Alien Transistor HHV Records 14 Items

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Alien Transistor
Minhwi Lee - Borrowed Tongue
Minhwi Lee
Borrowed Tongue
LP | 2023 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
23,99 €*
Release: 2023 / EU – Original
Genre: Rock & Indie
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Borrowed Tongue is the debut solo album by Korean singer-songwriter Minhwi Lee. It’s a mysterious, strangely compelling thing, an album of rare poetry, and remarkably self-assured. Originally released in November 2016, the album made waves, winning best folk album of 2016 at the 14th Korean Music Awards. Its eight songs, written and predominantly arranged by Lee, don’t reveal their secrets easily, or at first blush; rather, they take their time slowly to unfurl in her listeners’ worlds. There are hints of other music here, from time to time: the intimacy of Stina Nordenstam, perhaps; the gauzy haze of Hope Sandoval, on the blissed-out pop of “Broken Mirror”; there are touches of acid-folk, and ECM jazz, and a slyly filmic approach to songwriting and arrangement that makes every song fit perfectly into the album’s arc.

Lee arrived at her solo music through a complex, circuitous route. After studying musicology in Seoul, she learned her trade, film scoring, in New York and Paris. She also studied classical music, blowing off steam in a wild punk duo, Mukimukimanmansu, who released one album, 2012, on Korean indie label Beatball. Subsequently, Lee has been refining her music, focusing both on her solo songs, and on writing for television series and films; she’s written scores for films by such directors as Sangmoon Lee, Jeongwon Kam, and Wanmin Lee. She also plays in the jazz outfit Cubed, and recently joined doom metal group Gawthrop on bass.

Since its release in 2016, Borrowed Tongue has slowly bewitched listeners with its idiosyncratic arrangements and evocative songwriting. It’s an album that hints at plenty, but refuses to make grand statements, something Lee seems intent to pursue: in correspondence, she’s very clear that she wants these songs to enact a kind of transmutation, to be adopted into the listeners’ lives and exist within their own imaginings. She does, however, offer a few hints to what propels these mercurial songs, explaining, “this album is about a person who again opens their mouth, which was once shut. The album deals with what it means to speak: things that are known but not said, things that should be said but are not, things that cannot be said but nonetheless are.”

This may well explain the curious mood of Borrowed Tongue, the multiple ‘voices’ that inhabit the album; Lee’s singing voice is pliable and mutable, approaching each song as its own diorama and ensuring the song is sung with just the right tone. The arrangements Lee conjures for her songs are all in service to narrative and melody; they appear to her alongside the composition, which is surely why everything here fits together so beautifully. From there, Lee approaches her songs carefully, in deference to their ‘need to be sung’ a certain way. There isn’t a moment wasted: everything on Borrowed Tongue is as it needs to be, whether a melancholy folk song taking to the air, or a psychedelic reverie dreamed into being. It’s a beautiful, poised and confident debut.
You + Your D. Metal Friend - Sonnier
You + Your D. Metal Friend
LP | 2016 | EU | Reissue (Alien Transistor)
19,99 €*
Release: 2016 / EU – Reissue
Genre: Rock & Indie
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Preorder shipping from 2023-09-29
In 2015, Cico Beck ( Joasihno, Aloa Input, the Notwist ) and Markus Acher ( the Notwist, Tied & Tickled Trio, Rayon ) started the project "You + Your D.Metal Friend" as a collective for improvisations and ideas apart from their other bands.

They will experiment with different settings and instrumentations and will collaborate with other artists for the music and the cover-artwork.

For "Sonnier", their first recordings, Cico and Markus started with percussion instruments from around the globe, analogue synthesizers and all kinds of acoustic and electronic devices to layer music that sounds like the memory of Gamelan, Italian library-records and minimal electronic experimentation... music, they listened to a lot before recording.

