HESO Magazine

Photography, Music, Film, Hitchhiking, Craft Beer – Cultural Pugilist

Tag: electronic

Julian Sartorius Beat Diary photo by Reto Camenisch

Julian Sartorius – 365 Day Beat Diary

Julian Sartorius Beat Diary photo by Reto Camenisch

Julian Sartorius Beat Diary photo by Reto Camenisch

Before humans, before the drum, there was the Beat. It has always been there, in its many forms. To harness the various beats of the universe, humans stretched animal skin across wood and used hands and sticks to pound out the rhythms of the world around fires in the night. Not creating the beat, but giving it a platform through which to flow was the primary backdrop for music on a human level to take form. Now beats are made and transmitted with machines, but that doesn’t necessarily affect their inherent power. While it’s not the same intensity as around the bonfire, the Beat is transcendent. In the right hands, it can still transport you to the heart of existence.

Every day I will record one beat, no matter where I am, using the situation each day will bring. Rules: No loops, no effects. Just me, my surroundings, my drum kit and a fieldrecorder allowing overdubs.

Julian Sartorius – 365 Day Beat Diary

The Beat Diary is now, for the first time, available in its entirety in an adequate analogue manner: consisting of 365 beats pressed on 12 LPs, accompanied by 365 photos. It’s telling the story of Julian’s year: a year between kitchens, the city of Berlin, mountains, hotel rooms and backstage areas from all over the world. Field recordings subtly woven in unique beat architectures, including light switch snapping, vacuum cleaner rustling, plastic pig squeaking, pianos rattling, electric toothbrush buzzing, musical boxes turning until, at the very end, the new year’s fireworks bang. Thanks to an outrageous inventiveness, the combination of the likes of JDilla, Aphex Twin, the club, the Black Atlantic, sounds from the congotronic and minimal music, the result is a pure delight. These beats will create knots in the brain, being highly encrypted at times, and still will lead to contemplation and make you want to dance. Long story short, these productions expand listening habits without any effort.

collection petites planètes • outtake • ÁRóRA & ÚRVERK from Vincent Moon / Petites Planètes on Vimeo.

Julian Sartorius Site

New Music - of Montreal & Harouki-Zombie

New Music – of Montreal & Harouki-Zombie

Asking too many questions never got anyone any answers. Beyond the dull what is the meaning of life and why god why asking questions to yourself whilst sitting alone in a room is more a kind of mental masturbation leading to nowhere. Might as well put some music on that snazzy Bose Digital SoundDock on your desk and ask yourself why it doesn’t sound like vinyl. Which merely begs yet another question: what to play?

If for no other reason that you should be dancing as much as your still young legs can, but you kinda want to rock some funky dance-punk in your skinny jeans, then the latest of Montreal release Daughter of Cloud is exactly what the existential doctor prescribed. 17 tracks of rarities ranging from the days of 2007 yore circa the epic Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? through to 2010’s False Priest, the album is in realty two—the first nine tracks one of unreleased material and the subsequent eight a compilation of tracks previously released on hard-to-find 7”s. Thematically and stylistically as disparate and off-the-wall as rarities albums are, there is a cohesive element to Kevin Barnes iconoclastic meanderings. Simultaneously serious and jovial, an earnest self-consciousness pervades every note, be it tongue-in-cheek electro-funk, pretty twee-pop, or glib dance-punk. Even if it doesn’t make your foot tap and head bob, the lyrics on “Sails, Hermaphroditic” (If I could Dr. Frankenstein (Dr. Funkenstein) the world (if I could change your mind) / Start this bitch anew / I would change the shit out of you) are enough to make you laugh at the world, and your useless self-conscious stall tactics.

New Music – of Montreal & Harouki-Zombie

Rather than arranging the songs chronologically, Barnes sequenced the tracks to take you through a whirlwind of images slap-painted with raucous fury and tinged with fragile emotion. Beginning with genre-mashing up-tempo beats and guitars the 56-minute album eventually dissolves into softer shades and straightforward songs, yet still features the trademark of Montreal cadence-switching sensibility. Even their most accessible single, “Tender Fax” has moments of irreverence, as if it just can’t stand to be three full minutes of radio candy. On the penultimate track, “Noir Blues to Tinnitus” Barnes explores the idea of sound within the human ear without a corresponding external sound, i.e. imagined sound or better put, the noises / voices in our head. It might be a confusing, glam-rocky and hallucinatory place, but listening to the sounds play out from Kevin Barnes’ head is always new and exciting.

