, with superb extras.

At the start of the film Hans Joachim Irmler, founder member of legendary Krautrock band Faust, tells us how at the age of 15 he saw Monks performing on German TV and was blown away: “The vitality, the minimalism, the hardness…there was nothing like it”. It was a world away from, and antidote to, the soporific sounds of the Beatles and the ‘unmentionable’ Rolling Stones. For him, it was an epiphany: without Monks there would have been no Faust. If people had understood it in 1966, he remarks, the 1968 revolution would have happened two years earlier. But it was too hard, too minimal…people didn’t ‘buy’ it, Monks were dissolved, heretics consigned to a footnote in musical history.

Genesis

The DVD covers the early days, with Gary Burger (guitar) and Eddie Shaw (bass), then serving in the US Army based in West Germany, meeting up to jam in the camp service club. They set up a band – The Torquays – as a way of breaking out of the confines of Army life and getting to meet German people. Once discharged they stayed on in Germany, continuing to play the bars and clubs wherever they could. Now known as the 5 Torquays – and what was later to become Monks - Gary Burger (lead guitar, lead vocals), Eddie Shaw (bass guitar, vocals), Larry Clark (organ, vocals), Dave Day (rhythm gtr, later banjo for Monks, vocals) and Roger Johnston (drums, vocals), played popular stuff of the time: Kinks, Rolling Stones, and especially the Beatles. Beatlemania had hit Germany big time. But they were just one band amongst many - there was a lot of competition and they needed to develop their own show to stand out, the music wasn’t enough. By this time something else was happening to them. They all had Germans girlfriends and wives. They were now playing as civilians in clubs, no longer as GIs in GI bars. Consequently, they began to lose their American identity. And, arguably, the sense of being tied to a musical legacy, e.g. that which created rock’n’roll. They also realised that they all got along well, and that they could stay together to do a record. So they recorded a single – 'There She Walks' b/w 'Boys are Boys'. By their own admission it was not great, but at least it was a step in the right direction. They were also looking out to be spotted by possible managers or record companies.

Revelation

And it is at this point that two central characters in Monks' history appear - Karl-H Remy and Walther Niemann (neither appear in the film: Walther says that a good manager should always stay in the background, and Karl, long presumed dead but found to be alive during the making of the film, also refused to take part). They were not record company people but designers/artists/theorists who said they were looking for a band/project. That project was ‘monks’. At first, the band thought that Karl and Walther were crazy. They talked about power of communication, of images. They even drew up six rules of Monks' image, which included always were black, always be a Monk, never be a Torquay… The tonsure haircut was a reaction to the long, coiffured hair of the beat groups. Again the group weren’t sure, but one by one they did it. They donned black clothes, and wore rope for ties as if nooses. The reaction was remarkable and instant. It made them all feel completely different, alien. People would walk out of their way, and avoided eye contact.

Karl and Walther also talked about making a primal music: that the emphasis should be placed on rhythm. There should be simple chord progressions, working for tension rather than melody. The guitar should be distorted, the organ shrieking and non-melodic. The drums should focus on tom-toms and not use cymbals. The rhythm guitar, now inaudible, was replaced by an electrified banjo. The lyrics were kept to a minimum and repetitive, the vocal variously screaming, shouting, speaking. The old Torquays material was deconstructed in this way – the chords reduced, the lyrics curtailed. All this was met with some scepticism – what the hell was this, they asked? It was not something the Rolling Stones would play or cover. In fact, nobody had played this sort of thing before. But they experimented – sometimes ad libbing and ranting: which is how the rant in ‘Monk Time’ came about. A demo was made and they were picked up by Polydor International. ‘Black Monk Time’ was recorded quickly, in 2 days, and the sound engineer describes how recording was not about single instruments but the total sound of the group, the main microphone used being an ambient one. At a loss for words the company representative describes it as an early form of heavy metal, so loud he had to walk outside to listen to it.

Monks moved to Hamburg, then the beat music centre and where the Beatles had grafted away in their early years. Hamburg loved Monks. Perhaps it was more open minded – possibly because it is a port city and a melting pot – but outside of the city the reception to Monks' music was different, met by indifference, stunned faces or simply hate. This had an effect on the band: they were hated and they hated. They just wanted to play, get it over and done with, and move on to the next gig. Nor were they making much money from this. The LP didn’t sell and there was pressure to soften the hard sound – the resulting single 'Love Can Tame The Wild' b/w 'He Went Down To The Sea' moved away from Monks’ sound but it didn’t sell either. The management was crumbling too and without their guidance and support Monks felt lost. Doubt grew in their minds. They all drifted from the Monks image - stopped wearing black, grew their hair, weren’t Monks anymore. They were fighting, Larry and David coming to blows on the dance floor. Roger had had enough and quit. And that was that. It was the end of the experiment. As Gary observes, they were mostly normal, perhaps too normal, and you could not be normal to carry it off: you can’t just borrow the image, you have to own it. After a while, none of them wanted to own it anymore… It was 1967.

Diaspora and second coming

Monks moved back to the US, an angry country that was not the same one they had left. They had had seven years of culture shock in Germany and were facing another culture shock back in the US and had a hard time adjusting. Some felt Germany was their home and moved back but couldn’t adjust there. All were embarrassed to talk about Monks and the sense of failure they felt. They lost contact with each other, some drifted homeless, another got a job in IBM, another stayed on in music, they settled down…They, and the world, forgot about Monks. The LP languished in the remaindered bin in the catacombs of history.

But that was until – like the discovery of the dead sea scrolls – the lost gospel was re-found and preached once more, by fans like Irmler who remembered seeing them on German TV and picked up by a new audience of fans introduced to Monks’ compelling primal music. It was a second coming. Not only was ‘Black Monk Time’ reissued but Monks were encouraged to get back together to play for fans and in America for the very first time. The DVD ends on a high note with their triumphant 1999 reunion gig in New York, where the likes of Genesis P Orridge and Jon Spencer are amongst the congregation of followers come to worship. It must have been redemptive for Monks because they continued to play gigs thereafter but, sadly, it is no longer possible to see original Monks: in 2004 Roger Johnston died, and Dave Day died in 2008. But Monks music lives on as a testament to an exciting experiment that challenged not only the perceptions of the time but which have a resonance today – as if after 40+ years the world has caught up with Monks and is ready to accept them. Not only do we have ‘Black Monk Time’ but we can now listen to the demos that lead up to it and, of course, this DVD that captures the full flavour of Monks and the times (then and now). And they have their legion of followers – see the ‘Silver Monk Time’ album (also on PlayLoud!) of covers by bands such as The Fall, Faust, The Raincoats etc. And we also have our very own Nuns – an all girls group dedicated to Monks’ music. It seems unlikely that Monks and their music will ever be ignored again.