"Sonnier" will be available on vinyl (incl. download-code), limited to 300 for the world, and will not be repressed. Packaged in heavy-cardboard-LP-covers from second-hand records, they collected from their local record-stores with a screen-printed and numbered artwork glued on it. Designed by Richard Greenan from kit-records, London, and printed by Senor Burns (Red Can). Each cover is unique and hand numbered.
Fuchs - Fuchs
LP | 2022 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
19,99 €*
Release: 2022 / EU – Original
Genre: Organic Grooves
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Fuchs is a band that never was. It vanished as quickly as it appeared in the picture, much like the animal that can be seen on this album and after whom it was named. In 2005, Kante singer and guitarist Peter Thiessen travelled to Weilheim to visit Markus and Micha Acher in their studio, where they were joined, among others, by Notwist-affiliated musicians like Cico Beck, Robert Klinger, Carl Oesterhelt and Stefan Schreiber. Spirits were high, but schedules were full: after a week of improvised sessions, everyone went their own way. The recordings gathered dust until Markus Acher found them again in 2021 while cleaning out his studio. After carefully re-evaluating the rough mixes, the musicians decided to finally release them. The resulting album comprises six tracks that musically draw on jazz, aesthetically lean on dub techniques and ideologically pick up on krautrock: there’s no solos to be heard on this record, just a few equally skilled and open-minded musicians listening to each other carefully, providing each other with space in which to unfold. »Fuchs« is a document of egos dissolving in a collective spirit. Thiessen and the Acher brothers met in the 1990s and bonded not only over their shared background in hardcore music and the DIY ethos in which it was rooted, but also over their love for jazz. »If you look at those two things combined, you will eventually become convinced that you don’t have to be formally trained to make music that at least resembles jazz«, says Thiessen today. He invited Micha Acher to join his band Kante on flügelhorn in 2004 for a tour that saw the expanded group play unusual encores after the official concert was over. »Micha had taught us some dixie pieces, so night after night we would play a freestyle dixieland ska set in front of the remaining audience!« Naturally, the Acher brothers didn’t have to ask twice when they invited him for a visit in Weilheim to further explore their mutual interests in a studio setting. »I got on my way immediately and took two or three loose ideas, a tape echo and a guitar on whose headplate you could create fantastic sounds with me«, says Thiessen. Between immersing themselves in books by the photographer Leonore Mau, cooking together and drinking the occasional fruit schnapps, the trio went into the studio. Says Thiessen, »Micha brought his flügelhorn and some wonderful ideas with him, Markus an Indian harmonium and a plan, Carl Oesterhelt came with a glockenspiel and a Chinese zither and a bunch of amazing jazz musicians joined in, too.« He considers the resulting recording sessions to be a kind of attempt at musically translating their conversations during those days. They discussed different approaches to jazz, whether sampling and musical miscitations can unlock ecstatic potentials and the possible parallels between syncretistic religions and pop music. »There’s traces of glossolalia, it's like a blurry séance«, adds Thiessen in regard to the sessions. It is especially this spirit that managed to live on even though the recordings themselves were abandoned. »What we all liked most when listening back to the recordings is probably their marginal and fragmentary character, the empty spaces—the moments in which the virtuoso solo never comes, in which the centre remains empty.« The six pieces on »Fuchs« are chock-full of exactly these moments. When at one instant, the players seem to disperse and improvise freely, they always meet again on common ground a short time later, continuing on their way together. There are no conventions or even previous agreements that guide them, just a shared will to explore a vast range of curious sounds and unusual rhythms together as a truly unified constellation of very different musicians. Fuchs is a band that never was. Its ideas still reverberate vividly even 17 years later.
Saroos - Olu
LP | 2020 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
17,99 €*
Release: 2020 / EU – Original
Genre: Electronic & Dance
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Deliberately breaking all the rules Mr. Hornby once famously outlined regarding the creation of homemade (tape) compilations, Saroos’ members indeed had the term “mixtape” on their minds while working on their latest full-length – albeit in the hip-hop sense: a sonic snack box, interconnected shots from the hip, something that just came together and immediately felt right.
Whereas hip-hop folks nowadays often use the vacuous term “project” in order to steer clear of the ontological debate caused by the almost synonymous use of album/mixtape, Florian Zimmer, Christoph Brandner, and Max Punktezahl, otherwise busy with The Notwist, Driftmachine & Lali Puna, stick to the classics: their new 16-track project “OLU” (Off Label Use) is, officially, still an album. But it’s wild and vibrant like a mixtape, interwoven like its cover: a seamless burst of ideas, impulsively combined to form a split-screen snapshot of recent moments and momentums.
