Ich halte nichts von Coolness. Interview mit der Sängerin und Schauspielerin Gloria de Oliveira

Als im vorigen Jahr “Fascination”, der erste Longplayer der jungen Künstlerin Gloria de Oliveira, die Runde machte, wunderten sich nicht wenige über die Reichhaltigkeit des Albums. Gerade in der Musik, die auf den ersten Eindruck perfekt in den seit Jahren angesagten Grenzbereich zwischen Wave und einem traumwandlerischen 4AD-Pop passt, erlebt man nicht sehr oft derart viele doppelte Böden, wenn es um Stimmungen und Macharten geht. Doch auch wenn “Fascination” durchaus die Weiterlesen

I do not believe in Coolness: An Interview with singer and actress Gloria de Oliveira

When “Fascination”, the first longplayer by the young artist Gloria de Oliveira, turned up last year, many were surprised by the album’s richness. Especially in music that seems to fit perfectly into the fashionable border area between synthie wave and a somnambulistic 4AD pop, it’s rather unlikely to find that many different layers of style and atmosphere. But even though “Fascination” definitely exudes the freshness of an debut, Gloria de Oliveira is anything but a newcomer. She already released most of the tracks on her album on two EPs before via her own label La Double Vie, besides these she ran the band project lovespells. But if her face or name seem familiar, it could also be – cue la double vie – due to her second mainstay in acting. Since 2012, she has played significant roles in feature films such as Ein Tag nach morgen, Strawberry Bubblegums and, most recently, in a modern take on the mythical tale of Undine; mostly, her portrayal of Tilly Brooks in the series Babylon Berlin attracted special attention. We also spoke to the artist about the benefits and challenges of having a wider range of creative interests.

Deutsche Version

You studied mezzo-soprano and were initially interested in opera and classical singing. Then you devoted yourself more to your second pillar, which was acting and the medium of film. But at some point you returned to music, and now you can look back on some releases. How would you describe your career so far? Do you find detours and creative zigzag courses important to gain experience? Would your music be different without acting?

I think, like many young people at this stage, I simply lacked a certain amount of self-confidence after graduating from high school, to put it simply – which in part, as far as my professional path as well as personal life were concerned, pushed me in directions that ultimately didn’t quite suit me. But maybe I had to gather these experiences in order to devote myself more specifically to the things that turned out to truly be important to me. That’s why I don’t necessarily see it as a zigzag course, because everything builds on each other. I also see my creative output as a whole and even as a child I was interested in different media to realise my ideas and never questioned it – it was simply my natural approach. I see all this as synergetic.

Would you say that when it comes to music you are a bit closer to yourself, or is there sometimes a kind of role that you take on?

Yes, I would say that I am closer to myself in my music – even if, perhaps partly, as in my music videos, I take on a role – because at the end of the day, it’s me who came up with and assigned the respective role to myself.

Would you say that the – at least “alternative” – field of music is more spontaneous and free than working in the medium of film? How much can you organise your career as a singer independently?

Due to its nature, filmmaking cannot be spontaneous and free in most cases because it is tied to a machinery on which many people, institutions and conventions depend – not to mention the financial and organisational effort (of course there are some exceptions). Of course, music making can happen in a similarly expensive, elaborate and conventional way – but me and the musicians* in my circle of friends really appreciate our DIY freedom. My work as a musician has so far been quite independent and I quite like it that way, because in the film business and especially as an actress it is of course the opposite – to put it bluntly, one is dependent on getting offers in regard to artistic fulfillment and is also dependent on the timing of a large machinery. I have therefore consciously pursued my musical work very autonomously – but I am happy to get valuable support from my label (Reptile Music), my booking agency (Underground Institute) and my agent in the meantime, regarding releases, promotion, concert planning and so on. At the very beginning I did all this myself, which turned out to be a good learning experience on the one hand, but on the other hand takes up a lot of time and energy that I would rather put into other areas.

In an interview you once described yourself as delicately strung. Do you think that your interest in strong emotions and in partly morbid topics comes along?

I don’t actually perceive my interests as morbid – on the contrary, I am very interested in life and in the sheer sensation of being alive that comes with unhindered access to one’s own emotions.