The DVD is great, both informative and enjoyable. It is no wonder that the film earned an award. It is recommended viewing, and not just for Monks fans. Monks were visionary. Monks are a revelation. I’m converted.

Extras

The extras offer over 70 minutes of treats – the outtakes of biographies from each member of the band help fill out their backgrounds; a session with David Day at home talking about his contributions and the banjo is funny, self-deprecating, and so full of life (it is sad that he died in 2008); and the live clips of Monks performing on German TV are a real treat – a chance to see just how dynamic they were on stage, and how challenging they were to the mainstream.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vergessene Kultband von Dokfilmern wiederbelebt


Die Beatles sind was für Großmütter, die Rolling Stones gehören ins Museum! Mit dieser Ansage mischten The Monks 1965 den deutschen Musikmarkt auf. Fünf amerikanische GIs verkleidet als Mönche, gecastet von Werbern, sollten den Sound der Zukunft kreieren. Der Plan ging auf - doch die Band scheiterte. Von Benjamin Maack
Die Teenager schauen verunsichert in Richtung Bühne. Eigentlich sind sie hier, um sich zur Musik zu bewegen, um im "Beat Club", der ersten Musiksendung für Jugendliche im deutschen Fernsehen, ausgelassene Disco-Atmosphäre für die TV-Kameras zu verbreiten. Doch das Quintett, das da am 16. Juli 1966 aufspielt, ist anders als alles, was sie kennen.

Wie Hühner auf der Stange stehen die Musiker nebeneinander am Bühnenrand - selbst der Drummer, der bei normalen Bands im Hintergrund sein Instrument bedient. Und der Sänger, der damals in den meisten Musikgruppen der Star war? Steht hier rechts am Rand. So als wäre er kein bisschen bedeutender als die anderen, als wäre er nur ein Teil eines Kollektivs. Die Band trägt sogar eine Art Uniform: schwarze Hemden und Hosen, statt einer Krawatte trägt jeder der Musiker einen Strick um den Hals, statt langen Haaren oder einem Beatles-Pilzkopf ziert ihre Häupter eine Mönchstonsur.

Beinahe noch bizarrer als ihr Aufzug ist der Sound der Band, die sich die Monks nennt. Ihre Kompositionen sind widerspenstig und treibend zugleich, monoton, oft ohne Refrain oder Strophe. In den Songs bilden ein mitunter verzerrter Bass, ein rumpelndes Schlagzeug und das vermutlich erste elektrisch verstärkte Banjo der Rockgeschichte eine stampfende Einheit, während eine nervöse Gitarre und eine Hammond-Orgel immer wieder kreischend in die Rythmen sägen.

Als dann auch noch der Gitarrist sein Instrument auf den Boden legt, werden die jungen "Beat Club"-Vortänzer Zeuge eines erstaunlichen Rituals. Drei der Bandmitglieder knien sich verschwörerisch um die E-Gitarre und beginnen, behutsam die Saiten mit den Fingern zu bearbeiten. Sie benutzen sie wie einen Synthesizer, erzeugen ein Sperrfeuer von Störgeräuschen, ein gemeinschaftliches Gitarrensolo, wie es bis dato noch kein Popmusik-Kenner gehört hatte. Schließlich ist der Synthesizer erst wenige Jahre zuvor erfunden worden. Die Popmusik erobert er erst 1969, als Gershon Kingsley den quirligen Pop-Hit "Popcorn" schreibt und die Beatles einen Moog-Synthesizer in ihrem Song "Here Comes The Sun" verwenden.

Die Monks sind ihrer Zeit in vielfacher Hinsicht voraus. An diesem Nachmittag bei der Fernsehaufzeichnung im Studio 3 von Radio Bremen kapieren jedoch vermutlich nur zwei Menschen ganz, was da auf der Bühne geschieht. Die Bandmitglieder der Monks gehören nicht dazu.

Die Popmusik der Zukunft

Ein Jahr zuvor: Karl-H. Remy und Walther Niemann, zwei Chefkreative der großen Stuttgarter Werbeagentur Bläse, haben eine verwegene Idee. Sie wollen eine Band erschaffen. Jedoch keine Beat-Boygroup wie die Rattles, die Monkees oder die Lords, die noch schnell auf den Beatles-Zug aufgesprungen sind, um abzukassieren - dazu sind die beiden zu schlau, haben zu viel Spaß an Subversion. Sie wollen nicht weniger als die Popmusik der Zukunft erfinden.

Der Monks-Dokumentar Dietmar Post, der gemeinsam mit Lucía Palacios den Film "Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback" (2006) drehte, skizziert die beiden als Musikintellektuelle im Spannungsfeld zwischen Pop und Kunst: In beiden Welten kannten sie sich hervorragend aus, besuchten ständig Konzerte. "Herr Niemann war regelmäßig beruflich in London", erklärt Post. "Dort sah er einige der einflussreichsten und radikalsten Rockbands ihrer Zeit - die Yardbirds, die Small Faces, die Pretty Things." Gleichzeitig aber hätten die beiden Kreativen eine Leidenschaft für experimentelle Musik gehabt. Etwa für den Pianisten Nam June Paik, dessen Kompositionen mitunter die vollkommene Zerstörung seines Instruments einschlossen. Oder für John Cage, der seinem Klavier unirdische Klänge entlockte, indem er die Saiten mit Gegenständen präparierte.

1965 beschließen sie also, eine Musikgruppe nach ihren eigenen künstlerischen Idealen zu erschaffen - auf einem Konzert in Stuttgart finden sie die Band dazu. Sie heißt The 5 Torquays und besteht aus fünf Ex-GIs, die nach ihrem Armeedienst in Deutschland eine Band gegründet haben. Die Jungs sind Anfang 20 und wollen noch ein wenig Spaß haben, bevor in den USA der Ernst des Lebens beginnt. Sie touren durch die Republik, spielen in kleinen Kneipen und Tanzlokalen und treten manchmal in Nachthemden auf. Mit großem Talent covern sie Hits von Bands wie den Kinks, den Beatles, den Rolling Stones oder den Beach Boys. Es gibt auch einige selbstgeschriebene Kompositionen. In Eigenregie haben sie eine Single aufgenommen - der große Durchbruch ist jedoch nicht in Sicht.