Re-appropriating the term “Off Label Use” – which actually means: using prescription drugs in ways that aren’t mentioned on the instruction leaflet – in their own “off-label” way, Saroos never sounded more loose-limbed and elastic. Whereas the trio’s earlier releases were rather conceptual and homogenous, “OLU” indeed has a more loose, spur-of-the-moment feel, a spontaneous force at its core. Checking the weighty sci-fi inspirations at the door, they use that Bomb Shelter-type of freedom to reinvent themselves at every turn, chasing sounds that happened to emerge in the group’s triangular energy field.
The Notwist - Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff
The Notwist
Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff
3LP | 2016 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
25,99 €*
Release: 2016 / EU – Original
Genre: Rock & Indie
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First ever official live recordings, recorded in December 2015 during a 3 night, sold-out run in Leipzig, Germany.
Saroos - Turtle Roll
Turtle Roll
LP | 2023 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
19,99 €*
Release: 2023 / EU – Original
Genre: Electronic & Dance
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How about you forget for a moment all the things you thought you knew about Saroos, okay? First of all, let’s forget about all the other projects these guys are part of. Why? Because thinking of The Notwist, Driftmachine, Lali Puna, Tvii Son, to name “only” half a dozen things, might be misleading in this case. What’s more, please make sure to forget the fact that they’re mostly filed under “instrumental,” “post-rock dub,” or “kraut-flavored indie-tronica,” you know, all that. And most importantly, let’s forget that they’re a closed, three-minded system: a fixed and fully committed entity of three. No more! Known to reinvent themselves in less drastic ways, Christoph Brandner, Max Punktezahl and Florian Zimmer, have opened the floodgates to Collaboration – making things open, porous, different, new, in many ways, on their quietly explosive latest album “Turtle Roll”. Announced by 2021 singles “Tin & Glass” feat. Ronald Lippok and aptly titled “Frequency Change” feat. Leila Gharib aka Sequoyah Tiger, the sixth full-length sees the Berlin threesome add another handful of vocal guests along the way – thus turning into shape-shifting full bands and/or temp quartets, perfectly at home in about as many genres as there are tracks on the LP. Kicked off by the motoric B-funk (Berlin represent) of the Lippok-assisted “Tin & Glass,” complete with retro-futuristic effects, spoken declarations, and non-terrestrial vibes, it might not be Daft Punk playing at their house, but a byobv (vibe) house party of musical minds isn’t too far off, actually! Once again as much a mixtape as an album, the mood, vibe, and color changes with every new collaborative tune: From ethereally soothing and dreamy (“The Mind Knows” feat. Solent from Canada) to clap-driven and wildly hypnotic (that pounding “Mutazione,” featuring vocals and rhymes courtesy of Eva Geist from Italy) and almost radio-ready (“current, bass-heavy alternative indie hits only!”), when that stadium-sized oomph of “Frequency Change” feat. Sequoyah Tiger arrives around halfway in. Elsewhere, Japanese guest Kiki Hitomi (WaqWaq Kingdom) adds exotic ecstasy to the hypothermic beatscapes of “The Sign,” while Ukrainian vocalist Lucy Zoria pushes poetic layers over “Southern Blue”’s wonky foundation that hardens and finds more direction with each round the beat clock takes – until it’s impossible to escape that undertow. “My baby makes it better,” sings Caleb Dailey on the faithful and still-loving “Being with You,” a sepia, softly churning look back by the US songsmith, a sweetly shimmering ode to a relationship. Speaking of foursomes, there’s four instrumental tracks scattered throughout the new LP – ranging from a painting in crystal clear colors of night (“Organ of Recall”) to the highly dramatic sonic tapestry of “Thicket” (actually feat. vocals as well). Before the perfect goodbye of slow-moving album closer “Here Before,” “Passed Out” sounds like Odd Nosdam finding his feet after blacking out on a German carnival. Titled after a surf maneuver that allows you to break through the crests on the way out, Saroos have skipped the obvious waves with “Turtle Roll” – creating their own kind of sonic “Hang Ten” by adding 7 new voices to the mix.
Gratin Carnival - Such December
Gratin Carnival
Such December
LP | 2023 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
23,99 €*
Release: 2023 / EU – Original
Genre: Rock & Indie
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Preorder shipping from 2023-10-06
What Are People For? - What Are People For?
What Are People For?
What Are People For?
LP | 2022 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
19,99 €*
Release: 2022 / EU – Original
Genre: Electronic & Dance
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What Are People For? make the perfect kind of dystopic dance music for our times. Born from a collaboration between artist Anna McCarthy and musician/producer Manuela Rzytki, the band could be the illicit lovechild of Tom Tom Club and Throbbing Gristle, displaying the ideal balance of hip shaking vibes and dark provocative content.