How are your songs created? Do you sometimes improvise when you are in a certain mood?

I don’t really have a fixed approach – some songs are indeed created through improvisation, for example when I’m just messing around with new gear. Some songs come to me almost completely in my dreams – I always have to force myself to record them immediately by voice memo while still half asleep, so that the idea doesn’t vanish.

Are there any situations that inspire you in particular to write songs?

Life-altering and perhaps even traumatic events and phases are definitely the time when my output is at its highest. Maybe because music is the most immediate form of expression for me and supports me in these situations. Sounds corny and hackneyed, but I think there is something magical when something beautiful can emerge from a dark, perhaps destructive moment, like a song or an album that other people can enjoy. In fact, the messages from sad teenagers on the other side of the world that reach me on Instagram or via email are the absolute highlight of my musical work. The thought of making a small healing contribution to their everyday life motivates me a lot. I was once such a teenager myself and I still remember exactly what my favourite albums meant to me back then and how much they supported me morally.

Although your music is always melancholic, it never seems pessimistic or jaded. Maybe this is due to a kind of dreamlike element that is almost always present and comes across sometimes lovingly, sometimes playfully. Do you see that in a similar way?

I am definitely not a pessimistic or jaded person – and I am glad that you recognise playfulness in my music, because I am definitely very playful and silly. I don’t believe in coolness. I personally define “melancholy” as the joy that comes with indulging in a certain kind of sadness which makes you feel alive – see the answer to your question about strong emotions. Melancholy is life-affirming for me. I would clearly separate it from pessimism or cynicism – I consciously try not to become a cynical person even in the face of any adversity and I am happy to see this reflected in my music.

Some of your titles refer to films by Jean Rollin, and in videos like the one for “Dark Rider” you can clearly see his influence. How did you come across his films and was it a kind of love at first sight?

I must have come across him at some point as a teenager while surfing the net at night – I even believe through pictures of the two vampire sisters from “Lèvres de Sang”, which I immediately got stuck on and had to find out what they were all about. So yes, Fascination at first sight, so to speak – I recently read an article in which his films were described as “Daydreams for the witching hour”, that says it all.

In the years after Viol du Vampire his films were considered by many as amateurish genre films. The subtle surrealism of his pictorial language and the handwriting, partly reminiscent of Jacques Rivette, were not seen, nor was the fact that despite the sexualised horror motifs, the films never work with lurid effects. Later he became a cult director for some. What makes his films so special for you?

The sad vampire girls, crumbling castles, lost lovers, deserted beaches – the Rollin aesthetic is unmistakable and to me is characterised by a deep romanticism and a melancholy idealism. I also like the fact that Rollin seems like a loner in many respects – a filmmaker who had no concrete connection to the French cinema of the time, who broke with technical cinematic conventions and followed his own distinct visual style and thematic obsessions. I think it’s nice that Rollin has recently received the kind of attention that his works deserve, at least since the publication of the (highly recommended but sadly sold out) volume “Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorgical Cinema of Jean Rollin”, compiled by Samm Deighan – the book is a kind of correction for the years when men dominated the discussion about Rollin and his work. This aspect also led to my album and EP titles, which are named after Rollin’s films: The prevalent male gaze within his films and Rollin’s closeness to the sexploitation cinema of the time, coupled with his work as a porn director, is something I view very critically – which is why I am all the more interested in extracting those aspects of his work that excite me and placing them in a new, feminist context.

Are there any other works from film or literature that have had a significant influence on your own work?

Apart from films, series and soundtracks, poetry in particular has had a great influence on me – Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, John Keats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Guillaume Apollinaire and Else Lasker-Schüler are among my favourites. I have also “sampled” one or two verses from their poems in my song lyrics.

You even call the clip for “Dark Rider”, which you recorded with the Lovespells project, “a musical short film”. Does Lovespells still exist, or was it more of a temporary project?

The music I make under my own name follows no concept whatsoever and is very close to me personally – in contrast, Lovespells is a kind of experiment in which I wrap myself up in a persona, consciously pursue a certain aesthetic and in which Spampoets and I play with synth pop and dark wave conventions. There’s also a small Lovespells comeback in the form of a very danceable remix!

