Lena Willikens is the kind of artist who’s only capable of following one path – her own. In many ways, she’s the archetypal selector, an unpredictable DJ who often eschews all notions of genre in favor of what she describes as “different temperatures, different time zones, different moods and a healthy portion of chaos.” Although her methods have certainly proven effective on the dancefloor, Willikens also refuses to be bound by its traditional limitations.
From Conrad Schnitzler in the 1960s to the pioneers of Detroit techno in the 1980s, experimental sonic artists were often inspired by the metallic noises of industrial factories. Schnitzler wanted to recreate the sounds he heard in his apprenticeship as a locksmith with musical instruments, and the sons and daughters of the midwestern automobile-industry generation programmed the motown soul into Japanese electronic music equipment. With his new piece The Metal Beat EP, Credit 00 wants to get in line with this tradition of transforming factory sounds into music. Each of the three tracks reflects on the role of the human being in an industrial environment. The never-ending movement of the machine becomes the rhythm, while the melody embodies our forlorn voices in the vastness of the factory site. The blues played by machines–modern work songs for a post-industrial society.
Neubau brings up some experimental bits & pieces by Gil.Barte from Lyon, operator of the newly founded Kump label.
Streng Geheim EP is Alexander Arpeggio’s first ever solo 12″. Coming out on Vienna’s admirable Neubau label, the EP is druggy, trippy and strangely alluring, featuring impressive use of psychedelic electronics and exotic, Middle Eastern melodies. Check, for example, the foreboding chords, gently pulsing drum machine beats and distortion-drenched Middle Eastern motifs of “Streng Geheim”, which is also given a weirder and even more hallucinogenic flavour on the acid-flecked Geier Aus Stahl Remix. Bonus cut “Du Hast Kein Gesicht”, an unusual but superb combination of muscular EBM grooves, whistling melodies and glassy-eyed house riffs, is also well worth a listen.
Instant is the trio of Bernd Schöll (Bass, Vocals, Rhythm), Mike Hauer (Guitar, Synth, Percussion), and Marion Siekmann (Vocals) from Munich, Germany. They formed in 1980 after meeting through mutual friends attending the local art and graphic design school. The trio were dissatisfied with their surrounding musical environment. They set out to create their own brand of Neue Deutsche Welle fusing Dada, disco, and Krautrock. Over the course of 2 weeks in Summer 1980 the band teamed up with local producer Mario Strack to record 6 songs. These would make up their debut eponymous album that was originally self-released on 10” vinyl in 1981. They utilized a simple set up of guitar, bass, and keyboards, plus the BOSS DR-55 Dr. Rhythm drum machine. Metal scraps clanging appear on the tracks “Do Not” and “Optimate Minimum”, and a washing machine was sampled on the track “Joyboy”, which features Marion reading from the appliance’s instruction manual. The A-side features 4 tracks in 11 minute, while the B-side hosts 2 songs in the same stretch of time. “Charade” features no wave saxophone accompaniment from Kai Taschner of Munich New Wave band Luna Set. Marion’s vocals are between Nico’s Teutonic chill and Alison Statton’s (Young Marble Giants) playfulness, while Bernd takes a monotone approach. Lyrics for “My Boy” and “Everybody’s Gotta Mutate” were adapted from ‘Rotwang’, a fragmented novel written by Tim Hildebrandt, one of the brothers famous for illustrating the works of Tolkien.
The material for Ecdisis Vol.1? Lost tracks from the past, patted down, spruced up and given a couple of shots of whiskey by Juanpablo, Dunkeltier and, a new member of the family, Vinilette. From Barcelona, Vinilette is a Dj and producer who isn’t afraid to pull a musical punch or two and she is in fighting form with her two offerings. First up, the 1986 EBM stomper “God Save The King” by Son of Sam is revamped and reconstructed into a psychedelic rollercoaster of crashing cymbals, spiralling samples and bruising bars. The clock is being turned further back, this time Belgium’s new wave punk outfit Arbeid Adelt! are the source material with their 1987 track “Help (Me Ik Stik)” muscling up on a diet of raging rhythms and splintering guitar strings. The head honcho, Juanpablo, meets up with an old member of the family Dunkeltier (aka Dj Sneaker) to finish our journey. The pair travelling back to 1983 to Catalonia and the prog-jazz musings of Pegasus. “Perseguido por el Rayo” is tuned up and transformed into an electronic bomb. Addictive grooves and hooks are polished with beats getting a shot in the arm for a hauntingly sinister piece of disco deviance.