On their collaborative debut, McCarthy and Rzytki share songwriting duties. The album was produced by Rzytki herself. They are joined by Paulina Nolte on backing vocals and Tom Wu on drums, while Keith Tenniswood mastered the record.

The whole project stems from a publication and exhibition by McCarthy laying the foundations for the content and lyrics of the album, which is humorous, poetic and political. As a lyricist, McCarthy uses her storytelling ability to explore anxieties and desires, digging into free surreal word associations reminiscent of Su Tissues’ tongue in cheek experiments with Suburban Lawns, but also explosive and gripping like a Kae Tempest rap. Rzytki’s precise sonic palette and talent at penning structured bangers perfectly complement McCarthy’s playful and subversive language manipulations. Rzytki's beats are rooted in old school Hiphop loop principles and an authentic love for the analog. Her use of an array of synthesizers and other "real" instruments adds to Wapf's depth, soul and sincerity.

The album opens with a joyful anthem, full of energy and melodic hooks. The audience is confronted with the quintessential titular question What Are People For? and told that they are just a mere disposable commodity. Throughout the album, lyrical themes revolve around underground aspects of society, violence, political ideologies, sexuality and mysticism. The content is deep but the album is as danceable as it is biting.

73, with its drum machine hysteria and hypnotic synth basses is a a text collage written on the 73 bus through London, consisting of situations and conversation snippets encountered along the way. Drones indulges in the narrator’s paranoia as they feel they are being watched by cigarette machines, whilst the haunting choir is half spoken, half sung, ending on the orgasmic chanting of the word “mummy”. Nursery Rhyme brings more soothing incantations. There is definitely an affinity for fairytales, albeit adult ones and especially the anarchistic ones such as The Moomins, who were a consistent influence on the band. The artwork for the record, created by McCarthy, is a beautiful children's book-style painting of the group in a forest, seemingly about to engage in a magical encounter to which we are invited.

Wapf? have absorbed and digested a variety of influences. Trip hop, Punk and Techno are rubbing shoulders on Party Time. 1977 was coined “Summer of Hate” in the UK and unsurprisingly in Wapf?’s Summer of War, ethereal singing alternates with a powerful marching Garage/Grime chorus reminiscent of street protests and UK culture.

Mz. Lazy starts like an invitation to meditation and references Gertrude Stein’s book Ida in which she develops the idea that publicity is a new religion and people are now famous for being famous. Repressed anger explodes into violence and freedom at the end of the song as our heroine eventually grabs an axe to destroy her oppressors. Fantasize, on its part, is raw, sexual and liberating while the closing track Bring Back the Dirt is a welcome hymn into a world that is becoming more and more sanitised.

While exploring deep subject matters throughout their album, Wapf? manage to remain satirical, exciting and funny. Each and everyone of their songs have a cathartic quality.

The visual identity of the band is intrinsic to their appeal. Live, they are eccentric, wild and unapologetic, wearing see-through costumes, bright miniskirts and intricate headpieces while delivering their songs with sharp intensity. Their performances radiate queer sexiness and transcend B52's thrift store aesthetics, creating a space for collective dreaming.