"Krach, Krach und keine Melodie"

Als die Verkaufsprofis Niemann und Remy die Band unter ihre Fittiche nehmen, kommt der Karriereturbo: "Im Juni lernten sie sich kennen, im September waren sie bereits im Studio und nahmen zehn Demo-Songs auf. Im Oktober hatten sie einen Plattenvertrag bei dem großen Label Polydor und im Januar gingen die ehemaligen Torquays schon als komplett neue Band auf Tour", fasst Dietmar Post den rasanten Aufstieg der Musiker zusammen.

Die Transformation von der Spaß-Combo zur Avantgardeband geht nicht ganz ohne Irritationen an den Musikern vorbei. "Die meiste Anstrengung kostete es, die Songs zu dekonstruieren", erzählt der Monks-Bassist Eddie Shaw 30 Jahre später in einem Interview für Posts Dokumentation. "Wir haben acht Akkorde. Können wir daraus zwei machen? Oder vielleicht nur einen? Und wie viele Wörter haben wir in der Strophe? 15? Können wir daraus drei machen?" In diesem Prozess wird die Beatmusik, die die Band vorher gespielt hat, ganz und gar dem minimalistischen Konzept von Remy und Niemann unterworfen.

"Bei den ersten Proben waren wir alle skeptisch", erinnert sich Monks-Gitarrist Dave Day. "Das war nicht Elvis. Das war nichts, was die Stones spielen würden. Also was war das?" "Die Musik der Zukunft", erklären ihnen ihre beiden Manager großspurig.

Die Presse ist da anderer Meinung: "Die Monks machen 'Musik mit der Axt'", "Krach, Krach und keine Melodie" oder "Der neue Beat ist brutal" titeln die Zeitungen. Den Managern kann das nur recht sein. Sie lancieren ihre Band als Anti-Beatles. Die Pressemitteilung ist eine Kampfschrift gegen die Rockmusik der Zeit: "Die Beatles sind was für Großmütter und die Rolling Stones sind so barock, dass man sie einrahmen sollte", steht darin. "Statt 'I wanna hold your hand' zu singen", erinnert sich Gary Burger, "sangen wir 'I hate you - but call me."

Gefeiert und gehasst

Zudem hat das Werberduo den Monks harte Regeln für ihr Image ausgeheckt. Die Gesetze für das Monk-Dasein werden als Kopie an die Bandmitglieder verteilt. Nicht nur auf der Bühne, sondern auch in der Öffentlichkeit sollen die fünf Freunde stets ihre schwarze Kluft inklusive Strick um den Hals tragen. Zudem gilt es immer "hart, sexy, stark, aufregend, auf Hochtouren und gefährlich" aufzutreten. Vor allem aber sollen sie "niemals ein Torquay sein".

Ausbaden müssen das die fünf Ex-GIs, die eigentlich nur ein paar spaßige Monate in Deutschland verbringen wollen. Sie leben nun ein Leben, das sich jemand anders ausgedacht hat, spielen Musik, die sie zwar mitkomponiert haben - aber nach den Ideen von Remy und Niemann. Bei ihrem ersten Engagement im Top Ten Club in der damaligen Popmusikhauptstadt Hamburg, werden sie einen Monat lang Abend für Abend für ihren neuen Musikstil gefeiert wie Stars. In den Gaststätten in Kleinstädten wie Mölln, Euskirchen oder Schweinfurth sieht das schon anders aus.

Die Abende geraten zur Ochsentour. Die meisten Zuschauer sind einfach nur genervt von den eintönigen Kompositionen. Sie hassen die Monks - und langsam hassen die fünf Musiker es, die Monks zu sein. Das strikte Konzept wird zum Korsett, das ihnen die Luft zum Atmen nimmt. "Wir wollten T-Shirts tragen, lange Haare und weiße Schuhe", erinnert sich Gary Burger.

So endet die Karriere, bevor sie richtig begonnen hat: 1967 sollen die Monks am Frankfurter Flughafen zu einer einjährigen Asien-Tour aufbrechen - einer ist nicht da. Statt sich mit den anderen zu treffen, nimmt der Drummer Roger Johnston einfach einen Flieger zurück in seine Heimat Texas. Er hat genug vom Leben als Monk. Die Band ist Geschichte - aber noch längst keine Musikgeschichte. "Zu Hause hat keiner von uns von den Monks erzählt", sagt Gary Burger in der Dokumentation, "wir dachten alle: Das glaubt uns sowieso keiner."

Vorreiter für Techno, Punk und Heavy Metal?

Dass sich heute trotzdem wieder Menschen an die fünf Amis mit den Mönchstonsuren erinnern, ist wohl vor allem dem Film "Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback" zu verdanken. Zwar wurde das einzige Album der Band "Black Monk Time", das nur in Deutschland erschienen ist, unter Musikfans bereits in den achtziger Jahren auf der ganzen Welt für Preise von 500 bis 1000 Dollar gehandelt. Und Starproduzent Rick Rubin und Henry Rollins brachten es 1997 mit mehr als 30 Jahren Verzögerung erstmals in den USA heraus. Doch erst die Arbeit der Dokumentarfilmer Post und Palacios sollte den Platz der Monks in der Pop-Geschichte zementieren.

Volle zehn Jahre arbeiteten sie an ihrem Bewegtbilddenkmal, machten dabei sogar die beiden Erfinder Remy und Niemann ausfindig. Beide wurden später international erfolgreiche Werbeleute. Zu ihrem Ausflug ins Musikgeschäft wollten die sich indessen nicht äußern. Erst nach vier Jahren intensiver Recherche, brachten die Filmemacher Walther Niemann zum Reden: "Wir haben ihm irgendwann einen Fragenkatalog mit hundert Fragen geschickt", sagt Post. "Am nächsten Tag rief er an und sagte: 'Herr Post, Sie sind ja wahnsinnig.'" Doch nun war er bereit, Rede und Antwort zu stehen.

Heute gelten die Monks als vieles: Manche nennen sie die erste Konzeptkunstband und damit Vorreiter von Gruppen wie Can, Kraftwerk, die Krautrocker Faust und den Residents. Andere sagen, sie hätten mit ihren wütenden Songs Punk und Heavy Metal vorweggenommen. Wieder andere behaupten, ihre monotonen Kompositionen hätten Techno und die Clubmusik von heute erst ermöglicht.

