Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gerald Donald Groove interview

Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller has spoken again in connection to Drexciya’s Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller series. This time he did it to Florian Sievers in the current issue of Groove but in a German text. I used a translation site which is not perfect but for the answers I fixed them up a bit better myself. It’s pretty interesting reading.

Drexciya have purists and Detroit Electro fanatics always addressed as nerds with European interest in African-American blues continuum. Today, many bass music producers refer to the now defunct duo from Detroit. Member Gerald Donald was always the silent technician - until now.

Back overboard, and you have the filter turned on: there is a different world underwater. Not only visually, with all the blue and green, but also sonically. From here, Drexciya have sent 1992-2002 their messages to the surface: While many electronics producers traveled the nineties to the Outer Space of Saturn and Milky Way, or retreated into the inner space, the narrative space of Drexciya was always the abyss of the oceans. Suitable to be found in their second-wave electro-liquid radio, streaming filters rides, hi-hat and emotional shoals, um: depth. In any case, Drexciya have published not just Electro plates. Drexciya had something to say. They had a concept: aesthetically, musically, and ultimately political. It was clear, from Africa. Examples illustrated in the booklet of music compilation The Quest of 1997. There were four cards arrows, first as slaves abducted in the southern United States and were later migrated to the urban centers of the North and West. In 1988, "Techno leaves Detroit, spreads worldwide". And lastly, finally, "The Journey Home (Future)": a dense network lines between North and South America and Africa, without directional arrows. The future has begun.

On Drexciyas 12-inches and albums on labels such as Underground Resistance, Tresor or warp track title were the names of mysterious places such as "Dead Man's Reef", with recurring characters such as Doctor Blowfin or dramatic sketches like "Sighting In The Abyss", the imagination flow freely. They could also be because there were few direct contacts in the deep. They knew that the Drexciya-submarine sat two. On the bridge, James Stinson said at least sometimes, while in the belly of the silent machinery technician Gerald Donald tinkering. Ten years after Stinson's death in 2002 expressed Donald now, even if only using Skype. He collaborated with Stinson as Elecktroids, solo releases under names such as Arpanet, Heinrich Mueller, Japanese Telecom and Rudolf Klorzeiger and was part of Der Zyklus, among other things, Dopplereffekt or Ectomorph. Donald calls himself consistently afrogermanisch "Mr. Jones" - and put his e-mails and Skype messages chosen as a mix of British colonial officials and megalomaniac scientist for tea time. He refused to face questions about the past, its obvious germanophilia and his current whereabouts. But he is closer to home than we think.

Mr. Mueller, why did Drexciya at all times plunge into the water?

We humans face two spheres of existence, the world of gas and the liquid state of the world. In the one we live in, the other is full of mystery and undiscovered regions. It makes up three quarters of the earth's surface, a huge unexplored space right next to us.

Is the water a place to which it drags you? An aquatopia then?

It would be tempting to exist there. We humanoids would need technology because we are air-breathers. Evolution would have us take a point at which we could exist there without technical aids. We know that organisms can adapt to most living conditions. It would need to be given sufficient time, millions of years.

The slave babies were going incredibly fast.

Could you specify that?

Your myth is that the underwater Drexciya people are the descendants of slaves unborn babies whose mothers during passage across the Atlantic as useless cargo and were thrown overboard and learned in the womb to breathe liquid oxygen?

This is a component of the theory, but not comprehensive.

Could you add more components?

Quite simply, the maritime world is a world in itself, and that includes hydrogen, a constituent of water, in abundance in the universe. And the first item of all.

Aha. What influence did example Parliaments play "Aqua Boogie" from 1978 and Miles Davis' album Water Babies of 1976 have?

Irrelevant. The theory developed in isolation.

They said initially been about technology. You have solo pieces with titles like "Biometric ID" or "Cherenkov Radiation". Where does your fascination for technology and physics?

Technology is the manifestation of the human understanding of the natural laws of the universe. Man understands these laws are not complete, but it only works with approximations. But these approaches are at least well enough to manipulate the laws of nature for advancing civilization. Man uses physical force to make machines and build his architectural designs. Technology is therefore extremely urgent for humanity. Music, whose topic this is, is a celebration of our progress.

The way you describe it sounds, but in such a way as if the man in your opinion, is not in full control and engages in risky ventures.

That is correct. Sometimes he loses control, just think of nuclear disasters such as those in Harrisburg, Chernobyl or recently Fukushima. This shows us that the nature and especially the atom are ultimately more powerful.

You just mentioned music, the topic is technology. Technology is the basis of techno, techno, or is a contemporary version of funk and disco - and something more human?

Techno as a sub-category of electronic music is a result of technology, which in turn is a result of scientific progress. But I advocate no such terminology.
Your former partner, James Stinson, worked as a balance to Drexciya as a truck driver. What do you do besides?

Sonic and conceptual research.

So you are a music producer?

In other words, yes.

Stinson died ten years ago, since then Drexciya has ceased. Will there ever be new sound transmissions under this name?

This era has been finalized and is not reinitialized.

That's respectable and consistent. What results of your new sonic and conceptual research can we expect from you instead?

Currently I am working in conjunction with Dopplereffect on a project called "neutrino", which is integrated in addition to the usual sound research astrophysics with electronic music.

Are you aware of the effect that Drexciya is tailored to the aesthetic of many contemporary dance-music-sheets from the dubstep genre? Many producers currently refer back to your boards from the early nineties.

Interestingly, this connection I was not aware. All musical forms interact with each other, there is exchange between different configurations of music. The established diversity.

It shows how ideas can live on, because some of these producers were not even born when your first EPs would have been released. How old are you?

Let me put it this way: I'm in a later stage of my life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe it... He is human after all! Even made a joke in the end!

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

Nah, impossible! It must have been misinterpreted during the translation :D

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful interview
supreme answers

3:51 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

I've always wondered if "The Shadow over Innsmouth" was an influence on Drexciyas music and theories. He says "this idea was developed in isolation" so I guess not.

But still I like to imagine there is some kind of connection. I think it makes both novel and music even cooler :)

10:11 PM  
Anonymous producer chris young said...

Excellent interview Gerald! Your talent and insight is fascinating and exciting. I'm looking forward to the next parts of the interview.

producer chris young

12:31 PM  

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