Wapf? is a rare combination of contemporary punk energy, irresistible groove, absurdist dry humour and astounding depth of field. They have the mighty power to create a party with their music and soon you will find yourself lifting your arms as if controlled by an external force, to chant: Wapf? Wapf? Wapf?

– Marie Merlet (Malphino, Little Trouble Girls, London)
Caleb Dailey - Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings: Beside You Then
Caleb Dailey
Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings: Beside You Then
LP | 2022 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
27,99 €*
Release: 2022 / EU – Original
Genre: Rock & Indie
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Growing up in the Californian sprawl and the vast suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, Caleb Dailey largely dismissed the country and western music that surrounded him. Instead, he was drawn to independent rock, experimental zones, and other genre-defying forms, which led him to create skewed rock music with Bear State and establish the “minimal art label” Moone Records with his brother Micah Dailey in 2013. But in the early half of the 2010s, Dailey began to hear things differently. Drawn into the left-of-center works of artists like Gram Parsons and Blaze Foley, a more idiosyncratic take on country, folk, and roots music began to swirl in his imagination.

Wandering into the form’s cowboy chords and lonesome scenes, Dailey found himself wondering what his own country album might sound like. The result is his debut solo album, a collection of covers called Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings; Beside You Then. Produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, Keiko Beers, and Dailey himself, it’s a melancholy charmer, rooted in traditional ideas but free roaming in its scope. Laced with synths, pedal steel, acoustic guitars, and commanded by Dailey’s full and woozy voice, it owes as much to the busted waltzes of Lambchop and the homespun lo-fi folk of Little Wings (whose Kyle Field appears on the album via a spoken intermission) as it does to the songwriters and performers who provide its source material, which include Parsons, Foley, Elvis Presley associate Chips Moman, steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, and others.

“The subversive nature of country music isn’t as much at the surface as some other genres,” Dailey says. “But the deeper down the ‘country hole’ I went, the more I wanted to be part of it. It is truly a strange world.”

The hands of Dailey and his collaborators, which includes a wide roster of DIY experimentalists like James Fella of art punks Soft Shoulder, Jay Hufman (Gene Tripp), Lonna Kelley of Giant Sand, Japanese DIY hero’s Koji Shibuya and Tori Kudo, Nicholas Krgovich, Markus Acher of The Notwist, and more, that strangeness is accentuated. Dailey doesn't aspire to retro Nashville fetishism or sanctioned notions of “realness” so much as a genuine outsider authenticity. Take his version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” for example: a highlight of the record, it pairs familiar genre signifiers like pedal steel and guitar strums with warbled synths. Then there’s his read of “Dreaming My Dreams,” originally made famous by Waylon Jennings (who also did time in the Arizona desert), which morphs from a mournful ballad into a wash of far-off sonic noise.

The attention here is on the songcraft itself, with Dailey inhabiting these songs and turning them inside out to reveal unexpected tenderness and playfulness.

Recorded at home with an acoustic guitar and 4-track, Dailey began open correspondences with his collaborators, who fleshed out ideas and added touches, often working with skeletal frames before Dieterich and Dailey shaped it into a cohesive whole. “John is the reason this album exists,” Dailey says. “He sculpted all these parts together in such an otherworldly way. He is truly a magician.” Deeply allergic to insincerity, Dailey avoids any trace of irony. He’s created a cohesive gem out of disparate parts, uniting Americana songcraft with experimental disassemblage. From this bric-à-brac, he’s made something touching and beautifully strange.
Atsuko Hatano & Midori Hirano - Water Ladder
Atsuko Hatano & Midori Hirano
Water Ladder
LP | 2021 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
20,99 €*
Release: 2021 / EU – Original
Genre: Electronic & Dance
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Following their recent solo releases Soniscope (Dauw) and Cells #5 (Important Records), Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist Midori Hirano and Tokyo based string experimentalist Atsuko Hatano have teamed up for their first collaborative full-length: Water Ladder. An intense, multilayered continuation of earlier collaborations (Atsuko was featured on Midori’s debut LP back in 2006), the foundation for this new collaborative album was laid when they shared stages in Berlin (Ausland) and Japan in 2019. Working remotely at first, they later recorded parts of the album in Nara’s snoihouse (using omnidirectional polyhedral speakers).