On “Fascination” there is a whole range of remixes – The Wide Eye, Tellavision, Box and the Twins, Fragrance. and last but not least Gudrun Gut. On The Wide Eye you have already returned the favor on “Forever”. How did these works come about, did you know each other before?

I only knew two of them personally before – firstly TELLAVISION, who like me studied at the HFBK and with whom I already collaborated for a music video. Secondly THE WIDE EYE, with whom I’ve been friends since I met him through Instagram a few years ago and with whom I’d like to work together often in the future.

A good remix certainly doesn’t depend on the remixer having a similar style or working method, often it’s the opposites that help, to get something unusual out of a song. You know that from both sides. What are the prerequisites for a good arrangement for you?

I don’t have any concrete prerequisites – except that I’m generally already a fan of the respective artists.. It was therefore such a pleasure to hear the interpretations of my tracks by these musicians* who are very much appreciated by me and I am very grateful that they were interested and inspired.

What musical ideas are you currently working on? Are there already new recordings?

Since the summer I have been working on material for a new album, which I would like to release next year. This time I’m carefully trying to break out of my usual isolation and I’m working with some people I really appreciate. Furthermore, me and my good friend ELKKS are working on further collaborations!

Interview: Uwe Schneider, Translation: N.Seckel

Fotos © Julia Ritschel und Beto Ruiz Alonso

Gloria de Oliveira @ Home, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Discogs & IMDB

It’s hard and tender at the same time. Interview mit Comando Suzie

Als Raúl López vor rund fünfzehn Jahren sein Projekt Comando Suzie aus der Taufe hob, ahnte er wahrscheinlich kaum, dass er einem musikalischen Retrotrend zuvor kam, denn zur Mitte der Nullerjahre feierten die hippen Hochglanzmagazine noch einträchtig Postrock und Studentenfolk als die postmoderne Avantgarde der Stunde – erst Jahre später sollte mit Boy Hasher u.v.a. newwavig angehauchter Electropop durch die Postillen geistern, den das Weiterlesen

It’s hard and tender at the same time. Interview with Comando Suzie

When Raúl López launched his project Comando Suzie some fifteen years ago, he probably had no idea that he was anticipating a musical retro trend, because in the mid-90s the hip glossy magazines were still pushing post-rock and student folk as the post-modern avant-garde of the hour. Years later, when Boy Hasher and an array of other new wave influenced pop groups haunted the realm of music, the Catalan project has long since Weiterlesen

Es ist einfach das Gewebe des Seins. Interview mit Trappist Afterland

Wenn der australische Folkmusiker Adam Geoffrey Cole irgendwann im neuen Jahr seine erste Solo-LP herausbringen wird, wird diese aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach nicht die typischen Eigenschaften eines Debüts aufweisen, dieses Frische, Forsche, noch unbeholfen Suchende, da Cole bereits seit zehn Jahren mit Trappist Afterland aktiv war, von denen es beinahe jedes Jahr ein neues Album gab. Dass seine Musik auch weiterhin das Resultat einer ständigen Weiterlesen

It’s simply the fabric of being. Interview with Trappist Afterland

When Australian folk musician Adam Geoffrey Cole releases his first solo LP sometime in the new year, it will most likely not show the typical characteristics of a debut, this fresh, bold, still a bit awkward aura of experimentation, as Cole had already been active with Trappist Afterland for ten years with a new album almost every year. However, we can assume that his music will continue to be the result of a constant search: Trappist Afterland not only advanced to a quality guarantee of dark, mystical folk music shortly after their still rather experimental and psychedelic beginnings, they were also a document of a spiritual search, which accompanied the singer and multi-instrumentalist, who ran the project with numerous friends, from Christian Orthodoxy to Gnostic-esoteric realms and back. The lyrical and atmospheric result was always of an intensity that is capable of captivating even less spiritually oriented listeners. With “Seaside Ghost Tales” the final and perhaps most comprehensive Trappist album was recently released, which marked the end of the band’s history. With a variety of mostly acoustic instruments from the large pool of the traditions of Eastern and Western music and with passionately performed lyrics, it contains all the essential elements that one searches for and finds in Trappist Afterland. In the following interview we talked with Cole about his latest album, his view of the past, the future and much more.

