Zwischenwelt was the second collaborative MySpace based project which Gerald Donald, under the name Heinrich Mueller, became associated with. The name is German for in-between world. Officially they began their site on 1/4/07, which does I know make Zerkalo earlier but that project didn't really take off until after Zwischenwelt had at least got their four tracks on their player. I found out about them maybe a month after they appeared and remember it being a little easier to trust that it was for real this time as it had enough other known members to cross check their involvement. But it still came as a surprise at the time that he was involved with another one. They had been listed as Top Friends on the Black Replica page all along but outside of this most subtle of nods no one would have known outside of randomly finding it or someone in the know telling them. I guess it shows they just know and trust at this stage that people who are interested and online will find out about it eventually. Again as I discussed with Black Replica, we have to go to them, which would be judged as pretty good marketing, if they had anything to sell that is! Although that may be about to change as an album is hoped to be released by them in 2009 according to Beta Evers main site.
So far their anti-promotion approach has attracted over 18000 profile views and about the same amount of combined plays to date. On their player there are a total of six tracks, the maximum, and one video. The video was posted on YouTube as well, by Paradox Twin, the same user who posted the official Black Replica videos. The combined plays for the video from both sources could be considered low enough but is still getting close to 2000. Although they have managed to fight their way to the top of the Google listings for their name. I detect that less people are into Zwischenwelt than Black Replica and taking this further, Zerkalo come next, followed by Daughter Produkt. Which makes it look like these projects are experiencing diminishing returns at this stage, a shame as the music and concepts are worth it.
One of the main differences this time round is that the group membership is far larger. At the beginning there were actually five people listed including Mueller. Beate Bartel of Liaisons Dangereuses appears to have dropped out and her name was finally removed at some point. She had never featured in any of their photos or had any track credits associated to her so I think we can assume she had no actual involvement. The other members are also female, Beta Evers, Penelope Martin and Susana Correia. The latter still exists as something of an enigma but of the remainder, the German based Evers used to run the highly respected Kommando 6 label and continues to produce her own dark electro music on a myriad of labels. More revealingly she is also something of a serial collaborator, with numerous projects like Black Spider Clan, Flying Bodies and Radikale Analog Fraktion behind her. She is probably the best known of the four behind Mueller. Penelope Martin is a producer and DJ from Spain and appears to simply use the name Penelope for her music which comes from a more techno angle. How these people all got together is anyone's guess outside of the inner circle but I suspect the well connected and German based Evers as being the common link to which this group came together. Taking my own logic further I notice that Martin has associations with the also Spanish based Annie Hall of Daughter Produkt who is responsible for some of her artwork, so I guess you could see how these people might soon form alliances. But it all of course has to spring from Mueller's desire to collaborate with others, he might have already known Evers personally and it went from there. But how they got together isn't that important.
They do appear to have had a false start with this project as originally there was one picture in their profile of one of their members, Correia?, coyly hiding her face behind what looked like an origami figure. There is of course a whole ancient art and mathematical meaning behind origami and perhaps they were originally going to use this as a means to getting their message across to us but changed their mind. At least it saved me having to go too deeply into it! On the whole I’ve been really into the whole Zwischenwelt thing, I hope they do release an album in 2009 as they hope too, no matter the format. The quality of the music has been high, whether Mueller was involved or not. It’s a different sound for all of the members and should be treated as such and not compared to what they are normally known for. In case you have the usual why questions I gave a list of reasons why Mueller was doing these MySpace projects in the Black replica article. But I would just add to it that because he is now working with known producers that he is helping raise their profile, which is another undoubted plus but still not the primary reason why he is doing this. It’s fun to create music, design and work with concepts, even more so when you involve other people. Skipping forward a little bit, the theme of the group I think can be boiled down to the power and mysteries of the mind. Even though this is a fascinating subject which leads us to a very real whole new understanding of ourselves, the ‘truth’ of this is highly subjective of course, but that comes later.
