Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dopplereffekt/Black Replica

I have a semi-exclusive account of Dopplereffekt and Black Replica from the Kontra-Musik festival for you. While I didn't manage to get to it myself, too close to my Sonar trip, one of my friends did and you can view his images and videos at his own site at http://www.skkatter.net/ and here for pics and here for videos. There's also footage of it already up at You Tube as well.

He also very kindly wrote me a report of it and while a picture is still worth a thousand words, as with a lot of things on the Internet, we need far more text content than we get. The Black Replica tour is a good case in point as I’ve seen so much footage of it at this stage but have hardly found more than a sentence to describe the feelings and experiences of the people who were there. What I have noticed however from the live shows, whether you were there in person or just online is the sense of humour and theatre that they are bringing to balance out what is essentially some very serious and sombre music. Which is an equation that any good artist understands and can effectively put into practice. For my part I love what their doing, it’s not important that they are using backing tracks and Gerald Donald is not present, these are people who obviously completely understand the power of mystery and will not simply give us what we expect. It is essentially just great theatre, I await their next unexpected move with anticipation. The same goes for the girl standing in for the increasingly mysterious Heinrich Mueller as Dopplereffekt at the same festival. How disappointing but how very typical, it’s just not going to be made that simple. Mueller has never played the game so why would he start now?

Black Replica/Dopplereffekt, Kontra-Musik Festival, Malmo, Sweden 9th June 2007 Report by Skkatter.

Black Replica was on at around 6:30pm at this Kontra Musik festival in Malmo. Before her was an experimental act called Incite, a German duo who were playingclicky, IDM style cut up noise stuff, a bit dubby, similar to Pole, except more software sounding, along with a special visual show they had which was synced up to the music. They were very good, it was in a cool small-ish dark room (max capacity of 200 I'd say, but there were only about 60 people there), the audience sat down and watched them.

A DJ came on and played a bit, and then the Black Replica show started. A mic and monitor was set up on the floor in front of the visuals screen, nothing else. Then the visuals and music started, the first track was Mathematical Eyes, the visuals were a mix of bits from the YouTube videos they posted and other blurry videos of "the girl"(are we calling her Black Replica? Ms. Replica?). Then Ms. Replica herself appeared, crouched down on the ground, with her black cape covering her, the then sang along to the backing track. Great voice, sounded good live. She danced around, in an unusual pagan style, and sang along to some more tracks. I was pretty awestruck, the music is great, and she's a beautiful girl too, and I was finally seeing somebody connected to this whole Dopplereffekt thing! After a while she discarded the black cloak and was wearing a black lycra bodysuit underneath it, oh yeah, and black high heel type boots.A few tracks in she put the mic down and ran off "stage" (it wasn't a stage though, she was right in front of us, a very intimate show), a new track started playing and she came back on dressed up this time in a white lycra bodysuit with a big bunch of feathers sticking out of the head, which drew some cheers and good natured whistles from an otherwise completely silent crowd. She still had the black boots on. While wearing this new costume she performed the Black Feathers track, I'm not sure, she may have performed another track dressed in this costume but pretty soon she ran off stage again and came back on wearing a beautiful flowing silky red dress, with that pagan symbol on the chest, glowing red, and she was barefoot. She performed another two or three tracks (once again, all spooky dark and moody, great singing, a few tracks were heading towards the 120 bpm area, could possibly be mixed into my DJ sets if it gets released!) Before the end of her set she changed back into her black lycra and cape she wears in the video. I'd say she played for an hour overall. Everybody cheered and clapped at the end, I picked my jaw up off the floor, went off to get a drink and started mentally picturing the engagement ring I was going to pick out for her.

I went up stairs to the club room which was a bit bigger than downstairs and had a proper club sound system which was nice and loud and bassy. The DJ was playing some electro stuff, the last track he played before Dopplereffekt came on was Biomechanik by Anthony Rother. At this point on the stage (he was off DJing on a table to the right) there was a Korg Triton LE keyboard on a stand, facing the left of the stage. There was also an office chair in front of it.
An Asian looking girl then walked out, dressed in a black top, black skirt and sat down at the chair. She was practically motionless throughout her set, moving her left hand over the keyboard a few times, pressing the odd key here and there, but mostly staying perfectly still, facing towards the left of the stage. There weren't really many visuals for this show, just some text coming up on a screen every so often "Multiple universes", "Calabi Yau Space", "Extra Dimensions". Then every so often a short video loop of the girl herself, a close-up of her face and it also showed her holding some folded paper diamond thing. The music was brooding, dark, along the lines of the new album on Rephlex but I've just heard samples of that off Juno, I didn't recognise any of the tracks she "played". All in all a very mysterious show. No sign of any Gerald Donald over at the mixing desk, on stage, or during the Black Replica show either.

