Monday, December 28, 2009

Zerkalo in Paris

Very interesting looking live Zerkalo show about to take place in Paris on 4th Jan 2010. Details on flyer and on their MySpace. I wish I could be there but if you can you might as well go. The Tarkovsky film Mirror will also be shown.

There may or may not be a new Heinrich Mueller involved MySpace project called Il Perfido Incanto. The first time I looked at their site it listed ‘Development - Heinrich Mueller’ but this has since been removed and the only connection to him is that their label is still down as Dataphysix. (Even this has now been removed, there are also four audio tracks up now which don't sound like Mueller had any input, a hoax?) It has only been up since 19th Dec 2009 and so far there is no music or video’s so it's hard to know what to make of it yet. I think the group name translates best as the treacherous enchantment and they are based in Italy. Keep an eye on it at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Zerkalo - I can Speak

The video for the new Zerkalo track, 'I Can Speak', recently uploaded onto their YouTube account is full of un-credited quotes from many different sources. I was going to just include this information with little elaboration in the previous post but once I started to recognise where some of the lines came from and realised the variety of sources I decided it deserved a separate article to do it justice. While Julia Pello is credited with making the visuals I am guessing that the bookish Victoria Lukas (pictured) was responsible for choosing the texts, although they may have collaborated on this. At surface level the title simply references the opening sequence of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film, Mirror(1975), which is a scene, said to autobiographical, where a boy is hypnotized in order to lose his stammer. The track also uses dialogue from this scene as well. But then there is all of the text on the video to consider. To do this I have written out the text in the order it appears and asterisked each block to identify who wrote what and where it came from. I think it’s good that some has eluded me as you can now look too. By the way, I am not as clever as all this might make me look, I just searched the sentences in Google but it was fun to locate them all and I certainly learned quite a bit. What all this means I’m not sure, maybe the title should be ‘I Can Write’ but if you can find what ties it all together please let me know, although it probably was not meant to in the literal sense but only in that Victoria Lukas likes all of these writers. Mikhail Bulgakov was my own favourite discovery from all of this. I'm sure some of you might think this article is just a little over the top, so do I in fact, but 'going deeper' is what I have stated DRL is going to do and going deeper into a subject I have learned can bring its own rewards. Using another cliché, that if even one person discovers a new idea or writer from this it will be worth it, is more than applicable here and I guarantee that over time far more than one person will. I also lke in my own small way allowing these ghosts to exist again through their words, will any of us ever get that chance? The music itself is very uptempo and to my ears doesn't sound like Mueller had any involvement but only Zerkalo know this for sure. Check out the video itself here and keep reading to see the text in the order it appears.