“As we rallied back and forth with our recordings in the process of creating this album, unanticipated fluctuations and irregularities emerged, coming together into a kind of music with a unique resilience and buoyancy that cannot be confined to existing molds. It was as though we had built a Water Ladder to bridge the gap between us,” explains prolific composer and viola player Atsuko Hatano, who’s been busy recording solo and with colleagues such as Jim O’Rourke, Eiko Ishibashi, Mocky, Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, Takeo Toyama, and Anzu Suhara (Asa-chang & Junrei).

Kyoto-born, Berlin-based Midori Hirano, who’s also been releasing music under her MimiCof moniker, adds multiple instruments to the ever-changing sonic landscapes of Water Ladder – an album defined by suspenseful and seemingly suspended compositions that often feel like floating in midair, a sensation the musicians compare to “that distinctive feeling you get from riding a high-speed elevator, where you can no longer tell whether you’re going up or down.”

Devoid of birdsong, the late summer air is nevertheless full of buzzing, whirring, hissing sounds on foreboding album opener “Summer Noise,” a cinematic intro with slow-moving piano chords and an ominous build-up over the course of its sprawling eight minutes. Elsewhere, sudden bursts of viola cut through nighttime peace (“Nocturnal Awakening”), followed by “Cotton Sphere” – which makes the sensation of floating in midair complete: harmonies and melodies rise and form to fall apart again, leaving only trails of previously defined space shimmering in their wake…

Whereas the title track truly explodes half-way in, the final “Cascade” brings closure to the electro-acoustic six-track collection: the floating continues, but the interlocking musical planes are no longer ruffled or rippling, no longer torn in many directions at once. Instead, the sonic streams merge and eventually disappear like ephemeral water falls after heavy rain or sudden snowmelt.

“Water cannot retain its form on its own, and can take any shape as effected by external forces. Its movements cannot be captured by eyesight alone: A body of water that appears to be crashing down into a deep, bottomless waterfall could actually be rising up very slowly into midair,” says Atsuko. “This is an invitation for you to cross the ever-transforming Water Ladder built between Midori and myself.”
Fehler Kuti - Professional People
Fehler Kuti
Professional People
LP | 2021 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
23,99 €*
Release: 2021 / EU – Original
Genre: Organic Grooves
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Organi - Parlez-Vous Francais?
Parlez-Vous Francais?
LP | 2021 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
15,99 €*
Release: 2021 / EU – Original
Genre: Pop
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A quick, spontaneIü voyage to the French Riviera ca. 1968, good times long before things went south, Organi's "Parlez-vous FrancIais?" is a woozy, tripping, soothing sojourn: DIY dream pop, hazy psychedelia, blurred-but-steady beats dripping down the golden boulevard, complete with mystical chants, a dash of half-remembered Franglais that goes down like some vintage eau-de-vie. There's a fine massage waiting behind those venetian blinds. Pay half an hour, you'll be relaxed and revived after 22 minutes. TreIÇs irreIüsistible when streamed, Organi's haunting, hard-boiled French lesson is even better with that classique vinyl crackle in the mix.Following the cinematic title skit with its bass loop appendix, Oakland-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Walti (and his songwriting partner Maryam) aka Organi invites singer Jessica Bailiff along for the majestic entreIüe, an interpretation of Philamore Lincoln's 1970 tune "The North Wind Blew South" (doesn't it always?), adding anticon. heavyweights Jel and Odd Nosdam on synths and bass for aIÇ la mode enhancements and additional bric-aIÇ- brac.Whereas the theme tune "Organi" comes with big drums, big organ, seductive overtones, pure hypnosis, "Whispers" is the soundtrack to some kind of psychedelic campfire tableau vivant: all brumeux, hazy, with spare guitar, Gauloises or Gitanes dangling, a glass of Bordeaux waiting on the dusty old amp, and featuring guest vocalists Yea-Ming Chen & Susy Borhan. It gets even more Parisienne after that: a French woman just knows how to look classic, even when all she's got is some attitude, a ramshackle tambourine, a craving for old Sukia weirdness and those budget-couture "4 Dolla Jeans"...Clearly in love with analog equipment, Organi turn The Vaselines' "Slushy" into a slow- moving, bottomless lullaby - "... you'll never miss what you never had" -, and the femme fatale minimalism of "Stay The Night" is too magneIütique and alluring: A fuckin' sexy chanson, treIÇs leIüger and yet such a hard-knockin' head-nod...
Fehler Kuti - Schland Is The Place For Me
Fehler Kuti
Schland Is The Place For Me
LP | 2019 | EU | Original (Alien Transistor)
17,99 €*
Release: 2019 / EU – Original
Genre: Rock & Indie
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I remember the first time I read W.E.B. DuBois eclectic masterpiece The Souls of Black Folk. The way in which this Weberian scholar flowed from personal account to prose to sociological analysis to music and even political intervention has had a lasting impact on my own work as a cultural anthropologist. It made me understand that as scholars we must use different means in order to give expression to the totality of the lived experience: There is only so much in an academic text.