On the Black Replica MySpace page they are currently displaying the flyer for their show at the Distillery in Leipzig, Germany. This was the only late addition to what has become known amongst fans as their 'Spring 2007' tour. While it was no doubt done by an outside artist for the club the artwork was obviously greeted with approval by the group. Whoever was responsible certainly did their homework because as you can see it incorporates both their symbol and female front person. I've reproduced it here in case it disappears from the web.
One more Dopplereffekt show is scheduled at Germanys Shining Festival over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd of June 2007. http://www.shining-festival.de/ Who’ll show up, well last weekend he was in a mood to confound people, this time it’s anyone’s guess. Additionally as you probably all know by now their 'Calabi Yau Space' album is also finally available on dbl LP and CD on Rephlex. Their press release goes into some detail about what a Calabi Yau Space is and although I've previously explained this myself there is no harm in having it stated again. Especially keeping in mind that this explanatory text almost certainly comes with the approval of Gerald Donald, if not certain sections coming from his own hand and therefore belongs here.
Rephlex Press release in full

Dopplereffekt are one of the more mysterious units of the contemporary electronic music scene. There are no interviews and hardly any live appearances. The composers hide behind strange German pseudonyms whereas the song titles and lyrics are in English and make up a strange mixture of scientific, sexually explicit and political allusions. Dopplereffekt's music is also highly eclectic and unusual.Even if at first sight the forefathers Kraftwerk seem to be more than present, Dopplereffekt have developed their very own and highly influential sound aesthetic.

Dopplereffekt are originally from Detroit though some believe them to be now based in Europe. Critics claim their electro-style resembles that of Drexciya and that they were indeed early members of that now legendary outfit. This album is a perfect sequel to 'Linear Accelerator', their last album released on International DeeJay Gigolo in 2003 and accompanies this year's classic retrospective 'Gesamtkunstwerk' from Clone. Musically, it follows a more ambient/soundscape/experimental/electronic course akin to the Der Zyklus 'Biometry' project or even Rephlex's 'Quantum Transposition' produced by Arpanet in late 2005. Arpanet's 'Inertial Frame' album on Record Makers, from the same stable, was among the very best albums of last year. Though some find this album more specialist, it is just as engaging and combines the science of sound with other fields of physics. After a few listens, you'll notice some similar musical themes running through various tracks. A lot of thought has gone into this album and it will generate even more, given the chance. The album also features exclusive artwork under license from CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory.

Calabi-Yau spaces are important in string theory, where one model posits the geometry of the universe to consist of a ten-dimensional space of the form. Although the main application of Calabi-Yau spaces is in theoretical physics, they are also interesting from a purely mathematical standpoint. Consequently, they go by slightly different names, depending mostly on context, such as Calabi-Yau manifolds or Calabi-Yau varieties.

Although the definition can be generalized to any dimension, they are usually considered to have three complex dimensions. Since their complex structure may vary, it is convenient to think of them as having six real dimensions and a fixed smooth structure .

If you are only excited by familiar things or fanatical about contemporary indie/rock then maybe this isn't your bag. If you like the challenge of the new and are intrigued by possibilities and the unknown, we urge you to investigate this album. After all, a great melody or rhythm or harmony begins with sound itself and it is on this level that Dopplereffekt is concentrating. 'Techno' in the sense that the term was originally intended.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here two videos I shot at the Holland gig of Black Replica:



10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Black replica Symbols are Greek Letters.

From the top left to the bottom right
the letters are psi,fi,xi,pi.

I sent them a message at their myspace to know why they are using greek letters and basically PSI letter ... but they never answered...

Anyway because i am Greek i can tell you that from the letter PSI = Ψ start all the greek words that describe soul and psychological situations
Like psihi ΨΥΧΗ = soul.
This letter is basically the beginning of all words that describe soul like ..psychiatric ..or psychological for example the first three letters p s y come from the greek PSI or Ψ.


9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. Did not know that and was wondering about the signs already.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Kon? said...

You can ask i can try to figure out what they're trying to say.


1:05 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Btw, thanks for info on the Greek Symbol as well. Very helpful.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gesamtkunstwerk 2


dear mr. mueller,
p l e a s e release that live-tracks

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Heinrich Mueller!

The historian Richard J. Evans wrote: "Müller was a stickler for duty and discipline, and approached the tasks he was set as if they were military commands. A true workaholic who never took a holiday, Müller was determined to serve the German state, irrespective of what political form it took, and believed that it was everyone's duty, including his own, to obey its dictates without question."[1] Evans also records that Müller was a Nazi out of ambition, not devotion to Hitler

12:42 PM  

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