False and fictitious ideas as such can teach us nothing concerning the essence of thought. Those things which are connected with others as all things that exist in nature will be understood by the mind. The more things the mind knows the better does it understand its own strength and the order of nature.*(Spinoza)
She felt that he was still looking at her, he wanted something, wanted her to tell him that she loved him. He found talking so much easier than she did and as she looked at him she began to smile Though she had not said a word he knew, he knew that she loved him. And smiling she looked out of the window thinking to herself nothing on Earth can equal this happiness for she had triumphed again.**(Woolf)
She had not said it, yet he knew she was invisible, free as air. There was no reason to make herself dizzy with speed or to fly at such a height.***(Bulgakov)
1, 2, 3, I Can speak.****(Tarkovsky)
And he saw a great sadness come over mankind. a doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it, ‘All is Empty, All is Alike, All Hath Been!’. He said unto his disciples, “There cometh the long twilight“. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. *****(Nietzsche)
As it’s going often at love’s breaking through window then stretched in, the silver beauty of her gentle branches. The bird began to sing the song of light and pleasure to us who fear to lift our glances from the earth who are so lofty, bitter and intense.******(Akhmatova)
When we were saved together from the distance came the heart stopping moan of a train. She overtook it.***(Bulgakov)
Nights without the beloved and nights with whom you don’t love and huge stars above a feverish forehead and arms stretching and reaching up to... I know all that was and all that shall be. I know the deaf and dumb mystery that the uneducated and inarticulate language of people calls life.*******(Tsvetaeva)
We shall meet again in Petersburg as though we had buried the sun there and then we shall pronounce for the first time the blessed word with no meaning.********(Mandelstam)
Never mind if our candles go out, it is easy to be cruel one need only not to love. I won’t mention sad lips and tiny crucifixes, they mean nothing to me. I pave a road for the wheels to glide far. I will slide right past the thick of the forest and the streaming oil from the broken ship on the Atlantic. I hope the weather will wash it away. Oh everything brings one to tears. ????(Unknown)
*This first section comes from the famous lens grinding Dutch philosopher Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), known as the ‘prince’ of philosophers. The lines come from two sections of his ‘On the Improvement of Understanding’(1883). In this case a fuller quote would be useful to put the lines in better context.
“False and fictitious ideas have nothing positive about them (as we have abundantly shown), which causes them to be called false or fictitious; they are only considered as such through the defectiveness of knowledge. Therefore, false and fictitious ideas as such can teach us nothing concerning the essence of thought; this must be sought from the positive properties just enumerated; in other words, we must lay down some common basis from which these properties necessarily follow, so that when this is given, the properties are necessarily given also, and when it is removed, they too vanish with it.” and
“Again, the more things the mind knows, the better does it understand its own strength and the order of nature; by increased self-knowledge, it can direct itself more easily, and lay down rules for its own guidance; and, by increased knowledge of nature, it can more easily avoid what is useless. And this is the sum total of method, as we have already stated.”
**This part is from the Virginia Woolf novel, To the Lighthouse(1927)The lines are not in the same order as they appear in the book. Among the book's themes are said to be loss, subjectivity, and the problem of perception. Victoria Lukas has previously cited Woolf as an influence to Mouvement magazine in 2009.
***These two sections can be found in Russian writer, Mikhail Bulgakov‘s(1891-1940) novel, 'The Master and Margarita'(1966). Widely recognised as a classic it is a fantasy novel which was published posthumously. Said to begin with Satan visiting Moscow in the 1930s, joining a conversation between a critic and a poet debating the existence of Jesus Christ and the Devil. It then evolves into an all-embracing indictment of the corruption, greed, narrow-mindedness, and widespread paranoia of Soviet Russia. From what I read of it online it is a riot.
****Obviously there has to be an Andrei Tarkovsky reference and here it is. The opening sequence of his film, Mirror(1975), includes a scene, said to autobiographical, where a boy is hypnotized in order to lose his stammer. As you must know by now, Zerkalo have used this Tarkovsky masterpiece many times as subject matter, but most obviously for their name.
*****From Friedrich Nietzsche ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ (1885). Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality. One of the other MySpace projects Heinrich Mueller is or was involved with, Daughter Produkt, has already had a Nietzsche referencing track called ’Zarathustra’. The lines here are again out of order so it's worth giving the full quote for proper context.

"-And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of their works. A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!' And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been! 'To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon? In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye hath singed yellow our fields and hearts. Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust like ashes:--yea, the fire itself have we made aweary. All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow! 'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so soundeth our plaint--across shallow swamps. Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and live on--in sepulchres." Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily; and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.--Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it! That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights! Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep.”
****** By Anna Akhmatova(1889-1966), the Russian poet, from her poem, 'And as it's Going'. Again Zerkalo has used the work of this poet before, in their track 'Warning You' they use her words as lyrics. The full poem is as follows.
And As It's Going...
And as it's going often at love's breaking,
The ghost of first days came again to us,
The silver willow through window then stretched in,
The silver beauty of her gentle branches.
The bird began to sing the song of light and pleasure
To us, who fears to lift looks from the earth,
Who are so lofty, bitter and intense,
About days when we were saved together.
*******From an 1918 poem by the Russian poet and writer Marina Tsvetaeva's(1892-1941). It is said her poetry arose from her own deeply convoluted personality, her eccentricity and tightly disciplined use of language. Among her themes were female sexuality, and the tension in women's private emotions. It reads in full...