They describe themselves as visual, experimental, other; is this accurate, well lets examine the music. One of the first tracks uploaded to their player was the now no longer officially available ‘Agujero Negro’ which is Spanish for blackhole. It is musically very unlike Mueller and not surprising was credited to Beta Evers/Penelope Martin in an earlier version of their site. There is still at time of writing an instrumental track on Martin‘s own MySpace called ‘Voces Sin Rostro’ which must have been an earlier version. This one is also great by the way (am playing it now!), very up-tempo this time round. So I guess it’s mainly a Martin production with the vocals supplied in the unmistakably detached delivery of Beta Evers. The music is stark, moody and very effective. There is a repeated mid frequency signature with scratchy sounds moving from channel to channel joined by slowly ascending blocks of sound. This is nightmare stuff already without the vocals, which when they do join in, sends the listener potentially right over the edge. The lyrics go “I’m trapped in a blackhole, I am caught in a blackhole, I got lost in a blackhole, an energy field, a blackhole, where does it go to? Where am I lost to? All energy, all energy, lost in the blackhole, where does it go to? Where does it lead to? My energy, my energy, trapped in a blackhole, lost in a blackhole, where does it go to? Where am I trapped in?, in this blackhole, which takes everything away like a vampire, end of this blackhole. I‘m lost, lost, in this blackhole.” This subject is very Mueller, maybe he came up with some idea's for lyrics or they felt that it tied in with the paranormal in a general way? But jumping ahead a bit I have to admit that theme wise it feels out of place and is something of a red herring at this stage.
‘Materialisation’ was identified as a Beta Evers composition in an earlier version of the site as well, good job I took notes! It is high pitched, quite short and atmospheric, but very tastefully done. It fades out abruptly even before the 2 minute mark and sounds like it could have gone on longer in this fashion without becoming boring. It does have some female vocalisations as texture but no lyrics. On the current player it is accompanied by a black and white picture of a woman appearing to be doing a bit of materialisation of her own with light. The most Mueller sounding track of the six is ‘Multiexistence’ which was one of the final tacks of the six to appear to date, being unveiled in January 2008. Not surprisingly at the time it was credited to Mueller/Evers. Definitely she sings but I would say the music is all his. It could have been on the Der Zyklus Biometry album to my ears. It is a good track with tricky sounding programming and intricate combinations of melody going on in this mid tempo number. But could it be just be an outtake from one of his other projects? Anything is possible, Evers singing, which is hard to decipher, does add a new flavour to it at least.
'Extrasensory’, has a very minimal electronic backing with a female speaking in German over the top and lasts just over a minute. A black and white picture of a woman identified on a previous version of the site as being Ingeborg Kramer is attached to it. Whether this is the subject, the person responsible for the vocal or other is up to us to decide. I of course searched her name but came up with nothing obvious. She may well be some other person with extrasensory abilities of that type only far more obscure, but that’s just a slightly educated guess. My German isn’t great but some of the words used in the track are, intuitiveness, theories, pagan, ESP, experimental technology tests and that key word, evolution.
Just recently a new track was uploaded, 'Shadow Being'. There is now no individual writing credits given but to my ears it might well have no Mueller involvement. Still a nice piece though, it might be Evers doing the vocal textures. It is very minimal with a slow picky bass line but it is mostly atmospherics over its three minutes. They have used a still from the 1922 German movie Nosferatu to illustrate it if that helps. Incidentally, vampires have already been mentioned in the lyrics for ‘Agujero Negro’. I guess it’s just more fleshing out of the nature of this in-between world.
‘Nina Kulagina’ is more of a group effort with two different female vocalists. It has a very slow tempo and lyrics which are about this Nina Kulagina character which go, “Her heart beats fast, her mind is strong, she feels a sharp pain in her spine, her heart beats fast, her will is strong, fixating objects with her eyes, her pressure is high, her thoughts are deep, she wears a physic crown, her pressure is high, her focus is key, she can burn you with her mind, studied and tried, Kulagina could make your heart stop beating”. In a different delivery this is followed by the repeated chorus of “She make hearts stop beating.” If the current version appears to end a bit abruptly it might be because at some stage the original longer version, at just over four minutes, was replaced. This newer version also has the chorus delivered in a very different way as well. The missing lyrics from the second verse ran, “Her heart beats loud, an iron mind, can’t stand these strange vibrations, she heart beats loud, an iron will, she can burn you with her mind, her pressure is high, her thoughts go deep, she has a psychic power, her pressure is on, her thoughts effect, objects in your mind, studied and tried, Kulagina could make your heart stop beating.” I prefer this earlier version.
