Rewind: Dave Mothersole on “Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit”

Posted: August 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Dave Mothersole on “Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit” (1988).

You wrote in a recent article about the roots of the music played in Goa that you came back to the UK from there and found acid house in full swing. Did that connect with what you heard in India, or was it something else entirely?

It was the very start of acid house. I got back from India in March 1988 – Shoom was still at the fitness centre in Southwark (although I never went) and a month or two later Spectrum opened at Heaven on Monday nights.

It was different from what I’d experienced in India. In some ways it was more tame as people had to go back to work or college or whatever after the weekend or on a Tuesday morning after Spectrum, where as in Goa partying was a full time occupation for most people and therefore more extreme. Goa was like Mad Max with palm trees and techno – almost totally lawless in those days, so nothing compares to it really. I’d been there the previous season (86 / 87) too and I’d come back with all these stories about freaks dancing all night to music that sounded like one long track – like all the best music you’d ever heard with all the crap parts taken out. How it didn’t stop all night and how everyone was freaking out to it on acid and on this new drug called ecstasy. I think my friends back home all thought I was mad, but when acid house came out they were like ‘ok, I get you now’. So I was pleased that they finally knew what I was on about. There were things I didn’t like though, like the MCs. Partying in Goa was like a mystical, very psychedelic experience. Almost a spiritual thing and it was all about getting inside the groove and letting the music take over, so to have some guy shouting ‘hands in the air’ every few minutes as everyone faced in the same direction was a bit distracting. So in that way it was different.

The music was totally different too. The influence of the soul scene (where most of the DJs came from) was very strong so there where a lot of song based tracks with very soulful vocals. The themes were different as well – the famous Martin Luther King speech over Mr Fingers; Ce Ce Rogers ‘Someday’; ‘Promised land’ – these were all Black American themes – songs about the struggle for liberation and freedom. They translated perfectly to multicultural, 80’s England though. Before acid house black and white kids didn’t mix so much on the dance floor, there were exceptions but on the whole the clubs were either separate or divided. Acid house changed all that overnight and these songs, with lyrics about reaching the promised land and living together as one family had a very powerful resonance with the audiences. I think it was a tremendous relief for my generation to finally come together in this way. And this applied not just to the divisions between black and white, but also to class divisions and those that separated the various different youth cults. It was an amazing time – an entire generation taking the same drug at the same time. Listening to the same music, feeling the same emotions. My friends all went from wearing designer clothes and hanging out at the pub to clubbing every weekend in dungarees, purple kickers and long sleeve tops and hoodies with peace signs, smileys and flowers and stuff on them. Some of them even quit their jobs and started throwing parties, selling drugs, DJing – anything they could do that would let them carry on partying. It was a huge change and it happened really fast. By the summer of 88 loads of people were into it and come the summer of 89 it was massive. Huge parties, every club in the country playing house music, office workers out on Friday shouting ‘mental’, mainstream compilation albums full of acid house hits and 10 year old kids dressed like ravers.

Was it like hearing the roots in Goa, and then back in the UK, acid house seemed to be the next step musically?

I wouldn’t say the next step from Goa, as the scene in Goa existed in it’s own little bubble. Culturally, I was very pleased that we were the first country to take the concept of dancing to electronic music on ecstasy, and push it straight into the mainstream. This wasn’t a new concept – people had been doing it throughout the 80’s in Chicago, New York, in Dallas (at the Stark Club), in Ibiza and of course in Goa – but we kind of democratised it. You didn’t have to be a freak in India, a New York club kid or a jet set Ibiza type anymore. You could be an ordinary kid, you know, from pretty much anywhere in the UK. That was really cool.

Musically, house had been popular in England since 85 / 86. ‘Jack Your Body’ was number one in the pop charts in 86 for example, and ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’ was top five in the same year. So I was already familiar with house music and indeed it’s roots as I’d been into the soul scene before and had grown up dancing to records like D-Train’s ‘You’re The One For Me’, ‘Beat The Street’ by Sharon Redd and Sinnamon’s ‘Thanks To You’. And then the whole electro thing hit big in England, so yeah, it was the next step musically for sure, but it was ecstasy that made it explode in the way it did. Much as I was familiar with it though, house music could still be shocking. I remember standing in the queue outside Spectrum for the first time and hearing this thunderous acid track booming out of the club and thinking ‘fuck me, this music is dark’.