New Music - of Montreal & Harouki-Zombie

of Montreal Group Compilation

Much like Harouki-Zombie’s debut EP Objet Petit A, the new project from Orenda Fink (of Saddle Creek’s Azure Ray) and Nina Barnes (of Montreal’s chief album artist). The title track is an immediately infectious beat-driven female whisper-fest that elicits images of dark subterranean European clubs where effortlessly stylish singles dance unselfconsciously in stroby lights. “Soldier’s Gun” continues in this vein while stepping up the tempo and heavy breathing in sexy foreign tongues. Polyviynl Records simultaneous release of Daughter of Cloud and Objet Petit A is no coincidence. There is much crossover. Firstly, Nina Barnes is Kevin Barnes partner in art, music and marriage. Secondly, the male Barnes has penned and lent his production skills on the stylistically similar yet more light-hearted third track, “Vacated Hunters”. The final track “Swamp Theme” is a dancy, trip-hop ode to zombie swagger in double-time. In the era of the portable, the EP would not be complete without not one, but two dark and house-y “Objet Petit A” remixes (digital only).

Daughter of Cloud is available on CD, 2xLP (cyan or black vinyl), cassette (purple tape), and digital formats. Objet Petit A is also available as limited edition hand-numbered purple 2×7″ + MP3. Better not to ask why, just find an online garage sale, buy a vintage turntable and follow the link to the vinyl. It comes with the MP3, so you can still maintain your minimalism.

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

The Stone Collection Of Tim & Puma Mimi

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

Tim & Puma Mimi and the apple

As the sparse synthesizer and video games breaks beep to life on the first track of The Stone Collection Of Tim & Puma Mimi we hear a Puma Mimi ask a question, “Acchi, kocchi, acchi, kocchi, dochi ni ikou?” (Here, there, here, there, which way to go?). It is unclear if she’s asking us or herself. And with the range of musical genres represented on the album (hip hop, dance, electronic, J-pop, crossover jazz, fruit), this might be emblematic of the album itself. At its heart, it’s a fun and accessible (even if you don’t speak Japanese) musical metaphor for modern Tokyo living.

Much as the album defies straightforward definition, so too does how Tim and Puma Mimi met (“We met at the Santa Klaus party in the Netherlands in the end of 2003.”), and eventually came to live and make music in Tokyo.

In places it is a throwback album of beautiful voicework and analog instruments, yet its modern synthesizers, canned drumbeats and use of fruit as instrument (what?!) belie the way it was made–not in the studio, but in Puma Mimi’s small 1DK (One Dining Kitchen Apartment) flat in Shinagawa, Tokyo.

HESO: How do you make music? digitally, analoguely, with fresh produce or all of the above?

Tim: All of them, we don’t have rules, how to produce, it just has to bring the song to a cool shape. The cucumber is electronic, the flute acoustic, mostly I use the micro Korg, but sometimes Fender Rhodes or Mini Moog, or even plug-ins, but I don’t like midi.

More than just the multi-instrumentalist genre-mashing, the way the songs are made reflects on the private/personal relationship between life and music, recording and touring, loving and playing. Having met and seen a bright future, both musically and romantically, they soon had to part because of the technicalities of bureaucratic life–visas, work, nationality. But long distance relationshipping didn’t stop them from making music. The Skype concert series soon sprang to life, with Tim touring clubs Europe and skype-casting Mimi singing live from her kitchen in Tokyo. This, plus their growing number of singles, created a following and got them into electro-festivals across Europe. But it wasn’t enough.

HESO: You wrote and recorded your album in Mimi’s tiny Tokyo apartment, but where are you now?

Tim: Now we live in Zurich, bit bigger apartment, but still all instruments in bedroom. It’s in Kreis 4, the melting pot of underground Zurich (yes that exists too in Zurich, beside being a super-expensive and clean old town famed for the Bahnhofstrasse). Sometimes we rent a music-room, but it’s often underground and humid.

Tim & Puma Mimi Live at Womb in Tokyo

Tim & Puma Mimi Live at Womb in Tokyo

HESO: Tim, what is your impression of Japan? Puma Mimi, Switzerland?