Die Bandmitglieder selber sehen ihre Rolle als visionäre Art-Rocker nüchterner: "Wir waren einfach zu normal", resümiert Bassist Eddie Shaw die Monks-Zeit. "Man kann sich ein Image wie das der Monks nicht überziehen, man muss es leben. Eine Weile haben wir uns darin wohl gefühlt. Aber nach einer gewissen Zeit wollten wir es nicht mehr. Es war zu viel Ballast."


Zum Weitersehen:

Dietmar Post und Lucía Palacios: "Monks - The Transatatlantic Feedback".
Die DVD erhalten Sie im Shop von "play loud! Productions".




Der Spiegel über Monks-Dokumentarfilm

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roctober Reviews

Monday, October 4, 2010

Floating di Morel “Said My Say”


Like a classy Suicide (the band, not the act of desperation) these cats present minimal, chilling music, but wear ties and sweep the warehouse before inviting you over for a bizarre ultra-underground concert.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Roctober Reviews



Monday, October 4, 2010


Doc Schoko “schlecht dran/gut drauf”



(Play Loud!) Opening with a killer psychobilly number, made more psycho but the guttural, Teutonic blurtings (Germany, your language sounds harsh and ominous to us no matter what you are saying….sorry!) this becomes one of the most diverse, all over the board rock  ‘n’ roll albums I’ve heard in a while, with punk, cowboy music, lo fi psychedelia, spoken  word soundscape stuff and more!  And despite not knowing German, I’m pretty sure the phrase “Oktopus Im Pentagramm” is fucked up!

ROCTOBER reviews MONKS documentary & tribute album

"The incredible research, intelligent interviews, and excellent editing make this film a must see."
(Jake Austen about "The Transatlantic Feedback")




"This is one of the best tribute albums I have ever heard." 
(Jake Austen about "Silver Monk Time" Double Tribute CD)




Roctober Reviews



Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Monks – the transatlantic feedback a film by dietmar post & lucia palacios DVD, Silver Monk Time - a tribute to the monks CD


(Play Loud!) Despite a British Beatles boost, garage rock is thoroughly American…in fact garages themselves are pretty damn American; politicians don’t promise chickens in every pot and cars in every driveway, because they knew Americans wanted to have to move their automobile so their teenage sons can practice “Louie Louie.”  Thus it’s no surprise that when Americans heard the mind-blowing proto-punk music made by the mid-60s, German-based American ex-soldiers the monks it immediately registered on this side of the sea as some of the greatest garage rock ever recorded. Sure there was a tinge of contrarian, nihilist avant-garde in their unprecedented instrumentation (buzzsaw electric banjo, thundering all-floor tom tribal drumming), dark lyrics about hate and war causalties, and strange black outfits that mirrored actual monks, right down to the shaved tonsure haircuts. But us Yanks figured Count V wore capes, The Phantom wore a mask, when he howled “Love Me,” and the monks shaved circles in their heads – it’s a great gimmick, not art! I’m giving all this background to explain the sometimes cold, sometimes harsh reaction this remarkable film has received from factions of the American garage rock community. Post and Palacios, who caught monks fever decades ago in Germany, began working on this documentary at the best time; in the years after bassist Eddie Shaw’s book had finally provided background on the mysterious band, and in the years surrounding the act’s one full reunion. Considering the subsequent deaths of two of the five monks, and the re-submersion into shadows of formally lost monk, Larry, this is pretty much the only monks documentary that can ever be made. And thus, the fact that the filmmakers see the band as more of a brilliant art project than a garage rock phenomenon rubs some folks the wrong way. Also, the fact that the filmmakers attribute a lot of the brilliance of the project to the band’s svengali managers who had a lot of the weird ideas is reasonable but frustrating in a few ways. The most obvious frustration is that while all the monks are ready and willing to talk, the management isn’t interested in being on camera and revisiting what they must consider a short-lived failure. But worse is that despite the guidance the monks received unquestionably making something genuinely unique out of a regular beat club band (albeit one with more diverse talent than their peers, considering the way the group’s membership represent not only the breadth of America’s wide geography, but also its musical breadth, as jazz, rockabilly, R&B, and C&W were in the backgrounds of the unlikely quintet), the filmmakers may be giving to much credit to their management. Much emphasis is put on a manifesto the group committed to, but part of that manifesto was to never smile on stage, and footage of Gary Burger on German TV shows that although the group embraced much Teutonic tutelage, they were American pickers and grinners all the way, and what made each monk special was the way they were not sheep-like, but thoroughly individual.  But I don’t begrudge the German filmmakers in any way for giving a German perspective on this band, and the incredible research, intelligent interviews, and excellent editing make this a must see. Sure, one could argue that a tangent into the work of a German director who was scheduled to work with the monks but never got to bring his vision to fruition may be indulgent…but shit, if you found sexed-up ancient footage of a nubile, pre-disco Donna Summer in an avant-garde TV commercial you would leave it on the cutting room floor? I can see why some garage intelligentsia (and to  a lesser degree, a monk or two) have had some objections to this, but they are misguided. Monks-philes need to embrace this last look at the full band. Similarly, one can see how garage purists would be aghast at the double CD compilation "silver monk time," a tribute CD to the five American G.I.s gone monk-y. But here they are completely off base. This CD includes futuristic artists like Alec Empire and Psychic TV, German art rockers like Faust and Fehlfarben, and big names that don't necessarily register as big amongst connoisseurs of "Dirty Water," like the Fall, Mouse on Mars and Barbara Manning. But none of them are desecrating the monks' music. What is most amazing about this is how clearly the monks music, without much alteration, can seem like punk to punks, psyche to psyche-heads, avant-garde to avant-gardeists, novelty music to humorists...their sound is so unique that no one is wrong. This is one of the best tribute albums I have ever heard, in no small part because the artists have such  a connection to, and respect for, the music that they leave the best elements intact. But also each artist hears the music so differently that the tweaks really alter and elevate the songs...no karaoke here! The involvement of Gary Burger (who updates his vocals for the current wars with Empire and also teams with Faust) and the late Dave Day not only give this a stamp of approval, but also may force some haters to have to buy it. Highlights include Silver Apples and Alan Vega taking “black monk time" to space, "The Raincoats finding the sweetness and beauty in "Monk Chant," and (the garage rock approved) 5-6-7-8-s going absolutely "Cuckoo."

