techno and audio-visual fairy tales about machines
My enthusiasm for music began with the end of my childhood and the beginning of puberty. When I try to remember it back, vague fragments and titles of pieces of music appear, some of which are now somehow embarrassing for me. Therefore some musical slips will always remain in the dark of history. Almost at the same time I started dreaming of making music myself. Back then – due to the spirit of the times – I imagined how great it would be to play guitar. At that time I could not have imagined that I would end up with electronic music more than five decades later. When I think back and look at my musical milestones, there is definitely a red thread running through them. This thread consists of synthesizer sounds, non-conformism and a preference for danceable music. Welcome to my musical universe. Here you will find many stories about my own and other people’s music, DJ sets and much more. Have fun with it.
After Human League there was no electronic milestone for a long time. O.k., there were some Neue Deutsche Welle/New Wave bands that inspired me, but in retrospect I had a musical AHA effect only with the British band Alien Sex Fiend again. A very adventurous combination of punk, synthesizer sounds and drum computer. Especially the dark lyrics appealed to me, here is an excerpt:
*Breakdown is on it’s way* *Breakdown in a month or a day* *Breakdown and cry, lay down and die* * Goodbye, goodbye. *
Somehow it was really cool at that time to learn these destructive lyrics by heart with enthusiasm and to set it as a counterpoint to the whole perfect Popper world. I still remember the lyrics and the song (“Breakdown and Cry”) is still one of my absolute favorites. But the absolute highlight on the LP was “E.S.T. Trip to the Moon”. In 1984 this track was in the British Independent Charts for quite some time and I celebrate it until today. Have fun listening to it.
Today we come to another important milestone in my musical universe, the debut album “Reproduction” by the British band Human League. Knows today almost only the “older guys”. The band is assigned to completely different genres: starting with synthie-pop, over electropop up to post-punk. An impressive variety, I personally would also describe them as one of the great-grandfathers of electronic dance music. At least that is what it was for me.
I discovered the record in 1979 in what was then the largest record shop in Munich (a branch of the WOM World of Music; was closed a long time ago). I was on a school trip and after the usual cultural programme we were allowed to go shopping in the city centre as usual. I was basically drawn to the above mentioned record shop, because the offer in my hometown Füssen was limited. If you wanted to order something, it took at least 3-4 weeks and on top of that the records cost a lot of money.
Maybe that’s why I remember the class trip and the purchase of this album so well, because this LP was one of the most important musical milestones for me. And the milestones had to be tracked down laboriously, not in Füssen, but in the biiiiiiig Munich. Today I visit iTunes or Amazon Music, put a whole album or just single tracks into the shopping basket, pay the whole thing and a few seconds later it’s on my computer. This is not a special experience, unlike back then.
On the LP you can find the danceable hits “Blind Youth” and “Empire State Human” next to more experimental tracks. In the first two of them there are already two important elements of modern dance music: sparse synthesizer sequences, a monotonous rhythm. Simply ingenious.
Up to this point, synthesizer-based music was not really connected with danceable music for me. Rather something like Klaus Schulze and Pink Floyd. Danceable back then was actually only the disco music. And that was nothing for the cool guys. Now I stand by it, but that is another story.
I linked to “Empire State Human”, especially because of the nice presentation. Have fun listening to it.
Pink Floyd (last story) helped me to enter the electronic music world, but the first real milestone was the LP Timewind by Klaus Schulze.
I bought the record in a freaky store in my hometown Füssen. There you found – for small-town conditions – an extremely varied, modern and mostly alternative assortment: a lot of reggae, a lot of electronics, hard rock, etc. The store combined a dusty pharmacy flair with the aura of a drug den, but you could listen to records for hours without being looked at crooked. Here the musical dreams of a music-loving 16-year-old were stored. A complete alternative to the biggest radio shop on the square, there were the Oberkrainer Musicians, Cindy and Bert, James Last, Heino and other monstrosities from the Schlager or folk music corner. In addition you were looked at crooked if you listened to a record for more than 5 minutes. So the shopping was not really fun.
One day in this shop I discovered the Timewind by Klaus Schulze and immediately fell in love with this record. At that time it was very expensive for me (20 DMark with 100 DM pocket money). But the LP was worth it, a window into a new music universe. To appreciate the tracks, I usually looked for a quiet place and enjoyed the spherical sounds to the full. Sometimes I also fell asleep during this process. Either way I have rested after enjoying the record.
Even today – in our hectic, fast-moving times – a wonderful musical resting place and a huge contrast to the Spotify consumption environment (just listen for a minute). Little by little, two other records by the artist were added, the Black Dance and the Body Love. But to the latter there is a nice extra story. But this one will be available soon.
Personal favourites in the work of the artist do not really exist. But because the Timewind was my entrance into the world of Klaus Schulze, I’ll play it briefly. Have fun.
House only. Finally playing again after the shutdown. It was fun, even without the dance floor. Hopefully the clubs can open again soon! Thanks to the wonderful audience, thanks to the sorgenfrei team. Enjoy listening.
It was Pink Floyd. Thousands of years ago the group ignited my enthusiasm for electronic music. Anyway, I can’t remember having been involved with this style of music before.
