Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ekkehard Ehlers - A Life Without Fear

Since the beginning of the ‘00s German electronic minimalist Ekkehard Ehlers has cast his gaze back to the centuries past for inspiration and sound sources. On Betrieb (2000) it was classical music and on Plays (2004) it was “approaching and translating” works by Robert Johnson, Albert Ayler, John Cassavettes and others. On A Life Without Fear his approach is less deconstructive, its quotations laid bare instead of buried by modernist rubble. The work is bracketed by renditions of the traditional “Ain’t No Grave” and Ralph Stanley’s “O Death,” embracing the darkness of deep Gospel blues. The former of these is played fairly straight with mildly fucked guitar patterns and industrial hissings creeping in gradually, while the latter sounds like it’s being sung and beamed back from a post-apocalyptic space platform orbiting a charred planet. “Strange Things” retains the vocal of its composer, Baptist minister Charles Haffer Jr. who, in an interview with Alan Lomax, said of Gospel blues, "It's what we call a warning song… our object is to warn the unconverted….” Ehlers’ own compositions are more mechanistic and abstract, a perfect upgrade for today’s more nebulous dread. What better time than now for a new blues album?


Sunday, May 07, 2006

surgery 23

Paavaharju - Yha hamaraa (Fonal)
Koenjihyakkei - Angherr Shisspa (Skin Graft)
Excepter - Sunbomber (5 Rue Christine)
Danielle Palardy Roger – Bruiducoeur (Ambiances Magnetiques)
The USA is a Monster - Wohaw (Load)
Mephista - Black Narcissus (Tzadik)
Various - Conduction Convection Radiation (Music Fellowship)
….>Wind-Up Bird – “Voice and Bells”
Shogun Kunitoki – Tasankokaiku (Fonal)
No Neck Blues Band and Embryo – Embryonnck (Staubgold)
23 Skidoo - The Culling is Coming (Boutique)
Jandek - Khartoum Variations (Corwood Industries)
Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox - Flux Compendium (Mego)
Fat Worm of Error - Pregnant Babies Pregnant with Pregnant Babies (Load)
First Nation - S/T (Paw Tracks)
Carla Bozulich – Evangelista (Constellation)

Track Listing

Paavaharju - Valo tihkuu kaiken lapi
Koenjihyakkei - Mibingvahre
Excepter - Dawn Patrol
Danielle Palardy Roger – Immateria
The USA is a Monster - Built the Fire
Mephista - Laughing Medusa
Wind-up Bird - Voice and Bells
Shogun Kunitoki - tulevaisuus-menneisyys
No Neck Blues Band and Embryo - Zweiter Sommer
23 Skidoo - G-3 Insemination
Jandek - New Dimension
Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox - $2.50
Fat Worm of Error - Special Bonus Thing
First Nation – Swells
Carla Bozulich – Pissing (edit)

Listen to Surgery 23 click here