Trappist Afterland has existed for about ten years now. Are you sometimes in the mood for looking back, and if yes, how happy are you with what you have created and how it all went?

I guess in a sense It’s always important to look back and analyse your past work, so as to understand the core of what you’ve done and where you want to go in the future. It’s important to be mindful though to not get to the point of allowing yourself to become too derivative, or repeat yourself too much. Whenever we’ve done a new Trappist album it’s always kind of been a sort of new chapter in the book of trappist, if that makes sense?

I’ve always seen each album as an explanation and reflection on where my head is at in that moment of time, especially where I’m at spiritually. Possibly the first couple of albums had a more orthodox approach in the imagery and lyrics, as at that time I was more interested in orthodox Christianity and Catholicism. Strangely enough though musically those first 2 or 3 albums are our most experimental sounding even though the lyrics themselves come from a more traditional place.

As we started to record “Afterlander”, “God’s good earth” and “Se(VII)en” my interest and downright obsession with mysticism, Gnosticism and the more esoteric forms of Christianity and Eastern mysticism reached its peak, I’d just joined the Apostolic Johanite church (an American Gnostic organisation) and started attending meetings in the Melbourne branch of the church. For me that was such an exciting creative time, music was coming very easily and I was learning so much about myself and the world.

So although the albums are all quite different I’ve always seen them as pieces in a big puzzle, they are all linked and have evolved from one another over the decade or so we were working on the music.

Overall I’m very proud of each and everyone of the 9 albums.

They all have their place and each one reminds me of where my head was when writing and producing them.

So the things that hold the albums together weigh more than the changes…

I guess in a sense, at the end of the day every song is about the same thing.
It’s about seeing God in everyone and everything, and trying to ascend to such a height that, one may become worthy of sharing in such a nature.
Every song and every album contains that message in one way or another.
And such an evolution normally takes lifetimes I imagine.

But with our without any work, whether we want it or not.
Such a nature we all share I think. Whether or not one believes it or not.
It’s simply the fabric of being.

That’s what I believe anyway.

What are the most fond memories you cherish?

I guess besides recording, which I always love doing (I find the whole process intoxicating), it would be touring.

My fondest memories are the 4 tours we did of the UK and greater Europe. I made lifelong friends on those tours, not to mention getting to meet and become friends with some of my biggest influences and favourite artists.

Living in Australia, I never thought I’d get to meet and spend time with folks like David Tibet (current 93), David Colohan and Alison O’Donnell ( United bible studies, Mellow Candle), Tony Durant (Fuchsia) Alan Davidson (kitchen Cynics), Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus etc etc.These were all people whose music had such a profound effect on me when I was in my twenties and thirties, so meeting them has certainly been a highlight.

Also getting to play at a terrascope event (Woolf 2) in 2019. I had heard of so much great underground music through that publication, and it was my all time favourite, so getting to play and meet the founders of the magazine and play with so many amazing acts at the last festival was surely a bucket list tick for me.

What would you say are the biggest differences, if you would compare the founding days of Trappist Afterland to today? Do you feel that you, your ideas and your music have changed a lot?

As I said before there are always, and always will be connecting themes to all the music I make, but I guess recently I’ve become more interested in writing and recording more traditional music.

In the early days I was quite obsessed with making challenging, strange but hopefully pretty and moving folk music. Music that would  challenge people. I think more recently though I’m most interested in creating more traditional pretty sounding folk music, music that will hopefully make folks feel good. I always found when listening to stuff like Nic jones, Anne Briggs etc etc it gave me that spine tingling feeling that is almost like a warm blanket over your psyche.

Let’s face it, the world at the moment is challenging enough, I’m most interested in making people feel at ease, comforted and happy when they listen at the moment.

Hence the dropping of the Trappist moniker and going solo with my Trappist musical partner Anthony Cornish under my human name (Adam Geoffrey Cole)

“Seaside Ghost Tales” deals a lot with loss and letting go. Would you say that it is something you needed to express before you close the Trappist chapter?

“Seaside Ghost Tales” was the catalyst for finishing the project.

When I was writing and recording the album, I was undergoing a lot of personal changes, and seeing a psychologist to help deal with some past traumas from my childhood that I’d never resolved completely. The album completely deals with that process.