What happened musically before is now – even with enough distance – simply embarrassing. When I sat in front of the TV and recorded the hits from Ilia Richter’s show “Disco” with my cassette recorder. With the microphone, in particularly poor quality. Especially annoying were the disturbances by my siblings, who often burst into the recording noisily. Or my parents, who talked to each other. Once again in vain, once again waiting for the next chance. Today hardly more conceivable.
It’s good that these musical excursions into Ilia Richter’s universe have long been a thing of the past. Nevertheless, like zombies, one-hit-wonders from that time appear again and again, stretch out their claws and try to pull me under their spell. No chance. You captured my 14-year-old me, now you can’t do it anymore.
Back to electronic music. I believe that the first conscious contact with the genre was the music film “Pink Floyd in Pompeii”. It inspired me not only for the band, but for the whole music genre. The atmosphere in this film is fascinating, the ruins of Pompeii in the background, the band in front of it. Wow, after this film I knew: this will be my music.
My declared favourite was and is the track “One of these days”. At the beginning the noise, then the bass. In between again and again the synthesizer chords and the hihats. Then in the middle, the guitar, the break with the key phrase “One of these days, I will cut you into little pieces.” And then into the finale with the guitar solo. BAMM. A first and great milestone in the direction of electronic music in general. Have fun listening to it.
A few weeks ago – triggered by a Facebook group – I decided to start a little ramble through almost five decades of my own music history. First and foremost I want to write about songs that have inspired me. Sometimes there’s a story behind them.
As the years go by, one or the other detail might disappear, but the really important milestones usually will be remembered vivid and colorful.
When I think back, my love for electronic music is one of the few constants in my own musical universe over the decades.It began at the age of 13 or 14 – I don’t remember exactly – with a music film and does not end with the release of my first EP in 2019. No, the story continues…
And that’s the end for today. I would be happy if you would like to accompany me on my foray. By the way, what does this foray have to do with our dogin the picture? I’m almost as relaxed as she is.
This is a weird story about two completely different characters: tante techno and uncle house. Both love music, but totally different genres. Lets start with uncle house. He lives in an emotional world. He reacts emotionally to events and can shift quickly from mood to mood. He has rich imaginations, tells entertaining stories, and he is drawn to romance and melodrama. He is always in the center of attention and likes all kinds of house music. He is easily putting his trust in others and he is seeking always for new opportunities and new relationships.
One day he got an irresistible offer: play a gig with tante techno. She was known for hard, electronic #music and for her impatience. Anyone who played a style of music she didn’t like was simply eaten. Any sensible guy would have said no (!) immediately, but our cute little guy again only saw the great party. It won’t be so bad, at the core tante techno is a nice thing too. His friends tried to persuade him, but it was no use, he wanted to play. And so the disaster took its course.
For me personally there are two directions within electronic music that I love to play: House and techno. But what has been bothering me more and more was this either-or.
So I started to experiment with some gigs and combined my two favoured genres, for the first time officially announced on 28.11.2019 at Café Holler. I called the event “Uncle House meets Tante Techno”. This was musically quite well received and so I tried the whole thing again at the Cafè Sorgenfrei a few weeks ago and it worked again.
At the same time the format got another name “Tante Techno eats Uncle House”. Sounds more dramatic and besides that I was able to combine it perfectly with my own drawing and a little animated story. The aunt techno eats up the poor uncle, just like the hard sound eats up the more pleasing house sounds in a way. Have fun with the first part of this set from the Cafè Sorgenfrei.
Lang lang ist es her. Beim durchstöbern meines Rechners habe ich noch eine alte Aufzeichnung eines Techno-Sets aus dem Café Holler gefunden. Letztes Jahr hatte ich einmal einen Durchhänger, so gegen Ende des Jahres. Zu der Zeit hatte ich irgendwie keine richtige Lust zum Auflegen. Aber 2020 hat auf jeden Fall schon mit einem ganz anderen Schwung begonnen.
Morgen lege ich wieder im Café Sorgenfrei auf, ich freue mich schon richtig. Vielleicht sehen wir uns morgen. Und als kleine Einstimmung dazu gibt es das eben erwähnte Techno-Set aus der Rumpelkiste. Viel Spaß beim anhören.
Long time ago. While browsing through my computer I found an old recording of a techno set from Café Holler. Last year I once had a sag at the end of the year. At that time I somehow didn’t really have the mood to DJ. But 2020 has definitely started with a completely different swing.
Tomorrow I’ll DJ at the Café Sorgenfrei again, I’m really looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow. And as a little warm-up there’s the above mentioned techno set from the rumble box. Enjoy listening.
If nothing goes wrong, my first release will be out on 13.5.2019: Gasherbrum. To the day exactly 6 years after I started my DJ career again. With growing enthusiasm I have worked my way into music theory, harmony, mixing know-how, arrangements, etc..
But that’s not all, I still don’t have to have a blog for my music. I want more. I want to embed my music in stories and visualize them. That’s why I need this blog. The ideas have been haunting my head for a long time, but now the time has come to tell the stories. What kind of stories? Let yourself be surprised. Stay tuned.