Tim: Japan? First I was disappointed, I had a picture of crazy colorful people, but 90% of people in Tokyo wear black suits. But after two weeks you start to understand, why they don’t look into your eyes, that they have different lines to queue for next train. After two months you start to love it, but I’m not sure if I will ever feel at home there.

Mimi: I like Zürich very much because I can get both city and nature life at once. I grew up in the northern part of Japan where I enjoyed nature, but as a teenager, it was boring. No concert places, no exhibitions. Even the last cinema in the town went bankrupt, and turned to be a Karaoke house (yeah! of course we had Karaoke!). Then I went to Tokyo to study when I was 19. Tokyo was so exciting, creative fashion, fast information, music, arts and so on…. I enjoyed it a lot. But sometimes, I couldn’t breathe. I missed nature, fresh air, fresh water, quietness, the sky. Compared to Tokyo, Zürich is very small, but there are many things going on in this “little big city”. Lake water is very clean. And I can get to deep nature in 10 min by train. That’s perfect combination for me. Besides Zürich, I like mountain area in Ticino, old stone houses and sharp mountains. It’s so nice to walk there.

HESO: If your beats and words are inspired by the cramped and crowded Tokyo lifestyle, what happens when you have all of the Alps from which to take inspiration?

Tim: I would love to do calm, maybe even spiritual music, but always when I try it, I think that doesn’t work, audience would fall asleep, or just start talking. I would like to do live music for yoga or something similar.

Mimi:I try to write about something around me. So Alps could be a good inspiration too. But the problem is that the nature is very powerful. So, when I go to mountains, I become wordless. It takes more time to write about the nature than about concrete jungle… at least, for me.

Tim & Puma Mimi on the Phone by David Thayer 2011

Tim & Puma Mimi on the Phone by David Thayer 2011

On the lenitive “Tamago” the album takes a turn from the fun and playfully amateurish upbeat Electro-J-pop to a more serious and contemplative nature. It is not a coincidence that this comes halfway through the Stone Collection. From this point on, especially on “Green Blood Circulation”, even when the music returns to previous form, the songs retain a depth and a progressive movement toward some far-off point that we can’t quite see, but know is out there.

HESO: How do you come up with ideas for songs? Albums? Videos? Live performances? Who does what?

Tim: I produce the songs. Mimi writes texts and melody lines. Musically it’s just trial and error, sometimes it works, sometimes doesn’t. I give the recordings over to Mimi. In a bigger view I would say: The ideas grow in our heads and sometimes we can pick up the fruits. Inspirations are: fleamarkets, walking in cities and mountains, watching concerts, movies, reading books.

Mimi: About lyrics: I try to express my inner feeling by describing daily objects around me. For example, I came up with lines for “Giacometti” when I saw the poster of Giacometti hanging in the room where we were recording. And the text begins with “To talk to Giacometti, I don’t need words….”. Something like that. Melody line: it’s all depends on Tim’s music. When Tim gives me an idea of song, then I listen to it many times and try to jam (hum) with lyrics I already have.

HESO: The album has dropped. What happens next?

Tim: In a week we visit China for 3 weeks, travelling with a bunch of musicians and do live music to silent movies. Later this Year I want to build a do-it yourself-kit of my Fruitilyzer, that people can build their own Fruitilyzer and electrify new fruits and vegetables.

HESO: Can you write a very short song-poem about your favorite food?

Mimi: I wrote this quite long ago, and try to make a song out of it, but Tim never liked my melody lines with these lyrics. So it is still un-published. Tim doesn’t like Tomato Sauce either, by the way.

トマトソース / Tomato sauce
飛び散る飛び散る/ It splashes all over
白いTシャツ / on my white T-shirts
赤いシミ/ and leaves red stains
食べるのやめるか/ Should I stop eating
トマトソース/ Tomato sauce?

いやいやそんな/ Noway, it’s
トマトソース / Tomato sauce!
だってだいすき / I love
トマトソース / Tomato sauce
ファッションは /Fashion has no chance against
食欲に敵わない / appetite

HESO: I love Tomato Sauce. Thanks guys. Check out their site for more fun with fruits and beats.

Interview with Tim & Puma Mimi is part of HESO Magazine’s ongoing (late) Summer Interview Series, where we interview photographers, musicians and artists about their work and what they think about the world of 2012. We may ask them similar questions, but the answers have been anything but the same old canned responses. Check out the entire series here.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén