mustERkennung

mustERkennung … stuff about patterns and their recognition

ars macabre

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“Be careful about the volume, this CD was recorded on a very high level, so reduce volume amount for the beginning.”

“”

“Really, it’s better for your ears. And my headphones.”

I took place in a comfy chair, put the CD into the player, reduced volume as advised, put on the headphones, pressed play. And was washed away by a still loud wave of pure noise.

The CD was the The Japanese/American Noise Treaty, a 2 CD compilation of furious noise and power electronics from Japan and America. Outstanding compilation, hard to listen to, but always a pleasure.

The year was 1995 and the place are macabre, a Rostock based record store by then.

They had everything, which was of my interest, all the industrial and neo folk records, all the limited releases with the ever special packaging from Staalplaat or CMI (sadly enough, but this label is also gone). They got a tattoo and piercing studio attached. In times when both of it was not so popular and received so well as it is now. They moved within Rostock. And now (or for a while) they are gone. Just gone.

IMG_1352

This picture was taken 27th of December 2015 at the address associated with are macabre on the internetz. No record store there, just a Kindergarden and something similar.

And that’s what happened to most of the places I was aware of to get the records I’m looking for. And to do a sort of walk-by shopping, just discover new stuff more accidentally. There is no Hörsturz in Nürnberg anymore, only, hopefully, mail order. The small shop at Mainzer Straße, Berlin is long, long gone. As well as the Dense Recored Store (what a los, they led my actively to Burial long before it became hottest shit, just because of the stuff I bought there). And the record section at the Neurotitan shop also has seen better times.

There are dedicated record shops for techno or all kinds of electronic music. But what I’m really looking for, at least in big cities, is something like are macabre. A store dedicated to the more obscure and bizarre genres of music. Help me!

This was not only a record store. It was a great place to talk and to discover. And not only new bands, but magazines or concerts to took place. They as well organized a lot of concerts at MS Stubnitz. Some of them I’ll never forget!

Gone, all gone. Or hidden, somehow.

Luckily, there is a small, lovely record store here in Braunschweig: Riptide, with an cute little cafe attached to it. A place I like to visit now and then, scan the new arrivals, have a beer and a chat with the owners. I love it to be in a store, to see things, to talk about records with other customers. Sit there, read, drink and get into the right mood for music.

And for the records I really want I for now order them directly from the artists. It’s working well, but needs some energy to stay up to date. Maybe this changes in the future.

Written by Rayk Fenske

January 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Posted in music

1st year in synth

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It was the last day of the 9th re:publica, 7th of May 2015. Most people hang out outside, having a beer, something to eat, heavy networking. Lunch break. And I suppose that everybody was partially waiting for the final session and the traditional Queen choir.

A lot of spare time to finally do what I had in mind for some month. It’s a short, but not so beautiful walk from Station Berlin to Schneidersladen, the place to be or better go for if you are or want to be into modular synthesizers. Issue is that the opening hours are more then special, especially for me not living in Berlin. Not open on weekends, and not open past 6pm it was my chance to get in touch with an unknown world of sounds, which I plan to discover.

So, walk to underground station Kottbusser Tor, having some cigarettes, getting more nervous with every step. What will it be like? How do they treat total noobs like me? Am I too early?

Found the address and the doorbell. It’s a place I’ve been often before, but never saw the shops huge sign outside. Now I know. Door opens, up some stairs, next door. And I entered my new realm. Girl at the desk welcomed me friendly. Ask what I’m looking for. What do I know? She shall! Nervous again.

So I explained what I had in mind, that I want to dig into modular and was looking for a starter set, some 100€, nothing too expensive, something to carry with me. “Hm, I’m not an expert on this. Please go to the backroom…”, pointing into some direction, “… they’ll help you there.”

There I stand, a normal size room holding 2 or 3 huge (as in very huge) racks stuffed with Eurorack modules. Some interesting people in there, couldn’t distinguish between customers and sellers. “How can I help you?”

“Ähm, puh, so, hmm, …”

“”

“I would like to start with modular synth. And ‘am looking for a starter kit, around 500€. Something small to take with me and start fiddling around and to discover whether this is something for me or not. So, that I do not spent that much money on it and discover later that this is not what I’m really into doing on my own.” (I know myself, in most cases).

First lesson to learn: No way! You need a case, and you need some basic modules to get at least a sound out of the system. This will be VCO, VCF and VCA, LFO will be helpful (and yes, same named British band is also helpful). So, to start, it sums up to around 1.000€.

We left the modular show room, back into the entrance area. And he let me play with a drum machine (MFB-522; at this moment not my type of thing; some weeks later I was angry about not taking this for the price it was offered; now sold out), something else, and a MeeBlip anode.

To make it short: This is what I picked as my first synthesizer! A little (10x10cm) black beast with not so lovely sounds. Exactly what I was looking for. But… How to get sound out of it? No clue.

Some months later (recently) I listened to a track from one of the Brainwashed podcast  episodes: “100 Gongs For Arieto” by Eleh/Tara Jana O’Neil. And I thought that I could try reproduce this sound. I thought that this seems to be a bell-shaped curve over sound with some low, very low frequency modulation on the lower band. I had an idea of how to twiddle the knobs. I was proud of myself. And more than happy finally when it sounded like the stuff I listened to before (ok, close to, in my reception).

What happened in between was:

  • I needed something to drive the meeblip. I decided to go for an Arturia BeetStep (not the pro version, which came out some weeks after my purchase). It was fun to connect the device, pluck the meeblip into the stereo, set up and run a sequence and tweak the knobs. Lovely sounds in the room. The feeling of doing something good to myself.
  • I came across an really good offer for an Korg MS-20 mini. As it is semi modular I could learn very well how the main components of synthetic sound creation work and work together. It is pre-wired, but could be over-patched  for your needs. Learned a lot. And could be also driven by the beatstep thingy.
  • A friend of mine make a gift to me: A midi key board/controller.

So, within my first year in synth I collected some gear (MeeBlip anode, Arturia BeatStep, Korg MS-20 mini and the additional key board). I have two sources of sound. But most of all, I’m still and even more infected with the idea of going modular.

I do not sit there for hours an trying to create a certain sound or to publish something. But I sit there and get lost in time. And have the growing feeling of finally having found a hobby.

So there are some essential steps to take next year:

  1. Get some sort of mixer and monitors. Reason for the first one shall be clear, for the second one that I want to get rid of listening to the beautiful sound through headphones only.
  2. Went to Schneidersladen again and compile my starter modular synth.

Written by Rayk Fenske

December 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Posted in synthesizer

Imi Surreal

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Aktuell (Januar 2015) laufen im Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg zwei Ausstellungen. Zum einen “Imi Knoebel. Werke 1966 − 2014” (noch bis zum 15. Februar 2015), zum anderen “RealSurreal – Meisterwerke der Avantgarde-Fotografie. Das Neue Sehen 1920-1950. Sammlung Siegert” (noch bis zum 6. April 2015).

Zur erstgenannten gibt es aus meiner Sicht wenig zu sagen, dazu fand ich sie persönlich zu langweilig. Zwei Werke stechen für mich heraus: “Die Schlacht”, ein großflächiges Bild, Lack auf Hartfaser. Diese wurde immer wieder bearbeitet, so das, auch durch den dick aufgetragenen Lack, eine spannende Plastizität entstanden ist, welche wirkt. Das andere heißt “Schwarzes Kreuz” (1968), zusammengestellt aus 4 Quadraten mit knapp einem Meter Kantenlänge (99,5cm laut begleitendem Katalog, welche wirklich sehr informativ ist). Es erinnert direkt an das “Schwarzes Quadrat auf weißem Grund” von Kasimir Sewerinowitsch Malewitsch (1915), kann jedoch nicht an dessen visuelle Wirkung und Bedeutung für die Malerei heranreichen. Genug davon.

Die zweite Ausstellung widmet sich dem Neuen Sehen in der Fotografie, welches sich ab den 20er Jahren des vergangenen Jahrhunderts widmet. Die Ausstellung öffnet mit sehr alten Fotografien, die frühesten von 1840 und nur hinter Vorhängen zu entdecken. Sie unterteilt sich in drei Bereiche, wobei der erste sehr vom Bauhaus und der dort entwickelten neuen Ästhetik getrieben ist. Die beiden anderen Bereiche zeigen damalige Entwicklungen in Paris und Prag.