The experience of alienation has always been at the heart of my scholarly and artistic practice. I have used academic writing, lecturing, theatre performance and electronic improvisation to understand and represent it as a theoretical concept, postcolonial condition and lived experience. I believe, some issues need to be told like a story, some analyzed in most abstract terms and others need to be sung like a gospel. The medium changes the message.

In this sense, I guess, I’m a singing cultural anthropologist.

For some time now I have been engaged in the use of dystopian themes and sounds to paint a sonic picture of structural racism and whiteness of our present. But recently I have grown weary of this Ballardian idea of Future Now and the resulting phantasmagorian aesthetics myself and others have been invested in. The widespread availability of Digital Audio Workstations, sequencers, loopers and delay pedals has lead us into a futuristic cul de sac best described by Mark Fisher as the very absence of future.

Likewise, I am most skeptical of the “naturalist” countermovement, the return of folk. Especially in Germany, I am convinced there is no such thing as an innocent or progressive folk musical expression as it is always connected to the idea of the homeland (“Heimat”) which in turn produces the colony. It seems to me, the current zeitgeist is stuck between a “museum of a dystopian future” and a “museum of an idealized past”, but I wanted to sing about the present.

So, I involuntarily returned to pop music in its two-folded meaning of something popular and addressing not an essentialist notion of “Volk” or its woke cousin “communities”, but society as a whole.

I entered the studio just with a few lo-fi sounding melodies and rhythms from my circuit bent CASIO synthesizer. I had no clue what the finished product would sound like. But as soon as Markus started drumming, in a way strangely reminding me of CAN’s Ethnographic Forgery Series, my uptight sounds were suddenly embedded within a warmer global sound spectrum. The alien at home and abroad and the strange overlapped: We were seeing one and the same sound differently but were gently held together by Tobias’ producing.

Making music is about building coalitions. It’s about suggesting an articulation of styles, sounds and people, that hasn’t materialized, yet, but may help us in the current crisis: I wanted Amon Düül II to send their drug induced archangel thunderbird to rescue the refugees, that had tried to escape the police by climbing up a tree in Munich in 2016. I wanted Sun Ra to taunt far-right protesters in Chemnitz in 2018. And I wanted to mourn the loss of a former kebab shop cum discotheque that served as proof that there is such a thing as a minoritarian universalism.

SCHLAND IS THE PLACE FOR ME is a pop album featuring songs of alienation, not only as a tragic experience, but as a pop-cultural promise. Maybe Bill Callahan sung it best, “I am Star Wars today, I am no longer English grey”. I want those who suffer from alienation to stand in alliance with those who seek alienation, and vice-versa. A coalition, that tolerates the possibility that we are moved by the same groove for contrary reasons.

Fehler Kuti
Munich, Autumn 2019
Fuchs - Fuchs
LP | 2022 | DE | Original (Alien Transistor)
16,99 €*
Release: 2022 / DE – Original
Genre: Organic Grooves
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Used Vinyl
Medium: Near Mint, Cover: VG+
Cover with a bit of seam damage on top spine. Copy n° 016/500.
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