Nina Kulagina turns out to be a famous Russian psychic whose speciality was psychokinesis or telekinesis as Zwischenwelt may prefer to call it. Kulagina was born in 1927 and joined the Red Army at 14, entering its tank regiment during World War 2, but she was a housewife at the time that her alleged psychic abilities were studied and she entered international discourse in the 1960s. During the Cold War, silent black and white films of her appearing to move objects on a table in front of her without touching them, were produced. These films were allegedly made under controlled conditions for Soviet authorities and caused excitement for many psychic researchers around the world, some of whom believed that they represented clear evidence for the existence of psychic phenomena. She was filmed separating broken eggs that had been submerged in water, moving apart the whites and yolks. But the most celebrated of her experiments and the one which this track makes reference to took place in a Leningrad laboratory in 1970. Scientists having initially studied her ability to move inanimate objects, they were now curious to see if Nina's abilities extended to cells, tissues, and organs. She attempted to use her energy to stop the beating of a frog's heart floating in solution. It was said that she focused intently on the heart and apparently made it beat faster, then slower, and using extreme intent of thought, stopped it. Another subject of the lyrics are the side effects of the experiments, which was exhaustion. Her pulse would occasionally become slight and at other times her heart would beat at a very fast rate. She would also experience a loss of muscle co-ordination. In some tests it was noted that Kulagina lost two pounds in weight. EEG testing showed a strong emotional state. Kulagina was also experiencing very high levels of blood sugar.
Musically 'Segunda Realidad', which means second reality in Spanish, is a relatively short and dreamy track with female vocals to the forefront of the mix. A series of loops with some atmospheric keyboard tones rising and falling make up the bulk of the track. Not sure which combination of them is responsible this time but ‘Data’ is credited to Susana Correia if that helps, maybe she wrote or sings the lyrics. It does have a dark and brooding Mueller production aspect to it I feel. The words to it are as follows, "Our thoughts in silence be, on spider webs of time, dangling from the universal mind, dancing toward the 13th hour, panting, racing gracefully, evolving facelessly, you would be painting future landscapes, frequencies transcending matter, navigating the anatomy of atoms." Much more on these lyrics later. There was originally a Spanish language version of ‘Segunda Realidad’ on their player, which was rescued and can now be listened to on YouTube, link as ever at base of article, which musically was pretty much the same as far as I can tell. The video looks like it was first projected onto a screen, like their live show visuals, and recorded in one take. The effects are very much what Dopplereffekt use, the images separating into four etc. The images are basically the same three black and white pictures of Evers, Martin and Correia inter-cut with moving grid-like sequences. Most if not all of these images can be found in the pics section of their MySpace. If you copy any of these images onto your computer they all turn out to be silent .gif movies which is kind of interesting, certainly useful for making Zwischenwelt videos at home with anyway. The Daughter Produkt ID pic from their MySpace also turns out to be a short .gif movie, this was used to great effect for a video of their music on YouTube already, maybe they want us to use this stuff in this way? This video was projected plus the audio for some reason when Dopplereffekt played in Copenhagen this year and it gave the impression of being part of their set. It would be very interesting if Zwischenwelt started to play live.
Hard to tell if this move into the paranormal is totally out of the left field for the other participants but as far as Mueller himself goes I’ve mentioned before that very quickly in the so-called 'new physics' you come to an unexplainable point where the paranormal might, and I say might, start making sense. On the 2005 Arpanet album 'Quantum Transposition' there is a track called 'EPR Effect' aka 'The Pandora's Box of Modern Physics' which is just such a perplexing occurrence which would make me wonder if Mueller had himself reached this point and was now looking into the paranormal for a way through. He might already know that it will turn out to be a dead end and that may be why he has resigned this line of thought to the virtual world. Knowing it’s interesting but not his more usual hard science way, but there is science behind it as we shall see. With subjects like telekineses, materialisations and ESP to the fore we should get our terminology correct first I think. In Daniel Cohen's book 'ESP - The Search Beyond the Senses' he states that, "...even those who study ESP have never really agreed upon a definition for the subject they are studying. Some don't even like the phrase 'extrasensory perception' at all. They speak of psychic or psi phenomena. Psychic means beyond the known physical processes. People who study ESP are called parapsychologists (those who study things beyond psychology) and psychical researchers." The psi reference brings us on a surface level close to Black Replica territory. Even though we have no interviews or any additional information about the group outside of their MySpace this time I am grateful to them for giving us enough information to understand what they are about. As I said, Zwischenwelt itself is a German word which seems to translate best as ‘in-between world’, which you could take to mean a place between life and death. You could also call this a place of a second reality. One of the track titles which ties in with this would be that it is somewhere a shadow being like a vampire would belong. The blackhole, while it might still be something of a red herring, might fit as it is very much somewhere you are both alive and dead at the same time, dead to anyone outside the blackhole but alive, perhaps for an eternity in space-time on the inside. The concept of multi-existence, in many dimensions at once I‘m taking this to mean, is interesting in this context as well. It ties in with second reality as well but there would also have to be a third and fourth etc to join it. Drexciya of course named their production company Dimensional Waves for the Storm Series and other dimensions in general were one of their more consistent themes. Mueller too has touched on this concept. In fact about this time he would have been in his string theory concerned ‘Calabi Yau Spaces’ headspace which very much concerns extra-dimensions, but more on that when I get to it. All this stuff could be said to tie in together under the umbrella of weirdness which goes on when you enter that state between consciousness and unconsciousness or life and death. But this is only one way to look at some of the material, I go deeper below. I think this is more of a coincidence than anything but it does cross my mind about The Other People Place. Whereas that was an album about love and overcoming fear, Zwischenwelt you could say is a project about learning about and gaining control of another reality. Well that's the name and possible location sorted, what about the substance of the concept.