After I’d finished the album, it became completely apparent to me that it would have to be the last album I did under the Trappist moniker. It felt almost like an exorcism of sorts, and a real unpacking of my past life, and an ending of sorts.

I learnt to forgive a lot of people from my childhood during the process and learnt so much about how I process certain things, and why i act as i do in certain situations and scenarios. I also came to understand how this was all profoundly linked to my childhood, growing up in a small town, with a loving, but controlling, temperamental and sometimes aggressive Father.

With this album it really feels like the end of an era, and the start of a new one.

In the last year or so I’ve also been getting away from Gnosticism and back into a more traditional form of belief and worship. Although I learnt so much from my studies in Gnosticism I found myself losing that real personal connection with the Christ and the divine, and I’ve come to understand for me a more traditional, orthodox approach seems to harvest more fruit.

I’d never change a thing though, as it was through the whole process of getting away from Catholicism and delving into more esoteric leanings, I’ve been able to have a healthier and more informed grasp on the hidden and exposed mysteries of spirituality and the cosmos. Time to practice what is preached in a more practical way, hopefully.

It’s a very personal album…

Most certainly. All the stories and characters on the album are all based on personal experiences and folks I know or have known.

Ghost stories from a time and place, all things that happened to me or my friends growing up in my home town of Kiama.

“Seaside Ghost Tales” is a long album which not once feels lengthy. At what point in the writing/recording process did it become clear that it would consist of 16 songs?

It is very much divided into 2 parts.

Part one was recorded in my hometown with my childhood best friend Stephen Holmes just before COVID.

Part two was recorded with my TA musical partner Anthony Cornish here in Melbourne during the first COVID lock down.

it was originally meant to be a single album, but the songs kept coming, and they were all connected ghost stories from my childhood home of Kiama, which is on the south coast of New South Wales in Australia. I really would have preferred to have not done a double album, but it became apparent I had to, as I couldn’t let go of any of the 16 tracks on it. Believe me I tried to edit it down to one album, but it just didn’t flow as It needed to.

What should Trappist Afterland be remembered as?

Hopefully as a hardworking band, who tried to write sincere and challenging folk music. We Never cared about trends, and always did exactly what was inspiring us at the time. It’s also simply a journal of one’s, or my spiritual development as an awkward, slightly obsessive human ;)

Would you call “Seaside Ghost Tales” something like a summing up, a conclusion or something like this?

Without a doubt.

It felt as though it was the final chapter in the Trappist Afterland musical narrative.

How is the situation in Australia nowadays after the bushfires and during the still ongoing pandemic? I remember you thought at least about leaving…

The situation in Melbourne right now is so much better. We spent 18 weeks in pretty tight lockdown during the 2nd wave, but now it seems as though we are on top of it again. Zero cases for 6 days. Fingers crossed it continues in the same way. As for the bushfires, surely they can’t be as bad as last year’s firestorm. It’s not too hot here yet though, by December when the heatwaves hit, we will see.

I’d love to move abroad to Europe or the UK one day though, after all this Covid carnage subsides.

Nowadays it seems inevitable to ask to what extent the Corona pandemic has influenced you (creatively, personally etc.).

I’ve had plenty of time to write that is for sure.

I wrote the whole new solo album ‘Fallowing’ during the first and second lockdowns. Although the album isn’t necessarily about the pandemic, it’s been impossible for it to not have a huge influence over it, and most obviously the title of it expresses that.

Is the live music scene very different over in Australia?

Very much so. To be completely honest I feel a little alienated in my home country. Not many folks play the type of music we do, so it’s sometimes hard to put together bills and shows. I have found the audiences to be a  lot more receptive in the U.K., Europe and the States. We also sell the majority of our recorded works abroad rather than locally here in Oz. I do love Australia though, trying to get my wife and daughter to move overseas with me is probably not very likely.

So between that and the pandemic I imagine Australia is where I’ll be, for at least the near future, and that is ok :)

In the Berlin shows, a number of musicians from Constantine accompanied you on stage, and I think you’re a passionate collaborator anyway. How important is cooperation for you as a musician and what makes a good collaborator or band mate?