Friday, October 1, 2010

HAMBURGER MORGENPOST über DVD Klangbad/Faust

HAMBURGER MORGENPOST 08/2010

DVD-Tipp„Avant-Garde In The Meadows “Der studierte Theater-, Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftler Dietmar Post erlangte große Aufmerksamkeit, als der in Berlin lebende Regisseur 2008 den Adolf-Grimme-Preis erhielt. Lohn für eine der besten je gedrehten Musikdokumentationen namens „The Transatlantic Feedback“ über die Sixties-Beat-Legende Monks, einer wilden Band in Mönchskutten.  „Avant-Garde In The Meadows“ (Play Loud!) ist komplett anders konzipiert. Thema ist das Festival “Klangbad” in Scheer, einem verschlafenen Städtchen an der Donau. Jedes Jahr treffen sich dort Bands aus den Genres Experimental, Elektro oder Avantgarde. Nach Auftritten von Alec Empire, Embryo oder Mouse On Mars waren es 2005 Faust, Kammerflimmer Kollektief oder die Künstlerin Jutta Koether. Dietmar Post gibt ihnen viel Zeit, seine Kamera beobachtet mehr, als das Spektakel zu suchen. Auch die Bilder aus dem Publikum, die Interviews sind intim. Als Bonusmaterial gibt es noch einen längeren Konzertmitschnitt der Krautrocker Faust (Fraktion Süd) zu sehen. Von der legendären deutschen Gruppe wurden auch parallel die Klassiker-Alben „Faust“ – das mit dem Röntgenbild einer Faust – sowie „So Far“ (beide Universal) als sehr schöne Digipaks wiederveröffentlicht.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

SoundsXP reviews Faust single

Faust 
So Far/It’s a Bit of a Pain Play Loud 7”

Article written by Kev O - Sep 21, 2010
Faust’s 1972 single (their one and only) gets a re-issue, and a re-mix (by Hans Joachim Irmler, founder and current member), to coincide with the release of the Klangbad festival DVD (see separate feature).

‘So Far’ is an instrumental: a simple rhythm chugs along, a sax stabs away, guitars and synth wail in and out. It’s a mesmerising drone, that doesn’t sit still and never fails to please. ‘It’s a Bit of a Pain’ (said to be John Peel’s favourite Faust track) is another side of Faust: a gentle acoustic, piano-led ballad/song against which a noise momentarily intercedes and a piano tinkles and a fuzzy guitar trails away to the end. Both are sublime. Although nearly 40 years old these could be seen as historical [‘Krautrock’] curiosities and ones for the collection , but they sound fresh and modern even by today’s standards and a reminder as to how insipid much of today’s music is. Do yourself a favour and feed your head: get this.

SoundsXP.com REVIEWS KLANGBAD/FAUST DVD

Faust DVD twin film special: A Faustian pack
Klangbad: Avant-Garde in the Meadows/ Faust: Live at Klangbad Festival Play Loud!

Article written by Kev O - Sep 22, 2010
This is two films on one DVD documenting performances at the second Klangbad festival, held outside the quiet German village of Scheer (where the Klangbad label is based) in 2005. The first film 'Klangbad: avant-garde in the meadows' is 85 minutes of performances from nine artists - I use the terms 'performances' and 'artists' advisedly - including the legendary Faust. The second film 'Faust: live at Klangbad festival' is 70 minutes of the Faust set from the same festival. The connection between the two films is one Hans Joachim Irmler, founder and current member of Faust, who runs the Klangbad record label and curates the festival. He invited the film-makers (a crew of three) to film the event: their approach was to be simple and direct, economic and non-tricksy, in the manner of the 'Direct Cinema' of the 60s, an approach consistent with the festival itself.

You could come to these films cold, without any prior knowledge or background, ears and minds open. I suspect that this is something that Irmler/Klangbad would approve of; there is something free, experimental and downright unashamedly hippyish about the festival (which is non-corporate and sponsor-free), where anything seems to go. "Music is a form of communication" someone says. Throw away preconceptions, open yourself to possibilities, it seems to say.

In 2005, the 3 day festival is small, with one stage set in a wood, people sleeping in tents or hammocks down by the stream, drinking German beer and eating sausages. There is a naiveness about it - of a bygone era - and of the performances themselves which vary widely. There's the doleful (Death in Vegas-ish) electronica of duo Minit, the 60/70s politico-art proclamation from Jutta Koether, Steven Lobdell bangin' a gong (or hubcap) through effects to create something trippy and transcendental, Cpt Howdy's take on american garage rock, Circle's mesmerising mishmash of groove and heavy/death metal with looks to match (bizarre), the country-like mix of reed organ, double-bass and slide guitar of Kamerflimmr Kollektief-Hausen, the acoustic folk of Scotland's The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden, and the art-school act of Nista Nije Nista, that walks the line between playful and silly and irritating (think Native Hipsters' 'There Goes Concorde Again') and when interviewed they all speak at once in their own languages without looking at each other, one points to the sky and says "Rainbow". And there IS a rainbow in the sky. What a way to end the film.

So next to Faust. Do you need/want to know anything about Faust? If not, look away now. They are one of the 'Krautrock' groups - a term coined by the British music press to cover the range of bands emerging from the German music scene in the late 60/70s but not recognised by the bands themselves (who rather saw the term as a pejorative). That collective term ignored the fact that there was no real movement or connection between the bands, who were based in different cities, or even a defining sound, although all seemed preoccupied with creating a new musical identity, rejecting the past and the present (German post-war pop (schlager) and corporate American fodder) and embracing a future through experimentalism and new sounds afforded by the synthesiser and FX. Tangerine Dream, Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk and the proto-punk of Neu! are probably more known and readily available while the likes of Julian Cope faves Ash Ra Tempel not so – which possibly persuaded Stuart Maconie to play their first album in its entirety (two tracks!) on his Freak Zone show recently.

Among these, Faust (meaning 'Fist', as well connotations of Faustian pact with the Devil) emerged, becoming John Peel favourites and surprisingly popular (being picked up first by Polydor and then by the fledgling Virgin label), with an artful, playful but uncompromising approach to making music. This left the listener unsure where the music was going or where the sound came from. And perhaps it was no coincidence that it was Faust who responded to the Krautrock term by throwing it back at the British press with their mighty drone-based instrumental 'Krautrock' (Faust IV). Brilliant and awful music was made during this time. Whether it was brilliant or awful didn't seem to matter. It was the fact that it could be done. Is that a hippy or punk attitude? Does it matter?