On the whole though, the music in Goa was far more foreign to me. I lived in Italy as a boy and went on holiday there most summers right up until I went to India, so I was familiar with italo disco, but that was my only reference point. That an a few Front 242, Yello and Nitzer Ebb records my brother had. It might sound strange but until acid house broke, European club music was very rare at parties in England. After acid house that all changed, first with stuff like A Split Second and Code 61, then later with all the R&S and Music Man stuff and after that the Frankfurt stuff and whatever. Pre acid house though, only a few gay clubs played euro beat (as we called it) so hearing it in Goa – particularly in the psychedelic way they played it there – was a complete revelation to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss Joi Cardwell – Goodbye (The Victor Simonelli Remixes)

Posted: August 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Rezensionen | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Man könnte an dieser Stelle etliche wundervolle Platten bejubeln, die Victor Simonelli im Alleingang oder zusammen mit Tommy Musto Anfang der 90er gemixt und produziert hat. Zu dieser Zeit war er schon ein Veteran der New Yorker Clubmusik, die beeindruckende Liste von exklusiven Mixtape-Dokumenten auf seiner Webseite belegt umfassend mit welchen Legenden der Jahre vor und nach dem Discokollaps er bestens bekannt war. In seiner alten Nachbarschaft in Brooklyn hat man jedoch sehr unterschiedliche Lehren aus diesen Lehrjahren gezogen. Der an New York Freestyle geschulte, sehr samplefreudige Ansatz weiter Teile seines House-Bekanntenkreises scheint seinen Prämissen nicht entsprochen zu haben, denn seine Arbeiten waren geradezu mustergültige Beispiele für die Besinnung auf das Wesentliche. Eine Stimme, ein Groove, ein Dub, und alles auf gleicher Augenhöhe. Seine Beats waren prägnant, aber nicht zu aufdringlich, und seine Arrangements waren beneidenswert strukturiert, da sie nur mit wenigen aber dafür zwingenden durchgehenden Melodien soviel federnde Fahrt aufnahmen, dass dazu nur noch wenige punktgenaue Details hinzukommen mussten, alles andere hätte das geschmeidige Gleichgewicht als sinnlose Ornamente zerstört. Und wie einst Burt Bacharch mit Dionne Warwick, hatte Simonelli mit Joi Cardwell eine kongeniale Interpretin gefunden, die vergleichbar sophisticated, manierismenfrei und ungospelig seiner Musik den entscheidenden Assoziationsmehrwert und die Wahrhaftigkeit verleihen konnte, die sich aus dem entspannten Wesen ihres Gesangsstils im Kopf potenzierte. Joi Cardwell klang immer sexy, weil sie sich niemals an unrealistischen musikalischen und inhaltlichen Vorgaben und Konstellationen verhob. Und so ist “Goodbye” vielleicht der tröstendste Song, zu dem man den Part des Prellbocks einer ungleichen Beziehung wegtanzen kann. Der Moment der Erkenntnis ist gekommen, es gibt ein letztes Fazit, und dann wird endgültig klar Schiff gemacht:

“So here it is 4 a.m., and I’ve been thinking about all the things I can tell you. But I’m a lady and I’m always gonna be a lady. So I keep it simple. Goodbye.”

Miss Joi Cardwell – Goodbye (The Victor Simonelli Remixes) (Eightball Records, 1992)

de:bug 08/10

@ Tingel Tangel

Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Finn Johannsen (Macro, Berlin)
Hugo Capablanca (Discos Capablanca, Berlin)
Marvin / tell you taxidriver (Munich)
Bernhard Tobola
Simon Riegler
Armin Schmelz

@ Volksgarten Pavillon, Vienna

Rewind: Ulrich Schnauss über “Force Majeure”

Posted: August 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Artikel | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Im Gespräch mit Ulrich Schnauss über “Force Majeure” von Tangerine Dream (1979).

Ich nehme mal an, Tangerine Dream waren nicht so ein gängiges musikalisches Thema zur Zeit Deiner Jugend. Kannst Du Dich noch daran erinnern, wann und wie Du die Band für Dich entdeckt hast?

1991 erschien das Album “Frequencies” von LFO – eine Platte, die mich sehr nachhaltig beeindruckt hat – zum einen musikalisch, zum anderen da sich im Inlay der Text des Openers “What Is House” befindet: im Prinzip einfach eine Aufzählung der wichtigsten Vertreter der elektronischen Musik der vorangegangen Jahrzehnte. In dem Alter hatte ich tatsächlich keine Ahnung, wer Yellow Magic Orchestra oder Tangerine Dream sind – als großer LFO-Fan hat es mich aber interessiert, wen die beiden da als ihre Vorbilder nennen. Ich habe mich dann einfach Stück für Stück durch die Liste durchgearbeitet – als ich schließlich bei “Tangerine Dream” angekommen bin, hatte ich so eine Art musikalisches Erweckungserlebnis.