I had a wonderful time with Constantine and his band on that tour, although it was an incredibly hectic schedule, hence everyone was completely shattered by the time we got to the Netherlands. Constantine’s music is so fabulous too, he is a very gifted songwriter and arranger.

During 2020 I was lucky enough to collaborate with Grey Malkin on an album, and we are about to release its follow up. I feel like Grey and I are real kindred spirits so I’ve enjoyed working with him immensely. I imagine that will be an ongoing project with him.

I also did a single with one of my favourite folk singers – Kathleen Yearwood from Canada. That was really fun to hear her amazing beautiful voice on Trappist music. She is a sweet soul too.

As for what makes a good bandmate and collaborator I couldn’t go past my long time Trappist partner Anthony Cornish. We have been working together for over 2 decades now and it’s so fun and easy to do music with him. After working with someone that long it’s almost as though you can read each other’s minds when working in the studio. He is one of my best friends and I can’t imagine not working with him.

The last time we talked, you mentioned an upcoming split-release (a tape) with Stone Breath. Is still going to happen?

I doubt that will happen unfortunately, I’ve not heard from Timothy in a while, but I’d always be open to it. I adore Stone Breath, and their music has been a big influence on ours.

Are there any other artists (musical, visual etc,) that you would like to work with?

I would love to do something with David Tibet sometime, no one writes more amazing and evocative music than him in my opinion. Maybe one day, but he is a very busy man. Be cool to do something with Alasdair Roberts too, but I’ve only met him once very briefly, but one can only hope.

We have plans in 2021 to do a split release with Walker Phillips (San Francisco’s best new acid folk troubador) and I’m wanting to do a song or two with my close friend Jon Chinn too hopefully as well.

Speaking of Jon Chinn his new album Golitha is coming out soon via Trace imprint, it is an outstanding album.
I’m super excited to get it and listen to it in its entirety on wax.

What are your favorite (folk or other) records these days?

So many- a lot of trad stuff and artists from the topic and trailer label have been getting regular spins of late. Way too many to mention though.I really enjoyed Alula Downs last couple of releases recently. They are a great duo.

I wonder how strong the influence of your home country, its landscape and culture(s) might be on your music. It might be a cliché, but a lot of images I saw of Australia have evoked associations to something old and prehistoric, which I automatically connect to the somehow mythological atmosphere of your music. I wonder if you can connect to this idea…

Landscape, especially the Australian surroundings have always been a massive influence on all my work. Even when I was first starting to write songs in my youth it was huge for me.

Australia has such a vast array of different types of places to explore- from the rugged coastlines, the rainforest, deserts and plains there is a plethora of shapes and smells one can be influenced by when composing.

We don’t want to be too curious about future works, but do you think that something of the typical Trappist atmosphere will still be recognisable in forthcoming endeavors?

Without a doubt.

The new works (although a little more stripped back) will still be very similar to Trappist in the themes and sound of the songs. It is still just Anthony and I, so it would be hard to escape that. But although similar I’m hoping it will have a fresh sound and somehow encapsulate a more positive and comforting atmosphere.

Still lots of different instruments will be used and the themes will still deal heavily in spirituality and a search for connection and all sorts of godbothering lyrics;)

But it’s nice to end one chapter and start a new. 2020 has been a very fruitful but also a very hard year, so here is to new beginnings.

(Interview: M.G. & U.S.)

Trappist Afterland  @  Bandcamp   |   Discogs   |   Facebook   |   Instagram

Natur spielt eine große Rolle in meinem Songwriting: Ein Interview mit Dark Leaves

Dark Leaves ist das Einmannprojekt von Patrick Aston, der in der Nähe der Küstenstadt Penzance in Cornwall lebt. Auf bislang einer EP und einem Album präsentiert er einen Dark Folk, der von der Geographie seiner Region beeinflusst ist. Im folgenden Interview sprach Patrick ausführlich über seine Karriere, seine Einflüsse und seine Pläne. Weiterlesen

It’s uneasy, it’s dark. Sängerin Elspeth Anne im Interview

In vielen Ländern der Welt und auch Europas wirkt die Vorstellung einer folkigen Musik, die gleichsam dunkel und morbid ist, wie ein interessantes Konstrukt. Auf den Britischen Inseln hat das, was man Dark Folk nennen kann, eine lange Tradition – überlieferte und eigens geschriebene Songs, die man auf Platten von Shirley Collins und anderen findet, offenbaren oftmals eine Schlagseite zu einer spukhaft eingefärbten Melancholie, und zahlreiche Beispiele aus klassischen Filmen, Literatur und bildender Kunst lassen sich finden. Die in Weiterlesen