Somit spannt sich ein interessanter Bogen, bei dem vor allem Prag und die dortige Avantgarde neu für mich waren. Den Abschluss der eigentlichen Ausstellung bilden 6 avandgartistische Schwarz-Weiß-Filme, wobei mir hier Moholy-Nagys Ansichten Berlins gut gefallen haben. Gut werden die Auswirkungen des Neuen Sehens in der Fotografie auf den Film gezeigt.

Nach diesen Filmen werden der alten Avantgarde Werke zeitgenössischer Fotografen gegenüber gestellt. Der ewig langweilige Gursky darf nicht fehlen, aber auch nicht Cindy Shermann oder Nobuyoshi Araki.

Um es kurz zu machen: Nicht nur im Vergleich zur eher mäßigen Knoebel-Ausstellung sticht “RealSurreal” aus vielen der in letzter Zeit gesehen Fotografie-Ausstellungen, inklusive “100 Jahre Leica” in den Deichtorhallen (Ende 11. Januar 2015) sowie “Magnum . Contact Sheets” in der zum Glück wieder eröffneten c/o Galerie, heraus. Unbedingte Empfehlung für jeden, der sich für Fotografie interessiert. Der Katalog, erschienen im Wienand Verlag, lohnt sich.

Das Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg zeigt erneut seine Stärke beim Kuratieren spannender Ausstellungen (RealSurreal) sowie das Potential der großen Halle, deren hohe Wände Fläche und Raum für beeindruckende Ausstellungen bieten (z.B. “James Turrell. The Wolfsburg Project” Ende 2009/Anfang 2010). Leider kann Imi dieses Potential nicht nutzen.

Written by Rayk Fenske

January 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Meisterhäuser 2.0

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In Dessau wurde die Lücke geschlossen und die beiden Meisterhäuser von Gropius sowie Moholy-Nagy neu errichtet und die Tage nun eröffnet. Bilden die alten Häuser die Architektur und damit verbundenen Lebensweise ab, scheinen sich die Neubauten vor allem im Inneren zu unterscheiden. Ein guter Grund also, das Bauhaus, die Meisterhäuser und Dessau (erneut) zu besuchen.

http://www.baunetz.de/meldungen/Meldungen-Meisterhaeuser_in_Dessau_eroeffnet_3562941.html

Written by Rayk Fenske

May 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Architektur

Tagged with , ,

Dealer

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This video covers Burials “River Dealer” track atmosphere brilliantly. Nice piece.

DEALER from Ben Dawkins on Vimeo.

(via Hyperdub Records)

Written by Rayk Fenske

May 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Weihnachten 2013 – Symbolbild

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Weihnachten 2013 - Symbolbild

Written by Rayk Fenske

December 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ästhetik > Kritik

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Via Twitter bin ich heute auf eine Kritik über Edward Burtynskys neue Serie WATER beim Freitag gestossen.

Sie beschreibt ziemlich genau, was ich beim Besuch der entsprechenden Ausstellung in London gefühlt habe und vor alle, was ich bei den anderen Ausstellungsbesuchern wahrgenommen habe: Beim Betrachten der erst einmal großartigen Bilder tritt das problematische, das Kritik würdige deutlich in den Hintergrund bzw. es tritt gar nicht erst zu Tage. War es mir bei OIL (gesehen bei c/o berlin an der alten Adresse) noch leicht möglich, auf Grund des Gesehenen westliche Zivilisationsstandards, basierend auf fossilen Rohstoffen, in Frage zu stellen, gelingt es mir bei WATER kaum noch auf Grund der Bilder. Wie die anderen Besucher fragte ich mich immer wieder nur, ob dies wirklich noch Fotographien sind oder nicht doch schon Gemälde. Es war für mich auch schwer zu erkennen, was ich da genau sehe. Und so spannte sich die Diskussion im Grunde nur über ästhetische Fragen, das Spiel von Farben in diesen monumentalen Aufnahmen. In eine ähnlich Falle laufen unter anderem auch Architekturfotographien von Monumentalbauten, die in Phasen von Diktaturen entstanden sind.  Als Beispiel kann hier CCCP (Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed) erwähnt werden, auch wenn der Fokus der Serie auf spannende Bauprojekte neben dem sozialistischen Monumentalstandard liegt. Es gelingt leider nur zu gut, von der Perversion abzulenken, die hinter diesen besonderen Bauten steckt.

Die ohne Frage beeindruckende Ästhetik verführt den Betrachter.

Written by Rayk Fenske

December 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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