Ich kann mich noch daran erinnern, wie Du in den 90ern im kleinen Rahmen eines Clubs Deiner Geburtsstadt Kiel ein DJ-Set mit Deinen liebsten Tangerine Dream-Platten bestritten hast. Hattest Du damals schon die musikalischen Ideen im Kopf, die Du dann an anderen Orten umgesetzt hast? Wie wichtig waren Tangerine Dream für Deine persönliche Entwicklung als Künstler?

Ja, ganz bestimmt – ich habe eigentlich seit meiner Kindheit eine bestimmte Art von Musik im Kopf, die ich gerne irgendwann machen würde – alles was ich veröffentliche ist Teil eines langsamen Annäherungsprozesses an dieses Ziel.

Tangerine Dream war für mich in verschiedener Hinsicht wichtig – grundsätzlich erst einmal um zu erkennen, dass man mit Hilfe von elektronischen Instrumenten nicht nur Dance-Musik machen kann – für Jemanden, der zum ersten mal bewusst Synthesizer im Rahmen von Acid House gehört hat, ist das nicht unbedingt eine Selbstverständlichkeit. Zum anderen finde ich Edgar Froeses Herangehensweise an dieses elektronische Instrumentarium immer wieder inspirierend und das ist zu einer Art Leitidee auch für mich geworden: anstatt die Technik zum Fetisch zu erheben und die Transformation zur “Menschmaschine” zu propagieren (wenn auch zunächst in ironischer Brechung), steht das Werk von Tangerine Dream für ein Modell, bei dem der Mensch der bestimmende Faktor bleibt – das Sounddesign von Tangerine Dream unterscheidet sich grundsätzlich: warme, organische Farben, die den Hörer auf eine “Reise im Kopf” (pardon für das Klischee!) schicken – weit entfernt von technokratischer Kälte und büro-germanischer Sterilität (wobei ich nicht bestreiten will, dass sich unter dieser Voraussetzung nicht auch interessante Musik produzieren lässt – mich persönlich hat das allerdings nie sonderlich gereizt). Read the rest of this entry »

@ The Incidence

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Tonight at Jacki Terrasse

Rewind: Mike Thorne on “Strange Days”

Posted: August 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

In discussion with Mike Thorne on “Strange Days” by The Doors (1967).

Were you a Doors fan since their debut album, or was “Strange Days” the album that got you into their music?

I heard their first album shortly after release in 1967 and thought it astonishing. There was a presence and directness to the songs and the playing that was so fresh and new. Also, the sound and production were exceptional – everything still sounds so clear and present.

What drew you to them in the first place, especially compared to other rock groups of that era? What made them special? Was it Jim Morrison, the musicians, or their peculiar moody and dark approach to rock?

The band were clearly a distinctive group of talented people, interacting very constructively, and delivered the noise and force that’s always been attractive. They were one clear pole. In the days when music mattered, you were either a Beatles or a Stones person, with Pink Floyd or Soft Machine. There’s a parallel contrast between the Jefferson Airplane and the Doors. Even though I liked much of their output, the Airplane could be ‘nice’ in the unthinking hippy way in times when we were all feeling our way. Much of their output didn’t have anything like the power of Somebody To Love or White Rabbit, and could be downright sappy. The Doors always played rough and direct. More recent public polarities include the Blur/Oasis media circus, but that wasn’t so much about stylistic contrast. Read the rest of this entry »

Rewind: Ken Vulsion on “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Posted: August 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In discussion with Ken Vulsion on “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division (1980).

How did you first come across “Love Will Tear Us Apart”? Was it love at first sight the time it was originally released, or did you get to know it later on?

I grew up in a sleepy part of New York State. There was little access to new, alternative music there in the 80’s. Every Tuesday there was a New Wave radio show on the Ithaca College radio station, the DJ was Mike Weidner. He played “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on that show, which I recorded to cassette. This would have been in 1981 or 82. It was love at first listen.

The song is generally considered to be one of the best songs ever written. Did you have the notion that this song is exceptional, or was it just another song you liked very much?

It is exceptional. The newness and truth has never faded. Read the rest of this entry »

Finn Johannsen – Bleep43 Podcast 176

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Mix recorded for bleep43