Basically I make music that I like to listen to. Interview mit Alan Trench

Als der heuten in Griechenland lebende Alan Trench noch zusammen mit zwei Kollegen den bekannten World Serpent-Vertrieb leitete, bekamen viele erst nach und nach mit, dass er auch Musiker war. Um seine Folkband Orchis, von der 1994 der erste Longplayer herauskam, machte er wenig Wind, und so avancierte das geheimnisvolle Trio zu einem Geheimtipp, der halbherzigen Musikkonsumenten meist entging. Als diese Ära um die Jahrtausendwende zuende ging, hätten wahrscheinlich wenige damit gerechnet, dass Weiterlesen

Stimmen aus Heterotopia. Interview mit Anna Linardou

Anna Linardou veröffentlichte vor einigen Monaten ihr erstes Soloalbum, das ganz im Zeichen der Heterotopie, des “anderen Ortes” steht – eines weiträumigen Bereichs alternativer Möglichkeiten, der oft im Rahmen kindlicher Fantasien erkundet wird und der doch weit mehr ist als ein irrationales Refugium. Das recht umfangreiche Repertoire der Sängerin und Stimm-Performerin reicht von kreativen Vokalexperimenten bis zu populären griechischen Kunstliedern, vielen Weiterlesen

I don’t see any point in wasting time doing the same things: Ein Interview mit Michael Gira

Michael Gira hatte kurz vor Veröffentlichung des Albums „The Glowing Man“ bekanntgegeben, die Swans in der festen Bandkonstellation, wie sie seit 2010 existierten, aufzulösen und künftig mit einem losen Kollektiv von Musikern arbeiten zu wollen. „Leaving Meaning“, das jüngst erschienene Album, wurde dann auch sowohl mit altbekannten Musikern (z.B. Christof Hahn, Thor Harris, Norman Westberg) als auch mit neuen Gesichtern (z.B. Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee, Anna von Hauswolff) aufgenommen. Weiterlesen

Von Kuurandia nach Eutopia und zurück. Interview mit der Musikerin Yuko Araki

Yuko Araki ist nicht nur Multiinstrumentalistin, sondern auch Multistilistin. In den letzten Jahren hat die in Tokio lebende Künstlerin einige Gruppen ins Leben gerufen, deren Musik von Acid House über Doom- und Black Metal-angehauchte Neoklassik bis zu imaginärem rituellem Folk reicht – eine musikalische Bandbreite, zu der sie Gesang, Percussion, Piano, diverse Elektronik und einiges mehr beisteuert. Auf ihrem Weiterlesen

All that lives with us affects creativity. Interview mit Margenrot

Obwohl der Name Margenrot für eine recht opulente Form experimenteller Elektronik steht, bewahrt sich die Musik doch eine durchweg geheimnisvolle Aura – vielleicht weil die zahlreichen Samples und Sprachfetzen auf ihrem bisher einzigen Release “Zangezur” diffus und unverständlich bleiben, vielleicht aber auch, weil die Kombination ritueller, zum Teil noisiger Elektronik mit Themen der Geschichte des mittelalterlichen Armeniens ebenso ungewöhnlich anmutet wie das Weiterlesen

It doesn‘t need to be fancy, it just needs to be real. Interview mit Torba

Torba, das Projekt des italienischen Klangbastlers Mauro Diciocia, existiert mittlerweile seit fast zehn Jahren und hat im Laufe der Zeit einige Wandlungen durchgemacht – was Ende des letzten Jahrzehnts mit schweren, rauen Gitarrendrones begann, führte recht bald in die extremsten Gefilde des Harsh Noise, um auf den jüngeren Releases einer vielschichtigen Musik auf der Basis von Feldaufnahmen Platz zu machen, bei der sich Feinsinn und Groteske die Waage halten. Was sich wie ein Weiterlesen