But good things come to an end and groups split (Neu! split and elements became La Dusseldorf and Harmonia), Can went from a prog to a funky groove, Kraftwerk abandoned their experimental edge for listener-friendly synth-pop, while Tangerine Dream became corporate behemoths (and in every student's collection alongside Pink Floyd). Faust quietly faded away. Punk came and went. New Romanticism, Mod/Ska revivals, Rough Trade, Acid, Madchester, Grunge all raised their heads and then nodded off (ok Indie still snoozes along). But then Faust re-emerged - as two groups. How contrary, but how Faust! Each Faust has original members: one version has the maverick duo of Diermaier and Péron whilst the other is headed by Hans Joachim Irmler. It is the Irmler Faust that released the 'Faust is Last' album earlier this year (and reviewed here on SoundsXP). Irmler has also remixed the re-issue of the one and only Faust 7" (originally released in 1972) 'So far/It's a bit of a pain' (said to be John Peel's favourite Faust track) to coincide with this DVD release (see separate review here).

So to the Faust film (if you're doing the old linear viewing thing) of 6 tracks - Shiva, Beat That, Dschungelbar, Don't Look Back, Feurzeuge, Aggro - which build, fall apart, drone, clang, clatter, buzz; rhythm and noise jar and join together; it's intense and playful, ugly and beautiful. Ask current Faust member Steve Lobdell what Faust is and he says "Faust is more about ideas than music, more about process than songs". Ask me to recall what each track sounds like and I'd struggle: I have to go back and listen again, enjoying the moment. Like the unfussy camera work which captures it all; metal pipes being picked up and dropped, squeaky bird toys being squeezed rhythmically...and now I know where some of these sounds come from. Mad fun. And at the end Irmler smirks to the camera, "That was too loud, like beginners." The rejuvenating power of music...

The Klangbad festival started small and is growing but still needs support. If you are interested in finding out more about the festival, or about Klangbad and its artists and recordings, including Faust, follow the links below.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Penny Black Music reviews Klangbad/Faust DVD

DVD-Klangbad/Faust : Avant-Garde in the Meadows/Live at Klangbad Festival 
Author: Dominic B. Simpson
Published: 06/09/2010






Who are the real Faust? That’s one of the conundrums that this DVD brings to mind when referencing the legendary Krautrock outfit. Is it the outfit currently spearheaded by original members Jean-Hervé Péron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, who have bedazzled audiences with their overloaded jazz-rock freakout and abuse of industrial machinery? Or is it the amorphous, freeform outfit that features another original member in the shape of Hans Joachim Irmler on keyboards joined by American guitarist Steven W Lobdell and several others? An answer of sorts comes from the band(s) Wikipedia page, who claim that “Faust now exists in two completely different incarnations, both active and each reflecting different aspects of the original group.” Exactly how they deal with royalty and copyright issues is unclear.

The Péron/Diermaier guise of Faust performed one of the most extraordinary gigs this writer had the privilege to see, in a venue somewhere tucked inside the railway arches of London’s Elephant amd Castle. After terrorising/thrilling the audience with sparks flying from the various sandpaper machines and other industrial detritus onstage, the band then proceeded to go the whole hog and walk around the venue with chainsaws – real ones – and culminated in setting off several coloured smoke bombs while dressed in bomb technician gear, which filled the entire venue with blue and red haze. Stumbling around looking for the exit, a ring of fire visible on the floor and an excruciatingly loud looped guitar riff emanating from the empty stage, yours truly was confronted by Péron – still carrying a chainsaw – who instructed “You must leave the venue now!” As everyone huddled outside the venue, smoke billowing from the doors and a police siren visible in the distance, the sound of the band getting back onstage and jamming to an empty audience could be heard.

Sadly there’s nothing quite as mind-boggling as that event on this DVD (though there is plenty of smoke onstage throughout); in fact, Péron and Diermaier and the other members of that axis of Faust don’t appear at all.

Instead, this DVD is a document of Klangbad, the annual festival in rural Germany curated by Hans-Joachim Irmler, and thus focuses on the ‘other’ version of Faust which comprises Irmler, Lobdell, Michael Stoll on bass and flute, Lars Paukstat on percussion and voice, Arnulf Meifert also on percussion, and Ralf Meinz on drums and ‘efx’.

As it turns out, Klangbad is the kind of festival that feels increasingly important in an age of media saturation and the corporatisation of large festivals (with Reading/Leeds one big hymn to Carling beer nowadays). As the German newspaper 'De Zeit' is quoted lovingly in the DVD sleeve notes in an article which they wrote on the festival, “strolling the festival venue, one might sense the attitude of mind Krautrock still stands for: no bouncers, no stupid marketing games, no bungee jumping. The calm atmosphere at the Klangbad Festival almost could be seen as something political. Here everything seems possible.” Which definitely couldn’t be applied to the V Festival. But then, in fairness, there are equivalents to Klangbad in Britain: the consistently impressive Green Man festival; the likes of End of the Road, Indietracks, Truck, even Fairport Convention’s Cropredy; and, of course All Tomorrow’s Parties, among others.

As the DVD confirms, just as with these festivals, Klangbad also gives space to otherwise marginalized or ‘left-field’ music, some of which is just as good as Faust’s headlining performance, which the second part of the DVD focuses on.

Finnish psych-rockers Circle, in particular, are captured building up a mesmerising trance-like groove with the track ‘Matka’, the effect only slightly spoilt by the sight of singer Mika Rättö’s bizarre leather bondage and quasi Nazi-hat outfit. The Kammerflimmer Kollektief and Britain’s very own The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden (featuring the ubiquitous Padden from Volcano The Bear), meanwhile, provide compelling organic instrumental relief during the daytime, with the latter cracking jokes about the rain and how back in Scotland the equivalent would be a summer’s day.

Elsewhere, Faust member Paukstat gets down and dirty fronting the straightforward blues-rock outfit Cpt. Howdy; all-female ‘audio-art’ collective Nista Nije Nista (“Nothing Is Not Nothing”) perform what appears to be some Dada-like sketches over cracking laptop noise, broken sewing machines, air pumps, and clarinets; and Minit and Jutta Koether perform skewered electronic pop and spoken word viginettes over repetitive keyboard notes, respectively. Finally, a solo performance by Lobdell is another highlight, beginning with a looping of Tibetan bells before unleashing a devastating effects-filled guitar assault that brings to mind Ash Ra Tempel at their most mind-expanding.