Nights without the beloved - and nights
With whom you don’t love, and huge stars
Above a feverish forehead, and arms,
Stretching and reaching up to Him -
Who wasn’t here for ages - and won’t be,
Who cannot be - and must be….
And a child’s tear for a hero,
And a hero’s tear for a child,
And enormous, rocky mountains
On the chest of the one, who must - descend…
I know all that was and all that shall be,
I know the deaf and dumb mystery,
That the uneducated and inarticulate
Language of people calls - Life.
******** From the Russian poet and essayist, Osip Mandelstam's (1891-1938) 'We Shall Meet Again, in Petersburg'. He fell foul of Stalin and ended up in exile, he even had an affair with Anna Akhmatova, those poets! The poem in full is as follows...
We shall meet again, in Petersburg,
We shall meet again, in Petersburg,
as though we had buried the sun there,
and then we shall pronounce for the first time
the blessed word with no meaning.
In the Soviet night, in the velvet dark,
in the black velvet Void, the loved eyes
of the blessed women are still singing,
flowers are blooming that will never die.
The capital hunches like a wild cat,
a patrol is stationed on the bridge,
a single car rushes past in the dark,
snarling, hooting like a cuckoo.
For this night I need no pass.
I’m not afraid of the sentries.
I will pray in the Soviet night
for the blessed word with no meaning.
A rustling, as in a theater,
and a girl suddenly crying out,
and the arms of Cypris are weighed down
with roses that will never fall.
For something to do we warm ourselves at a bonfire,
maybe the ages will die away
and the loved hands of the blessed women
will brush the light ashes together.
Somewhere audiences of red flowers exist,
and the fat sofas of the loges,
and a clockwork officer
looking down on the world.
Never mind if our candles go out
in the velvet, in the black Void. The bowed shoulders
of the blessed women are still singing.
You’ll never notice the night’s sun.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Return of Black Replica

Typically, just when we were losing the faith for the continuation of the MySpace projects, Black Replica mysteriously return with three new tracks. I think they were uploaded today or yesterday but they are, ‘Nether Realms’(1.02), a quite beautiful vocal led piece; the spectacularly sinister ‘Replicant Vestiges‘(2.14) and ‘Ehpemeral’ (3.53). This latter track you will recognise in a speeded up version from a live Black Replica video from Madrid in 2007 still on YouTube, so this song at least dates from their inception. The other two might also be from the original sessions which gave birth to the now infamous and for three long years unchanging four tracks on their MySpace player. These were of course ‘Mathematical Eyes‘(Now listed as ‘Mathematical Auge‘, eye in German, why now singular?), ‘Spider Theory‘, ‘Twilight Pupil‘ and ‘Black Feathers‘ which after a brief disappearance are now all back on the player as well. These new tracks might also be newly produced as well which I hope they are as this promises the possibility of more to come but be warned, we could be waiting another three years! In case your wondering, the touch of Mueller is all over these new tracks, his name is also back listed as a member as well. Still no sign of new videos or the old ones being replaced but this situation may change soon but nice to have them back, as always check out
Black Replica doing ‘Ehpemeral’ live in 2007.
There is also a new Zerkalo track and video on their MySpace and YouTube sites called ‘I Can Speak’. Miss Lukas has set quite a puzzle for us this time round, what with all her jumbled up anonymous quotes which I am endeavouring to unravel for you and the music is good too. Full post on this soon.
Lastly and most surprisingly, there is an unreleased Elecktroids track on the new Warp20 box set called ‘Elecktroids Bonus Circuit". Again someone is certainly looking after their archive to have unearthed this one for us. It does grow on you but not what you would have expected maybe, can see why it was not on the Electroworld album. Nice video already up for it here though.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Drexciya Oddities 1/4 'Wardance'