It’s very difficult to come up with just two or three words that describe an act that crosses multiple genres: Interview mit Lost Harbours

Seit gut 10 Jahren existiert das aus Richard Thompson und Emma Reed bestehende Duo Lost Harbours. Auf inzwischen drei Alben und zahlreichen kleineren Veröffentlichungen spielen sie eine Musik, die sie selbst als „exprimental folk“ bezeichnen – und diese teils transzendentale Musik transzendiert auch tatsächlich (allzu) einfache Kategorisierungen und Genrebegrenzungen – „Hymns & Ghosts“ heißt fast schon programmatisch ein Album von Lost Harbours. Ursprünglich aus Southend-on-Sea stammend, lebt Thompson inzwischen in Lettland.  Weiterlesen

I don’t feel comfortable with the restrictions and rules of a tribe. Interview mit Simon Balestrazzi

Wenn man ein bisschen mit dem Werk Simon Balestrazzis vertraut ist und seine Arbeit verfolgt, kann man sich kaum vorstellen, dass er mal einen Tag lang nicht auf der Suche nach Sounds ist, sie im Studio bearbeitet und kollagiert, an seinen zum Teil eigens konzipierten Instrumenten bastelt oder mit Kollegen wahrscheinlich ganze Nächte hindurch jammt. Seit einigen Jahren ist es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass drei bis fünf seiner Longplayer pro Jahr herauskommen, seltener solo, häufiger von seinen zahlreichen Kollaborationen: Dream Weapon Ritual, DAIMON, A Sphere of Simple Green, Hidden Reverse und noch einige mehr. Weiterlesen

There’s always been hints of apocalypse in our work: Ein Interview mit Nonconnah

Das nach einem Ort in Tennessee benannte aus Zachary Corsa und Denny Wilkerson Corsa bestehende Duo Nonconnah spielt “Damaged hymns from the broken Mid-South”. Vorher hatten die beiden zahlreiche Tonträger unter dem Namen Lost Trail veröffentlicht, einem selbst so bezeichneten “ambient/drone/shoegaze project”. Musikalisch knüpft Nonconnah an das Vorgängerprojekt an: Feldaufnahmen, Samples, Giatarre und Drones werden zu einer Musik verdichtet, auf der das Dunkle und Mysteriöse, das sich im Klangbild, Artwork und in Tracktiteln widerspiegelt, (auch immer) ein Moment des Trostes enthält. Weiterlesen

My instruments are a means to tell my stories. Interview mit der koreanischen Musikerin und Komponistin Park Jiha

Park Jiha spielt verschiedene Blas- und Perkussions-Instrumente der traditionellen koreanischen Musik, auf ihrem Debüt Communion verbindet sie dies mit Saxophon, Schlagzeug und anderen modernen Klangquellen. Ihre Musik enthält, wie sie im Interview sagen wird, einiges an typisch koreanischen Empfindsamkeiten, doch auch ohne Einblick in diese fremde Tradition kann man jenseits exotisch-romantischer Projektionen manch Vertrautes in ihrer Musik finden. So sehr die verschiedenen Einflüsse ihre Kompositionen und ihre Spielweise automatisch prägen mögen, ist ihr Ansatz doch ein spontaner, und die wichtigsten Antriebe findet sie in ihrer eigenen, individuellen Biografie. Über diese und manch anderes sprachen wir im kürzlich geführten Interview. Weiterlesen

We Simply Lend our Energies to the Chaos of Creation. Interview mit Hermetic Brotherhood of Lux-Or

Die im Sardinischen Macomer beheimatete Hermetic Brotherhood of Lux-Or existiert, ähnlich wie das ihr nahestehende Label-Kollektiv Trasponsonic, schon seit den späten 90ern, doch es dauerte eine Zeitlang, bis das mysteriöse Ritual-Projekt sich auch außerhalb der italienischen Musikszene einen Namen machte. Der vor einigen Jahren durch die Medien geisternde Begriff der Italian Occult Psychedelia scheint wie für sie geschaffen, ist jedoch gleichsam eine nur bedingt passende Kategorie, da gerade der zweite Begriff für die Sardinier um MSMiroslaw weit mehr als Kolorit bedeutet. Hermetic Brotherhood, die ihren Namen einem Weiterlesen