After such an absorbing and varied first half, the second part of the DVD can’t help but feel slightly like an anti-climax, with its focus on only one act. Only slightly, though: this incarnation of Faust is even more out-there and experimental than the Péron and Diermaier axis, despite the worrying predilection for ponytails, fretless six-string bass, and somewhat extensive guitar wankery from a be-shaded Lobdell (not necessarily a bad thing in itself).

Beginning with entrancing flute and sitar drones, the hour-plus set is nothing if not versatile, with six long songs in total performed, ranging from Acid Mothers Temple-style freakout to some unexpectedly beautiful synth strings and glockenspiel on ‘Feuerzeuge’. An excerpt of one song, ‘Don’t Look Back’, also features on the first part of the DVD, with Paukstat’s repeated mantra “turn back/and look around” a rallying cry for the festival’s idiosyncratic nature as a whole.

With the DVD sleeve notes mentioning, “since this alternative music festival is constantly lacking financial support, Playloud! [the DVD production company] will donate 1 Euro of each DVD sold to the Klangbad Festival Organisation”, it looks as if there’s no guarantee the festival will continue on its trajectory. Judging from the evidence on this DVD, hopefully long may Klangbad – and many similar of its ilk – continue to survive while the corporate fests continue to increasingly embrace crass commercialisation.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mojo Magazine October 2010 / 203 reviews Klangbad/Faust DVD:

2005 avant-fest doc, plus live Krautrock brain-drilling.

An annual outdoor festival in the German town of Scheer, Klangbad is for those who like their sounds underground. Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios' film reveals its 2005 incarnation as an orderly place full of disorderly music. It's a close-up, unglamourised affair - it shows no-one watching Sydney synth oddballs Minit - and those who are on-stage invariably turn up as spectators later. For a five-year-old film there's still much that sounds fresh, such as Portland guitarist Steve Lobdell's crunchy sheets of noise, Finnish rock diabolists Circle and the splendidly annoying Nista Nije Nista, who mix clarinet and declaiming, and have a food mixer and pedal bin on-stage. The second feature is 70 minutes of the Hans Joachim Irmler-led Faust playing slow building, percussive obliquenesses to stage projections of revolving Vertigo swirls. On the ambient-to-rocking Feuerzeuge, this can manifest sublimely, and if it means living hell for fans of conventional pop, that's surely part of the appeal. (Ian Harrison)

 

The film comes in conjunction with the 7" single FAUST: so far / it's a bit of pain. First re-issue since 1972. 




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Next Big Thing reviews Klangbad/Faust DVD

30+ years in the rock'n'roll ring...


Those groovy play loud! people are at it again. Having put The Monks on the map, their film-making exploits this time take in the Klangbad festival and also an extended Faust set.

Faust was one of the first German bands I ever encountered. Working in the local record store, everyone was fascinated by the clear vinyl in a clear sleeve with a hand x-ray visible through it. The music on it was way ahead of the curve to the point of being virtually scary. An odd kind of ambient that required an altered mindset to really get into. Or so it seemed. I can’t claim to be sophisticated now but way back then this was really exotic. Maybe it wasn’t even music, it sounded like notes from outer space. When Virgin launched their record label, they released The Faust Tapes, an album for the price of a single – 49p I think it was.

Orbit, the shop I worked in did it for 43p if I recall correctly. Anyway, we sold bings of them to people of all ages. Strangely no-one returned them thinking they were faulty because the sonic content might not be what they were used to. Not even the old ladies that normally bought Charley Pride records. Or Sydney Devine.



This latest play loud! release contains two films,“klangbad, avant garde in the meadows” and“faust – live at klangbad festival”. The first on chronicles the 2005 event and provides a first hand account of something far, far from what a “festival” has become. “No bouncers, no stupid marketing games, no bungee jumping” like the liner notes determine. The line up is similarly out there with the pastoral setting providing to a background to acts, most of which I had no idea existed. A little like an idyllicly set version of the“le weekend” in Stirling.

When I contacted Dietmar to tell him that Faust would be coming to Scotland this fall, he asked me “which Faust?”. He told me that “there is one with JP Hervon (Faust North) and the other one around HJ Irmler (Faust South). It just proves that Faust is more an idea than songs and/or a band.” This isn't one of those cases like The Drifters, I hasten to add. Not even opposite sides despite the geography of the same coin.

When I sent him the link, he confirmed that the band that will play Stirling on October 17th is Faust (North) not the one that can be seen in these films. It would seem that performances of their southern manifestation are much more rare, making it essential that you grab this document.

While not exactly a walk in the park despite the setting, the world of this concept is definitely an attractive one if you just let the sound wash around you. Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacioshave put together another fine project, taking the blueprint of direct cinema and skewing it slightly to create a study of what would otherwise take place completely removed from the pulsebeat. They also issued the band’s first single but more about that when I manage to get around to reviewing some records.





Friday, August 27, 2010

KRITIK IM HEAVY METAL MAGAZIN LEGACY:



DIETMAR POST & LUCIA PALACIOS „Klangbad: Avant-Garde In The Meadows” & „Faust: Live At Klangbad Festival” (Play Loud!)

Neben der Neuauflage der ersten beiden Faust-Alben von1971 und 1972 und ihrem brandneuen Abschiedswerk „Faust Is Last“ beleuchtet auch eine DVD von DIETMAR POST und seiner Partnerin LUCIA PALACIOS die Hamburger Kultband und das Krautrock-Genre allgemein. POST & PALACIOS sind für eine andere Dokumentation vor zwei Jahren mit dem renommierten Adolf-Grimme-Preis ausgezeichnet worden und haben auch zahlreiche andere Awards abgestaubt. Handwerk und Dramaturgie stimmen demzufolge und beweisen einen guten Spürsinn für die besonderen Momente des Themas. Zum Start der zweigeteilten DVD, die auf ihrer eigenen Produktionsfirma Play Loud! veröffentlicht wird, gibt es mit „Klangbad: Avant-Garde In The Meadows” eine liebevolle Aufbereitung des zweiten Klangbad-Festivals von 2005, bei dem u. a. das Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Circle, Minit und Steven W. Lobdell aufgetreten sind. Die Bilder verdeutlichen einerseits die Nähe der Filmemacher zum Gegenstand ihrer Doku und fangen in Bildern den besonderen Charme des familienartigen Happenings authentisch und repräsentativ ein. Die Beiden sind nicht nur als Beobachter und Chronisten mit dabei, sondern mittendrin und lassen sich von der intimen Atmosphäre und kreativen Freiheit der anwesenden Künstler und des stark interagierenden Publikums merklich anstecken. Im Anschluss gibt es mit „Faust: Live At Klangbad Festival” einen zweiten Film von POST & PALACIOS, der dem Titel entsprechend ein Konzert der deutschen Kult-Kombo Faust wiedergibt, die es Zeit ihres Bestehens außerhalb der deutschen Grenzen zu größerer Würdigung gebracht hat, während sie hierzulande nur den Status eines Geheimtipps inne hatte. (AK) 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spex-Artikel über das Klangbad Festival

NICHTS GESTELLT, NICHTS ROMANTISIERT

Das Klangbad Festival in Scheer mit These New Puritans, Jimi Tenor, Gustav, Cluster, Efdemin, u.v.a.