There is certainly a lot of science surrounding this project which makes it blend in quite well with Mueller's previous themes. They have after all picked a figure like Kulagina, who was rigorously monitored and studied by scientists. She was even put on display by the Soviets for foreign scientific researchers to study after 1968 and it was during this period that she became famous. There is a whole science which is attached to this subject and this fact I feel is being underlined by taking her as subject. The Soviet thing has been used before by Mueller as well so while on the surface it’s not a subject we would expect him to be associated with, once you take a closer look it does make some sense on both a thematic (Science) and aesthetic (Soviet) level. There is a section of a documentary about her on YouTube, link below, which has lots of footage of her and check out Wikipedia for a quick background. By the way, the photo’s of Martin, Correia and Evers on the site and in the 'Segunda Realidad' video look like they may be taking part in one of these experiments themselves. I’d like to think they are and that music is just one element of this project but it’s worth bearing in mind that this may be just a pose. Some of them look remarkably similar to black and white images of Kulagina herself from the 1960’s. Also in the pics section of their MySpace they refer to the three main facial pics of themselves as being a theory group. Also on one of their own MySpace pages, I think it was Beta Evers, Zwischenwelt was listed as being a research group which again gives it all more of a scientific feel.
The lyrics to 'Segunda Realidad' I think are very revealing and while I wouldn’t be 100% sure what they mean, if you wish you can join me in my attempt to figure it out. The importance of this track I feel is also being underlined by the fact they picked it to be the sole video, even when it might not be the most accessible musically. At this point I need to also point out the text which goes with four more pictures that you find in the pics section of their MySpace as well as I think this is all connected.
1: Zero physical reality flux information state: stability enabled.
2: Discrete flux of physical realityTime interval = seconds.
3: Isotropic flux of physical realityTime interval = microseconds.
Sensory perception flux: human awareness expands and collapses.
Very briefly on this part first, 1 - 3 refer to the intervals of change in physical reality. This is scientific style jargon so we can assume this is further proof they are interested in the provable science of this subject. The final line appears to be the end point of sensory perception, as far as human awareness goes anyway which is a subject I will be returning to.
If I now break the lyric of ‘Segunda Realidad’ down line by line we get this.
“Our thoughts in silence be” sounds like a reference simply to private thoughts.
“On spider webs of time” could be a reference to string theory or something about time that we have forgotten.
“Dangling from the universal mind” means being attached to just that, the universal mind.
This first section might then mean the following, private individual thoughts attached in a forgotten way to the universal mind. Not as poetic I know but still interesting. The next section is crucial and will need its own paragraph though.
“Dancing toward the 13th hour” may mean joyously approaching moon time. What is moon time I hear you not unreasonably asking! I don’t think this 13th hour is a reference to the 24 hour clock and if it isn’t then it jogged a memory about the 13th in relation to time. We live with the Gregorian Calendar system since 1582 which is led by the sun. Before this we had a calendar tied to the moon. Today we have 12 months in a year to fit 13 moons. But yes I know, why don’t they say 13th moon? It could just be the metaphor they are using anyway for getting us back into connection with the cosmos. They won’t be troubling themselves to spell it out for us anyway, same as Black Replica. Although by making it difficult to figure out, we will not forget its meaning so easily. Or else of course I’m simply wrong but I’m happy to be wrong as long as it’s part of the process of finding the truth. Basically again, the Gregorian solar calendar is an arithmetical calendar as it counts days as the basic unit of time, grouping them into years of 365 or 366 days. The previous moon calendar was tied to the more intricate ballet of the universe. While it would be more confusing and meandering if we suddenly went back to it today, which is why we don’t use it anymore in this mechanised age, if we were still in tune with it perhaps we would be more in tune with the cosmos but until we try that will have to remain an extremely subjective viewpoint. As it is it could be argued that we are out of the flow of time somewhat and therefore out of harmony with the cosmos. This theme reminds me of what I thought Black Replica's 'Mathematical Eyes' could be saying, we need to see more with our feelings/intuition than our brain. They may feel we are living out of balance, divorced from the galactic rotations. Hence why they foresee us dancing happily, even “panting, racing gracefully” towards that point. I’m not sure if an action like that could put us back in touch with our universal mind but if it happened in conjunction with other things it could lead to a major step in our evolution. Maybe this is tied into that whole 2012 jump of consciousness, end of the world as we know it or end of this phase of our evolution thing which is so prevalent in people’s minds today? Alot of unusual cosmic things are expected to happen around this time, links to more information on this below as ever, but very much another, second?, reality is thought to be awaiting us.