While I have written an extensive article on every release so far relating to James Stinson and Gerald Donald there are still four individual tracks relating to Drexciya which I have not gone into in detail which are well worth examining while we await new material and news.
The nature of these oddities are, in order of release; a collaboration with The Martian, ‘Wardance' on Red Planet in 1994, a remix of UR’s ‘Electronic Warfare’ in 1996 and the track, 'Davey Jones Locker', included on the 'True People: Detroit Techno' compilation on React in 1996 and the track ‘Aquatacizem‘, included on the Interstellar Fugitives compilation in 1998. For any artist or group after a 10 year lifespan to have so few tracks in their catalogue not exclusive to one of their own releases is unusual, especially in electronic music. But James Stinson at least is on record as not liking the idea of his own material being remixed, "It’s a piece of art, like the Mona Lisa, never meant to be remixed.” So I guess he would have largely felt the same way about doing it to others. Also, while they did appear on many compilations it was usually with previously released material. Stinson did not tend to collaborate with anyone outside of Donald either and if he did this material has never surfaced. I say this as I could imagine it as being very likely that there would have been times he was over at the UR studio for example when his talents might well have been used but not directly acknowledged as this was the collective way with UR. I guess this goes for Donald as well but with him I see it as less likely he would be into hanging out at other people’s sessions but you never know. He did begin officially collaborating with others outside of Stinson in the mid nineties onwards with Brendan M. Gillen as Flexitone and more than likely was at the dawn of Ectomorph as well and this subject I will probably cover in some detail in the future. Not to mention his Dopplereffekt collaborators, Kim Karli and William Scott, from 1994 on. There was also one other collaboration, this time jointly, as X-Ternal Pulse at the beginnings of Ultradyne, I have written a bit about this already and here is link to that article. In case some of you are wondering, The Elecktroids collaboration has already been covered by me. I was going to do these three releases in one article until I realised I had too much to say about each one and with this lengthy intro piece as well I've decided to split them up. Have also squeezed in new Dopplereffekt info at end of article. So in order of release here we go.
- The Martian - 'The Long Winter of Mars’ 2X12" (Red Planet 1994)
This was the fifth in the very popular Red Planet released series and it came out as a double 12” pack in 1994. The Martian is said to be either Mike Banks of UR or maybe someone called Will Thomas, I'm not sure if this has ever been confirmed. But one thing we do know is that on one track here, the opener ‘Wardance’, the credit runs 'Aquatic Assault Programming: by Drexciya'. There are vocals by Astral Apache in this track as well whoever that is but there was a track called 'Astral Apache' by Galaxy 2 Galaxy (UR 25) the year before. It is just over 10 minutes long and if you were expecting it to sound like something Drexciya had done before you will be very very surprised. It does sound a bit dated to me, it was 15 years ago, but we also have to remember that Stinson and or Donald are only down as programmers on this so they didn’t write it or come up with the concept (we can't blame them!) and we can only ever speculate how the collaborative process would have gone down or if they had a big or small part in shaping the track or not. It might even have happened in a very casual way like how I described already. The main rhythm track begins very much like any techno track of the time, but once past the three minute mark enough original signatures have emerged from the mix to give it its own character. As I said, the track does start off very bare but soon jumps fully formed into life with a classic techno snare and a nice rolling bassline. The programming of all these elements together create a very solid and perfectly formed whole. It's a full on dance track alright with a number of breakdowns which strip the track right back and then it comes back full on again. It manages to sustain a groove nonetheless, keeping your interest for the duration. About the three minute mark those new signatures begin emerging like a clipped vocal and rising and falling in the background a weird spacey ringing synth is heard. The only element of the track with a nod to Drexciya might be an odd kind of underwater ringing sound dropped more as an effect than something which is there all the way through. Drexciya were up to their fourth release, ‘The Unknown Aquazone’, by the time they did this so were very well established in the studio and it shows here. If it shows anything it is that even at this stage Drexciya were capable of mastering more than one style and if they had ever wanted to limit themselves to making just pure techno they would have given all the top producers in that field some serious competition. I do like this track but there were so many amazing tracks which came out of this series, one of my true favourites from it would be 'Sex in Zero Gravity' by Eddie Fowlkes and there are many others. In fact there was a CD compilation of tracks from the series in 1999 but alas 'Wardance' wasn't on it. If you want to hear it and as I presume this release is long deleted there are currently 43 copies of it available through Discogs sellers at very affordable prices
Next in this series will be Drexciya's Electric Eel Mix of UR's Electronic Warfare.
There are two full length Dopplereffekt shows online to watch.
The infamous Roxy show in LA from May 2009
and the more recent show in Berlin, Germany 28/11/09.
Also a new live track with vocals has emerged from Dopplereffekt, perhaps called 'Extra Dimensions'. It sounds like an outtake from Calabi Yau Spaces to me but well worth a listen.