Text: Walter W. Wacht
Über Festivals zu schreiben oder Empfehlungen dazu auszusprechen ist das Eine. Etwas völlig anderes ist es letztlich, als Besucher selbst vor Ort zu sein, über das Festival-Gelände zu schlurfen und sich ein eigenes Bild der Atmosphäre zu machen. Deshalb möchten wir zwar im Folgenden kurz auf die besondere, familiäre Atmosphäre, den unkommerziellen Hintergrund, das herausragende Booking und die beschauliche Lage des Klangbad-Festivals im Oberschwäbischen Scheer an der Donau hinweisen – schließlich gab es das bereits. Zur Festivalvor- und Nachbereitung eignet sich zudem hervorragend die soeben erschienene Dokumentation »Klangbad: Avant-garde in the Meadows«.
Klangbad Festival 2010 Teaser    Das Regie-Duo Dietmar Post und Lucia Palacios, bekannt aus den Musik-Dokumentationen »Monks – The Trans at lan tic Feed back« und »Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping«, hat für den neuen Film »Klangbad: Avant-garde in the Meadows« Eindrücke der letzten Jahre zu einem knapp eineinhalbstündigen Festivalrückblick verschnitten, »Klangbad …« zeigt so äußerst aussagekräftige wie Vorfreude erweckende Bilder des Veranstaltungsgeländes, Interviews mit KünstlerInnen wie FaustKammerflimmer Kollektief und Jutta Koether sowie des Veranstalterkollektivs. Dazu kommen Konzertmitschnitte und Beobachtungen aus dem Örtchen Scheer und Umgebung – alles wurde aus der Situation heraus gefilmt, nichts für die Kamera gestellt, nichts über das tatsächliche Geschehen hinaus romantisiert.
    Die gerade auf play loud! erschienene DVD von »Klangbad …« enthält neben der Dokumentation selbst einen Bonus-Film: Den Mitschnitt eines der seltenen Faust-Konzerte, das natürlich auch im Rahmen des Klangbad-Festivals aufgezeichnet wurde.
    
Spex präsentiert auch das diesjährige Klangbad-Festival, Karten sind im Vorverkauf erhältlich. Zusätzlich zu dem Live-Lineup mit These New PuritansJimi Tenor & Kabu KabuGustav,MekonsA Hawk And A HacksawClusterFM Einheit & Irmler sowie vielen anderen wird das Spex-DJ-Team bestehend aus Max Dax und Martin Hossbach Platten auflegen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"play loud! (live) music series 002" now for download:

play loud! is now offering the first two films within the "play loud! (live) music series" for download:



      

      

      

      

  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



Bei offenen Fenstern

von Robert Mießner (6.7.2010)
Der Floating di Morel-Backkatalog wird von Dietmar Posts und Lucía Palacios’ Film- und Musiklabel play loud! verlegt. »More Memory Than Now«, das Debütalbum, erschien 1995 auf Hidden Records, dem Label, das auch Ornament & Verbrechen (»On Eyes«, 1990), Harry Rag (»Trauerbauer«, 1992) und Doc Schoko (»Puppentanz«, 7’’, 1999) herausbrachte. »More Memory Than Now« klingt sommerlich-somnambul (»Dream There’s Humour«) oder gleich zeitlos entrückt (»Feeble-Minded«). Auf »Women Chrome« kommt ein unheimlicher Unterton hinzu, aber das und die meisten anderen Floating di Morel-Veröffentlichungen sind ein guter Soundtrack für den nächtlichen Gang bei gefühlten fünfundzwanzig Grad Celcius über die Warschauer Brücke, die Friedrichshain und Kreuzberg verbindet. Deutlich kratzbürstiger ist die EP »Takna, Pakna, G(k)ram...«, 1998 bei Toaster im Test erschienen. Man kann das getrost Lo-fi nennen. Charmant ist es allemal.
Dann aber »Real People Psych« (Marshypower, 2004), ein elegant-zerklüftetes Album, gemixt von DJ Jehova, On / Off, Brad Brett, Latence-Max Blanck und Beate Bartel. Auf »Sometimes« singen Drewitz und Blödorn im Duett zu einem minimalistisch-pulsierendem Beat. Mehr braucht es eigentlich nicht. Mit »Transnation« wird die Platte gar ruppig. Das Funkadelic-Cover »I’ll Stay« ist dafür schwer traumverhangen. »Said My Say«, das immer noch aktuelle Floating di Morel-Album, haben play loud! dann im vorigen Herbst herausgebracht. Erstaunliche Dinge passieren darauf. Nicht nur, dass einige der Songtitel von Wire stammen könnten (»G.C.55 Or The Idea Of North«, »J. Chase Hang Up«): Auch Floating di Morel machen mittlerweile so etwas wie Geometrie zum Meditieren. »Ois« beginnt mit einem stoischem Drumbeat aus dem Maschinenzimmer, dann setzen Trompete, Gesang und Stylofon ein. »Marlen« und »It Has Gone Well« könnten gute Singles abgeben. Man möchte diese Musik am liebsten durch Berlin tragen und kann es auch: Vielleicht findet sich in der einen oder anderen Kammer noch ein Walkman, wenn man sich das Album, dessen Cover an das der ersten Saints-LP erinnert, auf Kassette überspielen will. Ganz modern Gesinnte können es auch digital regeln. Übrigens, Floating di Morel tragen gerne Sonnenbrillen. Ihr Zimmerfenster bleibt im Film aber weit offen. Die einen nennen es Lärmbelästigung, die anderen eine Haltung.


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