If it did turn out to be a beneficial thing for us to go through we might soon truly be “evolving facelessly“ as this would be a change in the consciousness of the universal mind when ‘human awareness expands and collapses’, perhaps. This might also tie in with the intervals of change in physical reality which were listed, they seem interested in monitoring it for some reason. From this point on anything might happen but you could conceivably be in charge of your own destiny and be “painting (your own) future landscapes”, becoming aware of other dimensions and physical possibilities and witnessing “frequencies transcending matter” and finally be “navigating the anatomy of atoms" to the fullest understanding. I know all this might be a but much for you but the lyrics mean something and having taken a methodical look at them and one jump of intuition this is what I found, how about you? But maybe you think they are just a bunch of cynics and the whole thing is a pose and way to promote themselves. If so I couldn't prove otherwise but I know it's more interesting to trust them. Returning to the meaning of the title, my instinct is telling me that second reality in this context is a reference to the second psychic reality beyond our normal everyday ego consciousness. This second reality would be the true self of the unconscious, the soul. It appears that the theme of Black Replica, the existence of an individual soul, continues into Zwischenwelt, which explores the in-between world of our conscious and unconscious. They seem to be saying we need to acknowledge the shadow being of our unconscious.
To reinforce some of the above speculations I would like to introduce some thoughts by the granddaddy of ESP etc, Edgar Cayce (1877 - 1945), an American psychic, I have a link for more information on him below. In a book about him by Henry Reed called 'Edgar Cayce on Mysteries of the Mind' you find the following opinion about the total subjectivity of science not to mention that all important 'sensory perception'. "Sensory information, the most mechanical foundation of our experience of the world, is highly subjective. It is a creative interpretation of physical data, data that is largely invisible to the conscious mind. We are utterly vulnerable to this level of basic subjectivity." So keep that in mind when using your own senses but as I said he goes further in stating that even science is ultimately subjective, “Our faith in the pure objectivity of science is misplaced. All science is a subjective enterprise. It is an important point to consider. As we consider some of the ways that subjectivity affects science, we must conclude that all human experience must also be subjective. You may well come to the conclusion, as have several other philosophers, that objective reality, if it exists at all, remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, to human beings.” There is also something called the Rosenthal Effect as well which posits that reality can be influenced by the expectations of others or biased expectancies can essentially affect reality and create self-fulfilling prophecies as a result. This happens in the science lab all the time, not to mention in the so-called ‘real’ world all the time and I’ll admit that there is just a bit of it happening too in my speculations here in DRL.
They want us to know that the power of the human mind is far more powerful than we have previously been led to believe and it is worth investigating. They may believe that the human race has reached a point where this path must be followed and understood for the good of our individual and collective soul. But, again from ‘Mysteries of the Mind’, "The deeper science stuck its nose into the reality of the atom, the more the atom ran away from the scientists intrusion. Atomic physicists found that their measurements disturbed what they were trying to measure. They discovered an enormous catch-22 about the task of observing reality: observing something changes it." This has been the case for studying ESP as well, even without taking the Rosenthal Effect into consideration. We do largely create our own realities and the answer to the question does ESP actually work is surprisingly yes but an equally correct answer would be no. Paradoxes I’m afraid may always be at the centre of our understanding of the universe. How bizarre.
This as ever is just the ground work for further research, I could have written forever and still have never really gotten to the bottom of it, another paradox. Next I plan to take a break from the MySpace projects and will be getting stuck into Dopplereffekt’s ‘Calabi Yau Spaces’ album.
'Segunda Realidad' video
Fan video for 'Agujero Negro'
Fan video for 'Segunda Realidad' (Spanish Version)
Video and mix of various Zwischenwelt tracks